One of my favorite things about Playstation as a platform is the trophy system that is implemented in every game you play. Working your way through a game and seeing the trophies pop up as you get through certain sections feels rewarding and gives an added sense of accomplishment. After you have collected every trophy available in a game you are rewarded with a platinum trophy, showing to the world (or just your friends) what you have accomplished! While I certainly love this feature, and have found myself playing games longer than I might otherwise have done in order to get those last few trophies to get the platinum, I have to wonder whether it’s something most people care about?
On the Nintendo Switch, where I spend the other half of my gaming time, there are no achievements of any sort, at least not outside of individual in-game achievements. When playing on the Switch I definitely notice the lack of trophies and even though I have spent 150+ hours in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as well as another 150+ in Pokémon Shield, I know I would have spent even more time on those games if I was chasing a platinum trophy.
Hunting for trophies makes me play the game to the fullest and makes me want to do everything that the game has to offer. I look through the trophy lists and see what I need to do to get the trophies and alter my play style to make sure I can get the trophies I might have skipped over otherwise. It really makes me play the game in the way that I think the developers wanted and allows me to get the most out of the game.
On the other hand, trophies can be frustrating to obtain and can make me drop a game altogether if it seems like something that isn’t worth the trouble. It comes down to having a well thought out trophy list that adds to the enjoyment of playing the game. When it is done well a trophy list can make a great game better, but if it is put together poorly then it can honestly put a damper on an otherwise fun experience. In recent Playstation exclusives it seems that they have figured out what makes a great trophy list, and I really hope it is something that they carry through to the PS5 generation.
I understand that this is not something that everyone will care about, most people don’t play games with this completionist mindset. I only have 13 platinum trophies on my account currently, Ghost of Tsushima will be 14, so more often than not I am not obtaining each and every trophy. However, when a game I really enjoy has a trophy list that seems reasonable, it makes it an even better experience. Ghost of Tsushima is a great example, I am going through and experiencing everything the game has to offer and it is making me go to each point on the map and see everything the developers put into the game. In all honesty it is making me appreciate everything in the game even more.
I guess what I am trying to say is that while some people do not see the point in getting trophies, for a lot of us it allows us to get the most out of a game. It drives me to play a game completely and even stick it out with some games I otherwise might not have. To someone looking in from the outside I can see how trophy hunting might look like a waste of time, but overall the sense of achievement is something that cannot be ignored and many people find enjoyment in it. I think the best way to end this is by saying this: there is no wrong way to play video games as long as you are having fun.
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