S-Rank'd

"Because everyone else was doing it." - Mento's epitaph.

Speaking of everyone else, check out Marino's (the first), Buzz_Clik's and Ozone's S-Ranks lists too. I'll add more when I see 'em.

To keep things interesting, I've added a few stats for each entry on this list (which, honestly, is something else I'm stealing from Marino). They include:

  • Date of acquisition. I was curious to see if and when there were "spates" of earning S-ranks. I figure it was probably when the site was still tracking them.
  • A challenge rating (out of 5). Some S-ranks were a genuine accomplishment, most were just busywork, and others are more like that one Avatar: The Last Airbender game where you can get 1000 points in five minutes (Avatar is not on my list, fortunately).
  • An embarrassment rating (out of 5). What's a good S-Rank without a whole heap of regret about how long it took to earn? This score venerates (if that's even the word) games with terribly designed achievements that I still went for like an idiot, and games I never should've played in the first place.

List items

  • DoA: 03/14/2008

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 4

    My first S-rank, or at least my first recorded one. The game's not terrible, but it was one of those with a reputation for handing out a lot of achievement points very quickly. Hard to claim that you were more interested in playing a so-so movie license FPS than you were in earning an easy 1000.

  • DoA: 04/12/2008

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 2

    My first S-rank, according to my memoirs whenever I write them. Far better than King Kong, I will admit to playing this 360 remaster - my second run, after the PlayStation 2 version - for the achievements. Hence the mild embarrassment. It's been ten years and we've not seen a sequel yet?

  • DoA: 05/03/2008 (approx.)

    Challenge: 4

    Embarrassment: 2

    Lost Odyssey wasn't the first JRPG I played on the 360 - that would be Blue Dragon, which has some of the worst achievements ever - but it was the first where my usual prerogative to 100% an RPG happily coincided with earning all the achievements. There were still a handful that involved pointless grinding, as well as a game-wide scavenger hunt for secret treasures that I needed a guide for.

  • DoA: 06/14/2008

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 4

    A meh Diablo clone that was pretty much the only game of its type on 360 for a while, if you don't count Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom (which I rented twice for some reason). Anyway, the game had some basic achievements and I believe it was the first XBLA game I S-ranked for its 200 points.

  • DoA: 06/25/2008 (approx.)

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 2

    Phantasy Star Universe wasn't the single-player successor to PSO anyone was hoping for, but it was competent enough if a bit dull and repetitive. Same could be said for its achievements, which amounted to a handful of big 100-pointers earned for every major story boss.

  • DoA: 07/19/2008

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 4

    Let me be clear here: I was a fan of the show (at the time, at least) and a fan of adventure games, so this wasn't a decision spurred entirely by achievement hunting. In fact, there's one sequence where I almost quit the game completely. It involves dynamite, which I'm sure rings a bell (and the ears) of anyone who also played this.

  • DoA: 07/31/2008

    Challenge: 1

    Embarrassment: 5

    Yeah... no such excuses for this one. Five achievements, two hundred points each, around three hours total, and about four showers afterwards.

  • DoA: 08/03/2008

    Challenge: 4

    Embarrassment: 5

    Let's just say I was in the midst of my darkest period here, though hardly alone. Alone in the Dark is a really not great game, from its horrible driving sequences - one of the achievements requires that you complete one in the cockpit view! That's stupid! - to its various nonsensical crafting recipes. Adding gasoline to bullets does not equal "fire bullets". It equals to a trip to the A&E for major hand explosion injuries.

  • DoA: 08/11/2008

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 2

    The LEGO games all have easy enough achievements, but they do require that you play the game twice over (once in story mode, and the other in free mode) and hunt a bunch of collectibles. I'm generally down for the latter, but I wish there wasn't so much replaying involved.

  • DoA: 08/28/2008

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 5

    A bad game and a bad idea to S-rank it. Just a lot of bad decisions all round. The movie's good though?

  • DoA: 04/07/2009

    Challenge: 1

    Embarrassment: 5

    ...

  • DoA: 04/18/2009

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 1

    Ah, here we go. Something I'm not ashamed about: the first From Software game I ever S-Ranked. Enchanted Arms is better than most people give it credit for, but it has a really, really bad opening few hours which probably hasn't aged well at all. Recent From Software converts have no doubt had a hell of a time going through the developer's back catalogue after falling in love with Demon's Souls and Dark Souls. The achievements are all from boss fights, and I don't recall any of them being missable.

  • DoA: 05/09/2009

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 1

    Very fond of Eternal Sonata, but it takes a while for the combat to get good. The light/dark and combo chain mechanics are kinda neat. Besides the bonus dungeon, which leads to the game's bonkers "true ending", almost all the achievements are just progress. The biggest one was 321 points. (I hated when 360 games gave me weird numbers like that...)

  • DoA: 05/17/2009

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 2

    The original Just Cause wasn't spectacular, but it's probably the first S-Rank on this list to involve the endless parade of side-activities and collectibles that accompanies any modern open-world game. In that respect, it sets the standard for many more to follow.

  • DoA: 05/17/2009

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 1

    Hell yeah! 200.6%, baby! I loved going through Symphony of the Night again with achievements, and that's one of my biggest pluses when it comes to defending the concept: it gives me a stronger reason to revisit some beloved older games with after-the-fact achievement support. I ought to figure out how to get those RetroAchievement emulators working...

  • DoA: 05/21/2009

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 1

    From the Namco Arcade pack they released as a physical compilation. The games were available on XBLA too, so each was individually tracked with 200 points apiece. I'm counting them, because why not? The game had some goofy achievements, like digging out every bit of dirt in a single stage.

  • DoA: 05/21/2009

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 1

    Some (but not all) of these Namco Arcade games gave the player infinite continues, making the "reach stage 30!" type achievements for Galaga way easier. You still need some skill to perfect one of those bonus stages though.

  • DoA: 06/10/2009

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 2

    Another open-world game, with all the various points on the map to visit and complete. Godfather 2 wasn't bad (the movie and the game both, which aren't really related whatsoever) but I'm not generally into the whole capos, consiglieres and cannolis biz. Gimme yakuza or triads any day of the week. They have more swords.

  • DoA: 08/29/2009

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 2

    The first Musou game I ever beat, let alone S-ranked. The achievements all involved earning skillbooks, which become random rewards after certain points in the game though the last is a quest reward for a whole lot of grinding. I'm not in any hurry to jump into that Nightmare remake, though I'm definitely curious about it adds.

  • DoA: 09/08/2009

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 4

    Back to these softballs, huh? In my defense, this game was made by Traveller's Tales and I expected something in line with their LEGO games. It's not substantially different, so it's kinda odd that they're not all LEGO Pevensies.

  • DoA: 12/21/2009

    Challenge: 5

    Embarrassment: 1

    One of the more difficult S-ranks on this list, as it required completing all the side-quests and taking down the Absolute Conquerer - the upgraded final boss that meets any player that has glutted themselves on side-content to become overpowered. That the game actually anticipates this with a harder final boss - rather than the "dies in two hits" final boss of Final Fantasy X, for example - is part of the reason why I love it, warts and all.

  • DoA: 01/31/2010

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 1

    My first Platinum Trophy. A very acceptable batch of open-world trophies for a very acceptable sequel. This was before the series introduced "perfect synchronization" requisites, which made earning all the achievements far less palatable. I'm still not convinced that AC2 wasn't the series peak.

  • DoA: 02/01/2010

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 2

    My second Platinum Trophy. Because of this game's ridiculous amount of DLC, I actually only have a 57% completion rate for this game despite having the platinum. There's some grindy stuff, but it's a loot shooter so that's kinda why you're there. The only embarrassing thing about earning this Plat was starting the game three more times for those unique character skill trophies, each of which required hitting a certain level threshold. That's a lot of going through the tutorial Skag cave area.

  • DoA: 02/10/2010

    Challenge: 4

    Embarrassment: 2

    My third Platinum Trophy. I really had a hard time beating the hardest difficulty, especially with the final boss fight and those damn exploding pod things. Uncharted 2 was spectacular (and short) enough that I didn't mind playing through it again, but difficulty trophies are generally where I draw the line.

  • DoA: 2/11/2010

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 1

    I wish there were more compilations like this. Ones with at least one achievement per game, and made you want to revisit them and try and get good enough to earn that singular achievement before moving on. It's bizarre that we haven't seen more like it, though I'll admit I haven't been looking hard. Anyway, most folk are better off playing those Genesis packs on Steam with the neat bedroom front-end UI.

  • DoA: 02/16/2010

    Challenge: 1

    Embarrassment: 1

    To this day, I'm not sure what the point of Noby Noby Boy is. I mean, it's to help Girl travel the Solar System, obviously, but beyond this gaggle of trophies there's not a whole lot else to do besides eat people and poop things. I do plenty of both in real life.

  • DoA: 02/24/2010

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 2

    My fourth Platinum Trophy. This game wasn't great, but it was serviceable and the trophies didn't require going too far out of my way. The tricky ones involving getting a ridiculously long combo - there always seems to be at least one of those trophies in any character action game - and the bonus arena trials.

  • DoA: 03/09/2010

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 2

    My fifth Platinum Trophy. The Todd McFarlane-ness of Darksiders might've caused me some embarrassment, but the game itself was a competent heavy metal Legend of Zelda that I enjoyed quite a bit. Some of the achievements were a bit on the grindy side though.

  • DoA: 06/30/2010

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 1

    My sixth Platinum Trophy. The surprisingly compact Forgotten Sands. Most folk forget about this one, like they do with Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier. Very little press, came out after that big colorful reboot with the princess that has to constantly save you but has far more in common with the previous trilogy, and Ubisoft were clearly anxious to move onto bigger things (which they would climb up for the lay of the land). Anyway, I think this Plat took a whole afternoon.

  • DoA: 07/11/2010

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 1

    One of the very few cases where I got the S-rank for the core game, bought some DLC and S-ranked that too. Oblivion's achievements are all related to making progress in the story and guilds, so the only difficulty was not burning out on random dungeons before then.

  • DoA: 09/20/2010

    Challenge: 4

    Embarrassment: 2

    One of those cases where I made the game more difficult on myself by playing on the hardest difficulty right off the bat. Sometimes that actually leads to a more fulfilling video game experience though, as without it I'd be gliding through this Tomb Raider game only stopping occasionally to hunt for all the usual ancient tchotchkes. Anyway, I didn't mind these Crystal Dynamics reboots too much even with their goofy and unnecessary support characters, and Underworld felt a return to form with its big levels to explore.

  • DoA: 10/17/2010

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 2

    My seventh Platinum Trophy. The embarrassment comes from having to collect all the game's weapons for its last two endings, which also involves playing through the game three times - though the subsequent two playthroughs are considerably shorter thanks to a merciful mid-game headstart. It was all worth it to see the game's final and best ending, which is still one of the craziest things I've ever seen a game do.

  • DoA: 12/24/2010

    Challenge: 1

    Embarrassment: 3

    Is it that much of an embarrassing S-rank when the game was released for free? While I completed all of its achievements, it didn't manage to complete its single one: to get me to eat more Doritos.

  • DoA: 01/13/2011

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 2

    Welcome to 2011! I played an awful lot of Just Cause 2, because there was an awful lot of it to play. The completion % achievements mercifully capped out at 75%, but that still meant many hours of blowing up red-tinged stuff and freeing districts, and I think I kept going until the game's actual limit - around 99.7% (thanks bugs). Time well spent, I'd say.

  • DoA: 02/07/2011

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 3

    I gave myself an embarrassment rating of 3 here not because the game is bad - while filled with European CRPG jank, it's actually quite charming and doesn't obnoxiously level-scale everything - but because of the amount of save-manipulation for the various split decisions that earn achievements. That's not just story stuff either, but class stuff as well. When your "all-achievements itinerary" starts looking like a diagram to explain the movie Primer, that's a bad sign.

  • DoA: 05/11/2011

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 2

    Enslaved wasn't all that bad, though some of its achievements were a bit rough. Especially any that involved that flying disc thing. In retrospect, I'm not sure if I even liked the game enough to get those, so I must've been pretty lacking in other games to play.

  • DoA: 05/15/2011

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 2

    See LEGO Indiana Jones earlier, I guess. They're all pretty much the same.

  • DoA: 06/25/2011

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 1

    My eighth Platinum Trophy. Wasn't sure what to expect with this game, but it's actually a fairly decent Batman Arkham clone with a different super hero. These games were more fun when they had backtracking and the like involved, rather than just being huge open-world maps with a few interior locations. Trophies were mostly hitting certain types of enemies a lot and collectibles, though there were a few challenge room type deals.

  • DoA: 06/27/2011

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 3

    My ninth Platinum Trophy. I seem to recall this being a challenging one, due in part to the four difficulty modes and a whole lot of unintuitive platforming. I actually cheated with the difficulty mode thing with a checkpoint skip, so that's where the embarrassment comes in. Not really achieving anything at that point.

  • DoA: 08/31/2011

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 1

    I really liked de Blob 2, but maybe that speaks more to my collectionist OCD than anything. Painting every single one of those buildings level after level isn't something I'll probably do again. Well, unless de Blob 3 comes out, but I think the franchise died with THQ.

  • DoA: 10/30/2011

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 3

    Bumped up the embarrassment score for this one, because A) it's Harry Potter and B) it was only a handful of months since the previous LEGO game.

  • DoA: 11/12/2011

    Challenge: 4

    Embarrassment: 2

    My tenth Platinum Trophy. In some respects I kind of regret letting the trophies dictate the way I played the game, which was full stealth with no kills and no alarms, but I sort of think the fun of stealth games is getting through those areas unscathed and without scathing anyone else in the process. The issue, then, is how effectively fun the games are to play with those harsh requisites. Human Revolution was fortunately fun enough even with all the reloading and forced lethal boss fights (they fixed that later, I think), though I hated how easy it was to accidentally murder a knocked out opponent by dragging him down steps or some similar scenario.

  • DoA: 12/03/2011

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 2

    My eleventh Platinum Trophy. An excellent platformer. The collectible trophies were fun, the speedrun ones not so much, but I liked the game enough - and the course were designed towards running through them as quickly as possible - that I didn't mind sticking around to earn everything. Didn't quite manage the same with the much bigger Rayman Legends though; some online co-op ones kept me back.

  • DoA: 12/04/2011

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 1

    People don't really talk about Stacking too much in the pantheon of Double Fine jams, but I think it's my favorite game of theirs after Psychonauts. I particularly liked how each big puzzle could be solved multiple ways, which created the illusion that the game was more on your own personal (il)logical wavelength - so often not the case with adventure games past. The achievements involved finding all these disparate solutions, which was a great way to expand its longevity.

  • DoA: 12/28/2011

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 1

    The Skyrim achievements were a bit more varied than Oblivion's, though that also meant more busywork that wasn't particularly fun - like taking all those forts for your chosen side, whether they were the fascists or the racists. Great choice. Anyway, I didn't do any DLC for this one, so the site probably wouldn't register the paltry 65% I have right now as anything close to an S-rank. I got 1000 points, dang it, it counts.

  • DoA: 02/27/2012

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 1

    Ah, Game Republic. Your games weren't always great, but they were at least imaginative. Majin was a delightful game that I don't imagine will be a million miles away from what The Last Guardian will be like. Lots of co-operative puzzles with your big, slow buddy.

  • DoA: 04/23/2012

    Challenge: 4

    Embarrassment: 2

    The embarrassment here comes from the fact I had to cheat exactly once: learning how the "directions" on signposts worked. I think I earned the rest of the game's anti-cubes the legit way, though. Fez is quite the game, and I'm psyched to see that Phil Fish - love him or hate him - is back in development again. Maybe Fez 2 isn't completely dead...? Or maybe it'll just have even more Tetris cubes in it.

  • DoA: 04/29/2012

    Challenge: 4

    Embarrassment: 4

    So, all right, I want to make it clear that Tales of Vesperia is a fantastic game. I also want to make it clear that its achievements are the worst crock of arbitrary shit ever. Yet, because I loved the game enough, I decided to S-rank it. It took three playthroughs and at least one point where I had the controller's analog stick held upwards with a rubber band for hours. Never again would I let my achievement hunting get that shameful.

  • DoA: 06/09/2012

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 2

    My twelfth Platinum Trophy. XIII-2 was an improvement over the original in some ways, but by jettisoning the linearity of the previous game XIII-2 also jettisoned the ability to follow what was happening. Between all the non-critical areas you could visit, each of which had its own little story, there was a whole lot of paradoxes on top of paradoxes as you'd visit areas in multiple fractured timelines. Some tough trophies too, but nothing like the superbosses in FFXIII.

  • DoA: 07/12/2012

    Challenge: 4

    Embarrassment: 1

    Came to Amped 3 for the cutscenes, stayed for the Tony Hawk style challenges. I actually don't mind Amped 3 as a game, though it's hardly the draw, and I believe it's still the only snowboarding/skiing game I've put any amount of time into.

  • DoA: 07/15/2012

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 3

    Another so-so open-world game based on a license, another S-rank I mildly regret. But hey, I reviewed this one so I felt I managed to give back to the world in some small way. I can't really bag on a game with this much Bruce Campbell voiceover work, to be fair.

  • DoA: 08/29/2012

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 1

    Oh, Sleeping Dogs. You were too good for this world. The last of the good crime-based open-world games, Sleeping Dogs was a sight to behold. Whether I'm talking about the rain-slick streets in a vibrant Hong Kong or watching Vinny manhandle a nurse through a glass door, I'll leave to the reader's discretion. Achievements are all standard open-world stuff, including getting 100% completion and a gold medal for all its challenges.

  • DoA: 11/22/2012

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 1

    This one just came out of nowhere and surprised everybody. A seriously competent 2D SpaceWhipper with some slick animation and busy combat. Achievements were mostly bosses and side-quests, though there were a few tough ones in there.

  • DoA: 12/23/2012

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 1

    A quick game that doesn't outstay its welcome with its many wild ideas - pretty much the theme of the game itself - but still has a few curveballs for its trophies. One includes getting through that pure-white opening world using a very small amount of black paint to see your way through.

  • DoA: 12/07/2013

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 1

    My thirteenth Platinum Trophy. Thieves in Time was OK, and I appreciated that the new developers Sanzaru didn't want to rock the boat too much after the original devs Sucker Punch departed for their superhero shenanigans. It wasn't particularly polished though, and lacked a lot of the imagination that went into 2 and 3's "heist" missions. That said, I would absolutely buy a sequel if another were to happen. Toughest challenge with these trophies was completing all those Arcade games.

  • DoA: 01/05/2014

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 1

    I have a lot more than ten better S-ranks, but Brothers did at least pose some riddles for the player to solve than arbitrarily reward them for story milestones.

  • DoA: 03/02/2014

    Challenge: 5

    Embarrassment: 2

    I almost certainly wouldn't have attempted getting all those incredibly difficult achievements if it wasn't for Patrick's "Spelunkin' With Scoops" featurette. As it was, it kinda became a race to see who could earn them all first. I still do something like it with Klepek's Mario Maker Mornings, though they seem to have ended of late. Just something about that guy that inspires competition, as I'm sure Dan Ryckert could attest.

  • DoA: 02/14/2014

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 1

    My fourteenth Platinum Trophy. Remember Me didn't really light the world on fire, but between its clever puzzles involving memory and its fairly complex fighting system, it probably deserved to do better. Or at the very least, have more play it. DONTNOD got a rep after Life is Strange for some thoughtful female-centric sci-fi yarns, but here's where it started. Trophies are mostly collectibles and combat related, neither of which were that difficult.

  • DoA: 04/07/2014

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 2

    The embarrassment in this case is very much deliberate: they include such delightful challenges like shitting your pants three times and watching your character's parents have sex for a whole minute. No doubt the work of Matt and Trey, seeing what they could make us do for the sake of an achievement. I guess it's fortunate that they didn't go full Beat Takeshi with it.

  • DoA: 08/11/2014

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 3

    My fifteenth Platinum Trophy. A decent enough JRPG from Level-5 that's best remembered for its Studio Ghibli animation and look, but we're well into Level-5's overly repetitive RPG design era now. The embarrassment here was in how long it took to earn some of those trophies. Ni no Kuni was already not a particularly short game, but going all in on its monster-collecting meant a lot of overtime. Had to play that Platoon card game in the casino a lot too, but that wasn't so bad. Preferable to Caravan and Gwent.

  • DoA: 11/20/2014

    Challenge: 4

    Embarrassment: 1

    My sixteenth Platinum Trophy. A fantastic modern take on an old FPS franchise that in many ways pre-empted this year's equally impressive accomplishment with Doom. I suspect Duke Nukem Forever threw the gauntlet down by saying "hey, this shit's impossible to revisit" (I can imagine Randy Pitchford saying exactly that in one of his Twitter rants) and MachineGames and idSoftware took the challenge and delivered. Tough game to master too: beating the hardest difficulty and earning all those perk challenges for the game's versatile skill system wasn't a cinch.

  • DoA: 11/23/2014

    Challenge: 1

    Embarrassment: 2

    My seventeenth Platinum Trophy. Murdered has all the marks of a game like Deadly Premonition - focus on adventure game elements, shoehorned-in combat, a ridiculous protagonist - but a fraction of the charm and ambition. I still think big-budget casual adventure games like this have a place in the AAA scene, though after its studio shut down after the game's lukewarm press, I suspect the industry itself doesn't share that sentiment. Trophies are almost all progress-based, though there's a lot of collectibles and side-quests too.

  • DoA: 03/03/2015

    Challenge: 4

    Embarrassment: 4

    My eighteenth Platinum Trophy. There's a whole lot of embarrassment involved with any Metal Gear Solid game, but I'm specifically referring to my quixotic, almost Captain Ahab-esque (get it? Because of MGSV?) dedication to shooting those damn Kero-tans. The idea was to just play through the story for that blog series, but I got sidetracked by all the collecting and other nonsense too.

  • DoA: 11/24/2015

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 1

    My nineteenth Platinum Trophy. Into the Nexus was a sorry way to end the first "chapter" of the Ratchet and Clank franchise, which has since been rebooted back at the beginning again. It's actually not so bad in terms of quality, but the game's a fraction of the normal size and had nothing like the scope of A Crack in Time or even Tools of Destruction. Most of the "tough" trophies involved levelling up weapons a lot.

  • DoA: 01/14/2016

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 2

    My twentieth Platinum Trophy. Fallout 4 wasn't so bad, but it led to some more convoluted save file managing as you figure out how to work with all the factions, including the ones that want you to murder all the other ones. That and the base building felt kind of half-baked, but there's no denying that when a game like this has its hooks in you, it's hard to get free.

  • DoA: 02/26/2016

    Challenge: 4

    Embarrassment: 2

    My twenty-first Platinum Trophy. Finally, an S-rank for a Souls game. Well, except it isn't really a Souls game, but whatever. Bloodborne's great, but I could've done with approximately 20 less hours of the Crucible Dungeons needed for Platinum. I've been keeping an eye out for its DLC, since everyone says I should get it, but I'm loath to spend almost as much on it as I did the core game.

  • DoA: 04/21/2016

    Challenge: 4

    Embarrassment: 2

    My twenty-second Platinum Trophy. Holy shit did this game take a long time to Platinum, or really to beat in general. I got fixated on those darn points of interest for the longest time too, so a lot of that is on me. After almost playing the game for a month straight, on its hardest setting no less, I was ready to move on. I don't think I'll worry about the DLC either; the game had plenty of content already.

  • DoA: 09/21/2016

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 2

    My twenty-third Platinum Trophy. Gravity Rush needed more time in the oven - it has so many points in its favor, but the core progression didn't quite capitalize on them and even the side-activities were on the lean and repetitive side. At least the equally gravity-defying sequel has nowhere to go but up, so to speak.

  • DoA: 10/24/2016

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 2

    My twenty-fourth Platinum Trophy. Type-0 is a substantially bigger game than it initially lets on, but it fortunately throws achievement hounds a bone by ensuring that - while 100% of the game's content requires a whole lot of grinding and multiple playthroughs - you don't have to do quite so much for its trophy collection. I did have to do a bit of mission replaying to get everything though, especially the three trophies that require you play with only one, two or three cadets in your squad respectively.

  • DoA: 12/01/2016

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 1

    Inside could've attached its trophies to the linear narrative, but instead linked them all to the game's scavenger hunt of well-hidden machines that the player could turn off. This way, you'd know how many there were total and which ones you were missing (there's an in-game gauge too, towards the end, and the chapter select makes it easy to go back for them).

  • DoA: 12/04/2016

    Challenge: 1

    Embarrassment: 2

    My twenty-fifth Platinum Trophy. Headlander's a super easy game, and all its map secrets and collectibles are clearly highlighted. It's simply a matter of going back and grabbing them once you have the means to do so. The tricky ones are exploring every room and body-jacking every robot type.

  • DoA: 12/05/2016

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 2

    Grow Up wasn't quite as fun as Grow Home, but I was still attached enough to pursue its many collectible trophies. Tricky ones included finding all the crystals and all the plant types, though the hardest and worst was those damn challenges. Really didn't add a whole lot in my view.

  • DoA: 12/12/2016

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 1

    SOMA's a fantastic game that relies on spooks and environmental story telling. While the player isn't necessarily railroaded, they're generally better off moving quickly through areas with hostile creatures and only spending the time to explore when they're fairly sure they're safe. Far as I can tell, all the trophies are story-based and unmissable.

  • DoA: 02/02/2017

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 2

    Abzu's trophies largely revolve around finding stuff: meditation statues, captive fish, and special encounters off the beaten path. The game gives you plenty of reason to explore the lush aquatic environments, but the trophies are there for an extra push.

  • DoA: 03/13/2017

    Challenge: 4

    Embarrassment: 3

    My twenty-sixth Platinum Trophy. The embarrassment is partly because there's a hell of a lot of open-world challenges to endure, and partly because the game isn't as good as I was hoping. As someone who wilfully and happily spent an eon getting the platinum for Just Cause 2, the one for Just Cause 3 - though it took far less time - was a bit more of a chore. Especially those damn wingsuit ring challenges, ugh.

  • DoA: 03/25/2017

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 2

    My twenty-seventh Platinum Trophy. Valley's a curious game, largely because of how oddly it is paced. Half of the game is spent quietly and carefully exploring dark environments, and the other half sprinting and leaping giddily across a huge map.

  • DoA: 03/28/2017

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 3

    My twenty-eighth Platinum Trophy. Maybe I'm being too hard on Ginger, but there was definitely some budget/competency issues, even if I commend the developers for overreaching rather than playing it too safe. Taking cues from a number of 3D platformers of years past, I can say that the game's developers definitely had some fondness for the genre, and as a fellow 3D platformer nut I thank them for giving it their best shot.

  • DoA: 04/10/2017

    Challenge: 1

    Embarrassment: 2

    DDU's a slight but delightful game, the sort of one you'd give to anyone of any age if they'd never played a video game before. Its puzzles all revolve around empathy (used for good and evil) and figuring out what people want from often vague descriptions. Trophies are a mix of unmissable softballs and some irksome milestone types.

  • DoA: 04/16/2017

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 2

    My twenty-ninth Platinum Trophy. After some time to ponder it, I enjoyed my time with Yooka-Laylee. It was weird to see a lot of outmoded game design elements, half of which because no-one else was still making games like this and half were perhaps abandoned with good reason. At any rate, it was a blast from the past made that much more challenging to 100% due to its gigantic levels. Perhaps obviously enough, the hardest challenges came from completing various collectible goals.

  • DoA: 04/19/2017

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 3

    My thirtieth Platinum Trophy. In lieu of any other concrete goals, I decided my limit was getting all the milestone trophies. Some were easy (alien encounters, money earned), some very difficult (planets with all lifeforms scanned) and some were just mindless grinding (travelling to dozens of systems, spending days on an extreme weather planet). The trophies, I feel, are symptomatic of a game that had its heart in the right place but not a whole lot of finesse or substance.

  • DoA: 05/06/2017

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 2

    Another spacewhipper, another S-Rank that involves scraping the whole map for collectibles and power-ups. Song of the Deep was inoffensive enough that I didn't mind the more grindy and backtracky trophies.

  • DoA: 05/11/2017

    Challenge: 1

    Embarrassment: 1

    My thirty-first Platinum Trophy. I enjoyed this Borderlands/Telltale crossover more than I anticipated, with some memorable characters and sequences that I thoroughly illustrated in 2017's Indie Game of the Week serial feature. All trophies are story-based and unmissable, so this was kind of a freebie.

  • DoA: 08/21/2017

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 1

    My thirty-second Platinum Trophy. Another great throwback from Zeboyd, though they replaced much of the parody humor with a slightly more serious sci-fi story in the vein of a Phantasy Star or Mass Effect. Still good though, and really shows how much they've grown in confidence and ability. There were a few superbosses in the trophy list but nothing too taxing or grindy.

  • DoA: 08/25/2017

    Challenge: 1

    Embarrassment: 2

    My thirty-third Platinum Trophy. Though it can be a little jarring to follow Virginia's hard cuts, many of which move ahead several hours to several days at a time and there's no dialogue to help you make sense of things directly, it was fun piecing the story together as more of it came together. The trophies mostly involved collectibles that only appeared in brief windows, which I used a guide to find in the end.

  • DoA: 09/08/2017

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 2

    Valiant Hearts follows a few suitably grave stories from the frontlines of the first World War, adapting the engine Ubisoft made for the Rayman reboots to create a game that balances action with adventure game puzzles. The trophies involved a lot of collectibles again, as well as a few no-damage sequences which weren't fun.

  • DoA: 10/14/2017

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 1

    Like the above, Child of Light was made with Ubisoft's UbiArt Framework and is a delightful storybook RPG with a few mechanics borrowed from slightly more obscure JRPGs, which gave it a certain cross-continental flavor. I found myself enjoying its spacewhipper level design too, and the battles were well balanced and frequently very challenging. Almost all the trophies are story-based, barring a few battle techniques and collectibles.

  • DoA: 10/25/2017

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 3

    My thirty-fourth Platinum Trophy. A little disappointed by Gravity Rush 2. Instead of fixing some of the issues people had with the first, in particular the inaccurate gravity-based combat and lack of variation with the bonus activities, it just made more of everything which only exacerbated those issues. The story's a little weaker too. Trophies involve a lot of collectible hunting and money farming, which I was equally hot and cold on.

  • DoA: 11/09/2017

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 2

    My thirty-fifth Platinum Trophy. Brilliant open-world game, balancing an affecting and mystery-filled post-apocalypse story with enjoyable Monster Hunter style fights with larger foes that you have to take down tactically rather than with brute force, and an open-world map full of side-quests and collectibles. Trophies are a mix of story, battle accomplishments and collectibles too - a nice mix, even if it took a while to get them all.

  • DoA: 11/20/2017

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 3

    My thirty-sixth Platinum Trophy. Probably my favorite game of this year and a fine follow-up to the original Nier that upgraded all the parts that were faltering. Beautiful soundtrack, deeply emotional story about robots finding their humanity, and some actually great character action combat with a highly customizable upgrade system. Trophies mostly involve filling out the game's various progression meters and all the endings, which involved a lot of grinding and farming.

  • DoA: 12/04/2017

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 2

    My thirty-seventh Platinum Trophy. A few annoying combat-related trophies and the requisite Crushing difficulty playthrough were worth it to spend more time with Ms. Frazer and Ms. Ross in their treasure-hunting trek across India. It helped that TLL was a moderately sized game compared to Uncharted 4, which I didn't feel like playing the whole way through again.

  • DoA: 12/05/2017

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 1

    My thirty-eighth Platinum Trophy. An underrated time-loop adventure game with style oozing from its pores. Most of the trophies are either story or collectible related, so nothing too demanding.

  • DoA: 12/22/2017

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 1

    Campo Santo making those good adventure games with feelings. My enduring memories of this game were walking around a lot, but the well-written incidental dialogue with your contact made it all worth it. Trophies are all story-related, though they added a second batch which required you explore a little.

  • DoA: 01/06/2018

    Challenge: 1

    Embarrassment: 1

    My thirty-ninth Platinum Trophy. As I'm writing this, Telltale Studio has shut down and cancelled its sequel to this series, which I enjoyed between its sense of noir style and the characters I was meeting for the first time (as someone unfamiliar with the Fables comics). There's a collectible side-quest of sorts, but majority of trophies are story-related and unmissable.

  • DoA: 03/05/2018.

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 2

    My fortieth Platinum Trophy. Most of the trophies here were either unmissable story stuff or figuring out how to get all the "dead end" branches, which was also one of the draws of the game's narrative structure regardless. That more than 35% of people who played this got the Platinum tells you all you need to know. As for the game, I really liked it but I might concur with those who have said that each successive Zero Escape game is weaker than the last.

  • DoA: 05/05/2018.

    Challenge: 4

    Embarrassment: 3

    My forty-first Platinum Trophy. Most of FFXV's trophies were softballs besides a few superbosses and grinding everyone's unique skills (especially Noctis's fishing). I didn't mind playing the game - I like its combat - but man did they screw up the story with how they edited around DLC chapters and the Kingsguard movie while fast-tracking the ending. The usual plan is that you make a complete game story and then bolt the DLC and movies/TV shows onto it.

  • DoA: 08/31/2018.

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 2

    My forty-second Platinum Trophy. Rain Games's follow-up to Teslagrad had some big ambitions for a multi-character Zelda-ish top-down action-adventure game, but it didn't feel like they managed to fully capitalize on their idea. It's fine, but could've been better. All the trophies are collectibles, and it was fun figuring out how to reach them (and with whom).

  • DoA: 09/13/2018.

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 3

    A decent enough little 3D platformer that hits all the right notes, if a bit on the short side. I would've liked more instances that used that cool time-travelling/slow-down glove. Trophies are a decent mix of story, collectibles, combat ability, and silly side-stuff that the developers wanted to show off. The only clunker was farming twice as many currency crystals as you could possibly ever need.

  • DoA: 09/21/2018.

    Challenge: 1

    Embarrassment: 2

    My forty-third Platinum Trophy. Yoku's Island Express was a blast: an easygoing merger of spacewhippers and pinball that made great use of its ball rolling traversal gimmick. Trophies are mostly unmissable - acquiring necessary upgrades or completing story objectives - but there were plenty for collectibles and side-missions also. A bit of advice for anyone hunting for this platinum: keep an eye out for "scarabs" throughout the game and activate them whenever you can, as the remaining ones won't show up on the map until you have most of them.

  • DoA: 10/13/2018

    Challenge: 3

    Embarrassment: 1

    My forty-fourth Platinum Trophy. Most of AHiT's harder trophies involved no-hit runs or stealth sequences, which I don't usually care for, but the game's fair enough when it comes to its difficulty. I might've had more trouble with the collectathon element, though that becomes less of an issue as the levels get more linear. Fun 3D platformer, hope to see more from the Indie circuit.

  • DoA: 11/01/2018.

    Challenge: 2

    Embarrassment: 2

    My forty-fifth Platinum Trophy. As might be expected from an RPG, there was a lot of grinding involved with these trophies. Hitting level 99 and clearing all the dungeons and side-quests, mostly. Cat Quest isn't an enormous game though so it's not like I poured many hours into it. As slight as it is, I had a fine time chasing its platinum like it was a silvery ball of yarn.