The other day, I made the discovery that some people actually refuse to play games that do not track achievements. It saddened me to know that the competitive nature of some gamers meant they were missing out on some great games. Don’t get me wrong, I do like me some trophies. In fact, I stumbled into this line of research because I was wandering through my Raptr profile and noticed that I was 0/0 for Valkyria Chronicles trophies. I recalled there being in-game achievements, but could have sworn it had trophies as well. Turns out, this fantastic game snuck in before trophies were made mandatory in 2008 (something else I did not know). I can’t help but wonder if the low US sales of the game compared to the Japanese success had something to do with its lack of trophies.
I’m planning to replay Valkyria Chronicles at some point. Trophies would be nice, but I am not going to sweat that, especially since their addition seems highly unlikely at this point.
My trophy research also resulted in me reviewing my current PSN collection and – what do you mean I don’t have Arkham City’s “Paying Respects” trophy! I’m certain I let Bruce be emo over his parents before kicking Zzasz’s arse! How did I miss this?? Hmm… what’s this “Base Jumper” business…?
So I fired up Batman: Arkham Asylum with these two trophies in my sights. I let Bruce have a minute of silence over his parents and I grumbled at his lack of coordination as he made his slow, awkward way towards the Wonder Tower climb.
Then I stupidly decided to look at a few other trophies. Flawless Freeflow. I’m out of button mashing practice, but. Yes. I can do this.
Somehow, a night that was intended for reading and writing ended up with me as the goddamn Batman (and Catwoman), smashing faces into flawless perfection until 2:00AM to earn my trophy and a new personal best. I don’t do 2:00AM gaming anymore so I was pretty beat the next day. Yet my trophy hunting continued, moving on to Dragon Age: Origins to complete the three origins on PS3 that I had not done. I made a quick City Elf and the two Dwarves and off I went with the intent only to play far enough to earn the trophies. I did only that much, but damn this game if it didn’t tempt me to create a Dwarf Noble in earnest so his sister could high five Prince Bhelen for playing the political game so well.
Next, I earned a few more trophies in my first playthrough of Heavy Rain and Raptr is dutifully recording all of it. Remember Me arrives on Tuesday so there will definitely be more coming. I still have several games to play that are trophy free, but, despite this week’s sudden obsession, I’m okay with that. I usually only come in at about 40% of a game’s trophy offerings and platinums are beyond my interest. Trophies are definitely fun carrots for gamers, but I’m not the type to bind my gaming enjoyment or proof of my gamer status to trophies and scores.
The real highlight of my trophy hunting was struggling through Bayonetta. I didn’t earn any trophies at all in my two hours of Chapter IX and nearly ragequit several times. But I didn’t. Because my 5 year old came to cuddle with me and offer encouragement. Even when she accidentally reset the whole chapter, I persevered because that’s the lesson I’ve been teaching my kids. You can’t just quit because something is challenging if you know you can do it (especially when the game is cheating! I know it!) Between deaths, during the loading screen, I let her play around with the controls and loved every minute of her facial expressions as she pulled off “awesmazing” combos. Then she gave me a big hug when I finally beat the chapter.