Trophy Hunters – Final Fantasy XV

Welcome back! It’s time for another platinum trophy expedition! Last August I wrote up…well, began writing a series of posts/updates as I played through Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate with the goal being another platinum trophy to add to the collection(full disclosure: there aren’t that many). My idea for the series of posts was something akin to a book club where myself, and any other willing participants would agree on a particular game and document their time through the game and all the trophies/achievements. It began simply out of curiosity as to whether or not those who do any sort of trophy/achievement hunting approach it the same way or how much it differs from person to person.

The experience of collecting trophies in Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate proved quite enjoyable and I knew pretty quickly this was something I wanted to try again. As with the AC: Syndicate trophy quest, friend of the blog – Solarayo from Ace Asunder has accepted another challenge and will be joining in the fun. She is a far more experienced trophy hunter than I am, as well as being much more efficient in writing update posts as her post containing her initial batch of trophies was published last weekend(go check it out), despite my having a three week head start on the game. So, anyways…here’s what I’ve accomplished thus far…

The main story of Final Fantasy XV centers on around Noctis, royal prince of the the Kingdom of Lucis. He and his entourage of friends – Gladiolus, Prompto, and Ignis, are set to travel across the nations of Eos to meet with his fiancée, Lady Lunafreya of Tenebrae. The royal marriage is arranged as a means to secure peace between the two kingdoms, but, shortly after Prince Noctis’ departure, the capital city of Insomnia is attacked by the Kingdom of Nifleheim. Noctis’ father, King Regis is killed and Lucis’ Crystal is stolen during the invasion, along with Noctis and Lunafreya being listed among the deceased. The prince then sets out on a mission to reunite with his fiancée and to avenge his Kingdom, aided by his loyal companions.

This, of course, takes place after the game’s prologue…

Insomnia’s Waking Nightmare

  • Completed the Prologue

The game begins with Noctis and company broken down along a desolate highway. Their ride, the Regalia is in need of repairs and no one in the party possesses suitable mechanical knowledge. Gladiolus, Prompto, Ignis, and husband-to-be, Prince Noctis begin pushing the royal carriage(nope, it’s a car) to the nearest service station. Once they start rolling down the highway, a cover version of “Stand By Me” by Florence + the Machine fades into the audio mix as the camera slowly zooms out to show the lonely highway extending into the horizon before the Final Fantasy XV logo appears onscreen.

Pretty cool. Not the opening I’d have anticipated for a Final Fantasy game, but I’m intrigued so far…


  • Completed Chapter 1

No Turning Back

  • Completed Chapter 2

Learner’s Permit

  • Drove the Regalia

Before venturing off on their road trip, the boys are given the keys to the Regalia – the Kingdom of Lucis’ royal luxury sedan, which serves as your primary mode of transporation throughout the game. The driving feels a little restrictive and not quite as fluid as other open-world games, but still handles better than the Mako or a Warthog….not a high bar, but still…

Chocobo Jockey

  • Rode a Chocobo

Of course, the Regalia isn’t the only way to travel. The group makes a slight detour from their destination and visits a chocobo park.

Quadruple Threat

  • Equipped a fourth weapon slot

New Power

  • Learned first ability

Skill trees are nothing new to Final Fantasy games. FFXV features the Ascension grid which contains abilities across nine categories(trees) – Armiger, Magic, Recovery, Techniques, Combat, Teamwork, Stats, Exploration, Wait Mode. The New Power trophy is unlocked simply by spending your acquired AP(ability points) on any upgrade.


  • Activated 20 ability nodes

Angling Rookie

  • Improved fishing level for the first time

Each member of the party has a specific skill – Survival, Photography, Cooking, or Fishing, with the latter belonging to Prince Noctis. As you make your way across the world, there’s many areas to take a few moments and relax with a fishing mini-game(always fun, right?). The mechanics took a little getting used to, but angling became pretty easy after a couple tries. The Angling Rookie trophy is unlocked for raising Noctis’ fishing level for the first time.

Survival Rookie

  • Improved survival level for the first time

Buff, tattooed Gladiolus is responsible for overseeing the group’s various campsites, as well as occasional training for the young prince. The Survival skill provides Gladiolus the ability to pick up useful items at the end of every battle. The skill is raised by traveling on foot, which means eventually reaching Survival Level 10 for a later trophy will require a significant amount of hiking…

Photo Rookie

  • Improved photography level for the first time

Prompto takes a multitude of pictures during the group’s many battles and other random moments as you travel across Eos. Every time you stop to rest at a camp or inn, you can see all the different photos taken, with an option to save your favorites to your game file. I unlocked his Snapshot ability early on and have been trying to remember and use it frequently to save on post-game grinding to get the Photography skill to level 10.

Cooking Rookie

  • Improved cooking level for the first time

Ignis is the group’s chef and chauffer(during the daytime hours, anyways). The more you cook, the more your skill level increases. As you progress through the game and gather different items, Ignis will occasionally(or frequently) exclaim “I’ve done it! I’ve come up with another recipe”.

Just Hangin’ Around

  • Performed the first point-warp suspension

Many elevated structures and objects across the world of Eos will allow Noctis to perform a point-warp, which gives you a brief moment to pull back from a heated battle to recover a bit of hp or simply get a better vantage point over the area. An early boss battle in FFXV will require you to know where your point-warp areas are and use them to avoid defeat…


  • Issued first ally command

The other three members of Noctis’ traveling bro party – Gladiolus, Ignis & Prompto, each have different skills to use once the technique meter reaches a particular level. Prompto, for example, I made sure to spend the AP on his Snapshot technique to use once nearly every combat encounter to aid in reaching Level 10 for the Photography skill.

Blind Spot

  • Performed first blindside link

The combat links in FFXV are multi-character attack combos that can be “linked” together after parrying an enemy attack or by initiating an attack from behind an enemy, called a blindside link.

Noct You Like a Hurricane

  • Initiated first link-strike after parrying an attack

Love those puns for trophy names…

Magical Worker

  • Crafted a spell for the first time

Rather than pre-set magic spells, in Final Fantasy XV you can come with up your own magical concoction by combining fire, ice, or lightning elementals. These can also be altered from throwing certain items into the mix later in the game.

Black Mage

  • Used magic for the first time

I got this trophy quite a few hours into the game. I kept forgetting Noctis can even equip and use magic spells…

Hight Five for Justice!

  • Played JUSTICE MONSTERS FIVE for the first time

Pinball! Sweet….

Spinning a Yarn I

  • Completed first sidequest

Like nearly any other JRPG, FFXV has an abundance of side quests to be completed. Most of these(so far) have been pretty basic fetch que….uh, item requisition missions in which you follow your marker on the map to specified location to grab an item or speak with someone and then return to the quest-giver. There’s a total of 6 trophies for completing side missions in FFXV, with the final one being unlocked after seeing your way through 80 of them. The silver lining here is that most of them(so far, at least…) haven’t required me to go too far off the beaten path to complete and I’ve been trying to go on foot to any marker under a half mile away as to keep steadily progressing Gladiolus’ Survival skill, which was a recommended strategy to avoid to much post-game grinding…

Spinning a Yarn II

  • Completed 5 sidequests

Only 75 left to go…

Spinning a Yarn III

  • Completed 10 sidequests

Only 70 left…

My First Hunt

  • Completed first hunt

As you make your way across Eos, it seems like every other person you talk to has a hunting quest for you to track down and exterminate. Most of these beasts have been causing problems around the area, while others are simply requested for their resources to cook or craft items. Much of the monster hunter-ing can only be completed at night due to the targets being nocturnal, meaning Noctis and company are more at risk of being attacked by even bigger and more ferocious creatures that only come out at night. There’s only one trophy to be unlocked for the hunting quests and they don’t count towards the side quest trophies, so I intend to hold off on too many hunting trips unless needed for some late-game level or skill grinding…

At the time of posting this, I’m sitting at 34% of the total trophies in Final Fantasy XV. I think I’ve got a pretty good start on this. The majority of my time so far has been spent running around the area working on side quests and some overall level and skill building. I’d heard FFXV starts off pretty wide open in areas to explore and missions to accomplish, but begins to narrow itself into a little more of a linear experience as it progresses, so I’ll hopefully not have to worry about being under-leveled or anything like that later in the game. I’m really enjoying the game so far and looking forward to seeing where it goes from here. Until next time…

Thanks for reading!

Five Games I’m Most Excited About From E3 2019

The video gaming spectacle known as the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 is currently underway in Los Angeles, CA running from June 11-13. During this time game publishers, developers, media and gaming community in general gather to the Los Angeles Convention center to either showcase or experience the latest and greatest(hopefully) the industry has to offer. The event has come a long way since starting in 1995 as an offshoot of the Consumer Electronics Show, or CES as everything around video games had grown exponentially larger – industry, media, and consumers. Every year multitudes of gaming fans keep watch on their online gaming news outlet of choice, or more recently Twitch and YouTube channels dedicated to showing every minute of the array of games and technology on display. Every annual E3 convention is kicked off with several days of press conferences from the major developers and publishers, and with these press conferences come announcement trailers and gameplay footage of upcoming titles. This has become a bit of a spectator sport in itself as game announcements can come as a surprise and create an enormous amount of excitement for anyone who loves video games. After some deliberation, these are the five games that I’m most excited about after seeing from E3 2019.

Final Fantasy VII

Square Enix’s remake of the beloved Final Fantasy VII has been in the works for quite some time now after being initially announced back in 2015. The game development seemed to go for very long periods of time without any word or update from the developers, with some skeptical the game would ever happen at all. Well…Square Enix finally showed off some actual gameplay of FFVII during its presentation on Monday night and this game looks downright gorgeous with the updated, NOT jagged angular character models of Cloud and Barrett’s boss battle with the Scorpion Sentinel from early on in the game. The combat controls have been reworked a bit, with a shift more towards an action RPG that I think is an interesting change particularly when dealing with a game as highly regarded by hardcore RPG fans as FFVII. Another aspect of the game that I feel is a bit strange is the fact it is going to an episodic release, with Square Enix stating the entire first episode will take place in Midgar. Square Enix also stated the game will be large enough to take up two entire blu-ray discs upon release in its completed form; though they admit they are unsure of just how many episodes the game be comprised. Final Fantasy VII is a game that while being the benchmark title for the series, is in need of a face lift as it is one of the first games I mention when the discussion of “games that haven’t aged well” comes up(along with Goldeneye and Ocarina of Time)…nevertheless I am incredibly eager to check this out when it releases in March 2020.

Watch Dogs: Legion

The announcement for Watch Dogs: Legion was leaked prior to E3 and like the other games in the Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs series, it looks to be a very ambitious game that I sincerely hope they are able to pull off as this game really piqued my interest after watching the demonstration during the Ubisoft E3 presentation. Watch Dogs: Legion is set in London of the not too distant future, where an authoritarian militia-government has control, with soldiers on patrol as well as drones surveying your every move…you know sci-fi dystopian stuff. The premise of the game is similar to that of the first two games, with a group of individuals with the ability to hack seemingly any device have decided to fight back. I admit I have missed out on the Watch Dogs games up to this point so this may be an excellent introduction to the series for me. One of the unique features of this game is the fact there isn’t any “main character” as you can recruit and then control ANYONE you see out on the street. The gameplay demo showed the character currently being controlled as they were able to scan and identify different people around the area, with their different abilities and skill sets being highlighted. You could recruit a retired police officer, an amateur MMA fighter, an expert hacker, or someone with an extensive knowledge of drones. The developers at Ubisoft stated you can recruit an army of resistance members with skills as varied as you choose. If a character is taken down while fighting, you are given the choice of either surrender and be escorted to jail with you being unable to use them for a set amount of time or you can choose to keep fighting. If you opt to keep fighting and the character is killed you lose that character indefinitely…perma-deaths will be a thing in this game. Ubisoft also stated that if one of your characters is taken to jail, you will be able to be released back into available use if any of your recruited members who have backgrounds as a lawyer. The highlight of the Watch Dogs: Legion was the portion of the demo where the control was switched over to Helen – an elderly woman who is also a retired espionage agent. Watching Helen shuffle around a London park, feeding the birds one moment and then the next moment she stealthily takes out an armed guard with a taser to the neck…I was pretty much sold by this point 🙂 . Watch Dogs: Legion was announced for a March 6 2020 release.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Ever since Jedi: Fallen Order was officially announced I was eager to see more, especially knowing the Respawn Entertainment would be developing the game. I have stated in the past how much I loved the Titanfall games as well as Apex Legends after it was stealth dropped back in February, so that combine that with the fact it’s another Star Wars game it seemed a no-brainer. I really want to see EA get a Star Wars game RIGHT, especially after the debacle around Battlefront 2 and…really any AAA title they have released the past few years. This past Saturday, EA and Respawn demonstrated a gameplay video after much speculation within the gaming community as to what the game even was going to be. In Jedi: Fallen Order you control Cal Kestis – a young Jedi who survived Order 66 has joined a band of rebels led by Saw Gerrera – the guerrilla leader played by Forest Whitaker in Rogue One; whose likeness is also used in the game. The gameplay video showed Kestis traversing the wookie planet of Kashyyyk and fighting Stormtroopers as well as hostile life forms. The gameplay we were able to see didn’t seem to be revolutionary in any way, with the traversal and general movements appear to be similar to that of any of the Uncharted games; the combat however, looks pretty enjoyable with really smooth looking lightsaber combat. The video shows Kestis will force-push a broken wall and then jump through and use the Force to freeze a Stormtrooper (a la Kylo Ren) in mid-movement before striking him down with his lightsaber. There is also the ability to freeze blaster fire mid-air and deflecting it back at enemies, along with the lightsaber throws we are used to seeing from the Force Unleashed games a console generation ago. What I did see of the game reminded me a bit of the Force Unleashed, with some of the jumping, and swinging across chasms we have seen from Nathan Drake in Uncharted games. I can’t help but still be just the smallest bit concerned given the track record EA has with their usage of the Star Wars universe, but the gameplay video did put my mind at ease quite a bit. Another interesting note about the game is the developers at Respawn have stated that among their inspirations for Jedi: Fallen Order were Super Metroid and Dark Souls and wanted to have the same nature of exploration and at the same time have the strategic combat of the aforementioned games. Jedi: Fallen Order is releasing on November 15 2019 and I certainly plan on checking this game out.

Cyberpunk 2077 – Special Mention*

I haven’t gotten to see any actual gameplay of developer CD Projekt Red’s follow up to the enormously popular Witcher 3: Wild Hunt so I wasn’t going to include it in a list of games that I was able to see actual gameplay from, but I after reading several accounts of the 50 minute gameplay demo being offered to those lucky enough to be at E3, along with watching the Cyberpunk 2077 cinematic trailer that was shown as part of Microsoft’s press conference on Sunday…and all I can say is that the hype for this game has been amplified tenfold; it looks to be the closest thing to a Blade Runner video game. Cyberpunk 2077 is set to be released on April 16 2020 and has the potential to be incredible, just watch this trailer…

Doom: Eternal

I really don’t need to spend much time discussing what the newest title in the Doom series from iD and Bethesda looks like other than saying “It looks like Doom 2016…just bigger and more of it!” The gameplay video shown at the Bethesda conference Sunday night showed plenty of the over-the-top demon slaying we have come to know and love about the series. This time around you will be fighting not only on Mars and in Hell, but also in other dimensions and planets which I have absolutely no doubt will still provide the same experience as the previous game. Doom: Eternal releases on November 22 2019 and I CANNOT wait!

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Remake

I could have spent this entire time just talking about all the announcements from the Nintendo Direct Presentation of Tuesday morning. I could hardly contain my fanboy excitement as Nintendo announced a new Contra game – Contra: Rogue Corps, No More Heroes 3, a remake of Panzer Dragoon, Banjo and Kazooie FINALLY being added as characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and in the final moments played a very brief trailer announcing that a sequel for Breath of the Wild was currently in development…OH.MY.GOD :). Allow me to regain my composure for a minute and re-direct back to the game that I am probably most excited for after seeing more of it from E3 – the Link’s Awakening remake. I was intrigued when I watched the announcement that Nintendo was going to remake Link’s Awakening; a game first released on the original Game Boy back in 1993. I was also cautiously optimistic about the choice of animations used for the remake and being worried they may not do justice to a Legend of Zelda game however, after seeing extended gameplay segments shown by Nintendo over the last couple days I think the creative decision will work out perfectly. The graphics still remind me a bit of Peanuts movie, but it seems to make sense for this particular game. Link’s Awakening takes place all within a dream and has a bit of a goofy, oddball quality to it that I have begun to really like after watching the adorable cartoonish Link make his way around Koholint Island. They are including the Color Dungeon from the Game Boy Color DX version and what appears to be a Dungeon Creator in the remake that also looks fun. There is also a Link Amiibo that is being released at the same time as the full game on September 20 2019. I had embarrassingly never played through the entire game at the time of the remake announcement and quickly rectified that issue. (Side Note: I made a post about my thoughts about my playthrough of Link’s Awakening for the Game Boy a couple months ago if you care to read)

This fall is looking to be good for gamers as I am already game planning just the handful of games off the top of my head – Link’s Awakening, Pokemon Sword/Shield, Luigi’s Mansion 3, Doom: Eternal, Jedi: Fallen Order, and Death Stranding just to name a few. What games are you anxious to play later this year or that you’re really hyped up about after seeing from E3?

Keep on playing…