Guest Writer: Trophies Part 1

It’s not uncommon to get in guest articles, but Boomshanks has gone above and beyond with an absolutely huge article on The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of trophies. In fact it’s so huge I’ve had to split it out over today and tomorrow. So here’s part one on The Good of Trophies.

After seeing quite a few discussions about terrible trophies I decided to write an article about it. See, as most of you will know, the life of a trophy whore isn’t all fun and games(pun intended). Sometimes the ‘fun’ part gets taken away by trophies which are anything but a blast to get. These trophies are bent on sucking all the fun out of their respective games. They are meant to break you and do their damned best for it.

Seeing as I’m an optimist I’ve also put some trophies in there which are an absolute joy to get. This evens things out nicely and gives me a nice excuse to use this title. Before I continue though I would like to say that the discussion whether or not to go for these trophies can be taken elsewhere. I didn’t write this article to be told just to give up and I’m sure a lot of people think the same way as me. So let’s start with the good ones, shall we?

Challenging Trophies

A lot of trophies are either too easy or too hard to manage. Getting a trophy for starting a game can hardly be called an achievement while trophies which are too hard can put many people off playing the game entirely. Luckily there are also certain trophies which just manage to hit that sweet spot of ‘challenging but doable’.

In my opinion the best trophies ever fall in this category. Most people like to be challenged, but if the challenge is unfair they will not react very well. Challenges just outside your comfort zone are the best because they do require you to improve, but not by immeasurable amounts. This results in trophies which you most likely won’t get on your first try but feel the desire to improve for. If you’re effort is just short of getting it the first time it’s easy to put in some extra time and end up with a satisfactory ping and a new piece of silverware.

Exploration Trophies

Most games these days have tons of options but I would never check them all out if there wasn’t a reward for it. Exploration trophies usually require you to play a certain mode, visit a certain area or do something else you otherwise would not have done. These trophies are great for finding new ways to play a game and increase not only the time you spend on a game but also the enjoyment you have with it.

If, like me, you play through the game not thinking about trophies the first time, exploration trophies will most likely not be gotten immediately. It’s only after you look at the trophy list and see the requirements that you realize that there might be an area or weapon you missed. Passing the Titan’s Trial in Final Fantasy XIII is a good example of an optional area which provides a lot of new and fun playtime. Getting the most out of your game is the objective here and it’s one I firmly applaud.

It should be said though that these trophies can also be taken too far, which results in a bad experience. Sampler Plate from Guitar Hero 5 and Auf Wiedersehen Petrovic from GTA IV are good examples of this.

Humorous Trophies

Humorous trophies are probably the hardest trophies to find. It’s not often that developers put these in their game as they take quite a creative mind to think up. Whether it’s an extremely funny name such as the ‘Two Cups one Girl’ trophy from Dirt 2 or any of the trophies from Gravity Crash or an extremely silly thing to do within the game these trophies are a blast. A good example would be the ‘Psychotic Prankster’ trophy from Fallout 3 which requires you to place a grenade or mine while pick pocketing someone. Unnecessary but oh so funny. These trophies usually aren’t that hard to get but while you’re going for them you can’t help but smile. Killing an enemy in Borderlands by jumping on them may not get you anywhere but it’s certainly a fun way to expand your trophy collection.

Coming tomorrow: The Bad and The Ugly of Trophies


  1. Awesome little insight.
    The resistance 2 trophy we’re going for (795 kills left btw), I find, is a midpoint between an over the top trophy (the Warhawk ranking ones that require over 1,000 hours to get to the highest rank) and those that require a bit more effort.

    • I gave up at just over 2,500. Took way too much time and was way too repetitive. I have very few online trophies, apart from Burnout Paradise which I’ve only just got 100% on, including DLC.

      • The 10.000 kills trophy for Resistance 2 is a terrible trophy in my opinion. It can be quite entertaining at times and I will get it eventually but as a trophy it can be extremely off-putting for a lot of people, which will be mentioned in the second part

      • I felt the same way with the Battlefield Bad Company kill count trophy. I think I gave up at around 2500 too.

  2. Mario homage trophies are always awesome. There’s an “It’s a-Me!” trophy in Mirror’s Edge too, and that one is stupidly satisfyingly crunchy :D

    Trophies can be quite nice to work towards, but some are pretty mental. Getting all the medals in MAG, for example, is going to push my playtime in that game to around the 200 hour mark, I believe. Which, when you think about it, is great value for money.

    Likewise, I really enjoyed getting the 20 demolition kills in Bad Company 2. Took a bit of dedication, but I earned it the right way, rather than resorting to boosting…

    There’s always the satisfying non-trophy in game accomplishments. Things like hitting level 60 in Uncharted 2 (which I will be managing today in a marathon 5 hours session of gaming).

    • “…which I will be managing today in a marathon 5 hours session of gaming”

      Compared to those that are doing 24 hours, not exactly a marathon in comparison :D

    • BFBC2 would have been my 1st platinum, if it wasnt for that F**king trophy, i gave up when i got around 12, just couldnt be bothered with it anymore!, Going for the uncharted 2 platinum now, may even try for the uncharted 1 platinum after that. I Think with a lot of time invested, i could even get the f1 2010 one too ;)

      • I am hacked off with f1 2010 already’ nevermind get the trophies i,m trading it in

  3. Good little article this. Good trophies i can think of? Well certainly not the ones that require you to play a full 36 player game or play with 10 people off your friends list. Good ones include 200 landings in one go on flight control (though they should’ve limited it to first map) and complete all veteran special ops missions on veteran in Mw2. Like you said, the ones that push you a little, and you get a sense of achievement from, unlike beat zico, which i didn’t even try because it was insanely difficult. Win 10 matches on the run on ruse is insanely difficult and frustating without boosting, maybe win 3 on the run would’ve been better. Age of booty’s win all challenges was good, it got me to complete them all when i probably wouldn’t have bothered otherwise, but ended up really glad i did.

  4. A game with great trophies has to be Ratchet and Clank: A Crack In Time. The game is really enjoyable and you know you want to play again and the trophy gives you more than enough reason to :)

    • This.

      ACiT was my very first platinum. I only had a bit of trouble with My Blaster Runs Hot but that was a really fun minigame. I liked that there was stuff to find, but it didn’t seem totally pointless (ahem*AC2feathers*ahem).

  5. The problem is that the the challenging ones, are incredibly hard to get right for the developers.

    One persons “chellenging” will be another persons “too easy” or “impossible”

    IMO opinion the best ones are the silly ones that you have a reasonable chance of stumbling upon while playing the game normally.

    • It is indeed extremely difficult but it can definitely be achieved. Developers’ best bet is to please the middle man, avoiding trophies such as Zone Zeus whilst not making it to easy

      • A few of those trophies from Wipeout I have completely given up with, as I know many other people have. Some of them are really challenging but jus do-able and make u feel really satisfied when u get it. But there’s the zone Zeus and others that are practically Impossible!

  6. One trophy that forced me to really go for was the “OMGWTFBBQ” trophy on resistance2. Made me laugh when i saw it and so inevitably i wanted it :)

    A brill example of challenging is the Dead Space one where you have to shoot down the meteors for a while while maintaining shield integrity. It was my last trophy before platinum so it was a double grin from me once i did it.

    • Strangely I found Superhuman slightly easier than hard :s, ahwell, more later.

      • yeah i found that as well. odd

      • same here. I think it was because we had hardened our selves on hard mode before doing superhuman. We knew whatneeded to be done, and did it.

  7. i liked the trophy in RDR which meant tiying a woman up and putting them on a train track and watching them die, too far?

    • I was gutted to find that I couldn’t sell the three parts of her back to the storekeeper.

  8. trophies must have a worth in sony’s next console/handheld

  9. Good article :) trophies should be balanced in skill and longetivity in my opinion for example Demon’s Souls is a good game for a challenge. But trophies in games like Disgaea 3,Bioshock (1) and Star Ocean annoyed me to no end.

      you could get them but only if you dedicated the next 2 months of your life in pursuit of them.

      • 2 months…more like never i guess and disgaea is far worse :P

  10. I think that Bionic Commando (PS3/X360) is a game that has the right trophy difficulty, never too hard, but never too easy. Was my fastest platinum so far, I was bored with the others platinums I got, which have trophys like “Catch 2783416 blast shards” or “get 999999999 light seeds”.
    And I ROFL’d when I saw Wanted’s “Kill one, save a 1000… donuts”

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