Look Back and Turn to Stone

You know, getting into a hissy fit about Microsoft and their post-E3 2013 PR fuck-ups was pretty easy to do. I mean, yes, they made it very straightforward with the stacks of bullshit they were heaping on their existing fanbase (it’s well documented, but DRM that’d make North Korea wince, mandatory Kinect bullshit, and everything else that they eventually did a 180 on), but even so, there I was, a deeply-entrenched 360 devotee, and Microsoft managed to piss away my loyalty in under ten minutes. That’s all it took for me to forget about years of good times with the Xbox 360 and start publicly declaring that Microsoft could go fuck themselves.

Leaving them behind in any meaningful sense was going to be a lot harder for me than most, given that I’ve got a gamerscore that has been cultivated over seven or so years of deeply whorish play, and I’ve played well over five hundred games on the 360 (and still own a good chunk of them). So, for a while after the Xbox One launch, I continued playing the 360. It’s still arguably the greatest console of all time, after all, even if it is a bloated, confusing mess these days compared to when it first came out, and fucking off Microsoft doesn’t mean fucking off achievements, but it does rather put you into semi-retirement. I even considered the Xbox One (although to this day I’ve never played one). I mean, it is a console and it launched with Dead Rising 3, which is about the most exciting thing I can imagine a new console launching with. But I never bit, even when I had the chance to get one for free and, eventually, when the price was right, I snagged myself a PS4.

Of course, much like every PS4 owner, I soon found out that a new PS4 with a handful of games is no substitute for a Xbox 360. Especially one that still has Chime installed on it, and most of my online buddies were still on the 360. You don’t just walk away from friendships you’ve developed over this many years. Still, there’s nothing that makes you feel like as much of a twat as spending hundreds of quid on a console and not playing it (yes, your Vita is still in the sock drawer, readers) and so eventually I started asking my PS4-owning chums to start partying up on Wednesdays. One day a week to actually chat on the PS4 (via that abortion of a headset) and maybe even play something. It was a novel idea but it kind of worked. It wasn’t exactly like they heyday of the 360 or anything but slowly people started gravitating to Sony’s new box of tricks and, you know what… people started enjoying it enough that they left the HDMI lead plugged into the PS4 instead of the Xbox 360 for days other than Wednesdays.

Now, if you look at the release schedules for the big games you’ll be disappointed. Most of the big titles have turned up to be dull, barely current-gen affairs but, as with the Vita, all the most interesting stuff is happening with the indie developers, and in an effort to review as much of that stuff as possible, I’m finding myself turning on the PS4 more and more. Some of my favourite gamers are still resisting (understandably), and so I do occasionally turn on the 360 for an evening of Diablo 3 co-op, but I’m no longer chasing gamerscore like I did. I’ve still got an account with a games rental firm and am occasionally sent a whorish 360 max-’em-up, which I’ll complete if I feel like it, but I’m not prepared to put myself through the sort of pain I used to. My recent 460-hour completion of Earth Defense Force 2025 seemed like a good place to bow out (and anyway I’m still suffering PTSD from that campaign).

You see, that’s the kind of thing I’ve done over the last seven years. Nine days of heavy play to get the final achievement in EDF: Insect Armageddon (a game I hated by the way)? Did it. Getting all five characters to level eighty in Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom for an achievement called ‘Curse of the Developer’? Yep. Playing FIFA games for 50 hours (of on-the-pitch time so you can’t just idle it)? Sorry, but yes. Whores will have their trinkets.

A weight has been lifted. I’m picking up and playing games for as much time as they deserve. I’m not forcing that extra playthrough on Insane Difficulty, hunting for collectables or spending evenings boosting multiplayer matches. Instead, I’m just playing until I fancy playing something else. It’s so different to what I’ve become accustomed to. Of course, old habits die hard and I may have spent a couple of hours yesterday going for a 15x multiplier in Res0gun but that felt like something that would be fun and rewarding to do and I don’t feel necessarily committed to whatever trophies are left.

Of course, there is still plenty of potential gamerscore locked up in my 360 pile of shame but I’m feeling far more choosey about what I’m prepared to put myself through and, more importantly, the PS4 is starting to feel like my default choice. I’ve dropped games like Space Chimps and Ice Age 3 from my rental queue (pro tip: if you’re an achievements whore, get a games rental account. It removes at least 50% of the shame) and instead added all the PS4 stuff that I want to play but don’t fancy flinging silly money at yet.

Of course now I’ve got a PS4 pile of shame on the go with plenty of unfinished games to get through, but that’s all good. As the indies continue to flood in and legit Wu-Bangers like Shadows of Mordor start hitting the shelves, there are more and more reasons for me to keep switching on the PS4. I wondered how long it’d take me to make the PS4 my main console and then it just sort of happened. I’ve got zero compulsion to go back to games in my ‘to max’ pile (and to give you and idea that includes stuff like Afro Samurai, one of the Ace Combat games, The Simpsons and various other games that will be ruined by going for the achievements) and instead am looking forward to seeing what hits PSN this week.

I think I might be in the clear.

Last five articles by Richie



  1. th34lb1n0k1d says:

    If you can get in the clear then you were never truly one of us… shame on you and your tentacles sir, shame I say!

  2. Rook says:

    Achievements, trophies or neither; play games the way you want, however you get enjoyment.

  3. cheneyheadshot says:

    For what it’s worth, enjoyed the ride alongside you. Playing on the One just feels empty without community.

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