How did the Xbox 'Achievement Hunter Sale' get it so wrong?

Luke Albigés - August 2nd 2022

Discontinued achievements, 1,000-hour completions, games without achievements, massive ratios... the new Xbox Achievement Hunter Sale doesn't exactly feel like it lives up to its name.

The Xbox Achievement Hunter Sale started today, as I discovered upon firing up the console to see what this week's sale themes were after not being able to deduce much of a pattern from the complete sale rundown that dropped this morning. But looking through the offerings in what should be a particularly on-brand sale for us here at TrueAchievements, I just found myself scratching my head at most of the featured games.

Even just in the thumbnail, you've got a challenging 100-hour completion in Dead Rising 4, a pretty niche MMA fighter in UFC 4, a typical Ubisoft 'do everything' 80-hour shopping list in Far Cry 6, and a sprawling skill-heavy beat-'em-up (with discontinued achievements, no less) in Mortal Kombat X... 11-11 Memories Retold is the only one of the five that seems to really fit the brief here based on its achievements unlocked/time played ratio. Delve into the sale proper and things only get worse, and while there are definitely a handful of other games that feel like they could belong — Beasts of Maravilla Island arguably being one of the better fits — they're massively outweighed by titles that feel like they have no place in a sale like this, even taking into account the broad nature of achievement hunting as a hobby. These themed sales often have a few questionable inclusions (even this week, the Action RPG Sale inexplicably includes five Need for Speed games and Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania), but it's rare to see one so loaded with things that seem to sail way wide of the mark in terms of what you'd usually expect to find in a sale such as this. Take a look at some of this nonsense...

Games with no achievements

Imagine my surprise when loading up a sale supposedly designed around achievement hunting only to spot several original Xbox games... which famously do not support achievements. Don't get me wrong, the TimeSplitters games are great, but they have absolutely no place in an achievement-focused sale — we see multiple sales running in tandem each week, so it's not even like these are only here because there's nowhere else for them to go.

Crazy long completions

Obviously everyone approaches achievement hunting in their own way and some will relish a long haul completion with dozens of title updates spanning years. But to see a bunch of add-ons for Gems of War still feels wrong in a sale such as this, with the puzzle-RPG sporting a completion estimate that runs well beyond 1,000 hours after 32 new achievement drops in title updates and with more likely still to come. While there doesn't look to be anything else on quite the same nonsensical scale as Gems (understandably), there are a fair few other games with long, grindy completions on the list, which again isn't something that sits particularly well with the theme of the sale for a lot of folks. As much as I love Taiko no Tatsujin: The Drum Master!, that is one horrendous list that takes months of grinding to do legit.

Discontinued/unobtainable achievements

This is an especially egregious topic, with three of the games in the Achievement Hunter Sale having achievements we have flagged as discontinued, making the completions impossible unless you had already popped the affected achievements before the plug was pulled. Mortal Kombat X, Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2, and Worms W.M.D. have 12 achievements between them that can no longer be unlocked — a classic red flag that will actively prevent a lot of achievement hunters from even starting a game. Worse yet, Necropolis even has an unobtainable.

Ridiculous completions

Many of us enjoy a good challenge, but Trackmania Turbo takes things way too far with its demanding achievements. We've got over 150,000 tracked players here on TA, but barely 150 have managed the brutal completion, and only slightly more have even managed to beat all of the stages, let alone with the required gold medals. I think it's safe to say that many would balk at the idea of starting this gruelling challenge after seeing the stats on here — the list is a sea of virtually empty progress bars — so I wouldn't imagine more than a tiny subset of the community would expect to see something like Trackmania in an achievement-themed sale, let alone consider getting involved.

As I mentioned, we all approach achievement hunting in our own way, and that's awesome. Some like quick, easy completions and the booming Gamerscore boosts they bring; others live for the big ratio and TA Difference gains offered by challenging games; some are all about keep their completion percentage as high as possible; more still will happily throw themselves into even the most astronomical of grinds. Even with all of that in mind, the selection of games in this sale doesn't really feel like it caters to any of those mindsets particularly well, and unless I'm being unfair, I'm not even seeing many examples of lists that are particularly creative or interesting. The 'theme' here lacks focus, to the point that it ultimately just feels like it boils down to 'here are some games on sale that have achievements,' and it can't even get that right when it includes OG Xbox titles.

What's your take on the Achievement Hunter Sale? Am I missing something here, or is this pretty much just a disparate collection of games that just (almost) all happen to have achievements? Share your thoughts below!