Survivor!

Rayman Origins • Survived a Piranha Pond without a scratch!

I’ve played a lot of Rayman in various forms over the years – but it’s been so on-and-off I haven’t really worked towards a particular trophy. Between different accounts and different games, it’s always been much more of a casual pleasure than on steady rotation, and so when I was playing around tonight and this trophy popped, it seemed like a good a time as any to celebrate.

Ironically, for the hours I’ve put into the game I still don’t consider myself very good! Every time I attempt one of the timed runs (for another one of the little purple creatures) I fall just short or fail miserably. Que Sera, Sera.

Grabbing this trophy frees me up a bit tonight, so I’m thinking a bit more Fortnite or something more shooty bangs on the fixture.

Either way, flexibility is good – as good as a nostalgic walk down memory lane with a good ol’ Vita game to keep you company.

Sticky Start

Super Exploding Zoo! • Collect your first sticker!

And so it begins. The start of a new financial year, and my effort to broaden my horizons. I have deliberately gone with something non-Xbox for the day. In truth, this actually worked quite well considering I’ve spent most of the day out of the house – and so I managed to find something ‘new’ in my Vita library and fiddle around with it for a bit to grab a trophy.

I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing in Super Exploding Zoo! but I suspect it has more to do with just blowing animals up than any real strategy. I’ll experiment a little more over the next couple of days and see if I can work it out.

For now though, I have a shocking headache and all signs point to something viral, so it’s an early night and sleep for me.

Thank God for portable gaming!

Secret Moustache World

King Oddball • Find and complete the Secret Moustache World! • Bronze Trophy • Rarity 7.3% (Very Rare)

I’ve been slowly working my way through the secret moustache world on King Oddball for the better part of May. Lunch breaks, a bit before bed, and just casually while in-between other life events have all helped get this one across the line – but after finishing the first tranche of levels, to find out that the Secret Moustache World is essentially just those levels again except in reverse gives finishing this trophy a bit more than the usual amount of satisfaction.

There’s a few other worlds like the Moustache World left to complete that allow you to work through a series of challenges, but without a Platinum Trophy in sight, it’s a bit hard to find the motivation to go the whole way.

It’s lucky that the game itself is so easy and casual to play that the achievements are a nice byproduct, but there’s certainly a bit of fan-service lacking for the achievement hunters.

Thousand Throws

King Oddball • Throw a thousand projectiles • Bronze Trophy • Rarity 41.8% (Rare)

If you haven’t worked it out by now – I’ve spent a not-inconsiderable amount of time on a plane today. And when it comes to being on a plane, do you know what I love? A mindless game on my well-worn PlayStation Vita.

Of course, the plane is really optional as you’ve probably gathered by my recent gaming habits, but this is probably the first uninhibited few hours of gaming I’ve had in ages, and I think I made the most of it playing this month’s PlayStation Plus title: King Oddball.

Perhaps, most importantly, is the fact that this game uses touch. The left stick on my Vita seems to be getting increasingly rogue, to the point at which I think I’m going to have to look at a repair. It still ‘works’ but the drift on it means that I’m constantly fighting with it to either stay still or remain in one place. Even some levels in this game were accidentally played as a result of my little bouncing head running away from where I want him to go. I have to play them all eventually – but golly gosh, I’ll do it on my terms, thanks.

My hours in the air meant that I was able to knock a few trophies on the head. It’s disappointing that there’s no platinum for this title, but I’ll endure. It’s a fun little game, and obviously built for a mobile audience, but it’s nice to have some trophies to show for it, regardless of their level. Among others I earned were for hitting yourself on the head with a rock and completing all of the grenade levels.

There’s a few novel concepts like this that will extend the life of the game, but (touch wood) I think it’s still a fairly simple title to knock over in a month. I’ll give it a red hot go either way.

The Choice of Steins Gate

Steins;Gate • Started Steins;Gate • Bronze Trophy • Rarity 99.0% (Common)

You’d be hard pressed to miss this trophy if you even had a passing interest in Steins;Gate, considering it unlocks in the first few seconds of starting the game. Steins;Gate, let’s call if SG from now on, is part of my current kick of doing visual novels on the Vita, which often involves a combination of using a trophy guide for decision-making, Wikipedia to understand the story, and the game itself to get a flavour for the pacing and delivery.

Speaking of pacing, my goodness this game moves slow. I think the rapid progress of Hatoful Boyfriend has spoiled me somewhat, so it’s a combination of clicking X a lot and, well, watching the story unfold.

I’m hoping that this will end up as another Platinum trophy, but time will tell. If it continues to move at this pace, I’m uncertain if my attention span can keep the momentum, so we’ll see how this all unfolds in the coming weeks!

Big Adventurer

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.

Platinum Midnight

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 …

Party’s Over

Hitman GO: Definitive Edition • Complete all objectives in the second chapter • Gold Trophy • Rarity 48.9% (Rare)

I’ve spoken before about my issues with the PlayStation username debacle, so just for the record (again), I’ve switched back (or to? I’m having difficulty keeping track) to my preferred username on the Vita, which means I’ll be attempting to earn most of my trophies on it for a little while.

Of course, one of the issues with blowing away your profile on Vita is, (a) needing to re-purchase your Vita games – particularly those you had on digital – and, (b) needing to re-play those games. As a result, I’ve spent the last few days catching up to where I was up to on Hitman GO, and then today I finished off the second chapter, culminating in another satisfying kill.

The difference in the second story seems to concentrate on the introduction to disguises – being able to slip past guards of similar colour when wearing their particular uniform. It’s a great mechanic, and suits the board game format they adopted for Hitman GO, whilst providing an extra satisfying dynamic to solving levels.

I’ll make an effort to get through some more of these levels over the next couple of weeks, as I think it’d be nice to grab a platinum trophy for this one – I think the first on my favoured PlayStation account.

Then, of course, I’m just as likely to have a flight of fancy and revert everything back to my old account. Curse my innate Gemini traits!

Game-Set-Match

Hitman GO: Definitive Edition • Complete all objectives in the first chapter • Silver Trophy • Rarity 58.5% (Common)

It’s been a while since I’ve put a PlayStation trophy up for discussion, and I have to say – it kind of feels good to reintroduce it into the mix. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t gotten over the trauma of Sony failing to give players the ability to change their name (and that linked article is from 2014, which brings me a whole new level of anger), but I do like the idea of writing for different platforms depending on how the mood grabs me on any given day.

The trophy I’ve decided to lean-in with is from the quaint little puzzler, Hitman GO. It’s one of two ‘GO’ titles that I picked up during the PlayStation Easter Sale for a few bucks each, and having played them on PC – they seemed like an easy way to build my trophy collection back up and get some hours logged on the Vita. I was particularly surprised to see that the Hitman iteration had a Platinum trophy attached to it – given that impatient people can easily knock that over with a guide.

But, we can’t jump straight to the end of the story. I’ll likely add a blog entry when I get the Platinum, but for now we’re only one chapter in – in what, thematically speaking, seems to be a hit on a wealthy target who enjoys a house with a swimming pool and two tennis courts. I don’t know … I’d be surprised if there is supposed to be a story here, but the settings themselves make for an interesting conversation piece as well. Crafted into what appear to be game boards themselves, they add a great dimension to the strategic feel of the game – and, I have to say, it makes for one of the most satisfying game experiences I’ve had when it comes to puzzlers.

My intention with Hitman GO isn’t really to save it up like I would for an Xbox achievement. I’m not ‘pacing’ myself so that I can string a sequence of otherwise easy achievements (‘low hanging fruit’) across a week. I’ll just play it when the mood grabs me – that might be all day every day for a month, or it could be once a quarter. Who knows? Either way, I’ve added this one to the mix for a bit of variety.

And variety is the spice of life. Or so they say.

Leave It To Me!

Grand Kingdom • Finish off an enemy with an Assist • Bronze Trophy • Rarity 36.2% (Rare)

When I say I’ve spent more time trying to get the screenshots off my Vita than actually playing Grand Kingdom, I’m only speaking with a dash of hyperbole. I don’t know whether Sony have made some back-end changes (or removed support all together) for how email works on Vita, I had great difficulty getting Content Manager to work, along with even trying to send the images in a message to myself via the PSN.

The solution I came up with involved downloading LiveTweet, the custom Twitter application for Vita, where I could Tweet the images out from my own account and then save them from there. Not an ideal workaround for the company that pioneered the ‘Share’ button, but there you go. We have, what the kids call it these days, ‘content.’

I started a game of Grand Kingdom a while ago, but never really made it past the first level. It’s actually the kind of gameplay that really appeals to me – story rich, turn-based, semi-strategic combat with beautiful visuals. In these early levels, it’s actually fairly easy to defeat a team of four enemies without too many problems, though I can see a rapidly improving AI that is bound to cause a few headaches as the game goes on.

This achievement was for using an assist to defeat an enemy – perhaps the one move in combat that actually requires the X button. For most other moves, that actually cancels your attack and does what would normally be reserved for the O button, but instead this is a matter of choosing your assist, hitting X and letting them bring some hurt to your currently-targeted enemy. Should be the most simple thing in the world right? Turns out I’d missed a few good chances because I was too busy hitting the triangle or O button in anticipation of ‘locking in’ a move (like you have to do with the player character), so my logic is not entirely flawed.

There’s still a not-insignificant path to tred on this game, so depending on the frequency by which I play, there’s a good chance it will pop its head back onto my monthly Sony selection, or early in the new financial year.