Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gotta catch / collect / find / shoot / appease / complete / max out them all...

by Shaggy

I realized my problem with video games this year.

Ok, it's not so much a 'problem', for as how I play games would probably make the developers of said games pretty happy.

Basically, I have the mentality to not start a new single player game until I've beaten the previous one. And the reason I rarely beat a single player game is because I have that drive to reach 100% before finishing it.

I had to collect ALL 120 stars in Mario 64 before even thinking of going up against Bowser, even though you could have confronted him sooner.

I had to find ALL 101 hidden Dalmatians in Kingdom Hearts and reach level 100 status before using the final save spot, and fighting Bad Guy Boat Man at the end of the game.

I had to find every hidden item and piece of armor/weaponry in Shadow Complex before the grand rocket finally.

All challenges in Diddy Kong Racing, all Masks and deeds in Majora's Mask, side quests, secrets, collectables, you name it.

The reason for this, has to do with being a completion-ist, as well as someone who appreciates narrative.

Basically, yes, I like to feel I did everything I could have in a game, but at the same time, I also feel the flow of the story is kinda thrown off when after beating the game and ending the story... you gotta go back into the world to dick around for collectables or something stupid.

I like to end the tale entirely. Game over, as it were. When you're done the game, YOU ARE DONE, CREDITS ROLL! (side note: this is also why games like Ocarina of Time and most RPGs piss me off that your last save is BEFORE the final boss and not after; it's like the game never remembers you beat it, your constantly in the state of BEFORE THE FINAL BATTLE, and your only option is to erase the save).

However, the game that has pushed me to give up this strive for 100%; to instead just enjoy the story and the experience without having to get EVERYTHING, is Grand Theft Auto IV.

There is WAY to many damn things to 'complete' in the game. The very fact that in the pause menu there is a 100% complete check list is testament to that. Here's the short list of SOME of the things you could strive for:

- percentages of how much your friend characters like you
- did you date every eligible female character in the game
- percentages of how much the women liked you
- have you found and completed all hidden side missions throughout the city
- how many games IN THE game have you won (pool, darts, bowling, etc)
- did you do a stunt at all 50 stunt locations
- did you shoot all 200 pigeons
- did you steal all the vehicles Brucie wanted
- did you steal all the vehicles Steve wanted
- did you do all the drop jobs for Jacob
- did you deal with all wanted criminal on every island as a vigilante
- have you watched every stand up show Rickey Gervais shows up
- have you seen every commercial/show on tv
- have you bought every article of clothing in the stores

There's more, trust me, but all this ONTOP of XBOX Achievements, like being on full wanted for 5 minutes without dying, and so on...

Man, the thing about GTA4 is that there is so much attention to detail and variety, that in it's attempt to paralel real life, I had to come with terms with one of lifes realities:


You are always gonna miss out on something, be it the more obvious case of deciding between going to the movies with one friend or a bar with another as your Saturday night plans, or on the larger scale of how every minute of the day there's something going on you're missing: a comic convention, a street festival, a race, all you can eat icecream, grand opening of something, people getting together, a guy on the street is using a hula hoop etc.

So, there you have it. GTA4, you overwhelmed me. I'm done trying to see and do everything you have to offer. Just let me finish the damn story so I can move onto to Red Dead Redemption.

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