While I haven’t talked much about the series in a few years, I used to be quite the fan of the “Assassin’s Creed” games. I had something of a break with the series after III, which was the point where Ubisoft decided to take this pretty impressive meta-plot they’d had running over the first five games in the series and throw it out, followed by making a game about pirates and slapping the Assassin’s Creed brand on it.
I understand that recent games in the series are a little closer to the original concept, and I keep meaning to check them out at some point, but every time I think about it I am reminded by how disappointing Black Flag was and then I don’t.
But, that aside, I wanted to talk about Assassin’s Creed II and something that has been vexing me for, oh, nearly 8 years now.
Back when I originally played AC2, in 2010, I got really into 100% finishing the villa and buying all of the gear and tracking down all of collectibles and doing optional stuff, and this culminated in spending most of an evening sitting on the couch with my wife, with her holding a map of feather locations, finding every single one of the bloody things. This was extra fun because, well, I’d picked up a bunch of them during the course of the game up to that point, so we were never quite sure whether I wasn’t finding one because I’d already picked it up or whether I wasn’t finding one because we weren’t reading the map correctly.
At any rate, after finishing that particular scavenger hunt, I realized that I’d gotten what is widely considered the hardest trophy to get and that it couldn’t be too hard to actually get the platinum trophy. This was something I hadn’t considered doing in any PS3 game up to that point, so it was a Big Decision.
Sadly, I then discovered that the game had a single missable trophy (“Fly Swatter”) tucked away in a non-repeatable mission, and that I’d already missed it. So, I put my dreams of shiny trophies aside and didn’t actually get a platinum trophy in ANY Playstation game until 2016. That was for Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit!, by the way. I have no shame.
At some point, Ubisoft put out a DLC episode for Assassin’s Creed II, and they put a repeatable section into that DLC where you could actually get the trophy I’d missed. A cynical person would say that they could have saved everyone a fair bit of time by just letting you pay $5 to have the Fly Swatter trophy unlock, but maybe someone thought that would be just a little TOO obvious.
Anyway. I am a bit stubborn at times, so it took me quite a while before I broke down and bought that bit of DLC. It was during a PSN sale, so at least I wasn’t spending full price just for the opportunity to go back and get one darn trophy. This is how I justify things to myself, you see.
Then, of course, I didn’t actually get around to PLAYING the DLC until a couple of nights ago, when I’d finished up the Halo games and needed something different.
It turns out that going back to a game after 7 years can be a LITTLE tricky to get the hang of, but… well, eventually I managed to figure out the controls and finally cross that one nagging item off my never-ending to-do list.
So, well, it only took me seven years, seven months, and 4 days to get back to AC2… but I DID get around to it. You know. Eventually. I can’t decide whether I should be proud of this or not, but I am at least satisfied.
As an aside, “An Old Friend Returns” may be the single most common “you beat the game!” trophy I’ve ever seen. I look at the completion percentage for most games I play, and even really popular ones frequently have completion percentages in the 30% range. People really loved them some Ezio.
I find it oddly fascinating when games have a non-100% “You Started the Game” completion rate. This means a number of people installed, updated and loaded a game, then thought “nah” and never touched it ever again.
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I’m totally that guy, though. I’ll buy a game because it’s a good deal and I kind of want to think about maybe playing it someday, then I’ll install it and launch it to see if it has a cool opening movie or attract mode before closing it “for later”.
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