As the title of this piece suggests, I happen to be a great big weirdo about finishing games. Or, not finishing them, as it were.
You would think if you liked a game that more of said game could only be a good, and enticing, thing. You would think that the pull to keep playing a game you are enjoying would be enough to get your seat back down in front of the tube to make some progress.
With me? Not so.
Let’s take the example of The Last Guardian.
From what I’ve already played (I believe I’m about 30% of the way through), I’m in like with the game, but I’m in love with the Trico. Every time he is on the screen, I want to be watching him.
The controls are far from perfect and the camera is even further.
Those things can’t keep me from playing the game, though. That is reserved for my weirdness.
Allow me a moment to explain my current position with The Last Guardian: I am terrified of it being spoiled for me. I also want to see it to completion rather badly. Add those two things together, and the fact that I have the game in my possession, and I think, “What’s stopping me?”
Me. I’m stopping me.
I haven’t been able to psych myself up to keep playing it because I am already worried the game is going to wreck me. Like, wreck me and leave me in heaving sobs.
The other side of this happens to be an even weirder take on playing the game: If I play it, I will have played it and then will finish it and will have finished it and then there will be no more to play.
(So many italics!)
I am fully aware that that particular take is ridiculous. If I finished the game and wanted to keep playing it, I could just restart it immediately. Somehow, I let my thoughts get all tangled up and then I keep myself from playing anything.
Come hell or high water, I will plunk down to make my way through more of it today. I doubt I would ever find myself regretting that decision.
I am also doing this with another game I’m playing: Titanfall 2.
I started it and immediately enjoyed it, but there it sits, barely played and often thought of.
Oh brain. You are so silly.
This same sort of nonsense extends to beginning games I’m interested in. Let’s take Stardew Valley, a game I’ve heard nothing but good things about. I can want to play something with a mad passion, and yet stare at the menu of my PS4, both excited and petrified to start something.
Once an experience has started, it has a finite span. Sure, there are exceptions to this (and perhaps one of the reasons why I love Destiny so much), but once it has begun, the timer is ticking to its finale. That’s a strange and paralyzing thought.
I know I’m being silly. I know I should just jump in and have as many experiences as possible. And yet.
My partner is so inspiring when it comes to playing games. He is crazy busy. He has three jobs. He takes classes for fun. And yet somehow, he finds time to play, and finish, so many games.
I hope to take a cue from him and get cracking.
Does anything like this ever happen to you? Or do you pick up and play games like nobody’s business?
Hey Rebekah! Interesting blog, nonetheless! If you’re asking, do I have problems finishing games, I do! For me, the fun is starting the adventure. I let the chips fall where they may. I’d like to finish more games; I get bored easily. I know hard to believe right?! Thoughts?
Well, thank you, Richard. :)
So do you find that you don’t finish the games you start? Why do you think you get bored with them?
You’re welcome Rebekah! To your first question, that’s a definite yes! I can’t really answer that question, I guess it would be the time commitment. For me, I have a limited amount of genres that I play. My gaming experience is somewhat personally limited, imho! Trying to branch out more this year. Thoughts?
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I think branching out is only ever a good thing! If you love it, you’ve found something new that you love. If you don’t like it, it just makes you appreciate that which you DO love even more. Win win!
Rebekah, what do you do when you’re not sure about a game? For instance, I have preordered a game; only to cancel the preorder & put the invested funds towards another game(s). Thoughts?
I think that makes a lot of sense. If you aren’t sure you will be into a game, there’s no harm in waiting for reviews and the inevitable price drop. I’m trying to be better about that this year, too. I was actually just looking over my pre-orders for the year, and they are severely trimmed down compared to last year. I’m hoping to be more frugal, overall.
I don’t really have this particular problem. However, when I finish a game, I often fall into indecision about what game I will play next. There are so many games in my library (between Steam, PS4, and all the other older consoles that I have), that it can be a real challenge. Do I go for an indie, or a AAA game? Do I go for a shorter or longer game? Or how about a newer versus older game? Sometimes I take the break to catch up on music listening, instead of gaming. Or, right now I am rewatching Buffy in between bouts of The Last Guardian.
About The Last Guardian. It is a beautiful game and I love it. But, each challenge in it seems to take quite a lot of energy. Just figuring out how to get Trico to do what you need to do, along with fighting the not stellar camera, movement, and controls, leaves me a bit tired after each segment. So, after achieving something, I often stop and go do music or Buffy. It’s just that kind of game.
Some other games I can go hours and hours without a break, like Assassin’s Creed. With games like that, I just fall into the pattern of quick rewards for smaller quests, and go on and on filling in my map.
That makes a lot of sense to me, honestly. With so many choices, it can be difficult to nail down your next adventure.
Also, spontaneous Buffy is always a good thing. :)
I very much identify with what you are saying about The Last Guardian. It almost feels like a beautiful chore at times, which is too bad given how amazing Trico is.
I, too, can go forever on certain games, so it’s an interesting dichotomy.
Did someone mention finishing games?
I don’t necessarily think much about one game being finished and there being “nothing left to play”… I see the ending of a game as a capstone on the experience, rather than something to be dreaded and worried over. And there’s aaaalways something else to play.
Of course, there are those games that I wish I could go back and re-experience for the first time. Dark Souls, or Mass Effect, or The Last of Us, among others… sadly, I currently lack the power of time manipulation, so that’s kind of out of the question. However, I do get a similar level of enjoyment out of watching let’s plays or streams of people going through those games for the first time themselves. I can remember how excited I was during the last mission of Mass Effect 2, and it gives me a greater appreciation for watching someone else near that point. I can remember how terrifying it was when the Taurus Demon hopped down on to that bridge in Dark Souls, and watching someone venture out onto that bridge with no idea what’s coming fills me with anticipation (and a little schadenfreude, I’ll admit).
Anyway, I’m rambling now. Suffice it to say, I finish a lot of games, but that’s not necessarily the end of my enjoyment of a game.
I absolutely agree about let’s plays being a great way to “re-experience” a game. As you mentioned, Dark Souls is an especially fun one to do that with as those moments like that of the Taurus demon provide quite a lot of entertainment. Furthermore, it is definitely cool to see others experience highly emotional moments that you have become attached to such as those found in Mass Effect or The Last of Us.
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I’m not sure I was saying I worried or dreaded the ending, rather that the experience, once started, had a finite time span.
I do think it’s interesting that you enjoy other’s first forays into gaming so you can experience it all over again.
I know exactly what you mean because I have the same thoughts when playing a game that I really enjoy! The thought that the experience I am currently in love with will ultimately end has often caused me to play at a more leisurely pace. Instead of running from point A to point B, rapidly completing objectives I will usually find myself intentionally slowing down in order to prolong the experience. This usually involves the act of more slowly exploring the environments and really soaking in every bit of atmosphere that I can get. In looking at the situation, this ability to shape the experience to your own desires is one of the many awesome things about video games. For instance, when watching films there are plenty of times that I wish I could just stop the narrative and linger within an environment a little longer, this of course is never possible. However with video games it is possible. I can choose to direct the pace of the experience and extend my time within the quieter moments of a scene. I love the fact that video games have this quality to them.
So yes, I certainly can appreciate where you are coming from. I also may have felt the same way about The Last Guardian and spent my fair share of time simply enjoying Trico’s company within the temples and ruins of that world. Glad to hear that you too are enjoying the game thus far and I look forward to hearing your thoughts when it is all said and done. Without spoiling anything, I’ll simply say that I found it to be a pretty powerful journey.
I am right with you on this! I can recall several games I took my time with because I just loved them so much.
Oh boy. I really need to finish it. I’m so worried it will get spoiled for me somehow and while I don’t necessarily mind when other games are, I think I would be super…something…if this one was. I can’t wait to talk about it once I finish it!
I understand what you’re saying. The player’s relationship with games is an interesting one. When I finished Mass Effect 3, I replayed the ending after Bioware updated it with an extended version. But by the time that the DLC was released I couldn’t emotionally return to the game. Or I tried to replay Telltale’s The Walking Dead and make different choices but the narrative didn’t hold the same emotional gravitas of my original playthrough and the game didn’t hold my interest. This blog has certainly elicited extended responses. :c) Good luck playing through your anticipated games!
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That’s a really interesting point. I never thought about what it would be like to return to an emotionally taxing game. But that makes so much sense. Knowing the major points coming down the pipeline could certainly make it less powerful.
You’ve got me thinking!
Sounds like another blog in the works coming down the pipeline. Interested in seeing what becomes of this.
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There are always more coming!
I have more trouble starting games than finishing them, but I can definitely understand where you’re coming from about games having finite life spans. When I was younger and had loads of free time and fewer games, replaying them was a given. Now that I’m older with less free time and way more games, replaying a game seems very unlikely.
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Oh, gosh, I have trouble starting games, too!
Isn’t it funny how that works? :)