Ye Olde' Unlock

by Tucker Kennedy-Studach

About The Author

He has passions that range from sports and adventuring, to playing video games and watching too much TV, as well as everything in between. When he's not lazy, something happens...

JULY 25, 2018

    Stick with me for a second, something interesting happened the other day and I’m still not sure what to think or how to feel about it. I would love to get your thoughts on this in the comment section below or on twitter @LoweredExp. First, however, I’d like to set the scene and provide a little context.
    I have a general rule of thumb when it comes to sports video games, “never buy the same sport in consecutive years.” The reason for this is simple, not much truly changes between editions except for rosters. Those can be easily updated through game-released updates or by the gamers themselves uploading updates that anyone can use. The graphics quality, player control, feel of the game, etc. are all generally the same from year-to-year. So while the Madden Curse tries to claim its victims year-after-year, I avoid the taboo of shelling out $60/sport title each year. Back in the days of EA NCAA games, I would spend $180 to $240 each year just on college football/basketball and pro football/basketball. Toss in a baseball title and that range can grow even more. Eventually the frustration amounts and one creates a personal rule.
    By now you’re probably wondering why this is titled anything other than “sports games are expensive and repetitive.” If you’re one of my non-sports-inclined friends, you’ve probably yawned/left and/or thought “that’s what you get” and “personal choices.” I've heard it all, can you tell? Well… I was playing NBA 2k16 on PS4, and I happened to unlock an “ultra-rare trophy,” for XBox and PC (Steam) users this would be an “achievement.” Trophy rarity adapts as players unlock them, so some trophies have only been attained by 0.1% of that games players. My trophy in question isn't one of those 0.1%-ers (Grass is Greener, attained by 0.6% of 2k16 players, still ultra-rare).
My issue is that by now, as the new season for sports games approaches (2019 editions), my trophy belongs to an outdated game that isn't even supported by its own maker anymore. Initially I was pretty excited to get that unexpected rarity into my trophy collection, but then I wondered, “with so many people moving on to 2k17, 2k18, and now 2k19… is that trophy’s coolness diminished? Is it even better because it's less likely to ever be demoted to just “rare” status? If this trophy is diminished, what about broken records for speed-runs through ancient Super Mario? This ongoing debate in my head ultimately leaves me squarely in purgatory until I find the answer to the greatest question in the history of mankind.