Changing Retro

Posted on Nov 28th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (wildbil52)
Posted under Games, Long Games

I've been playing an insane amount of Destiny recently.  I'm starting to settle into a routine of playing on certain days to get certain activities done, but I fire up Destiny almost every day for at least a little while.  I recently purchased the Special Edition of Skyrim, probably my favorite game of ever and I am pretty excited for the release of Final Fantasy XV this week.  These three long (unending?) games got me thinking about why some gamers play games that go on forever. 

I know, its a subject I've explored before , but I can't help it.  I really like looking at the why...especially my own personal why.

I think this is an easy question to overanalyze.  You can look at it and say that gamers want the most bang for their buck so they look for the most hours of enjoyment for their $60.  You could even take this a step further and add the word "quality." They want the most quality hours of enjoyment for their $60, so they get the game that will give them the most quality hours.  The sentiment is correct, but I don't think gamers are thinking in terms of an equation.  I think most people want to play a game they really enjoy playing and play it for a long time.  It may be semantics, but there is a difference.  It has to do with making a decision with your heart instead of your brain.  Would you rather spend $20 on Dark Souls and play it for 80 hours or spend $5 on Skyrim and play for 500 hours?  The logical part of your brain says you get more hours for your money with Skyrim, but if you love Dark Souls that part of your brain makes an executive decision. The bang for your buck argument has some logic, but in the end, we play what we like and the money is secondary.

Like I said before, I've been playing lots and lots of Destiny lately.  At some point, you have to ask yourself "Why am I playing this game so much?"  I'm not asking in a negative way because I have been having fun the whole time.  It's just that at some point, when you look at the hours you have put in you ask why.  Years and years ago, I played games across many genres and the games that I loved, I kept playing.  Many of these games had "endings".  When Final Fantasy VII was over, it was over.  Sure, you could play the endgame content, grind your Knights of the Round to 5 stars so you could cast it over and over again (if you have that kind of time), race Chocobos, and even get all the Ultimate Weapons, etc.  All of that is fun for a while, but at that point, you are playing a different game, not the one you were playing before you reached the endgame.  One of the reasons I am enjoying Destiny so much is because the endgame is the same as the game I have been playing this whole time, there is just more to do with better stuff.  It's amazing how the grind in one game can feel like such a...grind and the grind in another is just fun.

Can't stop, must get to 400

Now that I'm stepping away from Destiny, though not too far, and returning to Skyrim. I realized that the reason I enjoy Destiny so much is very similar to the reason I love Skyrim so much.  When the main storyline of Skyrim is over, I can keep playing Skyrim.  I can explore a cave, loot an encampment, learn a spell, enchant some weapons, and I can do all of the things that I loved so much throughout my journey through Tamriel's Northern Province.  At first, I was a little disappointed that I would not be able to use my old save file with the Skyrim Special Edition, but getting to start Skyrim over again 5 years after it was first released has been an amazing experience so far.

Hello, old friend.  Stay a while

That brings us to the last game on the list of games I am excited about, Final Fantasy XV. I know that it's easy to scoff at the black leather boy band product you may see before you.  It's also easy to dismiss anything from Square Enix if you haven't been satisfied with their recent endeavors. However, I have always tried to remain open-minded until I get to play a game myself or read some reviews or gameplay impressions.  After playing the FFXV Platinum Demo a few months back, I had very low expectations for FFXV.  The demo is bad.  No two ways about it.  What has me excited about Final Fantasy XV is the Polygon Pre-Review  (  While this is by no means a statement that the game will be great, it excites me about a game series that I haven't been excited about in 6 years.  Final Fantasy is different than Skyrim and Destiny in that once its over, it's pretty much over except for the grindy endgame or just playing the game through again (New Game+ mode, please?) But even though the Final Fantasy games may not have the same longevity for me that other games do, they are still totally worth playing for the journey.

It's beautiful and shows potential, but this demo is bad.  The game must be better

And that's really what it's all about right?  The journey.  Some journeys have one great big overarching story.  Some have lots of little stories that are strung together.  Some have guys with leather jackets and large zippers.  No matter why you love the games you love, it's an interesting journey to explore why we love the things that we do.  It helps us to find other things to love.

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Thanks from the article Bil, and I get where you are coming from in terms of what makes you love Destiny and Skyrim. However, I'm a little surprised that you'd be prepared to drop $60 on a game (in this case FFXV) based on a single review from a 3rd party source. You've admitted your disappointment in the more recent games in this series and even had a very poor experience with the demo.  And, as we all know from very recent occurrences, (no slight to Polygon), 3rd party review sources can't always be trusted due to....let's call it "financial bias."  Just me, but before I drop that much money on a new game, I let it breathe a bit (maybe years in my case...but that's another story) and see how reviewers with nothing to gain perceive it over time. I think that this is the only safe way to feel good about my purchases and whether a game is going to fill that itch without draining my wallet and making me feel empty or bad for spending money on it. I'm not attacking you or asking you to defend your purchase, as dropping money on a title they want is anyone's right. Heck, I spend money on bad games many of which I will never play to fill out a collection. But I guess I'm curious as to what other motivations or forces are in place, besides the Polygon article, that are fueling this desire. Thanks!
I always keep around a "forever game" that I can lose some hours to when I'm not sure what else to play. It used to be Hearthstone, and then Heroes Of The Storm. Now it's Duelyst or Rocket League. And while I'm only 20 hrs into Skyrim SE, if it  has an ending I don't wanna see it. To me, all of this is comfort. You've got something you can play for any amount of time and you know the rules.  It's relaxing.
@singlebanana:I wouldn't say that one review or pre-review would be enough to make me OK dropping $60 on a game, I don't buy anything at full retail .  FFXV was available for pre-order this past weekend for as low as $30, which is INSANE for a Final Fantasy game BEFORE IT EVEN RELEASES. All I was saying is that my hopes are given a bump seeing a great write up from a writer that I have agreed with in the past.  I really don't buy into the financial bias thing but I know that its a real concern for a lot of people.  Also, did I admit my disappointment with recent games in this series?  I loved XIII, enjoyed XIII-2, though not as much as XIII, and haven't played Lightning Returns yet but I would like to.
@noiseredux: In most RPGs that I love, when I smell the ending, I run the other way.  I don't want it to end.  Whats cool about Skyrim is the game doesn't end, just the main storyline wraps up.  Still a tons of stuff to do. It really doesn't "end"
@wildbil52: Sorry, but I thought you were speaking for yourself here, "It's also easy to dismiss anything from Square Enix if you haven't been satisfied with their recent endeavors" and didn't read this as in general. My perception from the article was, not been a fan of recent releases and played bad demo, read one good review, and I'm in, so this is the reason for my above comments. I am a fan of early FF games and admit I haven't played any past IX, but haven't heard a lot of positive things since. I truly hope that XV is great, since it's a series I'd like to see thrive.
Nice write-up, Bil! I haven't got sucked into a game like that in a while, but I remember how I used to get sucked into Diablo II like that, and get lost in it for weeks, beat the campaign and keep going back for more, then start a new character and do it all over again.  With the nearly confirmed news of Skyrim coming to the Nintendo Switch, having not got into the hype for that game so far, I'm wondering if that game will draw me in like it has with so many other players?
Skyrim is so compelling. You should play it.
@MetalFRO: That's right, it was in the Switch reveal video.  I would highly recommend it.
Well I got a PS4 Pro for Xmas. While I won't be getting any of the actual enhanced PS4 games that were made for the Pro yet (since theres barely any out yet anyway), the first two games I got are Skyrim Special Edition and Dark Souls II Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin and today I got Injustice Gods Among Us (the edition with everything) so I have a two player game as well. Last night right before I ordered my first two games I saw this post and it helped me seal the deal, I was already going to get Skyrim but you just convinced me even more. I love Oblivion too, and I was holding out on getting Skyrim on a new system since the PS3 version had problems. And I'm not much into PC gaming. Destiny is on my list too! As is Bloodborne and countless others. Of course I will still be playing PS3, as we here at RF know a new console is just an addition to the ones we already have and those won't be forgotten either. I will probably play a PS4 game until I beat it, then play a PS3 game, etc...

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Like many of the people who visit this site, I am a lifelong gamer who loves and appreciates classic gaming as well as the current generation. When I started collecting games, I realized that some of the stories of my collecting might be interesting, educational, or just plain funny. The stories that I share here are meant to entertain as well as inform and they are all 100% true, which is why I include pictures.

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