The following is part of our interview with Adam McDermott of the Platinum Journey. The full interview can be found at the top of this page.
Hello and welcome to the GrinChat I am your host Adam, and today I'm joined by the wonderful Adam McDermott. A YouTuber, video editor, also known for the Platinum Journey, amongst other things on their YouTube channel.
We're here to talk about you, and what you do and what you have worked towards over the past few years and your YouTube channel. Predominantly you're known for your platinum journeys, which you've done. For quite a few years now I believe.
I think, since 2013 – I can double check. It’s a long time, I think it was about 2014, so seven years.
I think the first one I saw was Metal Gear Solid 3, and that would have been about five years ago now.
That was exactly five years ago.
We’ll get into the Platinum Journey shortly, because there’s another video, I need to ask you about before we get into that.
Is it Dead Space 2?
It’s not Dead Space 2. It’s one that’s left me even more marveled than Dead Space 2. It’s the video where you beat the entirety of the original The Last of Us without using a single firearm. What was that like?
So, I tried this years ago, back before grounded even existed. I was inspired by a fella on YouTube called George Weedman. He goes by Super Bunnyhop. A long time ago he did a series where he tried to beat Metal Gear Solid 3 completely pacifist, without using the tranquilizer gun.
He’s coming up with all these ingenious ways of getting around the encounters and I thought that was just brilliant. I thought, what could I do that’s something similar? Well, could The Last of Us be beaten without firing a weapon, including the bow?
I tried it six years ago on Survivor and I got all the way up to the alley section with David in the elevator room and I just couldn't get past it, so I quit. Then about five or six years later, I felt unfulfilled, so I’ll try it again, but I’ll up it to grounded.
The reason why that video was all voice over is because I did not think it was possible and I do not feel like putting in the effort of recording my face and if it’s successful, I’ll do it all in voice. Somehow it actually worked.
How long did it take you?
About two or three weeks.
Two or three weeks? How much were you putting in a session?
Let’s say each session would be, maybe an hour or two. Some encounters, after 45 minutes of banging your head against a wall, you’ve got to stop.
Is there any chance we’ll see you attempt this with The Last of Us Part II? I do appreciate that it’s a significantly longer game to do this with.
Yeah, I doubt. I’m done. Also, I don't like The Last of Us Part II as much as the first one, so I don't feel the desire to keep replaying it and finding new ways to play it. I’ve only played through Part II twice. Once just normally, playing the story. Then once again for the collectibles and stuff, but I don’t have an interest. It’s just too depressing.
Moving away from The Last of Us because I feel like you could probably talk about The Last of Us for the entirety of our whole time together. Like I said at the beginning, you are known most for your platinum journey. For me at least, Platinum trophies are not something I’ve gone for myself. What was it that appeals to you about going into a videogame and collecting all of those trophies?
It’s a fantastic way of extending the life span of some of your favourite games.
The first time you picked up a PlayStation 3 game, was it something that immediately had your attention?
I didn’t care for a long time, until Madden 11. I saw the trophies were pretty easy, so I thought, sure, I’ll play two player with myself. Then there was a trophy in Dead Space called One Gun, or something like that, where you have to get through the entire game using the first weapon you pick up. I never thought of doing that, but there was a trophy tied to it. Just because I looked at the trophy list it became a challenge and I’m definitely going to try that. It gives me an excuse to replay one of my favourite games.
So, it nicked you with the challenge, and that led to the itch of getting all of them?
Yeah. It was, ‘well if I’m going to do that, what else is there to do?” Get 50 kills with this weapon? I’d never even used that weapon. Okay, let’s get 50 kills with that weapon.
In the games you’ve played over the years, would you say there’s a way of defining a good platinum trophy, versus a bad platinum trophy? How would you break the two down?
Here’s something that makes a bad trophy list immediately – online trophies. At some point the servers will be turned off.
DLC is never tied to a platinum. At least in my experience, the DLC is always extra trophies never required for the Platinum trophy.
In your experience then, do you think if a game separated multiplayer trophies out, that would be a much better experience for everyone involved?
Yeah. For example, some of the Uncharted games on PlayStation 3, you can’t get the platinum anymore. The Last of Us you can’t get the platinum on PlayStation 3 anymore. There’s a bunch of Gran Turismo’s you can’t get the platinum for anymore.
Anything grindy and a waste of time, I’m really against. Here’s something else that makes a bad trophy list: excessive collecting. For example the new God of War, I spent eight hours running around after trinkets.
Does that never give you the urge to want to give up though? When you’re running around after things like that.
No, because I kind of think “get over this and I’ll get to the good bits”. When it comes to making the video about it, I can condense it into bing, bang, bosh. I killed all the ravens, I got all those things, I collected all these things. I don’t think collectibles should be tied to trophies, or there should be fewer collectibles. Uncharted is terrible for this, The Last of Us Part II is terrible for this as well. In the second half of the game the collectibles of choice are coins, which are just so insignificant. All that sort of stuff is just padding that adds no value.
What is it then, that makes a platinum trophy good, in your experience?
One for beating the game, one that should be kind of an easter egg. I am a fan of speedrun trophies.
How do you feel about trophies tied to beating New Game+, like in Spider-Man: Miles Morales?
That’s dull. That’s extra padding for no reason. If it was hey, beat the game again without using your gadgets, that would work out as your New Game+ playthrough. Just playthrough the game again for the sake of playing through the game again? I don’t like that. I’m going to make a Platinum Journey video about Spider-Man: Miles Morales, but that New Game+ trophy is going to be one line of voiceover in the final video.
Has there ever been a Platinum trophy you’ve attempted that, for one reason or another, you decided simply wasn’t worth the hassle?
Nope because I do plenty of research beforehand. I’ve got a bunch of games on the shortlist, and I research them heavily. Before I turn on the camera, I’ve committed to the platinum.
That makes sense. In terms of planning out your routes (to the platinum) what do you look for when you’ve started a new game?
I try to end on a high, that’s normally the main thing. I will deliberately get all the collectibles and all that, but I don’t want my final trophy being “and I picked up a trinket and I got the platinum”. It’s much better if it’s “and then I beat the hardest difficulty”, and then there’s excitement and relief.
In terms of planning out a route, I consult with already made guides such as PSNProfiles or PlayStationTrohies.org, because they can tell me if anything is missable. That’s the thing I’m really worried about. You don’t want to play through the game and go “oh, I missed a thing and I’ve got to replay the entire game because of that one thing”.
I consult with those two things, and they normally have a route of their own. Sometimes they might say “hey, you can play through the whole game on the hardest difficulty and collect everything and beat the extra boss”, and I’m thinking I’ll split that up, thank you very much.
In the near future, you're working on Bloodborne: The Old Hunters and after that Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is coming out. How are those two games going?
Bloodborne: The Old Hunters is going really well. I’m taking my time with it. I’m relishing the game because it might be the last bit of Bloodborne we ever get. I think it will be slower instead of moving at a breakneck speed pace like the original video. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, I’ve been playing a bunch of it the past few weeks. It may be rose-tinted glasses, but that game is still so much fun.
Bloodborne: The Old Hunters is going really well. I’m taking my time with it. I’m relishing the game because it might be the last bit of Bloodborne we ever get. I think it will be slower instead of moving at a breakneck speed pace like the original video.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, I’ve been playing a bunch of it the past few weeks. It may be rose-tinted glasses, but that game is still so much fun.
Do you think you’ll return to the more opinionated videos that you’ve done in the past? And do you think those opinionated videos have an audience for you?
I give my opinion about the game in the Platinum Journey episodes. I can talk about what I like and what I don’t like. What’s stupid and what’s great. I have the little quick thought videos, where I can just talk about the game, that’s good enough for me.
The reason for moving away from those types of videos where it’s voiceover and video is just, the editing is so boring. When you can edit while listening to music that’s not part of the edit, you know something’s wrong.
If you wish to listen to the full interview with Adam, please scroll to the top of the page for access to the full interview, in which we discuss editing as a job versus a hobby, the Pokémon series and who knows the most people called Adam.
If you wish to see more of Adam McDermott, he can be found in the following places: