Hello, my name is Contrarian and I can't finish games.
Well, that feels good to get that out there. It isn't entirely true, but the number of games I have seen right through to the credits is pretty damn small. In fact, if I finish a game it is generally a surprise, in that the credits roll and I wasn't expecting them. I don't know why this is. There must be some underlying psychology in play here. Perhaps it is that when I am finished, there is nothing really to look forward to from the game (we are talking games with a story here). I just don't want it to end as there will always be something still to look forward to. Perhaps.
Case study - Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.
Today I have arrived at the final chapters of the game - Endgame. There are 5 chapters of Endgame and I am on the first. It has taken me 60 hours to get here, plus easily the same amount plus again, from all those times I restarted the console when a character died. For those not familiar with Fire Emblem, a character is dead FOREVER when it dies. You don't get to use it again. I am too kind hearted to let a character die, everyone must make it to the end. Even the characters who are utter shite - Meg, I am looking at you.
What brings me to this blog is the save files already on the system, as I have played this game before. The last time I played it, probably a year or so ago, I stopped playing at Endgame: Rebirth (1), EXACTLY the same spot I am now on. Last time it took me 2 hours less to get to the same spot. I see now why I may have stopped the last time - so many decisions to make and they must be made with great thought. Who gets what experience points (I have 100,000 sitting there). Who I should upgrade (I still have Master Crowns and Mater Seals). What weapons I should have (sell all the Iron and perhaps Steel and get Silver). What weapons I should forge (I have no idea what is the right ones to do it on - I am disinclined to bother). What units I should take to the battle (those who have SS ranked weapon use seem smart). So much more. So many choices.
Will I actually finish it this time? Who knows. This isn't the first, nor will it be the last game where I do exactly the same thing again. I remember multiple visits of the same nature on Tales of Symphonia and Baten Kaitos for a start. It tends to happen with JRPGs in general, I have yet to finish any Kingdom Hearts games, but at least I have finished Final Fantasy 3 & 13 - perhaps I should try to finish all the others in the series. Don't get me started on all those Zelda games that I haven't finished a single one.
Don't get me wrong, I love playing games. I am not really bothered about not finishing them, which is sort of silly - imagine watching a movie except the last 20 minutes or reading a book except the last chapter. It is completely illogical and irrational behaviour. Sometimes I stop just because I figure I didn't do some of the early parts properly or missed items I can't get again and that may be 20 plus hours into it, or even more.
We need a gaming psychologist - The Gamer's Couch. Perhaps it is all my mothers fault? Perhaps I stopped breastfeeding early? This can only end badly - sorry for wasting your valuable time that you could have used finishing games like a normal person. (^_^)