Half-played games
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 19 March 2016, 3:45 am
I'm doing spring cleaning in the "installed games" section of my Steam library. Maybe you just play one game at a time, up to the end, but I'm easily distracted and switch to a new game without necessarily finishing the game I had started before. So I end up with lots of games on my hard drive that I haven't played for months. And I find that different games are different in how easy it is to come back to them.

For example I didn't uninstall XCOM 2. I have set up an "endless" game with the help of a mod that messes with the Avatar timer, and so the game stopped rushing me towards the end. I have done nearly all research and have nearly fully developed soldiers, so whenever I want I can pop into the game, play a mission or two and then stop again. XCOM 2 being turn-based, and the UI being right there on the screen there isn't much risk of me forgetting how to play it. I managed to turn XCOM 2 into a "casual" game where I can play when I feel like it.

I did uninstall Shadow of Mordor, because of the controls. I was playing with a gamepad, and there are just too many different actions my character can perform, each of which requires pressing several buttons simultaneously. When you start a game you are taught all these button combinations one by one, and end up being competent in using them all. But there is no way I can remember all of them now. And I have never seen a game where you can play a tutorial that teaches you all the controls while you are in the middle of the game. So if I wanted to play Shadow of Mordor again, I would need to start over, and play the 30+ hours I already did again. Not going to happen.

A similar problem of memory made me uninstall Pillars of Eternity, last played a year ago. I simply forgot most of the story and whatever my plans were. The controls are easy to pick up again, but the story isn't. The hero who has forgotten everything is an old cliche in RPGs, but that only works at the start of the game, not in the middle of it.

I also uninstalled a couple of games that I remember perfectly well how to play. But those were basically endless games, like Thea: The Awakening, which I played through many times. Great game, but maybe the next time I feel like playing a fantasy 4X game I want to play a new game rather than a game that I have played many times before. It isn't as if my Steam library wasn't full of possible candidates!

There are so many new games around that I rarely pick up an old game again. However I did buy Final Fantasy IX on the iPad, having played it over a decade ago on the Playstation. Despite a hefty $20 price tag for an iOS game, I felt it was worth it. Everybody has their favorite Final Fantasy game, and mine was always number 9, because it had a more lighthearted story and less science fiction elements. And as luck would have it, it is the first Final Fantasy game which was given a complete UI overhaul to make it work better with the touch screen.

How about you? Do you often go back to old games? Is your hard drive full of half-played games? Do you eventually finish them, or do they end up getting uninstalled like mine?
Tobold's Blog

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