Friday 17 March 2017

Is Platinuming a Game the Same as 100% Completion?

Remember when people completed games without the motivation of a trophy or an achievement? When I was discovering video games through Spyro the Dragon and Crash Bandicoot, young little me really wanted to have every gem, every record and every level for some reason. I don't remember whether it was because my parents wouldn't buy me another game or if I just wanted to, but I have many fond memories of the joy I felt getting that final gem and the hours in between. I started thinking about this after looking at Final Fantasy XV’s trophy list. It's my resolution to platinum at least one JRPG this year and I enjoyed the hell out of XV, so I thought it would be a good candidate considering I'm had around 70% of XV's trophies when I finished it (edit: and I finally got that platinum!). What struck me about XV’s trophies was how easy it looked compared to what could still be done in it. You can get a trophy for maxing out Ignis’ cooking skill, but you can't get one for unlocking all of his recipes. You can get a trophy for completing over 80 quests, but what about for completing all of them? Perhaps this was done to make the trophy more accessible to new players, but as a JRPG player that’s a completionist at heart, the platinum leaves too much leftover.

Final Fantasy XV isn't alone though. I platinumed Persona 4 Golden as my first platinum a few years ago and while in comparison to Final Fantasy XV it's a much tougher platinum, I still have things leftover outside the platinum trophy realm. I don't think I completed it on the hardest difficulty and I didn't get any Personas to level 99. When I platinumed the visual novel Danganronpa, I didn't pass any of the class trials on the hardest difficulty and if I'm being honest, I abused the easy mode to get some trophies. It's with this in mind that while I love trophies, I have to acknowledge that it takes more than a huge boost in my trophy level to fully complete a game to the level I may want. And this raises a question in my mind: am I really fully completing a game by getting the platinum? Judging from what I just said, the answer is probably not.
In spite of this, I still think trophies are great. Trophies are usually what inspire me to start exploring the full completion aspect of a game and are an excellent push in the right direction for the completionist starting out. When I decided I wanted to play more Final Fantasy XV, it was trophies that showed me there were plenty more quests I could do and was the start of my platinum journey. As someone who has been going exclusively for trophies and not thinking about the other aspects of completing a game for a while, I've realised that my definition of completely finishing a game may have changed and evolved into something more like how I completed games in my childhood. I understand that trophies are a great motivator for many people who wouldn't usually fully complete a game and they have given the completionist bug to many players who now like seeing that 100% or getting the trophy before their friends. My completionist journey is becoming a more personal one, but I also tweeted soon after I got my Final Fantasy XV platinum and messaged my brother, so I understand the community benefit of trophies. I would genuinely be sad if the community aspect or fun percentage system in the trophy world went away.
Even though my gaming style is evolving, I'll still keep using trophies as my map when starting my completionist journey and will veer off in certain ways when necessary. Trophies and full completion isn't for everyone, but trophies are certainly a good way to inspire someone to go deeper into the game and my own form of completionism is my way of finding excuses to play more. Both styles of play involve getting the most out of a game and it's great that games can provide so many different gameplay styles for people like me who want to go beyond the core game or for the more casual gamer playing with their friends.

What's your favourite way to complete a game? What's your proudest JRPG platinum?
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  1. Hey Tara, great post. I completely agree. For me I began using trophies as a way to experience a game in different ways. I found that some trophies would cause me to play the game or approach a situation differently than I normally would. Often this has provided me with a better overall gaming experience and I believe made me a better gamer.
    (Also I bought Nier automata on your recommendation. It's been fantastic so the posts, keep it up!)

    1. Thank you for your comment! I love using trophies the same way, going deeper into the game experience and finding new things. I definitely believe they make you a better gamer too! When I rush through games on easy, I definitely notice a learning curve when it's platinum time.

      and ahh I'm so glad you liked NieR Automata! :) It's definitely in my mind for platinum consideration...:)

  2. I used to be really anti-trophy in general, probably because my first exposure to them was games that had you perform silly, un-fun busywork that you wouldn't normally ever do in order to get the platinum. When the trophies feel like things you really would do if you were trying to '100%' the game though, I've come to like them.

    You're definitely right that Plat =/= 100% for a lot of games, though. Lots of RPGs that give you the plat before your characters are max level, without requiring you to be on highest difficulty, etc. etc.

    Usually I just ignore trophies, but when I'm about done I'll take a look at what I'm still missing and if it feels reasonable, go finish them up.

    1. I think that's a good habit to have for trophies. :)

      And I know what you mean about those bad platinums/trophies. Ones that are like 'Jump 500 times' are ones I don't even consider cause it's just not fun. I think games (at least the ones I've been playing) have been doing that a little less thankfully recently!