Thursday, June 26, 2008

What I hate about RPGs

No, I'm not talking about Rocket Propelled Grenades (noob tubes in Call of Duty 4), which I do hate, but Role Playing Games. I really do love that type of game play but there's one thing that annoys me to no end.

I hate it when you do something in the game that advances the story but locks you out of a certain area at the same time. For instance, I was playing Lost Odyssey the other night I spent some time just exploring the Crimson Forest before venturing back to Numara. Once I got back into the city, before I did anything else, I walked up to the fountain area which triggered a cut scene about the smear campaign that my characters are now up against. I didn't know that activating that cut scene would prevent me from getting into the city itself. I've got crystal shards for a side quest that I've got to deliver. But I can't do that.

Of course I didn't know exactly what was going on until I pulled the strategy guide out and found where I was in the story. Then I knew. Unfortunately I don't have a previous save to go back to so I can complete my side quests BEFORE I trigger the cut scene.

I'm not much of a fan of having multiple save of a game while playing it. Yes, it would have helped in this situation, and many others I've encountered, but I think it just gets too messy. Some games store the most recent game at the top of the list, others at the bottom. Sometimes those game descriptions are hard to figure out where you are in the game play. There's nothing worse than loading a prior save and finding out you're further back than you wanted to be. Plus then you've got to go and pick up those things you've already picked up in another save file. I've used them before but they take up too much room on a memory card (PS2) and I've accidentally delete the wrong save file when I'm cleaning things up.

I did use multiple save files while playing BioShock. I saved every chance I could get. I did this for various reasons. I hated getting into a new area and finding out I had the wrong plasmids equipped to deal with things. Going back to a previous save (usually by a gene bank) allowed me to make the necessary adjustments and continue on. And even if I had the right equipment in a new area I might not be prepared to face a Big Daddy or a bunch of splicers that come on me unaware. It was nice to see what was coming, back out to an earlier save, and then jump into the action. Is this cheating? Perhaps. But it's better than being frustrated and putting the game away when you have difficulty.

But losing access to an area in an RPG game is frustrating. Especially if you're working on side quests. Now, all of a sudden, that area and those completed quests are no longer available until when? Who knows. It could be until the very end of the game or maybe never at all. Legend of Dragoon did this, Final Fantasy does this and every other RPG game I've played has this in there to some extent. When Numara opens up again for me will I remember to go back to that artist and deliver those crystal shards? I hope so but depending on how soon that happens probably not.

There are other things I might not like about RPGs, like few and far between save points in some games, but there's really not much that gets under my nerves. That's probably why that type of gaming is my favorite. I might play a lot of shooter games with friends, but my heart belongs to RPGs even if they lock me out of places I want to go. Hey, it could be worse. They could be leaving the toilet seat up.


metallicorphan said...

i think i did exactly the same thing Penny..there was a dream i wanted that i missed,but as you said the town gets cut off..and from the other way the bridge is up so you cant cross it

however,you are able to access the town properly later on,maybe start of disc 4 i think..thats when i got my last dream

still sucks if you wanted to use the shops for the crystal shards,i think i missed him as well...dont think he is still there,but saying that,i didnt care for that many side missions apart from the he may be there but i just didnt bother with him

pengwenn said...

I'm a completist by nature. I hate not completing every side quest in a game. It makes the game feel so . . . imcomplete.

I'm not entirely sure I'm getting every dream. You see, I hate talking to all the NPCs. Most of what they say is boring and doesn't do anything for me. So I'm sure there's a dream here and there I haven't activated.