100%

Getting 100% in anything is something that requires skill, effort and dedication. A test? You have to study hard to gain that score. Getting something to run at 100% efficiency? You have to tune, adjust and work hard to make it run at that sort of level.

There’s a great sense of satisfaction when you see those numbers appear and the same is true in video games. But what drives you to even get that number? Is it the same reasons? Or is it for something more like bragging rights?

To be honest, there’s only been a few games where I’ve gone out of my way to gain 100% completion and I’ve had varying reasons.

One of them that wasn’t purely for my own satisfaction was Red Dead Redemption. There’s a lot to do in the game and myself and my cousin started the game around the same time, finished it around the same time and then both challenged each other to the race for 100%. We were neck and neck for ages, right up until the last few percent. I was confident that I had it in the bag. I would go home and immediately start playing when I got home from work, he would go home to his kids and look after them until they would go to bed. I had a good few hours on him, but then I hit a snag. I had to find and kill two cougars with a knife, but I couldn’t find the damn things! It took me forever, but it took him all of 15 minutes! He took the lead and within a few hours he sent me a photo with his victory. My bragging rights had vanished, I’d lost, but then I could focus on gaining it in my own time, eventually conquering the feat and being satisfied with my own personal victory.

Some of the best games that I’ve completed 100% have always had a varying amount of things to do, helping break boredom and keeping you going, like the aforemented Red Dead Redemption. Some though, don’t do a lot to break the boredom.

There’s been a lot of times though where I’ve gone full steam into finishing a game completely but just lost drive, because I’ve immersed myself for so long in the world that it no longer feels enticing to continue. I’m currently having this problem with New Super Mario Bros U, where I haven’t touched it in 3 weeks because I was spending so much time with it, and needed to change my focus to other games just to break the monotony of it all.

I think achievements can help keep that drive going though, if you’re aiming for 100%. Goals that pop up while you’re in the midst of gaining 100% help feel like you’re progressing and slowly realising your goal. As much as I dislike achievements, there are benefits to it all. Just seeing that pop up and that chime play can help keep you motivated.

But what about the rest of you? Is there a reason why you keep playing to achieve perfection? Is it that self satisfaction? Is it the bragging rights or something else? What’s the best and worst games that you’ve gone for? Sound off in the comments below! Share your experiences!

5 comments

  1. I’ll usually be compelled to go for 100% when:
    – I enjoy the world/setting and achievements provide some direction when exploring that world.
    – I enjoy playing as that character and want to extend that enjoyment.
    – The achievements appear to be… achievable. (Never attempted it in Red Dead. I’d preform tasks to unlock certain in game bonuses, but not achievements)

    As for satisfaction, I think Arkham Asylum was probably the most satisfying, since the most time-consuming task wasn’t a “collect-’em-all”. Getting triple batarangs in all the combat challenges was a big effort (for me at least) and meant that once I was done, I had the combat system down-pat when I started City.
    Plus the one task of using every possible combat move in a single combo seemed ridiculous. Badassery ensued.

  2. I spent over 40 hours blowing up everything in The Saboteur. Total waste of time, but it never stopped being kind of fun. Didn’t 100% the game though, because I gave up on some of the perks, and actually almost considered not even finishing the main story! 😛

  3. I got 100% in Red Dead and pretty close to in Undead Nightmare- never found the damned unicorn.

    I also 100% GTA Vice City back in the day.

  4. I’ve never done it. Not once.
    Came pretty close with Dragon Age Origins.

    There’s always one achievement that I look at and think “fuck noooo” whether it be too time consuming, too boring or both.

  5. golig1 · · Reply

    Got 100% in Sleeping Dogs.
    That game was just so fun to play that it never felt like a chore to complete the various collections, races, jobs etc.
    The only annoying thing was getting the achievement for winning a certain amount (one million? one hundred thousand?) on cockfighting bets, which took ages due to the random nature of the events, in addition to the requirement being ‘net gain’, not ‘total gains’.

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