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Handling tedium, micromanagement and other skills I have picked up from RPG’s that will come in handy during my future careers.

May 7, 2007

by GabexMosh

This is a gigantic middle finger pointed mainly at Square Enix, but in addition, any video game developer who has made an RPG is allowed to feel offended. Because let’s face it, you all suck at making video games, obviously.

Traditionally, there has been one main reason to play single player RPGs (I don’t touch MMO fare with a 40 foot pole), and that, at least if you ask sane, rational people, is the story. As far as epic, larger-than-life stories go, you’re going to have to work hard to beat the genre collective that is the role-playing game. Rarely does the world feel so epic as when I have to watch a 30-second attack cutscene. The sad thing is, I’m not being sarcastic. There’s something about three fabulously dressed barely-out-of-their-teens armed with improbably large weapons fighting against all manner of burning demons and steampunk contraptions gone haywire.

Alas, such moments are few and far between. Why? I’ll tell you fucking why.

POWER LEVELING.

Few institutions in gaming are as worthy of loathing as the practice of artificially padding game time with senseless, boring combat – and this is coming from someone who likes fighting all manner of slimy creatures, mind you – for the sake of maximizing arbitrary numbers; running in circles throughout whatever milieu the most powerful creatures you can currently handle are, killing them over and over and over and over and over again so you can handle more powerful creatures, so you can eventually repeat the process. Combat is great. But when I have to spend more than an hour or two in a row fighting for experience points, combat becomes fucking cheap.

And frankly, it doesn’t help that the more you have to power level, the less connected you feel to any events in the world outside of leveling. Take Final Fantasy XII, which is actually what compels me to write this rant. Now, I will admit that this is the first time in at least a month that I’ve actually picked the game up at all, but guess why? I have better things to do than fucking power leveling. In fact, the realization that I was going to have to wait with going into the Stilshrine of Miriam because my characters weren’t fucking powerful enough filled me with the kind of powerful apathy that was required for me to stop caring. Surely, I cannot be the only one who feels this way? Don’t tell me you people enjoy these practices?

And while we’re at it, do you enjoy obsessive-compulsively searching every bookcase in the game world for clues as to where one will find all the super weapons? Do you enjoy pressing the button that brings up the inventory screen every five minutes to change meaningless trinkets so that you can squeeze through a win based on tiny percentages? What bizarre stretch of logic dictates that any person can only wear one bracelet/necklace/earring/toe ring/nipple piercing at a time?! If I meet a creature that is weak against fire, and I have a sword enchanted with fire, why wouldn’t I choose that sword automatically?!

And then people wonder why I don’t play video games as much these days.

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8 comments

  1. xD

    Oh Gabriel. I love your rants so much.


  2. You just suck at FFXII. ;x I’m up to level 70+ on all 6 characters, maxed license boards, all the Espers, but the only time I’ve actually had to grind for levels was now trying to finish up the last few hunts and this optional dragon boss in Sochen Cave Palace with 80 friggin HP bars. This an epic battle to end all epic battles.


  3. How the fuck do you get enough XP to not have to grind, then?


  4. Embroidered tippets or whatever they’re called? the exp doublers you can buy. Aside from that, I’ve just been winging it as I go. I dunno, like a lot of the fights I fought were incredibly close, especially Zalera in Barheim Passage since it was a timed 5 minute fight and he keeps spamming Death on your party. I managed to pull off a quickening chain with like .05 seconds left though and beat him, it was pretty awesome. But yeah, the bosses and espers have almost all been like that without the powerleveling which just makes it seem a whole lot funner.


  5. Where do you get those? I doubt you can get them before the Stilshrine of Miriam.


  6. Blargh, I’m wrong. You don’t get Embroidered tippets until you reach Archades. You still have to get through Mosphoran Highwatse, Salikawood, and the Phon Coast. ><


  7. Hah! I knew it!


  8. After watching my mate endlessly level up on that very game…let alone the time I’ve spent doing the same on Phantasy Star, I’ve concluded.

    RPGS SUCK.



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