14
Aug
20

The Trophy Hunt

Trophy hunting is still a thing, despite not having had any updates in a while. I managed to pull to level 52 on PSN, for whatever that may be worth.

Since it would be excessive, and probably almost impossible to sort out, listing everything since the last one of these updates isn’t going to be the idea; instead you get a quick peek at what I’m currently working on. There’s four games I want to touch on today.

First up, Persona 5. Yes, it’s old. Yes, I recently coaxed the platinum from its upgraded cousin, Persona 5 Royal. But given that it’s been sitting on my shelf since release – it was picked up shortly before moving, and got lost in the shuffle – I figured I might as well go back and finish this one. It’s JRPG goodness to the core, with the typical ultra-hard, heavily reliant on weaknesses and stat buffs and debuffs combat that all Shin Megami Tensei games are known for, with an excellent plot and great characters. Well, except for Haru. She still sucks. The trophy list in the original version is a bit more painful than the Royal update, however; the worst offender – and the one I’m most concerned about causing me to miss the Platinum – is to hear 250 of Futaba’s “Navigation” lines.

Basically what that entails is making sure in every combat you try every spell and attack type. Hope you get plenty of crits and reflects. Let your party members get their asses kicked, by suffering criticals and weakness attacks themselves. Let your party members rot with no health. Make sure they miss a few attacks, and let them die a few times. Make sure you try every form of negotiation on most enemy types. Baton pass constantly, swap Joker’s Persona far more often than you need to. It makes combat go from rapid fire win-or-loss affairs into clunky slogs where a spreadsheet can be your friend… and then she repeats lines half the time. Ugh.

The rest of the game is pretty standard; max out your Social Links, fuse all the Personae, beat the game and get the true ending, kill the optional bosses. All doable, and fun enough. But that one Futaba trophy…

Next is sort of a double header; Dragon Quest Heroes, both 1 and 2. They’re made by Omega Force, the folks behind Dynasty Warriors and its eight million spinoffs, which means they should be right up my alley. It’s not.

The first game is far worse than the second, but combat is slow and clunky, with frequent enemies who have 10k+ HP – while you do an average of 100 damage per swing, if you’re lucky. The boss monsters are even worse, and the “optional” veteran bosses are in the hundreds of thousands of HP with plenty of one-hit kills… and they’re all required for the Platinum. But that’s not the worst of it.

The Puff-Puffs. Oooooh, the Puff-Puffs. See, after a battle, there’s a chance your party members will give you a Puff-Puff. What precisely that entails varies by the character, but it’s totally random if you get one or not. It’s also random which character will give you one. The possibility of it happening is extremely low. I had 1 by the time the main story was done. There are twelve party members. As I write this, with hundreds of missions and repeats under my belt, I’m still only to 10/12. I hate RNG trophies, and I especially hate ones that have low rates of success. This one layers both of those multiple times.

Then there’s the enemies and their crowd control. Almost every enemy can stun you. Most of them have sweeping attacks that fling you into the air, or freeze you, or put you to sleep. This means you spend a significant amount of time mashing the dodge button and crossing your fingers, or sitting there twiddling your thumbs while enemies beat the everloving crap out of you and you can do nothing about it. At all. Awesome.

DQH2 is better in a lot of respects – combat is faster, more akin to a standard Musou game, fewer crowd controlling enemies, a nice almost open world design – but the trophy list still includes the Puff-Puffs and an almost ridiculous amount of grinding. We’ll see if I can endure it.

Lastly is Spirit Hunter: Death Mark. Now, yes, I did already do that one on Vita, and normally I object to stacking. But the PS4 version includes an additional case, and damnit, I love the game. I want to see everything it has to offer. So thanks to the wonders of GameFly, I’m doing it again, with the new ghost to fight.

Final opinions? Persona 5, if you haven’t already played it, is wonderful… just be wary of keeping Futaba happy. I’d recommend skipping it in favor of the Royal version, though. Dragon Quest Heroes? Don’t even start it. The sequel? More fun, but expect a hundred hours of grinding if you open that door. Death Mark? Even if you don’t normally like VNs or adventure games, I heartily recommend it – and its sequel, NG, though Death Mark is still the better of the two in my opinion.

Until next week, folks, happy hunting!


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