I easily spend the majority of my gaming time playing RPGs Ė on the train, sometimes after work and most of the weekend. They easily make up more than half of my gaming collection. Unfortunately I am really bad at them. Now, my problem isnít finishing them - I actually do complete nearly every RPG that I start (with the exception of crap like Infinite Undiscovery). My problem is that I am extremely impatient and lack the time to play RPGs.
As everyone knows the average RPG can take anywhere from 30 hours to 100+ hours to complete. So far this year I have managed to complete about thirteen RPGs (yes I count) and am aiming to finish at least seven more by the end of the year.
Anyway as stated above, the reason I suck is that I am impatient. A traditional aspect of the RPG is grinding. The level of grinding required will depend on the game and can be anywhere from minimal to ridiculous. I am the first to admit that I absolutely hate grinding and cannot stand it. In the past, I had no problem with it. But now that I have less time for gaming my preferred strategy is to spend as little time as possible grinding so I can get on with the game. I really donít want to spend half my game time trying to level up to gain skills so I can beat some stupid cheap boss Ė e.g. Sleeping Table. No matter what tactic I used I could not defeat him (because I suck). Eventually I gave up trying and didnít play Persona 3 for a few weeks. When I finally got back into it I ended up grinding for a couple of hours just to kick his ass.
Another example is Devil Survivor. I finally completed it last week after playing it every day for close to two months. The reason it took so long Ė I couldnít be bothered grinding so was seriously under leveled (according to various sites I checked out). From what I understand the MegaTen series has more of a focus on exploiting weaknesses than grinding and so that is what I did. But because I suck so much I often had to do the same boss battle multiple times before I finally attained victory. Sure it would probably be less time consuming to actually level my characters so that bosses are easy but itís not nearly as fun or rewarding when I finally do succeed. Yes this does contradict my P3 example.
Exploration is also a standard gaming feature in most RPGs. Again, this highlights my lack of patience. To complete an RPG in its entirety often requires multiple side quests, collecting numerous items/weapons/etc and obtaining various skills. This can often double the amount of time taken to finish the game. Since I am obsessive compulsive with games I usually want to do everything on offer in RPGs and since I am extremely impatient I donít want to spend time doing all this on my own.
So my confession: I use strategy guides. I donít just use guides, I manage to destroy them by using them so often. Donít get me wrong, I usually get through the main story on my own, but when it comes to optional parts of the game Ė that is where the guides get a LOT of use. I'm way too impatient and lazy to find the location of side quests or work something out so I can get awesome items/weapons/etc. Of course there is the rare RPG where I just use the guide the whole way through, for example Cross Edge. Obviously the game wasnít as good as its potential but I do enjoy it. In saying that, I canít play it without a guide because I really cannot be bothered searching for souls in every single area since it would take forever.
So most people are probably thinking: how can I claim to love RPGs considering I am too impatient for the major game play elements of them? The truth is, I donít know why I love RPGs. A lot of people think using a guide is pointless and you arenít really playing the game which makes sense. But when you become time poor and want to gain as much out of your gaming time as possible with way too many awesome games to play, it just becomes the easy option.
And I really do suck at RPGs. read