WOTH: Platinum #24 – Goosebumps: The Game

In this installment of the Well Overdue Trophy Hunt, I stepped back in time to the glorious 90’s, and relived the amazing Goosebumps universe – much like I had done with the recent movie starring Jack Black, generic American boy and girl combo, and Screamy McPubertyface.

There are no live actors in Goosebumps: The Game, however, as it has gone for the classic painted 2D Point and Click Adventure approach. This feels like it gave the source material the best possible justice, as every scene you move through looks like it came straight from the cover of one of the many original books.

And because there is so much source material, there are so many references to discover, which is always the fun part of these sorts of games. Some of them are obvious, like Slappy being the main antagonist, while some other little gems will be just as fun to find, like the jar of Jellyjam found when you open a fridge.

Regarding the content and difficulty – I used a guide, so it inevitably was super easy. There are a few different endings you need to obtain the platinum trophy, but as long as you follow the guide well, and save when asked to, the platinum trophy shouldn’t take longer than 5 hours to get. If you go into it blind, you may find quite a few points where you become stuck, but just try to pick up every item you see – most of them are useful in some way.

It’s very young adult humour, but hey – what could you expect!

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WOTH: Platinum #23 – Amnesia: Memories

At first glance, Amnesia: Memories appears like quite a departure from the well-known horror franchise sharing the Amnesia title.

I guess perhaps the horror in the third title comes from the boys' choices in hairstyle?

I guess perhaps the horror in the third title comes from the boys’ choices in hairstyle?

In reality, other than the title and perhaps a few horror themes (why the hell would a college guy have a cage in his room?), these games are nothing alike.

Amnesia: Memories is a genre of game I have never played, nor had I ever conceived of playing; Otome. Basically, it is marketed towards females, and involves the central character (you) developing relationships with a selection of potential guys.

… Yeah.

But, being the platinum trophy collector I am, knowing that this one would be rather easy to obtain, and that it was one of the monthly free games, I figured it would be a quick fix while slogging through 120+ hours in Witcher 3. I could have skipped all of the dialogue while following a guide… but in the end, I decided to give it a chance.

The basic premise in Amnesia: Memories is this; you’re a college girl, doing probably normal college girl stuff like complaining about Starbucks cups then BAM! A spirit collides with you somehow, pushing out all of your memories. Sucks to be you, the otherworldy spirit says in perfect Japanese, but it will assist you in regaining your memories so you return to normal, and so the spirit can go off and do spirit-things. You then choose what possible world you could have been knocked out of (since here, parallel worlds exist, I guess), each of which is centred around dating or getting to know one of four guys – each with very different personalities.

As you bumble through life, forgetting how to be a waitress, or how to talk to people you knew, you slowly uncover the nature of your relationship with this guy who seems to be hanging around. You’ll make many dialogue choices, and this will eventually determine what ending you get for that storyline – good, bad, neutral, or even stabby. Yes, there’s a mysterious other guy who is a bit of a madman.

I followed the “good” ending for each of the worlds, then skipped dialogue for all the other possible endings. A couple of the stories were actually pretty interesting; they were more than just figuring out the relationship, but uncovering some dark pasts. One storyline stands out as a compelling mystery plot, while another just went… weird (a cage? really?), which made it hard for me to accept the “good” ending as really morally good.

I wouldn’t say this game genre is for everyone, but you can detach yourself from the main character, seeing it as more of a passive “movie”, which makes it less intimidating if you’re weirded out by the dating premise.

If you do want a pretty quick (~5-8 hours) platinum, and have it in your list, then go for it.

 

WOTH: Platinums #21 & #22 – Arcade Game Series: Galaga & Dig Dug

The first video games I associate with my childhood mainly come from the shareware hard disks found at computer swap meets. I’d be taken around there, find a few to pester Dad to buy for me, then ask nicely (read: whining) for him to install it on our trusty MS-DOS home PC. Those games ranged from the ported classics, such as Frogger or Rockwell, to the (at the time) newer games like Wacky Wheels, or Rise of the Triad.

I never encountered any versions of Galaga or Dig Dug, however. Playing these as part of the Arcade Game Series collection was quite a new experience, given they were before my time. Sure, I’d seen probably countless knock-offs of the originals. Certainly regarding Dig Dug, Rockwell had similar mechanics and felt like a modern take on it.

So what was it like spending a few days as an 80’s kid?

It felt great to meet the grandparents of contemporary games – while playing them, you could think about how the very basic mechanics evolved over time to become what they are today. The old shoot but don’t get shot of Galaga, and the strategic path-finding of Dig Dug really had given rise to countless current game mechanics and designs.

But, of course, there was the distinct feeling of out-datedness. The very discrete responses when giving inputs from a modern controller is the most jarring – especially when, say, you try to turn while going in one direction, and the game cannot recognise the input until your sprite lines up with the row it’s turning into, often resulting in no recognition or even turning back towards an enemy. Little things like that, however, didn’t phase me in the long run. Given these were relatively short experiences, it was something I could easily put up with.

Regarding platinum difficulties, these two games are ranked pretty similar to the Pac-Man games. As long as you appropriately abuse the game-saving exploit offered by PS Plus, you’ll be fine. You may get frustrated with the longer trophies, such as Rambler (destroying 1000 spaces in one game) for Dig Dug, or getting perfect scores on 5 of the Galaga levels, but after following a few Youtube guides, the platinum trophies should come to you in 3-4 hours each.


Currently playing:

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PS4)
  • Amnesia: Memories (PS Vita)
  • Little Deviants (PS Vita)
  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (PS4)
  • Borderlands 2 (PS4)

WOTH: Platinum #20 – Lemmings Touch

Ah, lemmings. Those fascinating little creatures, portrayed in the 1958 Walt Disney movie, Wild Wilderness. In it, they were shown to be performing mass suicides, falling to their death from large cliffs. This was originally thought to be an animal impulse based on a balancing out of population explosions. And so through the ages, eventually a video game was born, where you need to get the little lemmings home, preventing them from blindly walking into danger.

Well, it turns out that Disney were liars. Lemmings did not have the propensity to throw their mortal bodies over cliffs, and in fact, the documentary film crew pretty much herded them off (smaller, non-lethal) cliffs themselves.

But hey, no need to discredit the puzzle video games that were born in the wake of this fallacy! And now, I’ve stumbled across the latest iteration, Lemmings Touch for the PS Vita.

As with the many versions before it, you’re tasked with guiding the little lemmings home, by assigning them skills or actions, such as building steps, digging below, or blocking the path against other lemmings. Without these skills, they’d keep walking in one direction and possibly die to to the countless dangers in the world; drowning, getting crushed, and of course, falling off cliffs. In this version, the controls are made easier by allowing you to use the Vita’s touchscreen to give the commands. Very useful when there are 100 lemmings on screen. The quicker you complete a level, with as many lemmings saved as possible, will earn you more stars each level.

This was actually my first real attempt at lemmings; I think I recall having a version on my ancient MS Dos computer, but never really got far. I picked this one up as one of the monthly free games in Playstation Plus, but I still enjoyed the experience.

The 100 levels have a nice and gradual difficulty curve, and you learn new techniques as you go. If you feel stuck, you can always refer to the skills they’ve given you for the level – most of the time, especially towards the harder levels, they give you exactly what you need to get the job done in a particular way. After getting as far as I could with my modest puzzle solving skills, I did need to resort to online guides to perfect the later levels. But the fun in the game is seeing just how far you can get on your own.

A neat little bonus to the game is the customisation feature, allowing you to dress up the little ambitious lemmings. There are trophies tied to customisation, so it’s good that you get to try out each of the game’s aspects. To earn the coin for the costumes, you need to complete various objectives while beating the levels, which can be done at any time. I’m so relieved that they didn’t go the well-traversed microtransaction route, as they easily could have. Unlocking rewards using skill should be the way to go for all games.

Regarding the platinum trophy, most of the trophies are tied to perfecting each of the levels. So get as far as you can on your own, then polish it off with guides if needed,


What’s on your list? Currently playing:

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PS4)
  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (PS4)
  • Borderlands 2 (PS4)
  • Journey (PS4)
  • Arcade Game Series: Galaga (PS4)

 

WOTH: Platinum #19 – Orc Slayer

Shame – /ʃeɪm/

Noun – a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behaviour.

There are times when desperation emerges out of addiction. You become so accustomed to the little dopamine rush dispensed from your vice, that you begin to only care about where and when the next little rush will hit. And, if you behave wrong, or foolishly, you’ll only feel a deep sense of shame afterwards. In this light, collecting platinum trophies is no different to scoring meth in the shadowy lane next to the remote 7-11 at 2:25AM.

Anyway, I would like to introduce Orc Slayer! You’re a warrior, probably. You wander around and slowly swing your unimpressive axe, or shoot from your un-trusty steam crossbow, to kill the same 3 blocky vaguely orc-shaped enemies until you can walk through a gate to the next area. Oh, and there are chickens. Gameplay wise, this is a very shallow experience of swinging something sharp and hoping the random hitboxes align. Regarding style, this looks like a C+ project for a high school game coding project, where the orc designs were borrowed from the student’s 3-year-old brother’s chalkboard.

Orc Slayer is a game where word of mouth presents it as a turd cupcake. “It’s the worst, unpolished and boring game I’ve ever played”, they say. “But the platinum is ridiculously easy.” And there is the icing on top. You will sit there, hovering over the PS Store screen, as two opposing thoughts clash in your mind.

“I want a platinum trophy. I need that rush.”

“The game is terrible, and you’ll waste 3 hours of your life. Also is it even worth $7.55 AUD?”

You’ll find out what type of person you are, depending on whether you click Buy or not. I’m preparing my defense for this purchase based around the fact that I have only big AAA games currently underway, and I missed the sweet ping of a platinum trophy. Dropping 120+ hours into a game with no ultimate reward does that to a man.

If you decide to give in to temptation, it will only take 2-3 hours and one playthrough – as long as you don’t forget some missable trophies near the end. If I had to play through to the later levels again, I’d probably be wanted for a murder-suicide combo.


Currently playing:
  • Lemmings Touch (PS Vita)
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PS4)
  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (PS4)
  • Borderlands 2 (PS4)
  • Ultratron (PS4)

Are you ashamed of any trophies?

WOTH: Platinum #18 – The Wolf Among Us

“You’re not as bad as everyone says you are…”

The Wolf Among Us is an episodic Telltale game, centred on the enigmatic Bigby Wolf, perhaps better known as the Big Bad Wolf from the old fables. He’s somewhat unrecognisable from those fables, since he along with every other fable character, moved to an area called Fabletown in the Bronx in the mid-80’s, and needed to blend in with the local population by appearing human. For some characters, such as Snow White or Ichabod Crane, that’s pretty easy. For others like Mr. Toad, or the trolls, it requires the constant and expensive use of glamours – a method of appearing human via magic.

Bigby, the Fabletown sheriff, stumbles upon an argument which later turns into a gruesome murder. As he digs deeper into the case, with Snow White at his side, he uncovers an intricate web of corruption and deceit. Almost nobody can be trusted in this unique spin on an old detective noir genre.

Very few video games capture my interest as much as The Wolf Among Us  did, for two major reasons. First of all, this is an immensely interesting universe that has been created – answering the question of “What if the old time fables coexisted in the present day? How would they interact?” And wrapping this premise up in a genuinely thrilling detective noir plot makes it all the better. This gives countless chances to meet new characters, but characters that you faintly recognise from old fables you’ve read as a child. It brings me great pleasure when Bigby mentions someone, for me to go “oh man, I know who that is!”

Secondly, Telltale’s story-driven and narrative choice gameplay really shines here. Looking back at their major game The Walking Dead, that focused more on your emotions when faced with life or death choices. It’s mostly heart-breaking to know your choices affect the mortality of your friends, but there are some rare happy moments. With The Wolf Among Us however, it is less about mortality and more about deciphering what is ultimately a continuous morally grey area. Are your actions just? Do you know enough to accuse individuals of crimes they may or may not have committed? And are the punishments fitting for what you know at the time? After you’ve dealt justice, only to learn new facts about the accused, that makes your choices all the more painful.

Morality and justice are very subjective topics, and they are handled extremely well in this game. Are you the type of person who acts first and thinks later, setting an example for others? Or do you play the long game, waiting until you know more before accusing people? The ending is crafted particularly well, forcing you to scramble and decipher what the very last and unexpected piece of the puzzle means, especially after you’ve already acted upon what you thought you knew.

This is definitely a good game to pick up, especially if you enjoy narrative-driven games. There are also many quick-time action events, to break up the dialogue. I only suggest you play this on the PS3 or PS4, since the PS Vita version struggles to run smoothly, and it might break the experience.


Currently playing:

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PS4)
  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (PS4)
  • Borderlands 2 (PS4)
  • Lemmings Touch (PS Vita)

What are you playing?

WOTH: Platinum #16 & #17 – Arcade Game Series: Pac-Man & Ms. Pac-Man

I was never any good at classic arcade games.

I was a 90’s kid, and for the most part, I missed out on the very 80’s experience of going down to the local arcade and spending a few coins for some 8-bit entertainment. Instead, my first gaming experiences came from the Sega MegaDrive, and the original Playstation.

What I’m trying to get at, is this; I absolutely sucked at Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man.

The main reason I picked these up as part of the Arcade Game Series Collection, was because I had heard they were pretty easy to get, and they were super cheap – maybe $8 all up for 4 easy platinum trophies. But throughout the relatively short experience, at about 4 to 5 hours each game, I was immensely frustrated. I would have been infinitely more frustrated, if it had not been for two saving graces that I know many others used to it’s full potential.

First of all, the game was “modernised”, in the sense that when you run out of lives, instead of starting all the way back at level 1, you could choose where to start, from levels you’ve already beaten. Oh – and you can give yourself a couple of extra lives. Very handy when you are a ghost magnet like myself. These modern spins on the game were very handy for reaching the later stages you need to beat for some trophies.

Second, Playstation’s ever-so-useful game save backup feature was abused to the full extent. The hardest trophy in the game – eating all 4 ghosts with each of the 4 super pills in one stage – would have taken forever if I hadn’t cheekily saved the game state after each successful feast from a super pill. The amount of time it takes to quit the game, re-load the former save and try again, eventually became the major source of frustration.

I lumped Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man in the same entry, because the trophies are near identical to each other, and present the same troubles. The only real difference gameplay-wise, is that in Ms. Pac-Man, the layout changes every couple of stages or so.

If you love your retro gaming classics, or are good at these kind of games, then there are some easy platinum trophies up for grabs here. Otherwise, just abuse the same “exploits” as I did, and you’ll begrudgingly get there.


Currently Playing:

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PS4)
  • The Wolf Among Us (PS Vita)
  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (PS4)
  • Borderlands 2: (PS4)
  • Lemmings Touch (PS Vita)
  • Arcade Game Series: Galaga (PS4)

What trophies are you hunting this weekend?