by Stryctnin, the HSM team writer and artist
The PS3 trophy system, which is an accomplishment tracking system, was introduced in the software download version 2.40 in July 2008. There are four different types of trophies, and they are valued from lowest to highest – bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Bronze trophies are usually easily attainable, although some may be tricky, while gold trophies usually require a bit more effort or are harder to obtain. The platinum is earned when all trophies for the particular game have been achieved and unlocked, not including any DLC.
The trophies have a leveling system, much like an RPG where they each contribute points which will increase your overall trophy level. For example, bronze may be only worth 1.5 points, silver is doubled that, gold is doubled from silver, and platinum is doubled from a gold. Levels One through Twelve levels up fast, but once you hit twelve the points for the trophies decrease and it takes you longer and more trophies to rank up.
Usually, games valued at $30 or more upon their first release will have platinum attached to it; however, some downloadable games have been cheaper and have had platinum. The games downloaded from the PSN Store will usually have around ten trophies with the highest being a gold. The disc-based games with platinum will typically have forty to fifty trophies. As of January 2009, every game submitted to Sony had to have trophies.
Before the trophy system, I was a casual gamer playing only the popular titles that I found interesting. I purchased my PS3 along with the game Folklore which had no trophies; when I bought the PS3, trophies didn’t exist. I went through the main storyline of Folklore and beat it with the female character’s story. There were other things to do with the game; it had an online aspect to where you could create a maze that other people could play. You could also play the male character’s storyline, but once I had beaten it that was it. A lot of games had been that way; they had things hidden you could find, or goals you could shoot for or challenges you could try. But once I played through the main storyline and “beat” the game, I was done with it and on to the next one.
When the trophy system started, I was in Home a lot — and by a lot I mean all day and night, hanging with a group of friends and living a fantasy life on my television. This had become an addiction for me and the drama I created and started was like a game to me. Everything in my real world suffered. I lost friends, I missed special events and memories that cannot be replaced, and I almost lost my marriage.
At this time, when I was asked or talked about the new trophy system, I would always say it was stupid and useless.
Then one day, my friend Jrock316 stopped coming into Home as much as he used to and he began playing games more. I noticed his trophy level going up, and it surpassed mine. Then he received his first platinum on Resident Evil 5. Then I thought, hell, if he can do it, then I can as well.
Sure, by this point I had played a game here or there — enough to have racked up some in the trophy level. In fact, the first trophy I received was Fashion Sense on Little Big Planet. Which probably at the time, I didn’t even know what the hell that thing was when it dinged.
So, now with a personal challenge set in my mind to get more trophies than Jrock, I went for the Resident Evil platinum and eventually achieved it, and I caught up with him in a number of trophies.
My virtual life on Home was still a top priority, and a number of my friends on there mocked me and made fun of my trophy chasing. So I began to sink back into the world I had created in Home, and once again ignored my wife and others around me.
I don’t remember the exact change in it all — or it may just all be for another story later on — but something happened and now my wife and I work together to trophy hunt. Whatever tedious tasks a game requires that I don’t have the patience to deal with — and, truth be told, I don’t have a lot of patience — she will quietly accomplish it. We have become a tag team with the trophies. Though she has her own separate account we do all gaming on my account. And this trophy collecting has managed to bring us closer together and has healed a broken relationship between us.
Now my trophy level is Seventeen with 2369 trophies and 27 plates of platinum.
I had planned to write this article but I wasn’t sure how to go about doing it, and before I started on it, I researched who had the highest trophy level in the world. It was easy enough information to find.
His username is Hakoom. His trophy level is 49. At the time of writing this, he had 13,240 trophies with 252 plates of platinum.
I sent him a message across the PSN, and truthfully, I wasn’t expecting a response. To my surprise, he did respond and agreed to be interviewed.
Stryctnin: Thank you so much for taking the time and talking to me. It is truly an honor and privilege for me. First off can I ask you some questions?
Hakoom: Sure. It isn’t a problem at all.
Stryctnin: Where are you from? (I know, it sounds like a noob default question in Home, but I don’t know how else to ask it other than in Spanish).
Hakoom: I am from Bahrain (Middle East).
Stryctnin: How old are you?
Hakoom: I am 27 soon.
Stryctnin: How long have you been gaming?
Hakoom: Since I was five. I started with [the] Atari system and a Gameboy.
Stryctnin: Do you own any other gaming system other than PS3?
Hakoom: Nope, only a PS3, and a PC; if you consider that a gaming system.
Stryctnin: How many games do you own?
Hakoom: I currently only have around 10-15.
Stryctnin: Do you buy or rent your games?
Hakoom: I do lots of things. I buy, borrow, rent, lend etc…
Stryctnin: Hitting platinum in a game can be time-consuming; in some games, it takes days, weeks or even months. How long does it usually take for you to platinum a game?
Hakoom: It depends on the game. One-hundred-hour games take me four to five days if I know what to do — and if I don’t, a week at tops.
Stryctnin: What game has taken you the longest to platinum and how long did it take?
Hakoom: I would have to guess Mortal Kombat 9; it took me over 100 hours to platinum.
Stryctnin: What’s the shortest time for platinum you’ve had?
Hakoom: Mega Mind took me two hours; it’s really easy.
Stryctnin: It almost seems unreal and mind-boggling that you have that many trophies. Do you ever get help with the games or do you do it all on your own?
Hakoom: I let my friends play sometimes when they come over on Thursday or Friday, and I have explained this many times, I cannot just sit there and play while my friends watch, so I have to let them play too. But, that also doesn’t mean I have five people working on my account as some “girls” do.
Stryctnin: Do you remember what the first game you platinumed was? (After I asked this I realized that he has been asked this question so many times that he has become annoyed with it. He posts all his information on his blogspot.
Hakoom: For the first platinum it was Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. You can see it here:
Stryctnin: What was your first trophy earned?
Hakoom: It was in Super Stardust HD and it was called Hero Of Lave. I just had to complete the Planet Lave level.
Stryctnin: Why did you start trophy hunting?
Hakoom: Because I really had nothing else to play or do. I am a hardcore MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) player, and each one I would join and then dominate. Then some catastrophic event (drama) happens to me and I leave so I don’t have to deal with it anymore.
Stryctnin: Do you compete in any offline tournaments such as Street Fighter etc?
Hakoom: No, I don’t. I play games at home mostly.
Stryctnin: What game has given you the most trouble in completing?
Hakoom: There are several, but Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, Wipeout HD and Street Fighter 4 were very troublesome. Street Fighter because of the challenges; you have to be good at making the combos for you to get them.
Stryctnin: What was the easiest game you ever platinumed?
Hakoom: Definitely Mega Mind. It took me only two hours to complete.
Stryctnin: Has there ever been a game that you just couldn’t beat and you gave up on getting the platinum?
Hakoom: Nope, I don’t give up on any game. I just delay them and put them off until my mood returns for them.
Stryctnin: Now, can you list the top ten easiest games to platinum in your opinion. They don’t have to be in any order.
Hakoom: Of course the first one I would name is Mega Mind. Then Hannah Montana, Ice Age, Up, Fritz Chess, Ben 10, Monopoly Streets, Where the Wild Things Are, Spare Parts and The Owls of Ga’Hoole. If you want to see a complete list of easy platinum you can visit this page :
Stryctnin: What’s your favorite game or games ever?
Hakoom: All are PS3 games. I love God of war 3, Metal Gear Solid 4, Killzone 3 and Uncharted 2.
Stryctnin: Yeah I really liked Uncharted 2, although I never got a chance to platinum it; I didn’t feel like playing through it again, besides, I really hated the final boss. I’m looking forward to the third installment of this title though. What games are you looking forward to coming out this year?
Hakoom: There are many great games coming out this year, but I’m really looking forward to Uncharted 3 as well. Also, Infamous 2, Last Guardian, Battlefield Bad Company 3, Batman Arkham City and Darksiders 2.
Stryctnin: What are your strengths in gaming?
Hakoom: I consider myself to be a strong player in many types of games but I think I have an extra special knack for FPS (First Person Shooters), RTS (Real Time Strategies) and TPS (Third Person Shooters). And, since I have a lot of patience I can complete many of them even when they are very tough.
Stryctnin: Yes, patience is certainly a key factor in earning trophies, which makes it hard for me sometimes because I lack patience, especially when I get tired or hungry. So what do you consider to be your weak points in gaming?
Hakoom: My weaknesses are certain types of sports games and musical games that require instruments like Rock Band and Guitar Hero. If it’s not the normal controller then I have difficulty.
Stryctnin: What games are you currently working on?
Hakoom: LA Noire, Top Spin 4, FIFA 11, Atelier Rorona, Dead Space 2 (German Edition) and The Sims 3. Plus I have a few more games I’m waiting on that will arrive from overseas sent by supporters and friends.
Stryctnin: What are your favorite genre of games?
Stryctnin: Have you written any trophy guides or walkthroughs?
Hakoom: Yes, I wrote two trophy guides back when I was at the PS3trophies.org website. Then I started my own blog and I review every game I plat in short form like a mini roadmap for each game.
Stryctnin: What would you like to say to the people who think trophy collecting is a waste of time and ruins gameplay?
Hakoom: Everything is a waste of time. Everyone should be doing something else to enjoy his or her own life. Some people collect baseball cards. And some people will say, “that’s such a waste of time and money.” Is it a waste of time? No. No, it isn’t, as long as he is enjoying what he is doing. What I think of as a waste of time are people who just sit at coffee shops or bars and try to hit on girls and get drunk, those are guys with no life. Yes, the trophy system can ruin gameplay if the trophies aren’t designed or programmed correctly, but if they are then it should be no problem.
Stryctnin: How does it feel to be the number one trophy leader in the world?
Hakoom: It’s my way of dominating every game I play. Trophies, MMOs or anything else I play, since online gaming has opened I have always been on top. I have been number one since I had 65 plates of platinum, and that’s been like two years ago. Now, I am still number one with a huge platinum lead. My feelings are the same though because I play for myself and to satisfy myself only.
Stryctnin: Anything else you would like to add?
Hakoom: Thank you all for your support and thanks to all who send me games from overseas. Always make a thorough background check on a trophy hunter before accusing him of anything. Being the top trophy hunter on the PS3 system and maintaining that for more than two years isn’t easy. For more information or if you want to speak with me directly, then add me on the following pages:
And this is my blog where I review things:
Also, my youtube channel where I show my trophies and plats:
In closing, I would like to say that many people have tried to take the number one spot from Hakoom several times, and some have actually passed him. The thing is, however, that the ones that passed him were found by Sony to have hacked or modified their PS3s and were removed from the leaderboard and banned. Also, the competition is so high in the top of the leaderboard that some accounts have numerous people playing on it to obtain trophies.
All in all, games are meant to be played for fun. If you own a game and you enjoy playing it, then the trophy system may help you enjoy your game more. It will allow you to get your money’s worth by searching out items that are hidden, picking up every different gun available and getting a headshot with it or talking with that strange looking old man to receive a hidden extra quest. And, finally accomplishing that goal and hearing that “ding” of the trophy unlocking just feels good.
However, some games that are there just to go after the trophies and are not fun playing at all; now that can become a grueling task and takes the fun away from gaming. I know because I’ve rented some pretty crappy games from GameFly only to get so annoyed with it to send it back. If I don’t want to play it then I’m not going to play it, and if I’m not having fun with it then there’s no need to do it. Trophies do not make the game, but in a good game, they give added value to the gameplay itself.