She's the Talk of the Town; Thanks to that Gift
It didn't happen with Happy Wars (Xbox 360)
, but usually there's no surer way to get my achievement blood boiling and spur some frenetic achievement activity than a server shutdown in a game I own or want to play. The prospect of something I have being taken away galls me incredibly, so I often fight against it with extreme vigor. The fact that Happy Wars motivated me very little just goes to show how little I care for that game. It was a mistake to start it. It's usually been a mistake to play it when I have in my few forays back since then. When the game goes away, I won't miss it. And the discontinued achievements will haunt me, but only because they're in the way of another completion and an overall higher completion percentage, not because I'm going to feel like I missed out on any content, good or bad. Just totally indifferent.
I hunt achievements, in part, as a way to help me to know when I am "done" with a game. I hoarded games as a youth. If I bought it as a kid, I probably still own it. Why would I sell a game back for a fraction of what I paid, even if that helps me buy more games. I have a game now. What if I want to play it again? Earning all of the achievements, and my long history of never really going back to most of those games, has helped me to know that it's OK to sell it and move on. I don't need that for Happy Wars, though. I already know that it is OK to move on.
"If you've made your peace then the discontinued achievements are really angels, freeing you from a need to waste hundreds of hours playing a bad game."
And that's how I felt about Final Fantasy XV
too, after the announcement of the new stand-alone Comrades title, and the discontinuation of the content made available by DLC. I am a HUGE Final Fantasy fan. The game series was formative for me in my (relatively) early gaming history. I bought a Playstation for Final Fantasy VII. I bought a Playstation 2 for Final Fantasy X. When Final Fantasy XV was announced, I was naturally excited. But as much as I'm a fan of the series, things have changed. Final Fantasy XIII was a 2010 release, meaning that XV was in development for a decade or more, and that there was a 7+ year gap between numbered releases in the series. That's unprecedented. It spoke to some of the troubles Square has had at large, but specifically with the troubles with Final Fantasy. They can't seem to get out of their own way with the tentpole games. So I didn't buy it at launch. I'd been unimpressed with FFXIII, and I had a ton of other games to play. My life had moved on. But I still fully intended to buy it and play it "eventually," which these days means buy it on sale and let it sit on the shelf unopened for a couple of years.
The "all DLC" Royal edition of the game went on sale, as low as $25 digitally, a few times. And even that wasn't enough to convince me. In large part because I knew the game would just sit. Why buy a game you won't play for a long while. I fully intended to beat FFXIII before starting FFXV, and I've got dozens of hours left in XIII when I finally get around to that, and it's been a while, so clearly there's no rush.
Final Fantasy games have also declined in sales significantly. The series is still very successful, but it's not quite the juggernaut it used to be.
There's no rush like the server closure rush, though. As I mentioned, Square announced that they would discontinue the Comrades DLC and replace it. The fact that a server closure can hit a non-MMO Final Fantasy game shows just how far everything has come since I started with the series.
Since I didn't even own the game, this should have had no effect on me. DLC I don't own in a game I don't own is being discontinued. That's meaningless. Except, it's a game I wanted to own--just not yet. Now it has meaning. Now I'm getting emotional. I get upset with Square for this decision, and all of the decisions they made that led them to this point, including adding online-required multiplayer content into a Final Fantasy, and in due course, I rant about it while streaming with my friend Des. She's convinced I'm cutting off my nose to spite my face. I've decided that because of these decisions and the ultimately discontinued achievements, "I'll never play Final Fantasy XV on the Xbox, my preferred gaming system," and the fact that achievements are among the top reasosn dictating that I not play a game in a series I like on a system I like seems the height of insanity to her. And she's not without a point. So we have some fun chatting about that.
About a week later I was attempting my "Perfect Cherry" run in Pac-Man (Xbox 360)
so I could get the completion. This required starting the level, making turns as tightly as I could on my pre-set pattern, and hoping they were tight enough, only to find that they weren't, and then restarting. This is the pattern of achievement hunting (and in many ways at-large in gaming) practice that annoys my wife the most. Particularly if there's audio involved. The constant repetition of the same sounds/dialogue 20, 30, 100 times in a row as I attempt to find the perfect run, or to get past this one spot that is giving me difficulty bothers her. Some games are worse than others. Pac-Man got to her that night, so as she's texting with her friend while Pac-Man is audible in the background, this frustration comes up. The friend is Des. And Des explains, "you think that's bad, wait until you hear this...."
Memorizing this is the easy part. Execution is where the failures come in.
Thus, the plan was born. My wife cooked up the idea to buy a copy of Final Fantasy XV and give it to me for Christmas--after the achievements were already discontinued. Then when I was at work she was going to unlock an achievement in the game for me to cement the deal. This is brilliant and I love it and I love her, but it goes to show a lot about our relationship. I have quirks, she pokes my quirks.
She relented, however, and gave me the game for our anniversary, prior to the shutdown. Doing so sparked a bunch of laughter and genuine amusement as we discussed what this meant for the next two weeks. Clearly, now, I had to go earn all of those achievements before the shutdown. And with only 10-11 days left, it was going to be crunch time. I explained what that would mean in terms of a time commitment and she was on board.
I've told this story a few times, while playing the Comrades portion with some folks who have been kind enough to help me, and in discussion with gaming communities. But I felt the need to take some time and blog it as well because it's an odd story, and it ended in a way I did not expect.
As of writing, I've got two achievements slated to be discontinued left to go. One for beating the final boss of the campaign, which has a glitch available to make it doable with a lot less of a grind, and one for a medium-annoying grind of a currency. Everything else has been earned in 5-6 days of fairly intense play. The odds are I'll complete the content before the servers shut down, and then I'll have Final Fantasy XV available to play on my preferred system again, without the risk of blemishes. My compulsiveness wins out, but so does my obsessiveness. And it's happening with my wife's blessing, and her instigation.
In case there was any doubt about how awesome my wife is, she also bought me an Advent calendar. It's a beer Advent calendar. Every day I get to open an imported German beer.
Only the 2018 version.
Posted by Xpovos
on 07 December 18 at 16:54
| Last edited on 07 December 18 at 17:12 | There are 4 comments
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