Thursday, January 10, 2008

Game Over: No Happy Ending for Me

Well, I'm done with Blue Dragon. 50+ hours into it and I'm through playing it.

Did I mention that I didn't finish it? That I stopped playing at the final boss battle?

Sadly, this isn't the first time this has happened to me. I really, really loved Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, Metroid Zero Mission, and even Banjo Kazooie (GBA). But in each case I quit the game at the final boss. I almost even gave up on the original Half-life. What is it with games where the final boss is so ridiculously difficult to beat based on your normal progression through the game?

True, if I bothered to rack, and rack, and rack some more I could probably have beaten Paper Mario and Blue Dragon. Metroid & Banjo simply required too much manual dexterity and reflex action to complete.

In each of these cases I could have kept going and racking and practicing long after the content was basically complete, all in hopes of defeating the final boss. But, I chose not to. It just doesn't fit my game play needs. Does it leave me with a bad taste in my mouth? Yep. Terrible. But when you're just trying to complete the story so that you can move on and get the next experience (and you can see from my list on the right that I've got some gems in store) it's hard to justify spending an extra 5, 10, or even 20 hours to finish a game -- when with the same time investment I could have started and likely completed a new game.

In the old days you could hope for cheats. I guess you can still do this these days -- with the advent of the internet, if they're out there you can find 'em. These days you can just watch the final gameplay moments and movies on Youtube. It's sad, though, that these high quality and well reviewed games can't afford a player like me a satisfying ending.

I'll return the DVDs to Gamefly tomorrow and start plowing through the rest of the list.

Thank goodness for short casual games (XBLA, Facebook, etc), my Gamefly Q, and my personal copies of Mass Effect and Call of Duty 4 that I have stacked beside my projector.

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