As an avid trophy hunter, I have spent hours upon hours grinding games for trophies. Currently I have 6490 trophies on my PSN profile, and let us not mention my Xbox GamerTag.
Of these trophies, 5431 of them are bronze, 948 silver, 201 gold, and I have 20 platinum trophies.
Now the more I try and move away from trophy hunting, the more it draws me into the hunt. I complete mindless activities in Skyrim for that platinum, and even buy specific games just because they have an easy trophy set.
No kidding, I purchased the Duke Nukem: 20th Anniversary World Tour because I could platinum the game in 2 hours. The game was awesome though, so I did not feel that bad.
But what is it about trophies and achievements that makes them so desirable? Well for me, I have had my PSN account since the PS3 days, I have never created another one, so my ID is kind of a reflection of my life in gaming.
Every trophy I earn adds to this lifetime of memories, that I can always go back to and remember those moments in those games. Those 20 platinumed games have been the best moments in gaming for me, as I took the time out to finish all of them more than anything else.
So the question is, do trophies sell games? Let’s take Nintendo for example.
With no real reward system across their platforms, do gamers feel compelled to perform certain tasks with nothing to show of it outside of the typical gaming ecosystem?
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a phenomenal experience, but I feel that if it pushed me to do certain things as much as Dark Souls III pushed me to farm for rings, then I would actually have spent more time in the game.
Cooking certain foods, or even collecting all the Spirit Orbs felt like an unnecessary objective, mainly because there was just no reward for it. On the other hand Horizon Zero Dawn pushed me to climb all the tallnecks in order to reveal the map, and at the same time unlock a shiny silver trophy.
The same drive was hard to find in Breath of the Wild. Sometimes doing certain things, felt like a chore, where trophies being the reward always guarantee some sort of compensation for your efforts.
I have never played a game where I did not look at the trophy list and slowly mould my gameplay to make sure I earned tophies along the way. Also there is a fine line between earning trophies, and mindlessly grinding for them.
The example here is I would sit and replay say Ratchet and Clank the second time, but I would never attempt to finish Bioshock without using a Vita-Chamber on the hardest difficultly. Although that would be one of the greatest triumphs to boast about.
The same goes for achievements on every possible platform, including Steam. I have slowly begun to buy games on Steam which are on sale, that I would like to replay again, and hopefully earn all the achievements along the way.
This is problem really, as I buy games with the intend to earn achievements, but never really get around to playing them.
It makes me wonder what I did back when the PS2 was around, or even during the early years of the PS3 where trophies were not a thing.
I love gaming just as much, but what did I do to push myself to complete the most ridiculous tasks?
The truth is trophies and achievements are vital to a gaming module, as they show accomplishments for certain tasks, and they keep us going back to the same game for more until we prove that we are worthy enough to earn achievement xyz.
There are forums of people discussing trophy tips, guides and walkthroughs. Some people even went as far as hacking their PS3 to automatically earn trophies. Sure this was not the most ideal way to do it, but it goes to show just how desirable these little digital accomplishments are.
This past February a gamer on Steam earned the first ever achievement for the game Devil Daggers. He survived longer than 500 seconds in the game, making it the first gamer to ever do so. Would he have done it if there no shiny achievement to boast about?
According to the Guinness World Records, Stallion83 is the gamer with the highest Gamerscore ever in Xbox history. He is sitting on 1.4 million. I doubt anyone will ever come close to that, if they do, he will probably be on 3 million by then.
If the leaderboard on PSNtrophyleaders.com is anything to go by, Hakoom has over 55,000 trophies, and is on level 180. Puts my 6500 to shame. It seems that the gaming industry would be a very different place if it was not for trophies and other ways to show off your feats.
Have you ever bought a game, or been driven to perform certain tasks for a trophy? Let us know in the comments and forum