PS3T's Fourth Annual Trophy Awards 2012-2013 - The Best and Worst of Trophies of 2012
Written Sunday, June 30, 2013 By PS3T Staff
Five years. It's hard to believe that we've been here for that much time. It's been a wonderfully wild ride over the last half decade. Thank you to our amazing members and staff for a spectacular first five years and here's to even better next five.
Part of our yearly birthday celebration is the Trophy Awards. Each year, we take a look at the best, worst, easiest, and hardest from the previous year's trophies. We have the full year of trophies from 2012 to pick from. Yep, there are some appearances from some Vita games.
We've had a lot of fun writing this post (probably too much fun in some cases). It's time to get on to the awards. Enjoy everyone!!
Better Than Bronze Award
Every year, there’s always something that makes a PS3T staff member say “we have to remember this for next year’s trophy awards.” We already have a front runner for next year’s glitched trophy (thanks Naughty Dog!), but last year, everyone was talking about Twisted Metal’s All Sales Are Final trophy. This brutal trophy for winning an online match every day for a month would be inconvenient enough, but just like the wishes Calypso grants, there’s a catch: you can barely get into a game every day, let alone win. Despite David Jaffe and company’s best efforts, connecting to an online game is hit-or-miss at best, impossible at worst. For the lucky few that manage to connect to games with some consistency, there are reported instances of the trophy not unlocking. And even without all the technical issues, you still have to endure the barren wasteland that is the Twisted Metal community and win a match every single day for 30 days. This probably wasn’t what you had in mind when you picked the game up, but then, they did warn you right in the trophy name.
Easiest Individual Trophy
You can’t help but love trophies that require zero effort. What’s that? You can because they’re totally pointless and require zero effort to get. Trophies like that seem to be popping up more and more in games. Two of our nominees are essentially that. “Nepgear! Engage!” from Hyperdimension Neptunia mk.2 asks you to just start a new game and “Lost Kat” from Gravity Rush requires you to just walk forward a few steps. As stupidly easy as those are, we’re going in another direction. In Lollipop Chainsaw, what did pretty much everyone do as soon as they could? Yep, that specific, slight adjustment of the camera to get a look at Juliet's lollipop. Lollipop Chainsaw’s “I Swear! I Did It By Mistake!” takes the award here. Sure it requires slightly more effort than the others, but we all know that you got that trophy immediately.
Easiest Action/Adventure Platinum
Each year, some categories are complete no-brainers and are easy to choose the winners. Despite plenty of worthy choices in this category that could have won in any other year (like Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy and Prototype 2), The Walking Dead is the easy choice. Jak has the annoying orbs to go along with the other collectibles and some really, sometimes frustrating platforming. Prototype 2 is the bizarro version of the original Prototype’s trophy list. The most that it asks you to complete the game on Hard and acquire all of the upgrades. Prototype 2's hard is a nerf bat in comparison to Prototype 1's sledgehammer. As unchallenging as both of those sound, The Walking Dead is joke by comparison. The trophies are all guaranteed, as long as you complete all five episodes. It’s hard to get much easier than that.
Easiest Fighting Platinum
There was never any question with this one. The vote was overwhelming in favor of one game. As easy as other fighting games like Tekken Tag Tournament 2 are, there wasn’t much that can compare to Playstation All Stars Battle Royale. Yeah, you need play the Arcade mode with all 20 or so characters. Let’s be honest though, who didn’t want to play as Toro or multiple Coles or Spike or Raiden instead of Solid Snake? It’s kind of an unhappy grind, but it’s a better grind than the one to become a Tekken Lord or blast through both games in the DBZ Collection. And yes, there is an online trophy that isn’t fun (winning without dying), but the entire list is extremely easy without much, if any, challenge. Despite it being a fighting game, it’s a relatively relaxing platinum that doesn’t involve much struggle.
Easiest Racing Platinum
Sometimes, it’s hard to distinguish between two games. They difficulty and style of trophies are roughly the same. The online portions are about equal in difficulty. One game has a grind while another has several collectible trophies. This year, that comparison is between Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Dirt Showdown. With two games that are this close in all factors, there has to be one deciding point. In this case, Dirt Showdown has several glitched trophies. Most Wanted does not. Despite the similarities between how long it usually takes to earn the platinum in either game as well as the difficulty involved, the lack trophy glitches in Need for Speed: Most Wanted makes it the easy choice here.
Easiest RPG Platinum
Role playing games are funny little things. Some platinum trophies can take hundreds of hours to earn and provide very little challenge (the Skyrim route). Others can be much shorter but be very hard (the Demon’s Souls route). Still others can be like Star Ocean and make you want to beat your head against a wall with it’s gloriously insane combination of both. For this award, we’re going with the niche RPG Hyperdimension Neptunia mk. 2. You may be asking yourselves “Why this game?” (of course, that’s after asking, “What is this game?”) Well, it takes much less time when compared to the other nominees, Dragon’s Dogma and Mass Effect 3. The bosses are much easier than both and there’s no optional online or long grind like in Mass Effect 3. Chances are that you haven’t played this game, so take our word for it, it’s a pretty damn easy RPG.
Easiest Shooter Platinum
The three top nominees for Easiest Shooter are all here for different reasons. Resistance: Burning Skies is genuinely easy and a very short game. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a collection of fairly easy trophies that can all be done against bots. It’s pretty ridiculous for an online shooter and a polishing of one of the best shooters to ever be on PC. Killzone’s HD is longer, but the whole thing can be played with cheat codes like one shot kills. How do you distinguish between them? Well, Killzone requires you to play on Hard and to basically play through the game four times, the other two don’t. Counter-Strike is also only available on North America (for some unknown, probably stupid, reason). That leaves us with Resistance. There’s nothing challenging (other than conflicting thoughts about whether or not to buy the online pass for a trophy that will take all of several seconds). There’s really not much of a grind, save for one trophy. Everything is unlocked pretty naturally. One silly online trophy, one grinding trophy, and the rest unlocked as you go is a pretty tough combination to beat.
Easiest Sports Platinum
What a difference a year makes. Last year, Madden finally got this award after it’s third consecutive stupidly easy trophy list. This year, Madden NFL 13 went the other way and is up for Hardest Sports Platinum. Either the Pro Evolution Soccer or Cabela’s franchise can finally break through right? Not so fast because the Vita version of Madden NFL 13 follows the pattern from the previous Madden games. The PS3 version went in a direction to make it harder. Thankfully, the Vita trophies were somehow made easier than past versions. With only one or two slightly tricky trophy, the platinum can be earned in a few hours with some planning. For another year, this is Madden’s category.
Easiest PSN 100%
Every year, there are a handful of PSN games that can be completed in about an hour or two. As it usually happens, those games are released by Sega. Virtua Fighter 4: Final Showdown and The Unfinished Swan are two of those from last year. Unfortunately, neither can hold a candle to the winner of this category. No matter which you look at things, a 30 minute (at most, with bathroom and meal breaks) game beats anything that takes over an hour. Every PSN game is hard compared to Sonic the Fighters. Completing the game and doing a few random things in matches is all that you’re asked to do. Even without trying to get trophies, anyone can do this pretty quickly. The only way it can be any faster is if Sonic himself played for everyone.
Easiest Vita 100%
As I sit down to write this, one question comes to mind, which will take longer, reading this or getting 100% in our winner, Aabs Animals? Nothing else even comes close to being as easy as this game, and we use the word “game” very loosely here. First, let's introduce Aabs Animals since 99.999999% of our readers have never heard of it. You know those cards in the Vita box that you almost threw away? Yeah, it needs those. It's an Augmented Reality game. Except instead of playing with lasers or tanks or something similarly awesome, you're playing with a cat. It's not like you're dangling a string for it either. It's like the T-Rex demo from the PS1, but with a kitten and no awesome music.
Everything about this game is a joke from the five trophies to the requirements to get all of those trophies. To get all five trophies, you have to play for a grand total of 315 seconds. Five minutes and 15 seconds, that’s all. What a pointless game. Five minutes and 15 seconds of using your finger on a cat. Umm…rubbing a kitty? Fingering a puss-...all of this sounds so wrong. How did we get here? I blame Japan. Whatever, let’s just move on.
Easiest Vita Platinum
When the Vita was announced, it was a trophy hunter’s dream. Trophies on the go. Trophies while on the bus, in traffic (we don’t advise that), in class (we don’t advise that either), or on the toilet (that’s your business) became a reality. What was more surprising were the number of easy trophy lists. Three LEGO games, Zero Escape, Madden, and Resistance were all games that provided very little challenge. With the number of potential winners available, picking a winner was hard, but we’re going with Resistance: Burning Skies. Not only was it a joke compared to the average difficulty of Resistance 3, but the game is short enough to complete in an evening. Let’s put it this way, the only thing that could prevent you from completing Resistance: Burning Skies in one sitting is the Vita’s battery life.
Easiest Overall Platinum
This category is usually dominated by those that take no effort or time to earn that platinum trophy. That doesn’t change this year with the voting coming down to The Walking Dead, Wonderbook: Book of Spells, and Toy Story Mania. All three of those games don’t take much and go very quickly. Despite Wonderbook and Toy Story Mania being shorter games, we’re going with The Walking Dead. As easy as those other two games are, there’s the potential of having to go back for trophies. With The Walking Dead, you can switch off trophy notifications (an actual option now), play all five episodes, and earn the platinum. You can’t say the same thing for the other games that were nominated.
Most Time Consuming Trophy
This is a perfect example of how sometimes it’s not a good idea to port PS3 games over to the Vita. Sure it meant getting the opportunity to take a great fighting game with you wherever you want, but for trophy hunters, it meant something far more sinister. The PS3 version of this trophy won this award last year, and yet Netherrealm wasn’t satisfied with that achievement, tweaking the requirements to include the 4 DLC characters in the Vita version, giving us 768 hours of playing in order to master every character. That doesn’t even take into consideration the fact that without a second Vita and game, there’s no doubling up on characters to cut the time in half, like in the console version. I would say it’s like reliving a nightmare, but it’s more like describing a nightmare where all your teeth fall out for no reason, but while you’re talking they really fall out, and then the teeth of the person you’ve been talking to fall out and they get all mixed up on the floor together. Just awful.
Hardest Individual Trophy
Rockstar has made some amazing games, but boy are they monsters when it comes to trophies. They earned this reputation with GTA IV’s Wanted trophy, but with The Shadows Rushed Me, they managed to outdo themselves, along with every other trophy this year. The competition this year wasn’t exactly thin; Persona 4 Arena managed to walk away with two awards this year, thanks to its challenge and score mode trophies, but neither came close to Rockstar’s monstrosity. The Shadows Rushed Me is the ultimate in masochistic gaming. The game on its own is overwhelmingly difficult; Max has the endurance of an anemic pre-teen, and much of the gameplay is the equivalent of trying to sink a putt in the middle of a tornado.
The Shadows Rushed Me takes that a step further, and requires you to complete the game in a single sitting. What’s that you say? Dead Space 2 had a similar trophy? Max Payne 3 doesn’t give you the luxury of three, or any, saves. I’m sorry, you’re still talking? You can just take your time and pick enemies off one by one? I guess I forgot to mention that you’re being timed. Without even considering the numerous instant kill sections in the game or the fact that several instances of the game freezing have been reported, you can see where I’m coming from. Needless to say, after pulling a stunt like this, it’s understandable why someone would be a little concerned about the trophy list for a certain upcoming Rockstar game.
Hardest Action/Adventure Platinum
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 was part of the cruelty-porn genre of games, famously known for their difficulty as much as anything else. When it came time to try to top themselves with a sequel, the winner of this year’s Hardest Action/Adventure Platinum award, the developers made the interesting decision to just suck the fun out of the game and substitute it with even more frustration.
The game itself may not be as traditionally difficult as its predecessor, but the endless waves of enemies are still there, as are the instant grab kills, only now with more glitches and fewer weapons (unless you’re willing to pay extra). Even the most hardcore Ninja Gaiden fanatics, the kind that turns their nose up at Rachel spins and Izuna drops, will have a tough road ahead of them for the platinum. If you’re new to the series, take the disc out of its case, hold it in your hands and snap it in half. If nothing else, you’ve saved yourself the cost of a new controller and a bottle of Aspirin.
Hardest Fighting Platinum
Two games stood out in the hardest fighting platinum this year, but as they say in Highlander, there can only be one, and Persona 4 Arena came out on top, thanks to its nightmarish requirements. Dead or Alive 5 may have come up short, but any other year it would have run away with this award. DOA’s Survival Mode requires several trips through a 100 opponent gauntlet, and don’t think the game lets you play through on an easy difficulty. You’re probably asking yourself how Persona 4 Arena manages to top that, and the answer shouldn’t surprise you if you’re familiar with fighting games.
Not only does P4A match DOA’s Survival Mode with its own ultra-hard Score Attack, but it also made sure to include a challenge mode, something noticeably (and perhaps thankfully) absent in DOA 5. Persona doesn’t offer any kind of leeway with their trials like other games either, you’ll need to complete every single one for all thirteen characters in order to platinum the game. Considering how high Persona 4 Arena set the bar, it’s a safe bet that the hardest fighting game next year will require a black belt.
Hardest Racing Platinum
This year, the racing game selection wasn’t exactly a full…track…I tried to think of a racing reference and came up with nothing…anyway, there wasn’t a whole hell of a lot to choose from for this award, but two games managed to pull away from the pack. There we go, good reference. Our runner up this year is Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, a game that is so shockingly difficult compared to the original Sonic & All-Stars Racing, it likely left many gamers looking for a quick, weekend platinum staring at their controllers in disbelief.
I don’t know if Jack Tretton said something mean about Big the Cat or what happened, but Sonic ended his relationship with Sony (at least for now) by basically losing his mind and ramping up the difficulty on everything from the challenges to just winning basic races. Sonic came close to taking this award, but Dyad just barely pulled ahead to win with its bizarre gameplay and often luck based trophies. The game is as much a traditional racing game as Child of Eden is a traditional shooter. Dyad takes all of your Gran Turismo and Need for Speed experience and rave dances all over it. If you ever watched one of those music visualizers and thought, “this would be a great idea for a racing game,” you’re probably one of the people who made Dyad, in which case congratulations.
Hardest RPG Platinum
The Hardest RPG Platinum award is usually one that asks the age old question, “does time to platinum equal difficulty?” This year is no exception, and this year’s winner may be a controversial one for some. With a few notable exceptions, RPGs aren’t usually all that difficult from a gameplay perspective. Mass Effect 3’s Insanity mode was by no means a cake walk, but with the right character build and enough patience, anyone with a basic understanding of shooters should be ok. The only thing Mugen Souls asks of its players is a time commitment that rivals the average community service sentence.
Like Star Ocean 4 before it, Mugen Souls requires anywhere between 300 and 400 hours to platinum, an exercise in tedium that will no doubt leave you questioning not only your taste in games, but your place in the universe as well. For those of you who voted for Mass Effect 3, know that the platinum difficulty threads are in agreement with you; a hard game should be considered the hardest, not the longest. When you can learn Rosetta Stone Spanish in the same amount of time it takes you to platinum a game, however, you just have to throw your hands up and admit defeat.
Hardest Shooter Platinum
It was a very good year for hard shooting games, which of course means that it was a very bad year for the people trying to platinum them. Many games were considered, but it was really a two horse race when it came to determining the hardest. Doom 3: BFG Edition was a close second place, thanks to the game’s Nightmare difficulty setting. The only thing that stopped it from winning the award is the game’s generous save feature, making the playthrough largely an exercise in trial and error. More like trial and terror, am I right? No seriously, this game is pant-crappingly scary.
If you’re trying to platinum the hardest shooter of the year, you’re going to have a bad time, so it’s only fitting that the game features the king of having a bad time, Max Payne. Max Payne 3 features the now award-winning New York Minute Hardcore mode, but in addition to that, the platinum requires four other playthroughs, at least one even harder than NYMH in terms of gameplay difficulty, and an unbearably long grind through Rockstar’s least enjoyable online mode to date. Yes, even worse than GTA IV. I know, I didn’t think it was possible either, but there you go.
Hardest Sports Platinum
Recently, Consumerist Magazine named EA the worst company in the world for the second year in a row. It may be a coincidence that the trophy lists for each of their major sports games this year were impossibly hard, or there could be a direct correlation. I don’t know, I’m not a scientist. In any event, there was plenty to choose from when it came to nominations for the hardest sports platinum. Madden, a franchise whose easy trophy lists were as reliable as the setting sun, surprised everyone with a much longer, much harder platinum. NHL 13, on the other hand, surprised absolutely no one by remaining nearly impossible to platinum, thanks in large part to a long list of unreasonable online trophies.
FIFA 13 barely edged out the award this year, almost entirely because of one luck based trophy. EA perfectly replicated the experience of buying packs of trading cards, including the soul crushing misery that goes along with getting a pack of nothing but doubles. For some people, getting specific cards meant spending countless hours earning coins and buying packs, praying for the last couple of rare cards to finally turn up. Of course, because it’s luck based, there are no doubt a few members of the site who had no trouble earning the In Form trophy, and don’t understand the fuss. If you’re one of them, you might want to keep it to yourself, lest you incur the wrath of an angry soccer mob. I hear they have grenades now, so start running.
Hardest PSN 100%
What do you get when you combine a bullet hell game with a rhythm game? Aside from the overwhelming feeling that you’ve gone back in time, you get this year’s hardest PSN 100%. This year’s nominees were an eclectic group, to say the least. Knytt Underground, one of the runners up, is difficult in the same way going grocery shopping while overdosing on LSD would be difficult. Please don’t interpret that as an endorsement for Knytt Underground, because it isn’t. Retro City Rampage also earned its fair share of nominations, due largely in part to a small section of the game that pays homage to Smash TV, which is ironic because I just about did exactly that while playing the game.
Retro/Grade managed to beat out both games by combining two famously difficult genres. Any level on the game’s hardest setting will require skills you probably either forgot about after Guitar Hero II, or never bothered to develop. The game has the added bonus of giving players the option of using a traditional controller or a guitar, a choice that’s like picking which side of your face you want to have smashed in. There really is no right answer, and both will be very painful.
Hardest Vita 100%
This is the first year that Vita games have been included in the trophy awards, and this award in particular was a representation of some of the issues with the fledgling system. The category consisted largely of ports, a few glorified tech demos and a couple original, very difficult games. The runner up this year was Escape Plan, a quirky puzzle designed to show off the Vita’s fancy features. The game’s difficulty was mainly the result of said fancy features not working the way they were supposed to, making small, precise movements harder than they needed to be.
Sine Mora’s difficulty is much more traditional, in the sense that when you die over and over again, you’ll have nothing to blame except your own stupid, clumsy hands. Sine Mora is an old school bullet hell shoot-em-up featuring a countdown clock instead of a health bar. Bullet hell games are already pretty reliable for causing panic attacks, but adding a timer is like turning open heart surgery into a relay race.
Hardest Vita Platinum
I feel like we can just post the award winner and leave it at that, because we all know what’s involved. Remember the Ninja Gaiden series? The one that just won Hardest Action/Adventure Platinum? They made a Vita game too! It’s the same thing but smaller, like if Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 had a younger brother, and everyone knew what it was capable of, but girls thought it was cute and that gave it a weird complex so it went around picking fights with other games.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus is a full game in every sense of the word. The trials, the unreasonable difficulty, the countless required playthroughs, its all here on a much smaller screen. The only people who have any hope of earning this platinum are the people who sit around arguing about hitboxes and full juggle combos and which of Rachel’s hairstyles is the best, and honestly, who wants to go down that road (no offense to those of you who already have)? It should come as no surprise that this is the hardest platinum in the history of the Vita to date, and it should come as even less surprise if it’s still the benchmark a year from now.
Hardest Overall Platinum
There are a few genres of games that require a specific skillset in order to truly master, a skillset that some people simply don’t have. Music games like Guitar Hero (remember them) are one, and fighting games are another. Fighting games are typically designed to allow just about anyone to pick up a controller and fumble through the basics, but learning the finer points of any fighter involves coordination and timing that some people simply don’t have. That was basically the deciding factor when choosing a winner this year; Metal Gear Solid 4 and Max Payne 3 are undoubtedly difficult platinums, but Persona 4 Arena, for a lot of people, is borderline unobtainable.
The two runners up this year are only slightly more manageable than P4A, mainly due to the repetitive nature of both platinums. Max Payne 3 and MGS4 both require four or five playthroughs each, allowing the player to familiarize themselves with enemy and weapon locations, boss strategies, and there’s the added ability of watching a playthrough video and following along at home. Persona 4 Arena has none of those benefits. You can watch a Youtube clip of someone playing the game as much as you want, but when it comes time to tackle 100 elite opponents in a row, you’re on your own. A quick glance at P4A’s forum shows that even the most gifted fighting gamers have fallen at this game’s feet. Basically, unless you’re the autistic kid from The Wizard, you’re in for a long, agonizing platinum.
Game With the Most Glitched Trophies
I think we’re at a point now where we can just rename this award the “Ubisoft Tester Memorial Award,” because it’s safe to say their entire QA department was wiped out in some kind of calamity years ago, and they just forgot to make an announcement. Assassin’s Creed 3 blew every other glitchy game out of the water this year, and rightfully so. The game was a mess when it was first released, filled with bugs that made both completing the game and earning specific trophies like Head in the Cloud impossible. A handful of patches were released in the hopes of fixing all the problems (spoilers, they didn’t), but the damage was done at that point and Assassin’s Creed’s embarrassing legacy of glitches continued. At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me if the glitches in the Animus you see throughout the series were an accident and they just decided to go with it.
Worst Individual Trophy Image
Alright, I’ve been told the winning trophy for worst image is really bad this year, and as soon as the image loads, I’m ready to discuss it. I guess my internet connection is really…
I’m just getting word that the image has, in fact, loaded.
It’s a white square. Oh boy. Considering Dyad is basically an epilepsy simulator, it seems odd, to say the least, that they just wouldn’t bother to come up with something. What are they saying with this? That playing the game will fry your rods and/or cones to the point that you’ll only see empty nothingness? Is that what happened to the developers? Is this a Ringu type scenario? Now is as good a time as any to point out that Just Take a Pinch was one of two blank white trophies nominated this year. This is why people don’t feel bad when game developers go out of business.
Worst Platinum Trophy Image
Telltale Games, we need to talk. Let me just start by saying all of your games have been absolutely amazing. Alright, maybe not Jurassic Park, but even the Beatles had a few crappy songs. Some people hated the trophy list for The Walking Dead, but just as many people loved it, myself included, and as with the rest of the game, it got people talking about what makes a trophy list great, which was cool. If it had been up to me, The Walking Dead would have won Game of the Year last year…but that platinum image. I know trophy hunters make up a small percentage of your sales, and it may seem like a silly thing to you guys, but it’s kind of a big deal to us, and you guys blew it.
Just to put it into perspective, you beat out an EA NCAA game. They use the EA logo as their platinum image. It’s a picture of the worst company in the world, two years running, and people are forced to look at it as a reward. They lost to you. THAT SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN. The trophies for The Walking Dead looked great, and you had no shortage of amazing moments to commemorate as a platinum image. Just ask one of your artists to stay late for an extra ten minutes and bang something, anything, out. Please, Telltale, 400 Days is coming out soon and then it’s Season 2. Step your game up.
Worst Trophy List
The Call of Duty series has always been pretty reliable when it comes to certain things: annual installments, the kind of “high octane” hilarity that would make Michael Bay jealous, and most relevantly, a straightforward platinum. Sure, some CODs are harder than others, and the last couple had dabbled in new modes, but for the most part, they saved the really tricky trophies for DLC. And then Black Ops II had to come along and screw everything up. Every aspect of the game was unnecessarily drawn out or complicated thanks to the game’s trophy list: the campaign is filled with choices that need to be made twice, which kind of defeats the purpose of giving choices in the first place, not to mention the 160 agonizing challenges that are broken up throughout each chapter.
The online multiplayer trophies are the real kicker, featuring zombie trophies with cute little descriptions that give you no sense of what you’re supposed to do, and the cherry on top of all that is a prestige trophy, so if you thought you were going to have the game on its way back to Gamefly by the end of the weekend, think again. Overall, this isn’t a terrible list so much as it is a terrible Call of Duty list. People expect certain things from the series, and if they wanted to try to extend the life of Black Ops II, there were better ways to do it.
Most Original Trophy
If there’s one thing we can say about Hideo Kojima’s games with absolute certainty, it’s that at some point during the story, someone is going to touch a penis. Kojima has cemented his reputation as being equal parts creative genius and creep monster over the years, with countless examples of perversion found in every Metal Gear Solid game. More than one Metal Gear trophy was nominated last year after the release of the HD Collection, and Metal Gear Solid 2 won with a trophy that unlocked after Snake sufficiently polished his rifle (he happened to be doing this while his forehead was pressed against a grainy poster of a girl). This year he cut through all the boring metaphors and just gave us a trophy for snapping the dick off of a statue.
I don’t know if he was marathoning the Naked Gun movies when he came up with the trophy list, or if he’s secretly a 17 year old boy that just looks…like a 17 year old boy, but one thing is for sure; he thinks this shit is hilarious. On the other hand, it could be that after years of being begged for a Metal Gear Solid 4 trophy list, this was his way of indicting the trophy system and our obsession little digital pictures, and we all just got trolled into touching a statue’s junk. In that case, well played, sir.
Best Use of the Move Controller
At E3 2012, everyone had a reaction to the announcement of Wonderbook. It usually varied between scoffing and laughing. Somehow, the first game using the Wonderbook accessory, Book of Spells, won this over Okami HD, Sports Champions 2, and Sorcery. We don’t quite understand how that happened. Maybe it’s because it’s an easy platinum. Who knows. You see, we tried to play Wonderbook. That lasted about 20 minutes before we hated gaming. Wonderbook may eventually have some great games, but we’re at a loss here. Anyway, yay Wonderbook!!
Best DLC for Trophies
You know why we don’t have a category called Worst DLC for Trophies? Because a Bioware game would win every year. They’re stingy bastards with their DLC trophies.
Anyway, as it turns out, Mass Effect 3 does make an appearance in this year’s nominees. However, despite being a great DLC (and it really is pretty spectacular, one of the best in the Mass Effect saga), the lower number of trophies couldn’t win it this award. Also being nominated, and really deserving a special mention, is Sound Shapes’ various Beat School levels. Since you can complete each DLC while cooking a Hot Pocket (provided that you have the solutions), it may be great for trophies, but it’s also pointless in it’s ease. Damn it, we need a middle ground here. Fortunately, Batman: Arkham City’s Harley Quinn’s Revenge provides that. Not only is it a great story, but it has really good trophies. It’s the perfect combination to take this award.
Best Individual Trophy Image
This is always a fun category. It’s great to see what the community comes up with. There are so many creative images, narrowing it down and pulling out a handful to vote on is tough enough. Before we get to the nominees, we should give a special shout out to Gravity Rush and what they did for their DLC images. Each DLC is basically one large image split over seven smaller images. It looks really cool. Not cool enough to actually get me to play the game, but pretty cool nonetheless.
Now, it’s time to get on to the images that were actually eligible since it’s just one image. This year’s top three are Hitman: Abolsution’s Gustavo Fring-esque “True Form,” LEGO The Lord of the Rings LEGO Sean Bean in “One does not simply…,” and Lollipop Chainsaw’s Juliet pulling down her skirt to cover up what she can in “I Swear! I Did It By Mistake!” If you know our members like we know them, then you can probably guess the winner. Of course it’s Lollipop Chainsaw. Did you even have a doubt about that? If you did, you should spend some more time on the forums.
Best Platinum Trophy Title
This is a category that we hope goes away at some point. It’s only here because of the number of platinum trophies named “Platinum Trophy.” At the same time though, the platinum trophy titles seem to be getting better and better (see: Deadpool…is it too early to say that the merc with the mouth will be seen in this space next year?). Some of the best from last year are: “The Legendary Hero” (Metal Gear Solid 4), “It’s All Relative” (Gravity Rush), “She Would Be Proud” (Silent Hill 2 HD), “I am Sweet Tooth” (Twisted Metal), and “Top Dog” (Okami HD). The voting wasn’t even close though. The winner here is “One ring to build them all” from both the PS3 and Vita versions of LEGO The Lord of the Rings. It’s hard to find a more Lord of the Rings-y trophy name or a more perfect combination of LEGO and The Lord of the Rings.
Best Platinum Trophy Image
The one thing that we’ve learned about trophy lists is that when a new list comes out, the first things that people usually check for are 1. if there is a platinum trophy and 2. what the image looks like. Aside from the usual craptacular images, 2012 had some of the best platinum trophy images to date.
As we’ve done the last two years, we left this category to a member vote. The results were a bit surprising. Three of the choices finished within two votes of each other with a tie for first. Lollipop Chainsaw finished in a close third. At the top was a tie between Dragon’s Dogma’s coat of arms and the white wolf Amaterasu from Okami HD. The tie resulted in a quick polling of the staff. Okami was the clear favorite and the eventual winner. While both of the images are excellent, Okami’s platinum trophy stands out more. It’s hard to argue against any of the top three choices, and the voting proves that.
Best Trophy List
It’s time to give out the signature award. We’ve gone through the best and worst, easiest and hardest, but it’s time to pick out the best of the best, our Best Trophy List of 2012. The two games that don’t make the cut into the top three choices are Hitman: Absolution and The Walking Dead. As good as the list for Hitman was, the other top nominees are better. With The Walking Dead, it’s a controversial list because of how easy and simple the list is. At the same time though, it doesn’t get in your way and allows you to enjoy the journey.
That brings us to our top three nominees, one of which wasn’t actually released in 2012 (only the trophy list was, making it eligible). Far Cry 3, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and Sleeping Dogs are the three vying for this award.
Far Cry 3 – Ubisoft has a very solid track record with trophy lists, at least the single player portion of those lists. It’s no secret that Far Cry 2’s online trophies were way over the top. Couple that with a glitchy mess and you have a trophy list that makes completionists avoid the game like the plague. With Far Cry 3, Ubisoft shows that they have learned their lesson. The online portion is drastically toned down to the point where it’s optional. More trophies rewarding the exploration of the island were added. At the same time though, only half of the relics and radio towers (an odd choice considering that you kind of needed the towers for the map) were required for trophies. Some of the best parts of the game like hunting the wildlife were only rewarded tangentially. Far Cry 3 is fantastic, but not quite as good as it could have been.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots – This one comes with a story that I think everyone knows by now. For four years, trophy hunters worldwide pleaded with Hideo Kojima and Konami for this trophy list. Denials and deflections were made. The wait for the trophy list outlasted Metal Gear Online. When it seemed as if it would never happen, the trophies dropped out of the sky. After all of the waiting, begging, and hoping that the trophies weren’t a horrible disaster earns it a spot here. As good as the list is, it’s not perfect. It does ask you to see and earn everything that the game has. That also means playing all of the way through it seven or eight times. Getting this platinum requires a time commitment that most trophy hunters may not be interested in.
Sleeping Dogs – For a game that was brought back from the dead in a new form, Sleeping Dogs turned out much better than it had any right to be. The trophies itself for an open world game were dead on and what you would want. They ask you to explore the game and do pretty much everything without getting in your way too much. There isn’t much that you have to go out of the way for, aside from the karma trophies. The grinding that is required to max out both karmas is pretty ridiculous and the biggest strike against this game. It’s also a pretty standard list without much creativity, aside from killing an enemy with a fish. Sleeping Dogs’ is a pretty good list with some flaws.
The decision of which trophy list is the best wasn’t an easy one. Because of everything involved, we’re going with Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots as the best trophy list of 2012. It’s not perfect, but no trophy list is. When you think about it though, it’s the only choice. MGS4 originally came out a few weeks before trophies were introduced. It took four years for the trophies to be patched in, but it’s better late than never. That it’s not a dumbed down list (see: Burnout Paradise) and is still challenging, fun, and full of the random Kojima humor just makes the list that much better.
Metal Gear Solid 4 is a unique situation that will probably never be duplicated (unless something like Haze gets trophies, and even then, that would have to be one amazing trophy list). Kudos to Kojima and Konami for finally giving the fans what they wanted. It’s place here is well deserved.
Upcoming Game With the Best Trophy Potential
As we do every year, we're closing this out with a look ahead. The future has rarely been brighter for gaming with the PS4 all set to debut this fall. The rest of 2013 and first half of 2014 is going to gaming heaven.
This is a nearly impossible category to pick. It really is. There are just far too many good games coming out in the next year, especially with the next console generation set to begin. Watch_Dogs, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Diablo III, Killzone: Mercenary, Killzone: Shadow Fall, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, Beyond: Two Souls, Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Saints Row IV, inFamous: Second Son, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Gran Turismo 6, Batman: Arkham Origins…holy shit, it’s almost too much. The choice here is the 800 pound gorilla that we left off, Grand Theft Auto V. Yeah, we picked it last year. Who cares though. It’s that big of a game that it warrants multiple awards before it even comes out. Granted, Rockstar could go all Max Payne and punch their trophy hunting fans in the nuts, but let's just hope that won't be the case.
Thank goodness these are only once a year. So much work goes into putting these together (the formatting alone takes a couple of hours). Thank you to all of those who have nominated and voted for awards. Big thanks to Mendel for writing half of the awards and Savenger for making the awesome images. We all hope that you enjoyed reading it as much we enjoyed writing it.
Be sure to check out our giveaway and the rest of the site's birthday fun in The Arena. Thank you all and here's to another great year of PS3Trophies.