Why Don't I Lose Myself In Games Anymore?

You know when you're going to finish a video game. It pushes its ethereal fist into your chest and seizes hold of your heart in a way you can almost feel - like being grabbed by the throat, a tightness in your chest that sets every nerve humming to the tune of the experience.

That feeling gives you patience when you've been defeated a thousand times, or when you don't know what to do next. It makes you forgiving, when the game has flaws and bugs, and it makes you committed should the pacing fall apart, leaving no choice but to plod devotedly onward just to see what happens.

You're immersed, and once you've made that investment, there is little a game can do to dissuade you on your course toward its end (and maybe even its extra content, its New Game + or its DLC). Of course, not every game is going to do this to you. And the ones that do won't do it to your friends. It's sort of like love-a fleeting ghost, a random spark. Sometimes you know from a distance that it's just going to take hold of you. Other times, you sit down and before you know it, boom, heartstruck-there goes 100 hours of your life that you never wanted to end.

Y'know that feeling? If you're like me, it might be hard for you to remember. It's been a long time since I really fell in love with a video game. These days, I spend much more time in conversations with people about why we don't finish video games anymore, whether the 60-hour minimum experience is truly irrelevant these days. How I don't have enough time, how a six-hour campaign is "just right", how I started that game that seemed really cool and I might finish it probably-except I never do.

The easy answer is that I'm getting older and I actually don't have the kind of time I used to. The other easy answer is I'm a gaming journalist and have "seen too much", that I'm desensitised to newness and not as easy to please. However, I don't buy the absence of time thing. It's true I had to sort of watch for a vacant spot in my schedule before I could start Pokemon Black, because I know the game will suck hundreds of hours of my life away. But the point is, it'll still get those hours. Oh, I'm finishing the main campaign and I'm getting the National Dex, thank you very much. You say my phone was ringing? Oh, honest, I didn't hear.

But Pokemon games each see only minor iterations on the previous versions; they're still little statfests populated by cute sprites and predictable plotlines and that's about it. That's how we fans want ‘em, for the most part. I become hooked into the mechanics, but I don't fall in love with the story so much. I can't remember the last time a game occupied the downtime of my imagination; can you?

If you're like me - and this column depends on you being like me, so go with it, please - it was a decade ago, when games were much more primitive than they are now. One of the most classic examples (favourite old lovers, if you will) was Final Fantasy VII. You can go ahead and make fun of me for that, as many people have in the fallow of backlash following the game's unprecedented success in an era when the Western market just wasn't widely acclimated to Japanese RPGs, but I know I'm not alone. You fellows know who you are.

Oh boy, did I love it. So much so that I very recently dragged my friend Kirk Hamilton of Paste magazine into doing a letter series with me where he embarks on his first playthrough of FFVII ever, as I revisit the game for the first time as an adult. Here's a hint about the madness of my love: I found old fanart to publish in that letter series. I mean, that I drew, around the turn of the century.

As we discuss in the letters, that game took hold of an entire fanbase in a way one could argue we've yet to see since. And yet it's so relatively crude—the tiny sprites are almost goofy, you know? The kind of stupid minigames in which it constantly forces you to engage are the kind of things at which our great design minds of today would stroke their chins and cluck their tongues today, claiming they "take you out" of the gameworld, or "break immersion". But maybe the reason FFVII was so well-loved is because it was so unreal.

In the march toward realism, we've lost immersion.

We've heard about what a Big Kid you've gotta be as a game developer to compete in AAA. You need flawless graphics, faultless UI, bug-free performance. We demand realism, high-resolution. And yet as games march on toward that ever more "realistic" experience, we've started fidgeting when they cross the 10-hour mark. We get restless when someone foists cutscenes (once so beloved, now the bane of our existence!) upon us; that the cinematics are skippable is virtually a requirement we'll excoriate a game for failing at.

Remember when we used to love cutscenes? Like, here were the moments when we could see our crude little sprites rendered as somewhat real, even for those few brief moments that the memory capacity of a bygone age allowed. It was enough to pique our imaginations - hey, maybe that's it. The imagination. The more "realistic" games have gotten, the more "lifelike" they've strived to be, the less room they leave for our imaginations.

Because in the end, we don't play video games to be hand-held through a story. I offer that we don't want "realistic" games drawn literally for us, with every blank cleanly written in, narrated to the last detail, emoted upon with high-resolution facial expressions. That the reason we loved FFVII so much is that it offered us the vaguest of silly constructs with which to play; pixilated paper dolls that we could write on with the pens of our spirits, flesh out with our own private ideas about who they could be and why we were spending volumes of time on all of it.

When games were more abstract-simple designs and massive worlds with yawning gaps in between each fragile plot point - they engaged us more, because they became worlds we could own. When all of the work of creation is done for us, when every element of lore is written in, when every object in the game world is explicable and available for interaction, there's nothing for our hearts and minds to do except ride along. And that's beautiful and well, but it's just not very engaging.

Dragon Age 2 is fine, I guess, but it'll never move me with its "realistic" people and dense lore. What am I going to wonder about, who? Dead Space is a brilliant franchise, but you know something? It doesn't scare me like broken, often-boring Silent Hill. Hell, it doesn't even scare me as bad as original Resident Evil, when Dobermans would gnaw you till you yielded square blood.

It's not so simple as saying "oldschool games are better", the maxim to which the hardest of the hardcore defer. Pokemon is that rare franchise that can make me engage with it forever not because it hasn't evolved much, but because it stays out of my way; it gives me its systems, it rarely forces me to pause, and its minimalist format doesn't try to burden me with things I just don't care about.

But if a game wants me to care-if it wants to grab my heart in its fist the way I used to feel - it needs to engage my imagination. Present the skeletal threads of a backstory without feeling the need to fill it all in, to connect all the dots for me; give me characters I'll only get to really know in my wildest dreams. Give me a world that's richly realised, but don't feel responsible for making it all interactive.

Look at, say, Fallout New Vegas or, again, Dragon Age 2 – they limit the scope of your environment so they can focus on having every object in the world usable, meaningful. A noble goal, but it leaves little to be desired; wondering about the invisible beyond ends up being fundamentally satisfying. FFVII presents rich, artful environments that aren't "for" any reason at all except to give breath to the world. There are people there for no reason, without much of substance to say – which gives you the opportunity to invent your own reasons, endow your own substance, to personalise it, to set the gears of your imagination ticking. It feels like a massive place, one you want to conquer and explore-not one you wish you could insta-teleport across to finish some quest or other.

In the march toward realism, we've lost immersion. We don't want games to be plausible and lifelike; we want them to be unreal and fantastic. Abstraction gives us a reason to spend time there; to pursue the intangible path of creation and personalization, of imagination and ownership. Otherwise, we're just watching the clock until we've exhausted our six to ten hours on someone else's playground. Here's hoping for more games that make us feel sad to complete them at the end of our long investment, and not guilty that we didn't.

Leigh Alexander is editor-at-large for Gamasutra, author of the Sexy Videogameland blog, and freelances reviews and criticism to a wide variety of outlets. Her monthly column at Kotaku deals with cultural issues surrounding games and gamers. She can be reached at leighalexander1 AT gmail DOT com.


Comments

    Fantastic article! I feel the same way. I remember the days when a poorly rendered demo was enough to keep me inspired for hours.

    Imagination is going out of style- probably because it's so cheap. Developers don't like that!

    I'm almost offended of the use of "we" here. I frequently become immersed in games still.
    The deficiencies of the writer's emotional investment capabilities are not shared by me and she should not presume to shovel her crap on top of me just to make her feel like she's not alone or to add false validity to her conclusions.

      Yet at the same time, a lot of people DO feel the same way as the author of the article.

      I'm one of them, and I've felt the same way for years. At first I also thought the easy answers of "I've grown up" was the right one. But then I went and played Metal Gear Solid 1 for the first time ever just before PS3 was released, and I was sucked right in! I was glued to the screen until I saw the credits roll, and I loved it so much that I immediately bought and played Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3.

      After that, I decided to find some more classic games that I had missed when I was younger. I played Final Fantasy 8, I wasn't drawn in at first, but as soon as I got to that highly advanced nation and the story kicked into overdrive, I was completely hooked. I tried Breath of Fire 4, I was hooked (although to a lesser extent since this game's story wasn't as strong, but the fact remains that it still drew me in more than any recent game has).

      To top it all off, just 2 years ago, I decided to play through Final Fantasy 7 again, the last time I'd played through it before that was about 7 years ago. The story was very blurry in my mind since I don't have the best memory for these things, so it was almost like playing it again for the first time. I was hooked from start to finish. I even went on to max out all my characters and get a full set of master materia for each of them.

      I actually came to the same conclusion as the article's author on my own. As graphics get better and voice acting replaces text, less is left to our imaginations, and believe it or not LESS detail is provided about what's happening on screen. I'll explain what I mean in a few bullet points:
      - When a game presents low detail characters with simplistic animations and expressions, or it may actually DESCRIBE the characters' expressions through text, and our mind tends to fill in the actual details. Think of it as if you were reading a book, we all know how much more believable and gripping things are in books than in cartoons/movies, simply because it describes things in ways that you wouldn't be able to see with your eyes, and lets your imagination bring it to life.
      - When a game presents high detail characters, the developers will try to actually provide body language and facial expressions to characters. It looks detailed enough that we don't really use our imaginations to fill in the details anymore, but at the same time the body language, expressions and voice acting usually come across as phony, you may not consciously realise it but it ruins the immersion and suspension of disbelief.

      Well, that's how I see it anyway. Hearing that someone else came to the same conclusion as me confirms it in my mind.

        Oh, I never doubted others would feel the same as her, my husband does too, I just don't think she was wise to use 'we' when she was quite obviously talking about herself.

          Just so you know, the entire rant wasn't aimed personally at you, only the first sentence was. I just got extremely carried away afterwards. My eyes almost popped out of my head when I opened this article again and saw how long my comment was!

        "When a game presents low detail characters with simplistic animations and expressions, or it may actually DESCRIBE the characters’ expressions through text, and our mind tends to fill in the actual details"

        The most heart wrenching scene in a game so far to me was the scene in the village in Zelda Twilight Princess. The graphics were fairly simplistic but the looks on the faces just said everything that needed to be said.

    Mass Effect 1 & 2

    /Counterpoint

      Wynn WIN!

      I'll give you Mass Effect, but I will not abide your suggestion that its sequel was even close to the same brilliance.

      I felt it was small, constrained, and convoluted. The plot and indeed settings provided failed completely to engage my imagination, such that I completed it mostly on promise of a third entry in the series.

    Yes the strive for realism can become predicable, though I love realism in realistic games. And games that are not realistic should strive for a unique graphical style intead. Hyper Realism is the word. Because when graphics look exactly like real life it does become paradoxical.

      I think that's why I like Valve's games so much, they all seem to have a distinct visual style without striving for ultra realism and saturating their games in HDR lighting and such.

    This article is less about games, and more about Leigh herself. Which is fine, but readers need to know that. The key to this is that Leigh has (or had? I will come to this...) an active and satisfying imagination she liked to use as a kid. What one person calls a deficiency in fiction, she is calling space to imagine. That only works if you have a creative mind, which, as a writer and fan artist, Leigh clearly has.

    So I'd posit several theories about this:

    1. Games are mainstream. Mainstream people are not artists. They just aren't, especially as adults. Our adult society does not encourage playing pretend and make-believe. Therefore games of today fill in the detail to satisfy the players who aren't going to fill in the blanks themselves.

    2. Following on from the above, Leigh's specific experience may be due to the mainstream style stories she is presented with. In the absence of her beloved space to imagine, she is being given these really stock-standard gameworlds engineered by committee instead of imaginatively created by her own mind. What possible chance does another author have to mystify her, in comparison with Leigh's own imagination?

    3. Leigh IS getting older and perhaps is doing less of the imagining of her own accord. This is hard to prove, but is plausible. If she really 'wanted to' maybe she'd find room to imagine.

      Disclaimer: This comment is purely subjective, I don't claim it as fact, but hopefully you can keep an open mind and take this into consideration before discounting the author's points.

      I agree with games not providing enough room for imagination, but my definition of that is a bit different to Leigh's.

      When I talk about "imagination", I'm not talking about actively/consciously imagining wonderful theories, etc. I'm talking about my brain subconsciously taking in an abstract description of a scene and interpreting/reconstructing it in my imagination, the same thing that happens when you read a book.

      You read the text on the page, you piece it together into a scene in your mind. The scene looks how you think it should look, the voices of the characters sounds how you think it should sound, you fill it with your own emotions. You're not actively trying to SEE this image in your mind, but this is how your mind is interpreting the words on the page as you read.

      Then you go and watch the movie version of the book. You don't let your imagination construct the scene for you, you don't need to because it's already displayed on the screen for you. The problem is, there are certain things that the book could do that the movie can't. Your immersion and suspension of disbelief rely entirely on the visuals and audio being *just right*. Emotions rely on how well the actor can do their job, and even then you will probably have a harder time connecting with the character and feeling the way they do, because it's not YOUR emotions, it's theirs.

      Yes, I do realise that not everything in the books vs movies comparison applies to games. However the same general theory does apply. Older games were more abstract and left your own mind to flesh out more of the scene, resulting in you applying your own feelings and emotions. Newer games are less abstract, so the scenes are being fed to you using realistic images and sound, but this ellicits less emotional involvement.

      Just to provide some backup for my words, here are some of the most emotional scenes I've experienced in video games. They all come from older games, but that doesn't mean all of these memories are from when I was a young kid. No video game made in the last 10 years has come anywhere close to the level emotional evolvement that these games have.

      - Planescape Torment: The "sensory stone of longing" scene had me bawling my eyes out, even though the game had very crude graphics and the entire scene was conveyed purely through text. Also, it's 100% ok and manly for a man to cry from this scene, it's a proven fact. ;)

      - Final Fantasy VII: Contrary to most people's opinions, to me the part that pulled on my heart-strings the most was where Red XIII discovered the ultimate fate of his father. Despite Red XII being a DOG and having no facial expressions at all (he was made of what, 50 polygons?), this scene also made me cry.

      - Metal Gear Solid: When Meryl got her leg disabled by Sniper Wolf, and Sniper Wolf used her as bait to lure snake out by shooting her in the limbs continuously, I have never felt such a sense of urgency in a game, before or since.

      - Chrono Trigger: When I first travelled forward in time, got to see the world's bleak future and discovered the old video records of the end of the world, I felt real despair. I absolutely had to stop it from happening.

      Well there you go, that's my opinion. I hope this wall of text wasn't too hard to read, and I hope some open minded people take it in and really have a think about it.

        Hey MadDog, I think you'd be interested to look at the film theory of André Bazin. I only know a little bit about it, but I think you're kind of touching on his main point with regards to imagination in abstract representation vs. realism and the subsequent decline in the role of the imagination.

        I think what he's on about is when you are reading a book or listening to music or something similar, you are picturing the narrative yourself: you are given a guideline, sometimes very detailed and very descriptive, but it is in an entirely abstract form. They are words about pictures. Words about life. However, when you are watching a film, the scene depicted isn't just any scene, it's that scene. I'm paraphrasing from the film Waking Life which talks about his theories now, but say in a book there's a scene with three men in a bar. You're imagining it, you're picturing it, you're colouring it with your perceptions, and someone else would imagine it in an entirely different way. But in a film, it becomes specific. It's those three men, in that bar. The imagination is gone. The abstraction is gone - it's become the limited depiction of one person/group of people, and you're no longer in control of what it looks like in your head.

        This seems to be what you're getting at with games' march to photorealism. The abstraction is gone: we're no longer imagining what the expressions of the characters are, we're no longer filling in the blanks because there aren't enough blanks to fill. It's kind of like the uncanny valley. We were happy with the abstraction of primitive graphics and sounds because we could depict the rest of the world with our minds. Now, the closer we get to photorealism, we focus on the faults. There's not enough room for us to correct the mistakes, the inaccuracies and the inconsistencies of the world in our mind, so we demand it becomes more and more realistic until it's a perfect rendering of real life.

          Wow, yes that's exactly what I mean, and said in a more coherent way than I could. Thanks for that info, I'll have to look this André Bazin guy up.

    Awesome article! I too was a massive Final Fantasy VII fan. It was probably the first game that I was really addicted too. I put more than 150 hours into it. Cloud was so powerful in the end that Sephiroth wasn't even a challenge.

    I think that Demon's Souls on the PS3 is a great example of a modern game that focuses on the 'old school' important qualities in a game like: atmosphere, game play and storyline rather than graphics, voice acting etc.

      I agree - I think Demon Souls struck an interesting balance of complex situation, lack of "spoken" story and hand holding. Very mysterious, forcing experimentation. For me though the multiplayer aspects really made it stand out.

    Its mainly because a lot of games are so cheaply made these days and not a lot of time is put into them (Black Ops for example) and games are becoming less and less difficult due to the mass amount of gamers under the age of 12 who when they get stuck on a level would throw their controller in the air and yell "THIS IS TOO HARD, THIS GAME SUCKS."

    Seriously a lot of games have been dumbed down in difficulty and complexity for younger gamers, an age group that hasn't yet outweighed the number of adult gamers who look for a challenge.

    Thank you for the thoughtful piece; you've managed to put words to the feelings that have been bouncing around my head for several years now.

    I too thought the issue was I just didn't have the time to invest in games anymore until last week when I picked up a copy of Ar Tonelico 2 out of used games bin because I was bored and needed to kill a couple of hours.
    Since then I've poured dozen of hours into the damn thing! I'm in love! I haven't been this immersed in a game in years and it's filled with un-skipable cutscenes that don't annoy me. Everyday it's race home and get as much time in before I realise I should have slept hours ago. The game world is so out there there's no way it could be explained in detail.

    I hate to say it, but I really do believe this is caused by the mainstreaming of games. With the hyper-realistic graphics and by trying to go for the broadest audience possible game makers seem to feel to need to explain and show everything down to the littlest detail. Nothing is left to the imagination as most of which have never had an imagination in their entire lives. This is why Avatar did so well - Baby's First Fantasy Adventure.

    This is way I say sprite based games are the best games.

      text-based interactive fiction was the beesknees of imagination-inducing games - the likes of mind forever voyaging, HHGTTG, Amnesia, the Zorks. Heck, there have even been a couple of very good amateur games developed by hobbyists in that 'platform' in the last ten years, long after it ceased to be commercially viable (check the XYZZY awards or IF Archive for more details). haven't played them in a few years, but Photobia springs to mind, not to mention some awesome suspense/thrillers/horrors, and even a brilliant adaptation of Shadow Over Innsmouth (forget the name).

        I'd have to say I can probably draw more accurate and detailed drawings of what I imagine Zork to look like than any other game I've ever played. That game was so incredible and just a few lines of text but you could see it in your mind.

    Good article, mostly agree.

    KOTOR, ME, Assassin's Creed 1-2, Fallout 3 all pulled me into their universe, their narrative.

    ME2, AC:B, Fallout New Vegas however did not. Fun games, but lacking a certain something.

    All this talk though does make me wistfully remember the old text games such as Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the many others (Grue optional). It is pitch dark, indeed! Now they pulled you in and held you by forcing you to use your imagination - more cold media than many 'hot' games nowdays.

    Pretty much hits the nail on my head. I still consider myself a gamer but rarely does a game ever pull me in enough to finish it these days.

    In the past few years the most time I have spent gaming is on my PSP / phone playing PS1 games when I am away for work.

    I have almost become a sampler, I play everything for an hour or two max and then never go back to it, sure I have may have enjoyed it and wanted to play more but for some reason I just don't go back to it. Maybe it is because I feel I have experience enough of the game or because it is too much like xyz game I played last year, it could even come down to the simple fact that I have already moved onto something else at the game I played gets put to the back of the pile.

    From memory the only games I have really invested any time in over the past few years (and passed) are:
    FF7, FF8, FFT, ME2, AC2, Batman AA and thats really it I think

    Why? Because you've just grown up is all.

    I can agree with this, Final Fantasy VII is of course a great game to use here, but how many games out there are truly like it? The two new Fallouts most certainly aren't. The first two Fallouts were. Torment was certainly a soul sucker.

    I think I'd call Crysis one too. Beyond being really pretty, Crysis had a plot I hadn't seen in a game in a long while. ME 1 was awesome, and I felt like Shepard. At the end of ME 1 I felt like an action hero, a movie star. ME 2 just left me finishing a game. Same with DAO and DA 2, accomplishment and greatness in the first, finishing another game in the second.

    "In the march toward realism, we’ve lost immersion."

    Great article, really summed up how I've been feeling lately too. Games just don't feel the same anymore, I remember back in my FF7 days where I'd be at school absolutely dying to get home and get a bit further. Its a struggle to find a game like that for me now :(

    I still love a good cutscene.

    The ones in Halo Wars especially.

    I totally felt what the author was saying in the progression of the Elder Scrolls games. With daggerfall I imagined so much more about the world and it just seemed a little more complex because of it. Then Morrowind was still good to me but more of the game was put before you...I had to try a little harder to force myself to believe in the world. Oblivion was game over for me...it just didn't seem magical at all.

    And all 3 of these games I played as an adult.

    Here here...

    Wonderful read.

    Cant say i disagree with you on anything in this, as you i still fine it fun to pick-up my Pokemon (Red and Blue even) games and pour hours into them when compared to some games i simply play to complete and then add it to the shelf...

    I still find my self getting into the older classic games (Transport Tycoon Deluxe, Command & Conquer, Red Alert, Zelda and some of the FF series) Compared to most people on the gaming road im still young (coming into games hardcore back in the C&C Gold days hitting up Doom II and what not) But i can still go back to the games back then and play through them with more joy than some new release titles today.

    I know it's 'just' a racing game, but regarding immersion... recently released Shift 2 has had me 100% immersed since release... I am 28, full-time job, girlfriend hates my xbox and i'm sooooo tired.

    I don't know why Leigh can't lose herself in games, but i'm sure it is not universal.

    I can still lose myself in modern games, but in some cases not as much as older games, and in some cases just as much or more...

    Recently ive been losing myself in older PS1 games like silent hill and parasite eve etc(thank you US PSN store you suck AU PSN store...)

    Back in the day I lost many hours in FF7 and CTR...so much fun...but a modern day game Ive definitely lost many hours to is torchlight and FF7 crisis core..

    I think its a combination of reasons why you don't lose yourself in games these days,

    The campaigns of some single player games have been cut down a lot so its a more immersible experience in presentation

    All about the SP being the platform to build you up for the MP instead, which is all well and good but when the MP sucks balls or isn't well supported well I would have preferred additional SP content or an extra game mode or a better campaign

    I think when we were younger there was more time to game and to lose time in games when we had that to do or when your supposed to be doing homework and as with any medium I feel that some game genres are reaching a saturation point, there's only so many ways you can do it (and as nintendo say if it sells flog it like a dead horse and then some) and diversity is harder due to a lot more constraints on developers (this is why I love some of the arcade games on XBL)

    With some modern games it all feels like a roller-coaster sometimes, and while fun there's no immersion in the world because it feels likes no time to slowdown and enjoy it instead of you making your way to the end your getting constantly propelled towards it..

    There are some great new games though that I love and id wager more awesome older games but beware nostalgia can be an absolute sucker punch and when you go back to play you wonder wow did I really like that?

    The first three Ratchet and Clanks. I must have finished Up you Arsenal at least 5 times as a kid. Sat down and started again a couple of weeks ago. It certainly doesn't have the same pull it used too, but I still love it to bits. The newer ones didn't do that for me. Whether or not my age is the problem I don't know. But I do miss that feeling

    I remember having this conversation with a couple of friends a couple of years ago. We weren't sure if it was just because we were showing our age or something else. It's nevertheless depressing that I no longer get the same satisfaction from games as I used to.

    Great article. A description of the feeling of alienation "old school" gamers have with newer games.

    I agree with many comments and the article itself when it comes to imagination. We need to be able to fill some blanks ourselves.

    Does anyone remember how in some games, you would see blood somewhere and no body, and you would try to figure out what could have possibly happened?
    Or when you enter a certain area, you would try to figure out what it was used for?

    Today, developers focus too much on graphics. It is of crucial importance however, to work on the atmosphere and thus immersion. I'm not looking for cheap thrills caused by sensory overload (cf. Call of Duty). Instead, I wish to have a more personal experience. I want to stand in awe in mysterious places, escape dangers and find answers. I want to journey into a world, get to explore it, find my place in it, go at my own pace, change it and wonder what I could possibly find when I get past that hill over there.

    Fallout 3 hits the nail on exploration and immersion but somehow it is missing in New Vegas (although I really appreciate F:NV's plausible world)

    I really hope that some developers read this article and its comments; most importantly however, I'd love to see a change in approach in video game development.

    Great article. I truly loved Red Dead Redemption they captured the story really well, the voice actors and cut scenes were fantastic. Rockstar did a awesome job capturing the emotions well with the characters I truly sympathised with each character. Thank you developers for giving me a great experience :)

    Thought this was a great article. Very relevant. Since Metal Gear 4, I haven't been entrenched with any game released. Yakuza 3 came close. Memories of Xenogears, Breath of Fire 3 and FF7 still haunt me with their stories though

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