The last time I wrote about earning a platinum video game trophy was in December of 2019.
That was for Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. Great game, and Platinum Trophy #5 for me. I’m going to play it again someday because I only skimmed the surface of all of the game’s content. I recommend the game to you as well.
My previous four platinum trophies were for Fallout 4, Mass Effect, Watch Dogs 2, and Spider-Man. In that order. I suppose I should add that I recommend these games, too.
What I’m about to say isn’t meant for you gamers out there. You already know what a platinum trophy is.
For the nongamers: a platinum trophy is awarded in a video game after you earn every other trophy offered in the game itself. You earn trophies by meeting certain goals or measurements. For instance; beating certain level bosses in the game, or reaching a certain number of “kills,” or other similar achievements, many of which are specific to a particular game. Most games offer an assortment of trophies, categorized as bronze, silver or gold. But, there is only one platinum.
The only gaming system I’ve owned since my earlier Nintendo days is the Playstation. My knowledge of trophies applies to that system. I know nothing about X-Box or whatever else is out there these days.
I doubt that anyone earns a platinum trophy by accident. I’ll admit that I had to consciously make the platinum my goal in each game, and I had to grind away until I earned it. Sometimes, I had to go to message boards or YouTube for pointers, in fact.
I don’t consider this to be cheating. I would have asked the advice of a close friend who had played the games, if such a creature existed.
If you consider this cheating, then all of my trophies are invalid, and you are sooo much better than I am. Of course, you already knew this.
At some point in the latter half of 2021, my Playstation account online was hacked. A few spurious charges showed up on my credit card and a few other shenanigans were being shenangged. My credit card company took care of the charges, but it turned out to be easier to delete my old Playstation account and begin a new one than to sort it all out. For all of their good points, Sony doesn’t really have an accessible customer service department. All of my old trophies and rankings didn’t transfer to my new screen name and account. I was starting over from scratch.
I was mostly okay with that. I love new beginnings. There’s a kind of freedom that comes with starting anew, a sense of possibilities. I’m still claiming my previous five platinum trophies, even though I can no longer prove I earned them. Sure, my overall trophy ranking took a huge hit. I’m Playstation friends with my youngest brother and his wife. They are now ranked much higher than I am. That’s okay, too. It gives me a goal. As a stupidly competitive person, my goal is to catch up to them and eventually pass them.
Since the move to the new account, I’ve earned two additional platinum trophies. The first was for Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, the platinum earned in December 2021. I consider this to be Platinum Trophy #6, even though my second platinum was for an earlier PS4 version of the original Mass Effect.
I just earned another one, Platinum Trophy #7, for the video game Far Cry Primal. I earned it on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, to be exact.
The thing that all of these games have in common is that I really liked playing them. That seems like a no-brainer to me, but I suppose there are some gamers out there grinding their way through games that they don’t like just to get trophies. I couldn’t do that. I’ll give a game some time to impress me, but I will walk away from a game that disappoints. I am an incurable completist—the collector’s curse—but even that won’t keep me playing a game that fails to entertain me.
Since I earned a platinum trophy twice for different editions of Mass Effect, you’ve already guessed that I like this game. The truth is that the Mass Effect series is among my favorite video games series. Most days, I would call it my #1 favorite.
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is a 4K remaster of the original Mass Effect game. I noticed the upgrade on the visuals immediately. The images were clearer and sharper, enhancing what I always remembered as an incredibly detailed science fiction universe.
The load times are less than I remember from the first game, which means shorter elevator rides, and the Mako—which almost everyone but me seemed to hate in the original game—handles much better and more realistically. There may have been some tweaks to the gameplay itself, but it’s difficult for me to say this many years after playing the original.
Besides, it still feels like Mass Effect to me. The story and side missions are the same. Some of the side missions remain just a tedious as they were in the original. But, overall, the original game’s high points seem even more enhanced. The final boss battle with Saren is still exhilarating and cinematic. If I were forced to say which version of the game I prefer, I would pick the Legendary Edition, for the smoother frame rate and better visuals. The things that made the original a great game remain the same.
In fact, the game feels a bit dated now, to tell the truth, even with the upgrades. That doesn’t detract from the impact the series has had on all of the gaming industry. Not in the least. But, modern action-adventure games have raised the bar on what can be done in video game storytelling, making Mass Effect sometimes feel a little stiff and limited.
Because I’ve always loved this game, I still love the most recent edition.
Firewater’s You-Exist-Because-We-Allow-It Report Card: A
Mass Effect 2 is still my favorite entry in the franchise, but this one is a very close second.
I didn’t join the Far Cry franchise until Far Cry 4, which was set in the Himalayas. Far Cry 5 moved the action to the USA, specifically Montana, and racheted up the stakes and my enjoyment of the series. Far Cry New Dawn was the 2019 spinoff of Far Cry 5, and was just as fun as its predecessor, although the stakes never felt quite as huge or cinematic. I’m looking forward to playing Far Cry 6, and not just because Giancarlo Esposito is the Big Bad, but also because of this fact.
Far Cry Primal was actually on the store shelves a couple of years before Far Cry 5. I just got around to playing it, because the price was right and I now consider Far Cry to be a reliable brand.
The game has a lot of what I’ve come to expect in a Far Cry game. A huge world map. Running around collecting ingredients to craft things. Combat against enemies with an assortment of weapons. Killing or taming various species of animals. Your POV character in the game is Takkar, who earns a reputation as the Beastmaster during the story.
Did I mention that the game is set during prehistoric times and that you’re a caveman? Well, maybe you’re a human who is just emerging from the caves and becoming civilized. There are rival tribes that you have to defeat, including their leaders, to progress in the game. There are forts and caves and an endless series of side missions.
If I’m required to level a criticism at the game, it’s one that was shared by Far Cry New Dawn. The Big Bads in the game just aren’t as compelling as Pagan Min or Joseph Seed, and I didn’t feel the same sense of accomplishment when I finally confronted them. Also, as a primitive human, my choice of weapons was equally primitive. Bows, clubs, spears, crude knives and slings. I missed automatic weapons and explosives. I also missed automobiles, parachutes and wing suits.
These aren’t major complaints, though. The gameplay is familiar and fun. I enjoyed it enough to actively earn every trophy in the game, so that’s saying something. I didn’t do this with the other games in the series.
Firewater’s Tu-Urki-Patash-Tu-Urki-Patash Report Card: A-
Good game, and a seventh platinum trophy for me.
My current Playstation Trophy Level is 64, I believe. My sister-in-law is now probably 150 levels ahead of me, and my brother 200. Since it gets tougher as you level up—and I doubt that my brother and his wife will stop being gamers in the near future—I’ve got some serious playing to do.