Recently the Geek Sheet™ on the Free For All Podcast was all about greatest regrets when it came to gaming, and it got me to thinking about my own regrets when it comes to that wonderful past-time. My greatest regret is not finishing things.
I grew up in a house with two younger brothers and we all loved playing video games, even though we didn’t own a “current” generation console for many years. At first we got a second hand Nintendo Entertainment System from some family friends who’s kids didn’t play it anymore. Their loss, our gain. We played the crap out of that system with great games like Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3, Dr. Mario, and Baseball (1985). One Christmas my cousin bought me Star Tropics which, if you’ve never played it, was awesome. The premise is that you are an ace baseball pitcher who is visiting his uncle on a tropical island. You find out on what appears to be your first morning in the village that your uncle has been abducted and you have to go and save him using a yoyo. Yes, you read that right, a yoyo. It feels a little like Zelda at it’s best moments, and something extremely cheesy at it’s worst.
After that we had a Super Nintendo and we borrowed and beat The Legend of Zelda: A Link to The Past which is, to this day, one of my favorite games of all time. We also played the Donkey Kong Country games and a few others.
My brothers and I didn’t have a gaming system that was “current” until Christmas of 1997 when we got a Nintendo 64, Goldeneye (thanks Dad!) and Mario 64 and four controllers. BEST. CHRISTMAS. EVER. We went on to play other great games like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, another instant classic and favorite. We played it together, all three of us sitting in front of the TV, one of us holding the game guide to help navigate, and we’d rotate turns controlling Link.
After the N64 our gaming systems went in a couple of different directions. I started hearing from friends that there were really amazing RPG’s on the Playstation, so I bought one along with a copy of Final Fantasy VII. By the time I bought it it was already a Greatest Hit. We played through Final Fantasy VII together, one of us holding the game guide and answering questions about where to go next and what to do. Since VII had been out for a long time, when we finished it we tried Final Fantasy VIII but didn’t enjoy it as much. Final Fantasy IX was wonderful and we flew through it.
In 2002 I moved out of my parents house into an apartment with a friend. We got an XBOX and an extra controller and picked up Halo, eventually adding Need for Speed: Underground and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004. (At one point I lost my job and played an insane amount of Tiger Woods 2004 and feel that Evan Swafford and I need to go head-to-head to see who’s better.)
All this gaming history to say that when I was younger and playing games that focused on a story, I was playing with my brothers in a collaborative effort to beat it and finish the story. When I first started playing games on my own they were games where I was either focused on multi-player or it was a sports game and I was focused on beating my own achievements. And this is what has led me to be the gamer that I am today.
There are very few games that I have played all the way through and finished in this generation that is coming to a close. I have played and finished the first two Uncharted games on the PS3 and *Golden Abyss* on the Vita, and am within a level or two of finishing Uncharted 3. The Uncharted series are some of my favorite games of all time, and are certainly my favorite of this generation. And I have played a lot of MLB The Show over the passed three years, but there are many series of games that I have not played, and I have to wonder if I haven’t bothered to pick up more of the great games of this generation because deep down I know that there’s a better than even chance that I won’t finish them.
That is my greatest gaming regret: not finishing games that I have started. I don’t know if it stems from the fact that I don’t think I’m very good at most video games or what, but I would like to do a better job of committing to a game and finishing it from now on.
What gaming regrets do you have?