Oddly Liberating

My initial instinct, upon starting a new game, is to do a full clear if at all possible. I figure, hey, if the game has content, that content is probably worth seeing, right? Why would they put something in there that wasn’t worth my time?

That of course can often lead to boredom and/or frustration as I spend more and more time grinding stones into dust than simply, say, kicking back and enjoying the game. This all factors into what I said yesterday during my giant “Tartarus sucks” post, about how I can’t play games inefficiently.

There’s often a moment, though, where it becomes immediately and perfectly apparent that a full clear is not going to happen. This moment is usually accompanied by blind, frothing rage. If it happens too early, it may trigger a restart (as happened with that newfangled Bionic Commando on Xbox). If it happens too late, after the new-game-honeymoon phase is over, it may cause me to just quit playing entirely (as happened with that newfangled Bionic Commando on Xbox, after five or six failed restarts).

There’s a sweet spot, though, where I’m too far in to start over, but not so far in that I’m looking for excuses to shelf the game. In those cases, rare and beautiful as a summer snow, the aforementioned frothing rage is followed almost immediately by a warm, soothing sensation. A calming sense of liberation, as it were. The full clear is no longer possible, see, so I can just stop killing myself over it. The game will not mind.

What I’m getting at here is, on 6/16, I forgot to get an item from Akihiko. I can never ever get that item again. Full clear: shot. Now I can just sit back and enjoy Persona 3 Portable without agonizing over every little thing.

It’s nice to remember, once in a while, that the world won’t come to an abrupt and sorrowful end just because you can’t get your hands on the Zodiac Spear. Who needs a Zodiac Spear anyway? It’s not even that good. And besides, Tournesol is only 60+ hours of grinding away…

8 comments to Oddly Liberating

  • I have a similar problem, only I have very little time for games, so if I do actually go for the full clear, it’s the only game I’m playing for the next few months. And in that time, a new game usually pops up and I completely forget about Game A until months later, when I decide I should at least get to the damn ending.

    Which may never happen for me in FFXII especially. I’ve shelved and come back to that game more times than I can remember.

  • DragonShadow

    I used to be an avid 100% kind of guy, but lost interest in that some time ago. About the same time I decided I’d never use a strategy guide ever again. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t play/finish enough games to worry about completely clearing the game.

    I did experience what you did though in Final Fantasy IV (the DS remake). I was at Golbez’s tower, looking up strategies for a boss fight, and then realized I had missed a ton of augments and hidden treasure, but shortly thereafter felt at ease. And it IS oddly liberating.

  • Behemoth

    This is me. I haven’t been a completionist since FFX broke me. Now I just try to play games to enjoy them, and to hell with getting every little doodad and gewgaw.

  • ShifterChaos

    Im am the only one in my group of friends who is not a Hat Fortress 2 player, but a Team Fortress 2 player. I play for the fun of the game, not the new pixel art I can unlock through random drops or trading. I also find this mindset liberating. Viva La Resistance

  • I used to have the same kind of problem but multiple hobbies, a demanding career, and a spouse cured me of it pretty quick.

    Now I just play a game however I want and not worry about what I might be missing or my lack of percentage points or achievements.

    I have too much real shit to stress out over these days to get anxious over my entertainment too.

  • Craze

    I’ve never been this type of player, and I also think that putting in something that requires 60+ hours of grinding is absolutely fucking horrible game design.

    I’ve always played games to have fun. I don’t understand how people can’t do this.

  • Tomm

    I’m going to be that guy who points out that a fullclear of P3 is completely impossible unless you’ve already played the game and learned it inside and out. Then you might–just might–manage to get and do everything.

    • Brickroad

      There are very detailed, relatively spoiler-free FAQs on how to do a full clear in one playthrough. I was following one back when I played FES to great success.

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