I love video games. That is why I am on this site daily checking for updates on the new happenings in the industry. While playing video games, I am at my center of peace. They offer me an escape from the real world at the time, and let me just forget what has happened earlier in the day. I get immersed in games with epic stories, and tend to feel a slight attachment towards some character. Examples of this are Final Fantasy IV. No matter how many times I play, Cecil's internal struggle still get to me to this day. But, even though I love these games (and it not limited to genre specific games), I cannot bring myself to finish them most of the time. I do not know why, but it is just hard for me to finish that last part of gameplay. Yet, I am not upset over it.
I have had Final Fantasy IV since it was released so long ago. I first played it when it was called Final Fantasy II, and was interested in the gameplay and story at the time. But, since I was so young, I did not become attached, simply because I did not understand it. The rerelease of it on the GBA sparked my interest, and I played it.And I played it. And I played it. I felt Cecil's pain as him and his troops annihilated the town. For me, it was very emotional and the rest of the game struck me with his introspection. For a game that is that old, the story was simply amazing and utterly unforgettable. I have only beaten the game once, and that was by accident. I thought the game would be longer, and for some reason my brain did not interpret the final boss as THE final boss. I was detached instantly from it. I could not believe I had finished the game. I could not go back and play with Cecil and his crew again. It was over. They were gone.
In recent times, the only games I have actually felt compelled to beat were Max Payne 1 and 2, various Pokemon games, and Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Otherwise, I just cannot beat the game for the life of me. I just feel that if the game ends, the part of me that was so immersed dies as well. In Final Fantasy X, I am right at the part where you fight Sin for the last time. I know it is the end-game, and I will not finish it. The only thing that could drive me is to find out what happens at the end of the game, but even then I cannot see myself ending my time with Yuna, Tidus, or Auron. Yet, games like "Spider-man Web of Shadows" I actually want to beat, because it plays out more like a novel than anything. I always finish books (when I can), and the story of it flows like a good comic book. I want to see what happens to Spider-man, Black Cat and Venom. But, I don't want to know what happens to Yuna and Tidus. Or what happens to Sora and Riku in Kingdom Hearts.
Like I have said before, I do want to finish the games. But, I a lot of times set myself up with huge expectations. After playing through Kingdom Hearts I, I had felt this rush of excitement everytime a boss came up. To me, they were varied and challenging, and I kept wanting more. But, when the final boss area came up, it just...got stale. I was expecting a huge challenging "end all" boss. But, the selection at the end was just...not right to me. The same sort of thing happened to me and Golden Sun. Each boss was challenging and tough, but not within a range that made me expect more and more from the next. The average enemies gave me that boosted expectation. But, what stopped me from beating the game (at first) was the final boss itself.
The final climactic battle against Saturos and Menardi was something I grinded in preparation for a good week. I guess I did not prepare my Djinn well enough, or maybe I did not have enough potions on me. But, after the initial battle against the two of them, my characters were drained. My Djinn were in the resetting process. Then Saturos merges with Menardi into the Fusion Dragon. The battle begins again. In one attack, I am wiped out before even defending myself. I was livid. That week of nonstop leveling for nothing, it had seemed. I gave the game up for a year, and refused to touch it again after that. I had never experienced a boss that reinvented itself mid battle, and on such short notice. About a year later, I saw Golden Sun: The Lost Age was being released. That made me feel compelled to go back and beat the first one. But, I could easily go back and beat the Dragon this time. I had overcome that frustration and fear of ending a game, simply by putting it down for an extended time. I had lost my compassion for the characters and what the game had meant to me. It was an odd feeling. Relief set in when I saw the credits roll, and after the cliffhanger set in, I wanted the new game.
I love games, and I love story and plot. But, if I am just sucked into a game and sucked in deeply, I feel an odd desire to not part with the characters and their experiences. Games like Fallout 3 and Oblivion offer the player solace by being able to continue their character after the game ends, which is refreshing for me, because that means I do not have to depart with that feeling. I just simply have to get over my fear of something good ending, and I think I am slowly making progress on it. I want to see what happens at the end of "Prince of Persia" and I want to see the outcome of Albion in "Fable 2". Hell, I even want to see what happens to Nero and Dante.
Image courtesy of IGN.com, and not of my own making read