Under-Achiever Episode I: Bioshock

6 09 2007

So, it’s a day late. Sue me. The name also took me a little while to come up with. It was a gruesome duel between Under-Achiever, Under-Achievement Whore, or Kyle’s entry, Whiny Achievement Person Rant #263.1: The Nexoroth Prophecies Part 2: Feces, in my pants! For a little while, I was seriously considering that last one, but I feel I made the right choice. In case you missed it, my goal with this new, episodic piece of blog history is to go through each new Xbox 360 game that I play and refute the so called “achievements” that you may “earn” throughout the game. The purpose of this is to show that, while these ego boost-craving lunkards inflate their their precious Gamer Scores—and by extension, E-penises—only a select few of these points come from actually achieving anything. Most of them come from simply playing through or finishing the damn game, which is why you bought the thing in the first place! So, without further delay, let us now go through each of the “achievements” that Bioshock had to offer.

Ammo Inventor, 25 points: Successfully invented all possible ammo types.

Avid Inventor, 10 dubloons Successfully invent at least 100 items.

Basic Inventor 5 duckets: Successfully invent at least one item.

Bought One Slot 5 rubles: Purchase one slot in any Plasmid or Tonic track.

Maxed All Tracks 50 rupees: Purchased every slot in all four Plasmid and Tonic tracks.

Maxed One Track 20 yen: Purchased every slot in one of the Plasmid or Tonic tracks.

This seems like as good a place as any to start. These first six are a prime example of what I am talking about. When a game that, in large part is about customizing and maximizing your characters abilities and weapons, presents you with a plethora of the materials and devices to do just that, why would anyone in their right mind just skip right over it? Yes, I think I’ll finish this entire game just using my pistol and the first three plasmids they force upon me. By golly, if I had my way, I wouldn’t even use weapons, just my trusty old soup bones! In fact, that is an achievement. It takes absolutely no extra effort to use the very devices the game tells you to use to make yourself an unstoppable killing machine. Other ones that fit this category of inanity include

One Successful Hack, 5-pence: Perform at least one successful hack.

Hacked a Safe, 10 gold bullion: Successfully hack a safe.

Hacked a Security Bot, 10 parsecs: Successfully hack a security bot.

Hacked a Security Camera, 10 bars of latinum: Successfully hack a security camera.

Hacked a Turret, 10 bushels: Successfully hack a turret.

Hacked a Vending Machine, 10 units: Successfully hack a vending machine

Ok, so you don’t necessarily HAVE to hack anything. But considering the amount of cameras, bots, and turrets in the game, it would be ludicrous not to. Once again, the only real effort would be to actually not do any of these things at all! Hack a safe? “Oh, hey, that locked safe may have some useful items in it. That’s not really my thing. I think I’ll just go on not looting any dead bodies either. Who needs items?”

Upgraded a Weapon, 5 naquida: Acquire at least one weapon upgrade.

One Fully Upgraded Weapon, 5 gold: Fully upgrade one weapon.

Two Fully Upgraded Weapons, 5 silver: Fully upgrade one weapon.

Three Fully Upgraded Weapons, 5 bronze: Fully upgrade one weapon.

Four Fully Upgraded Weapon, 5 platinum: Fully upgrade one weapon.

Ammo Inventor, 25 giblets: Successfully invented all possible ammo types.

Avid Inventor, 10 gummy bears: Successfully invent at least 100 items.

Basic Inventor, 5 jelly beans: Successfully invent at least one item.

I’ll stop here. I’ll direct you to my previous jest about soup bones, if you question why I included these ones. There are two others, Fully Upgrade Fives Weapons, and Fully Upgrade All Weapons. Those two are reasonable, because frankly not every weapon is that great in this game, and some upgrades really aren’t necessary. I will also forgo the Research achievements because while I am a completionist in these sort of affairs, the whole Pokémon Snap aspect of it can be pretty harsh when your subjects are about to shoot you.

Now for the most ludicrous of all:

Completed Welcome, 10 bums: Successfully complete the Welcome To Rapture Level.

Defeated Dr. Steinman, 15 idiots: The player has defeated the crazed Dr. Steinman.

Defeated Peach Wilkins, 15 morons: The player has defeated Peach Wilkins.

Restored the Forest, 15 numbskulls: The player has restored the forests of Arcadia.

Completed Cohen’s Masterpiece, 30 rubes: The player has completed Sander Cohen’s great masterpiece.

Defeated Andrew Ryan, 30 maroons: The player has defeated Andrew Ryan.

Became a Big Daddy 30 simpletons: The player has become a Big Daddy.

Defeated Atlas 100 percent retarded: The player has defeated Atlas.

Ok, so let me get this straight. This game has story, right? A linear story that you must complete in order to finish the game. And unless you bought the game in order to not play it—I don’t know, maybe you need a fucking coaster or something—it’s very likely you will complete the story, and all of its elements. So where’s the god damn achievement in that, I ask? There are 215 “points” dedicated to you finishing the game you bought. That’s twenty freakin per cent of the points you can “earn”! Well, bravo. Good job. You finished the game you paid money to finish. Here’s your reward, meaningless points you didn’t actually put any extra effort in to earn. Go boost your ego. As Bill Engvall would say, here’s your sign.

Before I continue, I left out the ones relating to little sisters because, being the crux of the game’s sense of choice, you can do whatever the hell you want, I guess.

Well, that was fun. Seriously, I needed to get that off my chest.






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