#1 Posted by ofcbilly77 (61 posts) -

I am a JRPG nut. My favorite game is Persona 4 Golden, and before that I've long held Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy X in the highest regards, among others. However, with affinity for that genre comes the task of pouring dozens of hours into a single game. I don't mean to say that as a bad thing. On the contrary, with as much as me spend on games we had damn well get our money's worth. As much as I love my time with them, I always have trouble reaching the end (my biggest failure being reaching the final boss of Radiata Stories and quitting due to my woefully unprepared group). I am infamous among my friends for this fact, as they often finish the games we get long before me, even when I do finish. This is my attempt at explaining, and trying to help myself understand, why I do this (or rather, don't).

Tales of Xillia 2 will be released this coming August, but as of earlier today, I still hadn't finished the first one. I got Tales of Xillia the day it came out, collector's edition too. I was incredibly excited for it, and by all accounts I really loved it, but I got about 6 or 7 hours away from the end, and I just stopped. At the time, I really didn't have a reason. It just happens. One day I'm playing a game, and the next I'm just done with it.

I recently picked up Eternal Sonata again. It was the first game I had gotten for my 360, and I loved the hell out of it. Before you ask, I did finish this one. Sadly, as a poor student, having little money and an expensive hobby, I had to sacrifice my beloved Eternal Sonata (read: trade in) to fuel my need for sweet, sweet video games. After telling my girlfriend about the game, as she'd never heard of it, nostalgia took over. I had to have it again. However, the unfinished ghost of Xillia still haunted me. That, and shame.

I finally picked the game back up after months without play, and I was greeted immediately with 20 minutes of cutscenes and a string of boss battles. Now, the mechanics of the game aren't too complicated, but they are pretty overwhelming when tossed deep into it headfirst. I was dumbstruck by the dozens and dozens of skills and abilities my party was equipped with. After seeing this, I thought I was in over my head and restarted the game, another thing I am notorious for. I got about 2 hours into the new playthrough before giving my old file another shot, trusting the set-up my past self had created. I spent 5 hours (partially inflated due to losing on the final boss 3 times) today powering through what I had left, denying any instinct I had to work on side quests for fear of further lengthening the slog. My only motivation was to complete the plot so I would be prepared for Xillia 2, although I'll probably do a new game+. Well, at the very least I'll start it.

I tend to get bogged down in side quests and hunting for extras. I frequently begin a game with the intention of hunting down every little thing possible, though I rarely achieve that goal. As I get closer and closer to the end, I realize that there has been so much that I haven't done, and getting those things done begins to feel like a chore. It's a huge dilemma. I don't want to finish without everything, but getting everything is often unpleasant. It's a microcosm of life. You have to work hard to get anything good out of it, but sometimes working really just sucks (especially when you forget all the plot details from the last time you did).

I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on the subject. Hopefully I'm not the only one that does this.

#2 Posted by Clonedzero (4091 posts) -

Uh, any game i pay for, i kinda feel obligated to beat. Especially games given as gifts.

Ive been trying almost every game from the free Games with Gold xbox live thing, and well alot times theres a reason they're giving these ones out, cus they've mostly been pretty mediocre. So i haven't been finishing alot of those. But if i pay for a game i almost always beat it cus otherwise i feel like i wasted money so ill slog through out of a sense of obligation.

#3 Posted by Nightriff (4915 posts) -

I used to feel like that, but I've made an effort over the past few years to beat a game I start before I move onto something else, unless I get stuck or really, really dislike it. It has really helped me attack my backlog and where I typically only beat 30% of the games I own, I've now beaten 68% of all my games. The focus on fewer games at once helps control my spending where I rarely get a game on day one, but elect for a steam sale or price drop down the road.

#4 Posted by Lvl1Hispanic (2 posts) -

I no longer have a console besides my 3Ds so beating games has become less of a problem for me.

It still takes forever to actually beat any of the rpgs I have but I'm slowly chipping away at them.Mostly my time is taken up playing games like Dota or Titanfall on my laptop.As I get older I wonder if I'm just more about the pick up and play, quick game idea now.It's much easier for me to squeeze a 45 min(hopefully) match of Dota or Titanfall in than to sit down and sink hours into Fire Emblem, SMT IV.

I'll always love RPGs but I just don't have the time anymore to get lost in them =\

#5 Posted by benspyda (2030 posts) -

It depends on why you haven't beaten a game. If you just forgot about it, that's fine to push yourself to go back to it. If you stopped because you weren't enjoying it, it's not really getting your moneys worth going back to it and having a bad time. If you're playing a game out of obligation you're just trying to fix a mistake(buying a game you don't enjoy) with another mistake (wasting your time on something you are not enjoying). It's a double mistake.

#6 Posted by wemibelec90 (1553 posts) -

@ofcbilly77: Being a JRPG nut makes finishing games a lot harder, I'm sure. I have a hard enough time focusing on an 8-10 hour game and getting it finished, let alone constantly playing 40+ hour games. I've been doing better this year because of one reason: I focus on one game at a time and move on from any side stuff when I get bored. This keeps me from sticking to a game for too long and keeps my focus on moving forward, instead of treading water. It's worked pretty well thus far; I've probably finished more games in five months than I did all last year.

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#7 Posted by ofcbilly77 (61 posts) -

@benspyda: That is a great point. I like to think that I've enjoyed most of the games I've played. There have definitely been some games I've been on the fence about, or that I like one aspect of enough to keep going (mediocre gameplay, but great story). I'll definitely keep this is mind as I go back over the games I still have to finish.

#8 Edited by Zevvion (1830 posts) -

Nope, never an issue. If you don't like doing the side-stuff then... you know... don't do it? That's obviously what is messing everything up for you. You tell yourself you want to do everything, but truly you don't. So don't. It's really that simple.

In Mass Effect I hunt down everything I can possibly do and love doing all of it. In Transistor I did a couple of the challenges and found them dull. I didn't like doing them so I skipped every one of them that I came across since then and I'm having a blast with the game. You're just making it not fun for yourself for thinking you need to do everything. Games are about having fun. If you're not having fun, you're doing something wrong. In your case it seems pretty clear what that is.

#9 Edited by Poonz (130 posts) -

I used to be pretty bad at this. Playing something, getting pretty far into it then another game comes out and I move on. Always saying to myself, I'll go back and finish. There's at least a few games on my shelf that I haven't finished.

Lately though I've kinda kept to a 2 game rule. Usually I'm playing one game on a console and 1 game on a portable (Vita or 3DS). It's been going alright, I'm still dying to play games that I can't because I haven't finished another game. For example I have Transistor staring at me every time I boot up my PS4 taunting me knowing that I can't start it until I finish Child of Light.

Part of me is actually hoping Watch_Dogs is garbage, so I'm not tempted to buy it.

#10 Posted by TheLastGunslinger (210 posts) -

I've had the same problem so this year I've decided to make a list of every game I start so I can keep track of what I complete and what I don't. Actually seeing the list of non-completed games grow has prompted me to slow down the pace at which I start new games and I've tried keeping to playing only 1 or 2 at a time (except for multiplayer).

#11 Posted by mechahendrix (20 posts) -

There a a bunch of games I haven't finished, mostly because they are not that good. Take the Bioshock Infinite DLC. I was totally pumped for it because I liked the main game so much. But I finished neither episode.

If you don't finish a game its probably because that game wasn't very good or didn't peak your interest. Its the games job to be interesting and make you want to play it, not yours. Once you try to finish a game because you have to, its not fun anymore.

#12 Posted by CottoneUD (156 posts) -

I wouldn't feel bad about not finishing your games -- video games are supposed to be a pastime, not a job. Burning out on a game (especially a repetitious JRPG) is a real thing too -- even if you like the game a lot.

However, I understand your frustration, though -- it's a natural, human need to finish what you start. I have a long list of games and DLC I've spent good money on that are incomplete.

However, you never know when you'll get a chance to tear into a backlog of your games -- and having and finishing a backlog is satisfying in itself!

#13 Posted by believer258 (11642 posts) -

@ofcbilly77: Do you play any shorter games at all? If all you really play are 50 hour JRPG's, then of course you're going to have trouble completing them all. Try to mix things up with something shorter.

#14 Posted by ofcbilly77 (61 posts) -

@believer258: I play shorter games as well, though not as often. I really enjoy action games and platformers, but as a college student, and now recent graduate, money is pretty tight. I try my best to choose games that will last me a while.

#15 Posted by nasp (197 posts) -

i was the exact same way.every game i played i went into it wanting to do everything in the game,and ended up not even beating the main part because i spend so much time on the side stuff.so what i did was change how i play.now i do the side content i actually want to do and leave the rest.doing that gave me time to beat the game and since i didnt bore myself trying to do everything,i actually wanted to beat it.

#16 Posted by JMan240 (57 posts) -

I can't tell you how many times this sort of thing happens to me. I'll play all day one day, and then it just never occurs to me to pick up a game again. For me though, I don't think it has anything to do with wanting to do anything. I like that process in most cases and I don't get burnt out on the games, it's just like a switch suddenly flips off and all interest in it goes away.

#17 Posted by Fattony12000 (7053 posts) -

Don't even get me started on this...

...BECAUSE I WON'T EVEN FINI

#18 Posted by Slag (4015 posts) -

I

I tend to get bogged down in side quests and hunting for extras. I frequently begin a game with the intention of hunting down every little thing possible, though I rarely achieve that goal. As I get closer and closer to the end, I realize that there has been so much that I haven't done, and getting those things done begins to feel like a chore. It's a huge dilemma. I don't want to finish without everything, but getting everything is often unpleasant. It's a microcosm of life. You have to work hard to get anything good out of it, but sometimes working really just sucks (especially when you forget all the plot details from the last time you did).

That's an easy trap to fall into if you are a completionist type and it's a quagmire I'm prone to fall in myself in games that have a Point of No Return. That's why I prefer games that let you keep playing post finish so you can finish up what you want to when you want to (e.g. Red Dead Redemption).

Then if I do burn out, at least I've usually finished the game by that point and feel better about it what I've accomplished

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#19 Edited by jkz (4003 posts) -

I've only finished 3 games over the past two years. I'd say 60% of the games I dropped I was around 4/5ths of the way done (I like to check to see).

I dunno though, I never really feel bad about it. Most of the time I feel like I've gotten what I wanted out of a game when I put it down, and it's not like game endings are generally very good. I'm sure I've missed out on some neat surprises, but I prefer that to getting burnt out trying to finish things I no longer feel driven to pick back up.

Also worth noting I'm not a completionist in general, so that could, of course, contribute. I just don't really feel bad leaving pieces of entertainment unfinished.

#20 Edited by BoFooQ (659 posts) -

I've had similar problems with games that I didn't fully love or get hooked into the story. I always end up doing side quests or grinding for levels, but once I hit a level cap I can lose interest. Suddenly there are no more levels for my guy to get better and I can crush most enemies with easy. There are games I can play and just grind away and kill people and complete simple quest while not really paying attention. Than there's nothing left but the main story and I find myself not caring enough to get through. I will say most games I get past the first 25% I finish. Stopping for long breaks can be terrible too. I was final fantasy X2 and had spent lots of time grinding and leveling up my team than I tried to play once after not playing for months and spent over an hour and could not for the life of me figure out what I was doing or where I was suppose to go. I find newer games are better for this as lots have in game quest logs that are easy enough to follow.

#21 Posted by Sinusoidal (1293 posts) -

It's not your fault. Many recent JRPGs are incredibly tired affairs of overlong, over-serious, characterless, badly acted cutscenes filled with all of the worst anime tropes imaginable interspersed with repetitive grinding. I too have played through many of them due to my love of JRPGs past, only to really not enjoy my time with them at all. The only truly excellent JRPG of the past generation was Xenoblade Chronicles (though I have yet to play Ni No Kuni. and am really, really hoping it's good.) The genre needs a major kick in the ass.

#22 Posted by MikkaQ (10268 posts) -

Yeah I don't beat many games and as much I love to start a JRPG I almost never finish them due to all the filler they tend to have around the middle. If I beat anything it's usually shooters that are under 10 hours, or an open world game, minus collectables and whatnot.

#23 Posted by CakeBomb (217 posts) -

This started happening to me with 3D Zelda and Metroid, those games are just too big and feel like a chore to play, though they have great ambience. Walking in a 3D space in those games seems like it takes forever somehow.

#24 Posted by benspyda (2030 posts) -
@zevvion said:

Nope, never an issue. If you don't like doing the side-stuff then... you know... don't do it? That's obviously what is messing everything up for you. You tell yourself you want to do everything, but truly you don't. So don't. It's really that simple.

In Mass Effect I hunt down everything I can possibly do and love doing all of it. In Transistor I did a couple of the challenges and found them dull. I didn't like doing them so I skipped every one of them that I came across since then and I'm having a blast with the game. You're just making it not fun for yourself for thinking you need to do everything. Games are about having fun. If you're not having fun, you're doing something wrong. In your case it seems pretty clear what that is.

I tried the first challenge room in Transistor and went nope and immediately left. I really don't enjoy timed based challenges. I really enjoyed the survival mode in Bastion so was kind of bummed but I also think the combat in Bastion was more satisfying. I love a lot of things about Transistor but unfortunately not the feel of the combat.

#25 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10481 posts) -

When I start a game, it takes something truly insurmountable to stop me from finishing it. Maybe it'll take years, but hell or high water, I'll finish it!

#26 Posted by benspyda (2030 posts) -

It's easy to finish a 2 hour movie but a game that's 20+ hours has to be pretty damn good to hold your attention for that long. It's easy to get burnt out on a games mechanics by the 5 hour mark.

#27 Posted by ajamafalous (11850 posts) -

There a a bunch of games I haven't finished, mostly because they are not that good. Take the Bioshock Infinite DLC. I was totally pumped for it because I liked the main game so much. But I finished neither episode.

If you don't finish a game its probably because that game wasn't very good or didn't peak your interest. Its the games job to be interesting and make you want to play it, not yours. Once you try to finish a game because you have to, its not fun anymore.

This is how I feel. I've got so many damn games that if a game doesn't grab me in the first .5-2 hours then I'll probably never play it again.

It's one of the things that sucks about the way that my life has changed over the past five years. I don't have nearly the free time that I used to. It's hard for me to start new games because I don't want to spend the first hour going through a tutorialized mission when I've only got 1.5-2 hours total to play games that day (it's the same reason I stopped playing Dota). I'd much rather spend the little time that I have playing a game I know I'll enjoy and that I don't have to waste any time learning (Diablo, Warframe, etc.).

#28 Posted by mems1224 (177 posts) -

Yea, I have a ton of games that I start and then never finish. Im starting to get better though. Just this week I beat Risen 2, Persona 4 and Super Time Force. Now Im playing through FEAR 2 and Remember Me until Watch Dogs comes out.

#29 Edited by ike7779 (284 posts) -

Oh yeah, I'm plenty guilty of this. My most shameful example would be when I finally got around to playing Zelda: ALBW and got to the final form of the final boss and died. I decided that even though I was probably minutes from the end I probably saw the majority of the game and just shelved it. I figured the ending was probably just the predictable Zelda ending I've seen 20 times and it's not like I'm missing an achievement or anything right?

I'm still pretty sick of myself for that (especially as an enormous fan of ALTTP), but there are just so many games competing for my time now. Plus I'm just so old and so busy it's hard to know what the right decision really is anymore.

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#30 Posted by Ben_H (3311 posts) -

*looks at huge pile of half finished 3DS and steam games*

Yeah, me too.

#31 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4598 posts) -

I have a working theory. Barring an Act of God, if I don't finish a game then that means I didn't really care for it. Considering I've finished 99% of the games I've played - and that includes real stinkers like Conflict: Denied Ops and fucking Dark Sector - I have a much shorter list of games I didn't finish. It's hard to feel sympathy for people who put down games midway through to pile onto the latest release and then complain that they never finish their games. No one is stopping you (exceptions of course for Acts of God) but you. If you really want to finish a game, do it. Sulking doesn't accomplish anything.

#32 Edited by Zevvion (1830 posts) -

@benspyda said:
@zevvion said:

Nope, never an issue. If you don't like doing the side-stuff then... you know... don't do it? That's obviously what is messing everything up for you. You tell yourself you want to do everything, but truly you don't. So don't. It's really that simple.

In Mass Effect I hunt down everything I can possibly do and love doing all of it. In Transistor I did a couple of the challenges and found them dull. I didn't like doing them so I skipped every one of them that I came across since then and I'm having a blast with the game. You're just making it not fun for yourself for thinking you need to do everything. Games are about having fun. If you're not having fun, you're doing something wrong. In your case it seems pretty clear what that is.

I tried the first challenge room in Transistor and went nope and immediately left. I really don't enjoy timed based challenges. I really enjoyed the survival mode in Bastion so was kind of bummed but I also think the combat in Bastion was more satisfying. I love a lot of things about Transistor but unfortunately not the feel of the combat.

Opposite for me. I like everything about Bastion except the combat. I really like the combat in Transistor though. It's a much better playing game.

#33 Posted by Jaqen_HGhar (866 posts) -

I was the same, and still am to a certain degree. What helped me was two things.
One, I try to quickly find out if getting all the side-content is worth it. If it seems to be just filler, extra stuff to do, then I don't bother with it. Unless the game hooks me in such a way that I really want to do the extra stuff. Like Dark Souls 2. 66 hours, still haven't started the NG+ because I want to mop up all the content first. But that only happens if I love the game to bits, as I would have trouble even spending the measly 5 hours it takes to beat some games.

Two, I started plotting every game I own into Backloggery (feel free to add me as a friend on there if you make your own site). This way I know what I have finished, I know what I have left, and if I have only halfway finished something I can write why. Sometimes I would remember a game and think "why didn't I beat that?". Now I can go in and see "Oh, it's because I lost my saves when my harddrive went to shit". Seeing the actual percentage of beaten and unfinished games also works as a motivator.

But the long games, like JRPGs, are usually hard to beat because of the commitment you need. I don't like JRPGs, so I don't have to worry about those, but I have yet to play much of The Witcher 2. It's dialog-heavy, has challenging combat and is very long. I always feel like I don't have time for that. Yet I just played 66 hours of Dark Souls 2... So I don't know. I guess you just need to be in the mood to play certain games, and if the mood doesn't strike you you should play something else. Or read a book. Or something.

#34 Posted by pinner458 (600 posts) -

My biggest regret is barely starting the main quest of Skyrim. Side quests really got me on that one. The talking dog and that Alice in Wonderland trip! Awesome!

#35 Posted by BluPotato (398 posts) -

I hardly ever finish a game, even ones that everyone says is 'short' takes me like a month to finish and even then its a forced march to the end.

#36 Edited by berniesbc (43 posts) -

I will never understand the compulsion to finish a game you're not enjoying anymore rather than starting something new that you might enjoy more. If a game keeps me hooked, cool. If not, I stop. Beating a video game is hardly an accomplishment worth striving for.

#37 Posted by Lost_Remnant (99 posts) -

I will never understand the compulsion to finish a game you're not enjoying anymore rather than starting something new that you might enjoy more. If a game keeps me hooked, cool. If not, I stop. Beating a video game is hardly an accomplishment worth striving for.

I have this problem and most of the time I don't understand it either. I think it more or less boils down to I'm not letting the game beat me and just finishing it so I can remove it from my life forever. Some games I have definitely dropped before for being unfun but if it has other hooks in it I enjoy, like the story, setting, and what not I'll still try to finish it. Mafia 2 is a recent example of that for me, I really disliked the gameplay aspects of that game, but found the story and characters really enjoyable so I soldiered through it.

On the topic at hand, I'm pretty terrible at finish games as well, especially RPG's but I have gotten better. I can also sympathize with having to do everything to feel the game is "complete", at some point you'll just have to take a look at yourself and ask if doing this side stuff feels satisfying and feel if it was worth doing at all once you beat the game. If the answer is no, then it mostly becomes a battle of pulling yourself away from it the moment it stops being fun or if the reward you get does not sound worth the trouble. It's harder to do then it sounds but as I try to apply that to some RPG's I find myself having a better time and actually getting through them. Some RPG's I'll go out and do every little thing like the Fallout series, but unless I am infatuated with the game on the level I am with Fallout I try to break away from having to do everything, it makes a back log even bigger and starts to feel overwhelming. Cutting down on purchases of new RPG's unless I'm finished with the one I'm working on also helps with this.

I also try to break up RPG's with other smaller games or games that don't have a story, so it doesn't matter if I don't come back to it in a couple weeks. I'm playing New Vegas again trying to finish the DLC I never got to and do the other end game faction endings like House and Caesar, but once I start to feel a little burned I'll boot up SSX and play through that.

#38 Posted by Jazz_Bcaz (211 posts) -

Going into a JRPG expecting to 100% it sounds insane. The draw for me is knowing that I'm likely going to have a long (sometimes painfully drawn out) story and if I'm engaged by the end, I'll have a load of cool extra stuff for replays and that. A lot of JRPGs seem to be built with NG+ in mind, hence the almost obnoxious amount of extra stuff. I understand how difficult it must be to finish games if JRPGs are your primary jam though. They really don't lend themselves to it, often to their detriment.

Besides, an RPG is about customisation and personalisation. If I get everything, I've ruined the game for myself.

#39 Posted by CornBREDX (4814 posts) -

Nailed it. Shitty side quests are what is ruining RPGs in general these days (not just Japanese, but western RPGs too). They are hard to ignore because they may (or do) hold great rewards but the act of doing them is a chore.

Video games should not be a chore.

#40 Edited by bartok (2425 posts) -

I suck at Finnish games.

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#41 Posted by OurSin_360 (834 posts) -

Out of the 100's of games I own i probably haven't completed 30% of them. I've played every final fantasy from 7 until 13, and the only one i ever completed was 7. And that is after dumping 100's of hours into each one lol. I believe it's due to my adhd though, if i have to stop and go back to something i tend to never finish it.

#42 Edited by Relkin (89 posts) -

Years ago my brother began playing Suikoden II (the best traditional JRPG in my opinion) and was obsessed with it. A hundred hours of gameplay later he had EVERYTHING. All characters, even most(if not all) of the flying squirrels. He has a save file right before the final boss. He has never gone back to it. This is not the first game he has done this with, nor was it the last.

I think the reason he doesn't finish Suikoden II/FF Tactics/Persona 3 (just to name a few) is because once you beat the game, its done. I don't think he wants to put down that world, those characters. Maybe hes afraid the ending won't be to his liking, so he keeps from seeing it and imagines a different ending; one he wants. Personally I can't do that. I have to finish it. Actually I feel some weird obligation to see their story to the end, especially in cases where everything gets REAL messed up(I'm looking at you FF Tactics). I feel like the characters deserve an ending, whatever it may be; rather than kept at that "point of no return" before the final boss, where everything is up in the air.

#43 Edited by cannonballBAM (591 posts) -

I believe I have 500+ digital and physical games and of that amount I may have finished close to 40%. Purchasing games usually comes down to impulse, nostalgia and cost for me.

#44 Posted by Devil240Z (3271 posts) -

My hunger for new things can never be satisfied by one game for very long. so I am alway jumping to the next game.

#45 Posted by PeteyCoco (96 posts) -

I will never understand the compulsion to finish a game you're not enjoying anymore rather than starting something new that you might enjoy more. If a game keeps me hooked, cool. If not, I stop. Beating a video game is hardly an accomplishment worth striving for.

Totally. As long as you're having fun it doesn't matter if you beat the game or not. A lot of games become a slog after a handful of hours anyway.