One last silly little list to wrap up January 2020.
When I shared my results from that PlayStation Year-in-Review wrap-up a few weeks back, it revealed that I had earned 11 Platinum trophies in 2019 so Frank suggested I do one more top ten list. As I was neck deep trying to make sure all of the other posts got out, I didn’t give it too much of a thought but now that I’m able to breathe again, I thought it might be fun to look back on those games and their respective trophy lists. So here we go:
Honorable Mention: Batman: The Enemy Within
Listed here as the honorable mention because Telltale trophy lists were famously simple. Not My Name is Mayo simple, but since you only really had to play through the whole game to earn the Platinum, this seemed like the appropriate place on the list. I hopped into the second season of Telltale’s Batman after watching Danny O’Dwyer’s wonderful No Clip documentary on the shuttered company. It reminded me how much I had enjoyed the approach to The Dark Knight in their first season so I went back for the round two I haven’t experienced yet. All-in-all, it was another interesting approach.
In my review of Afterparty, I lamented the story’s lack of variety upon repeat playthroughs. But in order to get the Platinum, I needed to experience the game’s three different endings and a couple “this or that” decisions elsewhere in the story. The fact that movement through the game was relatively slow and you couldn’t easily clip through dialogue meant a lot of sitting through the same moments. What really killed me was that as I was just about to face off against Satan in my third playthrough for the final trophy, my game crashed and the save was corrupted so I had to pretty much start all over again. This was the only Platinum trophy in 2019 that I actually hated getting but I had already committed to enough of it that I decided to see it through.
9. Kingdom Hearts III
Proud Mode (and some of the obscenely difficult optional bosses) in the past games kept me from attempting the Platinums in Kingdom Hearts or Kingdom Hearts II, and I never really spent time with the other games in the series. But Kingdom Hearts III had no difficulty trophy so I decided to tackle this Platinum. Looking back on my list, it looks like I beat the game in about a week and then spent another few days trying to track down all the collectibles, complete all of the mini-games and synthesize all the items. I thoroughly hated “Festive Dancer” because I struggled greatly with the Tangled world’s mini-game and resented having to hear that song over and over during every failed attempt and then I just couldn’t seem to figure out the trick to get the high score needed for “Centurion” in the Verum Rex mini-game (which I’m still convinced in some sort of tease for an eventual Final Fantasy XVI.
Also, after three attempts at the boss fights in the Re:Mind DLC, I can safely say I won’t be getting any more trophies from this title because eff those obscenely difficult bosses.
8. Borderlands 3
According to PlayStation, Borderlands 3 was my most-played game in 2019 with over 200 hours. That includes a full playthrough doing all of the side quests solo and then a ton of True Vault Hunter mode, as well as a second playthrough on a different character with fellow Nerd Logan. I really appreciated that they got rid of some of the trophies from prior Borderlands games that made their Platinums less attainable (like complete all of the challenges). One of the toughest one to nab in this one was probably “Good Against Remotes Is One Thing” for a perfect score at the Firing Range but Cameron, Logan, and I spent an evening hopping into each other games in order to secure it for each of us. Playing solo I also had a tough time with a couple of the Circles of Slaughter so completing the last one, which in turn gave me the “Slaughterhouse 3,” “Getting A Little On The Side” (for all side missions), and the “Ultimate Vault Hunter” Platinum made for a rewarding night.
7. Trover Saves the Universe
Trover has a pretty straightforward list. The “hardest” trophy is probably “You Actually Did It?!” awarded for making 100 baskets in the little hoop in your ship. Easy enough to accomplish but it took a long-ass time thanks to the game’s less-than-precise physics. But looking back through the trophy lists justs reminded me how funny that game was, with attention and care even going into each of the trophy descriptions. “What the hell is the matter with you?! You actually made 100 baskets?! What are you a sociopath?! How long did this even take you?!”
6. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
Seeing this one on my Platinum list reminded me just how much fun I had with this game. I used to do a “best of” list for games I played that hadn’t come out that year. If I had done that for 2019, this probably would have been near the top of the list as it was a nice laid back way to kick off the year while waiting for Kingdom Hearts III to come out. I didn’t particularly remember any truly difficult trophies. This was more of just a time-consuming list since I had to beat the lengthy campaign and grind all the characters up to the max level in order to finish some of the side quests and secret bosses.
Rainbite Limited, the team behind Reverie, are fellow Kinda Funny fans. They snuck in a few KF Easter eggs and I believe they even took Greg Miller up on his offer to consult on the trophy list so it had his blessing. It was my first Platinum of the year so I don’t remember too much about it but it only took me a little over a day to get so I think it was mostly a “play the game and get all the collectibles”-type of game. One of the stand out trophies that serves as an aforementioned Easter egg, as well: “The Right Side of History,” where you had to go into the options and change the option for pineapple (which has zero bearing on the game) to “no” as a nod to the long-running Kinda Funny debate over if pineapple belongs on pizza. We know where Rainbite stands.
Control was the first game of the fall that I really sunk into and was interested in pursuing the Platinum. Playing through the game and doing all of the possible side missions got you most of the way to this one. The last trophy I ended up needing was unlocking 100% of the Ability Upgrades. I didn’t realize that you didn’t gain upgrade points from regular combat so after a lot of fighting after I had already done everything else in the game, I was like “well how am I supposed to get those last 9 points I need?!” That was when I learned that you had to get points for finding some of the games hidden areas off the beaten path, which was easy enough to do with a guide.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order had a great trophy list. I wish I had caught the terrarium one “Green Thumb” earlier than I did because, like many people, I just had to kind of wander around the game while waiting for a few of the final plants I found to fully grow but aside from that tedious nonsense, it was mostly fine. I probably could have also done without the “A Galaxy Far, Far Away” one for completing all of BD-1’s holomaps. I hated getting to 98% complete on a planet and having to try and figure out the one little nook or cranny I hadn’t stumbled across. That said, some of the situational ones like “What Goes Around” (Defeat an enemy with their own Slowed blaster bolt) and “Kicking Back” (Kick a phillak that has kicked you) gave me some great laughs to offset the more tedious ones.
2. Days Gone
I came to Days Gone near the end of the year, while unemployed. So while a lot of the initial reviewers who were trying to get through the game’s lengthy campaign in time for the review embargoes grew weary of it, I really enjoyed diving in to all the game had to offer to keep my mind off of things. There was one trophy that was a pain in the butt because it didn’t seem to be clear what triggered it (“Burnout Apocalypse” for using nitro and drifting at the same time on your bike for at least 5 seconds) but other than that, it was a lot of fun. I even went above and beyond after getting the Platinum and cleared out all of the rest of the optional Horde’s in the game to 100% my regular playthrough. Sony Bend added a lot of free DLC trophy packs for other challenges and a new game+ mode that I wasn’t too eager to dive into right away but maybe in a future revisit?
1. Concrete Genie
I had so much fun with Concrete Genie. As I mentioned in my Game of the Year write-up, I won’t really remember the characters of the game but I will remember my interactions with the Genies and a lot of that is thanks to the trophy list. In addition to the standard story-progression and collectibles trophies, there were a ton of situational trophies like “Don’t Eat Me! (Watch your Genie get scared by a Venus Fly Trap) and “Frozen Treat” (Watch your Genie try to eat snowflakes). These fun little trophies highlighted some of the cool, interactable moments that the developers had put into the game that I might have missed otherwise. And as a bonus, I decided to hop into the VR mode to collect the few trophies there and secure the 100% trophy rate on top of the Platinum and the VR sandbox was absolutely beautiful and a wonderful way of taking the elements and ideas explored in 2D in the main game and translating them into a 3D VR environment.