…not so well.
Remember way back when I mentioned a little game I had started called Xenoblade Chronicles? No? Um…I, uh…well, awhile back on this here blog I made mention of this well-known, and now rare game. I rented the game after finishing The Last Story since I was still on a JRPG high. And things were going along well until…until…I learned much for my own good.
In a tiny, inadequate nutshell, XC presented the story of a guy named Shulk who comes into possession of a powerful sword called the Monado. You play as Shulk and his crew as you fight to save your home, Colony 9, from an enemy race known as the Mechons. The story behind Shulk’s motivations is strong and well played — and the initial gameplay involving main and side quests is pretty captivating. In short, XC is a damn fine game.
A damn fine game that I simply and quietly quit.
I’ve quit plenty of games in my day. Games that were too hard, games that were too rage-inducing, games that were too awful, games that just didn’t appeal to me. But XC marks the first time I quit a game due to time. And believe me, it’s not something I’m proud of. In fact, it’s bothered me terribly since quitting.
See, what happened was that I ran into some trouble with an XC boss battle, so I decided to go online for help. While perusing a number of different sites, I couldn’t help but stumble upon the occasional personal write-up of the game. As I read through blog post after blog post extolling XC, what struck me was the number of hours players had sunk into the game; and not a single time account dipped below 70 hours. Christ, really?? The last game to which I devoted anywhere near that much time was GTA IV. That was when I had time daily to play. I don’t have that kind of time anymore.
Prior to XC, I completed Red Dead Redemption in just under 45 hours and The Last Story in 35. And those took way too long…or at least they felt that way. But before XC I never really thought much about giving up many an hour to a game. Now, I think about it all the time. I even feel like I’m taking too long with Dragon Age II…but that may be mostly due to lingering guilt over XC. Like I said, I got nervous about the time, that the game might take too long to complete, that I’d be sucked in for the next 6, 9, 18 months. That I’d totally forget where I was in the game from week to week.
And I caved to my insecurities. The game, which I had rented, was sent back. And I haven’t stopped thinking about it. Quitting something without good reason bothers me generally, and fear over lack of time seems like a crappy reason to end a game.
I really want to make this blog post more of a promise than a confessional, but I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever revisit Shulk, Reyn, and Colony 9 again. I’d love to have the game in my possession, but it’s incredibly hard to find (unless I want to pay upwards of $200 for someone’s copy…no). I know the game holds so much promise and fantasticalness, but whether I’ll ever experience it sincerely first hand, who knows. For now, I’ll live with the regret and hope to rectify things someday.