While playing some of my newish games, such as Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Blue, I’ve realised I’ve died far more times in that game that I’ve done in any game before, and it appears that I am not the only one.  Friends of mine have reported the same thing, and have lead me into thinking about why this is so.  Is it the horrifically hard dungeons, such as the 99-floor dungeon in which you get reduced to Level 1, and have all your items and money taken from you before you enter, or is it the simple fact that the most you have to worry about with dying in that game is a loss of some of your items and all the money that you’re carrying during that particular dungeon?


Or maybe it’s just the fact that in some games, I either play with God Mode on or Uber myself up to a point where I could be considered a Goddess.



This has often been the case for me.  In Pokemon games, I often level up my Pokemon to hugely above the opposition in order for me to crush them mercilessly.  In RPG Maker-style games, I often mod the game wherever I can to include +99999 EXP hidden squares I can click on in order to immediately level up my characters.  In games such as Sims, I control nearly every movement of my Sims, and even when I let them go free it is because I choose to let them be free.  Ultimately, however, I always have the final choice, no matter what path my Sims choose.


The game that brings this home for me is the Elder Scroll Series.  I have played Daggerfall, Morrowind, and Oblivion, and each time I’ve used God Mode, and in the case of Daggerfall I’ll admit to just skipping dungeons completely via the teleport cheat.  I have never played the game the way the Developers have meant it to be played.


For me, games are little Universes I cam meddle with.  I would rather examine the characters, their personalities, and their lives rather than study methods of defeating bosses and tactics, and why a crossbow would be better to use against a Dremora Lord than a sword.  If I want to be all sneaky and assassin-like and use a crossbow, I would use a crossbow, if I want to slice their heads off and go “STABSTABSTAB”, I would use a sword.  If I want to be a Bosmer Librarian and steal every book in the world, regardless of their previous ownership, I will.  I would rather not be constrained by the limitations of the world around me.  Perhaps that is why I enjoy fanfiction so much, as I can arrange the world to suit my needs, rather than be limited by the imagination of others.


To me, games such as Morrowind and Oblivion are more about the plot than the game play.  It is always ‘Which method would I do this quest?’ or ‘How would that NPC respond to that line to questioning?’ than ‘Will I survive this?’  To me, a game doesn’t interest me if there’s no plot, and I’d rather get to that plot and have fun rather than follow the rules.  Perhaps that is why I’m not playing Mystery Dungeon so much now that I’ve completed the main plot.  I still love playing it, but what I do now is nothing compared to the obsession I had over it when I first started playing.  Perhaps this is why despite having my Nintendo DS for over a year now, I’ve only ever fully completed one game (Pokemon Rangers).  Hopefully this Christmas, I’ll get Pokemon Rangers: Secret of Almia, so I can up that statistic to two, but who knows.  Maybe another story will capture my interest and I’ll forget it for a while.


Games to me are old friends, favourite stories to replay over and over again.  I could tell you the exact details about Sephiroth’s birth, the names of every Turk featured in the original game, where to find all the Summons, and even the last names and ages of every member of AVALANCHE, but I have never completed the game.  I’ve watched others complete the game, but never done it myself.


To be honest, I don’t really mind, because this is what I’ve chosen for myself.  In the end, what I don’t make in game, I can make in my imagination, and just because I didn’t learn all the tactics involved doesn’t detract from the bits I truly enjoy. 


The Plot.