redknightalex's Blog - Jan to Mar 16 (13 followers)

Completing Games Part 1 - How Did I Even Get This Far?Permalink
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.

Assassin's Creed UnityMaster AssassinThe Master Assassin trophy in Assassin's Creed Unity worth 402 pointsEarn every Trophy.

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:

DRIVECLUBWelcome To The LimitThe Welcome To The Limit trophy in DRIVECLUB worth 237 pointsReach Driver Level 50

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. roll Glitches...

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! cn_guide

(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....)
Posted by redknightalex on 15 March 16 at 18:59 | There are 12 comments on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the BacklogPermalink
I have a three-day weekend coming up in 1 hour and 20 minutes (at this time) and I cannot contain my excitement to get away from life, reality, and everything for three days. I've got some co-op coming my way with the wonderful UlvenFenrir, maybe some streaming shenanigans, and, most importantly, lots of time to rest. I'm exhausted. I'm sure that after five appointments in four days you would be too.

Yes, that's how my week has been. I'm pretty beat up after my chiropractor visit yesterday evening, which was painful to the point of tears, yet I'm hoping that tomorrow will be a good day, giving me a chance to recover physically, and emotionally, from all the stress and abuse I've been through this past week. I need it. Really really.

So, to start off my first blog post of 2016, I'd like to post some accomplishments over the past month and a half that need to be mentioned.

The latest one, a string of great trophies and hard work from Dynasty Warriors 8, is a gold nugget.

Dynasty Warriors 8Unwavering AmbitionredknightalexThe Unwavering Ambition trophy in Dynasty Warriors 8 worth 180 pointsFight 50 straight battles in Ambition Mode.

That also came with
Dynasty Warriors 8Animal CollectorredknightalexThe Animal Collector trophy in Dynasty Warriors 8 worth 40 pointsObtain all of the animals within the game.

and before that
Dynasty Warriors 8An Intricate TaleredknightalexThe An Intricate Tale trophy in Dynasty Warriors 8 worth 65 pointsComplete all of the stages in Story Mode.

All of these came from 70 hours of playing, both grinding out Ambition mode and playing through five story campaigns, with a real feeling of hard work paying off. The average ratio of those trophies is around 2.0 so it's also showing in my TT ratio, something I've never understood well enough to not hate it.

And, of course, there was this gem:

DRIVECLUBWelcome To The LimitredknightalexThe Welcome To The Limit trophy in DRIVECLUB worth 237 pointsReach Driver Level 50

Overall, looking at this list and how hard I worked over the months to complete these trophies I think this is a good start to the year. I've had to make sacrifices in other areas, like total trophies completed per day, yet still my trophy streak lives on. Even the day I was sent to Emergency via ambulance didn't set me back. Dedication or foolishness, I haz it. rock

Now, the real reason I'm doing this blog post is to talk about my backlog. Yes, the backlog everyone has that's bigger than everyone else's and always trying to work on it. I hate to do a post on my backlog's bad. And, if you can show me someone with a larger backlog than mine, I'll give you five points of HP.

Want to know how bad my backlog has become? Take a look here:

*** Spoiler - click to reveal ***

Most people talk of their backlogs but, today, I'm showing you only part of it. This isn't showing off the digital downloads I've picked up, like Grand Ages: Medieval or Need for Speed, or the ones I've got pre-ordered for March. Of the ones at the bottom of my bed, the newest pickups, I count 27 unique games that I've either never opened or never installed. I've also forgotten to give my Vita card case a look as that one, which holds 24 cards and one memory card, is full with maybe half the games started. Then there's the stack of games I haven't placed anywhere and are just floating. Not a month goes by, or even a week, that I don't buy a game. The rate at which I finish them? One every month...if I'm lucky.

Now, I don't think this is a bad thing. I enjoy the act of buying and collecting games, or items related to them (like my Mass Effect or Assassin's Creed statues), so I never truly regret a purchase. I got over that guilt over the past year when I realized that the joy of collecting was it's own piece of gratification for me and then, obviously, it leads to the enjoyment of playing the game. "Wasting" money or time on games I may never, ever play (let's be serious here, that's a lot of games!) is not a worry I care to have nor is it, to me, a waste. It's what I enjoy doing.

The problem I've run into is hard drive space. I have 750GB in my PS3 and 2TB on my PS4 and they are full. Completely and absolutely full. I'm maxed out in more ways than one. I can't download another game onto my PS3 or install one onto my PS4. If I want to play something new, I need to go through the teeth-pulling process of deleting a game from my XMB (which I know I can re-download again but it still sucks) and wishing for days that I could add more space. I may want to start up Until Dawn but I can't, not if I want to keep the games I already have on my PS4.

At first, I blamed Sony for my problem and their ridiculous decision of needing to install the entire game onto the hard drive for every game. Second, I got over the other ridiculous issue of having textures be so large that they need to take up 60GB of space when, three years ago, I could mod Skyrim with 2k textures and my install size wouldn't even be close to some of these PS4 games. What I was left with was the decision to either play or delete. Would I play the games I already had, upping my TT ratio and even completing a game that I may truly enjoy, or delete it from my system to get back to sometime "later"?

To be honest, I haven't decided. I've picked out a few games I can easily complete with a few hours of play, giving me room to install another game (or, as it happens to be with my PS3, give it space to NOT crash), and I hope to get rid of some of those easier games soon. If I can knock off another 100% with 15 minutes of play, like what I did with Toren this week, then why not? I've got a day to play so why not spend some time getting the plat for Everybody's Gone to the Rapture? If I do that, I tell myself, I can install a new game. I'm getting close to the point that, if there even is a game I don't own on sale, I tell myself to hold off because I just can't download it. It is, perhaps, one of the most unusual and wonderful of dilemmas to be in. I do not suffer for lack of choice, that thing is obvious.

Is this how one clear's out a backlog? The inability to play new games? Or should I clean out my backlog because I want to play the games in it? Will the enjoyment come regardless of why I'm playing it as long as I'm playing the game and having fun? Or, maybe, I really should be mad at Sony for not allowing me an external hard drive for outrageous hard drive installs?

I'm not sure if there's any right answer, nor am I sure I'm doing any of this the way I would like to the most, so the only thing I know for certain is that I either need to play more and finish or I need to give up on ever going after them and accept their place in my life.

Well, I do have a big backlog, don't I? laugh

I'm starting a list of quick and easy games that I own and can complete so I don't need to take 30 minutes deciding on what to play. I'm also taking suggestions for games I should just bite the bullet and mop up the remaining trophies, *cough*Unity*cough*. If anything, working on a backlog should never be a solitary event. Nor should trophies, for that matter, but that's why we're all here, to play games and enjoy trophies.

Yes, the backlog is bad, the hard drive space is low, and I'm sure there will be another game bought before Monday. Time to hold my head high, grab the controller, bury myself in blankets for the cold (-10F) weather this weekend, and play.

As always, thanks for reading and happy hunting! cn_guide

...Seriously, I'm taking game recommendations. I'm lost.
Posted by redknightalex on 12 February 16 at 20:59 | There are 10 comments on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.