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Labor Day: Overcoming the Quest for Perfection

Today was the first time I have been on Destructoid in around two years or so I'd guess. I have lost that unrelenting interest for gaming news in general of late, but for some reason today seemed like a good day to return. It may have something to do with the one hundred pages of post colonial lit I have been putting off reading for the last week, however I'm going to say it was just perfect drunken timing on my part. I scrolled down the front page, found the Labor Day post, and started delving through all of my gaming experiences to find the "hardest" one I managed to get through.

Unfortunately, I began to realize that I rarely persevere through any of my gaming hardships.There are many factors that play into my inability to finish most games however I believe the greatest offender is my unwillingness to just play a game most of the time. I can't just beat a game normally, making some mistakes along the way, but eventually reaching the ending to provide that satisfying conclusion. For a long time now, I have had a need to perfect a game or give up if it becomes too frustrating and time consuming.

If I had to pick a starting point, I would point my finger in the direction of JRPGs as if they didn't have enough problems these days. I truly started playing JRPGs in the 8th grade when my friend let me borrow his copy of Final Fantasy X. Up until then, my PS2 had been a glorified DVD player that I traded in my N64 plus all 18 of my games to buy, which still haunts me to this day. I remember booting up the game, hearing To Zanarkand starting to play, and I was almost instantly in love with the game. I played that it all night long probably putting in somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 hours into it by the time I went back to school. So morning rolls around, my friend walks up to me and asks, "How far are you into FFX right now?" I told him how I had just lost the Blitz Ball game in Spira. Then he said some really infamous words to me, "Didn't you get the Jecht Shot?"

As it was my first real JRPG, I don't think missing the Jecht Shot on my first playthrough was bad, but at the time I felt so cheated. When I got home I restarted my game to make sure I got the Jecht Shot my second time around. Sure enough I was able to complete the mini game and I beat the Goers with my new ability, but I think I'll always regret restarting the game. I believe I cheated myself out of the pure experience of playing the game organically, and it's something that truly changed the way I have played story driven games ever since. I became nearly obsessed with the idea of completion and perfection of a game rather than just enjoying what each one had to offer.

I played numerous RPGs after FFX namely games like KOTOR, Kingdom Hearts, Star Ocean III, Grandia II, Jade Empire, and Tales of Symphonia however all of them started to feel empty after a while. I was trying so hard to do everything in these games that I wasn't doing the one thing that mattered...having fun. I took a break after that by getting into film and fantasy sports. Eventually, I purchased an Xbox 360 and it was actually the inclusion of Achievements that got me over my completionist ways. The condition stills flares up from time to time, cough::MassEffect::cough, however for the most part seeing everything laid out in front of me has taken away the need to meticulously look through every inch of a game. The hardest thing in a game I had to overcome was my own self-imposed goal and it was overcome by how meaningless I realized a Gamerscore was to me.
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About XEROXM3one of us since 5:10 PM on 12.01.2007