Top 10 Mostly Pointless Collectibles in Video Games


Remember a time when you would put countless hours into a game and get nothing but your own satisfaction to reward you? How about going completely out of your way to find every last collectible in a game; no matter how pointless it ultimately was. Over the years I’ve certainly picked up my fair share of collectibles, some of which required a lot of concentration and dedication but I’d do it anyway; sometimes multiple times. It made me think; now that I’m fully invested in receiving achievements for my efforts, would I ever go back to certain games and do it all again even though I would never hear that glorious sound once it was all over? The answer to this question is ultimately no and it’s quite hard to explain why that is other than saying that I simply enjoy getting an achievement for doing something tough because, well it’s some kind of reward and a form of proof. Now don’t get me wrong, I would still go back and play through certain games if given the opportunity but I know that I would never put in the time and effort to collect everything like I once did. Quite a few of the games mentioned did award achievements but some of them were so ridiculous that to get them meant a lot of time and grinding, did I mention grinding….

10 – Medieval – Chalices Of Souls

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The Chalices Of Souls appear throughout the game and can be obtained by killing a certain number of enemies. The Chalices are by no means entirely pointless as collecting them gains you access to the hall of heroes which in turn leads to new more powerful weapons. Also if all of the Chalices are collected then your reward is an alternate ending so at least it’s something but is it worth the time and effort?

9 – Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! – Gems

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Gems (known as Treasure in the first game) are the signature collectible in the Spyro the Dragon franchise and can be found in nearly every realm of every game. Gems act as the currency of the Spyro universe. There are 14,000 to collect in the first game and 10,000 in the second game; that is if you want 100% completion and for some reason I did…. Other than needing a certain amount of gems to progress further in the game there is no real reward for collecting them. You do get a permanent super flame, which sadly feels kind of pointless when the entire game is complete.

8 – Gears Of War 1,2 & 3 – Cog Tags

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There may not be that many of these laying around in each of the Gears Of War games but it just felt kind of tacked on to me, like they had to have a collectible so whatever. You do get achievements though!

7 – Borderlands (The Zombie Island Of Dr Ned DLC & Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution) – All Collectibles

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Both of these DLC’s had a ridiculous amount of collectibles that were designed to trick you into thinking that what you paid for was actually worth the money. Without these collectibles the DLC’s would have been a mere few hours long but if you wanted every achievement that they had to offer than prepare yourself for some monotonous bullshit. In The Zombie Island Of Dr Ned DLC you receive a quest from a character who wants you to bring him 450 zombie brains which basically means that you have to mindlessly go around and blow the heads off of 450 zombies and collect the brain that drops. The reason why this is so annoying is because there is a serious lack of zombies throughout the island so you’ll constantly be running around hoping to find a horde but instead being lucky to run into one or two.

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Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution took it to a whole new level of silliness, meaning you were tasked with collecting 15 bobble heads, 3 panties, 5 fish in a bag, 15 pizzas and 25 oil cans from dead Claptrap’s. Now that may not sound like a whole lot but it will when you learn that each item drops randomly and some more so than others so expect to find yourself in a situation where you need a single fish in a bag and all you get are pizzas and panties! The easiest way of doing this (which is what I did) is to fight the ‘Minac’ a giant Claptrap which unleashes several kamikaze Claptrap’s upon you; find yourself a nice safe corner where they cannot reach you but still explode and come back in 12 hours and MAYBE you’ll get what you need.

6 – Fable II & III – Legendary Weapons, Hero Dolls

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What’s worse than random drops of items? Well, How’s about a game where only a random selection of the total items required actually appear in your version of the games world. The Only way to get all 50 legendary weapons in Fable III is to either hope you can find someone online who already has them all and is willing to lend them to you or to trade between several other gamers hoping to make an entire set between you. Before this stupidity came Fable II which started this trend with the dreaded Hero Dolls. There may only be 5 dolls to collect but this time around only a random doll will appear each playthrough so duplicates are likely. Your best bet is to hope to find somebody generous who will be willing to lend you all 5 dolls but be careful because the game could freeze and all 5 dolls could be lost forever; who has luck bad enough for that to happen….

5 – Alan Wake – Manuscripts & Thermoses

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I loved Alan Wake but Remedy was clearly laughing when they decided to add in 100 randomly placed coffee thermoses across the whole game. I liked the concept of Alan collecting coffee but who would actually find these without following a guide of some kind, honestly. The same goes for manuscripts except I will say that I enjoyed reading the pages once they were found as they added a lot to the story.

4 – Shenmue – Toy Capsules

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I’m not sure of the exact number of these things but I can honestly say that I’ve found them all, several times. I’m not sure why I enjoyed collecting them all but writing down an entire list and ticking them off hoping to hear Ryo say “I know this” as a new unknown toy was found used to be enough to make me happy. There are several different toy capsule machines ranging from classic SEGA Sonic characters to Virtual Fighter characters and so on. There really is nothing better than spending your 500 yen allowance or randomly appearing toys that once collected lead to absolutely nothing. Oh what I would give to have the opportunity to collect them all for an achievement one day.

3 – Grand Theft Auto 4 – Pigeons

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Does trying to find and shoot 200 pigeons placed in the most random of places all around Liberty City sound like fun? I can answer that for you, it’s not.

2 – Crackdown – Orbs

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Now if any of these games were to win the award for most excessive it would be Crackdown. There are 800 orbs in total which are scattered around the games huge map and the worst part is that they only show up on your map when you are nearby them so if you’re looking for that last one… Another issue is that if you were to attempt to collect them all then you will learn that it is impossible to collect all 300 hidden orbs without collecting the 500 agility orbs first so you can reach higher buildings where some hidden orbs dwell. I had to attempt to collect every agility orb without accidently collecting any of the hidden orbs and it’s easy to do because when you come close to one it is drawn to you. If you were to accidently collect one or two then there is no way of knowing which ones you’ve collected even when following a guide, it’s a nightmare.

1 – Assassins Creed – Flags

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Ahh the now infamous flags from the first Assassins Creed game, what can be said about them that hasn’t already been said? There are 519 flags scattered randomly across the games cities, districts and open landscapes. The best way to be sure that you get them all without any problems is to complete the main storyline so you’re not restricted in entering certain areas and then following a guide online. At the same time you should attempt to avoid picking any up as there is no way of tracking which ones you have, I have no idea how anyone would find these dreadful things without a guide. Make sure you’re certain that you have each flag collected or you’ll end up like I once did; missing a single flag…. All worth it for those achievements though right!?

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Steven Desmond
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