Apotheon

By TheDblTap

Who put the “Plat” in “Platiator”?

Apotheon came out way back in 2015 and, not too long after it’s release, we were given it for PS Plus. This came about within a miserable drought of good PS Plus games for Playstation 4 and so I admittedly didn’t give it much of a chance. I played it for about 5-10 minutes and then threw it to one side exclaiming that it was more PS Plus trash.

This was long before I started trophy hunting, however, and so had it come out recently I would have taken a quick look at that 12-hour plat estimate and played it from beginning to end no issue. After all, one of the joys of being a Trophy Hunter is that you often give games the time they deserve – as detailed in our post titled Top 5 Reasons to Become a Trophy Hunter – and Apotheon is one of the games I’m glad I gave a chance to.

Apotheon Review

Unique Greek Technique

Apotheon’s art style is perhaps it’s most prominent USP. The whole game is designed to look as though it is a traditional greek illustration upon the side of clay pottery. 

The game’s very first moments.

Immediately what springs to mind are various sequences in the Disney movie “Hercules”, within which the story is expedited via a similar art style and a trio narrating the tale, who do so musically with such memorable lyrics as “Who puts the Glad in Gladiator? HER. CU. LES”. 

That dumb subtitle is making more sense now, isn’t it? Well, pity me, for that song has been stuck in my head ever since I thought of the “joke” this morning.

What I found particularly pleasant about Apotheon’s approach is their use of bump mapping to make it really feel like it is actually moving art upon a vase of some sort. I do think that the UI, text-boxes, information pop-ups and transparent map all ruin this effect but it is understandable that they were necessary for the game.

The pottery texture is particularly prominent in scenes like this one.

I would also like to have seen them expand on this style more. Maybe add to the effect by having each area actually tied to a mural or vase in some way, with cracks and damage in the pottery/wall actually becoming obstructions you need to find your way around. Maybe a handle on the side of a large vase is an impassable object. Maybe transitions between rooms could be shown by the camera moving from one piece of pottery to another.

This is all just my imagination running away with the idea and I do think the style is effective on its own, but perhaps if they ever make a sequel it could be improved upon in this way.

God of War 2D

I guess I’m reaching a little with that subheader. The game is like God of War in as far as you are a human who is fighting Gods. Greek gods in particular, and similarly they are also cruel and ruthless here. 

Other than that, the gameplay is entirely different. It’s a side-scrolling platformer and an RPG with pretty simple combat, all things considered. I just have one gripe when it comes to the controls and that is the aiming system.

Being beset on all sides like this would be a great opportunity for ranged weaponry, but I never used them because of how frustrating they proved to be.

You can use to aim your melee/ranged weapons when attacking but it’s typically not required as the character Nikandreos will usually automatically lock-on to any nearby threat. Which is a damn good thing because the aiming in this game is horrendous. You must hold in the direction you want to aim or Nikandreos will default back to looking forward, but the cursor is constantly fighting you to snap at a 45-degree angle, so if the angle you need is just below or above that, it’s near impossible to line the shot up correctly. I can’t tell you how many times I ran out of arrows because I was trying to hit a target which required precision aiming with a system that doesn’t allow for it.

When I say I ran out of arrows, that probably doesn’t sound that shocking, but there are mountains of different ranged and throwable melee weapons in the game. There’s a durability system in place, so after so many uses a melee weapon will break, which can obviously be a bit annoying, but the game gives you so many weapons that you’re basically just Deadpool if he didn’t leave his duffel bag in the taxi.

Alongside the tools there are potions, bags of summoning dust, shields, bombs and much more.

It’s a simple system but is highly effective at keeping the gameplay fresh. Fighting with different weapons requires different considerations, your distance from the enemy, the speed you attack, the arc of your attack. Which, okay, is pretty standard and is an absolute given with most games but the fact that the weapons break so easily means you are constantly changing weapon. 

It’s not like most games where you can pick a particular weapon and just stick with it through the entire game because it suits your playstyle or whatever. You’re constantly kept on your toes because one minute you’re swinging a hammer and the next you’re wielding a spear and you need to quickly adapt to that change which can prove quite exciting in some situations.

Semi-Free Roam

There are two hub worlds on your way up Mount Olympus. Each one leads off into three main destinations which are then also sort of free-roam locations in their own right. 

So there is plenty to explore. Multiple buildings to break into, side-quests to complete, optional gods to defeat. If you’re willing and able to do so, taking the time to explore each area proves very satisfying, checking the map to ensure there is no fog of war remaining and you’re sure you’ve opened every chest. Similar to a Metroidvania in a way, except you don’t need to backtrack much and no tool or equipment is necessary for progression.

Don’t worry, not all stages are this large and complex. In fact, very few are.

Of course, you’re probably here for the fact that this is a Platinum Trophy review, so if you’re looking to plat the game, you’ll be doing all of these things anyway, and it’s really not a bad time at all.

The game is prone to crash here and there but it autosaves with every exit/entry of a doorway so you should never be too inconvenienced.

Each main quest features a somewhat challenging boss fight prefaced with various puzzles or mini-quests which offer plenty of satisfying gameplay. From the moving Labyrinth offered up by Athena to the gauntlet of mini-bosses put forward by Ares, there is enough variety to avoid you becoming bored.

My Apotheon Trophy Experience

I had originally planned to have some sort of route mapped out when it came to platting this game, but I took one look at the trophy list and was immediately somewhat overwhelmed with the number of things I’d be trying to remember. Various optional side-quests which I would have liked to do as  I progress rather than coming back to, weapons and chests to ensure I acquired… Eventually, I decided to ignore the trophies and just get stuck in.

As it turned out, it was a lot easier than I expected. All I really had to do in each area is to ensure I did everything I could think of. If there was a blue or red door on the map, I hadn’t been through it yet, so I’d head on through and loot absolutely everything that I saw. 

Most miscellaneous trophies simply require using a key from one place on a door in another. What you do once that door is open is of no significance to the trophy.

The locations in the game were all fairly small for the most part so this proved to be a very straightforward process to consistently keep using and typically resulted in success.

Of course, with the number of chests in the game (75), there were a few that I missed but the world map allows you to see how many chests there are in an area and how many you’ve managed to acquire.

Due to a glitch, I had 13/12 in Acropolis which meant I didn’t need to find all 75, just 74…

Using this and the Fast Travel towards the end of my playthrough allowed me to quickly clean up those remaining chests and get the related trophy. Collecting all weapons (at least once, they are allowed to break) required the exact same process and I manage to get the last weapon I needed – a Mirror Shield – within the last level, earning the trophy with absolutely zero trouble.

Again, even the side-quests, though there is no quest tracker per se, as long as you are making sure to visit every part of the map whenever you’re in a new area you’re practically guaranteed to complete them all.

Some quests do start in one area and end in another, though, so you may find yourself going back and forth a bit but the documents in your inventory where relevant will often give you more than enough information to figure out what needs to be done for the trophy.

The most annoying trophy was this one, requiring you to visit multiple locations to complete it. Though, even that was pretty simple.

The one trophy which might be making people a bit unsure about platting the game is the one which asks that you complete the game on “Olympian” difficulty, which can only be accessed after a full game completion and would suggest an entirely new playthrough is required. 

Thankfully, the game’s bugginess works out in your favour on this part as you can simply start a new game on Olympian difficulty after beating the final boss and then immediately load the autosave of the final boss fight from your last playthrough. The final boss will load but your difficulty will now be set to Olympian (you can check this in the settings if unsure). Thanks to this, the difficulty-specific trophy is a total breeze and the best bit is that the final boss is no easier or harder depending on your difficulty as it’s a somewhat unique set of circumstances.

Another plat under my proverbial belt. I’m self-isolating, I haven’t worn a belt or even jeans for that matter in many moons.

Time Breakdown

Exploration

Mainline Quest Progression

Post-Game Cleanup

That concludes my Apotheon Platinum Trophy Review. If you enjoyed reading this review, please do let us know, it means the world to us when we hear feedback and we love engaging with people over the game we just platted. It’s basically the only thing motivating us at the moment!

You can follow us on Twitter @GetPlat and Instagram @platget where we’ll be sharing updates, upcoming reviews and general gripes about the games we’re working on so feel free to follow us or use it as another channel for feedback!

My Verdict:


Plat


I kind of feel bad for not playing this when we got it for PS Plus years ago. All in all, it is a fantastic game with a very well-executed and unique art style worth experiencing. And with it only taking a mere 12 hours to plat, it’s a no-brainer!

Pros:


  • Aesthetically pleasant ancient-greek-pottery-inspired art style
  • Satisfying pseudo-free-roam mechanics
  • Weapon durability results in a frequently rotating arsenal, keeping gameplay fresh

Cons:


  • Prone to crashing
  • Awful aiming system

Gold Trophy

As far as indie games go this is pretty damn good. I have a proclivity for disliking the seemingly bottomless pit of half-finished lazily-produced indie games and was very pleasantly surprised with the quality of care put into crafting this short, yet excellent, adventure.

About the Author

Apotheon 32

More fond of single-player experiences and story-driven games than anything else, TheDblTap has a keen eye for secrets and collectables, a skill which serves him well as a Trophy Hunter. However, with little patience and poor timing, he can struggle where MrZhangetsu would succeed.

Check out some of our other Posts

Wattam

By TheDblTap

Wattam I gonna do about these Glitches?

Brought to you by the creators of the excellent Katamari series, as well as Noby Noby Boy which has a funny name but I’ve never played it. 

I’ve been looking forward to this game since I heard the Katamari team were on with a new project, and so I had pretty high hopes… How did that turn out then?

Wattam Review

Eat, Poop, Kaboom, Repeat.

In Wattam, you start off as the Mayor who is very lonely and doesn’t understand why. Not long after this you get your first friend, a small rock, and enjoy an adorable sequence where they happily play tag with each other giggling the whole time. It is very touching!

What a cute little rock!

Slowly but surely, your friend circle grows more and more as objects join you on your small island.

Each island is based around a Season, starting with spring, and follows a similar progression. You will start out with a small quest, get some more guests who will typically have another quest for you. This will lead to the phone character getting a call which leads on to the next Seasonal island. 

It sounds pretty same-y but actually the quests can vary dramatically, from trying to stack your way up to the sun, to becoming a small-time detective and helping to find some lost kids. It’s all very quirky and unexpected stuff to keep you on your toes and avoid things getting stale.

Certain characters have their own abilities, for example, the Trees can eat characters and turn them into fruit characters (sometimes these fruit are not very fruit-like). The mouth character can then eat those fruit characters and turn them into Poop characters. The toilet character loves poop characters and will flush them, turning them into golden poops who no longer smell bad to the other characters… Polishing a turd, basically.

I think I’d be questioning things too, if I’d been turned into an onion and my friends were now large poops.

These skills will be useful in a variety of ways when it comes to solving the small quests available on each island and therefore progressing through the game.

The most important ability, however, belongs to the mayor. Under his hat hides a “Magic Bomb” which will “Kaboom” him and any nearby critters, sending them soaring and leaving behind smoke trails giggling as they go. This is often how the Mayor makes new friends and new characters will frequently get very excited at the prospect of being blown up. 

The game is simply filled with childish fun and happiness, everyone giggles and cheers their way through everything and you can’t help but feel a little happier just for playing it.

There’s actually a Story, yes.

Indeed, in this world full of child-like wonder and joy, there is a story. A touching and deep story, touching on togetherness and how that leads to happiness. The story is told via objects you might expect would hold information and you’re treated to small heavily-stylised animatics which take you through the events of the story, which at times can be a little dark.

Ominous!

The story includes several main characters who will join your cast and help you discover not only the Mayor’s past, but the history of the mysterious land you’re exploring and information about how things came to end up this way.

It is still teeming with the quirkiness you can find in every other aspect of the game, but it simply gets more serious here and there to help bring more life to the game and its individual characters.

Polishing Turds

So far so good, right? Fun little game, cute art style, lots of Japanese humour to be found, what’s not to love?

Well, the game is actually incredibly glitchy. I had multiple experiences where a character got lost or launched out into space, or an objective wouldn’t complete despite me completing the requirements.

Once done with their scripted animations, these characters pinged off each other faster than you can say “Sushi Comet”.

I wasn’t just having bad luck either, because there are plenty of people on the internet sharing their own similar tales of woe with the game. It is a real shame, too, because the developers but a lot of love into the game, and you can see it in the little things.

For example, the cutesy and charming music in the game will change slightly depending on which object you’re in control of. For example, the Toilet will make the music include more trumpets and fart-like instruments. Using the skeleton will result in more xylophone usage. Just subtle things like that which help to bring everything to life.

Right before it comes crashing down when your game crashes.

Again, such a shame.

My Wattam Trophy Experience

Initial Playthrough

My initial playthrough of Wattam was actually a lot of fun. I stopped at certain points in the story to check the trophy list and see which objectives I might be able to complete at each point, for example, there’s a trophy which mentions sushi so you can bet your best boxers I was trying to pop that trophy as soon as I saw some sushi characters.

I hated that trophy by the way. The sushi characters had minds of their own and kept moving away from where I needed them to be. I felt like I was corralling hyper-active mice in the middle of a cheese farm. They wanted to be anywhere but where I was trying to get them to be.

To say I yelled would not be inaccurate.

There were also a lot of trophies which I could tell would be long grinds, like eating 100 times or going “Kaboom” 100 times, so I was just slowly chipping away at those as I played, hoping to make some solid progress for when I was done.

In around 4 hours I was watching the credits roll and had around 10 trophies left, some of the more grind-y ones as well as a handful of miscellaneous ones.

Miscellaneous Clean-up

With the game completed, I went around to collect the last few characters I needed for my collection and did the things like measuring the smallest character, putting three characters to sleep at once and stacking 40m high.

Pretty precarious.

I made excellent progress and managed to simply get down to the trophies which required me to do certain things 100 times and one which required me to make every character gold.

I started to get a strange feeling something was going to go wrong, as the “eat 100 meals” and “Kaboom 100 Times” trophies popped, All I had left was to turn everything gold (which I had been kind of doing as I went) and to poop 101 times. 

I have no idea how I managed to eat 100 times without also pooping 100 times, but I still needed to poop about 40-50 more times so maybe eating as a tree counts as well as eating as the mouth character. I got a bit bored of grinding out all these poops so decided I’d go for the Struck Gold trophy. Only to find that a horrible glitch had occurred.

The Snowman character was nowhere to be found. Whether he’d melted or just rolled so far off into space that he just no longer existed, he was greyed-out in the collection and was completely un-selectable. I kept going, hoping that maybe the Snowman didn’t need to be gold… I spent an hour, turning things gold and trying to find ways to do it to things which didn’t need to be – and couldn’t be – turned to gold before accepting that this was a plat-breaking glitch and I would need to play the whole game again.

I never thought I’d write a review with the word “Poop” in it so much…

I finished doing 101 poops, which left just the one “Struck Gold” trophy left and then decided to take a break. I cleaned my apartment for a couple of hours and then came back to Wattam when I realised that I really had nothing better to do.

Struck Gold Playthrough

My second playthrough was much quicker, but still took around 3 hours to complete, all so I could then spend an hour making everything gold.

My main priority was ensuring that the Snowman didn’t pull a vanishing act on me again so, at frequent intervals, I checked that he was still there and ensured he was still on Winter island so he wouldn’t melt into a snowball (he escaped twice and getting him back as a Snowball was a real ordeal). Whenever everything was okay, I would save the game so that if he did disappear again I had a save to come back to. 

Also, when it came to turning everyone to gold, I put the Pipe character (flushed characters come out of the pipe) on Winter Island. This way, every character I flushed would end up on Winter island, including the Snowman and I wouldn’t accidentally flush him to Summer and melt him to nothing – voiding the trophy again.

Pure Anarchy!

This turned into utter chaos, as the final few flushes I needed were all on Winter island, which had 100+ characters on it. The frame rate dropped dramatically, for some reason every character I needed to flush was running away from me, characters were pushing each other out into space. Every time I tried to flush a character I needed, the toilet would grab one I didn’t need. I was quickly getting frustrated

In the end, after I’d calmed down and used my head a bit, I placed the toilet in the centre of the Winter level, where he stayed – quite sensibly. I then went through the Collection menu to pick out the ones I needed to turn to gold and then simply had them climb on top of the toilet. I could then just switch to the Toilet and hit to flush them, eventually netting myself this final trophy and the platinum. Finally.

Boy was I happy to see this.

Annoyingly, I am the third-fastest platinum trophy achiever on PSNProfiles but if I didn’t have to do a second playthrough because of that damned Snowman, I would have had the number 1 spot for sure. So, hopefully, by using my guide and its tips for avoiding glitches you’ll be able to snag that top spot!

Time Breakdown

Initial Playthrough

Second Playthrough due to Glitch

Miscellaneous Trophies

Struggling with Glitches

Wattam Trophy Guide

There is a severe lack of good quality Trophy Guides for Wattam out there on the internet which is why I took it upon myself to write one which people will actually find useful.

It includes helpful information about the kinds of glitches you’ll find and how to avoid them, as well as in-depth explanations on how to get all miscellaneous and grind-based trophies.

Here’s hoping it helps out you fellow trophy hunters!

That concludes my Wattam platinum trophy review. If you enjoyed reading this review, please do let us know, it means the world to us when we hear feedback and we love engaging with people over the game we just platted. It’s basically the only thing motivating us at the moment!

You can follow us on Twitter @GetPlat and Instagram @platget where we’ll be sharing updates, upcoming reviews and general gripes about the games we’re working on so feel free to follow us or use it as another channel for feedback!

My Verdict:


Play


The game is fun and definitely had some heart and soul poured into its look and concept which makes it worth checking out and enjoying. However, I can’t recommend you plat it due to the frustration born from the sheer glitchiness of the game. If you can bear to put up with it, then you’re only looking at 6-12 hours of gameplay anyway.

Pros:


  • A cute and quirky art style
  • Emphasis on fun and happiness
  • Very unique gameplay

Cons:


  • Those unfamiliar with Japanese culture may find the game too crass
  • The game is inundated with time-wasting glitches and bugs

Silver Trophy

I’m very disappointed. Katamari is one of my favourite game series with an excellent concept, tone and gameplay. The quality of Wattam pales in comparison and the abundance of glitches even now, 4 months after release, is surely unacceptable. However, the parts which do work make for a good game.

About the Author

Wattam 51

More fond of single-player experiences and story-driven games than anything else, TheDblTap has a keen eye for secrets and collectables, a skill which serves him well as a Trophy Hunter. However, with little patience and poor timing, he can struggle where MrZhangetsu would succeed.

Trover Saves the Universe

By TheDblTap

A Proper Justin Roiland Experience

I’ve been a fan of Justin Roiland ever since I saw the first episode of Rick and Morty. There’s just something about his half-assed pseudo-improvised comedy which hits the spot for me.  He slurs and stutters his lines like a drunken lunatic who’s only focusing on what he’s saying about 10% of the time while the rest of his brain tries to come up with words containing “Schm”, “Glob” and “Ooble” syllables. His unique art style compliments his voice-acting and captures that personality perfectly.

As a gamer fascinated by VR technology, Justin formed game studio “Squanch Games” in 2016 and has since created a handful of great VR games featuring his own art style and hilarious voice-acting approach, the culmination of which is found here in “Trover Saves the Universe”.

Please note that I played this game in VR and so I will be talking about it from that perspective, but you can still enjoy and plat this game without PSVR.

Trover Saves the Universe Review

Justin Roi-Land

You like what I did with that there subheader? You get it? It’s because the game is like a Justin Roiland theme park… Called Justin.. Justin Roiland Oh forget it.

One of the best things about this game is that it doesn’t take itself seriously. The warped and goofy art style of the environments, the testicular plant-life, the ridiculous character design, the never-ending and bizarre dialogue, it all comes together to create a world which feels so very much like a Rick and Morty spin-off, yet has enough life of its own that it can be enjoyed just as much by someone who has (somehow) never even heard of Rick and Morty.

Trover Saves the Universe 60

To be perfectly honest, all 4 of those characters sound just like rick.

I’m pretty sure like 90% of the dialogue in the game is all just Roiland riffing in a booth to himself. At times you’ll hear him crumble the 4th wall and blurt out that he’s lost interest and the player should just head to their objective already. Or simply just say “Hey, we’re putting a cool effect on my voice here”. 

In that same vein – for some characters – he will record literally 5 minutes of non-stop dialogue about what the character is doing, should be doing, or what’s happening in that part of the game and while I can definitely see how some people would find it irritating, I find awkward and dark humour to be quite funny. 

No, I don’t shoot jets of laughter-jizz from my nostrils every time Roiland goes “haha, poop, poopie, peepee”, but that isn’t the point, and he certainly doesn’t expect people to be losing their s*** over a joke about dicks. The point is that the absurdity of it is so out there, and so relentlessly present that you can’t help but let out an uncomfortable giggle of confusion. And that’s a fun feeling to explore.

Trover Saves the Universe 61

Just wait til you hear some of the things this guy has to say.

Frequently Trover will drop any pretence that this is a real world he has been living in and start talking about how the game is stupid, or the developers did a stupid thing. It’s all fully whole-hearted nonsense filled with curse words and needless violence.

You’ll brutally murder an NPC, which in any other game would be a moment to shrug your shoulders and move on – maybe lose some progression, but Trover will have a small existential crisis over it, freak out a bit, feel a little uncomfortable around you for a while, it’s not supposed to make you question your morals or anything deep in that sense but it does help to increase the absurdity of the situation. Especially when the NPC you murder looks a bit like an Adventure Time action figure your younger sibling decided to microwave.

A Chair-bound Journey

We start the game as a “Chairorpian”. This is a neat way of pulling you into the VR world while still acknowledging the fact you’re sat in a chair with a gamepad in your hands. You’re an alien, part of a race known for being chair-bound, and can look down to see your limp, useless legs flopping around as you control Trover via the controller.

Trover Saves the Universe 62

Oh boy, just look at those floppy legs! Just floppin’ around and… being floppy!

A fat, blue, and naked chicken-like alien turns up and steals your precious dogs away, so that he can place them within his vacant eye-sockets. For a reason which is never explained, having these dogs inside his eye-holes make him infinitely powerful.

So, under instruction from his boss, Trover turns up to take you on an adventure to stop this large naked chicken from doing whatever assuredly evil things he plans on doing, and obviously you go with him because that chicken guy has your dogs, man.

Trover Saves the Universe 63

I’d tell you what his name is but it’s just one of those Roiland words which is funny at the time but mostly forgettable… I think it has “Gazorp” in it, which I’m sure doesn’t surprise anybody.

Turns out Trover also has eye-holes and he places things called “power-babies” inside them, these give him abilities which will be very helpful in working your way through the story. Along the way you’ll meet many grotesque or just bizarre characters, all of whom will make you laugh, while also making you a little uncomfortable. 

From a bee-like fairy guy who hovers wherever you’re looking and is wearing nothing but a couple of plasters over his junk to a morbidly overweight guy who insists you don’t stop feeding him, there truly is no shortage of insanity to be found here, and nobody really seems to find it all that weird except Trover… Sometimes.

Trover Saves the Universe 64

I’m just not going to offer you any context for this image. It’s funnier that way.

For a majority of the story, though, you’ll just be sat doing nothing… And it’s probably the best part! The absurd interactions between characters, even enemies, is truly hilarious, and often you’ll benefit from hanging back for a moment and just hearing what they talk about and where the conversation ends up going.

Totally in Control

Playing Trover Saves the Universe is a fairly simple process. The addition of a VR helmet mainly just helps to immerse you and changes the aiming controls slightly. Looking around for collectables is much more involved with the help of the headset, as you lean forward in your chair to try and peek around an obstacle or twist your neck trying to see what might be hidden above you.

Trover Saves the Universe 65

I see you, you sneaky Power Baby

As stated before, you control Trover rather than yourself, moving around the available, mostly just platforming to the next available warp pad, with which you can teleport yourself closer to Trover and therefore make progress.

Via use of you can turn your chair, to get the full 360 rotation that your head is naturally incapable of, and later on you can also use it to “pop up” or “pop down” as Mr. Pop-up puts it. This will let you get a higher vantage point on your surroundings to better solve puzzles and more importantly, find the collectable “Green Power Babies”, which appear to just be eye-hole drugs for Trover to get wasted on.

There’s nothing particularly special about the platforming in the game, it’s a lot like “Moss” or “Astro Bot Rescue”, similar VR platformers, but it is set apart by the general Roiland-ness more than anything.

Trover Saves the Universe 67

Kinda like Mario if his mushrooms were magic… I’m sure that’s a very original joke.

There’s a bit of combat in the game, you start off with just a normal attack but will eventually build on that repertoire, albeit not much. The combat is very samey and boring, some enemies take far too much effort than the game normal demands, not out of challenge but purely because they have a lot of HP and you’re just mindlessly swinging at the same enemy for a minute or so, just for them to spawn another two.

So, the platforming is standard, the combat is boring, anything else?

The game does have a few puzzles, often more tied to getting collectables than actually progressing, but they do offer more of a challenge than the rest of the game which is a bit of a saving grace, to be honest.

To summarise, Trover Saves the Universe is a fun-filled adventure through a twisted and bizarre world, it doesn’t take itself seriously and you’ll have more fun just sat smirking at the outlandish things the characters say than you will in any sort of action-packed combat scenario.

It might be hard to believe, but it’s definitely worth playing.

My Trover Saves the Universe Trophy Experience

Initial Playthrough

There’s nothing particularly challenging about platting this game, in all honesty. I just put on the headset and let myself get immersed. 

The game gives you the option of leaving a level once it is done, it’s not something which will automatically happen once you complete a certain objective or anything like that, which meant I had the opportunity to fully scour every level for collectables before leaving, which I did every time, making sure I left with everything.

Trover Saves the Universe 69

You can check your Power Baby collection via the touch-pad menu, and they all have their own unique face, name and description which makes for some fun light reading.

There was also a trophy for killing every killable NPC, so I made sure I was doing that along the way too. Apart from that and actually beating the game there was only one other thing to do, which was to put some of the crumbled paper on the floor of the telepod into the bin, through the basketball hoop, 1, 10 and then 100 times. 

I did it 10 times pretty much the first time I was in there. It’s a little awkward to do because the best you can do is “click” on the paper balls and they will fly up into the air in the general direction of the hoop. So it’ll go in maybe 1 in 5 times which means it can take a while to get 100. 

In order to make it less frustrating, I would do it 10 times every time I came back to the telepod between missions, eventually reaching 100 at around the mid-way point of the game. Turns out it wasn’t that much of a challenge, or as much of a grind as it seems to be at face value.

Trover Saves the Universe 70

I don’t know enough about Basketball to make a funny caption here… Uhh… Swish?

Some trophies required doing certain parts of the story under a time limit, but the time it gives you is so absurdly large compared to the difficulty of the game, that I really didn’t need to extensively attempt to be fast, the trophies just occurred naturally.

Final Clean-Up in Level Select

When all was said and done I had only 2 things left to do;

On the first level, you’re given a choice of which NPC to kill, but as they’re both killable, you obviously need to kill them both to get the trophy for killing all killable NPCs. This cannot be done in a single run, so I had to play the entire level again (much much quicker when not looking for collectables the whole time) in order to kill the NPC I didn’t kill the first time.

On the second level of the game, there’s an NPC who gives you a Green Power Baby, but she is also one of the NPCs you need to kill, so I ended up having to replay the level to get that last Power Baby. Once I took it back to the Telepod and deposited it, I got a questionable reward from Trover,  the “The Ultimate Happy Ending” trophy and my 152nd Platinum Trophy!

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It’s not often I get an actually decent Platinum Screenshot, so I’ll take that!

Time Breakdown

Scouring levels for Collectables

Making Campaign Progress

Level Select Cleanup

That concludes my Trover Saves the Universe platinum trophy review. If you enjoyed reading this review, please do let us know, it means the world to us when we hear feedback and we love engaging with people over the game we just platted. It’s basically the only thing motivating us at the moment!

You can follow us on Twitter @GetPlat and Instagram @platget where we’ll be sharing updates, upcoming reviews and general gripes about the games we’re working on so feel free to follow us or use it as another channel for feedback!

My Verdict:


Plat


It’s been a while since I played a decent VR game and Trover Saves the Universe turned out to be the most fully-formed actual game-like experience I’ve had in VR. A short, sweet, but ultimately complete action-platformer in a ridiculous world where everything is a total joke. Definitely worth the short time it takes to Plat.

Pros:


  • One of few actual games in VR
  • A complete Justin Roiland package
  • Immerses you well into the gameplay

Cons:


  • Gameplay isn’t very exciting or challenging
  • Could certainly be annoying to some people

Gold Trophy

While the gameplay might not be anything special, it’s crafted with a special level of loving detail that helps to bring its never-ending absurdity to life around you, especially in VR.

About the Author

Trover Saves the Universe 72

More fond of single-player experiences and story-driven games than anything else, TheDblTap has a keen eye for secrets and collectables, a skill which serves him well as a Trophy Hunter. However, with little patience and poor timing, he can struggle where MrZhangetsu would succeed.

Gris

By TheDblTap

An Aesthetic Masterclass in Animation and Music

Gris has been on my radar for months now. A frequently platted game which adorns r/trophies multiple times a week, It’s been sat in my wishlist waiting for me to get through the bulk of my to-plat list.

The beautiful watercolour art style is an instant attention-grabber and I’ve seen people use the word “beautiful” more than a few times when describing their experience with it, so just how many times am I going to use it in this review?

Gris Review

As an Art Piece

Gris is undeniably beautiful (yep, I said it already). Any individual with even a grain of creativity in their body will immediately be able to understand the effort which has gone into the visuals. 

Not only is the game astonishingly rendered with watercolour visuals, which shift and spread as though still wet and alive, but the animation in the game is also second-to-none. The animators went the extra mile to bring truly organic life into the game with movements that mimic air and water, every motion flowing smoothly to the next as though the game is just one big ballet and even the props are cast members.

A still image will never do justice to the incredible animation at play here.

To accompany this feat of graphic design, illustration and animation, a soundtrack crafted in perfect accompaniment will fill your head as you play through the surreal environments, setting the scene and conveying emotion where there’s none to be found explicitly. As somebody without knowledge of music theory or even just music in general, the only truly acceptable way to describe the compositions would be “beautiful”.

At pivotal moments in the game the music will swell and build with such gentle aggression that you begin to feel its impact affect you physically before it gently falls back into its comfort-zone of melancholic grace.

The art style evolves throughout the journey, too, as Gris (appropriately, this is the french word for “Grey”) collects more and more colours to add to the game’s watercolour pallet, bringing to life the different elements in the form of their natural colours.

The colour-less first stage.

Each world is further brought to life with little things. Little creatures which patter around and drop to a complete standstill when approached, or small effects such as the dust clouds which burst up from the ground when Gris jumps, or the way the audio becomes stifled when Gris drops into water but comes crashing back to life as she gracefully leaps out through the surface.

In a way, given the organic animations found in even the more inorganic things, and the way that things seem to spring to life when Gris draws near, it kind of feels like the world is interacting with you rather than you interacting with the world. It’s a strange feeling which helps to emphasise how surreal the environments are.

As a Game

So, I’ve established that Gris is a marvel in terms of art. As a standalone short film – perhaps even more than that – the project would still be an impressive artistic feat and would likely still pick up decent recognition and acclaim.

So does it need to be a game? Does it benefit from being a game at all?

In my opinion, not so much. The biggest reason I can see for this being a game is that they would simply receive more praise for doing it as a game. Making video games is hard. You’re not just trying to make music and animation and art, you need to make those things interact with each other, you need to be able to account for – and limit – all the things the player could do to ruin their own experience and you need thousands more assets and animations than you would for a traditional animation.

There are cutscenes in the game which show off it’s potential as a standalone short film.

That makes it more impressive. Take that and couple it with the fact that the gaming industry doesn’t have a huge repertoire of games like this, and it then begins to stand out much more than it would within the already very creative animation landscape.

Suddenly the game is winning awards and garnering a lot of following where maybe in the world of animation it would simply be a raindrop in the ocean.

In that respect, it would be easy to just call the game an interactive art piece, hardly a game at all… But that wouldn’t be fair.

The game plays out as a fairly standard platformer but as you advance, new mechanics are introduced and you’re asked to think about the world and the environments in a different way, to think about how you might be able to affect it to solve puzzles.

Can you see the solution already?

Forces of gravity and momentum are played with to a grand scale and puzzles often involve thinking outside the box. It is nothing too complex that it might become frustrating or ruin your experience and in the end, the solution ends up looking something like a dance of its own, as you jump from a pool of water to the ceiling and use red birds to launch yourself back to the ground, there’s grace and beauty to be found in every motion.

However, this grace can get in the way at times. For example, I found that the double-jump and glide mechanics focus too much on looking graceful, rather than being functional or practical. The timing feels awkward and unnatural when compared to other platformers and it can mean you have difficulty timing a particular jump in a jumping puzzle, sending you careening back down to the ground where you will need to start the process all over again.

This can cause the kind of frustrations that the developers clearly wanted to keep out of their game, all for the sake of a little more beauty.

As a Story-telling Experience

I will often avoid “artsy” indie games as they more often than not fall prey to a trope which I find particularly irritating, and sadly Gris is no exception.

I am talking, as you may have guessed, about having an “implied” story. I understand why this cliché is so present in indie gaming, as of course a team of talented artists, animators and coders shouldn’t be held back from creating something excellent just because they can’t afford a great writer or can’t pay a group of voice-actors to tell their tale.

However, as somebody who values storytelling in video games quite highly, it’s hard for me to simply turn a blind eye to this. Story-telling is, after all, why I am a PlayStation fan, it’s what originally won me over to the console family so I’ll often put a lot of weight on whether a game tells a good story and how it tells it.

The lack of explicit story doesn’t detract from the fact that there has been a lot of effort and care put into crafting a surreal and intriguing world to explore.

Most indie developers will just imply their story, though. They’ll tell you a bit of it through visuals, or small illustrations, or flashbacks or maybe even just abstract and minimalistic artworks, and the whole point is for you, the player, to determine for yourself what you think the story is about.

While this may be portrayed as a profound and lofty way to tell a story, leaving snootier gamers turning their noses up at those who say “I just want to know what the story actually is”, it comes off as lazy and half-baked. Like the developers had a good foundation for a story but didn’t want to put the time into fleshing that out and giving it more life.

So, while I was able to come up with my own interpretation of the story, my own ideas of what Gris is grieving and how the gameplay tells a journey of empowerment and recovery, I can’t help but feel like it would have all had much more impact if the story was just a little more set in stone, if her motivations were just a little more fleshed out.

Such is the snobby world of art though, I suppose.

My Gris Trophy Experience

My First Play-through

Gris isn’t a challenging game by any means, some of the puzzles can be tricky at face-value but once you get to grips with the mechanics involved, suddenly it and all related puzzles are so simple you don’t really need to think about them.

The only places I got caught up a little involved using the double-jump/glide across large gaps as I’d often trip up over the awkward timing and end up needing to repeat the puzzle.

Chapters get longer as the game progresses and all of them have “Memento” collectibles. Some chapters also have hidden actions to complete multiple times, such as knocking over all of the rock piles in chapter 2. I approached the game blind at first, without looking at the trophy list, and just sort of assumed what was needed.

Mementos Trophy. Those concentric circles are a collectable memento.

Finding the Mementos was obviously going to be a trophy, and I managed to get above half of them in each chapter. I also managed to complete some of the hidden actions because I was just naturally interacting with everything in every way I could.

By the end, I just needed to find some special birds in chapter 5 and collect the five stages of grief. I was a little surprised to have not found any of these throughout the whole playthrough, but luckily the game has chapter select so I jumped into there to clean up what I was missing.

Collectible Clean-up

Thanks to chapter select, clean-up was a breeze. What really took the most time was trying to figure out what was needed for the stages of grief in each level. Once I’d figured out they were mostly tied to statues of the girl in each stage, then I’d just try every command I could when stood by one until something worked. (We have a full guide for these here).

In one level I only needed 2 Mementos which weren’t far from a chapter select checkpoint, so I took the risk here to leave the stage without finishing it to see if that progress would be saved, and it was. This made things even quicker, knowing that once I had all of the optional collectables, Mementos and the stage of grief from each level, I could just hop out of there without any consequences and jump straight to the next level I needed to finish up.

Since I already knew the solutions to all the puzzles from my first playthrough, I was getting through this stage of the journey at a decent speed.

There was also one last secret to find in the hub temple. It’s not difficult to find, so look closely!

All in all the game took around 5 hours – maybe less – to plat and it was indeed an enjoyable and pleasant experience, definitely one I would recommend.

Time Breakdown

First Playthrough

Chapter Select Cleanup

Gris Trophy Tips

Notes about Chapter Select

Luckily nothing in this game is missable thanks to Chapter Select. Unfortunately you can’t go back to each area with your new abilities, simply due to how much the environments change as you progress, but it is good to know you can simply go back.

Each chapter has 3 parts which you can select to return to, the one at the top will always spawn you standing right outside the door to the stage from the central hub/temple thing.

Here’s the Chapter Select screen.

This is, unfortunately, the only way to track which ones you need, so it might be helpful for you to keep a notepad nearby in case you need help remembering.

It’s incredibly useful to note that you can leave a chapter once you have what you need. You do not need to finish a chapter for your collectible to be saved. Just grab what you need and then feel free to Chapter Select out of there to the next area.

Note that Chapter 1 has 2 Mementos in it, but don’t waste your time trying to find the second one just yet. Return to chapter one (by physically walking there at the temple, not with chapter select) once you have the ability to swim underwater, and then start swimming left, you’ll find it easily enough.

Stages of Grief Guide

The game’s platinum trophy is very easy to acquire, but there is just one set of collectibles (amounting to 5 trophies) which are pretty difficult to figure out. If you are struggling with this then we do have a guide for that right here.

That concludes my Gris platinum trophy review. If you enjoyed reading this review, please do let us know, it means the world to us when we hear feedback and we love engaging with people over the game we just platted. It’s basically the only thing motivating us at the moment!

You can follow us on Twitter @GetPlat and Instagram @platget where we’ll be sharing updates, upcoming reviews and general gripes about the games we’re working on so feel free to follow us or use it as another channel for feedback!

My Verdict:


Plat


Now is a perfect time to escape from the current stresses in the world and relax with a game both beautiful to look at and listen to. As an added bonus, the trophy list is short, sweet and simple. Get stuck in and immerse yourself.

Pros:


  • Visually gorgeous
  • Audibly beautiful
  • Simple and relaxing gameplay

Cons:


  • Story is insinuated as with any indie game (personal gripe)
  • Double-jump mechanics are fiddly

Gold Trophy

The game suffers from some Indie game clichés which knock it down a peg in my opinion, but you can’t deny the beauty to be found in every corner of the screen at any moment.

About the Author

Gris 89

More fond of single-player experiences and story-driven games than anything else, TheDblTap has a keen eye for secrets and collectables, a skill which serves him well as a Trophy Hunter. However, with little patience and poor timing, he can struggle where MrZhangetsu would succeed.

Sonic Forces

By TheDblTap

UNDER ALL THE CRINGE HIDES A CHEESY BITE OF FUN

I’m not a huge Sonic fan. I’ve put a lot of hours into Sonic Adventure 2 on Gamecube as a kid and I thoroughly enjoyed Sonic Generations, however, every other experience I’ve had with a Sonic game has been a glitchy, frustrating, poorly-constructed mess which has made wading through the cringe of the franchise not worth the effort. 

How does Sonic Forces fare, was it another failure of quality control or did SEGA manage to pull a decent game from thin air?

Sonic Forces Review

Gotta Go Fast

Our latest edgelord villain, Infinite, hovers in centre-stage as our titular hero, Sonic the Hedgehog races towards him. “What would you like your epitaph to read?” Infinite sneers through his full-face mask, “How about ‘Here lies the blue Buffoon’?”. Unwilling to let the villain get the last laugh, Sonic retorts with heaps of smarm “Why not ‘Here dozes the masked clown’? Might as well make it for the person who needs one, right?”. In response, I feel my spinal cord twist in ways I never thought possible, as it tries to unplug my brain and put me out of my misery, a defence mechanism against the cringeworthy dialogue to which I’m having a visceral reaction.

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Not a big fan of the new villain design. Maybe a child won a design competition?

This kind of awkward exchange is plentiful in Sonic Forces, and you’ll wish with every fiber of your being that there was some way to turn off dialogue. As you’re forced to sit through the same dialogue over and over when trying to beat time challenges or collect rings, their unnecessarily dramatic delivery and failed attempts at humour, it’s hard to overlook the fact that the game is aimed at children.

Of course, the internet knows all too well that there are more than children in the Sonic the Hedgehog fanbase, and many an unfortunate soul knows of the sexual content Sonic often finds himself associated with, tainting the brand of the franchise beyond repair. 

SEGA do their best though, as they try to make a game which a different majority of the fanbase has always wanted. It’s no secret that the furry community are big advocates of Sonic the Hedgehog, and their simplistic approach to character design makes it easier for less-talented artists to bring their “fursonas” to life by following the Sonic the Hedgehog art style.

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My favourite of the custom characters I made; Sanic the Hordgeheg

Finally recognising that this community and the Sonic fanbase go mostly hand-in-hand, SEGA added a character creator to the game, allowing players to create their fursonas in 3D and bring them into the fray alongside Sonic and pals. While I am certain this feature excited the fanbase, I found it pointless, and the focus on this aspect removes some of the fun of playing as Sonic, more on that shortly.

The campaign sees us taking control of our custom characters, a ‘rookie’ in the rebel army rising up against Eggman and his new-found undefeatable power. Using Infinite as a catalyst for the power of the “Phantom Ruby”, Eggman has created himself an indestructible ally to finally help him dominate the earth.

Stopping him is up to Sonic, Classic Sonic (from another dimension… It all happened in Sonic Generations) and… You!

Modern Sonic levels play out like other 3D sonic games; There are 3D segments in which you are moving forwards and have some range of left/right movement. Often these 3D segments will include speedway sections in which you’re running down a long road and can move left or right slightly to avoid enemies and obstacles or collect rings and collectibles. There are also 2D side-scrolling sections within which you have full use of Modern Sonic’s homing attacks, boost ability and double-jump.

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Many Modern Sonic stages include silly action sequences, but it’s all a good bit o’ fun.

Classic Sonic levels are all fully side-scroll platforming missions with more similarities to the original SEGA Genesis Sonic games. Classic Sonic’s abilities are more focused on being able to roll into a ball, making use of this to charge up a boost, attack enemies or simply go through a level quicker.

Playing as the “Rookie”, your custom character, is similar to doing a Modern Sonic level, but you have access to things called “Wispons” which are weapons you can switch out from the Avatar menu. Each weapon has a different ability which can be activated upon collecting Wisp capsules. Abilities include being able to boost yourself into the air with the burst ability or quickly travel down a chain of rings with the lightning ability. My issue with these things is that these could have been unlockable abilities for Sonic, adding replayability to levels, giving you a reason to come back and try out another level for better score, time, or to find a hidden collectible. This is what they did for Sonic Adventure 2 and it worked great. Removing the whole Fursona aspect of the game and focusing on the sonic levels would have, in my opinion, improved gameplay tenfold. But I suppose I’m not the target audience.

There are also some hybrid levels in which you play as your Fursona alongside Sonic. The whole thing is very corny as the game makes it very obvious how they expect you to feel. SEGA obviously foresee fans squealing “That’s me! I’m running with Sonic! Sonic is talking to me and we’re best friends now, yay!!”. As a grown adult without a fetish for Sonic’s feet I’m just left watching the wolf I threw together hold hands with Sonic the Hedgehog as a shiver of rejection crawls up my spine and ruffles my hair. In these missions you get full access to Sonic’s abilities (you just need to hold daddy Sonic’s hand when he’s running fast) as well as your fursona’s Wispon abilities, which I guess is kinda what I wanted, but not quite.

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Me and Sonic are best buds. Jealous?

The story is boring and – obviously – full of edgy exchanges with the enemies and barf-inducingly cheesy dialogue with well-known characters Knuckles, Amy, Tails, Silver, Rouge and more. But SEGA made a decent effort with the cutscenes (none of which I can show you because SEGA didn’t want me taking screenshots of cutscenes for some bizarre reason) and they have plenty of polish and action, probably enough to excite a Sonic fan.

The gameplay, though, is actually not all that bad. I massively prefer the modern sonic levels, and I’m so bad at retro gaming that I struggled a lot more with the Classic Sonic levels, but overall it was decent fun, even doing the time trial challenges.

Nostalgia With Style

The graphics, too, are… quite frankly gorgeous. The colourful and busy environments whizzing by as you dash down the street really pop in high definition on my PS4 Pro, Sonic games haven’t ever exactly been well-known for their graphics, but if ever I was to call a Sonic Game beautiful, it’d be this one. Green Hil Zone, for example, looks exactly how you’d hope a reimagining of the original would, even the leaves are square to keep the feel of the original present and it comes together in a really great way!

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Green Hill Zone’s aesthetic is iconic, unique, and full of charm. No wonder it keeps coming back!

The character designs are about the same as they’ve always been. Some characters came about during different phases of Sonic’s lifetime, though, so characters like “Zavok” from Sonic Boom Sonic Lost World (Thank you to BarradosRamos on PSNProfiles for correcting me) don’t quite fit in with the rest due to styling differences. All in all, though, with more detailed textures and extra care put into their colours, every character looks excellent in HD.

One really stand-out thing about this game is the music, though. I hate to say it, but the music in Sonic Forces slaps. Obviously, if you listen to the lyrics you’ll feel that old friend cringe creeping back up your spine, but it fits the game really well, changing tone at all the right moments and it actually succeeds in getting you pumped about going fast.

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The lighting in this stage makes your shadow hit the wall way in the back, a stylistic decision which has striking results.

End-Game Content

Hoo boy. Once you’re done with the story, there is still A LOT to keep you busy. Even if you’re not a trophy hunter like myself, you might be very competitive and want to set speed records, Sonic games are fantastic for this and Sonic Forces is no exception. There are also a lot of challenges you can take on, these challenges involve completing sonic levels in a certain time, levelling up your fursona and collecting red star rings.

Speaking of red star rings, there are a lot of collectables too! Each level has 5 red star rings to find, once you have them all then 5 numbered rings will appear in the stage. These numbered rings need to be collected in a single run of the level and must be collected in a certain order, but collecting those will unlock the Silver Moon rings which, again, need collecting in a single run. Silver Moon Rings, however, are a bit more tricky. Collecting the first one will start a timer and you’ll need to grab the other 4 before the timer runs out or they will disappear and you’ll need to try again.

Sonic Forces 104

Not all Red Star Rings are well-hidden, but they can be difficult to reach.

Of course, all of the above are things I had to do for the Platinum Trophy. Let me tell you all about it…

My Sonic Forces Trophy Experience

My platinum trophy run could have been a lot better. I did an absolutely awful job here of time management and my whole approach to the journey was flawed, meaning this platinum took me over 30 hours to get and it shouldn’t have. I’ll detail a lot of my mistakes in this section but I’ll also include a list in the Tips section of things which you can do, in order to have an easier time platting Sonic Forces.

Rookie’s Campaign

The Campaign was easy, very easy. I sped through the entire campaign in maybe 4 hours, not a long time at all. In that time I wasn’t particularly doing anything to benefit other trophy reuirements, I was just trying to complete the campaign. However, I could have saved myself a lot of time in the future by trying to collect as many rings as possible, actively attempting to get S-ranks on all stages and completing as many challenges as possible throughout my playthrough of the campaign.

Obviously, I naturally completed a few challenges and S-ranks, netting me the odd trophy here and there, but nothing significant.

S-Rank Run

This is where my trophy hunt really picked up steam. I played through every level, one-by-one, repeating them over and over until I got an S-Rank. Each day that I played the game I would complete the daily challenge, not just because there’s a trophy for completing 10, but also because you get a score multiplier for 30 minutes. This score multiplier made more difficult missions easier to S-rank so I would try to get the tougher missions out of the way during that 30-minute window.

Sonic Forces 105

Working on getting those S-ranks.

To be honest, I was wasting time by doing the S-Ranks without the score boost. If I’d planned out my time more carefully I could have focused on other trophies during this time and then just used the daily score multiplier to get S-Ranks since it was so easy to do with a multiplier.

Regardless, I did it and it wasn’t all that difficult. The key is to finish with as many rings as possible and not die much. If I died more than once in a stage I would just start back from the beginning to ensure I had more score at the end.

Obviously, you also want to be completing missions quickly, but that’s nothing compared to the time challenges…

Gotta Go REALLY Fast

The time challenges were a bit of a joke sometimes. Every now and then I’d get lucky and manage to beat the challenge in my first or second try, but most missions required about 15-20 attempts until I was good enough to beat the time challenge. More extreme cases took a lot longer, for example, the final stage – Stage 30 – took about 100+ attempts. The main reason for that is that every time I got good enough at it that I felt I could complete the level in good time, I’d have to stop playing to go to work or go to bed and so I’d have to come back to it later, at which point I’d already lost what skill and experience I’d built up and then had to get used to the level again. It was a bit of a nightmare.

In the end, of course, I managed it. While this phase of the trophy hunt was probably the hardest part, and definitely the most frustrating part, it came with a lot of satisfaction. Finally beating a time challenge after multiple runs at the same mission over and over resulted in such an immense feeling of joy and accomplishment, so in a way I’m still glad I went through it all.

Sonic Forces 106

Can’t be relaxing like this for Time Challenges, buddy.

I will say, though, I’m clearly not very good at sonic games. I reckon most other gamers, especially sonic fans, could probably do this phase in about half the time. There’s an upside to me being bad, though. I recorded every successful attempt to beat a time challenge and those videos are listed in the Tips section below. They should help you to beat the challenges for yourself, but on top of this, the fact that I make a mistake or two in almost every single video proves that you can mess up and still make it through in time.

Rings, Rings, Rings

Now, with all of the time challenges done and every level S-ranked, I decided it was time for some collecting. I found this part of the journey to be very boring. Looking for the red rings in every level was just an annoying chore. Sometimes I’d have to replay a level 5 or 6 times before finding that last red ring’s hiding spot. 

Then, of course, collecting all the red rings would unlock the numbered rings. Once I had the red rings on a level I would play it again immediately to get the Numbered rings and the same for the silver moon rings, this just felt more satisfying as I’d fully complete each level before moving on. 

Numbered rings were much easier to find as they were often in plain sight but I sometimes missed them by taking shortcuts and hidden paths through the level out of habit from the time challenges. 

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Nothing like a trophy to make it all seem worth it.

Silver rings were way more difficult to collect. Often they’d be hidden away on one of the shortcuts, but it helped that I’d done the speed challenges and knew most of the secret paths. One level in particular has a water slide on it and it is the single most difficult level for Silver Moon Rings. I spent over 30 minutes on that level trying to get the silver moon rings alone. Even the numbered rings took a good 15 minutes of retries to get.

Cleanup

Following all that, I still had a fair few things to do. 

Once I had got the trophy for completing 10 SOS missions I stopped doing them, only to find out later that the challenges want you to complete 30 SOS missions. So that was a pain since I had to stop what I was doing towards the end whenever an SOS mission popped up so I could complete the last 20 SOS missions I needed. So yeah, make sure you keep doing SOS missions as they appear, I could have saved myself a lot of time.

I still had to get the last two avatars fully levelled up and I still had to collect over 50,000 rings. I had the trophy for 10,000 rings but I didn’t even have the 50,000 ring trophy yet, nevermind the 100,000 ring trophy. How annoying!

I found two good farming methods (videos for these in Tips section below) through which I could get 900-999 rings per run. My calculations told me that I would have to do this at least 56 times for 50,000 rings. So, once that 50,000 trophy popped, I knew I’d only have to play through Stage 7 another 56 times for the trophy… Which I did.

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Somewhere around my 28th run I lost count, so this trophy popping was a very pleasant surprise!

Amidst those 56+ attempts at Stage 7, I was also going off to complete any SOS missions which popped up so that I could complete the last challenges I needed and then finally, after what felt like an eternity (but was actually about 3 hours) of farming, I got the platinum trophy.

During my ring farming phase, though, I decided to pick up the free Shadow the Hedgehog DLC and play through the 3 Shadow stages (they remastered his original theme from Sonic Adventure 2!). During these levels I got all of the red, numbered and silver rings, netting myself the only 3 DLC trophies and ensuring a 100% completion. 

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I gotta admit, it feels pretty good to play as Shadow again after all these years.

The Shadow levels and associated trophies are really easy, except the silver moon rings on stage 2, they took me a good 15 minutes of attempts to collect.

Sonic Forces Platinum Trophy Tips & Advice

How to plat the game faster than me

As you saw above there were a few mistakes I made which ended up meaning I wasted a lot of time, and could have sped things up a bit more by doing a few things, which I’ll list below:

  • Be better than me at Sonic. I’m only half-joking here. I’m not great at the game and I make a lot of silly mistakes which ended up losing me a lot of rings or meaning I missed the time challenge goal by a few seconds.
  • Finish all of your time challenge attempts. Everytime I made a mistake in a time challenge attempt I would immediately restart. To me, it wasn’t worth finishing the level unless I was going to complete the time challenge. This is stupid. By completing the entire level you’ll not only get more familiar with the level quicker, you’ll also get to cash in a lot of rings and exp at the end. This will make collecting 100,000 rings as well as completing the gold medal challenges a lot quicker, and having a secondary goal while attempting time challenges will make the time feel less wasted.
  • Complete SOS missions as they appear. Not only do you need to complete 10 for a trophy, but you need to complete 30 in total for the challenges. Once 2 of them have appeared on the map, no more will appear, so it’s not like you can stockpile SOS missions for later, you need to do them as they appear or you’re shooting yourself in the foot by having to wait for them to appear later.
  • Actively try to get collectibles. During my campaign, S-Rank and time challenge runs, I ignored rings for the most part, telling myself “I’ll just collect them when I do a ring run”. While that worked out fine, it did add a lot of time onto my platinum journey. Instead, if you see a red ring, numbered ring set or silver ring set on any of your runs (unless you have a really promising time challenge run going), actively try to get them. This will save you a lot of time later.
  • Actively check challenges. Some of the challenges require you to do specific things as Sonic or Classic Sonic. I completely ignored these for the most part, which also came back to bite me when I realised how many of them there were. Before starting any Sonic stage, check the challenges and see if there are any you could complete during your run. Same goes for Avatar Wispon challenges, although those are much easier to get.

Time Challenges (with Videos)

I recorded every successful attempt at a time challenge. I don’t think I missed any, but if I did it will be because the time challenge was so easy I got it without actively trying. 

These can be very hard and they will take multiple attempts to get right. Here are a few tips to help you though:

  • Use the D-Pad in Classic Sonic stages for more precision control.
  • Holding after a jump as Classic Sonic will make him come to a harsh stop. With some good timing, this can be used to quickly go from running to charging a spin dash.
  • Holding as Classic Sonic on a rotating circular platform will make him spin around it, keep it held down to build up speed.
  • For most boss missions with Sonic and your Avatar, the drill weapon is OP. By jumping in the air and holding you can dash forwards at speed without the use of Sonic’s boost ability. Against Infinite and Metal Sonic this can be used to gain ground on them and attack them even when they do their spinning attack straight at you.
  • Also for those missions, if you press to boost before attacking an enemy, you will be ensuring that Sonic is the attacker rather than your Avatar. This is important because Sonic’s homing attacks are much faster.

My other advice would be specific to each stage, so to make it easier for both of us, I feel these videos provide better explanation:

Stage 3 within 60 seconds

Stage 5 within 135 seconds

Stage 6 within 120 seconds

Stage 8 within 100 seconds

Stage 9 within 85 seconds

Stage 10 within 75 seconds

Stage 11 within 75 seconds

Stage 13 within 90 seconds

Stage 15 within 70 seconds

Stage 18 within 70 seconds

Stage 21 within 90 seconds

Stage 22 within 110 seconds

Stage 23 within 100 seconds

Stage 26 within 70 seconds

At the part in this one where it looks like I hit a dead end but went right through it, I actually hit to slide under an opening which is there. It’s a little hard to see and the game doesn’t expect you to slide very often so I figured I’d mention that.

Stage 27 within 135 seconds

Stage 28 within 140 seconds

Stage 30 within 270 seconds

In this Stage, during the third phase of the boss fight, attacking the boss 7 times will make Classic Sonic and your Avatar attack the boss, thus starting the Boss’s next attack phase. However, if you use your homing attack on the boss only 6 times instead of 7, then drop to the ground and hit to boost you will be able to start your attack animation again, letting you land another 6 attacks.

This can only be done while you have boost though, so ensure you land 7 attacks before you run out of boost or you will miss out on a large chunk of damage. 

Using this method you should be able to beat the third stage of the boss fight in just 3 attack sets. The video should make this clearer but I felt it did require some explanation.

Ex Stage 1 within 30 seconds

Ex Stage 4 within 35 seconds

Ex Stage 6 within 45 seconds

Ex Stage 7 within 55 seconds

Ring Farming (with Videos)

There are 2 highly recommended farming methods.

The first is Stage 7, I’d recommend this one the most. It’s very quick at around 1 minute and 22 seconds per run and you will get around ~750 coins per run unless you use a Wolf Avatar. Wolves have the added ability to attract nearby rings, so by using a Wolf you will average 950-975 rings per run. With a little practice and precision you will eventually be getting 999 rings each run.

If you’re not using a Wolf (because you still need exp for your other Avatars) then you will need to play the stage around 67 times to get 50,000 rings. If you are using a wolf you’ll need to do around 50-56 runs of the stage to net 50,000 rings.

You will need an Electric Wispon equipped, preferably one which gives you extra rings for every enemy you defeat. Never use a Wispon which caps your rings at 100… Obviously.

Here’s a video of me doing the run (not my best run, but good enough):

The other run is on stage 25. You will need to use a Hover Wispon. Again, try to get one which gives you rings for defeating enemies, but you probably won’t see many enemies with this method. 

For me, this method just isn’t worth it because it has a much higher risk of getting damaged and losing your rings, it’s also about 30 seconds longer in my experience. But, people recommend it because it’s easier to get 999 and you can make a mistake in this stage and still get 999 rings. If the rings weren’t capped at 999 I would recommend this stage as you could easily get over 2,000 rings in one run here.

So, it’s up to personal preference, whichever you would enjoy more. Here’s a video of me using this second method:

That concludes my Sonic Forces platinum trophy review. If you enjoyed reading this review, please do let me know, it means the world to us when we hear feedback and I love engaging with people over the game I just platted. It’s basically the only thing motivating us at the moment!

We also just started a Twitter account @GetPlat where I’ll be sharing updates, upcoming reviews and general gripes about the games I’m working on so feel free to follow us or use it as another channel for feedback!

My Verdict:


Play


Sonic Forces is actually a lot of fun once you cut through the obvious and expected cringe of the Sonic franchise. The gameplay is really solid and for once this one isn’t riddled with bugs and glitches. However, the platinum journey just ended up being more Sonic Forces than I would have personally liked to play through. Either way, have fun with it!

Pros:


  • Solid, fast-paced action gameplay
  • Pretty environments
  • Excellent music

Cons:


  • Awkward cringe-worthy story
  • Avatar mechanics could have been used to make Sonic gameplay more fun instead.

Gold Trophy

I originally thought I’d give this game a Silver trophy, but after spending so much time with it, I feel like it has enough fun and polish under the hood to deserve this Gold instead.

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…

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”

[collapse]

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.

[collapse]

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

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…

Deadpool (PS4)

By TheDblTap

“ABOUT AS MUCH FUN AS A SANDPAPER DILDO”

Deadpool. A name known far and wide and not just for the 2 highly successful and hilarious movies, but because Deadpool is just about one of the funniest comic book characters ever written. 

Constantly at war with the voices in his quickly deteriorating mind, this totally insane character is immortal… buuut he has cancer. The cancer eats away at his body just about as quick as it can regenerate, that kind of pain is bound to drive anyone to some seriously new levels of insanity. 

When you’re immortal but constantly dying, it makes sense that one might turn to humour to help make sense of the world around them and laugh through the pain.

Deadpool has always been one of the more R-rated characters too, more welcoming to an adult audience – just like his good buddy Wolverine!

Yes, you can expect to find Wolverine in the game.

All of that is not lost in the Deadpool game, and Nolan North’s performance as Deadpool is incredible, he captures the character perfectly, maybe even better than Ryan Reynolds. But what would you expect from the biggest legend in video game voice-acting?

So why the negative subtitle? Well, the actual gameplay is arse.

To the game’s credit, it was released last gen, when XBox ruled the markets and every single game was a half-cocked samey shoot-em-up with about as much charm as a used tapeworm.

Oh look, a sewer level… Yay?

Don’t give them too much credit, though, we’re not talking 2010 here, the game came out in 2013. By which point the PS4 was months away from release and we’d seen some incredible games make their way onto our screens, there really wasn’t much excuse to make a game with mechanics this stale.

What’s really quite hilariously sad about the whole thing, though, is that even Deadpool himself will frequently quip about the crappy gameplay which is either the studio being self-deprecating or admitting that they set out to make a low-effort funless hack-and-slasher from the start, as though that was part of the joke. What ever happened to “Maximum Effort”?

Deadpool PS4 Review

The game starts off pretty strongly, with a miniature level inside Deadpool’s apartment which is loaded with Deadpool humour and really puts you in a great mood for the coming gameplay. Unfortunately, once you leave his apartment you’re thrown into the truth of what the game really is.

I don’t think that’s supposed to happen…

There are very few unique environments in the game. You get dark dingy office, dark dingy sewer, dark dingy prison, dark dingy caves, etc. etc. 

There is a little smidge of creativity peppered into each of these places to give them some place within the Marvel universe, but not nearly enough to make it interesting. 

Gameplay consists of fighting enemies in an area, travelling to the next area, maybe completing a puzzle of some sort, and then fighting enemies in an area again. Typically these fights will span multiple waves and you do get the occasional boss fight.

Not very exciting stuff, however, you are rewarded for your progress via cutscenes involving typical Deadpool shenanigans as he annoys Cable, Wolverine, Rogue, Psylocke and Domino who all just want him to understand the seriousness of the villain’s plot.

Cable’s never looked so good.

They don’t feature much in actual gameplay except for one fight alongside Cable and a mild Lady Deadpool reference. Which is a shame, it would have been cool to fight alongside Wolverine or maybe get a few sequences of Domino’s luck powers doing some cool stuff but, alas, they’re just there for the cutscenes.

The selection of villains is even worse. Don’t expect a big-time Deadpool villain like Taskmaster, no, no, you get “Sinister”. And, his fellow infamous villains “Vertigo”, “Blockbuster” and “Arclight”. Just who are they kidding with this? These villains are the kind of villains who only exist so that comic-book characters have someone to beat up in a bank vault while they spray exposition all over the pages.

Ahhh, the cutscenes really do have a lot of charm.

Except from maybe Sinister, these villains don’t pose much of a threat, and even Deadpool himself quips about how the game has total D-list enemies. It’s not charmingly hilarious like it is in the movie when Wade complains about the lack of X-Men movie rights, because it’s not a huge part of the movie, but the villains we’re given are all we have for the entire game, and it’s definitely disappointing. 

The developers lean very heavily into the joke that if Deadpool made a game, it would just be boobs, explosions and poorly-written plot and in the end they don’t even pull the joke off right and you’re left with a disappointing waste of potential.

Oh, there are boobs, by the way.

Ignoring that, how does it play? 

Like most hack and slash shoot-em-ups to be honest. It’s a bit like Devil May Cry, I guess, but with less creativity and action. You have 3 melee weapons to choose from; two Katana with decent attack and speed, two Sai (Sais?) which have high attack speed plus the attack strength of a napkin, and lastly two Hammers with very high attack but quite slow speed. 

From what I can tell most people use the Hammers as soon as they can because of their high attack, but I stuck with the Katana for the majority of my run simply because they were my most upgraded weapon and had balanced speed. 

There are also 4 ranged weapons, all dual-wield of course. The first weapons are simple handguns which don’t have great damage output but their accuracy is one of the best so you can easily get headshots, making them one of the best ranged weapon options. The Shotguns deal high damage from close up but are fairly useless at range, making them good for big melee enemies like the “tubbies”. The SMGs are a good “crap, I don’t have any better weapon ammo left” gun. With shoddy accuracy and small damage per bullet they’re really not going to be your go-to unless you hate aiming. The last guns are awesome, I love these “Pulse Rifles”. They have a decent, steady firing rate, great accuracy and massive damage. Once you have these you probably won’t use any other gun until the ammo runs out. 

Deadpool’s arsenal also includes throwables, you have your standard Flash-bang grenade and explosive grenade but there are also Bear Traps and Land-mines which actually really come in handy for the harder sections of the game.

There’s upgrades, of course.

Apart from the throwables, you can upgrade all your weapons using “DP” (Double Penetration Deadpool Points) which allow you to increase damage output, DP earnings, and ammo capacity as well as unlocking “Momentum” attacks. Similar upgrades are available for Deadpool himself, allowing you to increase Health, Momentum gain and more.

Momentum is exactly what you’re thinking it is (probably). You charge up a bar while you fight and then exhaust said bar by using a special move. Each gun has 1 special move and each weapon has 3. The best special move by far is the one you can perform using the Pulse Rifles. Deadpool spins on the spot firing randomly in all directions and, well, enemies die. A lot.

Here you can see the Momentum prompts on the left.

The enemy types are all pretty lame. They’re supposed to be sinister clones of famous mutants. The one very obvious one is a malfunctioning Gambit clone that runs at you repeating “Ma Cheri” (I think?) until they explode, there are also some quite tough to beat Havok clones who do a lot of damage using Havok’s signature chest-beam. 

The others aren’t so clear though. There’s a really, really annoying enemy type which flies through the air and uses weather attacks on you, but it’s mostly electricity. I guess this is supposed to be storm?

Then, of course, there’s the “Tubbies” who are clearly clones of Blob. So, to be fair to them, the creativity is there but the execution is poor. Because the clones are infused with Sinister’s DNA, they all look the same and it’s boring. Typically the only thing that makes them stand out is what colour they are glowing or whether they are flying or not and in the end, all the developers tried to do is take enemy tropes from other hack-and-slash shoot-em-ups and then warp the X-Men universe to suit those tropes.

My Deadpool Platinum Experience

I felt no joy at getting this Platinum. Only relief.

On the PS3 version of the game, you can’t play the hardest difficulty until you beat the game on normal difficulty, but they got rid of that in the PS4 game and if you’re brave (or just stupid) enough you can jump straight in to the hardest difficulty and have a horrible time.

So I did, and I did have a horrible, horrible time. Almost every fight took 2 or 3 tries and there were multiple times where I’d boot up the game, play for about 20 minutes to get through one fight and then turn it off saying “Yeah, that’s more than enough for today”.

The hardest difficulty was originally put there so that players could replay the game and still have a bit of a challenge now that their character is almost fully upgraded from playing through on normal, but I thought I was being real slick by skipping over that part so I could get the normal difficulty and hard difficulty trophies at the same time. 

I don’t like admitting that such a poorly-made game gave me such a hard time, or that I’m silly enough to just go with it and accept the beating the game was giving me. Had I not been a stubborn and impatient person I probably would have switched difficulties but sadly I am both stubborn and impatient.

The last level of the game, on hard, took me over 4 hours of trial and error because everytime I died (which took only one hit for some enemies) I’d lose 20-30 minutes of progress with some of the worst checkpoint placement in gaming. It is then followed by a truly ridiculous boss fight which is then also followed by a… Honestly quite upsettingly easy boss fight.

Despite the difficulties, I did make it all the way through the game and got both the difficulty trophies at the same time. After that, I just went to chapter select and replayed any levels which had trophies tied to them in some way and collected any I didn’t have. Pretty standard trophy-hunting procedure to be honest, but I have some tips below which might help anyone wanting to plat this game.

I would have at least liked a good trophy screenshot for this one… Oh well.

Deadpool PS4 Platinum Tips and Tricks

So, as I said, it’s good to know you can start on the hardest difficulty from the beginning, but, despite doing that I would actually recommend you don’t. It would actually be quicker for you to play through the game on normal first to get plenty of DP and skills and such before going for the hard run which will be a lot easier. Otherwise you end up wasting a lot of time in futile shoot-outs at a snail’s pace.

There’s not much to say other than that, the game’s trophies are pretty straight-forward, but I do have a few tips for certain trophies that might help you out.

The first thing I’ll say is DO  NOT UPGRADE YOUR SAI (sais?). They’re not going to help you much, so leave upgrading them until you have every trophy except the one for upgrading your gear. There are 2 trophies which are infinitely easier with them not upgraded.

It’s a Trap Get a combo of 75 or more while fighting up the stairs at the front gates of evil

At face value this is one of the hardest trophies, but there’s a great method for it. If you leave your Sai (sais?… I’m gonna keep doing this) un-upgraded then as the fastest weapon it builds a high combo very fast, but the damage will be practically nothing without damage upgrades. So, you can hit an enemy quite a few times before they actually die. 

I did this trophy by hitting one single guy 79 times with the Sai (Sais? … Maybe I should just google the correct pluralisation) before he died, so it’s actually really easy. Do the trophy on normal difficulty so they don’t die too easily.

Don’t forget you need to let the combo “bank”, so don’t get hit.

Be like Joe Bank a 300-hit combo

This is actually really really easy. But, if you upgrade your Sai (I was right, I googled it, it’s not Sais) it’s the hardest trophy in the game. 

Here’s how I did it:

Well, for one, I did upgrade my Sai, so sadly I had to get every other trophy and then reset my character progress from the options on the main menu, then play the game long enough to unlock the Sai again but eventually I had the right setup.

I then loaded up the level “Genosha”. There’s a method online where you just hit the first “Tubby” Blob Clone with the Sai and dodge his attacks, but I kept getting hit in the glitchiest of ways so I changed my method. There are a few enemies which spawn just before the Blob Clone and there are just enough of them that you’ll have a 300-hit combo by the time the tougher enemies come out as long as you only attack with your Sai and counter every attack that comes at you.

The tricky part then is that you don’t just need to reach a 300-hit combo, you need to bank it. I lost my first 300-hit combo because I got hit while running around the arena waiting for it to bank, so just be extra careful you don’t get hit or it will cancel out the combo.

And here I am, running for my life hoping they don’t hit me and cancel out my combo.

So you’ve got some free time? Complete “Landed in Prison” without countering any attacks.

I highly recommend that you do not press at all under any circumstances while trying for this trophy. You may be tempted to use it to teleport away for some breathing space but you’re just as likely to accidentally counter this way, so just keep well away from .

The annoying thing is that this chapter includes a boss fight in which countering is part of the solution to winning. You can instead just use flash-bang grenades against this boss to stun them, allowing you to beat the life out of ‘em.

This game doesn’t give very good trophy screenshots…

Beer Goggles Use all three switches, defeat the two phasers, and chase after Vertigo within 60 seconds

This one seems hard, but can be quite easy. The only thing that really slows this part down is the two phasers you have to kill. I highly recommend you place down as many mines as you can (as quickly as you can) in the center area while you run through it towards the first switch. This will likely deal with the phasers for you, saving you some time. But if you get to the center and there is a phaser still standing, just greet him with a couple of quick shotgun bursts.

The trophy won’t pop until you’re out the door. Which is annoying because this is also the checkpoint, so if you go through that door and you don’t get the trophy because you were too slow, you’ll need to start the chapter again from the start. 

It might help to time yourself in some way, or just restart from checkpoint if you’re not confident in your speed. Maybe do a couple of practice runs.

Actually it doesn’t make for very good screenshots, in general.

The rest of the trophies are pretty simple, just do what the trophy says and you shouldn’t struggle.

My Verdict:


Pass


I don’t recommend this game. It’s not a good game by any measure and despite the saving graces of Deadpool humour and North’s incredible voice role, it’s just not worth any amount of time.

Pros:


  • Nolan North plays Deadpool excellently
  • The humour of Deadpool is somewhat alive in the game.

Cons:


  • Boring repetitive gameplay
  • Stale mechanics
  • Drab level design

Bronze Trophy

I don’t want to give this a trophy, but I loved North’s voicework too much – he really did the role justice, so it gets a bronze at least.

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…

The Mummy: Demastered, Review

By MrZhangetsu

No Harm Ever Came From Reading a Book!

Movie tie in games are almost as bad as movies that were adapted from video games—just watch anything Uwe Boll directed—but every so often, one of them manages to defy the odds and end up being actually enjoyable. The Mummy: Demastered is one of those games.

Developed my WayForward who created the beloved Shantae series, The Mummy: Demastered is a throwback to pixel graphics and Metroidvania gameplay. Unlike the (truly god awful) movie it’s based on, TM:D is a lot of fun and doesn’t feature Tom Cruise in the slightest. In fact, you play as an unnamed agent of Prodigium and it’s your job to follow Princess Ahmanet through a large map, defeating all her friends in order to stop her from… doing something. So the story is forgettable, but it’s been my experience that Metroidvania games focus more on gameplay than complex storylines and, honestly, I prefer it that way.

Enemies can be tricky to deal with sometimes, but it’s a fun and welcome challenge.

I’m actually not a big fan of Metroidvania games, but playing TM:D was a really fun experience and a nice challenge. I never felt like it was too difficult nor did I feel like the game was taking it easy on me. Any enemy can catch you off guard and you’ll have moments where you go from bad to worse, but it’s okay because when you die, you respawn as a new agent and you get to track down your old zombified corpse to get your gear back. The boss fights feel really fair and the boss designs looked pretty amazing. TM:D almost made me forget the movie it’s based on even existed… almost.

I… am a Librarian!

In traditional Metroidvania fasion, TM:D has a large map which is essentially a bunch of levels all stitched together and in these levels there are always areas that you can’t get to and it will frustrate you until you find a power up that adds the ability to cling to ceilings or run faster and jump higher. The fun then is in backtracking to where you last saw that ledge and hoping something amazing is hiding up there—it’s usually another skill or an item/upgrade—just out of reach. Mostly, you will be rewarded with a new weapon, explosive or an increase to your ammo capacity or health, which you can never have too much of in games like this.

A hidden statue with a scroll inside that give you a cool new ability!

As an agent of Prodigium you have access to many weapons, but you start out with a simple MP5 with has a nice fire rate and OK-ish damage, but it has unlimited ammo so it’s arguably the best weapon for dealing with regular enemies, saving the big guns for the bosses. As good as this starter weapon is, the best weapons in the game are:

  • Assault Rifle – This has high damage and a faster rate of fire which is great for chipping off large portions of the boss’ health quickly.
  • Shotgun – This is great for up close encounters, but rarely useful in boss fights.
  • Cluster Rockets – Good damage but not every rocket is gauranteed to hit.
  • Plasma Beam – The real MVP of the game. The beam does a lot of damage and can chain between enemies. Great for bosses and regular enemies.

Ultimately though, all weapons are pretty decent so it’s down to the individual player how they gear up and take on Ahmanet’s undead friends.

The Clocktower boss was an interesting and challenging fight.

The Journey to The Platinum

TM:D isn’t too hard of a platinum trophy, mostly it asks that you uncover 100% of the map, find all items and… finish the game without dying.

Okay, that last bit sounds a bit rough, but it’s a lot easier than it sounds as the game gives you plenty of opportunities to save your progress—which you can then back up to PS+ or a USB—and enemies drop health when you mow them down. The boss battles are where you’ll likely die the most, especially in the early moments as your health bar will be so small a stiff breeze would kill you, but it’s all part of the fun.

There aren’t any unmissible trophies or any that require complex actions to be taken. Mostly you’ll pop a trophy every time you beat a boss or pick up a scroll/weapon. Just remember to make a save before the final boss so you can go back if you don’t manage to make it back to the surface in one peice. Once you’ve done that, all that’s left is to intentionally die and go kill your zombified corpse and the platinum should pop.

My end game stats.

Tips to Survive!

  • Grab a map so you can mark off each item as you collect them. This will save on confusion later.
  • Try to save every 30 minutes or however long you feel you can comfortably survive.
  • You can farm health by entering a save zone and shooting any boxes and then leave. Rinse and repeat.
  • It’s sometimes better to run around enemies that it is to fight them.
  • It’s probably best to leave any collectibles, scrolls, trinkets and upgrade items until you’ve beaten the Clocktower boss.
  • Learn enemy and boss attack animations so you can better avoid them.
  • Bosses will start to turn red as they get near death.
  • Right after the last boss you will have to make a dash to the surface. Take this area slow and remeber to uncover 100% of the map as you go.

TM:D isn’t all that complicated and you can probably 100% it in one sitting since it’s also entertaining.

What a save room looks like. I guess the agent uploads mission progress to Prodigium HQ or something? I don’t know.

I honestly almost passed on this game after watching the movie, but I managed to catch it on sale and the PS Store trailer looked fun so I took a risk and bought it and I’m glad that I did. WayForward managed to make a great homage to classic gaming with a movie tie in and I think that deserves a medal or at the very least a round of applause.

My Verdict:


Plat


Plat it! The Mummy: Demastered does what the movie it’s based on could not… Make an enjoyable and fun experience. If you like Metroidvania games then you’ll definitely like this one.

Pros:


  • Retro graphics
  • Fast gameplay
  • Cool soundtrack
  • Interesting bosses

Cons:


  • It’s a bit short
  • Can feel a bit floaty at times
  • Enemies hurt you just by touching you (until you get a power up)

Silver Trophy

There are no Tom Cruises or bad Hollywood decision makers in this game! The Mummy: Demastered is great!

About the Author

MrZhangetsu has a love for all games and a real talent for FPS games. Spending his childhood thrashing friends in Halo and Call of Duty, his talents lie in accuracy and consistency. This perfect timing comes in handy for all types of skill-based trophies and allows him to face most challenges head-on. His determined focus, however, often means that he misses many opportunities to explore and collect.

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 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

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…

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

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…