Going Platinum

Platinum...is it worth it?

When the trophy system came out on the PS3 I remember observing it from a distance thinking, man, what a stupid idea. This will never catch on. Why in the world would people who like gaming, spend extra time doing monotonous tasks, or replaying a completed title just to get some stupid little icon that sits on their online gaming profile? It was pure gaming lunacy in my opinion. “I will never do that.This will never catch on. What a completely terrible idea,” said I.

About two weeks ago, I got my first platinum trophy. And you know what? It was an awesome gaming experience.

Both the platinum trophies on the PS3, or the Xbox 360’s comparative Achievements (how are these ranked? I have no idea. Platinum…achievements?) are awards that sit on your online gaming profile, sharing with the world that you have accomplished the goal of collecting EVERY single trophy that a particular game has. Its a simple way of saying that you have completely conquered a game. To get the platinum, you basically have to do EVERYTHING in a game, including complete it on different difficulty levels etc. Generally speaking, Platinum trophies are extremely difficult to get, requiring approximately double the completion time a game would normally take.

But my question was this: “Why in the world would I want to get one of those? What would it add to my gaming experience?”

So like a journalistic detective who is addicted to rpg’s I decided to find out firsthand. After looking on my online profile, I noticed I

This guy has six platinum trophies. The competitor in me wants to take him (or her?) down

This guy has six platinum trophies. The competitor in me wants to take him (or her?) down

had lots of bronze, silver and even a couple gold trophies. But no platinum. Then I looked at my trophy list on my PS3. I could see every PS3 game I had played up to that point, as well as the trophy completion percentages for each game. So I decided to choose a game that I already had lots of trophies for: Final Fantasy XIII.
(This was also an easy choice, as I happen to really enjoy the game.)

I was at 60% of the trophies when I reloaded my completed game file, and started working on the different trophies necessary for achieving Platinum. In this case it required replaying several Fiend Hunting missions, building and disassembling tons of different weapons, and ultimately fighting hoards of baddies in my quest to earn some serious gold. Little by little, I started chipping away at the different goals necessary to achieve platinum, and after some serious effort (I probably put in an extra 20 hrs on top of my completed game file)…I got the platinum trophy!

A profile. My avatar is Cloud. Much much cooler than this guys

A profile. My avatar is Cloud. Much much cooler than this guys

Ok, I know what you’re thinking. “Did this guy really spend all that time on a game he already had completed (twice actually) just so he could get some stupid little platinum icon on his online gaming profile? Doesn’t he know that’s not the REAL world? Doesn’t he know that none of that stuff actually matters?”

Well, OK, so some of that is valid. But let me share with you some of the reasons Going Platinum is a great choice. And then I will follow it up with some advice for all you platinum seekers out there.

Five reasons Going Platinum is Awesome:

5. The icons for all the different trophies look really cool! (Ok, I know. That’s why this was number 5)

4. All of your friends will think you are super cool now that you have a platinum trophy! (No this did not happen to me, but maybe for you?)

3. Because you have achieved this level of completion, you will (probably) never be tempted to replay it. You can finally put that game to rest. You didn’t just beat it, you completed it. It’s a nice feeling.

2. You will discover lots of fun challenges that you would never have attempted otherwise. In some ways, its the best kind of plus game/post game. You get to re-enter the world and try all sorts of new ways of playing, and new strategies. The process of trophy achievement can actually be a very fun and rewarding experience because of the way it will open your eyes to new elements of the game.

1. In the process of getting the platinum trophy, you will have experienced EVERYTHING that a game has to offer. You will be intimately aware of all the bosses, the systems, the maps, the items, the strategies. You will know that game inside and out. And in some ways, if you really like a game, isn’t that why you play in the first place?

OK, so basically what I’m saying is, don’t try to get platinum for the stupid little icon thingy. Who cares about that? Seriously? Yeah no-one that’s who. But instead go for platinum because in the process you will find lots of fun new elements of the game to experience!

How about some tips for all you trophy hunters out there? Here is what I’ve learned.

1. Don’t go for platinum in any games that you don’t ABSOLUTELY LOVE. This is why I am not going to attempt platinum in the Atelier series. I enjoy the games, but don’t LOVE them. And so I know the experience will just be a drain. Save Platinum hunting for those games you just can’t get enough of.

2. Use a strategy guide as well as your own note taking system. Some of the trophies you will be hunting for (especially in rpg’s) will require you to be aware of lots of detailed information. Do yourself a favor and take some notes along the way.

3. Don’t get so focused on getting a platinum trophy that you set aside some other really good games that you would rather be playing. The OCD in all of us gamer’s makes completion hunting a part of the experience. But don’t forget to play the games rather than letting them play you. Your time is precious!

4. Do brag about it. I mean, come on. You just got a PLATINUM trophy! Kudos to you! Throw a party in your honor! Drinks are on somebody else! Celebrate the little things.

5. If you are ever tempted to replay a game in which you already achieved platinum, look over your trophies or achievements first. It might serve as a way to scratch that itch, and free you up to play something in your backlog (this last one may be just for me…)

Game on Friend!



4 comments on “Going Platinum

  1. Congrats on your Platinum trophy! You are the coolest.

  2. I’m not a trophy hunter, but I can see why this reward system has taken off. Gamers have always gotten a buzz out of getting recognized for their skills. In the past it was high scores at the arcade and these days it’s trophies.

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