2. Title screen/Save data file adjustments (various)
Sometimes I feel like I am the only one who is really disappointed with this reward. There are quite a lot of games that grant you a small change to the title screen or place a symbol near your save data indicating that you’ve completed the game. Congratulations, you got a generic star! In a way, this is pretty comparable to the Pokémon Certificate as you can use it as bragging rights, with the exception being that you can’t print the save data. Of course you can be creative, take a photo of the save date, send it to your desktop, print it and place it somewhere in your room, but it won’t have the same effect as a certificate. Nintendo might be the biggest offender to this completion mechanic. Several The Legend of Zelda games do this, as well as all the New Super Mario Bros. games which give you a star, yay. Same goes for some of the retro SNES games like Donkey Kong Country. I want to elaborate that this placement is specific for entries that only have the adjustments and nothing else. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island also has changes to the title screen, but they’re earned after beating the extra levels. To gain access to the extra levels, you need to basically complete the whole game, or at least the set of levels they’re part of. The before-mentioned games (specifically the early New Super Mario Bros games and Donkey Kong Country) have none of that; just a progress counter to tease you for an ultimately disappointing reward. Though in this placement’s defence: it satisfies my inner completionist looking at a new title screen or save data with every square filled in.
1. Dance Party (Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal)
Metroidvania’s are a mixed bag when it comes to completion rewards. They do encourage you actively that you need to explore and do everything, but the rewards aren’t anything special most of the time. Extra endings and in some cases an additional phase to the final boss are the most often seen completion rewards. And then there’s Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal. Admittedly, I had my enjoyment playing this game. It wasn’t an outstanding game–definitely not by Metroidvania standards–but it functioned and played alright. Definitely the better of the two original Sonic Boom games. That does not mean I forgive the completion reward however. Like most Metroidvanias, this game also throws everything you need to collect right in your face. So me being the autist that I am, I collect everything. The completion reward was already teased early on with an inaccessible house, making me think what the actual reward could be. Probably a minigame compilation, or an art gallery/sound test? Oh you sweet summer child, if only that was the case. Instead, Sonic and friends happily greet you at Amy’s door, lead you in and.. I hope you weren’t expecting lewd stuff with that sentence. No, they are dancing for you–And not even a good dance. They’re performing the most awkward of ”robot dances”, slowly moving their arms and rotating around. And the camera doesn’t move either, which they potentially could have made the dance look a little bit less awkward. But the worst part is that I wasn’t expecting much as a completion reward, yet I still got disappointed. Almost anything would’ve been better than this, yet they chose to do the dance. And unlike the previous entries on this list, you don’t gain anything from it even if it has no use, neither can you really use it as bragging rights–unless there’s a person you want to torture with this dance. For that reason, the dance in Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal is my most disappointing 100% completion reward.
Obviously I haven’t played and completed every game myself, but these are the ones that came up in my head when creating this list. There are probably some obvious ones that I missed, or one you absolutely wanted to see. For example, the Golden Poop from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but that’s because I haven’t played the game yet. In any case, leave a comment down below as I am curious to see what I’ve missed on my list! Hope you enjoyed reading my list, and till next time ^^