The Platinum Effect

My 15th Platinum trophy had just pinged in the top left corner of the screen. A familiar sense of achievement rushed through my brain and onto the hairs on the back of my neck. That shot of adrenaline was what I needed. Getting that elusive trophy meant more to me than completing the game. Truly.

The game was Ratchet and Clank on the PS4. Its the type of game I enjoy. The story is a slight retelling of the original PS2 game that’s been reworked to tie into the movie of the same name. It’s a 3D platforming adventure game that spans multiple worlds and has a tonne of weapons to upgrade and collectables that need hording. Coincidentally, the first Platinum I have is from Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time. Even though it’s not as good as the original, it was still a fun ride.

After the credits rolled for the first time, I looked at the trophy list. I’m not a trophy hunter by any means but since there wasn’t much left to do, I thought what the hell. All I had to do was complete the Challenge mode and collect the last few bolts and upgrade weapons. It’s nothing too challenging but it took some time. Although, it must be said that I loved racking up the hours it took to finish the trophy list more than completing the main story.

Every trophy inched me closer to the one that really mattered. If a camera was filming my reaction, I’m sure it would show my smile growing wider each time the to-do list shrank and there was that unmistakeable “ping”. Then when the final (and almost always) double ping came up, I could have cheered. I didn’t because it was 2 in the morning, my wife and cats were asleep, and I had to be up in 4 hours for work.

It’s always a joyous moment when you first see that platinum sitting at the top of your trophy list. The sense of achievement that only 3% of all of the players have done the same thing is amazing. I have gone the extra mile and here’s the proof. Except that feeling never lasts.

Of the 15 games that have the Platinum trophy next to it, I want to replay precisely 0 of them.

It’s not always sunshine and rainbows…

If you got one of these through the post, I’d probably be happy.

The amount of time and effort required exploring, grinding, and levelling up on each game is astonishing. By the time I’ve celebrated the double-ping I’m sick of the sight of the characters and worlds I’ve torn apart to get to that point. Ratchet and Clank lasted all of 2 minutes before I deleted the game and went to bed.

I find myself questioning how I play games because of this system. Am I more eager to 100% a game or do I enjoy the experience and story? How much progress could have been made on the next title?
Nintendo don’t have an achievement system and yet I play games on the Switch until the credits roll and keep playing. Super Mario Odyssey was finished weeks after it came out and I’m still playing. There’s a few bits to finish off, but mainly I run around just enjoying the worlds that have been created.

Perhaps it’s just because progress is monitored and compared to friends. If there wasn’t a constant reminder of what I’ve got left to do to, or how far Richard is doing compared to Andrew, I wouldn’t be obliged to catch up. After all, I find it rather irritating that I’ve finished so many games, but on the trophy list, they sit uncomplete, silently judging.

I’ve realised I’m too attached to the result, not the journey. Writing this piece has been an eye opening experience. I should try to enjoy the ride rather than rush to the end. I don’t go to the cinema to see the credits, it’s the story that precedes it.

That being said; trophy 16 isn’t far behind so I best crack on.

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