I started by just looking at my backlog. All those games bought over the years from crazy Steam Sales or from an article raving about the gameplay. Of course I will play ALL of them.. someday.. I wanted something that I had barely touched but I would have to dive deep into. Twenty games off the shelf later, I landed with Final Fantasy XII. This is one of those titles I bought when it came out, collector’s edition of course. I just had to have it and knew I would love it. Over the years I maybe played 4 hours of the game and pulled it out to play a dozen times, only to have a change of heart or be interrupted. Now it was time to delete all game saves and start from scratch.
A funny thing happens when you turn your Playstation 2 on for the first time in about a year when the system is 15 years old. It makes this awful sound as the fan whirrs and the tray ejects with a groan and a click. “HOLY CRAP I WOKE THE DEAD!” Then it collects its wits and you carefully pick up the controller hoping it doesn’t croak in the next 5 minutes. “OK… maybe I should look up how much used ones are just in case.”
Granted, I still play games daily. I never stopped but they took the form of casual games on my phone I could pick up for a minute and put back down. So one can imagine what happened as I dove into FFXII. I pretty much lost my mind. Between going to work I was going home and playing my PS2. It became my reward for going running which had also become a game. (That is a whole other post.) I started playing Hearthstone on my laptop during battles and cutscenes. And then following the whole experience with some reading about games before bed. This went on for days and then I had an epiphany. “I NEED TO BEAT FFX!” It’s only been 10+ years since the game came out and I started it. So in I went and don’t get me started on the number of post it notes I put in that strategy guide trying to figure out where the hell I was. Its a miracle when freetime just tumbles into your lap.
I haven’t felt this motivated in years. This has been something I have been missing. Its finding your favorite ball to play with that ended up in the corner of the room while you are busy being suckered in by adulthood.
I did ask myself why I stopped playing FFX in the first place. The answer did surprise me because it wasn’t because I felt it was a bad game. It was a revelation that has allowed me to look for new titles to play. Eternal grinding is pretty much the death of me. I didn’t want to spend my time doing battle after battle just for stats, which I had done in previous games and didn’t realize FFX required as much of that. I wanted to just finish the story and progress in the game. Between that and not being able to remember what I was doing when coming back to the game after a month was what did it in. It’s no good being a casual player and spending most of your time trying to remember where you left off and figuring out just in time to have to put the controller down. “OK I’ll try again next month.”