Wednesday, October 10, 2007

No matter what they say, it's never the "final" fantasy

In all my years of playing video games, no genre has challenged me more than the standard RPG. Each one practically demands hours of gameplay, constant attention to detail, and, as years passed, contains a multitude of side quests and missions that tack on even more hours to whittle away. Each and every one. Sure, you can "finish the story" and end it like that...but there will always be that "what if" factor. "What if" I finish that side quest? "What if" I collect all the runes and obtain the ultimate weapon? "What if" I finish the game with a different party and get a different ending?

Sure, RPGs boast an average of 40-60 hours of gameplay which, if you think about it, would be 2-3 days tops. But what gamers (aside from the obvious exceptions) play hours on end? If you take the typical gamer, a standard 40-60 hour RPG, and an average playing time of one hour (at most) per day of gameplay, you're looking at a single game that can easily last for 2 months.

Now do the math. Say I want to play 2 other RPGs, but want to also beat them within the same time span. That means I'd have to devote 3 hours a day for 2 months to play 3 RPGs simultaneously. And that's if I'm able to keep up with this absurd scheduling.

Maybe when I was younger and had less worries, I'd tackle something like this without a care. Unfortunately, much like most people, I've developed this "life" that demands attention more than Jack Thompson screaming "bloody murder" in Rockstar's lobby. I know that I don't have time to play these RPGs to their full extent.

What I want to know is...who does??

Sure, if no one finished RPGs, companies wouldn't release them at an alarming rate. I'm not an idiot. I just want to know who are the specific few, other than video game reviewers, that makes everyone else feel like they're inadequate to even start an RPG. Unless playing RPGs is a full-time job and you're able to plow through one a week, you must either don't sleep or don't do anything else once you get home.

And game developers? Please...I know you want to make each RPG you release as awesome as your company's reputation claims they are to be, and I don't blame you for it. But realize that your RPG is not the only one out there, and you can't expect your consumers to devote 100% of their time to one game. They're there to consume, and they will...in mass quantities. It's digesting them that you should care about.

I don't know about you, but I'm ready to hurl.
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