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Currently studying journalism in hopes of getting the opportunity of playing video games for a living. A man can dream, right?

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I paced around the room feverishly, deeply worried for my lovely wife Bianca. After the sudden, late reveal of her pregnancy, she went into labor immediately. The whole ordeal hit me so fast, and I felt powerless to help her in any way. Eventually, the silence of the room broke when I was called by a voice, telling me to go up and see Bianca. My heart stopped as I prayed that everything turned out okay. When I ran up the stairs, my beautiful son and daughter pleasantly greeted me for the first time. After breathing a sigh of relief, I happily rejoiced with my wife. To end a perfect moment, Bianca put her face next to mine and told me that she loved me.

It was at this moment that I became conscious of my escapism and remembered that Iíve only been playing a video game the entire time. The experience felt way too real.

To this day, Dragon Quest V has been the only game to completely engross me within its story. Itís incredibly peculiar to me, because Iíve played a ton of games before getting into this one. A lot of these games have been advertised on the basis that I would become the character, but I havenít had that experience until now. You would think that I would have fully escaped into each and every video game world Iíve seen, feeling like I walked in the shoes of every protagonist Iíve played as. However, that hasnít been the case, as Iíve never been fully invested within a video game world until this point. Thereís a legitimate reason for that too: Dragon Quest V does three things that are fundamentally different from most games on the market today. While I wouldnít want every game to play exactly like this, it was these three factors that helped me become completely absorbed within the world the game has created for me.

1. There is no placeholder for the protagonistís name on the character creation screen.

Stop me if this sounds familiar to you: youíre about to start a new file in an RPG, and as you start it, thereís already a preset name left for you.



Most developers take pride when they leave a place for you to put your name. After all, by putting your name down on a character creation screen, it would make sense to think that the player would be more inclined to believe that he is the protagonist of the game. For some people, this is exactly how their experience plays out. However, I have never been able to fill in the shoes of the main character when the character screen shows a preset name. The minute I see a name already there, I know that the story isnít mine. Iíve experienced this recently when I was playing Chrono Trigger. Not only did I already have prior knowledge of Chronoís role as the main protagonist, seeing his name already filled out discouraged me to fill my own in. Even after I forced myself to fill in my own name, I couldnít connect with the main character at all. Sure, he had my name, but his in game sprite is synonymous with Chrono in my mind, thus breaking the possibility of getting deep within the gameís world. Iíve grown an attachment to the world and characters within the game, but I have come to the realization that I am not Chrono.

Dragon Quest V, much like other games within the series, has a protagonist named the Hero. This is something more to my liking. Obviously, the Hero isnít a very realistic name for a human being. All it does is act as a placeholder for the playerís actual name. While it could be argued that Chrono is also a placeholder for the playerís name, players often associate his character with his default name. This is because Chrono is an actual name, as apposed to the blatant placeholder name given in Dragon Quest V. But even then, the placeholder in Dragon Quest V doesnít even show up! When you boot up a new file, the game asks you to fill a blank spot with your name. By doing this, the game gives you no choice but to create your own, unique name for your file. So, I was given incentive to put my own name down, leading me to believe that I was the protagonist of the story.

2. Party Chat allows the characters within the game to come to life



Typically, in a JRPG, the members of your party flesh out their character solely through the events of the story. Until some sort of cut scene is initiated, the player will not be able to find out more about the characters they are adventuring with.

Obviously, Dragon Quest V fleshes out the most significant aspects of each character through important plot points as well. However, the game takes it a step forward with a mechanic called Party Chat. While this mechanic is completely optional to use, it was certainly one of the most compelling features of the game. Upon using Party Chat, the player will hear instant reactions to whatever in game action the player has chosen to do. Spoke to a man in the town? Speak to your fellow adventures to find out what they think of that person and the information they gave out. Entered a suspicious building? Talk to everyone to find out what they think of the area. Found a rare item? Share your joy with those in your party. Almost every action the player chooses to execute can be followed up by your teammatesí two cents.

With this kind of game mechanic, itís no longer necessary to rely on in game events to completely tell the story of the game. I often found myself forming strong connections to each character that joined my quest way before a major plot point affected them. By constantly using Party Chat, you form bonds with the characters by discovering their personalities in a deeper way. Not only that, but the player will feel less alone when adventuring within the game because there will always be constant feedback from each party member for all of your actions. As a result of this feedback, I truly felt like the characters came to life. The more life-like the characters became, the more I felt inclined to jump into the world of Dragon Quest V.

Speaking of life-likeÖ.

3. Dragon Quest V is a game about life



Dragon Quest V has one of the most relatable stories in a video game, ever. Obviously, the game still deals with the typical JRPG fare: Thereís some monster that wants to annihilate the world, and you have to destroy it. If the game were solely based on that presence, then naming the Hero after myself wouldnít have been enough to delude me into thinking I was the protagonist. What convinced me to get sucked into the world of Dragon Quest V were its humanlike, real life experiences. Upon starting the game, you play as a child that learns about the world through his father. When you arenít bonding with your family, youíre hanging out and adventuring with your close friend, Bianca. However, as time goes on, the main character has to grow up and become an adult. Now that he is no longer traveling with his father, the main protagonist must fend for himself out in the world.

While the concept of growing up is relatable to everyone already, the part that truly got me invested in the story is the marriage system. At one point, you have to make a decision to marry three different women. Nera, a woman of privilege, gives the Hero bonus items that will help you along your quest. Bianca, the Heroís childhood friend, seems to make the most sense from a story perspective. Finally, Deborah, the strict and bossy prospect, can be chosen if the Hero falls in love with her lavish, revealing attire. The third choice is mainly for kicks and giggles, as the creator of the series, Yuji Horii, claimed that she is an option that, ďnobody in their right mind would pick.Ē However, the first two options matter a great deal toward the story. While picking Bianca will fulfill the main characterís personal happiness, Nera offers a step closer to completing the quest at hand. Itís up to the player to decide what will be the best option for marriage.

The marriage mechanic is what got me lost in the world of Dragon Quest V. As I explained above, this very aspect of my virtual wife going into labor absorbed me into the game. From the moment my in-game wife, Bianca, went into labor, had two children, and told me that she loved me, I began to feel like I really was the Hero. The idea of growing up, becoming an adult, having a wife, and starting a family felt so real to me because itís a future that doesnít seem too far off to me. As a college student, Iím already preparing myself to become an adult and enter the real world. So, it wouldnít be too outrageous to assume that I may start a family in the future as well.



Oh, and you can also name your kids in the same fashion as the Hero. Without preset names, the player will be given more incentive to give them actual names that they would give their children in real life.

So, for me, this was the game that finally got me to live out most developerís intentions with a silent protagonist. With a nameless main character and a story that is based upon real life scenarios, Dragon Quest V delivers an experience that I have never had in my entire life. Has a game ever had you feel so invested that you felt like you were truly a part of the gameís world?









When thinking about gaming and its progression over the years, it quickly becomes apparent how far video games have come in terms of popularity. Practically every single house I go into has at least one gaming console. Big blockbuster franchises, like Call of Duty, receive jaw-dropping success. For example, just the combined sales of two games in that series, Black Ops and Modern Warfare 2, total up to 47 million copies. 47 MILLION COPIES! Seeing such a large number blows my mind. Also, with mobile gaming, playing games has become more accessible than ever. Add that to the fact that cell phone games tend to be either free or as cheap as a dollar, and itíll be easy to see exactly how popular gaming is as a medium today. Hell, even my parents play video games! Itís always awesome to watch my dad play MotorStorm on his PS3 while my mom plays Words With Friends on her iPad right next to him.

When I think back to the last decade, such a scene would have seemed impossible to me.
But now, as the number of people who play video games increases, more people I know are becoming invested in gaming. In fact, the gaming industry has exceeded the film industry as a profitable medium. Last year, the gaming industry generated $17.02 billion dollars alone in the United States. Meanwhile, the movie industry was only able to earn 9.42 million dollars in the United States. The difference is widely noticeable, and that gap will only increase as video games become increasingly more popular over time.

But, despite the fact that the popularity of gaming has notably increased, people continue give gaming culture the wrong image. Whenever I mention a game to those not invested in gaming culture that isn't well known, Iím instantly labeled as geek that shouldnít be touched with a ten-foot stick. For example, if I tell the average person that I spent my day playing a single player JRPG called Golden Sun, I would expect a response saying that I am wasting my life. The fact that I would expect such a response is a problem in itself, because I should be led to believe that gaming is more accepted as a whole. It is accepted to an extent though, especially with widely popular multiplayer games like Call of Duty. This is because the franchise appeals to the masses for itís social elements. This can also be the case for simple, popular single player games like Angry Birds. Being a best selling mobile gaming experience, many people have played the game and are comfortable talking about it to others. However, these people refuse to associate themselves with gaming culture. Why is that? Well, the people who play these kinds of games donít even consider themselves to be gamers to begin with.



It sounds ridiculous, but itís true. Since what these people consider as ďnormal peopleĒ play the game, they cannot be gamers. They think in this manner because they do not want to be attached to the ridiculous stereotypes that are associated with the word gamer. By that, I mean the incredibly absurd ďlives in a basement at his momís house and never sees sunlightĒ mentality that still runs rampant to this day. But the great irony of it all is that the people that think this way tend to be gamers themselves. The dictionary definition for the word gamer is just a person who plays games, and nothing more. Thereís nothing else attached its definition! But, there are people who play games, are considered to be gamers by definition, but donít acknowledge themselves to be in that category. These people are living proof that gamers do not have to be put into a stereotype, yet they continue to think that they cannot be gamers in order to seem like they arenít pathetic to the eyes of the public.

Part of the problem comes from the term gamer itself. As long as people put stereotypes onto word gamer, gaming will continue to be viewed as it was over thirty years ago, despite the fact that itís more accepted than ever before. One of my favorite editorials, written by Ben ďYahtzeeĒ Croshaw, makes the argument that we should get rid of the word gamer. In the article, he argues that the label creates a somewhat false image to people, which is reinforced by the public and mass media. He also discusses the fact that people still do act within the stereotype, even though it isnít the majority. These people belong to a vocal minority that shoves their love for video games into other peopleís faces. Their love for gaming is so strong that they make it part of their identity. As Yahtzee puts it, theyíre also the same people who abused film critic Roger Ebert for not accepting video games as art. Video games shouldnít be taken this seriously. Itís like people forget that this just a hobby, and should be treated like one.



This editorial stuck with me because I always wondered why the word gamer existed in the first place. When looking at other entertainment mediums, such as film and music, itís obvious that there is nothing even remotely similar to the gamer label. No one identifies himself or herself as anything when they go see a movie. That person is just watching a movie. At most, a person may be referred to as a movie enthusiast, but such a label is not as prevalent and doesnít carry the same kinds of stereotypes along with it. Itís exactly the same way with music, since a person who listens to music is just that and nothing more. Again, that person could be labeled as a music enthusiast, but the label has no negative connotation and is not used as often as the gamer label. In my opinion, this is exactly how gaming should be treated in 2012: no stereotypes, no labels, and no bullshit attached.

Gaming is becoming ridiculously popular, and itís continuing to expand as the years go on. Yet, it seems that no one wants to recognize that. Gaming will continue to be shunned by the public as long as these dated stereotypes persist. If people in the vocal minority who fit the stereotype continue to act the way they do, most peopleís views on gaming will only continue to get confirmed. As a result, they will feel as if they donít belong, since they do not fit in with the label theyíre picturing in their heads. Thus, people who may be gamers will not consider themselves to be one, leaving people to give gaming a bad name despite its popularity. This will only change if people stop using the word gamer or people begin to accept themselves as gamers to kill the stereotype. Unfortunately, I donít see any of those two options becoming a reality.










There are two things that I know about the Wii U right now: itís Nintendoís new console and it has a controller that looks like a tablet with buttons on it. Oh, and you say its name five times fast, you sound like a cop car siren! WEE-U WEE-U WEE-U WEE-U WEE-U!!!!!!!

But, other than that, what else do I know about the Wii U? Absolutely nothing. Thatís because nobody knows much about this console at all. Since it's been revealed, this mysterious system has been baffling everyone through a lack of factual details. So, I would think it would be unfair to make criticisms of the Wii U at this point in time.

Why? Well, since you asked, here are three reasons why I don't think we can criticize the Wii U right now.

1. The knowledge known about the Wii U as a system is limited.



Last year at E3, the Wii U was revealed for the first time ever. It was also the first time that everyone's minds exploded in confusion. As soon as it was revealed, people didn't know what to make of it. Most people looked at Nintendo's conference and said, ďOh look, another new controller for the Wii. Thatís cool I guess.Ē Yet, these people failed to realize that Nintendo was trying to create hype around a new console. Well, we can blame everyoneís misconceptions on Nintendo, since they failed to actually show what their new console looked like during the entire conference. Silly Nintendo!

This obviously isnít the case anymore. By now, Iím sure that most people who keep up with gaming news know that Wii U is not just a new controller. However, the only thing we know about this new console is that it exists. Everything else about the Wii U as a system is a complete mystery. What are its functions? Beats me. What kind of things can I use on this device? I donít know. How is the online aspect structured on the Wii U? I have absolutely no clue! The confusion gets even worse when trying to figure out how powerful the system actually is. Originally, reports on the Internet were claiming that the Wii U was 50% more powerful that current generation systems. Now, new reports are claiming that the Wii U is less powerful than current generation systems. WHICH IS IT?!?!?!

We donít know much about the console itself. Which brings me into my next pointÖ

2. We donít know much about the games on the Wii U.



I recently watched a trailer for Rayman Legends, a game that is getting exclusive bonuses on the Wii U. It was SEXY! Unfortunately, this is the only game that I currently excited for on Nintendoís new console. It isnít that the line-up for games is just as bad as the 3DSís god-awful launch selection. Itís actually because little has been revealed for the system at this point of time.

Again, think back to last yearís E3 conference. Nintendo did show so-called gameplay footage from third party developers. But, was this actual Wii U gameplay footage? Of course not! Nintendo just copied and pasted old gameplay footage from current generation consoles, and showed it while talking about the Wii Uís games. Nintendo failed to show any first party games as well. Even though we got some cool tech demos, like Legend of Zelda HD, none of these are actually going to be made into games. These tech demos were just there to show us what the system could do, not what the system will do. So, with Nintendo and third parties being quiet, we canít find out what kinds of games will be made on the Wii U.

It's a shame, because I really want to see what can be done with that odd looking controller. Oh yeah, that reminds me...

3. You probably have never used the Wii Uís controller.



Unless you went to E3 last year and waited on enormous lines after Nintendoís conference last year, you have never held a Wii U controller in your hands. I havenít either. But, if youíre anything like me, youíll cringe every time you see a photo of the controller anyway. I really want to call it out for how stupid it looks. I want to label it as a dumb concept. Yet, I know I canít do that because I havenít tried it.

I know I canít judge it because of the odd sense of dťjŗ vu Iím feeling. When Nintendo first revealed the Wii for the first time, I was disgusted with the way the controller looked. I saw it and immediately said, ďGreat, not only do I have to become active in my video games now, I also have to hold a controller that looks like a damn remote?Ē Fast forward to the present, and youíll hear me loudly proclaiming to everyone I know that The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is the best Zelda game ever due to motion controls. Funny how that works, huh?

So, I canít really knock Nintendoís attempt at creating a new way to play games before I try it.

Ok, so when can I criticize it?

We wonít be able to completely criticize it until it launches. However, legitimate criticisms will be able to take form on June 5th, which is when E3 begins. This is because Satoru Iwata recently stated that, ďWe will showcase the final format, and discuss the details and the software lineup for this year at E3 2012.Ē Finally, actual information! YAY!!!

Until then, we canít claim that the Wii U is terrible or say that it will fail. All we can do is sit down and wait for E3.











What can I say about Waluigi? Well, heís purple. Heís tall and lanky. HeÖuhÖhas an upside down L on his hat. AndÖandÖandÖbah, who am I kidding? Thereís absolutely nothing of worth to say about him as a character!

Waluigi is unique as character, but for all the wrong reasons. Heís been around since 2000, debuting in Mario Tennis as a doubles player for Wario. Ever since then, heís been appearing in spin-off titles like Mario Party, Mario Golf, and Mario Kart. Yet, all of these games are multiplayer party games. It seems that Waluigi was created just for and will always be for these types of games, making him void of any true purpose whatsoever. Because of this, Waluigi as a character is perceived to be a joke by many.

What a waste of a character! He could be utilized in such a better way! What I hope is that one day, Nintendo will try to prove that Waluigi is not a useless character. Not through another kart racer. Not through another tennis game. Instead, I would like to see him be the main character in his own game.

I donít understand why this hasnít been done yet. Itís true that a lot of people, like myself, hate Waluigi because his entire existence seems to be based on the fact that Wario needed a doubles partner for tennis. However, despite the fact that he is hated to death, Waluigi had developed a weird following as well. Just look at all the people on the Internet who were upset that he wasnít in Mario Kart 7! Look at all the people who cosplay as him at events! So, there is definitely some kind of audience for this type of game. What would Nintendo have to lose?



Because there has never been a Waluigi game in the past, creating one would be the equivalent of making a new IP for Nintendo. This could only benefit their image of a company, since many people claim that Nintendo just rehashes the same ideas over and over again. Well, by creating a game based on his character, they can truly do something unique and interesting.

Much like the way Kirby is utilized in a wide variety of genres, Waluigi could literally fit into anything because he has no boundaries. Nobody knows anything about him, other than the fact that heís tall and mischievous. So, the possibilities for the type of game that could be made for him are endless. He could be in a stealthy platformer, where he uses his lanky body to hide behind skinny pieces of furnature. Or, maybe it doesnít have to be stealthy at all. Maybe it could be a co-op action adventure game, where you play as the villain alongside Wario that steals money from other people in order to attempt to get rich fast. Charles Marinet, voice of Waluigi, has an interesting idea himself, where the object of the game would involve cheating to win. The possibilities for such an idea are endless. But, honestly, Iíd take anything at this point. Hell, Iíd even settle for just a simple puzzle game, possibly something in a similar vain to Warioís Woods, that would be based around his overall weirdness as a character. Just give me something. ANYTHING!

I just want to see Nintendo prove that Waluigi is worth something as a character. As of right now, I have absolutely no reason to care about him. Heís completely lacking any purpose whatsoever. I want to like him as a character, I really do. However, I canít be convinced to like him just on his odd appearance alone. I want an extra incentive to play as him every time I play a spin-off title. I want to have a reason to think that Waluigi could be a cool character.

I want WaluigiÖto have his own game. Also, crotch chops.








AhTheCastle
2:38 PM on 04.22.2012



Change, while interesting, is something that usually does not bode well with most people. Most of the time, people stick to what is familiar as opposed to trying something new. But, when something new is forced upon them, they immediately complain about it without giving it a shot.

This is something that I experience every time Facebook changes its layout. The website continues to offer the same services, but just presents itself in a different way every now and then. The first week a layout is forced on everyone, my news feed becomes filled with people moaning about how everything is different. These people, afraid of change, continue to complain each and every day. Yet, after about a month, all of these complaints stop. At this point, most users become used to the new layout, and completely forget that the layout even changed at all. Then, when the layout changes again, the cycle starts all over again. This is absolutely ridiculous. I would understand if someone genuinely hated the new layout with a good reason. However, most outrages against the new layouts are based on the fact that itís different than what they are used to. Without trying it out, users automatically judge what breaks their familiarity.



But, what does social networking have to do with video games? Well, Iíve experienced similar complaints from people about Mario Party 9, a game that finally switched up its formula after eight iterations. Thatís right, they finally made Mario Party a little different! The first time I saw the game in action, my jaw dropped. You mean to tell me that after years of making the same party game over and over, Nintendo finally decided to do something different? BLASPHAMY!!!!

Just look at a gameplay video, and youíll see what I mean. The ability to travel wherever you want on the board is gone, as all the players travel in the same vehicle for each board. Coins and stars are also gone, and are replaced by ministars (yes, there IS a difference) that are collected by traversing the board and winning minigames. Another awesome addition is the co-op boss fights within each level, which helps keeps things interesting and entertaining. All of these new additions make the Mario Party formula feel fresh again, despite the fact that it still closely resembles its predecessors.

Personally, I think the game is awesome. Itís a completely interesting and new way to play Mario Party, and I hope Nintendo does more things like this in the future. However, the challenge in playing this game is finding other people who want to play with me. I know a lot of people who spent countless nights playing previous Mario Party games with me for hours, but they arenít willing to try Mario Party 9. Theyíll look at me playing the game once and automatically dismiss it, claiming Nintendo ruined the game because they changed ďtoo muchĒ. This bothers me to no end. How could anyone judge a game just by looking at it? Iíve had people play the game, and then tell me afterwards that they didnít enjoy it. Thatís totally fine. However, to judge a game without even giving it a shot is just dismissing change and innovation all together.



Innovation, the very thing that compels us into this medium, is the same thing that intimidates all of us from new experiences. When encountering something different in a series, most people freak out and automatically dismiss it. The only way to get people to try to accept the new concepts within the game is to force them to play it with you. Iíve had many people complain about the changes in Mario Party 9 before playing it. These people would complain that Mario Party has changed completely, even though the game is still fundamentally the same. Yet, when I force them to play it, they usually wind up enjoying it a lot and forget the fact that they were complaining in the first place. I like to call this the Facebook effect because the similar absurdities found in accepting change. Even though changes in both Facebook and Mario Party are not big enough to completely alter the concepts, they continue to receive hate until people actually sit down and try them out.

Innovation is what keeps the videogame industry so interesting. Itís what encourages me to continue to buy games and support the industry. Itís what keeps me checking websites, like Destructoid, every single day to see what new things are being announced. Itís what keeping me excited for E3 in a few weeks, so I can see what new and interesting ideas will come out of the event. With an industry that runs on sequels, innovation is key to keeping my interests up. If every sequel were to play exactly like itís predecessor, I wouldnít have bothered to purchase any new games and would have gotten bored of the video game industry a long time ago. Iím sure many people feel the same way.

So, hopefully the next time my friends encounter something that they havenít experienced, they'll try it out first before making judgments about it.










This blog post is a test to see whether or not I am sane:

A while back, a friend of mine was watching me playing a game on my Sega Genesis. In a couple of days, I completely finished the game and went on to play something completely different. About two weeks later, the same friend caught me playing the same game on my Sega Genesis and looked at me like I was insane. He stared at me with disgust and said, ďDidnít you JUST beat this game?! What reason is there to go back and play it again?Ē What I wanted to explain to him was that this game that I was playing holds so much meaning to me that I can practically get an unlimited replay value from it. Yet, I couldnít bring myself to do it, because I wasnít sure if he would understand or not.

The game I was playing was Sonic 3 & Knuckles.



No other game can tug so hard on my childhood nostalgia than this one. This was my favorite game to play as a child. Hell, I still feel that way to this day! Each individual level means something special to me. The atmosphere is set perfectly with a colorful and interesting art style. The level design is set up in such a way that youíll find new pathways in every playthrough. Thereís even specific parts of each level that can only be accessed by certain characters, which helps give incentive to play as Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. Not only that, but Knuckles gets a whole alternative storyline that has a completely different ending than both Sonic and Tails. Even just the types of levels are just completely awesome. Seriously, you havenít fully experienced platforming until youíve played through a level that takes place on a GIANT flying airship! The bosses are devious, challenging, and frantic. Oh, and the musicÖ.THE MUSIC!!! The music is just incredible, which is to be expected since Michael Jackson himself helped work on it. Honestly, I could just go on and on about this game. I love this game a lot.

Sure, people do replay games. Iím not questioning whether or not itís ok to go back to a game every now and then. Thereís definitely nothing wrong with that at all. However, Iíve reached a certain point where I feel like Iíve beaten Sonic 3 & Knuckles to death. The game was released in 1994, and Iím still playing it to this day. I swear Iíve beaten this game at least a hundred times, and Iím still not bored of it. I know a lot of people who cherish a specific video game, but not on such an extreme level as this. I might be getting a bit out of hand here.



Itís true that I know every layout and boss pattern in the entire game. Yes, playing the same levels over and over again does sound boring, since the elements of challenge and surprise are gone. Even though Sonic 3 & Knuckles has become so predictable and easy to me, I still have the urge to play to return to the game eighteen years later. It may sound corny, but I keep playing so I can try to replicate the feeling I had when I played the game for the first time. When played Sonic 3 & Knuckles for the first time as a kid, I had the dumbest smile stuck on my face the entire time. This dumb smile is something I strive to recreate through each playthrough.

My friends that criticize me for playing this game over and over again do replay games. However, they need an extra incentive to do so. A game might need some DLC to get them to rub the dust off their disc. Thereís also online multiplayer, which keeps them entertained for years. Even though online multiplayer uses the same maps for each match, the outcome is always different. Two matches on the same map will never be alike because of the people who play on each map. The players get to dictate what will happen on the map, which helps create a new experience every time. For a single player game, like Sonic 3 & Knuckles, you can only hold the element of surprise within the first couple of playthroughs. So, most people become turned off by the predictable gameplay while replaying a game and move on to something new.

So, am I insane for wanting to go through the same game over a hundred times, or are there people out there who are just as crazy as I am? If so, please let me know before MY MIND EXPLODES FROM CONFUSION!!!!