Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Overcoming gamer's block: Earning a second wind


We've all been there before; you've played that one particular game for a while, but just can't progress further.  In a time when games are constantly begging for your attention, it's hard to maintain focus and, eventually, you move on to another game.  But how often do you return back to that game and try again? This, my friends, is my tale of conquering a gamer's block of my own - Final Fantasy XIII.

For me, it occurs at a boss near the end of the game, where I simply was just dying over and over again.  Playing the game a second time to recover my lost game save was both satisfying and revealing, proving that not only was the game replayable, but that I came to appreciate the game more for its story.  But when I came close to my original save point, the painful memories came flooding back - that stupidly-strong boss.

It wasn't that I my party wasn't strong enough; my stats were maxed to their current limit.  And while I didn't have my weapons upgraded, I've lasted up to this point so far without much hassle.  However, the last boss was not only difficult to take down and ridiculously-large health, but also has the tenacity to "wrap up" a long-winded battle with a doom counter over your head, which ends the game when it counts down to zero.

It's been probably almost a year since I last played the game (almost two years since I bought the game), and, once more, I reached the same boss, and encountered the same issue.  But, I wasn't ready to give in so easily.  Since my main goal is to finish this game before starting Final Fantasy XIII-2, I took to the forums for some additional advice.  In the end, I just had to start the battle with some buffs right from the start, thanks to a couple of items used prior to the battle.  Turns out the extra speed and power from these were enough to take down the boss in record time (at least for me), fast enough to even avoid the doom counter that plagued my drawn-out battles in the past.

Suddenly, Final Fantasy XIII became all brand-new and shiny to me.  I'm finally venturing to new territory, encountering new enemies, and learning more about the game's plot!  It was then when I got my second wind, a revitalizing energy flooding my senses again with renewed awe.  That glimmer of hope once again gave me strength to push forward and see this game to the very end.

Getting gamer's block certainly sucks, but when you surpass it, the feeling is like none other.  Playing a game again after a few months hiatus does wonders to your thought process.
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