I had a lot of things to attend to that I can’t find the time to do my regular writing stuff. This busyness ate away a lot of my hobby time, including gaming. So sad OTL. Well, I give at least, equal importance to these other tasks that I’m working on (Life Hacks, Social Life, Career Goals, etc.), so I need some compromise on how to continue my gaming life, even for just a short while. With this, here are the gaming habits that I stopped in order to give way to other things that I added in my plate.
100 % Completion
There’s a period in my gaming life where I always want to complete all the unlockables of a game, from the elements that give significant contribution to the story like a hidden character, up to the minute details like collecting 100 small items scattered throughout a sandbox world. It’s quite fulfilling to complete the game, and it makes you feel more satisfied that you’re getting your money’s worth. However, pulling this off usually takes a lot of time. And I mean, A LOT OF TIME. This has gotten to a new level since the dawn of Achievements and Trophies. Even online games portal like newgrounds and kongregate now implement such features. This is a real punishment for any OC gamer.
I’ve adjusted my goals in a game and consider it as my own version of 100% completion. This lessens the time that I need to consume in a single game. I determine which tasks are worthy of accomplishing based on rewards and the estimated time to finish it. If it requires me to replay the whole game, pass. If it requires me to complete huge amount of collectibles that are VERY HARD to find, and the only thing I get is a bunch of pictures in the gallery, no, not gonna happen.
Replay, Replay, Replay
In relation to the previous item, I’m not fond of repeating games after my first completion. My mindset is to play as many games as possible, so instead of investing more time to start the same game all over again, regardless of how good it is, I proceed to a new one. I remember Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition, wherein the other four difficulty settings are unlocked by completing the game for each preceding difficulty. The game contains 20 missions, do the math. Even if you’ve become an expert in using Dante or Vergil, it still takes time to finish. I’m really amazed by those dedicated gamers who practice for several hours in order to achieve such mastery, like the one posted in this video.
Spend Time Practicing
Speaking of mastery, I used to practice some of the games that I play beyond the main goal that is given to me, especially in fighting games where you hone your skills to utilize the abilities and fighting style of a specific character. Alas, I don’t have the luxury of time to do that now. I can only practice on mobile games since it’s more accessible, and the gameplay is separated into chunks that usually take 5 minutes or less to end. Hardest Game Ever 2 is a good example of such game. It is divided into several difficulty modes each with six minigames. In order to unlock the other minigames, you must acquire a certain number of S rank completions. This is motivational enough for me since I can get significant new contents for free.
Before, I always have a fixed schedule for playing video games. Having a time block for PC, PS2, PSP, and NDS, I created a routine to make sure that the game I play for each platform will progress and eventually be completed. For weeks, I barely used the mentioned gadgets for gaming. Now I only use my PSP as a portable music player. I promise myself that if things loosen up, I will gradually return to this gaming schedule. After all, I’m the type of person who really wants to get the most out of the things that I buy.
No Guides or FAQ
I usually consult an online guide or FAQ if I want to check the things that I miss in the game, and if it’s worth a second playthrough. Now, I constantly use it in my gaming session. This shortens the time that I need to complete the game. I know, I know, it ruins the gaming experience. After all, solving the puzzles or discovering something on your own is a significant part of playing a video game, but I learned to be contented with running through the entire story. I still enjoy it since an FAQ cannot entirely remove the challenge of gameplay. Even if it tells you what to do, it is easier said than done.
There are times when I start a game without an FAQ and I already progressed quite far without noticing it. In those cases, I decide not to consult any guide at all since I will regret the effort that I have already given when I started the game. I still monitor my gaming time though. If I observe that I’m stuck with one part of the game for a considerable amount of time, then hands-up and open GameFaqs XD.
I have nothing against long hours of gameplay (though too much of anything is bad enough XD). In fact, there are moments where I miss my gaming schedule. I’m totally envious of my officemates and students when I see them online, playing something on Steam. Heck, I haven’t bought a single game while all my gamer friends are going crazy over the Steam summer sale. Well, that’s the price of setting priorities. I swear, when I sort things out and convert some of my tasks to autopilot, then I will gradually increase my gaming time once again. For now, I will settle with my short gaming breaks. (~^_^)~