Friday, March 2, 2007

How hard is it to finish a game?

I was sitting around with nothing better to do (obviously I was at work) when I had an epiphany. I own a lot of video games, but I haven't finished very many of them. Okay, I had only finished 3 (Legend of Dragoon, Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance). And I wondered why I hadn't finished more. I sat and stared out into space, pondering this dilemma when I had another epiphany. I'm a video game addict.

I play video games a lot. And I own a lot of video games. But there just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to play them all . . . especially when new ones keep being released. I'd buy a game, play it for several hours, then have to put it aside so I could play the next great game I just bought. When I finally make it back to that first game I'm so lost I don't have a clue what to do next so I just start the game over. I've probably played the first 5-10 hours of ALL my games at least twice. And some of them more than halfway through.

It's great to have a lot of games. I enjoy them all. But I want to enjoy the fact that I've finished them. Not finishing some games meant I couldn't talk to some of my friends because THEY'VE finished the game and they don't want to spoil anything for me. It's annoying when you're not in on the secrets. So I devised a plan:

Pick one game for each console and don't play anything else until you've finished those games.

Since I own several systems (SNES, N64, GameCube, PS, PS2, Xbox, GBA SP, PSP and a PC of course) I figured I could pick several different types of games to play to suit my every changing mood (I am a girl after all). But how was I to "stay on target"? I could enlist my gaming brother. After all, he's the "dealer" that got me hooked on video games.

When I told him of my plan, he liked it, since he's having the same problem as me (with a lot more games to agonize over). He wanted in. We put our heads together and made a list of games that we both own (for the same console). We'd be each other's support system and help network when we got stuck in a game and can't find that damn hidden treasure. ARGH! Since it was my idea, I let him pick the games. He picked: Final Fantasy VII (PS), Summoner (PS2), Star Wars: Jedi Knight II Jedi Outcast (Xbox) and Super Mario Sunshine (GameCube).

I had dabbled in all of them (had 10+ hours in FF7) but I was ready to start over and play them to the end. We started out with a bang, all gung-ho and everything, but that didn't last long for either of us. I found out I have another video game addiction. Xbox Live. There's something about beating another player and knowing their human and not AI (though for some it's hard to tell the difference). I laugh gleefully (some call it a cackle) but I enjoy myself. Especially when they find out they've been beaten by a girl. Then my gaming brother opened the flood gates and got me hooked on something else. Xbox 360.

We both exercise a lot of restraint not buying new console when they first come out. Let other players work out all the bugs and kinks in the new systems, we'll wait for a later release. But my brother couldn't wait anymore. He bought a 360 before Christmas. We met up each week and I had to sit there and drool while he played Gears of War and played around on the dashboard. I couldn't take it anymore. I caved. I bought a 360 in an after Christmas sale. And now I'm hooked. Achievements? I'm all for them. Gamerscore? I'll show you mine if you show me yours. Now it's not just another new game that I want to play, but a whole new system.

It's been 6 months since we started our little pact. Neither one of us have finished a game he picked out. We're getting closer, but at this rate it'll take us 3 years to finish them all. And think of all the games we're NOT playing (or trying not to play) during that time. On second thought, I don't think I want to.

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