Trophy Talk: Oxenfree 2 shines a light on the boredom of narrative adventure decks

The original Oxenfree had a tedious platinum, something symbolized by the trophy that required players to beat the game without saying a word. It was boring at best and buggy at worst. Oxenfree 2The list of trophies from is surprisingly even more tedious. However, instead of signaling a problem in this franchise alone, it’s representative of a larger trend of boring turntables in story-heavy adventure games.

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These Decks mainly suffer from the difficulty of replaying these types of titles, which often require a few playthroughs. Scrolling through games again to nab trophies isn’t a bad proposition – as the Resident Evil 4 Remake and Dead Space Remake show – but it can be in that genre. Dialogue and cutscenes are often unmissable, and walking speeds are usually incredibly slow. Having to crawl from story to story and eavesdrop on most of the same conversations means trophy-related replays aren’t quick. Even going back to retrieve a single collectible can take way too long.

Trophy Talk: Oxenfree 2 shines a light on the boredom of narrative adventure decks

Oxenfree 2 also falls into this trap, as Riley’s movement speed is slow and there’s no way to outrun anything. Players must once again hear about Jacob’s insecurities and climb the same ropes with very little opportunism. Trophy hunting would be much more tedious if every game had these restrictions and required players to hit credits at least twice.

Supermassive Games titles have had the same problem, not only designing multiple trophies to encourage another race or two, but also having players sit through many of the same stages. This approach does the genre a disservice as it highlights how often truly limited they are. While The Dark Pictures Anthology and games like Oxenfree pride themselves on variability, the second parts often don’t differ too much.

Trophy Talk: Oxenfree 2 shines a light on the boredom of narrative adventure decks

Oxenfree 2 has some breakout points, but many of the choices players have are about how they talk to Jacob. Some lines are different, but that doesn’t change much of the similarity of the rest. Few games are truly unique every time, and the list of trophies shouldn’t make that any clearer.

Oxenfree 2 is also full of highly specific and missing trophies. It’s easy to forget to ping Evelyn after each transmitter, not tune to Maria’s radio station, or even choose the specific dialogue choices in two scenarios in order to unlock the “3 AM Food Friends” and “Merry Scary Christmas”. Supermassive titles suck with these types of trophies, and they don’t get much better here. Having to deduce how to trigger certain events or follow a guide closely isn’t the most ideal way to play these games either, especially when ignorance or mistake can force another run.

Trophy Talk: Oxenfree 2 shines a light on the boredom of narrative adventure decks

Detroit: Become Human also has a few stage-dependent trophies and 1979: The Revolution urges players not to miss a single quick event, but those games, unlike Oxenfree 2, at least have a chapter select feature to mitigate the frustration. It is not possible to jump and mop up collectibles or grab the aforementioned missing trophies in this sequel for some confusing reason. Even the game’s final autosave does not allow players to choose the other endings; those who don’t save their save right before this choice don’t stand a chance.

There are, however, narrative adventure games with more friendly trophy lists. The Life is Strange series not only allows players to jump in, but each entry also has a Collector’s Mode that strips out the story and makes collectibles easily accessible. Telltale Games, with few exceptions, also takes the easy route and gives players platinum for reaching the end. Not all narrative titles like this need to be so simple, but they also show that a less thorny path is possible.

Games like Until Dawn, The Quarry, New Tales from the Borderlands, Heavy Rain, Last Stop, Beyond: Two Souls, and The Medium all suffer from many of the aforementioned issues, but Oxenfree 2 is still one of the most hostile to finalists. when compared to many of its gender peers. Its icy movement speed, inability to let players skip dialogue, near-identical events, lack of chapter selection, and very specific, highly missable trophies make it a real hard work to complete. There’s even a completely buggy trophy on PS5 (which Night School Studio is aware of), but that’s not its biggest problem. Its biggest problem is that it’s a multi-faceted pain to complete that succinctly illustrates trophy-related struggles like this.

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