Big Adventurer

PlayStation

Little Adventure on the Prairie • Obtain all trophies • Platinum Trophy • Rarity 95.1% (Common)

I wouldn’t normally go out of my way to write about two PlayStation trophies in a day, but I’m on a bit of a roll with my Vita platinums on my new account … and … well, Little Adventure on the Prairie is a bit of a ‘special’ game.

I don’t mean that in a good way.

It’s a little hard to work out whether this game is a student project, has translated badly, is taking-the-piss out of games generally or was an experiment in seeing how robust the Sony certification process was. On any, or all, fronts – it fails terribly.

Take this snippet from PlayStation Universe (via Metacritic) (8 March 2018).

It may be relatively cheap, and alluring to trophy-hunting fiends, but is losing a portion of your humanity really worth playing a game as despicably dire as Little Adventure on the Prairie?

Well, consider that humanity gone, PSU. I can completely understand where the rhetorical flourish is coming from. The graphical glitches, the AI which quite happily lets you bash them on the head for quick kills (or alternatively can float if you lead them off a hill), the inability – literally – to count to twelve and just downright lack of polish make this arguably the most bizarre entry on the PlayStation store I’ve seen.

Then, of course, it dawns on me:

I paid money for this game.

I paid money – admittedly, not much – but I paid money in pursuit of an easy platinum. How many other members of the 75 million-strong PlayStation army have thrown a few bucks to the developers just to give their account a little polish? A few dollars multiplied means that this abomination of a video game is actually making money … and given its quality, I suspect its margins are actually incredibly high.

Why didn’t I think of this first? I am sure with a few hours and a couple of web tutorials I could knock-out something as terrible as this. Sure, I might need to find a publisher to get the product to the store – but there are many, many avenues for independent developers and publishers now that I think it would be a reasonably easy path to take … I mean … Little Adventure on the Prairie has to be the perfect case study for this, doesn’t it?

The best thing about earning this trophy is that I don’t have to do it again. Tick. I’ll stop short of deleting the game off my Vita just yet – it’s simple enough that I reckon my kids could play with it now instead of touching my other games and accidentally triggering trophies.

Those few bucks I spent have to be good for something.

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Platinum Midnight

PlayStation

36 Fragments of Midnight • Become a master collector • Rarity 73.5% (Common)

My efforts to platinum the little puzzle titles on the Vita continues today, this one took a little more effort than I had anticipated, but it certainly isn’t in the running for the next Dark Souls. In parts, it reminded me of Thomas Was Alone (which has a RRP of US$9.99 – surely we need to talk about that price at some point!), and in others, it had the rapid death/restart approach of Hotline Miami. Either way, I found this a great little way to spend a couple of hours – particularly when there was the platinum trophy waiting for me at the end!

Soon I’ll be back on the Xbox for a little bit to earn today’s achivement, and if there’s still time then I might be able to make some more Bloodborne progress. I actually got up to my first boss last night, and got him down to 50% health! Not bad – and I think I could have actually finished him off if I didn’t have to go to bed, or have the distraction of family talking to me as I played. If anything, I think that should be fairly insightful about what my chances of being a professional streamer would be like … if I can’t handle a normal, husband-wife conversation on the couch while playing a game, how the heck would I be able to manage a chat-room, subs, tips, a family and a business while playing a video game?

Oh well … I guess I’ll just have to play and write about them instead …

See You In ‘Sept’ember

Xbox

Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey Remastered • Spelled 10 seven-letter words • 10G • 29.45% of gamers unlocked this

I can’t remember the blog entry specifically, but I’m fairly certain at the start of this challenge I made mention of my flighty attitude towards ‘staying the path’ of one particular platform – well, it certainly has been in the past – and that somewhere along the line I ended up turning this challenge into an achievement, any achievement, a day – rather than sticking with one particular console.

Well, I’ve stayed the path this long, and I don’t plan on hitting the abort button just yet, but today my enthusiasm for gaming is pointed in a different direction, specifically Bloodborne. I haven’t even fought my first boss or earned a trophy on it yet, but still – the world, the combat, everything about it has me a bit excited to push forward and get better. Don’t get me wrong – I am terrible, terrible at the Dark Souls formula for gaming, but I am also incredibly stubborn, incredibly smart, and willing to give it a red hot go.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Letter Quest – which I was able to knock an achievement out of during a spare 10 minutes this morning before I left for work. To be clear: I didn’t come up with 10 seven-letter words just this morning, rather I managed to unlock the achievement using the word ORIGAMI (and I forgot to take a screenshot, so then I had to find another word, the above: BASHERS), meaning that I had yielded the other words somewhere along my play history.

Much like my earlier trophy, from My Name is Mayo!, I am really enjoying the small puzzlers at the moment. They suit not-so-much my attention span, but more the availability of time I have to sit down and get a gaming fix. The fact that Xbox doesn’t have a standing portable gaming alternative (excluding Windows 10 / laptop gaming) means that I’m stuck using my phone (which has saved me a couple of times thanks to a couple of Xbox games – many more required!) or the laptop (also saved me) – neither of which have a particularly good long-term gaming form factor.

Bah, I’m sounding like a cantankerous old man. Really, I think I’m trying to justify to myself why I want to play the Vita instead of the Xbox at the moment, but it’s not really a fair apples-to-apples comparison. One requires me to sit on the couch (or nearby) and seperate myself from the family as I engage with the television. The other is more discreet and allows me to suspend, turn off, resume and play with little-to-no effort required.

Plus, only one of these I can take to the bathroom with me.

Speaking of which …

My Name is Mayo!

PlayStation

My Name is Mayo! • Unlock all the trophies! • Platinum Trophy • Rarity 94.2% (Common)

I actually planned on writing this entry with a negative infliction – paying-out on this title that requires little more than smashing the X button 10,000 times, with the odd moment of respite to switch the ‘challenges’ around for the correct unlock.

But then I also realised I’ve spent the better part of this year writing my PC entries about clickers and how much I’ve enjoyed them, so I had a ‘what’s it gonna be?’ moment with myself, and I’ve honestly come down much more positively.

There’s something really bloody nice about a Platinum trophy. I’ve earned a few of them in my time – all on my old account, and this is my first one using my preferred login … which has, until now, been abandoned largely as a result of my ‘anti-PlayStation’ kink. So now that I’ve started my journey to boost my PSN profile again, I’m hoping I might be able to find other short and sharp casual games to see if I can hoard a few more platinums. Time, money and inclination permitting.

In terms of gameplay – well, I’ve written it all haven’t I? You click. You click some more. Click, clickity click click click …

… If you don’t wear out the X button first.

Ultimate Skill

Xbox

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands • Campaign: Bought all the upgrades of a Skill branch • 30G • 6.65% of gamers unlocked this

It seems to be a weekend of just-after-midnight achievements. That’s OK, I’ve never made any apologies for trying to get my achievements in as early as I can, but I think this would have to be some sort of record at about four minutes past midnight.

I wanted to stick my head into Wildlands tonight after trying to play around with it on PlayStation and … well, I just didn’t enjoy myself. I am trying really hard to like the PS4, I’m playing Bloodborne (badly), I’ve made the switch on all my devices to the new account and I’m giving it a red hot go, but I just have no joy and I get jaded playing anything on the PS4 that I can play on Xbox, and so I ended up back on my main console for tonight’s gaming session.

While I’m on a PlayStation kink, I should emphasise that this Sony resistance strangely doesn’t extend to the Vita. I’ve been loving getting back into the Vita … I’m a little miffed that a few year’s worth of PS Plus games aren’t there for me to download, but the ones I do have are giving me a great sense of enjoyment. I don’t want to turn this into a gush, but I do want it on the record.

Back to Wildlands: I suspect that a large part of the free weekend has to do with the introduction of Splinter Cell‘s Sam Fisher as a new mission. I guess that the end goal is to encourage players to buy the ‘Year Two Pass’, which I gather is largely multiplayer perks, but that hardly excites me, especially when there’s enough medals and resources and other perks to upgrade first.

So, with that in mind – much of my gaming tonight involved just doing cleanup missions and shooting bad guys until I had enough for the final skill in the ‘Weapons’ category. There was one gap in that branch for a medal, but I assume that’s treated more like a booster than a skill itself, and so with everything all sorted, this achievement unlocked and I am free for another 24 hours.

Well, 23 hours, 31 minutes …

The Escape

Xbox

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered • Complete ‘Hunted’ and ‘Death from Above’ on Veteran difficulty • 30G • 2.33% of gamers unlocked this

Some video games have truly iconic villains. Arkham Knight or the Joker in Batman … 006 in Goldeneye … but blow me down if a single aggressive helicopter in Modern Warfare didn’t give me more grief than any of these bad guys combined. As I said last night, this helicopter gave me enough grief that I had to abort and fire-up The Wolf Among Us just to grab an achievement – but once I’d hit the midnight changeover point, I went back to Modern Warfare determined to put this abomination to an end.

I have never felt more satisfaction in killing a bad guy than I had dropping that helicopter out of the sky.

The euphoria of killing that helicopter stayed with me for a while, so I followed-up with the AC-130 mission as well, which is fairly simple on any difficulty – just rain hellfire down on bad guys that aren’t flashing with a strobe and get your team out of there. As long as you keep an eye on everything around the scene, then it’s quite quick and achievable.

With that in mind, combining these two missions into one achievement makes a lot of sense – one insanely hard, one generally pretty easy. Together they make up a reasonably happy medium for what one would expect on ‘veteran’ difficulty.

The rest of my day has been consumed with some health and fitness stuff and a 5-year old’s birthday party, and I am pretty much ready for a bit of a snooze now. I might jump on and see if I can make a bit more progress on the PS4 version of Wildlands if the mood grabs me later, but I’d be equally happy having an afternoon and evening on the couch watching something mindless on Netflix.

He Was Much Feared

Xbox

The Wolf Among Us • Completed Chapter 4 of Episode 4 • 20G • 35.66% of gamers unlocked this

A bit of an emergency session tonight just to get this one in! For the better part of the last hour I’ve been playing the COD Modern Warfare remaster, but on veteran, you run a bit of a risk of making less progress than you’d like. Tonight was Exhibit A. I am this close to finishing the level, but at 11.40pm, I had to switch to Bigby (a risk in and of itself as we’ve learned before) just to grab today’s achievement.

Bigby visited a butcher shop tonight as part of his pursuit of the magic mirror shard (among other plot lines) and ended up in a terrible sequel to Breaking Bad. It’s a great bit of story for the Fables universe, and it will be interesting to see what makes the cut for the sequel.

Anyway, with that out of the way, I might have a quick session to try and finish that COD level. Either that or I’ll be awake for another 90 minutes!

Trend Setter

PC

ragclick

Ragnarok Clicker • Transcend the world 3 times

My addiction to transcension continues today, finally landing enough gold to transcend for a third time on Ragnarok Clicker. Having done a bit of a Google to understand how the concept of transcension works, I have a bit of a better idea now – the main concept being that transcending makes it easier to get to higher levels faster, surpassing them a little bit each time. It’s a novel concept, and I haven’t worked out the quickest path to achieve a good rate of return, but I like that I was able to learn a little more about a game format that I quite like.

This weekend is a free-play weekend for Wildlands on PS4, so I downloaded that overnight to see whether it’s worth doing a Platinum-run on that. I spent some time this morning detaching my old PlayStation login from my Ubisoft Club (the old ‘UPlay’) account and adding on my new ID. I think I’m in a place now where I’m a little sad about seeing all those trophies go, and it feels more like a death than a divorce, but I think it’s fair to say that Sony isn’t going to do anything about it. Even if they patch in the use of a different field for usernames, it will forever be tied to your original, or legacy, username – and I’d rather something I’m happy with than something that has given me a touch of angst.

Otherwise, it’s the freakin’ weekend here, so I’m off to grab my Xbox achievement and then mix-it-up a bit between the rest of my gaming platforms.

So many games, such little time to play them.

Who Ruled the Land

Xbox

The Wolf Among Us • Completed Chapter 3 of Episode 4 • 20G • 35.86% of gamers unlocked this

A little more breakfast gaming today, though I did have to abruptly shepherd the kids out of the room when the Jersey Devil started making an appearance … undoubtedly one of my favourite characters in mythology (likely prompted by my early love of The X-Files), let alone Fables, but I do love the latter’s interpretation.

This is an episode that relies heavily on turning Bigby into a detective – though with a much lighter touch than Telltale’s iteration of Batman. Thank God. The gentle guiding of Bigby around the story is a far more enjoyable approach than needing to use your brain to combine clues or hunt for missing objects. I enjoy my Telltale games with a far more passive element than what some of their later titles have employed.

In other gaming news, I’ve been eyeing off the latest DLC for Wildlands and considering a purchase on PS4 so I can play with one of my other gaming friends. It’s also a good chance for a Platinum trophy, but I’m holding off until I can settle my raging mind about the PSN Account switch-around, and also to settle on a decision about whether to renew my PS Plus for another year.

It might be a case of waiting to see what E3 has in store for the gaming calendar before I commit either way.

Save the Bacon

Xbox

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered • Protect ‘War Pig’, the Abrams tank • 15G • 23.16% of gamers unlocked this

Fun fact: For a very brief moment following the original launch of MW, I tried the handle of ‘War Pig’ online. It didn’t last very long, but it does remain forever attached to my Google Account thanks to a range of interactions I had with Google Help and Google Forums that somehow means it can never be deleted.

Databases and their web equivalent seem to be the bane of my existence (see also: PSN name changes).

Anyway, I headed back to MW tonight to see if I could make a bit more progress. Tonight’s mission was less about the tank itself, and more about the journey to get there, but I know from history that this isn’t the last we’ll see of War Pig.

Despite being at work all day and having a few hours tonight of personal training dig-into my gaming schedule, I’m still a bit surprised that I managed to smash out a Veteran-difficulty level without too much issue. Either my hands are getting used to it or the layout of this level lends itself to better cover and general protection …

… either way, it was enough to get the job done.