Survivor

Another World • From bad to worse • Bronze Trophy • Rarity 62.0% (Common)

I feel like Another World has been around on PlayStation for a long time. It has always seemed to be marketed for a nostalgic gaming audience that never really hit my demographic. I, for one, have never seen the game before in my life, and so I’m certain somewhere out there is either a very happy sub-set of gamers who finally can revel in a remake of one of their favourite all-time games … or there’s a fat marketing executive laughing all the way to the bank for pulling off a great scam at the expense of the consumer.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a little from both column A and B.

This is a tricky game, and I’m not sure if I can quite decide whether I like it or not yet. I think the premise lies in constant death and quick reload, making changes as you go through to your strategy in order to ‘be better’ next time around, which is normally a strategy I don’t mind, but it might be a case of either being too tricky, or just not my cup of tea. I haven’t decided yet … what I do know is that if I ever get to the end of this game, it’ll likely be thanks to a walkthrough or other internet guide.

Now I have my trophy out of the way, I plan on heading back to Destiny 2 for a little while and just grabbing some engrams and things to keep the wolves-from-the-door. I’m still not sure whether to dedicate some time to my Xbox or my PC characters, but in either case – I am still enjoying the thrill-of-the-hunt.

 

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Quest Completed

Sparkle 2 • Complete your quest • Silver Trophy • Rarity 29.1% (Rare)

I am unapologetic in my love of mindless little puzzle games on the PlayStation Vita. Handheld gaming in general is a huge boon for someone like me. In fact, if the Nintendo Switch had a half-decent achievement system, I could say with some certainty that this would soon be my platform-of-choice.

However, it doesn’t, and it’s not … and so I am left working through some titles from Sony’s “legacy” system … which, after all these years is still going strong.

A little after midnight, I pushed through to finish the “campaign” of the bubble-come-puzzler, Sparkle 2, that felt a need to try and map some kind of story to the overall journey. I suppose it’s a good a goal as any, albeit unnecessary – the journey itself was never a real driver to finish … if I knew there was a set 100 levels, then I would just work towards that goal. Nonetheless, I’m not a game developer, nor am I particularly creative, and so I play the games as-they-come.

Look … I’m not ashamed to say I bloody loved this game. For all of its whimsy, it has solid mechanics and cuts-away any ‘fluff’. It has just the right balance of tension and reward, and it is well-paced in terms of difficulty curve. Something like Sparkle 2 is a good example of what can be achieved when you stop trying to over-engineer a title and just perfect the basics. You won’t find any Call of Duty-style arguments about the length of the campaign here … it is a game about combining small, colourful balls … and that’s it.

Well done to 10 Ton for having the balls to stick with a good concept and doing it well.

There is a challenge mode that seems to be seperate to the main ‘campaign’ which I might be able to have a go at over the weekend – but for now, I’m happy that I got to the end, and I plan to enjoy the catharsis that comes with ‘finishing’ a game.

Breathtaking Deeds!

people at theater

Photo by Monica Silvestre on Pexels.com

Foul Play • You achieved a x50 combo • Bronze Trophy • Rarity 54.0% (Common)

The premise of Foul Play appears to be the production of a stage show in which you ‘thrill’ the audience through a various assortment of combat stages that involve you linking combos and not getting hit. That’s a fairly crude summary of what this title from September’s PlayStation Plus lineup for Vita is, and … well, it’s an accurate one. For the most part, it involves rapidly hitting the triangle button again and again, while hitting the circle button occasionally when it looks like you might get hit.

If you’re looking for some deep philosophy or narrative in your games … this isn’t it. It is raw combat, not bad combat, but raw hit-em-up at its mobile gaming above-average’ness. If it sounds like I’m being a bit cruel to the game, then you’re probably right – I am nitpicking, but only because I hope for innovation in my gaming these days, and when I get something that feels tried-and-true, I get a bit frustrated. Yes, I see the irony in someone who plays Destiny most of the time saying that, but even Bungie have worked hard to innovate on Destiny’s format – Gambit being the most recent example of that. Needless to say, it’s also, unsurprisingly, now where I spend most of my time.

I’d like to go back to Foul Play, if only to grab a couple more trophies, particularly around combos. I think it’s a matter of practice-makes-perfect, because on my first outing I was able to quite easily get the 50x combo (though I couldn’t do it for the final boss – the Foreman – which would have earned me a higher score), and having the game on Vita will allow for a more pick-up-and-play kind of approach.

It’s a good game, just not a great game. But it has trophies, and really – at the end of the day – that’s all that matters, isn’t it?!

Savior of Ceres

Resogun • Save all humans on Ceres • Bronze Trophy • Rarity 15.6% (Rare)

I spent five and a half hours on a plane today, so I spent my time working through some Resogun and a some other older titles that I’d already earned achievements on (on a different PSN account). I had this one in mind when I fired up Resogun, and I’ll probably use Resogun more than once this holiday anyway, but the short version is pretty much the same as I wrote the other day – save all the humans. Period.

My Vita isn’t connected to the hotel wifi here though, so I haven’t been able to sort out an easy way to get screenshots onto this blog, so I’ve used a good old fashioned stock PlayStation photo to get me through! Looks like it’ll have to be iOS games from time-to-time if I want to keep those pretty visuals!

Survivor!

Rayman Origins • Survived a Piranha Pond without a scratch!

I’ve played a lot of Rayman in various forms over the years – but it’s been so on-and-off I haven’t really worked towards a particular trophy. Between different accounts and different games, it’s always been much more of a casual pleasure than on steady rotation, and so when I was playing around tonight and this trophy popped, it seemed like a good a time as any to celebrate.

Ironically, for the hours I’ve put into the game I still don’t consider myself very good! Every time I attempt one of the timed runs (for another one of the little purple creatures) I fall just short or fail miserably. Que Sera, Sera.

Grabbing this trophy frees me up a bit tonight, so I’m thinking a bit more Fortnite or something more shooty bangs on the fixture.

Either way, flexibility is good – as good as a nostalgic walk down memory lane with a good ol’ Vita game to keep you company.

Sticky Start

Super Exploding Zoo! • Collect your first sticker!

And so it begins. The start of a new financial year, and my effort to broaden my horizons. I have deliberately gone with something non-Xbox for the day. In truth, this actually worked quite well considering I’ve spent most of the day out of the house – and so I managed to find something ‘new’ in my Vita library and fiddle around with it for a bit to grab a trophy.

I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing in Super Exploding Zoo! but I suspect it has more to do with just blowing animals up than any real strategy. I’ll experiment a little more over the next couple of days and see if I can work it out.

For now though, I have a shocking headache and all signs point to something viral, so it’s an early night and sleep for me.

Thank God for portable gaming!

Secret Moustache World

King Oddball • Find and complete the Secret Moustache World! • Bronze Trophy • Rarity 7.3% (Very Rare)

I’ve been slowly working my way through the secret moustache world on King Oddball for the better part of May. Lunch breaks, a bit before bed, and just casually while in-between other life events have all helped get this one across the line – but after finishing the first tranche of levels, to find out that the Secret Moustache World is essentially just those levels again except in reverse gives finishing this trophy a bit more than the usual amount of satisfaction.

There’s a few other worlds like the Moustache World left to complete that allow you to work through a series of challenges, but without a Platinum Trophy in sight, it’s a bit hard to find the motivation to go the whole way.

It’s lucky that the game itself is so easy and casual to play that the achievements are a nice byproduct, but there’s certainly a bit of fan-service lacking for the achievement hunters.