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A role-playing gamer’s dilemma

Submitted by on Wednesday, 25 April 20126 Comments

I scared myself the other day. Before you ask, no, I didn’t look in a mirror or work out when the last time I exercised was; I counted up all the role-playing games I own that I haven’t completed yet.

On just PlayStation 3, the total number of unfinished RPGs in my collection is nine. That doesn’t sound too bad in isolation, but when I factor in all other formats, the total shoots up to nearly 20. Oh dear.

But how did it get to this point?

Unless you count Pokémon when I was a kid (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!), the first RPG I ever played was The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, way back in summer 2007.

Like basically everyone else who played it, I was utterly blown away by the sheer size of the game world, and the sense of freedom it inspired in me as a player. To cut a long story short, I loved it, and since then the RPG genre has dominated my videogame shelf.

From Dragon Age to Fallout, Final Fantasy to Star Ocean, there’s rarely an RPG that goes by without me taking an interest. Of course, these games often take dozens of hours to complete, and unfortunately time management isn’t exactly one of my strengths, so you can probably see where this is going.

Maybe it would be fine if all of my gaming time was spent on RPGs, but in fact they form only a slight majority of my collection, which also includes platformers, action/adventures titles, first- and third-person shooters, racing games, and pretty much every other major videogame genre.

Ah, the good old days

Consequently, role-playing games tend to be released faster than I can complete them, leaving me with a huge backlog of half-finished (or barely touched) titles; for example, it pains me to say it, but I’m yet to make any decent progress on a Mass Effect title, despite owning the first two games in the trilogy!

It’s my own fault, of course. I’m a completionist, so I can’t walk past a cave or fort in Skyrim without venturing inside and exploring every last inch. Cut to five hours later, and I may have armfuls of virtual loot, but I’m no closer to actually completing the game.

And therein lays the dilemma; I expect if I merely rushed through the main stories, I would probably be able to finally complete my ever-increasing pile of abandoned titles. However, I’d subsequently miss out on exploring the mysterious and diverse lands of these games, which is the main reason why I play RPGs in the first place.

Of course, I could always just buy fewer games. Yeah, that sounds like a plan!