Sometimes, a game that I fell in love with takes a wild left turn and breaks my heart with a punishing save system or a never-ending final section. When a game does you wrong, that means it’s time to break up.
For me, this happens often with JRPGs, thanks to roadblocks that aren’t very friendly to newcomers such as unforgiving save points and boss rushes. It sucks to have to walk away from a game that I’ve poured a ton of time into because I got burnt out by the grind or a specific dungeon that has punishing encounters 30 minutes out from the last save point.
I don’t need everything to be some sort of “forever game”, as we’ve discussed before, but I can’t hate-play through something for the sake of completing it.
In order to feel some peace of mind about the games I’ve dumped, I asked Kotaku’s Ethan Gach and Heather Alexandra to join me in a group venting session to find out which games also made them hit their limits.
We discussed our heartbreaks in the video above; here’s an excerpt.
Paul: With Bravely Default, my girlfriend warned me: “At the very end, you’re going to have to do the same dungeon like a million times.” And I was like, “Welp, guess I’m done with this game.”
It hurt and I felt so mad about having to put it down and move on, because it’s a matter of me understanding that point in which I’m comfortable with saying, “OK, I’ve gotten what I needed from this game. I can now move on.” I don’t necessarily need to finish it and get that little badge.
Ethan: I’d struggled with that game all the way through, but when I got to that point and heard everyone say, “You’re going to have to run through all of these dungeons this many times,” I was like, “Ah, no thank you.”
I’ll watch the YouTube clips, see the endings. It was really “the friends we made along the way”, not the conclusion.
Heather: A lot of games make that mistake. Thinking that having a final challenge that you keep on returning to and conquering more and more of is good, and it never is.
Like, repetition in games can be relaxing if it’s doing some races or trying to best your time on a track, but if you have to repeat yourself a ton to go through dungeons that you’ve already fought the monsters on, and maybe fight a different Cerberus monster? Whatever.
Watch the full episode to hear more.