Missing Sequential Collectibles Is The Worst

Sackboy: A Big Adventure
Sackboy: A Big Adventure
Screenshot: Sony / Kotaku
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In Sackboy: A Big Aventure, a mostly harmless platforming game for PlayStations 4 and 5, each level has a series of Imagination Orbs that Sackboy must find. As they are collected, the Imagination Orbs fill a little cloud-looking object in the order they appear in each level. Should the first Orb you collect show up in the middle of the cloud, you’ve missed a couple and are a horrible person. At least that’s how it makes me feel.

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Ordered collectibles often crush my spirit. Running through a level of Super Lucky’s Tale, where I have to collect the letters L-U-C-K-Y, and the first letter I find is a C. Do I backtrack to get the L and U? Can I even backtrack, or will I need to restart the level? Is this the missed collectible that will make me give up on trying to collect everything all together?

Well great, I missed the first two.
Well great, I missed the first two.
Screenshot: Sony / Kotaku
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I am not saying sequential collectibles are bad in general. If anything, their presence makes me more alert as I wander through Sackboy’s cute but sometimes dull levels. Gathering an orb and having it be the first or next in sequence is a great feeling. It means you are on track. You are in tune with the rhythm of Sackworld. Good for you.

Then something like this happens.

Fudge.
Fudge.
Screenshot: Sony / Kotaku

Then I want to burn it all down and go play Spider-Man for several more hours.

Kotaku elder, lover of video games, keyboards, toys, snacks, and other unsavory things.

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DISCUSSION

I’m fine with them being sequential, but when you can’t backtrack at all to get the ones you missed, that’s a huge source of gaming anxiety for me. There were these sidequest collectables in Mass Effect: Andromeda that you needed to collect from within the vaults that I didn’t realise until I had already gone through a few vaults and I didn’t realise that I couldn’t re-open vaults until I was like 30-40 hours into the game and it made me sick to my stomach. If I didn’t find a game glitch that allowed me to clip through the main vault door and essentially re do the ones where I missed the item, I was going to just stop playing the game and uninstall it because it was driving me insane thinking about how I missed the items!

Also, somewhat related, when a room has a couple of generic doors and behind one is collectibles or story exposition and behind the other is a point of no return mission/quest advancement, that drives me crazy, too. Horizon: Zero Dawn had a couple of points in the main storyline that warned you before entering that you were pretty much going to be locked into this mission for a while, which was nice, I’d just like for that type of warning or at least some obvious cue that would let you know that once you’re through the door, you can’t go back.