Saturday, February 4, 2012


You don't reason with intellectuals. You shoot them. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

I recently got the platinum trophy in Vanquish and was thus inspired to write another plan post. While timewise it only took about 25 hours a decent portion of it was fairly grueling thanks to Tactical Challenges. The "tactical challenger" achievement/trophy has a .45% completion rate on giant bomb, keeping in mind the only people there are those that care about that sort of thing. Additionally we have this thread for comparison. So, it's safe to say that only a few hundred players out of the ~350k copies sold of the game have done it. I will say I didn't just go in blind on the last challenge and had a general idea of what to do, but the skill required for execution is amongst the highest for anything I've ever personally done.

Additionally the luck component is fairly low, maybe 15-20% It's one of the few things where I might not have the reflexes in a few years to do it. The exceptionally stingy fellows at ps3 trophies rated it at 8.8 and 9.5. For reference Dark Souls has a 7.5, Demon's Souls 8, Resident Evil 5 5.5 (I had a lot of trouble with this one personally, El Gigante on Professional is a pain in the ass), and Bayonetta 6.5 (all of the semi-challenging platinums I have). The only games I've found that are equivalent to 9.5 or higher are Star Ocean 4, Wipeout HD, and Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2. I don't care too much about achievements or the infinitely dumb accumulation of points, but exceptionally hard but fair trophies are always something I go after.

More references: RE5 Demon's Souls Bayonetta NGS2 S04 Note: I suppose Star Ocean 4 is still the big fish since Ninja Gaiden is done in pairs, though if you scale for sales they're all roughly in the same ballpark.


Surprise Surprise, first game on the list is the latest played and the freshest in my mind. Japan has this mystical ability to produce the absolute best gameplay for almost any genre, even if it's outside their norm. Dark Souls is easily the best action RPG gameplay, Vanquish is easily the best shooter gameplay (other flaws aside), and Bayonetta is easily the best character-action gameplay. Yet predominantly Japanese games are stale and archaic, though that's not to recuse Western developers and their propensity for making the same game over and over. Speaking of which...

Uncharted 3

Oh my old friend Uncharted, still lots of fun but definitely a retread of the previous game. Still by far the best shooter single player experience of the year and leaps and bounds ahead of CoD, Battlefield, etc. I may beat the game on crushing prior to this review, but mayhap not.

Uncharted 2

A stunning reveal! Widely acclaimed as the best linear-action game of all time, "25 perfect review scores" and all that jazz. I love it myself, though in retrospect it is pretty easy. The train level remains one of the best experiences to have in gaming. Actually the first "wow" game I played on my PS3 since I was alternating old games and new games for a while.

Killzone 2

Speaking of games with repetitive, samey gameplay... Actually, Killzone 2 gets pretty fun about halfway through when they start tossing good guns at you. Even playing on Elite the latter half of the game is relatively entertaining. The first part is still a bit of a slog after the first go around, but all things considered this is still an excellent single player experience with some of the best FPS bosses ever created.

The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Athena

I've only just started playing this game, though now perhaps I'll have the motivation to finish it. The first rendition was an excellent mix of first person melee and shooting, though I'm told the second degrades to standard shooter gameplay for the latter half. We shall see...

Unfortunately due to playing almost exclusively difficult games for the better part of a year I'm forced to reconsider some of my former opines. God of War II may have the best tuned normal mode in existence alongside some very cinematic bosses but the harder modes basically just boil down to tedious pattern recognition rather than tests of skill a la Vanquish or Bayonetta. While I would have given it a 10 a year ago I'm not so sure now, 9-9.5 sounds more appropriate. That's not to say I don't love Kratos and ripping people's heads off, but a bit of perspective always helps.

Challenge 6 ~ Obviously a speedrun, my clear was 27 minutes though I could probably grind it down to 15 if I really tried. You'd think this guy was the best ever or something but it's not all that far off from how I played. In my opinion he wastes the LFE at the start and the Lock-on Laser on the first bogey. Also a few lucky moments that are hard to explain to someone who hasn't played it, but after failing a few dozen times for hours you'll pick up on it straight away.

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