PS3T's Trophy Awards 2011
Written Thursday, June 30, 2011 By Dave Olsen
Happy Birthday to us!! Happy Birthday to us!! That’s right folks, we’re the big three years old now!! *Sheds tear* We’re growing up so fast.
Without further ado, welcome to the 2011 edition of PS3T’s Trophy Awards. For those of you that are unfamiliar with this, let me quickly summarize it for you. Each year we take a look at the best and worst in trophies from the previous year. If you’re wondering why we’re having an awards showcase in June (and no doubt that some of you are, I see you out there), it’s because we post this on the site’s birthday (June 30). Because of that, in order to be eligible for an award, the game or DLC has to have been released between April 1, 2010 and March 31, 2011.
There are a couple of things that should be mentioned right off the bat. First, we have some new categories and we have removed several others. With the sale of Harmonix and Activision putting Guitar Hero on the shelf indefinitely, the Music genre is effectively dead. Why shouldn’t we pound another nail in its coffin? In its place, we have categories for the recently revived Fighting game genre. We also few other new, fun categories and we’ll get to those as we come to them. Where would the Move category be you’re asking? Next year. We need a full year of games to figure out how to make it work first. And let’s be honest, the first selection of Move games was less than stellar.
The other big thing that will become a very large pink, polka dotted, 700 ton mammoth in the corner of the room fairly quickly is that these results are all the choices of the members. There are a few selections that probably could have been better, but hey, not everyone plays every game. It becomes about what’s popular. But seriously, what’s better for an awards show than a little controversy and debate? Sure we’re not on par with the Oscars (not yet anyway), but watch as I compare ourselves to them. Was The King’s Speech a better film than The Social Network, True Grit, or Inception? It depends on how you look at it, but one thing is certain, the movie with the most buzz won. It’s no different here with our voters.
Enough with my yapping, let’s get on to the awards, shall we? As usual, we’ll be starting with the easiest, then going to the hardest, worst and then wrapping up with the best. But to kick things off, we might as well start with one of our new categories.
Better Than Bronze
Every game has that one bronze trophy that every time you see it, the trophy evokes feelings of anger, frustration, despair or all of the above. It’s that one bronze trophy that is so difficult or time consuming, you look at it and think “Well, that should have been a silver or a gold”. The classic example is “I am Bad Company” from Battlefield: Bad Company. Interestingly, the winner here is of a similar type, earn all multiplayer awards. Yep, “Abstergo Employee of the Month” from Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is the choice here.
Aside from the fact that you can’t track which bonuses you have in the game (which has been standard in multiplayer for several years, by the way) some of these are just, well…the words “thorn” and “side” come up. Let’s take Extreme Variety for example. Here, you have to get 15 of the other bonuses in one round. By the way, there are 36 other bonuses in total. We’re talking just under half of them in one match. Without a couple of boosting partners and a checklist to track which bonuses you’ve earned yourself, good luck. Considering how many platinums have been broken by this, we needed at least a silver here.
Winner: “Abstergo Employee of the Month” – Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Easiest Individual Trophy
Trophies for nothing. What’s better than that in a game? So many games have stupidly easy trophies like pausing a game, watching the credits, or even just starting the game. One of the easiest games from the last year also has the easiest trophy. The Sly Cooper Collection is already a gift from the trophy gods. That they included easy trophies to go along with three platinums is even better.
Our winner here is “Sucker Punched!” from the first Sly Cooper game in the collection, Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus. As soon as you start the game, this trophy unlocks beginning the storm of raining trophies that lasts for the remainder of the game. Trophies such as this are like a youth soccer league in 2011, everyone is guaranteed at least one trophy. If you bothered to spend 10 seconds with Sly Cooper, this is that trophy.
Winner: “Sucker Punched!” – Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus
Easiest Action Platinum
There isn’t really much of a surprise here. In all honesty, there was only one choice for this award this year, Megamind. It may well be the easiest platinum trophy out there. There is no skill involved to earn the platinum trophy. It’s simply completing levels as the titular character (Anyone care to mention why that was specified in every damn trophy. Seriously, you’re playing a game called Megamind. Was anyone expecting to play as anyone other than Megamind?) There are trophies for unlocking minigames as well. Are there trophies for playing the minigames or even getting a high score in them? Nope. You just have to unlock them. Megamind gets the Geico award this year, as in “It’s so easy, a caveman could do it.” By the way, this isn't the last we'll be hearing from Megamind.
Easiest Fighting Platinum
The once dead fighting genre replaces the newly dead music genre in our awards showcase. While we didn’t have a ton of games to choose from, we had enough. And guess what, those WWE games never fail to disappoint with easy trophies. Although, considering what the other fighting games are, picking the easiest one is like tallest leprechaun.
That being said, other than getting wins online and playing through a couple of modes several times, there really isn’t anything challenging in WWE All Stars. Most of the trophies can be attained by using two controllers. That of course provides the entertainment value of a professional wrestler doing an impersonation of a bop bag. They just stand there taking punishment. If you knock them down, they pop back up. Trophies unlock. Everyone wins (except for the second player, of course).
Winner: WWE All Stars
Easiest Racing Platinum
Racing games. It’s usually feast or famine in terms of trophies. This year, well, it’s either extremely difficult or not as hard. The pickings were so slim this year that it wouldn’t have surprised us to see Slim Pickens somehow make the nominees. It was a tough year for racing games; tough in terms of the amount released and their difficulty. Easiest here basically means that Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit doesn’t involve pulling out your hair, the punching of walls, or tossing a controller across the room…at least not as much as some of the other eligible games.
There is some skill, patience, and practice involved. Not as much as other certain racing games, but some. Later races in the game require you to be nearly perfect. Keep in mind, when we say easiest here, we’re using gigantic finger quotes. It’s not Megamind-easy, but it’s certainly easier than the other racing games released in the last year.
Winner: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
Easiest Role Playing Platinum
The only real controversial choice of the bunch is right here. Is it the easiest RPG platinum? Probably not. I fully expect to see calls of “Cazadores!!” in reply to this selection. The various glitches and freezes and the persistence of NCR or Caeser’s Legion don’t exactly make this a cakewalk either. Anyone that has the platinum is currently scratching their heads.
While there is a portion of the trophy that is very reminiscent of Fallout 3, other parts are vastly different. The various 10,000 whatever trophies are simply long grinds using the various types of weapons or items to heal. Hardcore mode and its special settings are no joke either.
New Vegas isn’t a perfect choice, but we’ll stand by the choice of the members by saying this, a bit of debate and controversy is a good thing, even if it’s in a just-for-fun-awards-showcase-about-gaming-awards. In that respect, it’s a good choice.
Winner: Fallout: New Vegas
Easiest Shooter Platinum
Looking back to Killzone 2, we had one of the more difficult platinums to acquire. Whether it’s the frustration of Elite difficulty or the top 1% trophy, Killzone 2 is one that requires dedication to earn. That makes the appearance of Killzone 3 here a bit of surprise. At least, it’s a surprise for those who haven’t played it.
Elite difficulty has been nerfed a bit. It’s still tough in a few parts, but it’s nowhere near as frustrating. All of the online trophies can be done in an afternoon. There are no collectibles to be seen. Outside of the “Completist” trophy, there’s nothing that is really challenging.
An interesting aside about the Killzone 3 trophies is that it’s the only game in two years of doing this that has been a finalist for best and worst trophy list simultaneously. If that isn’t an indicator of how divisive a trophy list this is, then I don’t know what to say. The Killzone 3 trophies are a foam coated version of Killzone 2’s. Not everyone liked it, but I don’t think anyone will dispute that it’s much easier and an expected choice here.
Winner: Killzone 3
Easiest Sports Platinum
If there’s one thing to say about Tiger Woods games and their trophies it’s that they’ve been so simplistic that you don’t need to know the difference between a bogey and a fairway to get the platinum. Even if you’ve never gone to the local miniature golf center, you’d have no trouble understanding what’s required to get the platinum (although, if you’re not into golf, what reason besides an easy platinum would have for picking up a golf game?), especially in Tigers Woods 11.
Wouldn’t you know it though, Tiger Woods 11 has trophies not relating to golf in any way. Take a survey and watch a video? Come on. It’s such a silly trophy list that I have to say thank you for not repeating the pattern with Tiger Woods 12. Having a proper golf trophy list is nice. There’s no way Tiger Woods 12 appears in this spot next year. Tiger Woods 11 though…you blew away the competition much like Rory McIlroy (+2 points for current golf reference…I think so).
Winner: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11
Easiest PSN 100%
Very few video game characters would be considered iconic. It’s a short list consisting of Mario, Sonic, Link, among many others. One of those others is Pac-Man. Sure he’s just a yellow circle that occasionally looks like a pie chart, but he’s instantly recognizable and his love of pellets and fruit is legendary. Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is what we’re talking about here. Anyone that has played the original knows how frustrating and addictive it can get. The addition of bombs and slowdowns cut the difficulty down to “100% in an evening” status.
Winner: Pac-Man Championship Edition DX
Easiest Overall Platinum
What more can we say about Megamind that we haven’t already covered? How about this…one of my friends trying to convince me to play it told me that he earned (although, that term is rather loose, the game is an assembly line of trophies) the platinum in about two hours. Those two hours included a break for dinner. That’s Megamind. Yep, that sounds like the Easiest Platinum of the year (possibly that we’ll ever see) to me. At some point, there will be a game that gives you a platinum trophy for just pushing X. Until that game comes along, we have Megamind (which isn’t terribly far off from that).
Most Time Consuming Individual Trophy
There really was only one choice for this category and that’s “Gold Standard” from Gran Turismo 5. From the moment you boot up the game and start working on the career mode, you’re working towards this trophy. Every gold medal from each racing series, license test and special event counts towards this one trophy. Unfortunately, it will also be the very last trophy that you unlock and considering that the platinum takes roughly 600 hours, good luck. Some events are easy and you’ll complete right away. Others are so brutally hard (hey, guess what else this trophy and game wins?) that you’ll need hundreds or more attempts just to get that gold medal. A dedication level that asks for months or even years of your life to reach 100% is required here…unless of course, you’re a machine and we have no reason to believe that some of our members aren’t.
Winner: “Gold Standard” – Gran Turismo 5
Hardest Individual Trophy
It’s déjà vu all over again. Guess what wins this? If you said “Gold Standard” from Gran Turismo 5, you’d be correct. Ok, we’ve gone over the time requirement (600+ hours). Let’s talk about the difficulty of getting a gold medal in each race, license test, and special event. Some license tests require nothing short of perfection. Others are practically impossible without the use of a racing wheel. Even if you manage to be perfect enough to get all 60 license events to gold, then you still have the race series and special events to contend with. It’s a brutal, brutal, unforgiving trophy that has left many a gamer weeping in despair.
Winner: “Gold Standard” – Gran Turismo 5
Hardest Action Platinum
One definition of the word “homage” is “something that shows respect or attests to the worth or influence of another”. Anyone that has played 3D Dot Game Heroes (and is probably above a certain age) will recognize that the game is littered with them. From the load screens that resemble classic video game box art (Castlevania, Final Fantasy, Punch Out, Street Fighter, and Ultima along with others) to the obvious inspiration taken from The Legend of Zelda and A Link to the Past, the game is a love letter to the classics of the 1980’s and early 1990’s.
Along that route, is the difficulty of 3DDGH. It’s not super, super hard, but it certainly doesn’t pull its punches. When a game has to be patched to make certain parts easier (such as those two dash circuits…and I got headache just thinking about them) that’s not a good sign at all. Missing one minor conversation before the first temple can prevent you from getting a special sword 20 hours later. And then there’s Spelunker mode (where you look strangely like Mario, minus the mushrooms, fireballs, and raccoon tails sadly) where one hit means death. This may look like a fun little easy kiddy game, but it’s far, far from it.
Winner: 3D Dot Game Heroes
Hardest Fighting Platinum
The fighting genre was essentially dead until Street Fighter IV came along. As expected, it was ridiculously hard. Thanks to those trials, a lot of people have stopped working on the platinum. Along comes Super Street Fighter IV. Guess what else comes back…those trials. The similar ridiculousness makes Super Street Fighter IV a no-brainer choice for the first selection in this category.
For us looking at the trophy list, the hardest part of the game is taking it seriously based on the trophy descriptions. The first time we read them, much laughter ensued. It’s the oddest set of descriptions in any list that we’ve ever seen and may ever see. It’s high comedy that lightens up a game that is Super hard (Get it? Right ok. Moving on then…).
Winner: Super Street Fighter IV
Hardest Racing Platinum
How much do we need to rehash about Gran Turismo 5? It’s tough, really tough. You’ll spend a chunk of your life working on the platinum. The most interesting part of the trophy list, you’re really only working on one trophy, “Gold Standard.” Aside from a few simple stragglers, all of the others come along the way. Unfortunately, “Gold Standard” is also our Most Time Consuming and Hardest Individual Trophy. 600+ hours and near perfection in many events (specifically the license tests) have resulted in many a flying Dualshock.
Honestly, this is the most obvious selection in this year’s awards. About 10 minutes after the poll was set up, it was over. Let’s put this into real numbers. Gran Turismo 5 had 126 votes. The next closest was ModNation Racers with 15. All others combined had 28. The only stunner here is that the vote was that close.
Winner: Gran Turismo 5
Hardest RPG Platinum
We here at PS3T Towers love Mass Effect. Some of us have been on the series from the start on Xbox. Others jumped in at Mass Effect’s debut on PS3. All of us agree on one thing Mass Effect-related though, Insanity is a challenge. The mission on the derelict ship brings back bad, bad memories for us. In fact, just thinking about it now is making me twitch. But at least keeping everyone alive is easy right? Oh, you didn’t feel like doing resource scanning. You don’t want to follow a spreadsheet or do some math and figure out what combination of companions will net you the trophy. Well then, your journey through the Omega 4 relay will be all puppies, sunshine and rainbows with a choir of angels singing.
Mass Effect 2 may not be the hardest in terms of time commitment, but it’s the most challenging in terms of difficulty. But…what a ride the game is though.
Winner: Mass Effect 2
Hardest Shooter Platinum
There should have never been a question here. Lost Planet 2 was the only real choice (although Vanquish and Dead Space 2 put up a good fight). Lost Planet could be the stupidest trophy list ever put together. Not only is it just a flat out grind but getting the platinum is like being beaten over the head repeatedly by a large snow shovel. If reaching level 99 once sounds bad, how about reaching level 99 not one, not two, not three, not four, but FIVE(!!!) times.
I picture the Lost Planet 2 development team cackling maniacally like hyenas on laughing gas when coming up with this list. The head of the team is sitting at the table muttering “excellent” like a Japanese Mr. Burns for every idea put forth. It’s a stupidly sadistic list that basically requires you to be among the best in the world to earn the platinum. If that was the intention of Capcom, then mission accomplished.
Winner: Lost Planet 2
Hardest Sports Platinum
A year ago, I ranted about Fight Night Round 4’s difficulty and online set up in this exact space. Guess what? This year, I get to rant about Fight Night Champion’s difficulty and online set up in this space. Amazing, isn’t it? Did EA Sports Canada not learn from last time? Hey, instead of making one belt for each weight class for the world to share, this time, we’ll make everything entirely skill dependent. Sounds peachy huh? At least it does until you realize that to reach level 60 online, you need to have a winning percentage matching the Harlem Globetrotters. Not just that, but a loss gets you minus experience points. Good lord, if you thought that Fight Night trophies can only get easier after Round 4, meet Fight Night Champion.
Winner: Fight Night Champion
Hardest PSN 100%
What happens you cross breed LittleBigPlanet and Excitebike? You get Joe Danger. If you played the game for a couple of hours, you may be thinking that this is a stupid, stupid choice for this award. If you played until you reached 100%, you might be nodding your head in agreement. Three words, Insert Disk 2. Ok, that’s two words and a number. Shoot me. The point is this, that level is effing hard. And since you need that level to get all of the stars in the game for 100%, well…let’s just say that the game has a difficulty spike that’s nearly exponential. There are other hard levels, but nothing like Insert Disk 2.
There were other hard games released on PSN and those deserve recognition as well. GundeadliGne (really, all of the Gundemonium Collection games), Hard Corps: Uprising, Marvel Pinball, and Qlione were also nominees. The vote was close, but Joe Danger ended up riding off to victory, no doubt in a silly helmet with a giant chin.
Winner: Joe Danger
Hardest Overall Platinum
At this point, is there anything left I can say about Gran Turismo 5? The time consuming-ness of Gold Standard? Check. The perfection required for Gold Standard? Check. The fact that it’s not only by far the hardest racing game of the year, but it also lapped the field multiple times? Check. Guess what, it’s damn hard!!! This shouldn’t even have a platinum trophy. It should be a diamond trophy since that’s the hardest material (at least well known material…I could have mentioned nanocrystalline diamond, but it just doesn’t roll off the tongue in the same way) out there. If you see anyone with this platinum trophy, shake their hands (or whatever the internet version is of that), because it’ll be an honor.
Winner: Gran Turismo 5
Game with the Most Glitched Trophies
We’re in year six of the achievement/trophy system. The fact that this category not only still exists, but has no shortage of nominees is stunning. Not only is there no shortage, but when the gaming franchise out there has trophy glitches, Houston, we have a problem. This year’s “winner” is Call of Duty: Black Ops. Aside from some random trophies not popping for people, some of the Veteran difficulty trophies don’t unlock properly either. The reason for this, of course it’s using cheat codes in an in-game terminal. Coincidentally, you need to use some codes in a terminal to play minigames that unlock other trophies (Zork and Dead Ops Arcade, for example). Facepalm worthy indeed. Considering that Modern Warfare 2 had to be patched for trophies to unlock properly and the trophy problems Black Ops had upon release, what are the chances we see Modern Warfare 3 in this space next year? Hmm…
Winner: Call of Duty: Black Ops
Worst Trophy Image
Of all the categories that we have, this one is by far my favorite. Some of the trophy images are truly hideous. The “winner” of this category usually recycles the same images again and again. This year, the award goes to UFC Undisputed 2010. Specifically, it goes to all of the bronze trophies. What is it? We’ve analyzed using the supercomputers we have in our bunker, but the best guess that it spits out is “Chocolate Tootsie Pop”. Perhaps it’s a candied apple. Perhaps it’s a bronze trophy resembling Charlie Brown. We really don’t know. What we do know is that the images suck, especially in comparison to the Xbox version which had unique images for each achievement. Dear Yuke’s and THQ, I realize that they’re called trophies, but you’re not supposed to take that literally.
Winner: All bronze trophies – UFC Undisputed 2010
Worst Platinum Trophy Image
Before reading this, take a second to compare the platinum trophy image from NCAA Football 10 to NCAA Football 11. I’ll wait. Back? Good. What did you notice? How about that it’s the exact same image with the 10 changed to an 11!!! Lazy trophy images are one thing. We roll our eyes when every image is the same or when every bronze is the same, every silver is the same, and so on. It’s not ideal at all and in all honesty, it’s pretty damn boring. But recycling the same image and changing one number to update it for that year? Come on. Trophies are three now. We expect a bit more creativity now. Reusing the same image won’t cut it. NCAA Football 12 comes in a few weeks. We’re watching.
Winner: NCAA Football 11
Worst Trophy List
At last, we come to the worst of the worst. What may be the worst list ever is Lost Planet 2. We anticipated that it would be the choice here since the full list was revealed. Amazingly, Lost Planet was given a good run by DC Universe Online which has an extremely disappointing lack of creativity. It’s an MMORPG with some of the most iconic characters in comic books, and the best Sony Online Entertainment could come up with is rank up to 30 six times and have different mentors? Please.
Despite the stunning unoriginality in the competition, Lost Planet 2 pulled away in the end. The reasons are numerous. Play 300 chapters (by the way, there are 21 in the game…holy unnecessary replays Batman!!). Rank up to level 99 with each of the five factions. Unlock every item. Play 500 online matches. On top of that, the list is 80% secret as if to say, “You really don’t want to know what they are.” It’s a list that makes you assume it’s a bad joke until you pop the game in. Worst trophy list of 2011, yes. Worst trophy list ever, perhaps. We’ve been stunned before though.
Winner: Lost Planet 2
Most Original Trophy
We all love unique trophies. They break the monotony of story related and collection trophies. And let’s face it, going out of the way to do something completely random is fun. Despite having some worthy contenders for originality, one stood out from the rest. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood’s “Spring Cleaning” (kill a guard with a broom), Dead Space: Extraction’s “Taking Your Time McNeil?” (checking out Lexine’s butt as she bends over…how this didn’t win is beyond me), LittleBigPlanet 2’s “Just…One…More…Go” (play after 9 PM), and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II’s “Poor Bob” (brutalize a poor stormtrooper in every way possible) were no match for Red Dead Redemption’s “Dastardly” (hogtie a woman to railroad tracks and watch a train hit her).
The classic western villain in silent movies in the early 20th century would always do something similar. The damsel in distress was kidnapped and tied to railroad tracks. In every instance, the hero would always rescue her just in time. It’s the classic scene done hundreds of times in films and TV. How could Rockstar resist the opportunity to add a trophy for that in their own western game? Of course they couldn’t. It came with a twist though. No rescuing allowed. Kudos to Rockstar for the addition of this to Red Dead Redemption’s trophy list.
Winner: “Dastardly” – Red Dead Redemption
Best DLC for Trophies
What an amazing year for DLC 2010 and the early part of 2011 has been. From Vietnam in Bad Company 2 to Bioshock 2’s Minerva’s Den to Dragon Age: Origins steady stream of new adventures, so much of it can only be classified as spectacular. What may be the best set of DLC trophies that we’ve seen though is Red Dead Redemption’s Undead Nightmare. Ignoring the wonderful twist on the zombie games by placing the grunting hordes in a western and the substantial single player content, let’s just focus on the trophies themselves. “Find and break a unicorn”. “Find and kill a chupacabra”. “Find and kill a sasquatch”. Add in the finding and breaking of the Four Horses of the Apocalypse as part of the challenges. All I have to say is bravo Rockstar. Bravo.
Winner: Undead Nightmare – Red Dead Redemption
Best Trophy Image
Occasionally, we’ll come across a trophy image in a game that makes us laugh or even just say “wow, that’s a cool pic”. Despite looking over every trophy list at some point, I’m usually amazed by some of the images that are nominated here. When you get a trophy image that references an internet meme, magic ensues. If you don’t know what Rage Guy is, google it. It’ll make the selection here funnier. “Armed and Dangerous” from Bulletstorm is the choice. Despite some other great images being nominated, the reference to Rage Guy (especially when put into context of what you do to unlock it in the game…no spoilers, search for it on Youtube if you’re curious) puts this one over the top.
Winner: “Armed and Dangerous” – Bulletstorm
Best Platinum Trophy Title
We sincerely hope that this category is a one off. We chose to go with it as a response to all of the developers who take the lazy way out when it comes to what to name the platinum trophy. It’s far too often for our liking that we see “Platinum Trophy”, “Platinum”, or “100% Complete” as the name of that last trophy that so many people work to get. Most trophy lists have around 50 trophies. All but one have unique names with many being creative. I get that the Xbox doesn’t have an achievement like that, but is it that difficult to take that one extra step and name it something a bit more distinguishing? I mean, has there ever been a bronze trophy called “Bronze Trophy”? Of course not. That would just be silly. We’d love to bounce this category next year, but after seeing the early batch of eligible games for next (Mortal Kombat, Portal 2, and LA Noire for example), we’ll be back here making the same statement. /rant
Now that we’re through that, let’s get to the winner here. Medal of Honor: Frontline was a bonus in the PS3 edition of the game. That it ended up having one of the better titles is even better. “What Do You Want, a Medal?” sums up the feeling after getting some platinums. This category is a welcome addition to the Trophy Awards, even if it’s on year-to-year status.
Winner: “What Do You Want, a Medal?” – Medal of Honor: Frontline
Best Platinum Trophy Image
There are few things in gaming much like the sense of accomplishment of unlocking a platinum trophy (unless of course that platinum trophy is for something like Megamind, then it’s just a sense of relief). Fortunately, many developers understand the feeling and reward players with a great final image (unlike some other games we can mention). While Red Dead Redemption’s platinum trophy resembles a Monopoly piece, it’s the choice of the members and a fine one at that.
Winner: Red Dead Redemption
Best Trophy List
And we finally reach our signature category. This is what the site is all about, trophy lists. Some are spectacular. Others are doorknob dull. What do we look for in a good trophy list? Originality, a good mix of single player and multiplayer and a good mix of difficult, easy, and time consuming trophies. It’s all about balance. So, before getting to the top three nominees we have to mention the two that didn’t quite make the cut. The bewildering selection of Fallout: New Vegas and the divisive Killzone 3 fell just short of the top three. New Vegas had too many grinding trophies to 10,000 points and Killzone was such a massive step down in terms of difficulty from Killzone 2. Both were easy to side step in favor of the final three.
As with the first LittleBigPlanet, the list is varied and mostly original. With the sequel, Media Molecule put a much higher emphasis on community. There’s no new version of “Create”. Instead, the majority of the community trophies are based on the number of plays of levels and votes. None of that is exceptionally bad. Depending on the levels that you end up playing and the people you play with, it can be quite fun. Of course, once you get to “1440 Minutes of Create”, that’s when the game screeches to a halt. 24 active hours in create mode. Guess what? It’s not fun. Unless you have a turbo controller, you’re going to be doing a whole lot of jumping in an empty level. The focus on the LBP community is great, but that one trophy kills the list for us.
Mass Effect 2
Bioware’s signature franchise finally debuted on PS3 in early 2011. The trophies (mostly) made the trip over. It’s what you expect from a Bioware trophy list. Exploring every different feature of the game, romancing a companion, upgrading equipment through exploration, and a mass of story related trophies. As Bioware has done with recent games, there’s a trophy for multiple playthroughs as well. Where Mass Effect 2 on PS3 loses us a bit is the exclusion of some of the DLC trophies that were on Xbox. The PS3 version is four trophies short (“Detail Oriented,” “Most Dangerous Game,” “The Hard Way,” and “Catching Up” are all sadly absent). Despite the great list, Mass Effect 2 loses points for the exclusion.
Red Dead Redemption
Rockstar scores with another fantastic list that we’ve come to expect from them. They include the random trophies like the aforementioned “Dastardly” and the skinning of 18 bears along with mini games like poker, Liar’s Dice and horseshoes. Exploration is encouraged. There’s even a reference to O.J. Simpson. And of course, there are the obligatory kills trophies. This time though, there’s a twist. In addition to killing humans, you’re killing one of each animal as well. While the multiplayer trophies are a bit much, they’re all fairly easy to take care of. At least the multiplayer was fun. The slightly heavy emphasis on multiplayer makes Red Dead Redemption lose a few points, in our eyes.
So, which game did our members choose as this year’s Best Trophy List? The vote wasn’t even close. Red Dead Redemption gets the nod here. The list is wonderfully varied and more importantly, fun to complete. Even the online didn’t seem like such a chore when you’re tackling hideouts with friends. The DLC has expanded the list to a ridiculous 91 trophies and none of those have been so over the top or difficult to complete. Whether you’re talking about the full list or just the original core set, Red Dead Redemption is a worthy winner here.
Winner: Red Dead Redemption
Upcoming Game with the Most Potential for Trophies
We close this year’s Trophy Awards with a look ahead at one game that we feel will have a great trophy list (at least we hope it will). Anyone that has played the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion on Xbox and gotten all of the achievements will know what a dull list looks like. Let me sum up the list for you, complete the game, complete the guilds, complete the arena, complete the Shivering Isles. No exploration. No items. No shutting down Oblivion gates (other than story related ones). Nothing outside of those strict lines. Between the release of Oblivion and Fallout 3, Bethesda learned how to make a great list. Fallout 3 was our first winner for Best Trophy List and the list was so great that it propelled Fallout: New Vegas to last years choice in this category (boy were we wrong). Skyrim should hopefully be less formulaic than its predecessor. Here’s hoping Bethesda’s development team is up to the task.
Winner: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Phew…thank god these are only once a year. My head hurts and I’m cross eyed now. Thank you to everyone that participated through nominations and voting. Hopefully you enjoyed reading through this more than I enjoyed writing it (which is quite a lot, by the way). Be sure to enter the site’s birthday giveaway. We’re giving away three games, one each to three different members. Which games you ask? That’s up to them. It’s whatever they want. Good luck to those who enter and we’ll see you next year at this time for 2012 edition of the Trophy Awards!!