Is it just me or do players now-a-days get rewards and achievements just for playing a game, without actually achieving anything spectacular? I have never fully understood the need for the achievement feature on the Xbox 360. Mostly it feels as if I get achievements just for starting the game and completing a few of the initial tasks. The same goes for most other games, be it on 3DS, PC or any other platform.
When playing harder games, like the unforgiving Dark Souls, I felt that every victory over each enemy was a reward itself, since I knew that if I didn’t focus 100% on that particular fight or task I would be crushed in a second. A cure to the overuse of rewards is to actually make the player feel he/she had to struggle to just proceed in the game; when they complete the challenge and can open that door or get past that hard-to-beat enemy they will feel rewarded in the simple progress of the game, without the need to give out any extravagant “treasures”, rewards or achievements.
Can it be that since games are generally speaking, getting easier, the developers feel the need to give us rewards and “treasures” when completing something, be it very easy, so we feel that we actually performed something great (e.g., “I got a big reward, hence the thing I just did must have been worth it, even though it felt a little bit easy…”). Another cure for this would be to reduce the number of achievements and rewards in games to a minimum; just give rewards when the player actually did something extraordinary, like winning a big racing tournament without losing any single race, beating that mega-hard boss without having the best equipment or completing an action filled sequence without using violence.