the resigned gamer, everything I hate about the thing I love the most

Grand Theft Auto IV - 54:37, 63% complete...

Posted by Sir Cucumber at 9:12 AM on Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Please give a lukewarm welcome to my beloved roomie of old and our newest guest blogzor, Apple Kid. During our college tenure, the Apple Kid received an academic credit for studying Smash Brothers, practiced emasculation via Tetris Attack, and was known to play Dance, Dance Revolution with a controller. He also built a Sims house containing likenesses of people in our hippy co-op, but after Jason lost his job and was unable to find another due to my compulsive recycling of the newspaper before anyone was able to read it, and Apple Kid rebuffed Yvonne's sexual advances by crying and wetting himself, we decided it would be for the best to lure everyone into the living room under pretenses of a "house meeting" and then remove all the doors.

I will not be picking up GTA IV. It has nothing to do with not owning a PS3 or 360 or any objections to video game violence (my first exposure to the GTA series involved me belly laughing at the bloody footprints trailing behind me after bludgeoning an old lady with a pipe. Such detail!) No, I’m not getting GTA IV because I know I will not finish it.

Allow me to share my track record on non-linear/sandbox games. I spent many, many hours sophomore year getting my GTA on, busting many a cap in many an ass. I reached the mission where you have to get from the main island to the airport and shoot down a plane or something. I’m not remembering the details except that according to the FAQ’s it was the penultimate mission. After about a dozen failed attempts I decided to take a break and try again later. That was 2003 and later hasn’t arrived yet.

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what ever happened to the strong, silent type?

I had a similar experience with Vice City. This time the penultimate mission had me running into a junkyard to rescue some guy while killing a bunch of gang members before they killed me. I’m admittedly not good at those types of missions (I went to a hippie pacifist school) and never came close to success. I made the executive decision that if I beat the Pizza Delivery mini-game then I'd “won” the overall game. And I didn’t have to sit through the endgame credits.

I don’t know what it is about these games that cause me to crap out at the very end. I have a strong suspicion that the amount of time invested has something to do with it because the other games that jump to mind where this fatigue happens are RPG’s. Both Dragon Quest VIII and Dark Cloud II are waiting for me to finish that final dungeon, but after investing 50+ hours each (that’s over 4 days of my life that I WILL NEVER GET BACK) I’ve just said “Fuck it.” The only series that has proven itself immune to this phenomenon is the Mana series, though in both Legend of Mana and Children of Mana the desire to continue was based more in the thought that maybe if I do one more dungeon something will happen that I actually give a damn about. I finished both of those games the same way: “That was the final boss? Okay. Let me know if the plot ever starts.”

Perhaps if these games didn’t tell me how much time I’ve wasted I’d be more inclined to finish them.

Go read more from the Apple Kid at Rube Goldberg's Device!