By Bayne 8 Comments
Lately, I have been playing FF XIII. While playing this, I found my self thinking. Why am I still playing this? I find it sad that I had to ask myself that question, but the thing is, the games can be boring. This got me thinking. Why do we finish games? What compels us to go and play a game till it’s finished. What compels us to keep playing one person’s multiplayer game over and over again? What compels us to do all those things? That’s what this blog post is all about.
Now, when I asked myself this question, I looked up from my desk and looked at my game collection. Which of these games have I actually finished? Looking up I see at least half I haven’t finished and I ask my self; why didn’t I finish these games? Well that game was too hard. This one was way too long. Oh, and of course, that one sucked. I find myself looking at these games and finding that a lot of the unfinished ones were PS2 games. I look at my Xbox and Wii games and see that I completed most of them. Why is that? Was it because they’re all significantly better games? Or maybe it wasn’t.
This is the first point I would like to bring up. People are completing more games than they used to. Now I know that sounds wired but I look at my back catalogue and see there are many games I didn’t complete while the newer games, I have completed every single one. I don’t think this is because the Xbox games are better. I mean some of the PS2 RPGs I have are so good the Xbox still won’t be able to touch them. No, I think one of the first big offenders here is time.
Games are not as long as they used to be. Many single player campaigns these days are only 8 hours long. When I look back at some of my old games, I think “Man that was long game”. It was fun but it took so long that other games came along and I got side-tracked and left it in the dust. Nowadays games are a lot shorter. For example you can sit and complete Modern Warfare 2’s single player in 6 hours. There is just less of it. I look at some of my Xbox 360 games and realise a lot of the games I have here are really short and didn’t take me very long. Now, sometimes a shorter campaign is a good thing, because it keeps it short and sweet. But I find myself in some games just wanting more.
The second big offender is difficulty. Some of the games I got I stopped playing because well they just got to damn hard. Some of the games I own don’t even have a choice of difficulty level. They just slowly got to a point where I couldn’t complete them. Now I know that’s giving up, but when the games just stop being fun because you die so much, I think it’s time to play something else. This now brings me on to newer games. Newer games are easier. Not all, but some definitely are. It might be because, now we can choose how hard we want our games to be. That means a lot of them we can breeze straight on through. Some games might not have lower difficulty levels, but then the game doesn’t really curve up. It might just stay the same, just making it easier and easier. This is known to happen in some hack and slash games, where you now just have giant swords of death, and you can just cut through people easily.
Now I have talked about reason’s that stop us finishing a game. Now I want to talk about reasons that compel us to finish a game. Even if sometimes, a game is difficult and is very long, the first point is story. Story is there to help carry you through a game. There are some games that don’t need it, like racing games or football games. But games like FPSs, RPGs, and Hack and Slash games need stories to help you finish a game. So that even if you hit a really difficult hurdle, you try and get past it so you can see what happens next. This also applies to time. If the story is good, then you want to keep continuing that game. However, this might not apply if the game play is rubbish.
Game play is the most important thing about a game. I mean, if it has rubbish game play, then you probably won’t have the patience to finish the game. And if the game play is bad and it’s very hard, then that’s just no fun. But if it was easy and boring, then it’s just a drag to play. Maybe if the story was good then you might be able to pull through, but then it might be easier just to go read a book. But even if the game play is bad, some games you will still play. Take Deadly Premonitions; an obvious choice because of the endurance run at the moment. The game does have a bit of cult following; I mean, we all know how bad the game play is. The game is dreary and boring. But then it has this quirky silly story that draws you in. It’s bad, but it’s a good kind’ve bad that you can appreciate.
All this then brings me to FF XIII: the reason why I wrote all of this. FF XIII is a game that in the first 8 hours, bores. It’s the same mindless thing over and over again for 8 hours. The combat is rather easy and the story is all over the place. You have to read the data log to understand what is going on, and even then it is sketchy. So why am I playing this? Well, many reasons really. I guess one would be that I had been waiting for this game for like, 5 years, and I will definitely get my 5 years worth, even if it is boring. The other reason would be that it’s a Final Fantasy game. With such a big name like that shoved on the front, you really have to force yourself to play it, especially when you’re a long time fan. And the last, but in no way near least, would be expectation. Every single review this game has received all said the same thing. It gets better later on. Because of that, you forgive it because you believe in the reviews that it does get better later on. And it does. I found myself liking it more as I played. Still way too much grind for my liking, but I will leave that ranting for when I review it. What this really comes down to, is the fact that I am playing this game all the way to the end because of expectation. I’m playing this all the way through because it ought to be great, not because it is.
So now this long journey comes to an end. I hoped you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it. Sometimes it’s good the get these things off my chest. Next on my list of things to do will be a review of FF XIII, mainly because I want to share my opinion, but also touch on things that were to do with the game up to its release. So, do those who read this have that to look forward to? Once again I thank you for reading this, and I hope you read my future posts.