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343i, Please Quit Making Us Pay For Achievements

Ok, if you don’t know 343i is the developer behind modern day Halo games. For my non-Halo followers you have wasted your time opening this article. I’m sorry! For everyone else, let’s talk about something that’s really starting to irk me with this series.

I used to pride myself on having every game in the Halo series at 100% achievement completion. Right before The Master Chief Collection came out, I was able to say I had EVERY Halo game at 100%, including the Windows Phone & Windows 8 versions of Spartan Assault. This was something I spent a lot of time (and money) working on already, knowing MCC would basically reset my progress with 600 additional achievements. I was prepared to do it all again.
Beyond just playing the games, I actually spend days and days going through and cleaning up miscellaneous achievements strictly for the bragging rights. What better level of dedication is there than to say “I’VE DONE IT ALL!”. While I was a little upset when Windows Phone versions of the games came out, I went out and purchased a $40 GoPhone to get it done. Little did I know I would later switch to WP permanently, however that money had been spent regardless. This was on top of the limited editions I have bought of every single game, and DLC to go with it where needed.
Before MCC came out, I was able to proudly say I had 100% in every game to date. The list below was everything I have conquered; including Halo 2 (PC), which doesn’t even receive credit in the overall “Halo Gamerscore” on HaloWaypoint.

  • Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
  • Halo 2 (PC)
  • Halo 3
  • Halo 3: ODST
  • Halo Wars
  • Halo Reach
  • Halo 4
  • Halo Spartan Strike (WP)
  • Halo Spartan Strike (Win8)

That’s 7 full AAA games, and 2 mobile games. If you’ve attempted the same you know damn well how frustrating some of these achievements were to actually get. Besides getting a General rank in Halo Wars being the most time consuming, some of these were actually quite difficult. Especially Halo 2 (PC) because I played it on a shitty $200 laptop that just couldn’t handle it at the time.
Once MCC came out, I decided to take a week off work thinking I could be one of the first people to 100% this game for even more bragging rights. Little did I know I’d still be working on it nearly a year later (then again I did give up for awhile). I kind of brushed it off after the initial week because I knew I would just rush to get it done before the next Halo was set to be released.
Shortly after MCC‘s release, Halo: Spartan Strike (the sequel to Spartan Assault) was released on both WP and Windows. No big deal since I had recently purchased a HTC One (M8) For Windows, and a decent desktop to boot. I thought to myself ‘oh, this would be nice to complete while my girlfriend watches Project Runway’. Of course I’ve put that off as well.
Well roughly 9 months goes by for me to work on all the achievements 343 had just laid in-front of me and then it happened.
First, a Chinese version of MCC was released. Exclusive to the Chinese Xbox Console, literally the only reason for me to unlock these achievements is to purchase a Chinese console, a Chinese copy of MCC, and have it shipped to the states. I’m looking at roughly $600 just to get this game in front of me. That’s not to mention the hoops I have to jump through to get it playable (you need a Chinese phone number to activate it!). Something I was actually considering purchasing; just to maintain my bragging rights (even though I’m growing sick of the MCC entirely).

Before I could even figure out how to get a working copy of the Chinese MCC in my hands, 343 released an update to give iOS devices achievements for Spartan Strike & Spartan Assault. Guess what I don’t own!?! That’s right, a stupid iOS device. Just to have those mobile games unlocked on my record I’m looking at another $300 just for an iOS device that I don’t even want.
For those keeping score, here’s what is left for me to buy/complete:

  • Halo MCC
  • Halo MCC (China)
  • Halo Spartan Strike (iOS)
  • Halo Spartan Assault (WP)
  • Halo Spartan Assault (Windows)
  • Halo Spartan Assault (iOS)

Now, hasn’t this got a little ridiculous? I can only imagine that 343 / Microsoft have thought they did the right thing by giving achievement access to the masses by offering iOS achievements and a special list to be unlocked by new Chinese market. Meanwhile, they ripped pretty much my only bragging rights from me (I haven’t accomplished much in my pathetic life).
At this point the only people that have / will earn this bragging right is just someone who could have easily thrown away $1,000 on crap they don’t even want (40% of which doesn’t even go in Microsoft’s pocket!).

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