Platinum trophy

A Hat in Time

By TheDblTap

A SERIOUSLY FUN HOMAGE TO GAMECUBE GAMING

A Hat in time is a platforming collect-em-up which feels so utterly alike classic 3D Mario games that you could be fooled into believing Nintendo played a part in its inception, all it’s missing is Nintendo Polish. 

The game’s mechanics clearly pull from Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario 64, you traverse the various levels with a series of jumps, double-jumps, dives and wall-jumps in such a similar way to how you’d get around in Nintendo’s flagship character’s classic games that I felt a spike of nostalgia every time I booted it up. 

A Hat in Time follows a space-faring young girl, known to others as “Hat Kid”. She never speaks but the fully voice-acted characters who come to know her all give her a name which you can call her but we never find out what it really is. 

Her Spaceship is fueled by powerful magical Hourglasses called “timepieces” which have the ability to manipulate time. At the start of the game, they are blown out of a hole in the ship and sent plummeting down to a strange nearby planet, your goal is to get them back!

The Time Pieces obviously allow you to unlock new areas and progress in the game!

You can do this by completing challenges and quests in each of the game’s 5 worlds;

  • Mafia Island – No, not the real-life Mafia island in Zanzibar, this picturesque rounded island is overrun by the actual Mafia. 
  • Dead Bird Studios – A film studio which plays host to a strong rivalry between a 70s Disco Penguin and the most terrier-dog-looking Owl you’ve ever seen. 
  • Subcon Forest – A dark and very spooky forest full of spirits and ghosts, including a particular ghost who just can’t stop writing up contracts in exchange for your soul. This level even features a pseudo-homage to Luigi’s Mansion. 
  • Alpine Skyline – a truly beautiful free-roam area based on Tibetan mountain ranges, full of mystery and zip-lining. 
  • The Finale – yep, you guessed it, the last level, featuring only a boss fight. 

Speaking of Boss Fights, the boss fights in this game are where it really departs from the Nintendo formula. Rather than needing to hit your foe just 3 times these boss fights are long, complex pattern-based brawls which prove to be a real challenge that you can really sink your teeth (and time) into!

This first boss is clearly a charming homeage to Paper Mario!

The game’s similarities to the 3D Mario series are done tactfully and with individuality, there are unique mechanics present which offer a fresh and totally new perspective on this genre of gaming and they avoid being too samey – even changing the formula slightly for the Alpine area, allowing you to free-roam and keeping the game fresh just as it begins to become stale. 

There is, however, a striking similarity to the latest entry into the Mario series; Super Mario Odyssey, and not just because of the focus on hats. The traversal methods in Odyssey are one of the greatest things about it and they really set it apart from previous games in the series. The way you can combine jumping combos with dives and reach places you feel like you shouldn’t be, makes you feel both skilled and freed. 

This is somewhat present in A Hat in Time, just not to the same extent, and it’s possible to skip through some jumping puzzles with a little skill, combining jumps with dives and wall-scrambles to really make you feel like you’ve mastered the game – but it’s not necessary! 

The weird thing about that is that Super Mario Odyssey came out after A Hat in Time, by about 22 days. Of course, that means it is extremely unlikely that Nintendo could have copied what the Hat in Time Devs were up to, but it does feel like Odyssey built on what A Hat in Time brought to the table. 

Most likely, both teams were following gaming trends for the time and landed in fairly similar places.

A Hat in Time Gameplay

The main mechanics of the game focus around jumping – of course – but your ability to explore is often dictated by the hats you can wear. There are 6 of these hats which you can build by collecting yarn for each hat while exploring the world. Once you have created a hat, you can still find balls of yarn for it in any other level, but it will be converted into universal yarn which can be used to create other hats, as long as you have at least one yarn for that hat. 

The hats give you powers like being able to sprint, and in turn long-jump, or interact with platforms which are otherwise intangible.

Just half of the available hats. They also have customisable skins which you can unlock from doing Rifts or from the Gachapon machine on the ship.

This range of abilities is then expanded upon with the inclusion of “Badges”. Small pins which Hat Kid can wear on her hats to give her new abilities – such as the invaluable Hookshot – or improve on what she has, like turning her normal umbrella attacks into a powerful long-range chargeable beam. 

You can attack enemies with and she’ll give them a good thwapping with her umbrella, but you can also dive-attack enemies by pressing whilst in the air. This dive attack is actually quite important for getting around in some areas, where you’ll need to dive-attack a spider to get across a gap.

It’s actually pretty tough to get right and can often be frustrating as sometimes – for no reason at all – the attack just won’t trigger. It’s also the only way to attack in the air, which is a bit disappointing because sometimes I had an uncontrollable urge to jump at an enemy and whop them on the noggin with my brolly, but all that would happen is I’d jump in the air and then land on the enemy, hurting myself.

There’s a pretty tricky trophy for doing 5 air-dive attacks in a row.

For a game about jumping around and platforming, there actually is – surprisingly – fall damage. But it’s pretty lenient, you can fall from some pretty impressive heights and still walk away. You can also get a badge which makes Hat Kid deploy her umbrella and Mary Poppins her way to safety if you’re falling from too high up.

The aim of each level in the game is, of course, to collect the Shine Sprites Time Pieces. Collecting an hourglass will send you back to the ship, which can be annoying if you’re working on other trophies or side-objectives and need to start again if you collect the hourglass.

From the ship, you can then select another level to do in the same world or go to a different world to try out the levels available there. Levels are essentially different challenges set in the same world, which can vary from platforming challenges to boss fights to stealth missions, upon the completion of which you receive your Time Piece. 

Each world is full of hidden mystery, caches of Pons (the game’s currency with which you can buy badges and relic plinths), hidden relics, balls of yarn and trophy opportunities. There are also things called “Time Rifts”. Similar to the trippy toybox worlds you could find hidden away in Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine, these worlds consist of platforms floating in a void which you need to navigate. 

Fans of the Mario series will be very familiar with rotating platforms shaped like this.

You can unlock Time Rifts by progressing in a world a certain amount, you’ll then be given a photo-hint as to its location which you can use to find it in the relevant world and complete it for a bonus Time Piece. 

Each world has 3 Time rifts to complete, two of them blue and one purple. The purple rifts unlock once you have collected a certain number of hidden relics (not necessarily in that same world) and then displayed them on a relic plinth within your ship. Relic plinths can be purchased for 200 Pons and you will need 4 in total.

Purple rifts are much longer and consist of several jumping puzzles. They are also themed more towards the world they’re found in, although quite a dark and warped alteration of the world’s theme. 

Purple Rifts have a spooky and abandoned atmosphere… Like a shopping centre/mall after dark!

In each of the puzzles, you can find special gold Pons. These Pons can be used to buy access to the next puzzle. What’s quite nice about this is that you don’t need all of the available gold Pons, just enough to reach the next area, and if you have surplus you get to keep them for the next area in-case it proves difficult.

There are also hidden pages which, if you find them all, can be combined into a picture-book depicting the history of that world. They’re not needed for any trophies but are cool nonetheless.

My A Hat in Time Platinum Experience

I had an incredibly fun time getting the Platinum for this game. It was lengthy and fulfilling without being too dragged out or boring in places. The progression pacing was really well done and after just 10 minutes in the game, you can really feel like you’ve made some solid progress. 

There are a lot of miscellaneous trophies though, not necessarily tied to in-game progression, so even if you get really far in the game, you might look at your trophy list and still only see “13%”. This ends up being quite satisfying though, as you approach the end of your playthrough and start to pop trophies left and right.

I started off by wanting to just play through the game, enjoy what story there is and just immerse myself in the nostalgia for a while. But, it didn’t take very long before my trophy hunter instincts kicked in and I found myself sticking my nose in every little crook and nanny I could find, looking for yarn, Relics, Pon and anything else I could get my greedy mits on.

I was delighted the second I set my eyes on this Level, look how charming it is!

Worth noting, by the way, that after I got about 50% of the way in the game I stopped going after yarn because I realised what an abundance of yarn there was. By the time I’d used my yarn to buy the last hat I still had an absurd amount of spare yarn.

I think that’s quite nice of the developers, personally. There’s nothing worse when you’re playing a collect-em-up than the last 2-3 hours spent looking for that one last item you need and not knowing where it is or which one you’re missing in order to just Google it. It’s nice to have that peace of mind that you don’t need all of the yarn or pon in every level.

In-fact the only collectables you really need to get 100% of are the Relics – of which there are only a few, like 15 or something – and the Time Pieces which are, of course, really easy to find and there are only 40.

I had no difficulty in finding any of these. Otherwise, I’d say something like “There’s one really well-hidden relic here on this level” but they are genuinely really easy to find.

A Hat in Time Platinum Trophy Tips & Tricks

The platinum is genuinely quite easy, you just need to be willing to put in the time – which shouldn’t be a big ask for a game as wonderful as this! 

I would recommend, however, that you leave most of the miscellaneous trophies until you have the last hat:

Spoiler

The Time Stop Hat will let you slow down time dramatically. This includes missions which have a timer attached so it’s perfect for “No time to explain” and “Afraid of Water”

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You can also get a really helpful badge which will reduce cooldowns to a great extent, allowing you to use abilities such as the last hat almost non-stop.

Combining that badge and the last hat makes most of the trophies a breeze!

There is one trophy you need to get which required you to beat a boss without dying while wearing a badge which will make you die after one hit:

One Punch Defeat any boss with the 1-hit hero badge equipped.

This trophy is very, very hard in my opinion, I had a horrible time trying to do this.

I recommend doing the Subcon Toilet mission with the 1-hit hero badge equipped, the cooldown badge and the last hat, which makes it a lot more possible, but still really difficult.

Here’s the equipment set-up I finally managed to get this trophy with.

I just kept having bouts of horrible luck, every time I’d grab the explosive apple I’d just so happen to do it just above an attack which would then kill me, or I’d run out of double-jumps at the wrong time, things like that. But also whenever I did have a good run I’d always get so damn close, like, one hit away from killing the boss, before dying. I’d then never be able to reach that point again for another 10-15 tries, it was absolutely maddening.

I was understandably ecstatic when I finally pulled it off!

Eventually, I did manage it. The best advice I could offer is not to abuse that last hat’s ability too much, try to do things without it as much as you can because sometimes it’s detrimental (you’ll see what I mean).

I can’t think of any other trophies anybody might struggle with, except maybe this one?:

Pillow Fort Find Hat Kid’s Secret Hideout!

If you’re struggling to find it, the solution is in the spoiler tags below:

Spoiler

If you go to the telescope which takes you to Subcon Forest, you’ll see a large pile of pillows which you can actually swim in. If you clip your camera through this mass of pillows you might see a suspicious-looking hole in the floor. Use the Ice hat’s ability while above this hole to make yourself heavy enough to fall right in.

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None of the trophies are missable and you can revisit and replay any mission you’ve already completed, so go wild! Have fun! The game is a really jovial jaunt and I hope you find as much joy in it as I did!

My Verdict:


Plat


I loved this game inside out, it was a lot of fun and I was always excited to get back on it after some time away, it took a little while to get into at first but once it had me I was hooked!

Pros:


  • Fun and adaptive gameplay
  • Oozes nostalgia
  • Gameplay changes to avoid becoming stale

Cons:


  • Lack of polish
  • Kicks you out of a world between objectives

Platinum trophy

Platinum Trophy

It may not have that triple-A polish, but the mechanics and gameplay give this game a godly glow and it’s definitely worth picking up!

About the Author

TheDblTap is fond of single-player action and adventure games as well as the odd collect-em-up or RPG. He thinks FPS games are stale and repetitive and has little patience for gunfights which are too drawn-out. Originally a Nintendo gamer, the PlayStation line of consoles quickly took their grasp as he fell in love with Sony’s gamer-centric approach and – eventually – collecting shiny, shiny trophies.

With a keen eye for secrets and treasure, TheDblTap’s play-style often benefits him as a trophy hunter, but as someone with poor timing, he struggles with more skill-based combat trophies…

Bronze Trophy

Blood Waves

By TheDblTap

AN AWKWARD GAME OF LIMITED POTENTIAL

Bood waves is another of the short platinums which have been sitting at the top of my plat list for a very long time. The platinum trophy can be achieved somewhere between 4 hours and 15 hours depending on your patience and, I hate to say it – skill.

Unfortunately I lacked in both patience and skill as I was playing through the game and had to retry a great many times, but I’ll get to that shortly.

The idea of this game is to survive as many waves as you can in a small, circular,  enclosed arena against Zombies. You have access to a few upgradeable weapons, a few upgradeable traps and a few upgradeable skills.

90% of the gameplay looks like this. Running away from Zombies and looking behind yourself.

There are 8 weapons available for you to use:

  • Machete: You start with a machete in your arsenal and it’s your best defense against the hordes in the early stages, but you’ll never use it again once you have decent weaponry and plenty of money for ammo.
  • Colt: Probably the first gun you’ll get unless you get lucky with cash pick-ups early in the game, it has decent accuracy, a low rate of fire and low damage. But, if you get mostly headshots you should be able to survive a few early rounds with this alone.
  • SMG: As you can imagine, it’s got a slightly lower damage than the colt but with it’s massively increased rate of fire you’re likely to do a lot more damage with this one. It’s great for crowd control and you need it for one trophy.
  • Shotgun: The best weapon for the early waves, with this bad boy you can take the head of a Zombie clean off with just one shot, you’ll almost certainly use this in the early stages, especially if you use the guide below.
  • AK12: A slightly more powerful automatic rifle which has higher damage output than the SMG but a lower rate of fire. I never used it.
  • AWP: The big mac daddy of guns in the game, this beast can take out any zombie with one shot on any body-part. It makes no sense, but it’s crucial to surviving the game’s late stages.
  • Minigun: Remember the days when every FPS ever had a minigun in there somewhere? And you’d always want to get it and use it, but then it ends up being such an inconvenience you regret it? It’s kind of like that here. The gun slows you down, so you can’t escape the zombies unless you’re running, for which you need a lot of stamina. So, if you end up using this gun (which you will if you want the platinum) you’ll need to constantly be switching guns with and so you can stay mobile.
  • RPG: I rarely used this, except at the end of my run when I was trying to spend more money for a certain trophy (it has expensive ammo) and to be honest it’s hugely disappointing. The blast radius is pretty small, the accuracy is hilariously bad and to kill anything with it you’ll need to shoot at the zombie’s feet.

Some weapons have trophies tied to them

As well as those there are 5 traps you can use too. But this doesn’t end the way you think it does. You, stood in a circle of miniguns and flamethrowers doing all the work for you, making you feel like you really achieved something in the game – no – they’re all HEAVILY limited in terms of how many you can use at one time, which is incredibly disappointing and frankly just boring .

 The best part about a tower defence game is when you finally become so powerful you break the game, but they don’t want that in Blood Waves. Anyway, here are the traps:

  • Barricade: These are very cheap at $250 dollars a piece and you can use up to 15 of them. But they are utterly useless, they don’t damage zombies, and they don’t deter zombies. Zombies will run at them and attack them as soon as they’re near one and destroy it in no time at all, even fully upgraded, making it pretty useless defensively but it can have some good uses when paired up with a weapon which can kill them while they attack the barricades.
  • Turret: This is yet another useless tool which could have been much better. It does very small damage per second, you might as well be tickling the zombies to death. It also goes down incredibly quick. The only good thing about it is that it explodes when destroyed, and takes one or two zombies down with it. You can have four of these.
  • Flamethrower: Personally, I can’t see the difference between this and the turret. It dies easily, explodes on death and does a small amount of damage to zombies, it might as well not exist, plus you can only have two!
  • Grinder: FINALLY, a useful trap! Sadly you can only have two, but there is a great strategy for the first 20-ish waves which this is great for. They also cannot be hurt by normal zombies, they just chew them up when they get close and release a spray of blood and meat chunks.
  • Deadly Spinner: This one was my best friend throughout my platinum playthrough, you can only have one, but it chews up and spits out any zombie that gets close except bomber zombies who are the only ones that can destroy it. I would set this in the middle and then bait all zombies into it to have them made into mince-meat.

After each wave you are given access to a back room within which you can buy traps, upgrades, weapons, and skills using the points and money you earn throughout the wave. 

You need to spend a lot of money for one of the trophies, so go wild!

Once you’ve managed these things you are able to access a Build Mode by pressing inside the arena. In this mode you can enjoy an awkward and annoyingly slow process of placing traps for 5 minutes in a formation that should only take 2 minutes, but that’s just how it is. You can only rotate an object in a single direction and if you over-rotate you need to rotate a full 360 again, the character’s movements are choppy and imprecise to it’s hard to place the traps precisely and it’s just overall boring and unpleasant.

The build mode is slow and limited.

When you’re ready, you can press to start a wave and hopefully make it through to the end. It is so disgustingly easy to die in this game. You need to keep moving constantly, never stop. 

They can walk just about the same speed as you (unless you’re holding a minigun which makes you slower than the Zombies) so as long as you don’t move and don’t make too tight of a turn, the entire pack will follow you anywhere, which is useful for baiting zombies over to traps, but if you stop for any reason or get caught on something you’re almost guaranteed to die with extreme speed.

Almost every single time I took a risk for a screenshot or loot pick-up I died. This was no exception.

Because of how easy it is to die out of nowhere, I highly recommend backing up saves. If you die on a wave you have to start from wave 1 again, no matter what you have achieved. To avoid this, after a successful wave when the game auto-saves, you can jump out to the PS4 dashboard and upload your save data to a USB device or the PSCloud, this way you can always re-download that save if you die and therefore keep your progress. 

I did this after every wave. You’re free to do this less as it is a pain in the arse, but everytime I pushed my luck and tried to do 2 or 3 waves without backing up, I’d lose my progress and I don’t have the patience to play multiple waves over and over again, especially not when the game is this buggy and awkward.

Essentially, the majority of your gameplay will be you running away from zombies, looking over your shoulder and trying to gain enough distance to stop and shoot a few. Because of this I highly recommend upping the sensitivity in the settings, because by default it is very slow and difficult to turn around.

Practically the whole game is summed up in this one screenshot.

There are a few types of zombies, but they don’t really bring much to the table, especially if you have a good strategy, here they are:

  • Normal Zombie: These guys will appear in droves, there’s nothing particularly special about them. They’re just your typical video game zombies who repeat an attack animation which has no bearing on how or when they will hurt you, think Day-Z but even less advanced.
  • Big Zombies: Honestly, it took me a while to realise these were different zombies and the devs hadn’t just lazily randomised zombie height to falsify variety. Their biggest trait is that they hit REALLY hard, so stay away from them.
  • Acid Zombies: These guys make an irritating vomit sound which never varies and spit fluorescent paint at you. They don’t seem to do much damage but, left unattended, they can deal some serious damage to your traps. Kill them as soon as you see them.
  • Electric Zombies: I mean, really. This uninspired and nonsensical Zombie variety can impart heavy damage upon you and your traps, kill it on sight. They have particularly weak legs, so go for the knees to “Ground” them.
  • Bomber Zombies: I don’t know who is going around cutting zombie heads in half and resting cartoon acme bombs inside their skull cavities, but somebody is doing it and it’s bad. The bomber can explode at will or when killed, even if you shoot him nowhere near the bomb. I don’t understand the logistics of it, but I do know he deals devastating damage and you don’t want him anywhere near you or your traps, prioritise him when you see him.

So, if I haven’t put you off this horrible game yet, then I have a decent walk-through, pieced together from other people’s walk-throughs online to give you the perfect method which worked for me, allowing me to plat the game in just one play-through (spread over several days because, damn, this game is bad).

Blood Waves Platinum Trophy Walkthrough

If you follow this wave-by-wave guide for platting the game then you should be able to manage it in just one playthrough. 

Remember, you need to reach wave 30 for one of the trophies, but to get the trophy for killing 5,000 zombies you will need to play a little longer than that. Most people claim online you’ll need to reach wave 34, but I pulled it off after wave 31. 

Proof! (I almost didn’t make it out alive).

Sadly, I still needed to play a couple more waves to get the trophy for spending $1,000,000 in-game.

Also, don’t forget to back up your saves frequently if you don’t want to restart from the beginning every time. Do this at whatever rate you prefer, 5 waves, 2 waves, or just one wave if you’re impatient like myself.

Waves 1-3

Beat these 3 waves using only your knife. You’re going to struggle a little on the third wave but it’s worth it. 

Run circles around the map to gather the horde into one small group and then spin around and cut at as many as you can. Once your health reaches half you want to get away just to be safe. Continue your circuit around the arena, gathering up any newly spawned zombies, and then repeat the process once your health is full again. 

As long as you’re careful you’ll be fine, make sure you grab any loot the zombies drop, but it won’t be much at first.

At least the hordes are smaller at first

At the end of each wave do not spend any money or upgrade points, just jump straight into the next wave once your health is full until you complete Wave 3.  If you’re really struggling to beat Wave 3 with just a knife, buy a Colt and some ammo but try to save what money you can and definitely don’t buy upgrades or skills.

After wave 3, if you didnt already, buy the colt and ammo and use them to beat Wave 4.

Wave 4: Beat this wave with the Colt. As usual, you want to put some distance between yourself and the zombies and then spin around and get as many headshots as you can before they get close to you. Once they are close, start running again until you have some distance between you. Repeat until you’re victorious.

Once you finish the wave, buy the SMG with ammo. Also buy the “Loot” skill. This will give us more item pick-ups from zombie kills and allow us to earn more money, quickly.

Don’t buy anything else.

The SMG is going to be very important

Waves 6-7

You’re going to start seeing acid Zombies now. They’re easy to spot because they glow a bright green colour. There’s a trophy for killing 20 of these with an SMG, so everytime you see one, pull out your SMG and start laying into them with it.

Other than those guys, you want to use your Shotgun for normal Zombies. There’s a trophy for getting 100 headshots with the Shotgun, so aim for the head each time. If you actually hit them in the head, it will explode killing them instantly.

You’d think the trophy screenshot would actually include a headshot… Oh well, at least that guy back there is missing a noggin.

Keep up this strategy for as many waves as you need to until you get both of these trophies:

Acid Wars Kill 20 Acid Zombies using SMG

Mega Headshot Make 100 Headshots using Shotgun

At the end of these waves, restock your shotgun and SMG ammo but don’t buy anything else until Wave 7. After Wave 7, buy the “Resistance to Explosion” skill.

Waves 8-10

You should be close to having the headshot trophy now, for me it popped in Wave 9. Within these 3 waves, buy the skills “Resistance to Electricity” and “Resistance to Acid”, in that order, as soon as you have the skill points for them. 

Buy the Minigun with ammo as soon as you have the money for it, but you won’t really need to use it until you have that headshot trophy, so you could hold out for it until then.

Once you do have that headshot trophy, stop using the shotgun and start every wave with the Minigun. We need to get 1,000 kills with the minigun for a trophy, so just get out the minigun whenever you can, and you should have the trophy sometime before wave 15. 

These waves are going to be very annoying because of the minigun, so here is what I recommend:

With the minigun put away, and a lighter gun in your hands, run circles around the arena to get the zombies into one tight group, once this is the case, sprint from one end of the arena to the other and quickly spin around, pull out the minigun with [d-pad] and then mow as many of them down as you can with it. Once they get a little close to you, use to switch to a lighter weapon and then start the process again.

If you keep this up for the foreseeable future, you’ll have a fairly easy time getting the trophy.

As usual, don’t buy any weapon upgrades during these waves.

Wave 11

Wave 11 is the first major milestone and you’re going to pop a lot of trophies here. As soon as you finish Wave 11, back up your save and then go and buy as many weapon upgrades as you can, you should pop a few trophies. Then, re-download your backup and buy as many other weapon upgrades as you can, popping a few more trophies. Repeat this process until you have the trophies for all of the weapon and trap upgrades.

Once you’ve finished that process, reload your save one last time, this time buy the AWP and the weapon upgrades for both the Minigun and the AWP.

Get used to the AWP because you’re going to be using it a lot.

Wave 11 – Wave 34

Now it’s time to get serious. 

From here on out you can buy traps and start using them. There are a few trap-related trophies for placing a certain number of each trap in one game, this is easily cheatable. When in built mode, position your trap in a way the game doesn’t like (the projection will turn red) and then mash [X] like your life depends on it. The game wiill stupidly register these attempts to place a trap as placed traps allowing you to pop all of these trophies with this one simple method.

You can now also buy upgrades as much as you like, but don’t waste your upgrade points on weapon upgrades. Once the Minigun and AWP are fully upgraded you don’t need to use any of the other weapons so spend the points on upgrading traps.

You’re going to want to spend as much money as you can, so after every wave buy the traps and ammo you need and then spend any surplus money anywhere you can to avoid needing to play longer at the end of the game like I did.

Also be mindful of the SMG, Minigun and Shotgun trophies, if you still haven’t got those yet just ensure you’re doing what you can each wave to fulfil those requirements.

Note that at around wave 17 you should be able to afford most Skills in the game. Backup your save data at this time and use the same method we used for weapon upgrades to unlock every skill-related trophy in the game. After that you should be able to just make a straight  run for the platinum with a few backed up saves in-between.

All of the skill trophy screenshots look like this, in case you were wondering.

I have a couple of good methods for surviving the game. 

The first method is better earlier on when you don’t have a ton of money to burn, simply buy two Zombie Grinders and position them in the outer ring of the arena, against one of the dividing walls, just by one of the openings at either the angel statue or the large door to avoid special zombies seeing them on spawn and attacking them immediately. These grinders can only be destroyed by Acid, Electric and Bomber zombies, so we want to keep them away.

As you’ve probably noticed by now, each wave has a maximum number of zombies that can enter the arena at once, and no more will be spawned until you kill some. Start each wave by running laps of the inner circle of the arena, gathering up a group of zombies. You then want to switch to the AWP and pick off any Acid, Electric or bomber zombies you see. 

Once you’ve cleared them away, continue your laps for a little while to see if any more spawn and continue this method until the group following you consists of only normal zombies. Now, run into the outer circle with the horde in tow, and head towards one of your grinders and if they’re positioned correctly you should be able to hook around the side of one and head directly towards the center of the arena. The zombies will try to take a shortcut around the corner straight into the grinder. If you do this right, the whole horde will become mincemeat and you can proceed to repeat the process.

It doesn’t hurt to let the grinders take a little damage so that you can repair them for this trophy.

The next strategy is better a little later on because you’re going to want the very expensive Deadly Spinner. You could also buy all the other traps to full capacity and build something like what I describe below, but it’s not necessary.

I like to start by placing a Deadly Spinner right in the center of the arena. If you look after this right and keep the Bomber zombies away, it will last you a few waves without ever needing to be replaced. Around this, I place 4 turrets, 2 flamethrowers, 2 grinders,  15 barricades and a partridge in a pear tree. 

The barricades will encapsulate the entire set-up, keeping zombies at bay long enough for the turrets and flamethrowers to pick a few off. Once the barricades go, the zombies head towards the guns to take them out, with most of them falling prey to the spinner and the grinders. Plus once the guns are destroyed they will explode, killing off many of the zombies. 

This is the layout I went with in the end.

Then you just have the grinders and the spinner left. If you run a tight circle around this, the majority of the zombies will get decimated and you can just focus on the electric and acid zombies who stop to attack the grinders.

Once the grinders are all gone, you have the Deadly Spinner. If you run a tight circle around this you can trick every zombie except a Bomber into getting caught up in it. This is essentially all you need, but the other stuff is a bit of fun and spices up the waves a little.

Just remember to be extra vigilant for bombers, they will destroy your spinner in one hit and then you’re left using your weapons to kill zombies, which is just boring.

Quite handily, I discovered you can place anything INSIDE a spinner, too. So you could put a barricade or two inside a spinner to trick zombies into coming over to attack the barricade and then ending up getting caught in the spinner. 

Clearly a bug, but it comes in handy.

Follow everything you see in the guide above and you should have a fairly reasonable time getting the platinum, so long as you can commit to the horrible game with it’s horrible mechanics and boring gameplay.

My Verdict:


Pass


This game is a mess. It has a lot of theoretical potential to be an exciting and fun tower defence game, but all it really amounts to is 30-34 waves of constantly running in circles and occasionally pressing a button. I do not recommend.

Pros:


  • Easy, short-ish platinum

Cons:


  • Too easy to die in a heartbeat
  • Sluggish movement
  • Buggy gameplay

Bronze Trophy

Bronze Trophy

This wouldn’t even get a bronze if the platinum wasn’t so easy. Visions of the fun this game could have been only help to exacerbate my dislike for the actual product.

About the Author

TheDblTap is fond of single-player action and adventure games as well as the odd collect-em-up or RPG. He thinks FPS games are stale and repetitive and has little patience for gunfights which are too drawn-out. Originally a Nintendo gamer, the PlayStation line of consoles quickly took their grasp as he fell in love with Sony’s gamer-centric approach and – eventually – collecting shiny, shiny trophies.

With a keen eye for secrets and treasure, TheDblTap’s play-style often benefits him as a trophy hunter, but as someone with poor timing, he struggles with more skill-based combat trophies…

Check out some of our other Posts

Silver Trophy

Blackwood Crossing

By TheDblTap

A BEAUTIFULLY STYLISED SHORT INDIE STORY

I’ve had Blackwood Crossing on my list for months. Something about the cover art suggested to me that it would just be another artsy-fartsy 2D Indie puzzle game and I just couldn’t be bothered with a game like that. 

Lately I’ve been working through my plat list from shortest game to longest game and this 2-hour plat was sat right at the front. When I finally sat down to play it and got past the main menu screen I was immediately pleased and relieved. It was obvious from the get-go that some real passion and love had gone into the game and it wouldn’t just be your typical low-quality indie title.

Some attention and love went into this game’s stylised visuals

I don’t want to give away too much about this game’s touching, albeit somewhat vague, storyline, but I was pleasantly surprised by it. Typically indie developers will tell their storyline like they all went to a game development course where some hipster in a turtle-neck told them to tell their story as though the player already knows it. 

Thus, they leave out the majority of the information in a lazy attempt to get the player to inject their own perspective of things into the gaps in the story. This way, the devs do less work and they get bonus points for leaving an air of mystery around the whole thing. I’ve always hated this about indie games, my view is that if a story is worth telling you’d tell it properly. 

Of course, I’m not sheltered, I understand that this is often a successful approach and many indie developers follow this same train of thought, I’m just not a fan of it.

I can’t say that Blackwood Crossing avoided this trope entirely, they never directly say what happened but there’s a good plot-based reason for it, as opposed to just doing it for the sake of it. The story is set following an incredibly upsetting event for all characters involved and it makes sense that they’d want to avoid it or not talk about it directly. The effect is that you feel like the main character, Scarlet, is really struggling to break through the mental barriers she’s set up to avoid addressing the event.

Despite the limited environments, the dream-like world feels limitless in potential.

Your goal throughout the game is to uncover what happened, helped Scarlett and Finn come to terms with what happened and ultimately find closure. A lot of trippy visuals are employed throughout the game, nothing too trippy, just things like a moving train carriage leading to a stationary greenhouse, or a tree-house sprouting in the middle of the train, that sort of thing.

You’re given some abilities, such as giving life to specific inanimate objects or absorbing fire and shadows, but they’re simply used as metaphors to advance the plot except from in a couple of cases where they are actually used to solve relatively simple puzzles. 

The gameplay isn’t complex at all as the whole idea is for you to be able to focus on the storyline and it’s only a couple of hours long, however, there is a very novel and interesting concept introduced into the game via puzzles, here’s how that works;

You will need to speak to a few individuals spread about an area who will all speak one line when spoken to. If you pay attention, you’ll notice that some of these conversations seem to align, with one person making a remark or asking a question and another person responding to the first. Your goal is to pair these two lines of dialogue by speaking to each of the 2 matching people in the correct order.

Characters other than Finn and Scarlet all wear masks – for metaphorical reasons of course.

Not only is this a fairly unique and fun kind of puzzle, but it helps to further the plot and give you more clues as to the events which transpired as well as why.

The only truly frustrating thing about this game is the speed at which you can move. It’s fine most of the time as you’re taking in your surroundings, looking for collectables or listening to dialogue, but when the game expects you to do a puzzle which has you going back and forth or has you exploring an area looking for items, it’s simply irritating to only be able to move at a snail’s pace. We’re talking slower than walking speed. Like, the character’s shoes are tied together and she’s trying to wade through honey.

Blackwood Crossing Trophy Walkthrough

On my first playthrough of the game, I missed 2 of the collectables right at the beginning and had to play through the entire game again to get the trophies tied to them. Because of this, I was looking for a decent text guide so I could make sure I wasn’t missing any others, and I couldn’t help but notice that there aren’t any good guides for this game and its collectables. 

Due to this, I’m going to write up a guide here so that there’s a good one at least somewhere on the internet. I’ll list the trophies in the order you can get them, interspersed with collectable locations and keep it spoiler-free. Have fun!

Collectible Rabbit Plush 1/7: Once you gain control of Scarlet right at the start of the game, exit your cabin and head right. Down the train corridor. Enter the first Cabin on the right after yours and look at the table, there’s a small Rabbit plush; Grab it with !

Simon Says: Don’t lose Can you beat this nostalgic game?

Simon Says: Good to Go Complete your first adventure

Shortly after the start of the game, you will find yourself playing “Simon Says” with Finn. You will follow him down the train corridor where he will go through a door and say “Simon Says, look up!”. Whenever he gives you an instruction you need to do it as fast as possible to avoid him repeating an instruction. 

If he repeats an instruction you will need to restart the section. Here’s what he asks for in order:

  • Simon Says: Look Up – Simply look to the ceiling.
  • Simon Says: Look Down – Nice Shoes! Just look at your feet.
  • Simon Says: Open the Window – Press to interact with the window’s handle by the door at the back. Try to stand near this as soon as you can.
  • Simon Says: Pick up the Pen – Thief! After you open the window, turn to the left and look down at the small table between the two seats, press [X] to pick up the pen.
  • Open the door – DON’T DO IT! The crafty little bugger never said Simon Says! He’ll repeat this instruction a couple of times and then finally say “Simon Says”, then you may open the door with

If you do everything above correctly, you’ll get the two trophies.

Collectible Poster 1/9: Immediately after opening the door as part of the Simon Says game, turn around and look to the wall on your right, there’s a “Paper Whales” poster which we couldn’t inspect before. Press on this to inspect it.

Pull the Other One Inspect this emergency feature

During your first conversation-pairing mini-game, at the back of the train car you’re in you will find an old lady and a teen with a paper bag on his head, in this area you will see a small red handle by a blue door on the opposite wall from the 2 people, it’s the only one on the train that you can interact with. Inspect with via it for this trophy.

It looks like this.

Collectible Poster 2/9: Also in this section of the game, head to the part of the Train with Scarlet’s Grandparents in it and look for a black and white poster which has the orange title “Finn” and  interact with it using .

This was taken after completing the puzzle, so the grandparents’ positions are different.

Collectible Poster 3/9: From the last poster, head down further down the train into a larger seating area and look for another black and white poster with the title “GASP”, interact with it using .

*sharp inhale*!

Collectible Rabbit Plush 2/7: A little further on from here, once you’ve completed the conversation-pairing puzzle, you will find Finn looking pretty miffed and Scarlet will be on her phone. Head down this train car and check the cabins on the right, the second one you come to will have the Rabbit Plush on the seat, grab it with .

Always check the cabins, a lot of the rabbits are in cabins.

Collectible Poster 4/9: Immediately after picking up that last plush, head into the next train car and check the right wall once you come to the first seating area. You’ll see a poster parody of Forrest Gump with the title “Run Finn, Run”, inspect it with .

Life is like a box of chocolates, you read the back of the box and get exactly what you want.

Collectible Rabbit Plush 3/7: Just after inspecting the Run Finn, Run poster, you will come across a lone cabin between two seating areas, check it for a rabbit plush on the seat to the left, grab it with .

Another lone cabin cruiser.

Green Fingered Find Grandad’s refuge

You can’t really miss this trophy. Eventually in the game, Finn will climb up a tree and refuse you access without a password which you will need to figure out based on some items hidden around the area, it’s impossible to find all of these without finding “Grandad’s refuge”.

If you’re struggling with the password, here’s a hint:

Spoiler

Remove “ub” from each of the words and it should make more sense.

[collapse]

DO NOT CLIMB THE TREE YET. First, get this trophy:

Guitar man Inspect this once loved instrument

By a large tire in the area with the tree you will find a lone acoustic guitar, inspect it!

You spin me right round Inspect this moment in space

Once you enter the tree-house don’t talk to Finn just yet. You can, but just to be safe and ensure you don’t miss anything, get these few trophies before even speaking with him. First, head up the ladder on your immediate right, this will take you to a dark upper area. There’s a colander on the ground covering a light source, creating stars on the walls, inspect this with for the trophy.

Good Kitty Inspect your purrrfect pet

Head back down the ladder and over to the back wall, which will be on your right  when you come down the ladder. There’s a worn shelf with a poorly-crafted cat figure on top, inspect the cat with .

I thought it was made of duct tape at first.

Prize Draw Inspect this shared success

Turn around after getting the cat and head into the opposite corner towards a conic barrel-like surface below the cork-board. It has a trophy on the top, inspect it with .

Life Giver Acquire your Life Powers

Collectible Poster 5/9: Once you find yourself back on the train you will need to unlock a door. After you make your way through the aforementioned locked door you will enter into an area with another conversation-pairing minigame, on the left wall is a Silence of the Lambs poster parody titled “Hush”. Inspect it with .

Fat chance!

Collectible Poster 6/9: After completing the previously mentioned conversation-pairing puzzle, head into the next car to find a poster on the wall which is a parody of “Home Alone” titled “Forgotten”.

You know, I’ve never seen Home Alone…

Collectible Rabbit Plush 4/7: After the above poster move into the next car to see Finn fiddling with a fire extinguisher. Once he runs out of the room, follow him through the door and pick up the Rabbit Plush in the second cabin on your left.

Picked this one up prematurely but I’m looking at where it was.

Doodle Dandy Find this moment of teenage fancy

Continue on after grabbing the above Rabbit Plush into the third cabin where you’ll find a notepad on the table, grab it with for this trophy.

Collectible Poster 7/9: A little later on you will have solved a puzzle involving fire, immediately after resolving it you will see another poster on the left wall, inspect it with .

This scene should be pretty easy to spot.

Fire Starter Acquire your Pyrokinesis Powers

This is unmissable, just continue on with the story and it will pop.

Catharsis Set Finn’s emotions free

Redemption redeem your mistakes

These two trophies are two sides of the same coin, so you will need to replay this section twice to get them both, here’s what you need to do:

There will be 4 burning piles in each corner of the treehouse. You need to go out onto the balcony to grab fire from the pit, then bring it inside and place the fire on one of the burning piles. Repeat this painstakingly slow process 4 times for the Catharsis trophy. 

You may see a rabbit plush on the balcony, if you’re going to grab it ensure you do so once you have both trophies and are ready to move on so you don’t risk missing it by accident.

Once the trophy pops and you’re certain you got it, pause the game and quit to the main menu. Press continue to resume the game from before solving this puzzle. This time, do it in reverse, grab fire from the burning piles and place it in the bonfire one by one.

Collectible Rabbit Plush 5/7: Remember to grab that plush from the balcony once you have both trophies and before you talk to Finn which will progress the game.

It’s tricky to see in this shot but it’s sat in-front of the jar with the candle in it.

Collectible Rabbit Plush 6/7: A little later on you’ll find yourself on a very small island, tasked with finding 4 items hidden around the area. Eventually you will see a statue, you can’t miss it – really. Turn right when facing the statue to find a small path and a gravestone with a rabbit plush on it, grab it with [X].

Inspecting the gravestone and the statue will also award you the following trophies:

Alas , Poor Isaac! Uncover Isaac’s past secrets

Who’s the daddy? An ego waiting to be found

The rabbit will be by the yellow flowers on the right.

Continue on with the game, looking for the 4 items Finn wants you to bring him.

Pure Folly Find this fanciful hideout

You can’t miss this as it’s tied to one of the items you need to find, it’ll pop in time.

Big Cheater Look for Finn as quickly as you can

Shortly after the puzzle is complete, Finn will suggest a game of Hide and Seek, you’re then given dialogue options for the numbers you wish you count. Simply press throughout this entire sequence to secure the trophy.

Collectible Poster 8/9: Once you end up in the treehouse again, look at the back wall to find a poster titled “Rabbit Boy” which is a Donny Darko parody. Inspect it with .

Schpooky

A moment Captured Inspect the instant memory maker

Just to the right of the poster is a box with a Polaroid camera atop it, grab it with for this trophy.

Dark Destroyer Acquire your Umbrakinesis Powers

This is unmissable, you cannot progress without unlocking this trophy.

Poster Club Inspect all the film posters in the game

Collectible Poster 9/9: The next time you’re on the train, you’ll see this poster on the left wall, inspect it with and you’ll get your trophy!

They did something kind of clever with the logo here, see how the 11 and the S make up a rabbit’s head? Not sure if it was intentional, though.

Not a happy bunny Find these weathered toys

Collectible Rabbit Plush 7/7: In this area is a seating space with several of the characters all sat together. Near the back, you’ll see “Rabbit Boy”. Approach him and he will depart, leaving behind the final rabbit plush on his seat which will net you a trophy.

Last little rabbit looking pretty sad.

There’s a lot of gameplay between this trophy and the final one, but rest easy knowing you can just play freely without looking for collectibles or trophy triggers.

Masquerade  Collect your mask from Finn

I actually missed this one on my first run. I missed some collectibles so I made a new game not realising what I needed to do for this trophy. Were it not for this, I could have cut my second play-through short after my collectible trophies popped.

Once the credits are over you’ll be kicked to the main menu, make sure you “Continue” to see a final scene and acquire the last trophy and your brand new platinum!

My Verdict:


Plat


I’m not a big fan of indie games but I really genuinely enjoyed the pants off-a this one. I highly recommend it to anybody who has a couple of hours spare, especially trophy hunters.

Pros:


  • Attractive stylised graphics
  • Touching well-told story
  • Easy 2 hour platinum

Cons:


  • Incredibly slow movement speed
  • Limited actual gameplay

Silver Trophy

Silver Trophy

Maybe if this game had a bit more substance I’d award it a gold trophy, however, it’s still a great experience and one I highly recommend.

About the Author

TheDblTap is fond of single-player action and adventure games as well as the odd collect-em-up or RPG. He thinks FPS games are stale and repetitive and has little patience for gunfights which are too drawn-out. Originally a Nintendo gamer, the PlayStation line of consoles quickly took their grasp as he fell in love with Sony’s gamer-centric approach and – eventually – collecting shiny, shiny trophies.

With a keen eye for secrets and treasure, TheDblTap’s play-style often benefits him as a trophy hunter, but as someone with poor timing, he struggles with more skill-based combat trophies…

Check out some of our other Posts

No trophy

NIPPON MARATHON

By TheDblTap

A NEWGROUNDS FLASH GAME DISGUISED AS A CONSOLE TITLE

Nippon Marathon is an indie on-foot racing platformer. Yourself and your friends or A.I are pit against each other in a 4-man race through various locations in Japan (Nippon, in romanised Japanese, hence the title). 

Every racer is on-screen at once in this top-down racer, and who-ever is in first has camera priority. Falling behind and therefore off-screen will result in elimination and once 3 players have been eliminated the game stops for a moment while points are awarded based on who was eliminated and in what order. Going for a long time without the race being stopped for elimination will result in extra inconveniences and obstacles being introduced to the race track.

Last one to the finish line may well be a rotten egg!

Various obstacles ranging from standard street-clutter to hordes of dogs or a barrage of watermelons will frequently get in your way, eager to cause your character to ragdoll to the ground for a frustrating few seconds as you fruitlessly spam the controller’s face buttons and waggle the joystick in a desperate attempt to de-ragdoll and avoid falling off-screen. There are also item boxes scattered throughout these maps in a very Mario kart way. 

These items are food-based and fairly limited. The game does have a pretty nifty and somewhat unique feature which allows you to choose between weaponising the food item – for example, throwing a watermelon at an enemy – or eating the food item for a speed boost. 

There is one item you don’t want, a stinky mushroom. Hold onto the stinky mushroom for long enough, or eat it, and your character with collapse temporarily. Simply having this item will also reduce your popularity, as you’ll be rather stinky. The stink trails coming off the item will also affect those running behind the wielder. Of course, the solution is to drop it and hope that someone behind you grabs the mushroom, therefore reducing their own popularity.

Popularity is a fairly important value. Avoiding elimination and staying relatively nice-smelling will result in your popularity gauge being quite high, resulting in more points during the final tally at the end of the race.

Things contributing to your final score are eliminations, popularity, final finish-line position and medals. Medals are micro-awards, awarded throughout a race for things like getting the most attention from Shiba inu dogs or eating the most food items.

The last one standing gains a star!

If it wasn’t frustrating enough that the race is frequently stopped and then started up again from a checkpoint every single time 3 players are eliminated, there is also a chance the race will be interrupted for one of the following game-show-esque minigames:

  • Slot Machines: Each player will have a slot machine drop from the sky in front of them. These slot machines will award items to players which they can use to gain an edge over the other racers – if they’re lucky.
  • Interview: A television-star/journalist character will come down onto the track via jetpack to ask the group of racers a question. You will need to construct an answer from 4 parts, each of which you’ll need to select from 4 options which accompany an emoji. Ideally you want to select the options with happier-looking emoji aside them, but here’s the catch: you’re all given the same options and need to select a good option as quickly as possible before somebody else takes it. Provided your answer is good enough you’ll receive a boost in popularity.
  • Maze Race: You and the other players are teleported into a lab-rat maze and need to find your way out. From my experience, there are very few layouts available, so you’ll come to know your way around these mazes pretty quickly until they are no longer a challenge. The reward for finishing the maze first is popularity.

None of these minigames are fun and simply add to the frustrations founded in this game’s constant stop-start nature. It’s like trying to race sports cars while monkeys have control over the brake pedals.

Things contributing to your final score are eliminations, popularity, final finish-line position and medals. Medals are micro-awards, awarded throughout a race for things like getting the most attention from Shiba inu dogs or eating the most food items.

The emoticons in the interview determine how popular your answer will be.

The game is visually painful. Minimal effort has been put into the models and graphics in the game, the illustrated portions look exactly like the average DeviantArt post and the 3D models are… unpleasantly lazy. If you were hoping – as with many indie games – that if the art is bad then the story must be good (or typically vice-versa) you will be disappointed. The story in the game consists of an uncomfortable barrage of small text-heavy cutscenes, one after the other, usually around 4-in-a-row before an actual race starts, this pattern then repeats.

Oh… Okay, then…

You can choose whether to play as one of 4 characters, each of whom has their own story mode, but the actual gameplay is exactly the same and the cutscenes aren’t worth watching – or should I say, reading.

The game isn’t all that bad, though, there are some saving graces.

The sense of humour in the game is very ‘Japanese’, it’s littered with over-the-top inexplicably quirky moments, good enough to get a laugh every once in a while, but the best part of all this is the announcer. His extremely exaggerated Japanese accent and Takeshi’s Castle inspired delivery do actually result in more than a few laughs, and it’s very quotable stuff!

There’s also a couple of party game modes which are far more fun than the actual game and are the only reason I kept this game installed on my PS4, so I could play it with friends in the future. 

The first of these games,  called Go-Go Trolley mode, is a bowling minigame. Except you are the ball. And you need to jump into a shopping cart. And there are sometimes ramps and other obstacles on the alley. It’s good, ridiculous fun. This is where the ragdoll physics in the game actually shine, instead of being a constant hindrance they’re actually part of the process and trying to get your character to ragdoll in just the right way is the best part!

Oua-hoooooo!

The second is a lot like the game-show “Wipeout” also known as “Total Wipeout”. It’s a game of H.O.R.S.E (or “L.O.B.S.T.E.R” in this case), so you need to beat each other’s score by consistently reaching further than each other on the randomly-generated obstacle course, the first person to fail to beat the other’s score receives a letter until they spell the entire word. This game mode is quite fun, however, the random level generation is done by piecing together various pre-built sections, which eventually become repetitive and stale. Sometimes the level even gets generated in an order which is far too difficult to progress through.

Now, while this game is visually trash and technically okay it really shines in multiplayer. With the right group of friends, this game goes from bore to war. High-intensity races against up to 3 other people just as frustrated as you are with the atrocious hit-boxes, hair-trigger ragdoll physics, semi-functional controls and bizarre obstacles are just about as fun as this game gets.

Nippon Marathon Story Trophies

If you’re looking to put in the easy 15 hours to platinum this game, you’ll be wanting to start with the Story Trophies.

There are 4 story-related trophies in this game’s very short trophy list, one for each of the characters that you can play as. The “cutscenes” will be different depending on the character you use, but the actual gameplay is exactly the same. 

You will need to complete the same 8 races in the same order 4 times over. And no, the fact that you’re playing as different characters won’t change anything as they’re purely cosmetic and don’t have any differing stats or skills, you just need to put in the time and do the story 4 times. 

Luckily, you can skip the cutscenes by pausing the game and selecting to do so in the menu, so you won’t have to sit through all four of their totally uninteresting stories just for the opportunity to repeat the same few races 4 times… unless you really want to I guess.

I found a good strategy for consistently doing well in this game’s races was to just eat all the edible items you get – for a speed boost – and drop any mushrooms you grab.

Launching watermelons at characters or using a pineapple as a balloon to jump further (don’t ask, because I don’t know…) is all well and good, except it doesn’t really matter. The AI is likely to trip over the game’s janky hit-boxes and awkward track layouts anyway so your best bet is to just do your best to stay in first. Eating lots of items will also give you a medal at the end with a very welcome score boost.

Don’t forget that popularity is important too, so do your best to succeed in the irritating mini-games and avoid mushrooms.

Also, while you’re doing these story missions, look out for Wedy pages.

Nippon Marathon Wedy Pages

Wedy pages are the game’s collectibles. Wedy is the bizarre journalist I mentioned earlier, the one with the jetpack, yeah.

She appears to run some sort of tourist magazine and inexplicably all the pages from your copy have been scattered throughout Nippon. Of course, rather than grabbing a new copy like a normal person, you’re going to look for each of these pages like the weirdo you are.

The pages are fairly easy to find, just make sure that you’re not already holding the maximum number of items (2, one per hand) so that when you run over a page you can hold it. It doesn’t matter what you do with it once you’ve grabbed it. As long as it’s in your hand at some point, you’ve collected it. However, you will want to hold or to eat at least one page for one of this trophy:

Xylophagia Eat a Wedy Page and gain nothing but protein

Handily, each page is numbered, so you can check the magazine in the main menu to see which pages you’ve managed to collect and google-troubleshoot the ones you’re struggling with.

There are just a few slightly-less-easy-to-find pages dotted around Nippon that you’ll want to keep an eye out for:

  • On the river-side level, which eventually experiences an earthquake causing signs to fall down upon the racers, and the ground to break away, there is a downhill section which breaks into 2, causing racers to begin sliding rapidly down the track. At this point, you want to try and cause the round to restart by getting far enough ahead – or having 3 players die – so that everyone will respawn at the nearest checkpoint, which is just before the break in the track where there is now some exposed pipes. One of these pipes is home to a Wedy page. This sounds tricky, but it almost always happens naturally just because the next part of the track is a little tricky, particularly for the AI. The tricky part is getting to the page before an AI racer does, as they can and will pick up the page by running over it, meaning you’ll need to restart.
  • On one memorable level, you start on the roof of a train and eventually jump off at a train station. At some point, you will come to a yellow door just after some stairs, head inside for another Wedy page.
  • There’s a very traditionally-Japanese level with zen gardens, monks taking tests and paper sliding doors. Shortly after leaving a room full of Monks sitting at school desks you will come to a very memorable section with a very sharp turn which you can bypass by naruto-running under a hole in the dividing wall. If you skip this shortcut and head to the far right edge of the screen there’s a bench with a Wedy page on it.
  • On the level where everyone is giant, toward the beginning, there is a slanted building with 4 yellow dancers on top. Jump and dive to the freeway to the left and the page is up there.
  • On the last level in story mode in which everybody is Kaiju-sized, there’s a conveniently ramp-shaped building near the start with 4 ridiculous men dancing on top of it. You’re going to want to run up to where they are and then immediately jump and dive to the left of the building (top of the screen) onto the highway where you’ll find a Wedy page.

The thinner left-most pipe is where you’ll find the tricky Wedy page on the earthquake-riddled stage.

Just to reiterate, it’s very important that when you see a page you try and get to it before the AI can, as they will collect the page for themselves and it won’t respawn unless you restart the level.

Once you have them all, you should get this trophy:

Travelling Enlightened Collect all Wedy Pages and become a Legendary Backpacker

Nippon Marathon Miscellaneous Trophies

Most trophies will unlock naturally as you go through the story 4 times over and any extra times you need to do a level for Wedy pages, except the following few:

I just felt like runnin’ Finish a full marathon

Yeah so… Marathon mode is all 8 races in order, essentially story mode again but this time without the pointless cutscenes. At least it’s an extra 5th chance to look for Wedy pages I suppose.

You love the Dog Choose Snuguru Maestro 25 times in Versus Mode

Fortunately, this trophy doesn’t mean you need to play an extra 25 races in versus mode. Although, as I said, the game is pretty fun with friends, so if you have somebody willing to play 25 races with you for the sake of it, just make sure you pick Snuguru Maestro every time. 

Snuguru is the better-looking character to be fair.

If you’d rather not do that – understandably – then you can just start go into Versus mode, select “single race” and then choose Snuguru Maestro as your character, but then back out without pressing “ready”. That’ll count as one. Just repeat that 25 times and bingo was his name-o. 

Poor man’s Chicken Traverse 200 metres in LOBSTER mode

This one’s tricky, due to the randomly-generated nature of the L.O.B.S.T.E.R mode levels. You really need the conditions to be just right to be able to reach 200 metres without great difficulty. At certain points in the game, the level will be re-generated, so it’s worth just playing this game mode with a friend – like I did – and then hoping the right conditions are met and one of you makes it over 200 metres.

Despite how tricky it is, it’s probably one of the most fun things to do in this mess of a game.

The trophy is also bugged, of course. When I was going for this trophy, I made it over the 200m threshold multiple times but the trophy wouldn’t pop. So bear in mind you may need to attempt this multiple times.

It helps to note that if a friend manages to reach over 200m this could also trigger the trophy for you, as long as your account launched the game.

Turkey Trolley Get 3 Strikes in a row in Go-Go Trolley Bowling

This one’s quite tricky, due to the fairly sensitive nature of the trolley’s trajectory, you’ll need to use some strategy and care to get 3 strikes in a row. The game will also randomly add ramps and obstacles to the alley after a few rounds, making it even more difficult to set things up right. I just played with a friend as, just like the above trophy, if they manage to fulfil the constraints you’ll get the trophy too.

Eventually, we figured out a decent method:

  • Place the trolley as far forward and as centred as you can.
  • Don’t run and leap into the trolley like the game wants you to, slowly approach it and lightly tap it, trying to keep it aligned so it doesn’t veer off course afterwards.
  • Once the trolley is moving, run and leap down the alley yourself, pressing [square] to throw yourself for extra speed and distance. 
  • When you’re sliding, you can use the [left stick] to navigate left and right slightly, try to aim yourself towards any pins the trolley missed and knock them down, if you’re fast enough you can get a strike by cheesing it in this way.

You will want to place the Trolley here

Repeat the above 3 times and if you’re lucky you’ll get the trophy.

It’s also worth noting that people have reported this trophy is buggy also and you may have to pull off this same feat multiple times until the trophy finally pops.

All in all, Nippon Marathon is a weakly structured attempt at a unique racing game. When compared to better games of the same type, such as Sprint Vector or Rayman M, it’s quite clear this game falls short at almost every turn. The only things saving this unpolished mess of a game is how much more fun you can have on it with a friend.

My Verdict:


Pass


If you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel for fun party games, you could get a few hours of fun with friends out of Nippon Marathon. Otherwise, though, it isn’t even worth getting the game for its relatively easy plat. Give this one a pass, play something better, you owe it to yourself.

Pros:


  • Fun with friends

Cons:


  • Poorly built and unpolished
  • Buggy trophies
  • Irritating stop-and-start gameplay

No trophy

No Trophy

I’d have to be insane to award this game so much as a bronze trophy. It would be an insult to other games to offer this one any recognition.

About the Author

TheDblTap is fond of single-player action and adventure games as well as the odd collect-em-up or RPG. He thinks FPS games are stale and repetitive and has little patience for gunfights which are too drawn-out. Originally a Nintendo gamer, the PlayStation line of consoles quickly took their grasp as he fell in love with Sony’s gamer-centric approach and – eventually – collecting shiny, shiny trophies.

With a keen eye for secrets and treasure, TheDblTap’s play-style often benefits him as a trophy hunter, but as someone with poor timing, he struggles with more skill-based combat trophies…

Check out some of our other Posts

No trophy

TWIN ROBOTS

By TheDblTap

NOT ALL PLATINUMS ARE CREATED EQUAL

Twin Robots was developed by Thinice Studios and published by Ratalaika Games. If you, too, are a trophy hunter then Ratalaika is an all-too familiar name. You’ll see that little pixelated German shepard in your mind and maybe feel a little excited. Why? 

That all-too-familiar logo.

Because they’re the Kings of easy plats. Whenever a Ratalaika game gets published it’s almost always easy to acquire the platinum. It would appear that this is part of their marketing strategy. In order to convince the masses to purchase their selection of truly forgettable indie games, Ratalaika appear to suggest to the developers that an easily achieved platinum is the key to success… And it works!

As it turns out, it’s not a marketing ploy. Ratalaika simply port indie games to PS4 and have stated that in order to reduce the amount of time their team needs to spend bug-testing platinum triggers they typically place all trophies within the first few hours of a game so their team don’t need to play it too much. I mean, sure, that makes sense but it’s also quite a lazy approach, isn’t it? Either way, I suppose it works in their favour.

Trophy hunters everywhere, including myself and MrZhangetsu, scrape the barrel-bottom for their games so that in just a mere couple of hours our shiny platinum collection can be a tiny bit larger. 

This is a tale of how Twin Robots killed that habit… 

Ratalaika Weekends

At the height of our obsession with easy Platinums, MrZhangetsu and I would collect 10-15 of Ratalaika’s indie games or similarly poor-quality easy platinums and then meet up on a Weekend to complete them all. 

Here’s the full list of easy 5-hour-or-less easy platinum games we completed on these weekends:

  • My Name is Mayo
  • Mr. Massagy
  • 36 Fragments of Midnight
  • Claire
  • Goosebumps: The Game
  • Metropolis: Lux Obscura
  • Coffin Dodgers
  • Nubla
  • Inksplosion
  • Super Destronaut DX
  • Hex Tunnel Touch
  • Tetra’s Escape
  • The Long Reach
  • Jack N Jill DX
  • Midnight Deluxe
  • Burly Men at Sea
  • The Bunker
  • Access Denied
  • Storm Boy
  • Drowning
  • Planet-RX
  • Daggerhood
  • Heroes Trials
  • Albedo: Eyes From Outer Space
  • FullBlast
  • Dying: Reborn
  • Squareboy VS Bullies
  • Metagal
  • Peasant Knight
  • Devious Dungeon
  • Super Weekend Mode
  • Shadow of Loot Box

Some of these were much worse than others. Hex Tunnel Touch for example, was a horrendous and rage-fuelling nightmare of a game which offered nothing in the realms of fun, whereas Metropolis: Lux Obscura was a fun and unique puzzle-fighter type game with a lot of interesting twists and turns to keep you on your toes and enjoy the whole game from start to plat. 

Once the well began to run dry these weekends became sparse and we would find and plat an easy game every once in a while solo instead. This actually killed a lot of the fun. Without another there to share your exasperation at these terrible games it becomes more of a chore to complete them, cue Twin Robots…

Playing Twin Robots

Twin Robots is a very basic platforming game, you move through a side-scrolling level, jump from platform to platform in order to navigate, and try not to get killed by spike traps, saw blade traps, and lasers. 

These levels are extremely bland with hardly any colour or interesting lighting. Almost zero effort has been put in to make the place look like a laboratory or a factory or anything even remotely imaginative, it’s all just flat untextured shiny block after flat untextured shiny block.

Extremely bland visuals

Their ultimately irritating attempt at making the usual platforming formula a little more exciting is to add a second character, hence; Twin Robots. 

At the start of every level one of the robots is imprisoned and the other is not. The goal is to head out into the level looking for a switch which will free your twin, and then reach the goal with both robots. This is pretty tricky when everything in the level is an untextured block without much to indicate where you are in order to help you navigate.

Your imprisoned Twin

Jumping uses energy which you can recover from glowing tiles on the ground, running over them will recharge the robot. Running out of energy results in the robot “dying”. You can also magically transfer some energy from one robot to the other when necessary. It’s okay to reach the goal with only one robot, but if you want that shiny platinum you obviously need to be finishing levels with both robots intact. 

Dying is all too easy when the majority of the traps have oversized or misaligned hit-boxes and all it takes is a slight tap from one of these to damage your robot eventually resulting in the need for a level reset. This rinse-and-repeat process gets extremely irritating when 90% of level resets are down to the game being unpolished.

Spikes are an instant kill

The devs also made the inconceivably irritating decision to include semi-realistic physics to certain objects in the game. At some points you will need to activate a switch by placing a block on it, standard platformer shenanigans, except the blocks are physics enabled and weigh about the same as an empty cardboard box. 

To move these blocks around you don’t push them, pick them up, or have any real control about where they’re going, you just have to run at them and launch them and hope that they land somewhere reasonable. You can make minor adjustments by giving the objects small taps from the side by inching towards them, but due to the unpolished and glitchy nature of the game, this will sometimes result in the block being launched at light speed somewhere entirely undesired.

Immediately after taking this screenshot, the physics block hit the darker robot, launching the block off screen to the right at hyperspeed

Speaking of glitches, the doors are just about the most broken part of Twin Robots. If you get too close to a closed door the robot will actually clip through it and, oh boy, does the PS4 not like that. The game will slow to around three frames-per-second while you wrestle with the controller to try and free yourself from this before the game can crash or your PS4 can explode. Couple this with physics-enabled boxes which frequently get accidentally launched right up against these doors and you have a very bad time on your hands.

Platting Twin Robots

Acquiring the plat for this game is simple enough in theory. There are 28 levels to complete, each more difficult than the last. And when I say difficult, I don’t mean difficult, I mean horrendously boring and down-right frustrating. The amount of times you’ll die from hitting nothing, or get stuck in a door, or fall prey to spontaneous defiance of physics, or some other irritating factor of this poorly made game and then have to restart that level is innumerably infuriating, especially towards the end.

This would be much less of a pain if you could simply complete the level with only one robot, but no, you want that plat? You save them both.

Imagine thinking to yourself one day, “what’s a good mechanic for my new indie game? I know, I’ll make everyone complete every level at least twice.” Because that’s what the devs at Thinice thought would be a great idea by asking that you rescue both robots.

Most of my trophies wouldn’t pop unless I quit the game and reloaded it

As well as this, some levels contain batteries. These useful pickups give your robot a large boost in energy, filling the meter entirely. A good tip with these is to transfer almost all your energy to the second robot before picking one up as then you’ll have both robots at full capacity. Some levels don’t contain a battery and levels 12 and 13 contain 2 batteries. Luckily you can track this from the level select because you need to find and collect them all for the platinum. Don’t worry, they’re not very well-hidden.

Level Select

If you can do all that, all that’s left is to die in various different ways for each associated trophy and then complete a few simple misc trophies. Here’s a stupid one:

Frogger Jump 75 times in one level, using the same robot

Really? That’s the exciting and fulfilling challenge Ratalaika could come up with? Jump 75 times?… Jeez.

How about this one too:

I am the One Who Knocks Run against a closed door

How can this not be intentional? The closed doors cause the game to freak out and drop frames at an alarming rate, it’s the one most specifically broken part of the game which, if the devs are too lazy or unskilled to fix it, you’d imagine they’d want to hide. Apparently not. They appear to be proud of the way it makes even my PS4 Pro scream in agony.

As you can see, it is an easy platinum and if it weren’t for the multiple cons and irritations of this game I’d have no problem, but it’s just a lazily made platforming game with what vaguely resembles a unique and interesting mechanic lightly draped over it.

No More Platinum Bore

This game was my breaking point. I realised I wasn’t having fun playing these games just so the number of platinums I earned would go up. Pair that with the satisfaction I got from finally getting the Beat Saber platinum or having the fastest Platinum time for Sprint Vector and I slowly but surely made the decision to stop playing games just because the time-to-plat is less than 5 hours. Sure, I might miss out on the odd hidden gem in Ratalaika’s alarmingly fast-growing library of indie games, but it’s better than wasting my own time and money playing these atrocious games just to arbitrarily add another number to my total plat count. 

In a recent discussion with MrZhangetsu we came to the conclusion that the value in a platinum is self-assigned, and doesn’t it really need to be that way? When you can earn the same thing from playing half a Ratalaika game that you can earn from putting 300 hours into Monster hunter, Ratalaika reduce the base value of a Platinum with each game that they release until that shiny total platinum number becomes utterly meaningless. So what we are really collecting here is stories, memories, mementos of the time and effort you put into a game, so why collect 50 platinums that mean nothing to yourself or anyone else, when you can put in the time for 1 extremely meaningful platinum that you can be proud to own?

My Verdict:


Pass


Don’t play this. If the boring gameplay, unpleasant visuals and poor coding doesn’t put you off this game, and you haven’t yet reached breaking point when it comes to easy plats, then by all means waste 3 hours playing it, but it’s certainly not worth any amount of money and won’t leave you happy or even satisfied.

Pros:


  • 2-3 hour platinum

Cons:


  • Horrendous physics
  • Tedious gameplay
  • Ugly aesthetic
  • Lovingly sprinkled with glitches and general laziness

No trophy

No Trophy

This is one of the worst Ratalaika “Easy Plats” I’ve ever had to endure and by no means deserves a trophy of any kind.

About the Author

TheDblTap is fond of single-player action and adventure games as well as the odd collect-em-up or RPG. He thinks FPS games are stale and repetitive and has little patience for gunfights which are too drawn-out. Originally a Nintendo gamer, the PlayStation line of consoles quickly took their grasp as he fell in love with Sony’s gamer-centric approach and – eventually – collecting shiny, shiny trophies.

With a keen eye for secrets and treasure, TheDblTap’s play-style often benefits him as a trophy hunter, but as someone with poor timing, he struggles with more skill-based combat trophies…

Check out some of our other Posts