On some of my better days I've been thinking more and more about the idea of completion. And not just the idea but also the will to go through with getting the plat - or the 100% - knowing full well that, when you start a game, you may not even enjoy it enough to want that 100% as much as the next game on your list. So, as a start of a two to three part blog series, I'm going to examine my evolving idea on completion, what it means to have the motivation to complete a game, the obstacles in my way, and how I value it in regards to my other gaming habits.
For this first part, I'm going to examine how I've gotten to this point, how I've even begun to consider my completion percentage an important indicator of my gaming lifestyle, and how I'm now looking more to completing a game than buying one.
But, first of all, let's start this blog post off correctly and look at some recent trophy accomplishments since my last entry.
The biggest things I've done since mid-February has definitely been the 100% completion of both Assassin's Creed: Unity
and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
. The Unity plat was much harder than I really wanted it to be, from collectibles to the horrible in-game completion stuck around 90% when I was done with it, and the ratio isn't that indicative of how awful I found getting roughly 500 glowing pieces of shit.
That's the problem with TT ratios, or PSNP's dealing of DLC, you just don't get enough credit for completing some really stupid trophies. This next one from Driveclub, however, is totally justified in its ratio:
Other than those, I've mostly got Watch_Dogs
left, which is currently about 60% done. I glitched out the trophy for Geolocated, which really bites, except I think I can still get it if I restart while being offline. Starting a new game half-way through my first playthrough helped me for many of the trophies since Uplay tracked most of the online ones for me, yet for this one I'm really screwed. Ubisoft online says I've checked in everyone except the in-game progress wheel has me at 25/100.
And, right now, Watch_Dogs is the big game I'm going for right now, the one I want to complete the most. It's even on my goals to complete within a few months from now, giving me ample time, and I find myself actually trying for it. Now this begins our journey into...Completionism and how the hell did I get here?!
Not too long ago I would have given up on Watch_Dogs and started a new game. As some of you may know from my previous blogs, I have a backlog big enough to contend with any gamer and certainly enough games to tempt me into playing. Hell, I'm getting two new games this week without the flash sale I know is coming! Why have I suddenly decided that I wanted to finish Watch_Dogs? Or Sherlock Holmes? Or Flower? Have I been bitten by the completionist bug?
Well, no, I don't think so. For all my text in my last post, I was starting to really think about my buying habits, my hard drive space, and how best to balance my slightly-compulsive game buying habits with common sense. For all the games I buy, I want to play and finish just as many so, it would stand to reason, that I should play, and finish, more games, wouldn't it?
That's really where it hit home as I replied to comments on my last post: I'm buying the games (note: NOT wasting money) yet failing to have the experience I could very well enjoy. If I'm filling up my PS4 hard drive with games I don't play, why not delete them until I'm ready or finish them off? Then, at the end of the day I started to wonder, what kind of gamer am I when I don't even finish the main, typically 10-15 hour story?
This led me to cleaning up Unity. This brought me to 100% Black Flag. This got Watch_Dogs back in the disc slot. This had me playing Sherlock Holmes on better days, enjoying the puzzles, and getting halfway through before I even knew it. Did I enjoy every moment? Admittedly no, yet, then again, not every story you'll read or hear is all flash and substance. One of my favorite TV Shows, Battlestar Galactica
(reboot), always fails to keep my attention right around the really stupid episode called "Black Market." Does it mean I didn't enjoy the other parts? No. Does it mean I can just skip it or play a game while I watch the annoying bits? Yes.
Finishing up Unity was, in many ways, a real turning point for me as I watched another plat ding, another completion percentage tick upwards, and another disc I could put into the storage pile. Completing it, even if I hated the DLC and the collectibles, was enough of an endorphin rush that I automatically went through my trophy list to find another game I could finish up with minimal fuss. That led me to completing Toren after 15 minutes of play. 15 minutes! What was I doing with a game 15 minutes away from completion? And, really, how did I get to the point that 15 minutes wasn't worth completing the game?
During this currently ongoing process of moving more towards a completionist gamer, I'm looking more at my list for games I should finish, for watching that completion percentage meter move up every trophy I earn, and seeing my PSN/TT levels go up as well. There's a lot to be said for earning the right to say I've finished a game, to call it done, and I think I forgot what that really felt like. I forgot that, although I may start a couple hundred games, what's the point if I never experience the story, the gameplay? Where's the point in not giving a game the chance to wow me?
So this is where I am, from arguing that completion isn't that special a year ago to noticing my own desire to complete games, and taking active steps to ramp up that completion. I've even waited on buying Far Cry Primal after the positive reviews with the mindset that I already have way too many games to finish, much less start (I give it until after I've finished Far Cry 4). Still, I'm stuck with the other side of the coin, wanting to try out a game I bought day-one that has been sitting in my pile for three months now. That, however, is for my next post, Part 2.
That's a lot of words. I hope I've adequately explained my slow process to thinking more about completion, and how it's changed my habits, mostly for the better. Although, come to think of it, I probably could have said it using one paragraph instead of ten. Oh well. If you aren't here to read a long blog post than I'm not sure you know what you're doing anymore!
Phew, that was a harder post than I thought it would be. I'm going to forgo the normal editing this time, so forgive me my simple grammar errors or horrible wording (I'll regret this in the morning!).
Next time, whenever that may be, I plan to look at the problems I come across when going for the completion and I bet you'll be surprised at how that happens. I am too, to be honest.
Until then, thanks for reading and happy hunting!
(Why are there so many blog posts about backlogs? Don't they just get boring after a while? Somebody slap me if I ever do that on a regular basis!)
(Second PS: there's a lot of isms and ists in this blog post but, thankfully, none of them mention gender, race, occupation, sexual orientation, or any other potentially harmful bigotry. My goodness the world these days....)