Open Topic:
What games will you never complete?

Mar 25, 2014

As I get older, the time I have for games dwindles. I have more responsibilities and less patience. I used to play games for hours every day. Nowadays, it's a treat if I can get in two hours of play on a weeknight. In some ways, this isn't a bad thing. I've come to appreciate the time I spend with games much more, and now use my time for things like this blog, classes, and work. I do have to be a lot pickier with not only the games I choose to play, but the games I choose to finish.

I've always loved playing games to completion. It's the reason I started (and plan to continue) 100% Quest. I was dead set on finding every secret in every game I played, beating the game on the hardest difficulty, and so on. That is until just around high school when I fell face-first into the world of the 360's Achievement system. Due to either impossible-to-obtain achievements or my heightened workload, I could no longer bring myself to complete the games I enjoyed. In high school, I ran into this problem even though I was only able to afford a few games a month. Today, I've amassed a gigantic backlog of Humble Bundles, Steam games, and stuff I've picked up from years of thrift store hunting. My list of must-play games is often added to, but rarely do I make a significant dent in it.

This brings me to an interesting dilemma when playing new games. Do I blow through the story and try to get the bare minimum of the experience? Or will I discover something magical about the game only after hours of honing my skills and hunting for achievements? Sometimes this question answers itself. If I enjoy a game enough, I'm going to want to dig for every secret. Other times, I have to stop myself when I realize achievements will add nothing else to the experience. Take the Uncharted series, for example. Those games are a thrill ride end to end, but are full of secret trinkets that are often out of plain view for the sake of being there. The first game is probably a worse offender to this than the others, especially with its "kill x amount of enemies with x weapon" trophy list. Maybe one day I'll pick them up on subsequent playthroughs, but in no way do I find them fun to look for on their own.

On a similar note, I've given up hope on ever completing any game with an online multiplayer component (okay, maybe I'll tackle The Last of Us's day). Often I find this is because the achievements are nothing more than a grind, other times its because they require very specific circumstances that might show up once in a hundred matches. The Gears of War series is especially frustrating: I don't have time to get 10,000 kills for the "Seriously..." achievement in the first game, especially because there are equally ludicrous achievements in the next couple of games. Then again, grinding and multiplayer never really appealed to me. There's a reason I never got too hooked on Halo, or even finished an Atlus-published game.


That one online achievement in Castle Crashers will bug me forever. Still won't do it.

But I digress. Sometimes there are games I truly enjoy playing, but struggle to find a reason to keep going with them. Guacamelee! was the first metroidvania I really dug since playing the Metroid games on the GBA, yet once I was done I couldn't justify spending more time than I already had just searching for secrets. Maybe it's because I had other games to get to, maybe it's because 8 hours was really all that game could offer before getting tiring. Either way, the decision to finally consider a game "done" is always a struggle in my book. Sometimes I find myself looking at the icon or case to a game, thinking, "I should really get those last few achievements" only to keep putting it off. I think I've realized that once a game becomes something I procrastinate - rather than something I can't keep myself away from - it's probably time to let go.

So what's your criteria for when a game is "finished"? Especially with endless games like Minecraft these days, when do you feel the need to say "I'm satisfied"? Am I the only one who thinks about this on a regular basis? Comment and let me know!

Zoë Wolfe

Co-Founder, Webmaster