Monthly Archives: July 2013

Trophy Hunting: Confessions of a Platinum Hunter

tumblr_static_clusterQuick question for all you gamers out there: Are you that type of gamer to try for 100% completion on games or could you care less? If you strive for that 100%, is it a testament to your gaming tenacity or a confirmation of your personal insanity? I’d love to know, because either way, it’s good times!

I am a PS3 gamer, so I have a lot of friends that crave a 100% Platinum for many of their titles. They live for the thrill of the hunt, the challenge each trophy brings and that earned sense of accomplishment, game after game, trophy after trophy. It is almost an obsession and if not kept in check, the desire to earn that 100% can overshadow all else. It can get pretty intense and if you aren’t a trophy hunter, you might not fully understand the whole picture. Trust me, it isn’t for everyone.

Depending on the game, getting a platinum might be just a few hours of playing or it could be days of painstaking work. It can be a VERY involved process, requiring careful planning and thorough researching. You sweat, you feel incredibly frustrated, you break controllers, you get angry and sometimes you just end up nursing a pair of very sore thumbs. What a strange obsession. In real life they are absolutely useless, but I still find myself drawn to the hunt.

For me, I love getting Platinums. It is so satisfying to hear that “BING” sound and to see that trophy icon pop up. What a great feeling of triumph. After I get a new one, I often sync my list and just admire that little icon, so shinny and new, while basking in the artificial glow of the television.  That 100% looks pretty sweet too.  I always feel so proud of my accomplishment.

In my experience, there are hardcore hunters and casual hunters. The hardcore hunters place their main emphasis on the trophies themselves, not necessarily the gameplay or the storyline. Their main goal is to complete the game as efficiently as possible, with the fewest number of playthroughs, gaining 100% completion AND their Platinum trophy.  They might do research on websites, read walk-throughs, watch video guides or even find short cuts and exploits to give themselves the extra edge. No matter what, they are always driving towards that 100%.

The more casual trophy hunters, allow themselves to focus on the game and storyline while attempting a few of the trophies along the way. It seems like they are far more likely to immerse themselves in the game play and the overall experience, while considering the trophies more of an afterthought, not the primary driving factor.

I WAS a hardcore trophy hunter for a short time, and when those games and Platinums were rolling in, I felt incredibly skilled, like nothing could stand in my way. Complete Veteran Mode on Call of Duty: World at War? Did it! All rare weapons in Demon’s Souls? Did it….twice. Finished Dark Souls with each ending? Piece of cake! Complete Dishonored without being detected and without killing ANYONE? Done!

However, a trophy hunter begins to look at a game in a very different light and after awhile I just started to burn out.  Instead of being excited to play a new game, I started basing my game choices off of their trophy lists. I would often end up ignoring certain games based purely on their trophies. I’d ask myself: “Does it have Multiplayer trophies?” “Are there trophies for each difficulty level?” “Are there trophies for multiple endings?” “Am I going to have to collect a ton of items?” “Do I need to reach a certain character level?” “Are there trophies for learning different moves?” “Do I have to perform a series of combos flawlessly?” “Do I need to beat the game without dying?” If the answer was yes to any of those questions, I found myself hesitating on picking up any of the new titles.

Now, I don’t want to say that hunting trophies makes you lethargic or lazy, but I felt like, why start a game that can’t be platinumed? I eventually became extremely frustrated with how much of the joy trophy hunting was taking away from gaming. Playing games became a chore, instead of a fun hobby.  I remember getting so angry when I’d run across a game that couldn’t be platinumed because of issues outside of my control, like bugged or glitched trophies, laggy servers, hacking players, tiny multiplayer fan bases, broken matchmaking systems, or just impossible expectations for very little reward. Sometimes I’d just skip certain games altogether, like Assassin’s Creed Revelations, Batman Arkham City, Boarderlands 2, Tomb Raider… Trophy hunting was stopping me from playing some great games.

So I temporarily pulled the plug on hunting and after a few months of very little gaming, I felt renewed and invigorated. I was ready to hunt once more, however with a new set of priorities. Now-a-days I hunt with a much more well-rounded approach to platinum trophies. Sure I still look at the lists and plan a few directions to take, but I’ve stopped placing so much emphasis on them.  Because of this, my gaming sessions are more fun and far less stressful. I have become more interested in gaming with friends and lending a helping hand in THEIR trophy hunts and Platinum scores. I still love that “BING” sound and I still hunt for those Plats, but I do so at a much less intense pace.

Of course with PS4 hitting the market later this year, I do wonder if I’m going to stay so calm or if I’ll go full speed again. I guess time will have to tell.

I would love to hear from other Trophy Hunters out there. Tell us your trophy stories. How many Plats do you have? What games are you most proud of completing? With PS4/XboxOne coming out soon, are you slowing down or speeding up the pace for this current generation of games?

Feel free to share your comments.