In between bursts of playing Persona 4 and Catherine and almost spending $300 on a sealed copy of Revelations: Persona because I'm an idiot, I've put over 10 hours into Final Fantasy XIII in a desperate attempt at finally finishing the game.
I got it about a month after it came out and put 20 hours into it before hitting a brick wall that I could not pass. That brick wall was the boss fight Barthandelus (1st encounter), a fight I had no hope of conquering because my party was critically underleveled. So I went on a hiatus and returned several months later. I decided to start a new game.
38 hours of game time later, I'm at the end of Chapter 11 and I have to fight Barthandelus again. Fun! Accept this time he has over 3,000,000 HP. Nice! I decided right then and there to get the fight over with instead of calling it a day so I wouldn't have to do it tomorrow. With my official strategy guide in hand (yes, I still buy strategy guides) I charged forth... and died after spending 20+ minutes fighting him because he cast Doom on me, an incurable status ailment that causes instant death after a few minutes.
This total failure got me thinking about the time I've spent with this game. I quit to the main menu and added up the hours from my two saves (I still had the save from my first playthrough). 20 + 38 + the minutes (which exceeded 60) = 59 hours. 59 hours spent playing Final Fantasy XIII.
I thought about how many of those hours I was actually enjoying. I'd say about 15, maybe 20. 15-20 hours of fun, everything else... something else. Boredom, frustration, exhaustion. I don't even know at this point. I've kinda spent 59 hours waiting for this game to become amazing, and it hasn't yet. The only reason I continue throwing myself at it is because I care about the story and the characters and I want to see it all end. I've put 59 hours into this. How is it going to feel if I officially give up?
But then again, how will I feel when I find myself continuing to waste my time, throwing myself at these boss fights and boring enemy encounters?
As I type this I have a website bookmarked that has every cutscene in the game available for people to watch (including all the cutscenes from the Japanese version). I've considered seeing the end to this story that way, but that would be cheap. All those hours would effectively be wasted. But on the other end of the spectrum, finishing the game myself would mean wasting even more hours.
I'm stuck in between these two decisions. I feel like I should not let my efforts go to waste, but I don't want to continue playing either when I can just see the whole story online. I'm just not really enjoying this game anymore. The enemy encounters are getting longer and longer, and consist of my party just throwing ourselves at enemies until they Stagger, and then continuing to throw ourselves at them until they're dead.
I feel bad because the parts of this game that are good, are kind of amazing. The whole presentation is just astounding. Voice acting, visuals, everything. Hope's random monologues sometimes weird me out, but whatever. The CGI cutscenes specifically look mind blowing. Every game ever made looks like complete garbage compared to these cutscenes.
I want to see the end of this story, but I really kinda don't want to play it anymore.
I do, but I don't.
Ugh, this game. Maaaan....... this game. But hey, Laura Bailey is in it, so I guess that's a big enough motivator to finish this thing.