I usually make a point of finishing games, particularly these days since I find myself more resilient to a particularly tough challenge in a game compared to in my earlier days, making it more likely that I'll power through such situations. I'm also a bit of a completionist by nature, I am not usually satisfied until I've seen and done everything in a game. And there's usually more incentive to do so, what with trophies and achievements and such.
Alas there has been a select few that I regret never reaching the end of. Older games from the days of yore, a different time often without the modern conveniances of autosaves and wireless controllers that we now take for granted. A simpler time. These were good games too, some of them classics even. Not necessarily ones that I quit I out of boredom or lack of enjoyment, but rather titles in which I hit a snag somewhere along the way resulting in long-term abandonment.
So here they are:
Jet Force Gemini (N64)
One of my earliest and fondest memories of gaming and one of my favourite games for the N64. Also, being the first 3rd-person-shooter I played, it taught me The sad thing about this one is that I actually played through it several times, but only ever reaching the final boss. I remember the game being fairly difficult in general, though that may be because I wasn't as experienced in gaming back then.
I would blast gallons of green goo from the hordes of screeching drones over and over, in battles spanning across several planets and eventually get all three characters to Mizar's Palace. Only to be defeated by the tyrannical "insect" time and time again. Even when me and my brother joined forces with one of us as Floyd, we put up a good fight but were ultimately vanquished by the spindly-legged overlord.
I wish I hadn't, but since I'd given up all hope of beating the game I looked up in a magazine walkthrough (remember those?) what happened at the games ending. So my desire to one day finish JFG is not based on seeing the story come to a close, but overcoming the first digital adversary that made my then 10-year-old self completely abandon a game...
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem (GameCube)
This game was right up my street. Horror, monsters, supernatural forces, Magick and guns. A story dealing in the occult and strange, Lovecraftian leviathans.
It's been so long since I played this that I don't remember most of it. This is another where I reached the final battle, but gave up there for some reason. It seems silly that I put over 15 hours into this game (I know because I tracked down my save file) only to fall after one attempt at the final hurdle.
I could easily just finish off the last boss now I've found the save file, but I'm tempted to play through the story completely again and finish it that way. Decisions, decisions.
Update: I beat the last boss from my old saved game. Now I have closure.
Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life (GameCube)
This is an odd one, due to my usual complete disinterest in most games in the simulation genre (especially of banal, everyday things like farming) I wonder why I even bought it. But I was pleasantly surprised to find managing a farm and, well, life of the cheery anime farmer dude was a lot of fun.
It appealed greatly to my penchant for routine and order, by having you perform certain tasks every morning and evening, like feed the animals and let them out to graze and shut them in their sheds for the night, planting and watering crops and such traditional farming chores. It also catered to my slightly compulsive nature of liking to have things in their right place and organised. Another strong point was that the characters in the game truly were characters, charming and fun to interact with. Oh and Murrey the Hobo. Murrey's awesome.
What I didn't realise was it was his entire life that you could play through. I stopped playing I think when my red-headed son was still just a toddler, barely after the first chapter. But damn was that a long chapter and apparently there are four more after that! This is one I may have quit out of boredom, though it's possible that I played it so much that I just needed a break but never returned to it.
Looking back now, I wish I'd returned to it sooner. I recently tried to revisit my farm, but my save has been overwritten somewhere down the line (a result of sharing games with two brothers). I suppose I missed the opportunity to see my child grow up...
Oh well, fuck it I'll just start again some time.
Update #1: I started again, forgot how much of a slog it can be the first year, but I perservered and am quite enjoying it. My cows have hilarious names.
Final Fantasy 3 (& 4) and Chrono Trigger (NDS)
I do enjoy JRPGs, Golden Sun being one my favourite games ever. I just don't play that many, and finish even fewer. I'd heard about this obscure little JRPG series called Final Fantasy and something called Chrono Trigger. Remakes of the third and fourth Final Fantasy games had been released on DS, and in 2009 I also got the DS version of Chrono Trigger, so I took the opportunity to try them out.
And they were great, I progressed well until that one darned boss battle in each game that annihilated my party.
I think my problem is that these are games that you need to put a lot of time into, which leads to me playing them so much that I get burnt out. So when I get stuck on a tough boss, the thought of putting more time into grinding unitl I get my team stronger just stops being appealing. I would then move on to other games and forget about them.
Now with more experience, patience and skill, these games that were a challenge to me years ago now seem trivial. I have no doubt I'd be able to be finally complete all these games on another try. It's really just a question of having the time.