I’ve been playing games for close to 30 years now starting with the original Nintendo up to my current system the PlayStation 4. As far back as I could remember I would always play for the fun of it, trying to meet the challenges of beating the game. When trophies were first introduced to the PlayStation 3 in 2008 I really didn’t pay much attention to them. I’d see a pop up from time to time indicating I received a trophy for some random act I did in the game and wouldn’t even think twice about it. When The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt released in 2015 a friend of mine decided to throw out a challenge to see who could platinum the game first. He was an avid trophy hunter and was trying to get me into it so I thought “why not?” This challenge opened my eyes to a completely different way of gameplay. Not only was it challenging but the satisfaction I gained from unlocking trophy after trophy was on par with completing the game, sometimes, even more, satisfying based on the difficulty of the trophy. After receiving my first platinum trophy with The Witcher 3 I was hooked. Every game I played after that I was constantly looking up the trophy lists and seeing how difficult the trophies were. The more difficult the trophy the more eager I was to make an attempt at it. Thus my trophy hunting began.
During the past two years of my trophy hunting, I realized that the hunt was a game within the game and even extended beyond the game itself. I would have so much fun trying to get as many trophies as I could during my initial play through. Then once I beat the game, either having to do a second run to mop up what I missed or in the case of open world games, I’d go back to areas I missed and hunt for my objective. Every ding I received with a trophy notification brought me closer and closer to that platinum.
It always seemed the last couple of trophies were the most time consuming. Take Dark Souls 3 for example. I had a blast running through that game and seeing trophy after trophy pop up after defeating the bosses. Not only was the game itself difficult and challenging but getting all of the trophies was just as difficult since I had to take on optional bosses and areas that really did not need to be attempted for the base game. This heightened my experience with the game and as I got closer and closer to my goal I hit a roadblock. The grinding trophies were the final ones remaining. These consisted of either playing online for items or grinding them offline from enemies. Either way, it was time consuming because I either had to roll the dice with a crappy RNG loot drop system offline or I had to wait and queue for an online session. While the offline grinding was tedious the online sessions were even worse because you would have three to four gamers ganging up on you at once and It seemed impossible to gather the items needed.
You have to hand it to the developers for coming up with some funny achievements for players to go after. I’ve come across a few in my time that made me crack up laughing and then there were those that just made me think, “Is there something wrong with me?” South Park: The Stick of Truth had a few of the funny and disturbing one’s (Spoilers ahead for those that have yet to play the game). Quite a few of the trophies had to do with you farting on the various characters walking throughout South Park. There was a trophy titled “Pulling mud”, in which you had to crap your pants three separate times during battle and one of the funniest yet most disturbing trophies in the game comes during a scene where you are gnome size and wander into your parent’s room while they are having sex. Watching this scene for sixty seconds will net you the “Perverted” trophy. I can’t wait to see what trophies come with South Park: The Fractured But Whole. Funny trophies such as these are a nice change from the grind of the other serious ones.
The Hardest and The Annoying:
I would have to say the most satisfying of the trophies are the ones that seem nearly impossible. Two such trophies that come to mind are “….Becomes the master” trophy from Titanfall 2 and the “Exquisite Timing” trophy from XCom 2. The Titanfall trophy consists of you running the opening gauntlet course and getting a time less than 33.65 seconds. Trophies such as these require perfect timing and extreme concentration. Even the slightest mistake costing you one second can make you start all over again. XCom 2’s trophy has players playing the game on commander difficulty or higher and expects you to beat the game before July 1st. This one is extremely difficult due to in game attacks that cost time, not having the time to upgrade your team leaves you vulnerable and makes the game extremely difficult.
Then there are the annoying online trophies. I absolutely hate online trophies because it relies heavily on other players playing. It’s true a lot of people group up to help get these achievements but what about the older games that no longer have an online player base? I tried to go back and platinum Assassins Creed: Black Flag, everything was going great, running through the story, getting achievements then once I had cleared the game I saw the online trophies. Shouldn’t be too hard right? Well, it was impossible. Because no one plays it online anymore. Unfortunately, this is the case with older games. It’s pretty much impossible to go back and gain the platinum for it unless you can convince a few friends to hop on with you to help you. In my opinion, the online trophies should not be a factor in a single player game or if they are added in they should be a part of a separate list but should not count towards achieving a platinum trophy. Keep the online trophies with the online games I say.
Just remember everyone, for those of you who want to jump into trophy hunting always make sure you play games you enjoy. I’ve found that if you go after the easy platinum trophies it doesn’t bring you the same satisfaction as it does with a game you actually enjoy playing even if it is hard. In fact, when you run through a game you don’t enjoy simply for the trophy it almost feels like a chore or a job and can lose its appeal fast. Keep it fun.