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Badnik Mechanic

What do trophy stats tell us about Sonic games?

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This is a little interesting if you like looking at numbers and pictures.

Yourgamercards.net for those who don't know is a site where you can register and get a gamercard which will automatically update your trophy progress once you register, all what you have to do is sync your trophies to the PSN, the site will auto update your progress for you.

Since I own every Sonic game on the PS3, I decided to look at how 'hard' the games are.

You see, this site ranks games based on how many people have the platinum/each trophy. For instance, say 8000 people have played Sonic 2, but only 50 have got all trophies, it'll be seen as a 'near impossible' game. But if 10 people have played Sonic 1, but 7 people have all the trophies, it'll be ranked as very easy...

Now be very aware, this data does have it's flaws... First of all, it doesn't reflect 'every PS3 user' who has played the game, you need to actually register at the website in order for it to log your results (I think thats the case), so more people might actually have the trophies than the site indicates. Also... whilst a game might be 'near impossible' to get trophies on, it doesn't mean it's hard to complete... but when you look at the numbers it's quite an interesting insight into a game.

Here is the data collected for Sonic Unleashed. I've taken a look at it and tried to understand it as best I can.

13284.png

Sonic Unleashed Platinum: Near Impossible.

13291.png

Cleared the game (pops up after you beat the final boss)

How many completed the game? 1,456 out of 8,118.

What does this mean?

Well, Sonic Unleashed is a multi-format title, the Xbox 360 version was released earlier than the PS3 version and the Wii/PS2 version was amazingly cheap, most PS3's at this time still had PS2 playback, a lot of people may have got the PS2 version thinking it was 'just like' the final version. This might explain the low numbers for total people who played the game. The number of people who completed the game however is very interesting when you look at the other trophies.

13285.png

This is the trophy you get when you restore the first continent. However it's not normally the first trophy many people unlock, for a lot of people it's "Ace Pilot" However, this is interesting because it shows us how many people bothered to play the game in terms of 'I just want to beat the game.' Only 4,667 of 8,118 people bothered to do it...

Or to put it another way... Barely 57% of people who had this game in their PS3 made any attempt to complete the game.

Did people really hate it that much? Some of those numbers might be explained by rentals (not many however), others from people who just couldn't 'beat the game' (again this number would be low)...

This number therefore would indicate that Sonic Unleashed was quite unpopular, specifically what is for debate... but I imagine the reason had teeth and fur... but whats significant is that it stopped nearly half of people from playing it for whatever reason.

As you go down the list for 'story completion' trophies, the next one a user would unlock drops by over 1000 people... so we've gone from 4,667 of 8,118 to 3187... as the list continues, it starts to slow down at around 2000-2500... this could be explained by people who were a combination of the following...

* Enjoying the game.

* Wanting the platinum.

* Able to beat the harder challenges/levels.

However... the next big drop is for the final few stages... Adabat and Eggmanland.

I suspect the main reason for this is difficulty and the fact that some people would have gotten bored/might have picked up another game (remember this was a near Christmas release).

The other interesting figures can be found in the 'side quest' related trophies...

Whilst there are some trophies which come as no surprise (hot dog missions) the odd anomaly has to be Empire City's missions, most people complained about Adabat and Eggmanland. Empire City struck me by surprise, especially considering all the shortcuts both the werehog and normal Sonic stages have...

But the most amazing surprise were the following...

13309.png

Hungry Hungry Hedgehog --- Near Impossible.

Only 349 got it... however... this is more or less explained by the hot dog missions, you need to beat them in order to get various hot dogs in order to get this trophy... but the fact it's near impossible is slightly strange... yet in the context of the game it makes perfect sense.

13323.png

To get this one... all what you have to do is walk upto Wentos... and buy something from him... you don't need to get very far into the game to do it. Yet... only 1,881 people out of 8,118 people did this. I guess they didn't like his prices...

13329.png

Speeding ticket: Only 640 people could beat the training stage in the required time... this might be explained by the fact you need to 'upgrade Sonic' but it's still a VERY low number all things considered.

13296.png & 13297.png

Now... if there was ever evidence to suggest the popularity of these two characters... this would be a strong influencing factor for your argument.

Based on the data...

1,316 out of 8,118 Maxed out the stats for Sonic. Vs... 700 out of 8,118 who maxed out the werehogs stats...

Assuming everyone who maxed out the werehog maxed out Sonic... thats a difference of 616 people. Thats quite a number. Now... this... might be explained by this simple fact.

Sonic only has 2 stat bars to fill. There werehog has... is it 6 bars? It takes a while to max out both these characters, most people will likely max out Sonic first, it's likely people lost interest to put the time into filling the werehogs bars... and not... that more people enjoyed playing as Sonic over the werehog.

Other things to note...

  • There are no 'easy' trophies for this title.

  • There are only 7 trophies rated medium.

  • All other trophies are ranked as being Hard or very hard.

  • Including the platinum. 5 trophies are ranked as being 'near impossible' 3 of those are hot dog mission trophies.

Since I'm reaching the limit on images. I'll have to stop for now... but if anyone finds this interesting I'll move onto one of the other games, as many Sonic games have trophies which are ranked as being either Very hard or near impossible. Most of these though are significant to look at as they give us a rather curious insight into the games and the challenges set down on us by Sega...

However... a highly interesting look is of Sonic 2.

Sonic 2 came out just before the PSN went down... PSN+ users got it free... when the PSN came back up and all PSN users were given free PSN+... well... just look at the numbers...

over 24,000 people downloaded the game.... only 2,480 completed it. (Which is barely 400 people more than those who were able to complete Sonic 1...) (total number of people to play Sonic 1... 15,037)

Despite 10,000 more downloads, only 400 more people could actually complete the game. This is just to complete it, not to do stuff like 'get all emeralds' etc.

Edited by Hogfather

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For the record, I’d like to state that I just finished leveling up my Werehog as of a few days ago (Block was of course the last thing I needed to upgrade…. Its useless). If your starting from scratch, I could easily see it as a near-impossible daunting task if only for the sheer amount of playtime it requires.

Next time someone calls out Sonic’s games for being too easy, I’ll refer them in this general direction…. Not that I needed any further proof on top of Eggmanland, but still.

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Absolutely fascinating read, Hogfather... as usual, as your posts are usually interesting and well-constructed! :)

Before I switched to my second PlayStation3, I think I had achieved just over 80% of the trophies in Sonic Unleashed, and I was attempting to reach 100% (would have been my first videogame, but I later scored my first Platinum Trophy with LEGO Star Wars III - The Clone Wars, breaking in my new console nicely). My major stumbling blocks were absolutely the trophies you mentioned, which makes it curious from a hardcore Sonic fan perspective.

The trophy called "Hungry Hungry Hedgehog" was a particular bane of mine. I visited every store in every hub, ate every single type of food twice... heck, even forced down the random assortment of junk Wentos was hawking (yes, all of it, as it changes wherever you see him) and a whole bunch of novelty Eggman salads... before I realised that eating everything included the various types of hotdogs available from the Don Fachio stands. The only hotdog I'd yet to sample was the Eggmanland incarnation (not for want of trying, but Eggmanland is such a vast stage, doing it without dying was tricky). I can see how people would overlook the hotdog stands and therefore miss this trophy, perhaps getting frustrated at how it didn't unlock and thinking it a glitch?

Another of interest you mentioned is "Speeding Ticket", which always confused me. I'd casually play all the Day Stages and managed to S-Rank them all, so naturally assumed I'd unlock the two speedrun-related trophies because I was doing quite well in the score department. Not so, and "Speeding Ticket" in particular requires a perfect knowledge of the shortcuts and work-arounds (and even then, I only had three seconds to spare at the goal ring).

The first continent is restored after quite some time in the storyline, and a fair number of stages, so I'd imagine the surprising lack of people unlocking said trophy is down to frustration at not getting a trophy after hours of gameplay. Which leads me to the main point I wanted to make...

You're using a website specifically designed for people to display (and brag a little about) their trophy lists. There are people like myself who'll strive to get 100% completion and never really care who knows it. Others who'll never even connect their PlayStation3 to the internet, and use USB sticks to download system software updates (again, me). Especially since Sonic Unleashed, save the DLC which very few people care about, is a complete videogame that never needs the PlayStation Network to function. Nobody's missing out on anything by playing it offline. So you'll see a lot more people with lots of trophies for... oh, say, Call of Duty: Black Ops, or something else popular online... because they'll care a bit more about their online profile, their statistics and, as such, will be the type of gamer who'll visit a ranking system and register. You said it yourself, this website collects data from registered users. It hardly captures every single PlayStation3 user.

So I think you're right. The completionists would have rented, or purchased, a copy of Sonic Unleashed, only to realise the trophies would take time/effort they couldn't be bothered with, or thought the disc defective when they'd cleared Windmill Isle - Day and didn't restore the first continent. They got a handful of trophies, registered the game on their console's XMB trophy list for bragging rights, and traded it in for whatever came next.

Oh, and regarding the Hedgehog/Werehog difference? You can love them equally, but maxing out the Werehog status bars takes a lot of gameplay! I'd barely managed it after a year of playing it into the ground, yet had Sonic the Hedgehog maxed out in, ooh... a month?

That's perhaps why I appreciate Sonic Unleashed, though. Say what you like, but 'tis a huge experience. :)

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If I had a PS3, I would have it as a platinum, but since I'm on xbox, I have it completed 100% all achievements and not just for sonic unleashed :)

Sonic Unleashed

Sonic 06

Sonic 1

(would have with sonic 2 if I had someone to get the multiplayer achievement with)

Sonic 3

Sonic and Knuckles

Sonic 4: Episode 1

Sonic Adventure DX

(would have Sonic and Sega All Stars racing if the in-game achievement thing didnt glitch twice :angry: )

Currently working on Sonic Free Riders from time to time

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I'm really not convinced that this is very informative in the slightest. Why?

Ring Leader

Collected 5,000 total rings

2,538 of 8,122 (31.26%) users, have earned this trophy.

Estimated Difficulty: Hard

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This is perhaps the easiest achievement you get (that isn't just for progressing through the game). In fact, it's difficult not to get this very early on because 5,000 rings is nothing. Not to mention that looking at the continent achievements it's obvious that people simply stopped playing after getting to a certain point.

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I think a reason for those things might be unaccessabilty of Unleashed...the Medal System isn't expalined,the Hub Worlds in general can get confusing and unintuitive. And theres alot of people who get frustrated at the Werehog, cause they press the X-Button the whole time for fighting and do the boring QTE's all time,and don't do combos or with Y-Button, or tap B instead of holding it.

Edited by ChikaBoing

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Look at my Trophy Account. 100% on every Sonic game available on the PS3, including Sonic World Adventure I imported from Japan and SEGA MEGA DRIVE Ultimate Collection from Europe. ^^

http://www.yourgamercards.net/profile/Starlighthed211?sort=title&order=asc (Scroll down to S)

As for Sonic Unleashed, many people must have given up on completing the game. I've been to some trophy sites before and many people complained how tedious the Werehog levels are.

My bet was people played Windmill Isle Day and said to themselves, "Wow, this is pretty good!" Then the sun comes down, and your mind changes, "Fuck this game." and took out the disc.

Not to mention the jumpy framerate while exploring hubworlds. Urgh.

Speeding ticket: Only 640 people could beat the training stage in the required time... this might be explained by the fact you need to 'upgrade Sonic' but it's still a VERY low number all things considered.
Edited by Spicylicious Girl

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Owww goody replies. I'll move onto another game.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Before we start, we need a bit of history on this.

Sega have been releasing their 'classic' series on the PSN over the last few months.

When Sonic 1 was released as a PSN+ Exclusive for about a week or two before it moved onto the main PS Store. For PSN+ users it was free, chances are virtually every user who had PSN+ would have downloaded it, this would explain why it has a huge download number of 15,037. Whilst that number also includes people who actually bought the game who are not PSN+ users, it is still a very good reason as to why the download count is so high.

Now... when Sonic 2 came out, the following was going on.

* The PSN was under attack from people trying to crash it.

* Shortly after the game moved to the main PS Store, the PSN was taken offline thanks to the actions of a hacker.

When the PSN returned, every PS3 user was given free PSN+. Now Sonic 2 was still in the PSN+ section of the store at the time this happened, But Sonic 1 was not. Even if you paid for PSN+ memebrship, if Sonic 1 was no longer there, you couldn't download it for free as you had missed your chance. It's highly likely therefore that many 'new' PSN+ users downloaded Sonic 2 thanks to their new PSN+ status, but had the PSN now been taken down, this would not have occured.

This would explain why the download number for Sonic 2 (according to yougamercards) is 24,348.

The download difference between Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 is (I don't believe this...)

IT'S OVER 9000!

(9311 to be exact)

Without question this is explained by free PSN+ being handed out, there is nothing else to say on the matter It's further evidenced by the number of downloads that streets of rage 2 had, which was on the store for the entire free PSN+ period and when the store was a lot more stable for downloading (that number is over 30,000 downloads).

So now thats out of the way... on with the analysis.

26436.png

The first trophy most people get in this game, is also the trophy which you get if you just 'want to beat the game.' Beat Stage 1....

This is whats very interesting...

24,348 people downloaded the game... But 21,522 people only bothered to complete the first level!

So whats going on? How come 2826 people didn't get this trophy?

Well... due to the way yourgamercards works, it won't add count a user unless they're done the following.

* Downloaded the game.

* Installed the game.

* Played the game.

You can tell that from my own trophy record thats on there. If you look down you'll notice that I have We Dare and Sackboys prehistoric adventures listed at 0%. Now I have played those games, but I've not got any trophies on them.

However... last week I downloaded Super Sonic Battle Cars, this week I downloaded castle crashers. I've not installed castle crashers so it's not on my list. I have however installed Battle Cars, but I've not yet loaded it up once... and it's not on my list..

So... we can therefore deduce that 2826 people did indeed download Sonic 2, and did indeed start it up... BUT THEY NEVER BEAT THE FIRST STAGE!?

In terms of a percentage, that is only 12% of people who downloaded the game failed to beat Emerald Hill Zone act 1. But even then, I'm quite suprised that people downloaded the game, started it up, but couldn't/didn't beat the first stage.

Lets take a look at the next trophy that you get if you are literally 'just trying to beat the game'

26441.png

Remember how 21,522 were able to beat the emerald hill zone? Well... how many do you think battled on to reach Casino Night Zone? The 4th stage?

5,768

Thats right... 15,754 people were unable to beat/didn't bother to make it to the 4th stage... We've gone from nearly 90% of total downloaded users making an attempt at the game... to only 23% of people continuing to play the game.

I'm shocked... really I am.

I don't remember it being 'that' difficult to get to the 4th stage in Sonic 2. The hardest stage on that road is without doubt the Chemical Plant Zone, even Yuji Naka at SOS admitted that there is a platform which isn't very fair to players which he would like to have changed.

Could it be, that the Chemical Plant Zone was that hard it put off 15,000 people from continuing the game? Did Sonic 2 get that boring for a modern audience that they stopped playing in favour of other games?

One possible explanation could be the 'welcome back' games which were being given away for free. But nearly a month later... 15,000 people... Thats quite crazy.

So lets now skip ahead to the next trophy thats given if you just want to beat the game.

26447.png

So out of those remaining 5,768 people, 2,484 continued their quest to beat the game.

This is... kinda expected, lets not forget, Sonic 2 is quite a long game, between Casino Night and Death egg, thats 8 zones (including Casino night) and many of those have a lot of hard moments in it (in terms of beating a stage without losing a life, then theres the Death Egg 0 Rings rule.) then theres the fact that some people will have gotten bored with the game (I like to introduce these people to my pet bricks).

So a drop of 3,284 isn't 'that' surprising all things considered.

But what might be surprising is that unlike the original, this one does have a save state feature, however you must manually activate it. I suspect that a number of people may have gotten a game over and then failed to remember to save their game, seeing their progress lost they could have simply given up. It's very easy to forget to save in this game.

If we now look at every other trophy on the list, the results are quite stable.

26444.png26443.png26440.png

For these trophies, and several others, the number of people who got them is around the 2000 mark. This isn't that suprising as many people going for these side quests are likely to be going for 100% completion. Whilst they require extra work (like getting all the emeralds), if you know how to use the save state feature and are trying you can get these, which might explain why it's a stable number...

However...

It doesn't explain this...

26446.png

Win 10 online races.

From a stable figure of around 2000, this drops to 1,729. A drop of nearly 300... There is however an explanation... and it can be found here...

Backbone.JPG

BackBone Entertainment did not do a great job with the online parts of the Sega Classic series, they are ALL notoriously buggy and laggy. This is especially noticable if you 'join' a game as apposed to hosting a game. At times it seems unplayable. This might explain why some people gave up, if they just went to 'quick match' and not set up their own game (as I find people don't like to be the host a lot of the time), the horrendous experience of being the 'second player' might have forced them away.

There is however another intereting note...

26445.png

Beat the game in under 1 hour. Remember how 1,729 got their online battle trophies? Well... the number now drops by 355 to 1,374. This for the most part is down to the individual.

So whats going on?

Well... The challenge itself is a tad misleading. It's not exactly complete the game in 1 hour, the timer starts and stops depending on what you're doing in the game, so whilst the challenge is doable. Some people might have thought they'd done it when in fact they were just over. There is a 'game time' on the save file, but it's not accurate in relation to this trophy.

Also... there might be a skill issue to. The later stages of this game (unless you know Sonic 2 like the back of your hand) are not easy stages to rush through I myself had tons of trouble with Wing Forces.

But... we have Backbone entertainment to thank slightly too.

The port is not perfect, there are some issues with button lag in parts... not a lot, but just enough to throw off your timing. This could have cost people the trophy.

Finally... there is a group of very interesting trophies to look at.

26444.png

Get all the emeralds...

26442.png

This is the trophy you get when you first become Super Sonic.

26443.png

This is the trophy you get when you stay as Super Sonic for 1 min.

How many people got all the emeralds... 2,082, of those... how many simply became super sonic? 2,072 (a drop of 10)... how many of those stayed as Super Sonic for 1 min? 2,070... thats right... 2 people missed out on this trophy?

lol what happened?

Well... I suspect this is the most likely reason.

For a lot of people, unless you deliberately go out of your way to get all the emeralds, you're likely to not get all the emeralds until late in the game. From that point on, even the most seasoned gamers might find it hard to get and keep hold of 50 rings... especially in Oil Ocean and the Metropolis zone...

Now... lets assume for a moment that the majority of these people got all the emeralds by the 3rd stage (casino night), even though it's possible to get him in the emerald hill/Chemical plant zone.

To get super sonic you need 50 rings... but most people never get exactly 50 rings... it's always slightly over that number. so lets say around 53-56 rings for Super Sonic activation... that means you only need around 7-4 rings and you can just sit there and let the trophy pop up. This is not difficult is it getting at the most an extra 10 rings?

So what happened?

I think...

They beat the stage.

Think about it for a moment. Most people if they're trying to get all the emeralds will likely do so early in the game. Remember how theres no level select/super sonic cheat in this version of the game. These 2 people probably triggered super sonic... then flew through the stage and beat it. From that moment Super Sonic is no more and the trophy requirement has failed...

As the stages get harder it becomes more difficult to get and keep 50 rings for Super Sonic activation... thats why I suspect 2 people failed at this trophy... they just beat the stage. Whilst it is possible to die... it's unlikely to be the reason as they could get 50 rings again from the restart point (unless the checkpoint was very far into the stage).

Other things to note:

Only 1 trophy is ranked as being VERY EASY (beat the very first level).

Every other trophy is ranked as being HARD or VERY HARD

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