26 Jan

One of the most fiercely lobbied changes gamers have asked of Nintendo this generation, outside of a restructuring of multiplayer interaction, is the integration of an achievement/trophy-like awards system. The Big N’s only response to this request this past generation is that, while they appreciate the value of such rewards, they would rather focus on different kinds of incentives for players. The upcoming 3DS will continue the trend, and Nintendo of America’s  Head of Product Marketing Bill Trinen was on hand with Kotaku to explain why.

“When they create their games, [Nintendo’s designers] don’t tell you how to play their game in order to achieve some kind of mythical reward,” said Bill Trinen, “Basically, the way the games are designed is they’re designed for you to explore the game yourself and have this sense of discovery…To that end, I think that when you look specifically at games from EAD [the group long led by Mario and Donkey Kong creator Shigeru Miyamoto] and a lot of other games that Nintendo has developed a well, there are things you can do in the game that will result in some sort of reward or unexpected surprise. In my mind, that really encourages the sense of exploration rather than the sense of ‘If I do that, I’m going to get some sort of artificial point or score that’s going to make me feel better that I got this.’ And that, to me, is I think more compelling.”

Agree with Nintendo’s reasoning, E-Gs, or should the House of Mario still make with its own rewards system? Let us know below!

6 thoughts on “Nintendo Continues ‘No Achievements’ Trend with 3DS”

  1. I bring up Trevor’s article from last month about this topic.


    Now, I am fine with this. Frankly achievements with portables is a little harder to do than with consoles, as the consoles make you have to be online to get the achievement/trophy (not always the case). With the exception of what Blizzard does with WoW, SCII, and the soon to be coming Diablo III, and Valve with TF2, most companies don’t provide a good tangible reward with the achievements you receive. There are some games that reward you with items for Home like Tekken 6, and some others, but that is few and far between.

    But ultimately there are just some gameplay mechanics that I do not want to use when playing some games. I really want to get a platinum in ACII, but getting 10 kills in a row while staying in conflict is much harder to do than in Brotherhood (I am glad they changed up the counter mechanic as things flow way more effectively; also projectile poison blades are awesome). inFAMOUS also makes me want to get a platinum as most of the trophies were not hard with the exception of the stunts, which I still have one last one of killing three people by knocking them off a building with a shockwave causing them to die from a highfall takedown. But there are games that I know I will never strive to get platinums in as I despise what they want you to do and it is way too far outside of my comfort zone to even attempt.

    Yes they are not going to have a central achievement system and that is fine, but that doesn’t stop other devs from creating their own set of achievements within the game. Capcom is creating a achievement system for SSFIV3DED (just had to type that acronym out), and Nintendo already did a similar model with games like Wii Sports Resort with a stamp mechanic. Hell Nintendo sorta had an achievement system with Super Smash Bros. Melee, with the collection of the trophies and the log that keeps track of all the stages and characters you unlocked; Brawl does this too.

    Maybe for the next home console Nintendo puts out they will have or need an achievement system, but handhelds really don’t need one. I like to play games for fun, and feeling like I need to go for that next trophy or achievement just so I can get a higher score to hold over people just feels degrading at times. Games are about having fun, especially with friends, and should not be a job (unless you create them or write about them for a living) to get enjoyment out of the game.

    Summed up version: I agree case games are about having fun and I want to play like I want to and not how the game wants me to. I purposely go against what the game says at times just to spite ingame characters (see ACII/Brotherhood with the Borgia Carriers; I will chase you down :))

  2. That was a perfect answer…

    Really, the only company to do achievement systems well has been Ubisoft with their Uplay (even though it has the inevitability of locking content from players at day one).
    Achievements are good for 2 things that really matter:
    1) They act as incentive to try the different parts of the game (Burnout Paradise). These achievements should be fairly easy to get.
    2) They should strengthen the game by unlocky weapons/powers/ect for the player (Ratchet and Clank).

    1. I never signed up for uplay (at least i dont think i did). i really wish they were able to just access my systems profile info. i don’t feel like stopping my game to fill out forms, etc. just to get a few tiny extras in a game.

  3. Trinen’s answer is what’s called a “false dichotomy”. Portal is one example of a game that rewards exploration and experimentation with both hidden content and with achievements. There are plenty of other games like that. Nintendo simply decided to go with one and ignore the other.

    If anything, the knowledge that more achievements exist might convince players who consider their games to be otherwise complete to play just a little longer. I know that I stop playing Zelda games when I have full hearts and defeat the final boss; assuming it allowed me to continue playing afterward, I’d want to get any achievements I were missing as well.

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