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Quitting cold turkey vol. 1: End-boss Apathy - Destructoid

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It's only a model...




Uncommon, some wear on the edges.


First game: TI Invaders (Space Invaders knock-off) for the TI-99 "home computer". Either that or the Pac-Man built into the glass-top tables at Mr. Gatti's Pizza.
First console: NES
First world-altering game secret: JUSTIN BAILEY
First Arcade: Aladdin's Palace
First "mature" game: Leisure Suit Larry
First PC: 386SX 16 mHz w/40 MB HDD, Win 3.0, & 640x480 VGA baby!
First FPS: Wolfenstein 3D
First game mastered: Street Fighter II Turbo - Hyper Fighting (SNES)
First LAN deathmatch: Duke Nukem 3D
Great Game Reawakening: Living in an apartment with all sixth generation consoles and 3 gaming rigs.

New Systems: Wii, DS.
Somehow now owns: PS3
Randomly owns: SEGA Nomad, Game Gear, Genesis II, Sega CD
Cannot afford but is thinking about intercepting return RROD coffin: Xbox 360.
Currently playing: Rock Band, Zack & Wiki, Unreal Tournament III
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So there I was, wasting hours of my life on Pokemon Pearl (17 of them, if the in-game reading is to be believed -- frankly, I have my doubts) in two- or three-hour chunks. I saved, quit, and went to bed.

That was two weeks ago, and I haven't even looked at the game since. What gives? Why do I sometimes play games like there's no tomorrow, only to suddenly quit cold turkey halfway through? Or even more puzzling, quit right before I beat it? I bet you've done that too. And I have a few ideas why.

1. End-boss apathy. You've been grinding for forty hours, you have armor and weapons that destroy lesser enemies on sight, you've completed all the side quests, and you're standing outside the final boss' door. You restore your health, save, and quit. Forever. Why?

For me, at least, I know I'm unlikely to go back and play a lengthy game once I've finished it. There have been a few rare exceptions, like beating Eternal Darkness three times to get the real ending, but I've got a library full of games where my character has a perennial ear to the door of the throne room, or inner sanctum, or evil lair. Maybe I'll go back someday and do all those side quests, I tell myself. I know there's a better weapon out there. Let's just take a breather before we wrap this thing up. For the love of god, man, consider the finality of actually going in and whipping the shit out of Dracula forms 1, 2, and 3! Again.

So the game sits, plaintive yet mute. Play me, it whispers periodically. But I can't hear the whispering over the dulcet tones of my new game love. My love. It is so precioussss... right up until the end, that is.

I hate goodbyes.



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