At the expense of much perishable time–much of which was allocated to subverted allocation of free time–I recently received my 19th Platinum trophy courtesy of Tales of Xillia. Please, please reserve your applauds and informal plaudits. Oh, you are. Well this Platinum, though tenuous at times was largely fun at around 75 accumulated hours and certainly an influential advocate for monetary restraint as your likely discover enough salient time to accomplish all the necessary accolades to achieve the Platinum. A cursory advisement that is always a consideration when acquiring any Platinum is at least a meagre deviation from your intimate proposed stipulations and some minor capitulations and compromises, though likely numerable alterations have to be applied in the procurement of trophies. But the most common attribution that can be derived from your resilient endeavours is repetition, often postured as “grinding”. It’s a lamentable parity affiliated with almost every game; collect specified antiquities, ascend to stipulated level, participate and win regulated events etc. But nowhere is the relinquishment of sanity and tenuous grinding more apparent than in my projected 20th Platinum trophy, GTA V.
You’d imagine that the on-line portion would be a personification of the singular brilliance of GTA V’s sardonic observations of modern recognition. The morose subjugation of the impoverished inhabitants, exacerbated by the extravagant disparity of glitzy Vinewood that looms over their corrugated habitations with strangulating earnest. The glamorised perception of fame coveted by so many vacuous cretins with aspirations of falsified notoriety, via exploitive TV shows such as “Fame or Shame”. The lavished extravagance of narcotics, the pervading infidelity and invasive conduct of the press are satirised with attentive accuracy. However none of these evocative observations overtures are accounted on-line, which diminishes the potency of the objectives which is primarily a compilation of mini games– and the acquirement of trophies that simply force you to perform the vapid tasks and recreational activities that no one wants to do. Participating in Golf is mildly entertaining, if irrelevant, sure. But to obtain the “Numero Uno” trophy for instance requires that you play–and win–at darts, the shooting range, arm wrestling and tennis? Tennis. In a GTA game! Really?! All these events are largely superfluous activities that people reluctantly sample, and quickly evacuated (not rectally…..I hope). Another Bronze trophy requires the auxiliary assistance of *sigh* other players, and you know how I feel about that sort of thing? Most of whom possess all the willing compliance of someone receiving a struggle cuddle. But the award for most derivative, protracted, elongated, obtuse, soul-destroying, grind, goes to…….(opens figurative envelope)…….”Above the law”. Congratulations you hermetic little annoyance, take a bow!
It’s not difficult to achieve level 100 in the conventional sense, there’s no reticulated barrier restricting me and not some masochistic boss that impedes my progress, but progressive fidelity becomes stifled by assertive repetition and linearity. When you’re relying heavily on your own conviction to succeed rather than the game enticing you to explore its concealed labours with your own collaborative volition, or probing affiliated forums for a concerted cheat that you can exploit that grants special dispensation, then you know you’re in trouble. You can’t detach yourself from the community to concentrate focus purely on development because the community is always there, probably right behind you attaching an incendiary device to the base of your $800,000 car! Even though engaging with other adversaries in competitive terms is suitably balanced, restricting the more financially robust philanthropists with a neutrality extending to the armaments so that individuals advanced repertoire of stylised logistics or personalised artillery are rendered negligible, but is largely bereft of incentive. The retention of RP (the commodity required for level development) is an according capitulation particularly exploited in Rooftop Rumble. Comprised of a simple shoot the bad guys, extract the required Intel for your client and successfully evading your aggressive perusers, thereby accumulating affluent financial compensation. “Great” I hear you rebuke, “what’s the issue?” Because its simply an alternate variant on a pre-existing grind, provoked by similarly established players hitting the restart button at the conclusion. And in fairness why shouldn’t they when other more aggravating and needlessly tenuous missions offer less compensation for your efforts.
And it’s that contradictory subtext that remains a perpetual blemish for me. How can it be less profitable to procure a cargo carrier full of ballistics, guarded by a small militia, than beating a prostitute with a blunt phallic in some concealed alleyway? You maybe shocked to learn that GTA On-line has suffered from an abundance of problems, so I’m sorry for the clarification here. As a result–for the game to even function for longer than it takes flies to fornicate–RockStar have frequently released patches, or band-aids to stem the crimson coagulation from permanently staining their beautifully rendered city. As significant as these intervening patches have been, even bolstering the expansive range of vehicles, residencies and other amenities; each new update is usually accompanied by a clandestine limitation that reduces the applicable currency and experience received. It’s almost as though they want you to extend your funds by using real money? Say what you will about Resident Evil 5 (which I cite as one of my most enjoyable platinum’s), but for all its vocal criticisms it was a contrasting dynamic in comparison. Because for all of its erroneous fables, regulated repetition, the intentional mirroring of its predecessor and Jill’s (stupid!) blond follicles the attainment of accolades felt naturally progressive. You recouped them so regularly and consistently that its repetition was negligible in contrast to the evanescent sophistry of GTA. Their were no attenuated offline trophies like regulating a submersible to collect……toxic waste? Which was only suitably surpassed by the cranial haemorrhage caused by the monotony of assassinating 400 pigeons in GTA IV. Is it too much to ask that a game presents interesting trophies for me to collate and reward my continued patronage rather than inhibit it? Of course its my decision to collect these largely superfluous accolades and that its my own submissive narcissism that motivates me, and that’s partially affable. But complacency is inevitable too, especially in a game that relies repetition and on the enmity of greed and the consolidation of the mentioned sin…..So in actuality, the requisite grinding required to attain level 100 is rather applicable, unfortunately…..
What’s the most annoying grind you’ve ever experienced? And don’t say this article. Cheers.