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Which games are made better or worse by 100% completion?


Lynda Monica
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I feel like some games are best off not going for 100%, while in some cases it really improves them.

When you make your post, try to list an equal amount of games that are improved by 100%, and made worse by 100%. Describe what made them more fun, or more of a slog. Surely everyone has at least one example of both, so I'd love to hear about them!

Of course you're free to list whatever number of either you like, but I think it'd be more fun to have a contrast between the two.

Games Made Better By 100%

The Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask: Sitting out on all of the side quests and just going through the main game robs Majora's Mask of a lot of what makes it special. Very few games have a world so full of characters that I care about, and I think you'd be doing yourself a disservice by ignoring them. It also cuts the game really short to ignore them, so you're not getting much value.

Yoshi's Story: While not technically kept track of anywhere in the game, completing every stage with 30 melons drastically changes Yoshi's Story from "decent" into "robust". People often complain that you don't even play the whole stage in Yoshi's Story, but in the 30 melon challenge you have to cover every inch of the game, and complete some pretty difficult tasks. Well worth revisiting this game if you've never tried it.

Star Fox Zero: If I had quit playing Star Fox Zero after beating the main story, I'd probably hate this game. I never got used to the controls for the length of the story, but that changed when I started aiming for 100% in the post game. In order to get anything done, I was FORCED to get better to pull off the challenges they wanted me to do. The entire game went from frustrating and awkward, to exciting and intuitive. Once you understand this game's controls, Star Fox 64 seems quaint and outdated. If I hadn't gone for 100%, I'd likely be just as wrong about this game as most people.

Games made worse by 100%

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse: I know I keep bringing this game up since I just beat it, but holy cow does 100% really bog this game down. Having to redo levels for collectables you get one chance at is never fun, and "Challenge Mode" is a total nightmare toward the end. On top of all the junk you have to collect, there's a bronze, silver and gold medal ranking to worry about, as well as a no damage boss battles objective that's required for 100%. The end of level mini game has a collectable too, meaning you get to do the ENTIRE stage again if you mess it up.

The final Challenge Mode level is unreasonably hard too, and it was not fun to do. Overall this game is made WAY worse by trying to collect everything, even if the collectables do unlock fun little bonuses.

Metroid Prime: Federation Force: This one is weird because aiming for three medals in every mission actually is fun and well worth striving for, but that only gets you 50%. The other 50% is unlocked by playing the atrocious "Blast Ball" sub game. It's an absolutely horrible game mode, but for some reason it had a big audience on the free eShop version of it.

I have no interest in doing this, and I never will as it sucks.

Wario Land Shake it!: Similarly to Rainbow Curse, there's simply way too many things you're asked to do, and many of them you get one chance at before having to reset the entire stage. It's the stage achievements that are the real bastards in this game, as a lot of them are really cruel. The money collection goals are the worst, as not only will you have to replay a stage a bunch of times to find every scrap of gold, but there are multiple one shot factors that could screw up your whole attempt.

Since these objectives take a long time to begin with due to having to do EVERY little thing for money, it's an excruciating waste of time when you screw up trying to shake the golden enemy by accidentally killing it, or missing some really long sequence of one and done inputs during the escape sequences which gets you a huge diamond that's REQUIRED to get the achievement.

I gave up on 100% for this game pretty early on, as I knew it wouldn't be rewarding or satisfying.

How about you guys? What games made 100% better or worse to you?

Edited by Lynda Monica
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  • The title was changed to Which games are made better or worse by 100% completion?
Member · Posted

I like to get 100% in all LEGO games except for one that tried to get me to make my own levels in order to get the last bit, I quit that one.

One I would say it hurt was Gran Turismo 3, I got 100% in that game which sounds impossible but that one required playing all tracks in a 2 player versus game in order to get the final 1%.

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Member · Posted

I really enjoyed getting the 120 stars in SM64 the first time I played it.  That was a good one.

As a kid I would use strategy guides to to 100% RPGs, but today I don’t have the patience.  Any game that requires you to go on some 20 hour side trek to get an ultimate weapon takes it too far.  There’s also games like Xenoblade Saga 2 where it’s next to impossible to pull the rare helper thing.  I was bored with that game, but having that kind of mechanic really screws over most players.

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Member · Posted

Eh largely any game with the concept of 100% completion is made worse in general.  There are exceptions, but really I'd put it more down to if you've got so little budget it'll drag the grind of the game painful or not adding much needed time to not get stale until you can afford another new one.  Rank, completion %, having to pull off perfection takes a fun game and sucks the joy out of it because it turns into a job, a chore, ...work, not play.  The reward is the adventure and the ending, not a bogged down mess in the middle that makes you give up caring to see the end or feeling robbed because of the outcome vs all the extra wasted effort towards perfection.

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Member · Posted

I don't think I like to 100% anything, least not where that's made an explicit goal. I might try to get it on some stages. I see how it can make extra entertainment for some people. For me, the extra goals add some, but I can't think of any game where a full 100% is important to me or I want to solve every single puzzle. The challenge of collecting 5 special tokens in every single stage for imstance, is not a motivator for me. In games I like secret areas with a reward more than the journey itself. That can be fun too, though.

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Editorials Team · Posted

Good: Return of the Obra Dinn

Bad: Probably almost anything.  Diminishing returns.  I'm not saying it can't be fun, but you're almost certainly better off getting to other games.

I'm also not saying that a reasonable amount of extra content isn't something to pursue.  It often is.

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Member · Posted

Agreed on most mainline Mario games. 120 stars in Mario 64 is just playing more of the game. No tedious tasks and filler stuff, just a bunch of really fun stages that would otherwise be optional. Though in the case of Odyssey, a lot of the moons really don't add anything to the game.

For some reason I have a hard time thinking of any game made worse by 100%, but I think it's probably because it'susually just a given. I agree with others here that with many of these modern open world style games, it kinda goes without saying that you don't want to do every mission because most of them are just completely identical to eachother.
So it's probably more worth pointing out games with a specific 100%'ish goal built in, or just ones where doing anything over the minimum required percentage will subtract from the experience.

Made worse

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
Seriously, there's like a couple of sidequests you want to do, namely the one that unlocks an additional party member - but pretty much every single other sidequest is a tedious busywork task that does nothing outside of extending the game's ridiculous backtracking. I have pretty mixed feelings about the game, but I'm pretty sure I would have loved it a lot more if I'd had the self control to just ignore most of the sidequests.

Radiant Historia
Spekaing of backtracking, this game has probably the worst sort of backtracking I have seen in any game - the kind where access to an area is blocked by an arbitrary node on a timeline, with no indication of which node you need to jump to in order to be able to reach the place you want (or in the cases where multiple nodes lets you access it - the place at the right time). Nearly every sidequest in the game requires this, and it gets to the point where if you don't just use a guide to look up where to go, you'll be in a world of pain.
The thing is though, by doing all the sidequests you unlock a secret true last boss and a better ending, and this fight is easily the best part of the game. So in that sense 100% is better, you just really don't want to put in the work.

Castlevania III
Seriously. Alucard might be cool to play as, but the lower route in this game is best forgotten. The upper route meanwhile makes it a top #3 title on the NES.

Super Metroid
Not a flaw of the game, but rather an intentional effect of the way the game is designed. All the secret things you can find are really cool on their own, but where the game really shines, is when you start going for runs trying to beat the game with the completion percentage as low as possible.

Super Bomberman 5 (+ the Bomberman Max games)
I think this one is notable due to how unintuitive trying to find all the stages is. Most stages give you a number of portals when you clear them, allowing you to pick the next stage. But there is no indication of which stage it will take you to.
Fortunately a color will tell you if you've beaten the next stage or not, but finding the last few unplayed stages of each world becomes a pure trial-and-error chore when you can't find the correct path to the one you're still missing. Even dumber is the fact that the game has a map screen, but since it doesn't display how stages connect, it does absolutely nothing to help. Aside from this, SB5 is actually my favourite Bomberman game.
Hudson were also crazy enough to repeat that exact formula for both Bomberman Max games. Nevermind the fact that if you want to "100%" those, you need both variations of each (Red/Blue similar to how Pokeman games are released), for a couple of barely different extra stages. Forgeddabaoutit!

Made better

Rainbow Islands
I think me mentioning this game is mandatory. If you don't manage to find all the large diamonds you can beat this game by beating the first seven islands, but why would you? You'd miss out on the three most challenging stages which take the game from a cakewalk into a serious ordeal, each offering classic Taito callbacks with their own unique music. Several ports don't even have those three islands which is ludicrous.

Dragon Quest XI
I'm not usually a big fan of the DQ games' postgame content, but if you stop playing this game after the credits, you'll be missing out on nearly a third of the game!
This one is another "a bit of both", because the story is actually more interesting and gripping if you accept the ending of the "main game", but there's just too much going on in the postgame to ignore it for only that reason. And the postgame ending's classic DQ callout brought tears to my eyes either way.

Gimmick!
The "normal" final boss is a satisfying ending to the game, but I think the secret final level that you unlock by finding all treasures really encapsulates everything that makes this game so special.

Wario Land
A good example of a game where beating the game really is finding every treasure. You can run through the game without them, but you'd have missed out on most of what makes the game really fun and unique. And you'll have to put up with living in a bird house.

Sonic Generations
The rare good 3D Sonic game. You can rush through the stages and win the game easy enough. But it's when you try to sit down and try to learn the stages in order to find the fastest way through them and go for an S ranking that the level design really starts to make sense and become super satisfying. Getting S rank might honestly be a little too easy, but I also like the fact that it's easily accessible for anyone to go for it.

Dracula X: Rondo of Blood
Another example where "100%" is just twice as much great video game content compared to "Any%".

Final Fantasy VII Remake
Here I'm talking about every quest, every boss, and every chapter on Hard Mode which is only unlocked after clearing the game. I don't think I really managed to appreciate the game until I started playing on hard, and at that point I really loved it.
You still don't want to bother getting every dress for Cloud though, that's a waste of time.

Zelda Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages (in that order)
Wow, the way these two games interconnect just makes for a whole new cool experience. Not sure if it really counts as 100%, since it's just playing two games, but there's a tiny bit of extra content at the end that I think makes it worth pointing out these.

Every Dead Rising game
Maybe you don't need to do the runs where you save everyone on the same playthrough, but using the same save file to go through the games over and over again to see and do everything is pretty much essential to the experience here, especially in the first game and the prologue for the second.

Edited by Sumez
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Member · Posted
8 minutes ago, Reed Rothchild said:

But did you get every Dead Rising trophy @Sumez 😅 ?

I think for many of the games it can be fun to go above and beyond.  Just not to the absolute endpoint.  Maybe I'm talking semantics.  Getting to 90% but not 100%.

I did get every achievement in Dead Rising, because they actually tie into the game's core design, and act as fun challenges to go for. It's also ony of the only games I've ever done that for.

When I'm talking 100%, I'm talking progression elements tracked by the game itself. If a game has a built in percentage counter, that's what 100% means. If the game has a ton of optional sidequests and/or secrets to find, doing all of them is what 100% means.
Trophies/achievements aren't a part of the game. They are almost always misused, and way too often involve pure busywork or unnecessary challenges, and then there's the ones that require DLC and online interaction 🤮. If you'd require those for a "100%", there's not really any discussion to be had here in the first place, since they are pretty much always bad.

Edited by Sumez
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Member · Posted

Good:

Persona games- going for the true ending adds a lot more to the games and maxing out all socials let’s you see all the interactions.


Bad:

Metroid Prime - I’m currently playing Metroid prime for the first time (absolutely loving it) but screw scanning all those runes and enemies to get the “true ending”. I’ll just YouTube that shit.

 

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Editorials Team · Posted
8 hours ago, Sumez said:

that for.

When I'm talking 100%, I'm talking progression elements tracked by the game itself. If a game has a built in percentage counter, that's what 100% means. If the game has a ton of optional sidequests and/or secrets to find, doing all of them is what 100% means.

Yeah I think we're on the same page.  I did many playthroughs of Dead Rising 1 and 2 (and Case West and Case Zero) since doing the bare minimum for those games really is doing a disservice to the experience.  I think that goes for most games for me.  Go above and beyond to see the full story, but stopping short of any truly insane grindy tasks.

 

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Member · Posted

I would say that one game that 100% hurt would be Gran Turismo 2 on the PS1 due to the fact that there was a bug in the game that made achieving 100% impossible.  I forget what the highest possible percentage was, but I had it.  I've heard this may have been fixed in later versions, but I bought it at launch and 100% was not possible with my copy.  

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Member · Posted

In general, I'd say that 100% completion makes for a worse experience in almost all games. Those last few collectables or weapons or bosses or almost always a painful grind that sucks time away from other games or activities. One exception to that rule for me is Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Exploring every nook and cranny of both castles and getting that 200.6% completion just feels so good.

Edited by DoctorEncore
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Marvel Spider-Man (2018). It is such a fantastic game, but completing all the crimes in each district are a pain in the ass. You have about four different types of crimes and you have five of each to complete. Now do that in about 8 districts. Oh, and the crimes occur randomly. 

Now luckily there is a way to force the game to spawn them. You just fast travel to a police station or research station and within about 30 seconds a crime will spawn. If it wasn't for this exploit, I don't think I'd have the patience to 100% this game. Oh the joys of platinum trophy hunting.

Edited by Altrnte
typo
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Member · Posted

Vandal Hearts for the PSI is made much worse if you complete the trials for Ash to become a Vandelier.  At that point you don't need any other characters on your team and can sit back and cast plasma wave on every turn and win without actually engaging the enemy.

 (There are a couple of spots earlier in the game where you can artificially boost all of your characters' levels to ridiculously high levels - but you don't have to do it in order to do everything (or anything actually) in the game.)

Edited by Tabonga
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Editorials Team · Posted

Alright, reviewing my backloggery for more "goods":

Binding of Isaac, Everspace, Gungeon, Slay the Spire, etc.  Basically, any of the roguelikes where you are seeing a fraction of the content when you originally "beat" the game.

Super Mario World.  Revisiting the game earlier this year for the first time in decades, I reaffirmed that the game's biggest thrill is discovering all of the secret paths and worlds.

Metal Gear Solid 1-3.  Does any franchise do Easter Eggs better?  Or hidden solutions?  Or extra content?

Half Life 2 - Of all the achievements I ever chased, these were easily the most inspired.

Visual novels like SteinsGate, Zero Escape, etc.  These ones are obvious, where the default ending is bad, and only a completionist run gets you the true one.

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Administrator · Posted
11 minutes ago, Br81zad said:

Has anyone here ever tried to 100% a GTA game. I was going to stipulate 3 or higher, but even the PS1 titles would be brutal to try for 100%.

I've never even gotten to the ending of any Rockstar game. I get bored of them, and they're all so goddamn long. 

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Member · Posted
39 minutes ago, Br81zad said:

Has anyone here ever tried to 100% a GTA game. I was going to stipulate 3 or higher, but even the PS1 titles would be brutal to try for 100%.

I've 100%ed GTA V, yeah. Or at least very close, maybe like 99.something percent.

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