Gaming And Trophies! The 2018 Year In Review!

2018 was quite the year for me as gamer, in terms of the amount of games I played and trophies I earned. And for the most part, I am glad it’s over lol! Let’s take a look at all the stats, bits, and games that sums up my 2018 in gaming as well as how this whole trophy game started for me in the first place!

Before we start, let’s do a quick recap of the whole PlayStation trophies system and where I stand in the whole thing.

Introduced by Sony way back in 2008, and as a way to sort of compete with Microsoft XBOX’s achievement system, I became hooked on the virtual trophies from the start. Over the years I racked up a large amount of these (pretty useless but fun) achievements. It was an obsession. Then over the span of probably 2013 – 2016 I almost completely stopped earning trophies, and also damn near stopped gaming altogether.

It was over these years that my real life was in a real state of disarray. Financial problems, kids to take care of, and at one point I had to move back in with my parents. Not something that’s easy to swallow when you are in your late 30’s. Gaming very suddenly took a back seat.

By 2016, things started to get so much better. New (killer) job, a new wonderful relationship with a pretty amazing woman (who is now my wife), and my life was back in shape again. I finally started to dive a little bit back into my greatest hobby. Gaming!

The Start Of The Streak

In October of 2016, something fun happened by complete accident. See, I am a 5+ year member at truetrophies.com, a really cool website for trophy hunters to keep track of trophies earned, games completed, gaming goals, and…… trophy streaks apparently. What a streak means is basically this: earned at least one trophy every day, every single day in a row. Never miss a day, and boom! You are now on a trophy streak. This wasn’t something I was even trying to do, I was just playing some games! However on October 30th, 2016 I unknowingly started a trophy streak. A streak that is still going to this day! As of this writing (1/19/19), I am on an 812 day in a row streak (including today), having earned 5,497 trophies along the way. That’s a ton of trophies to earn in a little over 2 years! Funny enough though, more than half of those were earned in just 2018 alone.

The Streak Continues……

The Streak Inspires New Goals

Right at the start of 2018, I decided to finally start work on a couple trophy goals I had always wanted to accomplish. They were ‘Hit 10,000 career trophies’ and ‘Hit 150 career Platinum trophies’, both by the end of 2018. With the streak being so huge at this point, and playing games every day (with a wonderful wife who supports my nerdy passion), I figured why not? Plus there was a little unspoken competition I had within myself to catch up to my best friend who’s trophy total was also nearing the 10,000 mark. It was all me though, he had/has no interest in trophy competing…… but I couldn’t let him be that far ahead of me lol! Sadly though, I had way more work ahead of me than I could have ever imagined.

Such A Long Way To Go

Full disclosure, I wasn’t too close to my goals at the start of 2018. I was extremely far behind, having not played games for a couple years (as mentioned earlier). First of all, I started the year off at having only a total of 6,137 career trophies. So I had to somehow earn 3,863 more trophies in one year to reach my goal of 10,000!!! That’s more than half of all the trophies it had taken me the previous 9 years to earn! Then the Platinum trophies…… I started the year off at a total of 79 Platinum trophies. So to hit 150, I had to earn 71 more! Again (though even worse), this was nearly the same amount it had taken the last 9 years before to rack up! I truly felt I had set my sights way too high, but once I started, I couldn’t stop.

Slow Start

By the end of August 2018, I was averaging 130 trophies a month, and only 4 trophies a month. With only 4 months left of the year at this point, there was no way in hell I was going to make my goals. I even thought about tossing in towel at this point, and moving on. I had done everything I could. GameFly rentals, purchasing ‘easy trophy’ or ‘easy plat’ games off the PSN. Even the massive cross saving 3 way of Sound Shapes (while very helpful) wasn’t getting me close enough. What else could I do? The answer it seems was actually within reach. Something that fit in the palms of my hands.

Enter, The PlayStation Vita!

Still A Wonderful Piece Of Gaming Tech In 2018!

I was an early adopter of the now ill fated PlayStation Vita. As in, I bought my Vita on day one way back in 2012. Over the years, it did get a lot of use but sadly as retail outlets stopped selling games for it (and Sony even walking away from it), I moved on to the PS4 and the Vita was quietly put away. Then something happened around the end of August, early September 2018 that made me dust off the Vita and give it another go…

I had previously followed the Vita modding scene for a couple years. I had always wanted to jailbreak my Vita, and use the Vita’s beautiful OLED screen for GBA games and other emulators. I was however never on a low enough firmware. I suppose then putting my Vita away for awhile was pretty useful, as it stayed on version 3.68 for a long time. Then h-encore was released and everything changed. I finally had the chance to jailbreak my Vita! A chance I was more than happy to take.

After a successful jailbreak (and the later installation of SD2Vita), my OLED 120GB Vita was ready to take on the world! Or at least another country……

The Vita Turns Japanese

Now for the gray area. Yes, a jailbroken Vita gives you the ability to pirate games. While the Vita by factory default allows you to import physical games from Japan and play them on your Vita, the prices are completely insane! Plus I can’t read Japanese anyways. However there is one type of game in Japan that’s extremely popular for the Vita: Visual Novels! Again, I can’t read Japanese, but I sure can match symbols and use walkthroughs found online! These VN’s are known for being super easy, filled with tons of trophies, and even Platinum’s! With my jailbroken Vita in hand, I stepped forward and tried a couple to see how it would go. Maybe this could be the faster way to get closer to my 2018 trophy goals!

September 2018 Rockets Way Up!

The VN’s, while completely boring, were an amazing and easy way to get a massive amount of trophies in a shorter period of time. I was certainly not having any fun ‘playing’ these games, or feeling very good about downloading them for free, but without them there was no way I was hitting my goals for the year. I was doing what I thought that I needed to do.

Remember that I said my monthly trophy average in 2018 up to August was 130 trophies and 4 platinum’s a month? The VN’s drastically changed that, as in just the month of September alone I earned a staggering total of 900 trophies and 35 platinum trophies!

The Rest Of The Year, And Hitting My Goals!

By October, I was well on my way to hitting the 10,000 trophy goal. There was one side effect to playing all of these VN’s though, and that was the fact that I was earning Platinum trophies much faster than I thought I would. My goal to hit 150 platinum’s by the end of the year was complete in October. So I set a new goal of 175 platinum’s by end of year. I hit that goal at the start of December!

As for the 10,000 trophies goal, did I make it? Lets take a look at the final year end stats for 2018 (as of 11:59pm EST USA time, December 31st, 2018).

2018 Trophy Stats

  • Platinum Trophies At The Start Of 2018: 79
  • Platinum Trophies At The End Of 2018: 196 (117 earned in 2018)
  • All Trophies At The Start Of 2018: 6,137
  • All Trophies At The End Of 2018: 10,001 (3,864 earned in 2018)

Other Interesting 2018 Stats

  • The amount of trophies I earned in 2018 was 39% of my entire 10 year career trophy total!
  • I completed 72 Japanese Visual Novel’s!
  • In the USA, I came in 2nd place out of all Vita users for the amount of completed games on the Vita (102 Completed Vita Games)

So it looks like I actually made my goals in 2018 after all. And I am really glad it’s over. I can now focus on what’s really important. Playing Video Games for fun and entertainment! 😉 Though I will admit, it’s still tempting to play more VN’s. Ya know, for trophy boosting lol 🙂

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, it’s much appreciated. More to come soon. As always……

Cheers & Game On!
– TheMaltyGamer

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