Platinum Memories: The road to my 100th Platinum Trophy on PlayStation
One aspect of my love for gaming that doesn’t really come up in my reviews, mostly because it doesn’t pertain to the overall quality of a game, is my love for earning trophies. Ever since they were first implemented on the PlayStation 3, I’ve been obsessed with earning them and after playing Sonic and SEGA All Stars Racing, listening to fellow trophy hoarders Greg Miller and Colin Moriarty talk about earning trophies on Podcast Beyond, and getting hooked on Achievement Hunter’s guides on YouTube, it became a pivotal part of my gaming. It’s become a pretty standard habit for me to check out playstationtrophies.org for guides and trophy lists and has made me more motivated to change my playstyle in games and take on new challenges. It’s hard to imagine my life as a gamer without them and this year actually marks some pretty big milestones when it comes to my trophy earning.
Not only does 2021, specifically February, mark the tenth anniversary of me earning my first platinum trophy, the one you earn from earning all the base trophies in a game, in Bioshock 2, but I’ve just earned my 99th platinum in Concrete Genie and am on my way to earning my 100th. It’s crazy to think that both of these milestones are so close to each other and it was actually kind of challenging to think of a game worthy of being number 100. Right now, it’s currently between Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare (if I can find a solid group to do Garden Ops on Craaaaazy difficulty), Maneater (the newest game to come to PlayStation Plus this month), Days Gone (the likely choice if PvZ doesn’t work out), or Wattam (because why not that game is stellar). Thus, it’s a great time to take a walk down memory lane and look back at some of my favorite memories and milestones from earning platinum trophies throughout the years.
Bioshock 2 – 1.1% Rarity
There’s certainly nothing like your first and my road to earning the Bioshock 2 platinum is actually quite unique. For those that don’t know the original Bioshock 2 on the PS3 actually had trophies that tied to a multiplayer mode with different plasmid and variations on standard PvP modes like Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag. Normally, these trophies that basically tasked you with trying different modes and leveling up wouldn’t be that hard, but I didn’t have wireless internet at the time, so I had to go to extensive lengths to earn it.
For a short time, I actually would have this long train of wires running from my PS3 to my modem just so I could play online and earn these last few trophies. Frankly, I wish I had photos from it because it was quite a sight to see these wires, that were just the right length extending through different rooms just so I could get some multiplayer matches in. From specifically waiting to play until my mom was at work so that I could use her TV since it was closer to the monitor to actually gaining some decent connections with community since the multiplayer had been around for so long and I was pretty much playing against the same people most of the time, getting the platinum in Bioshock 2 really the stage for me obsessively hunting down trophies to earn that sweet, sweet platinum trophy.
InFAMOUS 2 – 3.1% Rarity
My time with Sucker Punch’s sequel to their breakout hit, InFAMOUS, was incredibly memorable not for anything that happened in the game, but rather what was happening around me. I had actually gotten around to playing the game while I was stuck inside during Hurricane Irene’s tirade through New Jersey. While the hurricane’s destructive winds knocked branches and sometimes trees down around my house and rain poured down with a spiteful fury, I was taking down enemies with Cole’s lightening attacks and grinding rails all through New Marais on my way to earning another platinum trophy.
It was truly a gaming experience like no other and left me on a race against the elements to earn the platinum. Hearing how a bunch of people around me were losing power for quite some time, every second counted and it genuinely added the adrenaline pumping action of the game. Fortunately, my power remained on the whole time while I played, making my eventual earning of the platinum more epic and miraculous as ever.
Portal 2 – 1.1% Rarity
Valve’s sequel to their iconic game Portal challenged me in a different way with how I had to go about earning trophies for its co-op mode. By the time I had gotten around to earning the rest of the trophies I was missing for the game, pretty much no one I knew I had the game anymore. Thus, my persistence led me to using two controllers in order to complete all of the courses. Getting the timing done and being able to switch to different controllers fast enough to get things going in the right direction was such a different kind of challenge and very rewarding when everything came together, and I got all of the trophies. However, there was one trophy that Valve cleverly snuck in that kept my dual DualShock strategy from being foolproof – Professor Portal.
Professor Portal is a gold trophy that tasks players with completing the Calibration Course online with a friend who hasn’t played before. Upon realizing that I had to do this as well to earn the platinum trophy, I felt that all was lost with me earning it – especially when it two years after the game had come out. However, I persisted and turned to my vast list of random PlayStation friends I’ve met throughout my time playing where I eventually found someone to help me out. It was actually someone, who’s gamertag escapes me, I had played against during Podcast Beyond’s short-lived, but very fun PlayStation All Stars: Battle Royale Tournament. It was a blast connecting with someone from the Beyond community and added a much more wholesome and special feeling to finally earning Portal 2’s platinum trophy.
Assassin’s Creed III – 0.5% Rarity
Honestly, this is probably one of the only games I had platinumed that I really didn’t like. Personally, I just wasn’t all that into Assassin Creed III’s story, but it’s what kind of drove me to get all the trophies. I almost felt challenged by the game to overcome its messy controls and dumb story challenges and it made the experience of playing through it much more memorable. Also, it was glitchy as hell for me and there was one glitch in particular that almost stopped me getting the platinum entirely. There was this glitch with George Washington not being able to give Connor a mission that drove me absolutely crazy. I was checking websites, looking at forums, and racking my brain with how this seemingly doable task was out of my grasp.
However, a couple years later, I was scanning through my list of games and remembered my plight with AC3. Eager to see if they ever fixed that issue, I scoured the internet for answers and, to my surprise, they did. Still having a copy of the game, I quickly hopped on and earned that platinum trophy that had eluded me for so long. Although AC3 wasn’t exactly my favorite entry in the franchise, it’s one that’s certainly the most memorable for this reason.
Murdered Soul Suspect – 7.8% Rarity/Manifold Garden – 5.0% Rarity
Now, these two games aren’t memorable for necessarily being the toughest platinum trophies, look at their percentages after all, but rather for the unique kind of achievement I had in them. For those that don’t know, there’s a website called PSNProfiles that not only tracks players trophy progress, but also establishes ranks for earning trophies and for how fast they do it. With both of these games, I’m actually ranked for earning the platinum.
With Murdered: Soul Suspect, a fun and underplayed game, I am currently ranked as the 27th person ever to achieve the platinum in that game amongst, as the site record, over 30,000 other players that also have also earned it. As for William Chyr’s beautiful puzzle game Manifold Garden, the most recent release you’ll see on this list, I am currently ranked as both the 20th person to ever achieve the platinum and have the 40th fastest time in doing so. Both games are standard platinum trophies to say the least, although Manifold Garden was a bit challenging with the lack of guides for it at the time but having them represent me on PSNProfiles makes them even more special to me.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – 2.0% Rarity
Skyrim is one of those few platinum trophies that stems from a challenge I had made to a friend. At the time, a friend of mine had just earned the platinum for the game and claiming it to be quite difficult. Me being as competitive as I was, and still am, took on the challenge of Skyrim and set out to get the platinum. Although I wasn’t necessarily on the hype train that everyone else was on for Skyrim, the experience was still pretty fun and had its share of great moments. From me unexpectedly getting turned into a vampire randomly and having to deal with getting rid of it to traveling through every inch of the land to get every side quest done, it was truly a treacherous journey.
However, the real comedic moment of my time in Skyrim came in the final moments before earning the platinum. By the time I had done just about everything in the game, the only trophy left for me to get was getting my character to level 50. Being about five levels away and pretty much done with playing the game, I decided to use a different strategy to level up quickly. I had decided to equip a bunch of different types of armor, have healing magic in one hand and a shield in another, and get two guards to attack me relentlessly while I leveled up. The whole ordeal took about 20 minutes and it was probably one of the funniest experiences I had in getting a platinum trophy. Just thinking about those two guards just beating the crap out of me nonstop still gets to me to this day.
Final Fantasy XV – 6.8% Rarity
The latest entry of the Final Fantasy series, outside of the FF7 Remake of course, had one of the most memorable boss battles of recent time. Final Fantasy XV had a boss fight against the gigantic adamantoise, which is a rock tortoise the size of a mountain, that wasn’t iconic for being hard, but for taking a long ass time to beat. It actually got some news pickup for being so long and for taking near two hours to beat because of how much health it had. Personally, it took me about 1 hour and 40 minutes because I was so over-leveled and it was one of the strangest experiences I had in gaming as I just casually listened to podcasts while I took on this seemingly never-ending boss fight.
It was total blast and earning this platinum actually had a similar ending to Skyrim. Having to earn the Survival Expert trophy last, which had players max out a stat that tracked your distance traveled on foot, I pulled out an age-old strategy that led me to victory. Most trophy earners know about the idea of putting a rubber band around the analog sticks to make them face each causing your character to run around in a circle and that’s exactly what I did to earn the platinum. Every now and again I’d check back in to see how far Noctis had run and eventually got the platinum trophy in a perfectly lazy and ridiculous fashion.
Injustice 2 – 0.1% Rarity
Easily the rarest platinum trophy I’ve ever earned, Injustice 2 came with an unexpected and all too hilarious challenge while trying to earn the Master of All Trades trophy. The gold trophy tasks players with reaching level 20 with all 29 characters and, at first, it was going about how you would expect. With two controllers, I was just having characters get perfect match wins and earn as much experience points as possible. The process certainly wasn’t the fastest, but with some podcasts to listen to and all the time in the world, it got the job the done. Then the unexpected happened.
A patch for the game had come up about halfway through me getting characters to level 20 and after downloading it, I realized that they had downgraded the experience you gained from local play making my strategy completely ineffective. I was absolutely dumfounded and blown away by the hilarious timing of this patch and it’s one of the most mind-blowing experiences I’ve ever had in gaming. It was honestly just my luck that NetherRealm would screw me over like that. Regardless, I had eventually decided to delete the game and then re-install it without updating it which worked and got me the platinum. For the game that was truly one of if not THE hardest game to earn the platinum for, NetherRealm threw another curveball my way that I’ll never forget.
Beach Buggy Racing – 0.5% Rarity
The oddest game, I’d say, on this list, Beach Buggy Racing is probably my most dedicated showing of my trophy earning as it took me nearly two years to earn the platinum. Now, the game isn’t an overtly difficult platinum, but has one of the hardest grinds for a trophy I’ve ever had to deal with. In the game, there’s a gold trophy called Trans-Siberian Highway that tasks players with driving 9,289km and at face value that doesn’t seem overtly difficult. However, when you realize that each course is only about 2-3km long, this trophy becomes a real bitch. While I had read that some regions noticed a patch that shortened the required length for the trophy, I was not one of the lucky ones.
However, I wasn’t deterred in the slightest and literally sat there and just did races over and over again until I got it. For months when I was bored or had like an hour to kill, I would put the game on to get in as many races as I could. Even when I was bored out of my mind of the game thought that this challenge would simply never end, I kept on racing the same stupid AI again and again. Eventually though, my effort was awarded and the second the trophy popped I erupted with loud and glorious glee. It was easily the most rewarding grind of my gaming career.
Fallout Shelter – 1.1% Rarity
Fallout Shelter is one of the most unique experiences I’ve had in earning a platinum trophy as the single-player base-building game became a head-to-head match between me and my friend James. Getting the game at the same time, we had both decided to have a race to see who could earn the platinum first. Every time we would jump on, we would update each other on where our base was at and what trophies we had to earn, and it really elevated the experience of play. Not only was it just a blast to turn into a single-player game into a versus match, but it was a legitimately heated bout between me and my friend.
Although James had a better setup for his base, played a little more patiently than me, and did a much better job at keeping his Vault Dwellers alive, my persistence eventually led me to a swift victory. With my diligence in waiting out quest times, my skill at finding the Mysterious Stranger to earn more caps, and my main focus of completing quests to earn better loot, I had quickly gotten enough things going right to quickly earn the platinum over my friend. Also, it probably helps that RNG was on my side with giving me Colonel Autumn (a legendary dweller) early on, a lot of caps and appearances from the Mysterious Stranger and Bottle and Cappy, and some solid luck with how raids turned out. Regardless, Fallout Shelter is easily one of the most memorable platinum trophies I’ve earned and one that has set me and James out for another game that we can race each other against.
As I attempt to figure out which game will be my number 100, which will likely be Days Gone with how I’m unable to put it down lately, it’s still crazy to me the impact that trophies have left on me and the memories they’ve made. So as I continue to look up trophy guides and hope that my rank on PSNProfiles improves, here’s hoping that there’re many more memories ahead of me after I push past such a momentous milestone.