Hating what I Love

It’s happening again. I can feel it. It’s subtle at first but the feeling grows and grows. Bowser’s Inside Story is too good. It’s too much of a pleasant and delightful surprise. The dialog’s too sharp, the gameplay’s too crisp, the designs too clever. Something deep inside is insisting that I’m playing too fast, not savoring the goodness. I don’t want it to end, and so I will end up not finishing it.

I don’t know why I do this to myself. But it seems to happen with every game I really LOVE. Short games are the worst. It’s like every enjoyable step is another towards the inevitableĀ end. And why would anyone want a game this fantastic to finish? I think a big part of the problem is the game has a map. It shows the whole world: A forest, a beach, Bowser’s Castle, Princess Peaches’… I can see how much further I have to go and it doesn’t seem a long way.

I know rationally that there’s a lot more to the game than what is shown on the map. And I know that just up and quitting doesn’t do me a lick of good. Better to beat the game and enjoy it in its entirety than to stop playing and not have any fun. But there’s that nugget of irrational something (guilt? fear?) that sits in my stomach and tells me to stop.

I guess as far as struggles go this one is pretty mild. “Oh poor Phil. He plays games that are good. Woe is him.” Maybe playing something mediocre would end this feeling. I am feeling guilty for abandoning Final Fantasy VIII… But I’m afraid that if I put down Bowser’s I won’t pick it up again. And I don’t really want to stop playing. It is fantastic after all.

Except that… I really do.

Stupid self! What’s wrong with you? Oh… I know what’s going on. My hemoglobin is rebelling for my disparaging remarks yesterday. Trying to make me turn on myself are you, ‘globin? Well you won’t win, you hear me? I WILL PLAY AND BEAT THIS GAME. I WILL DO IT TWELVE TIMES! I will rain pain on you like fiery goombas from the sky!

…I hope.

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6 Comments

Filed under Games

6 responses to “Hating what I Love

  1. Michael Ruud

    I spent over a hundred hours on Persona 3 and got within the final stretch, and put it on the shelf for about six months before I picked it back up. I did the same thing with FFXII, as well. Part of me thinks that I do this because I don’t want the experience to end, and another part of me believes it’s because I feel like the ending won’t live up to the rest of the game and that it’ll color my experience with the game negatively.

    On the other hand, if I’m playing a bad/mediocre game (hello there SaGa Frontier II) I’ll try and stick it through it until the end because I’ve more than likely invested enough time into it and want to see it through until the end. You think I would’ve taken into account the law of diminishing returns by now.

  2. I don’t understand these motivations. I just stop playing a game when it isn’t fun anymore. :V

  3. Philip Armstrong

    Yeah I was going to say.

  4. Metal Man Master

    You’re not alone in those feelings, dude. It’s happened to me, too. I stopped my first play session of Partners in Time around the remains of Toad Town, and I’m a bit reluctant to proceed through the point I’m at in Bowser’s Inside Story because I know things probably won’t last much longer.

    I could still indulge in my completionist urges and do the best I can at the Cholesteroad and The Gauntlet, though that’s not the same as more awesome events and all.

  5. I did the same thing with Persona 4. I spent somewhere in the ballpark of 120 hours getting myself to the “true” final boss and even grinding a couple dozen levels so my party could breeze through the battle. Then I put it down for six months and didn’t pick it up again until a couple months ago.

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