Today the gaming gods smiled down upon me—I was able to secure the SNES classic from Nintendo. It was all for one game, Final Fantasy III; my favorite game of all time. And as I browsed the catalog and played a quick game of F-Zero before heading out to work I reveled in the nostalgia of all the games I grew up with. Just a weekend of old school games, until I discovered Cuphead released today.

The New Shelf Life of Video Games

There was a time when I completed games. Maybe it was born out of necessity. That fact that young  Charles was dependent on his parents for games and you had to play what you had until a birthday or Christmas. Or maybe it was as simple as the fact that games back then were designed to actually be beaten. But today, games seem to suffer the same fate as music – quickly enjoyed the moment before moving on to the next.

There was a time when you let an album marinate. You would sit with it for weeks, even months if it was a good one, just taking it all in. And artists took their time, perfecting each release as if their life depended on it. Now, they drop an album, we listened for a week and wonder where the next release is. We don’t sit with music anymore. The same has happened with games. Seemingly obsessed with the long tail, games never seem to end. Just a continual loop of never ending gameplay.  Which can be ideal for those looking for the next hit. But what if you want more?

My Plan of Action

I can’t deny the sense of satisfaction that comes with starting and finishing something. Especially when it comes to games. To start a story and see it through to completion. I realized that for me to do this a couple things must happen:

  1.  I have to come to grips with the fact that I won’t be “in the know” about every damn game that drops in a year.
  2. I’ll have to limit the number and time spent playing  open-world and MMO type games (looking at you Destiny 2)
  3. Understand the tradeoff of wanting a richer experience vs. being a part of the conversation for the latest release.

As much as we want games to mimic the movie industry, we treat them more like the music industry. When it’s hot, we’re all on it. But that heat is quickly diminished.  Every gamer talks about their backlog, but how many of us actually do something about? Or do we fall into the trap of just piling on games just so we can be up to date? I guess you could say this is my declaration, to finish what I start. Not to worry about what’s hot, but to play for the experience. No matter the age of the game. Because if I can still enjoy Final Fantasy III as if it’s the first time I’ve ever played it, then I can do myself a favor and enjoy what these developers put out.

Posted by:Charles M.

Blogger.Gamer.Morehouse Man

5 replies on “I Need To Start Finishing Games Again

  1. We may have had identical weekends – I also miraculously snatched a SNES Classic, FFIII is also my favorite game of all time (I’ll take any excuse to revisit it and snagging a SNES Classic is good enough for me – I just found Gau), and also found myself only turning it off so I could keep attacking Cuphead (which I love). Great taste, man!

    1. Did play FF III with the CRT option enabled? Aww man it took me back. I have to play cuphead this week because honestly it’s one of the most original games that’s released this generation and that art style is dope. I saw a video of the moon boss and that’s what sold me.

      1. Cuphead is a little on the relentless side, but I’m still enjoying the hell out of it, and the SNES sure makes a happy alternative when the going gets tough. I DID play with CRT enabled – you’re right, it completely sealed the old school experience.

  2. I have wondered about this idea of owning games, but never completing them. I do not purchase modern games much, but I do feel that, recently, I am less likely to complete games to 100%. I usually just end the game after finishing the story, rather than when I was kid and would replay levels endlessly to obtain more rewards. I think one reason is the one mentioned in the article, having to rely on the games bought by parents, rather than having the freedom to buy games or find versions accessible online. Another reason properly is because of an expanded library and a want to play old games. I remember as a kid, I would only concentrate on playing the new games and forget the older ones. Recently, I will sometimes complete a newer game and then decide to revisit a much older game.
    What good games are on the SNES Classic?

    1. Most of the RPGS are worth checking out (Mario RPG, Earthbound and Final Fantasy III). Was playing super punch out the other day just for kicks and then you have legend of Zelda: a link to the past and super Metroid.

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