Keeping up the Fight

If you’ve been following along with us for any length of time, you’ve probably picked up a few quality Aether facts.  Such as that I am awesome and everyone wants to be my friend.  Or that I am almost impossibly sexy.  Or that I’ve been spending the past many years on a personal quest to beat all the games I own.

As much as I would love to talk to you about either of the first two today, let’s be a little bit more productive and spend some time on the third one.

So, just to run through the deets, basically, how this works is that I’ve been working my way up through my entire collection of videogames, in blocks equivalent to the console generations, starting with the oldest and moving forwards through time.  Every game, I do what I can to beat.  No matter how bad it is.  I mean, I forced myself all the way through Fur Fighters, and already we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel with that.  Now, there are some games I’m not capable of beating, some games that just fall apart due to bugs partway through, and some games that legitimately completely run out of new content long before you can call them beaten.  And I do give myself allowances for that.  Not many, because I am an absolute warbeast with the patience of a saint.  After all, I beat Fur Fighters.  I guarantee you know nobody else who’s done that.  But no, the point is, I’ve got a collection of games, most of which have fallen before me already, but not all of which that has.  One by one, I’m on a quest to bring them all in line.

My quest is not a quick one.  Nor an easy one.  In fact, I’ve been at it for years, and am now only around halfway through.  Since I started, I’ve lived in three different houses, gone through so many life changes, and have gained control of the power cosmic supreme.  Yeah.  I’ve got somewhere along the lines of 600-700 games in my collection.  When I’m trying to see them all through, yeah, it takes some time.

Sometimes, I wonder why I’m doing this.  I don’t have any inclination of stopping, but I try to draw my mind back on why I started, and, well, I don’t rightly know.

Which is okay, really.  When you’re as great as I am, sometimes, you just do awesome things on instinct.  But it is nice to know the reasoning behind it, at least.

Part of it does lie in the thought that games are some form of art, and art does have intrinsic value.  Yes, even Fur Fighters.  No matter how bad the actual game is, even the absolute shovelware, someone had to put a lot of time, devotion, and character into making it happen.  That’s something that may not be obvious until you start plumbing the depths and forcing yourself to find the gold in the straw, the diamond in the rough, the me in this unworthy world.  I’ve yet to find a game in my collection that, painful though it may be, did not have at least something to share.

And part of it is that I take some sort of ownership of the games I obtain.  I chose to make them part of my collection, part of my gaming life.  It feels like a disservice to myself to take them in and not explore them.  Like I’ve given myself an opportunity for an experience, and never taken it.

And really, there are some games that I just wouldn’t be touching if I didn’t make myself do something like this.  Games change, as they progress, and the experience at the end is usually, for better or worse, a rather different one than that you find at the beginning.  Even with the bad games, that can be something worse seeing.  Tastes change, too.  Once upon a time, Killer 7 topped my Top 10 Worst Games list on some random site.  I played it as part of this journey, and actually found myself mildly pleased with it.  I never would have touched Kingdom Hearts II again, because I had a really dreck time with the first time I played it.  Years later, it’s the same game, yet I enjoyed it quite a bit more.

It’s also interesting, following the lines that the development of the medium has been following.  How inspiration and creativity flows from one endeavor to another.  It’s one of those things that often only really becomes obvious in hindsight, but with the benefit of knowing where this is all going, you can really follow along with how this medium, an infant compared to most other, is really growing.

So I may not know why I started this, but I’m not going to stop until I have dominated this quest as I dominate all things.  And along the way, I feel it does help me enjoy the games I own in a way I wouldn’t have otherwise.

So what do you say we play some games, eh?

7 responses to “Keeping up the Fight

  1. I’ve been seeing a lot of very thoughtful posts about games as art and being in touch with “something” outside of yourself/ourselves. Thanks for sharing this part of your video game journey! And I hope you conquer your quest with your amazing, ethereal, game-playing beast self (??? did I get everything??). But seriously, I think any of us would agree that enjoying the journey is what is most important and what is going to bring us the most amount of joy (and excitement upon finishing another game haha).

    But you’re right, it’s fantastic watching this medium grow and evolve. So many other forms of media have been in existence for centuries (even movies, which are basically stage plays on your television), so it’s exciting to be part of a developing form of art (yup I went there too). Game on!

    • Hey, thanks! And you got enough of those compliments in there. I’ll give that a solid B+.

      But yeah, you’re right. With games, it is the journey, not the destination that matters. Both in individual games, as you can’t play a long, boring game for just a few good moments and still get the good stuff out of there, and with the medium as a whole.

  2. It sure is annoying whenever a game decides it doesn’t want to be work, isn’t it? I played through The Beginner’s Guide last week, and it crashed my computer three times. Later on during that sequence where you’re meant to destroy the games, an overflow error occurred, meaning I had to shoot as little as possible to get past it. I resign that my computer isn’t exactly cutting edge, but apparently, there were others who were having problems running it as well.

    I’m not sure if there’s a game I disliked the first time I played it only for me to change my mind later, but I’ve definitely had the opposite occur. The most obvious example I can think of is Pac-Man 2; I liked that game as a kid, but when I grew up, I wondered what I was thinking. Granted, I don’t exactly hate it, but it’s one of the worst games I’ve reviewed, and no amount of nostalgic value will get me to change my mind.

    Killer7 seems to be one of those games you either really love or you really hate; there doesn’t seem to be much of a middle ground. I heard it has a truly insane plot that makes Metal Gear Solid 2 seem perfectly comprehensible.

    • Really? Huh. The Beginner’s Guide is all Source Engine, and it doesn’t exactly push any boundaries, you would think it’d be a pretty solid experience. But I guess there must be some sloppy programming in there somewhere, as I doubt more intensive games have been having the same problems. But yeah, on my own journey alone, Fallout Tactics screwed up when I was near the end and never triggered a win condition, Dark Cloud I couldn’t beat because a door randomly just wouldn’t work, Mortal Kombat Mythologies saw me randomly losing my ability to turn around… yeah. It’s one of the most infuriating things out there. It’s bad enough to have to repeat or lose out on an experience because you failed, but having that happen to you because the developer failed is rage inducing.

      I felt the same way about Pac-man 2. Ad a few others. I’m pretty good at re-living the rose tinted memories normally, but it seems for me that downfall often happens with games I only played with friends. Like the good memories I have of it turned out to really be the good memories of those other people, and now that they’re gone, the game itself doesn’t hold up to the associated memories.

      Yeah, Killer 7 does have a pretty lunatic plot. Part of the problem’s that they only got half of it in there, though. The had a lot more planned, but development concerns left them leaving a lot of it on the floor, and I don’t think they adjusted what was left much for those missing pieces. It’s a game I really wish was released as a book instead.

  3. I just cannot see games through to the end if something bugs me about them. The end result is that I keep buying more stuff and abandoning it midway through.

    On the plus side I did manage to finish a Steam title called Moirai last night. Granted it’s only a freebie that last ten minutes! Still worth checking it out if you play games for the experience because the ending was rather clever.

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