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Reminiscing of Completion

How many games have you completed 100%? Saw everything? Did everything? A long time ago I was that guy. The guy that had to unlock all the unlockables, defeat all the challenges. Somewhere along the line things changed. Time for instance. It isn’t quite as plentiful as it used to be. Or maybe it is, and there’s just so many more choices of where this time can be spent. Games have gotten bigger. The term “gaming world” takes more proper meaning when defining a landscape that could take hours upon hours to circumvent, let alone discover its secrets.

I’ve been playing Infamous 2 lately. Didn’t play it when it came out, though I figured I should. And I was right. The game is excellent. Better than the first. Sure, it carries along issues that plagued the original. Cole climbs across the city of New Marais with ease, but fails in fine control, sometimes require intense struggle to leap away from buildings. Combat is finicky, health is minimal and the camera seems to want to spin around in frantic circles when melee is attempted. Surprisingly good music.

As I’m playing the game, usually when I’m running in between objectives, I’m constantly pinging the map. I’m in search of blast shards. I’ve already got plenty of blast shards. There are less than thirty left on the map. I don’t really have to collect them all. I also don’t have to do every side mission. I could just stop and make a mad dash through the main levels to the end. But yet I still feel the need to collect as many as I can and complete every side mission as well, because I only plan on playing the game once. When the end credits roll, I have no expectations of playing Infamous 2 a second time.

It hasn’t always been like this. A long time ago I beat every level in GoldenEye on each difficulty. Unlocked all the cheats. Collected all the DK coins in Donkey Kong Country 2 and defeated the hidden levels. I’ve completed all of Super Mario World several times over, not to mention a couple stints through Super Mario 64.

Perhaps the problem is the rise of the achievement. Every game has ’em. Some people care. I don’t. I find it fun when achievements come up and say, yes sir, you explode 50 heads with your fireball attack! Congratulations! And then I’m all like, yes! Now I’ve got another 25 achievement points to not care about. But, to consider a modern game completed 100%, that means that I’d have to complete the achievements. And every game has achievements.

Some of them are simple. King Kong gave away all of its achievements just by playing the game. Most games hand out achievements based on level completion. Other games don’t seem to know what they’re doing in regards to achievements. Confrontation has an achievement for letting your squad members be knocked unconscious. What does that mean? Congratulations, sir! You suck! Have a gold star. And yet, if I choose to not suck, I will be unable to complete the entire game.

For now though, the Beast is knocking at the doorstep of New Marais. Only one blast core remains. When I defeat the Beast, I know that I will not have experienced everything the game has to offer. I won’t know what Cole’s powers would have transformed into if I had made evil choices, nor will I know what cinematics remain locked away because I don’t have a file to import from Infamous 1 in which I followed an evil path. All I know for certain is that when the end credits roll, I will be satisfied enough.

The author of this fine article

is a Senior Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in July 2011.

Gentle persuasion

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