Emulator Site Brings Achievements to SNES and Genesis Games

Emulator Site Brings Achievements to SNES and Genesis Games

Retro Achievements Logo

Because achievements make every game better, right?

It's hard to go back to old games sometimes, even the ones we used to love, because after years of evolution they can feel really dated. In most cases those issues are irreversible without some serious coding or even a fully-fledged remake, but there's one recent feature that's created an indelible mark on the way we play games, and could theoretically be added to any game without screwing with its original gameplay at all...

That's right, we're talking about achievements.

The audacious group of ROM-modders at Retro Achievements have started adding cheevos to emulated versions of SNES and Genesis/Sega Mega Drive games to all of your 16-bit favorites. Though the site's creators are definitely focused on the 16-bit era, they've also added achievements to a smaller set of NES, Game Boy and GBA titles.

The site goes beyond merely coming up with a built-in list of challenges for players to complete: The ROMs send users' achievement to the site and produced statistics and leaderboards based on the community's data, producing the information you might get from third-party gameplay tracking sites like Raptr or True Achievements. As you might expect of mod-centric site, the Retro Achievements scoring system is far less standardized than Xbox Live's system or the PSN trophy system. Each game has a different number of achievements, which are worth a different number of points.

As intriguing as this idea may seem, It's important to recognize that emulation sites like Retro Achievements live in an ethically grey area and are technically illegal. If you want to throw caution to the wind and download them, that's your business, but we'd appreciate it everyone behaves responsibly while on the site, as dictated by our Code of Conduct. The Escapist does not condone digital piracy or illegal activity of any kind.

Source: Retro Achievements via NeoGAF

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Meh... back in the day, games didn't need achievements to keep people playing them. They were fun enough as is.

getoffmylawn.gif etc etc

First thintg I wanted to do after reading the headline was pointing at the code of conduct, but it seems like you realized that little paradox yourself. :D

I doubt this can work, emulators ruin a lot of challenges due to savestate scamming.

Btw, is Raptr even relevant? I've registered quite a while ago, and even when I'm just casually playing, I end up being the "number one player of the week" pretty often...

If nothing else, this is a cool concept that Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony should look at when they sell digital versions of older games on their consoles. Actually, Nintendo might want to adopt a system like this to begin with. But the other two should consider it.

It would have been fun to have achievements/trophies when playing PS1/PS2 and regular Xbox games this past generation. It would also have enticed more gamers to buy these digital gems.

I like emulators since for a lot of old games it's either emulators or buying the game second hand, and the old games that you can buy cost way too much.

Achievements are actually pretty cool additions when done properly. Especially in older games which have some cool stuff that is easy to miss, adding achievements can encourage players to try things they otherwise might not have and see parts of the game they otherwise would have missed.

themilo504:
I like emulators since for a lot of old games it's either emulators or buying the game second hand, and the old games that you can buy cost way too much.

Eh, depends on the game. True for pretty much all JRPG's and cult classics like Turtles in Time and Super Castlevania IV, but most are around ten bucks.

Falterfire:
Achievements are actually pretty cool additions when done properly. Especially in older games which have some cool stuff that is easy to miss, adding achievements can encourage players to try things they otherwise might not have and see parts of the game they otherwise would have missed.

Plus achievements can give you an extra challenge beyond the "base game".
Half-Life 2:Episode 1 had "The One Free Bullet":

Finish the game firing exactly one bullet. Grenade, crowbar, rocket, and Gravity Gun kills are okay!

and now Super Mario Bros has Penniless Plumber:

Complete the game with no more than 1 coin and never collect a powerup

I think that one from Mario will be significantly harder though...

This is astonishingly old news.Anyway its a neat idea.Certainly doesn't hurt anything.At worst It can get a few people into retro gaming and that's not really a bad thing is it?

Its not a bad thing. I'd love to see what cheevos they could come up with for games like Zombies Ate My Neighbors, arguably the best (and hardest) zombie game of ALL TIME. ALL TIME!!

Chaosritter:

themilo504:
I like emulators since for a lot of old games it's either emulators or buying the game second hand, and the old games that you can buy cost way too much.

Eh, depends on the game. True for pretty much all JRPG's and cult classics like Turtles in Time and Super Castlevania IV, but most are around ten bucks.

I didn't mean getting a game second hand, I meant downloading a nes game on my 3ds using the virtual console, I think those prices are way too high.

Chaosritter:
First thintg I wanted to do after reading the headline was pointing at the code of conduct, but it seems like you realized that little paradox yourself. :D

I would think news contributors would count under the content creator clause. Still, it sends mixed messages to make an article about this, including explanations and locations, even if you're then saying "we don't advocate it."

themilo504:

I didn't mean getting a game second hand, I meant downloading a nes game on my 3ds using the virtual console, I think those prices are way too high.

I agree. Nintendo's price point structure seems to be based upon the reasoning of "because fuck you, that's why!"

Some achievements do add to a game that's been played to death. I've racked over 50 hours in Trine doing 2-3 play throughs and messing around for achievements and 70 hours in Trine 2 and its expansion doing the same. I did see a video of a Sonic 3 and Knuckles hack that had achievement like thing such as "destroy this many boxes before reaching the end of the act" or "don't touch the floor without rolling as Tails." Some of them did mess with game mechanics beyond just keeping track of the challenge score to make a new challenge though. This site probably wouldn't do anything that drastic unless modders got interested.

Zachary Amaranth:

Chaosritter:
First thintg I wanted to do after reading the headline was pointing at the code of conduct, but it seems like you realized that little paradox yourself. :D

I would think news contributors would count under the content creator clause. Still, it sends mixed messages to make an article about this, including explanations and locations, even if you're then saying "we don't advocate it."

themilo504:

I didn't mean getting a game second hand, I meant downloading a nes game on my 3ds using the virtual console, I think those prices are way too high.

I agree. Nintendo's price point structure seems to be based upon the reasoning of "because fuck you, that's why!"

Yeah, I'm kinda weary about even talking here about awesome fan content I've seen on the web. I kinda hurts me not share at least descriptions of those things. I had to talk about that S3&K hack since it looked so awesome. I just wish Nintendo and anyone else charging $5-10 for games that already made bank 10+ years ago could either drop the price, let people play mods for them at their own risk, or add something like this achievement thing to their games to advocate their prices. It just makes me sad that while this money could fund new games, most of the people who worked long hours on these games don't see a cent from VC sales, like most of the crew in Hollywood that makes costumes, sets, etc under strict demands and timelines. I would pay current prices for more VC games if I could safely patch them to play fan content that really adds new layers to an old game.

Michael Epstein:

As intriguing as this idea may seem, It's important to recognize that emulation sites like Retro Achievements live in an ethically grey area and are technically illegal. If you want to throw caution to the wind and download them, that's your business, but we'd appreciate it everyone behaves responsibly while on the site, as dictated by our Code of Conduct. The Escapist does not condone digital piracy or illegal activity of any kind.

So where can we legitimately purchase all these 16-bit era games from, then?

I don't want to be a pirate, after all.

Hairless Mammoth:

Yeah, I'm kinda weary about even talking here about awesome fan content I've seen on the web. I kinda hurts me not share at least descriptions of those things. I had to talk about that S3&K hack since it looked so awesome.

Fan content is often a legal grey area and while I'm reticent to support it or talk about it, it is cool what people can do with this stuff. Maybe not Achievements specifically (don't care much), but I've seen a ton of content played on YouTube that looks awesome.

This segues into another issue....

I just wish Nintendo and anyone else charging $5-10 for games that already made bank 10+ years ago could either drop the price, let people play mods for them at their own risk, or add something like this achievement thing to their games to advocate their prices. It just makes me sad that while this money could fund new games, most of the people who worked long hours on these games don't see a cent from VC sales, like most of the crew in Hollywood that makes costumes, sets, etc under strict demands and timelines. I would pay current prices for more VC games if I could safely patch them to play fan content that really adds new layers to an old game.

One of the things that's always burned me about the anti-piracy debate is it's framed as hurting the artists, stealing from the artists, etc. And I honestly don't support piracy, but I hold sort of a neutral ground that's dicey when it comes to talking about it on certain forums. I don't like it, I don't do it, but I don't see it as worth the effort people put into fighting it nor do I think their arguments are honest. Back when Napster was the thing, the RIAA was arguing that users were STEALING FRUM TEH ARTISTS!!!!!!! at the same time we discovered a lot of major label artists were virtually broke because the labels the RIAA represented didn't give a damn about the artists involved. We've seen the same with the MPAA. I don't know the details about the VC, but I'd be shocked to find out it benefited anyone other than the publishers, especially with the terrible conditions for devs back when these games were being made.

It's a sweet deal for Nintendo, but it's utterly ridiculous.

Mechwarrior 2, ecco the dolphin, starflight, X-wing, Freespace 2, katamari. Those are just a FEW games that don't need achievements to hold up to today's standards.

Maybe I'm just playing for fun and not trying to impress some numbers. Ever think of that?

Well, there's always been umpteen "add achievements to an older game"-type threads (Chrono Trigger: Find all endings, etc). Suppose it's inevitable that somebody decided to make it an actual thing.

I'm generally fine with achievements. They're often interesting things to aim at, and provide a bit of direction for later playthroughs. It's only when it turns into dick-waving contests that it gets silly.

TitusGroan:
Meh... back in the day, games didn't need achievements to keep people playing them. They were fun enough as is.

getoffmylawn.gif etc etc

I was thinking the same thing, such a stupid waste of time adding in the most useless modern thing. Frankly I'd be happy if achievements just plain vanished, if a game isn't enjoyable enough without achievements then the game just plain sucks.

Interesting idea.

One of the things I love about HD collections this generation was that I could Trophy hunt the games I love, giving me something extra to strive for (like the Speedster and Unchanging Armor Trophies in Kingdom Hearts Final Mix HD).

I'm looking at this thread and I see people saying "oh these old games don't need achievements," but that's just the point.

It's something extra, something fun and community-driven. And of course, as with modern games, it's optional.

 

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