tro·phy –n. pl. tro·phies
- A prize or memento, such as a cup or plaque, received as a symbol of victory, especially in sports.
- A memento, as of one’s personal achievements.
- the pursuit and killing or capture of game and wild animals, regarded as a sport
- The act of conducting a search for something
Trophies ( or Achievements on XBox) have become synonymous with console gamers everywhere, and almost every gamer (there’s just no pleasing some of them) gets a smile when that Trophy pops up with a “trring” sound, oh yes, you know you’ve leveled up!!
And, as every Trophy Hunter would agree, there’s no better way to squeeze complete value out of a Rs.3000 game than going for the Platinum. And nothing gives you higher bragging rights than that shiny new Plat,which shows up beautifully on your PSN Profile, for your friends to see.
As gaming becomes more mainstream and competitive, every gamer would like to have proof of his/her status quo, and there’s no better way to say “been there, done that” than the Trophy you got for being there and doing that.
But when does going after a Trophy becomes less fun and more tedious? Now, a Platinum doesn’t come easy; it takes patience, skill and at times grinding and some more skill. Which is not a bad thing,right? Well, its not when you get to spend over 100 hours in Skyrim or playing Metal Gear Solid 4 eight times. But when you have to spend around 1000+ hours to Plat White Knight Chronicles or you play Hannah Montana to get an easy Plat, then you know something isn’t right..
Trophies are becoming a vital part of the decision making process while buying a game, so much so that some gamers don’t buy or play a game without trophies. And its not just some random games, but great one like The Orange Box Collection or Elder Scrolls:Oblivion!! I mean who wants Trophies when you get to kick Combine ass wielding Mr. Freeman’s legendary crowbar or explore Temeria for endless hours. No true gamer would do that. I mean,Trophies are good and all,but when they become the reason you play games, you’re just doing it all wrong, my friend. I played on the PC for years before i got a PS3, and I never needed trophies to urge me to spend hours into Morrowind, complete S.T.A.L.K.E.R. over five times to see all the endings, and enjoy the highest difficulties of The Witcher.
Trophies are an innovative addition to the way gaming is evolving, and are at their best when they present a fun challenge,and lead you to areas you might miss out otherwise. Online trophies are where many trophy hunters feel daunted and complain about needless grinding. But on the plus side, Online Trophies bring together gamers in boosting sessions or intense co-op sessions,and that’s an amazing way to build a community and make new friends.
But then again,Trophies can add tedium to a game by making you do something you wouldn’t enjoy. A good example of this were the collectible trophies in L.A. Noire, that made you go around nooks and corners in a beautiful city looking for movie reels. The thing is, the reels do not come as part of a side quest, and eventually comes across as a cheap method used by the devs to extend gameplay value, and I just gave up not willing to waste any more time than I already had. On the other hand, Watch Dogs had collectibles too, and I went for almost all of them, and they all led to some side mission that was always enjoyable, and I don’t even remember if there were any trophies attached to it, I was already having way too much fun.
Trophy Hunting comes as a good example of B.F. Skinner’s Operant Conditioning, ie. the Reward and Punishment Theory. Simple enough concept, we play through a game,we get a Trophy. But when we play through a game just to get the Trophy, putting oneself through hours of mindless grinding, waiting for that “trring” sound, that just wasn’t the whole point of the video games ever.
Trophy Hunting is great when pursuing a challenge that is fun and eventually delivers a sense of accomplishment. Add to that the sense of camaraderie when your friends ask for help with a trophy you already earned or sharing with the community how hard your latest Dark Souls Plat was. And, when done the right way, Trophy Hunting leads some great Lets Play Videos on YouTube and informative walkthroughs and strategy guides.
But then there are Trophy Hunters who first refer a Trophy guide and check how easy the Platinum would be, how many playthroughs it’ll take,etc,before buying the game, or altogether reject the game for lack of Trophies,well that’s just losing sight of the good fun games are all about. This finally leads to mindless grinding in a game the player might not be enjoying at all.
My best experience with earning Trophies has been by doing a first playthrough of the game, taking in the story and atmosphere,enjoying the gameplay,picking up whatever Trophies that come along the way. And if I really like the game, I do multiple playthroughs trying to discover all that the game has to offer.
As PSN user DrBloodMoney says,”I think a good Trophy List makes a game better. I think a bad Trophy List makes a game worse – and I think developers should pay more attention to this. I do tend to go for the trophies in all games I play, but I try to avoid buying games based on the ease or speed of getting trophies.”
Alright folks, happy Hunting!!