I’ve been playing video games almost as long as I’ve been reading comic books. That is to say, a frighteningly long time. I never had my own NES, but I did play quite a few at friend’s and relative’s. The first system I had of my very own was the SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System for the uninitiated.) One glorious Christmas I came down the stairs and found it waiting for me. After we set it up, I found that the Super Mario game it came with already had a save file on it. At the time I didn’t think much of it, but my dad later confessed to playing a level or two the night before.
Since then I’ve had an N64, a little used Gamecube, an Xbox, an Xbox 360, a PS3 and a PC. (Also, various gameboys.) Through all of those systems I’ve played quite a few games. But, I’ve only actually completed a handful. And by complete, I mean get to the end. I don’t mean clearing the game 100% on all the difficulties and finding all the secrets and seeing all the endings. If we were going by the measurement, I don’t think I’ve completed any.
The ones that stand out in my memory are Chrono Trigger, Super Mario, Mario RPG, Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, most of the Halos, and the Mass Effect series. Oh, throw in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, some of the Mechwarriors and the Left 4 Deads. That’s a pretty paltry list.
What is it about video games that makes me so much more willing to put them aside than other sources of storytelling? The list of books and movies I’ve left unfinished would probably be close in length the games finished list. The difference is that I’ll quit on a movie or book only if it’s really bad or boring. I’ll put aside a game for no reason in particular. Sometimes it will get repetitive, or just take too long. But, more often than not, something new will come along and take all my attention.
A prime example of this is L.A. Noire. I finally started playing it earlier this month. I like most of the GTA sandbox games, so I thought I’d get into this pretty quickly. It’s okay, but not as good as I had been hoping. Despite that, I fully intended on playing it to completion. Then NHL 13 came out. Well, I figured I’d play a little bit of that and then go back to it. That was about a month ago. Now, Mass Effect 3, a game I thought I was finally done with, has released new multiplayer content so Noire’s going to have to wait a bit longer.
Mass Effect 3 seems to have found a way to hook me more than any game I’ve played in a long time. I can honestly say that it has the best multiplayer of any RPG I’ve ever played. I got into it so much that my single player campaign suffered. Weeks would go and I would forget what was going on with Shepard and his team as my friends and I blasted through wave after wave of computer controlled enemies. Long after I would normally tire of that, I’m still going back. They keep releasing new multiplayer packs with new levels, weapons, and characters and they’re all free. It definitely helps that a bunch of my friends are still as hooked as I am.
Speaking of which, a new pack came out today and we’re all logging on to try it. So, um, I guess I’ll see you next week. Down with the Reapers, etc.
Graham Becksted really wants to see how the Volus units work. He is also the author of Graham’s Grumbles the second blog by that name that is listed in Google results when you search for Graham’s Grumbles. If you would like to be his 69th follower (thank you, bots), he can be followed on Twitter @GrahamBecksted.