Trophy Addiction: Why I Hate To Love Trophies
We all love the feeling of earning trophies, right? Trophy addiction is real and if you don’t like earning trophies (PS4), you probably prefer achievements (Xbox), or skill points, or something else depending on what you play on.
Whatever the case, we just can’t deny that most of us all love hearing that distinct, yet satisfying soundbite accompanied by a notification that our platform of choice rewards us with a trophy whenever we do something that the game feels the need to congratulate us on. Whenever I mention a trophy or trophies, I’m using that as an umbrella that covers achievements of all varieties, so this isn’t exclusive to PlayStation at all.
I love trophy hunting. More often than not, I find myself doing things in games that I otherwise wouldn’t just because I can earn a trophy by doing so. Recently, building up to the release of Uncharted 4, I’ve been playing the remastered PS4 version of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, and it’s not hard to admit that I’ve been going out of my way to earn some of those desirable digital achievements that in no way benefit my quality of life.
From my knowledge, all of the Uncharted games share similar trophies throughout the franchise; trophies such as scoring a certain number of headshots, killing enemies a number of times with a specific gun, or fiddling about with the photo mode (at least in the remastered versions, anyway).
When it comes to earning these sorts of trophies, the headshot and weapon kill trophies in particular, I always find myself going out of the way to ensure that I collect those. Whether it be slaving away using nothing but a single gun for a couple of chapters or, in more ridiculous cases, letting myself get killed just so the enemies respawn so I can kill them again, I find myself getting distracted from the intended experience of the game just so I can add another trophy to my ever-growing list.
Playing Games We Don’t Like
Y’see I say that I love trophies, but when it comes down to trophies, I have completely changed the way that I typically choose to play newer games. I’ll always finish a new game before going traipsing back through it in an attempt to unlock every trophy, but there have been cases where I have ended up playing through games, simply because I know that I can unlock a few easy platinum trophies.
Run Sackboy! Run! is a free-to-play title that was first released on iOS and Android devices to further promote the LittleBigPlanet series, soon after, it got ported to the PlayStation Vita. Being on the Vita means that Run Sackboy! Run! was outfitted with trophies, and me being an ashamed trophy hunter took it upon myself to download and sink a large number of hours into this game, even though I’ll openly admit that I didn’t really like it that much but seeing as I could add a couple of trophies to my collection I figured, why not?
Run Sackboy! Run! contains the option to purchase bubbles, which act as currency and can be purchased with real money as a microtransaction. Whilst I didn’t actually invest any real money into this game, I have managed to do something that some may deem a bigger failure on my behalf. I bought Goat Simulator, I downloaded Goat Simulator, I played Goat Simulator, and the worst thing about it all is that I really don’t even like Goat Simulator. I wasn’t expecting it to be a monument to modern game design, completely revolutionising the way we perceive the medium of video games. It was cheap on the PlayStation Store one day and I had next to no prior knowledge of what Goat Simulator actually entailed (I guess I should have known by its name), so I thought I’d give it a go.
As I said, after playing Goat Simulator for about 10 minutes I’d already made up my mind that I just couldn’t get on with it, and I should’ve turned the game off at this point. I took a quick glance at the trophy list and noticed that there was the chance of earning a precious little platinum to add to my collection, and all I had to do was earn a measly 30 trophies to do so. Needless to say that I looked up a PS4 trophy guide and spent a quick two hours just going through and causing every trophy to pop until I was rewarded my platinum.
Earning a platinum, or just an array of trophies, from games that I haven’t really enjoyed playing never fills me with the sense of satisfaction and achievement that completing a game that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed does. It’s happened with various games other than Goat Simulator, games like .detuned and the Buzz! Junior PSN games. Yeah, I bought those games just for trophies and I’m a little bit ashamed of it, especially as earning those trophies didn’t fill me with any aspect of reward in the slightest.
I’ve always loved completing games to the full 100% wherever I can, and I’ve been doing so since before the addition of trophies. I’m always torn between whether or not I can bring myself to interpret trophies as collectables. In some cases I can when they’re when they’re rewarded for actually collecting things or reaching a certain area within a game, but doing things like killing yourself repeatedly just for the sake of earning a trophy really diminishes the collectable value that these trophies have the potential to hold.
Nintendo – The Complete Package
Nintendo games have never had any form of built-in achievement systems and, in a way, I’ve always admired that Nintendo do this as it makes their games feel like a more complete package. When I sit down to play a Nintendo game I’m never sidetracked by trying to do something ridiculous in order to get a silly little notification telling me that I’ve done something ridiculous. Nintendo games have always held a certain charm that, in my opinion, no other video game studio has ever replicated, and I don’t think ever will.
I know Nintendo are doing their best to keep up with all the advances in the industry (Little Nintendo just launched their first mobile app, didn’t they?) but I’ll be extremely saddened if Nintendo announces an achievements system for their upcoming NX console as Nintendo games are the only games that feel like pure fantasy adventures nowadays, with all other platforms having the need to incorporate trophies into their titles.
I really don’t need a notification to let me know that I’ve smashed 1,000 pots in the Zelda title for the Nintendo NX or that I’ve jumped 10,000 times in Mario NX. I’m good, thanks.