After days of work, hours of frustration, and a rage that very nearly claimed a controller, I claimed the 'Scavenger Hunt' achievement in Bioshock Infinite. For those of you not in the know, the parameters of this particular achievement are as follows:

1) Beat the game on the hardest difficulty, which includes a hundred dollar charge per continue. no money, no more game. You have to reload at your last checkpoint.
2) Not spend any money at a Dollar Bill machine. While this may not seem like a big deal, health, ammo, and salts (Which is basically your mana) are at a serious premium in 1999 mode, and these machines are basically the only easy source, outside of hoping to scour from the environment or having some thrown to you. By choosing to complete the achievement, you are foregoing the only way to make this mode easier.

I watched the credits roll, and the "Achievement Earned" notification popped up on the screen. All that work, all the annoyances and frustration, all for that. Not even something that I can show off in-game somewhere, like achievements in Team Fortress 2. As I sit and watch the credits wrap up, I am struggling to justify the headache I just put myself through.

And then it hits me. To me, it's not about having something to show off, though that is a plus. I found myself challenged even on medium difficulty, and hard was a scary prospect. I decided to forego hard, and jump in head first, and just knock out 1999 mode. I had heard that outside of the paying for continues, there was not a whole lot of difference between the two modes, so I thought why the heck not. I felt like I needed to give myself a challenge, and it only made sense to REALLY challenge myself, and add the Scavenger Hunt achievement to my docket.

For a very long time, I've had a hard time shaking the feeling of failing at most everything I do. My self-esteem is something that has always been easy for me to undermine, and feeling like I've done something right is an experience that does not come often. Call me silly, or strange, or even stupid, but my achievement list, or trophies, or gamer score stands as a list of my accomplishments, no matter how big or small. They stand as a personal record of challenges I've risen to, and a road map of challenges to come. I look at the Platinum trophies I have for Assassins Creed 2 or Uncharted 3, and I see proof that I can follow through on something I set my mind to.

I have days where I feel like I don't do as well as I could at work, or that I'm not being the husband I should be, even if I'm doing everything right. I can't help it. Perhaps if my boss gave out arbitrary, useless, but awesome rewards, I may feel like a better employee. If my wife learned how to make the 'trophy unlocked' sound when I remember to take out the garbage,..

Simply put, are achievements worth the trouble? For me, yes, they are.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 04/16/2013 at 01:59am

Thats really cool man, I hope you keep hitting strides you enjoy. I envy this kind of dedication myself and hope that I can find a game that warrants me putting this kind of love into its harder aspects. I am playing through(post will come) Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past right now and playing through it entirely by memory I accumulated a few decades ago is a kind of achievement I am pretty proud of. Scoured every area of that game and it still comes to me.

Are there any things left for you to achieve with BioShock Infinite?

Travis   Admin wrote on 04/16/2013 at 03:15am

I have good and bad feelings about achievements. I like a good mix of stuff you're going to do anyway, to chart your progress, and fun stuff to do. I was really annoyed with finishing up Fallout: New Vegas and having some achievements left that consisted of doing a certain amount of damage with weapons I didn't care about.

I mean I did them anyway because with Bethesda games I'm a hardcore completionist. I created a hard save and then went to the strip and blew up securitrons. But it didn't add any extra challenge, just busy work.

Nick_Donahoo   Post Author wrote on 04/17/2013 at 07:01pm

Now I just have fun and do a little mopping up. Voxophones, infusions, and drunk killing. .

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