GamerSushi Asks: Finishing Games?

Game OverOver the last few weeks, we’ve gotten to do a lot of great getting-to-know-you type posts here at the Sushi. We’ve covered topics like FPS preferences, games that changed the way you thought about games and that’s just barely scratching the surface. One of the things that’s been on my mind lately as I’ve been clearing out the backlog is the idea of finishing video games.

This actually comes from a couple of places. The first would be my great addiction to achievements, which I’ve come clean about here on multiple occasions. It’s a healing process. Anyway, one of my favorite things about achievements (in addition to being a revival of the top scores of the 80s) is that you can see at a glance how far your friends are in games. For instance, I can check out Anthony or my buddy Miles’s profile to find out where they currently are in Mass Effect. It certainly makes for easier conversations about the game. However, one of the things I notice as I browse my friends’ achievements is how few of them actually finish games. And this isn’t unique to my friends, either. Apparently, there are a lot of people out there that don’t finish games.

For the most part, I am going to complete a game that I start. There are only a few occasions that will keep this from happening: bad save files (Chrono Cross), game-breaking glitches (Darksiders), an all around bad game (Blood Bowl) or gameplay that is repetitive from a very early point in the game without being overly fun (Prince of Persia). I’m a heavy believer that in order to really garner worthwhile impressions from a game, it should be experienced in a way that’s as full as possible, so you can deliver an informed opinion. And when I haven’t finished the game, I’m sure to say that as a qualifier when discussing it.

And in order to replay a game in full, there is another subset of requirements that must be fulfilled as well. There’s almost a science to it, really. Not that I look at it from a completely analytical standpoint or anything, but that’s just the way it tends to break down for me. For instance, my most replayed games in this generation are probably Resident Evil 5, Halo 3 and Left 4 Dead. There was a balance of co-operative play, collectibles and challenges that really drove me to play those games again and again, and it’s something that you don’t always find in games.

So, in contemplating all of this, I thought I would ask you guys a series of questions about finishing games, to see where you fall in the wide spectrum of gamers.

1. What’s the last game you finished?
2. What is the last game you wanted to replay immediately after finishing it?
3. What game have you replayed the most? Do you get 100 percent completion on games?
4. What factors will keep you from finishing a game? What’s the last game you stopped playing for good?
5. How long does it take you to get tired of a game you love?

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

21 thoughts on “GamerSushi Asks: Finishing Games?”

  1. 1. Red Dead Redemption
    2. Mass Effect 2
    3. The Halo and Mass Effect games, and achievements are an incentive for me to do it, but otherwise I don’t if I don’t see a reason to.
    4. Poor pacing, ridiculous difficulty curves, bad story, annoying controls. My last was the Witcher, which was an 80 hour game with very poor pacing. At times you would strike a rhythm in the game were the story was progressing along well and everything was fun and it was hard to turn away from, and then it would hit this wall. This cycle repeated too often for me so I lost interest. Also, the combat sucked.
    5. Well I’m still waiting for Halo to get old, and if a game is a multiplayer game I will get tired after reaching a high rank that takes forever to get to the next one, or if I’ve gotten all achievements and I don’t feel like playing more, or if my friends don’t have it and after a while I don’t want to play alone anymore. On the single player side, after two playthroughs generally I’m done, but I’ll pick it up a year or two later and go through again.

  2. Correction, Starcraft 2 was my last completed game. As a new PC gamer within the past year I tend to forget about PC games.

  3. 1. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
    2. That thought never even occurred to me immediately after finishing any of my games.
    3. Mirror’s Edge. Though I completed the trophies on that game for doing special moves, I never really considered getting the ones for challenges or time trials.
    4. A really difficult level, or any element in the game that’s annoying. Haven’t really stopped playing any one game mainly because I only have six games currently (I’m a casual/intermediate gamer).
    5. It’d take eternity to have me get tired of a favorite game. If it has at least a somewhat active multiplayer community, longer than that.

  4. 1. Hard to say since recently I’ve been playing mostly multiplayer or sandbox games (like Garry’s Mod and stuff like that), so if it qualifies, for now I’m going to say Doom 2.

    2. Any of the Doom games I guess, since I’ve been replaying them a lot lately.

    3. I’ve probably replayed Halo 2 in coop more than most games I can think of, which is weird considering I don’t like it that much. I haven’t really shot for 100% completion in a game since Super Smash Bros: Melee, because now it seems to be just a minor annoyance on the side of the road to break up the way that I normally play to go for a meaningless goal.

    4. There’s certain things that really, really annoy me that will make me put down a game and never look at it again. In Deus Ex, I got all the way to the end of the game and had to do some bullcrap with respawning Greys, Spider Bots, and Greasels. These are the most annoying enemies in the game, and after several attempts to beat it only to die when I become blinded by rage just looking at the enemies that I hate so much, I ended up just looking up how the game ended because the game stopped being fun. I haven’t played it since.

    Another game I ended up giving up on was Hitman, which made a habit of using annoying stealth gimmicks and shitty control over the weapons you use, but made you restart an entire mission if you failed. I stopped playing on the second level after a friend told me that it just keeps going in that direction.

    5. It could take me just a couple playthroughs (Half-Life 1), several months of just continual gameplay (Fallout 3), or I could just never get sick of them for as long as I live (Doom (1 and 2), Duke Nukem 3D, Rocket Knight Adventures).

  5. 1. Mafia II (Guest Review?)

    2. I’m sure there has been at least one or two since… but I’m going to say Portal. Do the challenge modes count (since they are just the same levels but harder?)

    3. Probably Deus Ex. Achievements in PC gaming is a very new thing, and I only have a few games that have them, So I couldn’t really tell you percentage wise.

    4. It’s usually something… Je ne sais quoi… Often it’s just because the game “feels” clunky (Bioshock, Arkham Asylum) or for the reasons you mentioned in the post. I really try to finish a game I start.

    5. If I love a game, I don’t get tired of it. I play my other favourites and throw in a few new ones along the way, but every few years end up playing through my same old classics (Deus Ex, HL2, Portal, Mafia). I keep the real beauties installed so I can show my friends on my super-powered rig running through my studio monitors!

  6. 1. StarCraft 2

    2. Mass Effect 2.

    3. Err, either Halo: Combat Evolved or Knights of the Old Republic 2. I complete games to 100% sometimes, but not usually.

    4. Usually a bad story will get me to stop playing a game. Bad gameplay is also a pretty deciding factor. Mafia II I stopped playing because of the really poor pacing in the story.

    5. A couple of years, usually. I don’t know, it’s been a while since I’ve touched Halo: CE or KOTOR 2.

  7. 1. Just Cause 2

    2. I’d have to say Mass Effect 2

    3. Oblivion. That’s the one game I’ve actually gotten my 100% on, since I like how the Gamerscore is assigned… All story based. Gamerscore’s either for completing the story, or guild questlines. Not Gimmicky like most modern games.

    4. Either hard difficulty, bad pacing, annoying gameplay, or a new game that catches my attention.

    5. Depends on the game. Last weekend, I plugged in my Xbox, and replayed KotOR for the (probably) 10th time already.

  8. 1. StarCraft 2

    2. Alien Swarm (if that doesn’t count since it’s multiplayer then I’ll say Assassin’s Creed 2)

    3. Probably Half life 2 or SSBM (if you count adventure mode (gotta get to that Giga Bowser!)). I don’t usually 100% complete games but if it is a truly great game where the side stuff aren’t annoying I probably would 100% complete it.

    4. Crashing every 20 minutes can get old fast… I stopped playing Gears of War 2. This is mostly because the xbox ruined the disk, but I try to complete all my games just so I feel like I got the most for my money.

    5. The same amount of time for a game all around better to come out (for multiplayers). For single players usually if a I beat it a time or two I won’t come back to it for a while.

  9. 1. Red Dead Redemption
    2. Mass Effect 2
    3. ME2 again, although i cant 100%. Insanity is way to hard
    4. I quit SoulSilver because i couldn’t find the elite four and go fed up. A lot of shame there
    5. It depends on sequels and whatnot, but i still go back to KOTOR and CS:S. So… never?

  10. 1. Mass Effect 2.

    2. Mass Effect 2 again. As soon as I finished it the first time, I was back importing a different save file. Right now I’m part way through my 3rd playthrough. This is the first game since probably Knights of the Old Republic that I have jumped straight into a second run without a break after the first.

    3. Probably Banjo Kazooie. I love that game, I would play it over and over when I was younger… Hmm, now that you mention it, time to break out the N64 again.

    4. Usually buying a game that my computer can’t run (because I’m too cheap to upgrade it) or real world things are keeping my attention, university assignments, work, family… If I stop playing a certain game for a while when I go back to it, its usually lost its hook and I’ll play something else instead. Or if I just find it waaay too difficult. I usually play games for the story, so if I’m replaying a section over and over and can’t move on, I’m going to get frustrated and give up because I can’t find out what happens next.

    5. Some games I will never get sick of. Anything by Bioware and Valve seem to fall into this category pretty regularly. They are games I could always go back to and enjoy

  11. 1. Halo 3. I know, I know.

    2. Arkham Asylum.

    3. Final Fantasy VI. Yeah, I try to unless I get tired of it.

    4. Stupid fetch quests. Transformers: War for Cybertron. Just didn’t grab me.

    5. If I love it, never.

  12. 1: Prototype

    2:Idk. Most single player games I have played are open world, and usually have free mode, and all my other games I go to multi-player.

    I’d have to say COD4 was the last one before i got XBL

    3: I’ve over replayed halo 3. Not kidding. Just sit for hours doing the campaign over and over again.

    I have not gotten a 100% Completion Tho I am trying to max my achievements on ME 1 right now

    4: Its sorta like Alpha Protocol, If I get bored and my friend invites me to Bad Company 2 or something then I drop the game for good, or for many hours.

    For example, using bc2 again I will purposely not max out my sniper and medic class so I have a reason to keep playing. Also I seem to be a leaderboard slut on that game :/ .

    It depends if the game can hook me long enough. The last game would be yea, Alpha Protocol

    5: If the rest of my game library moves on or the story or flaws and mechanics wear out on me like in Mass Effect.

    Im pissed cuz i still have to finish my 3rd playthrough and its a monster of boredom, and I am forced due to me wanting my story in ME 2 and 3

  13. 1. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (only just got my Xbox last month)
    2. Medieval 2: Total War
    3. All the Total War games, Hearts Of Iron 2 and one of the greatest games ever, Operation Flashpoint. Usually I don’t 100% games.
    4. Getting stuck in a game so that it gets frustrating. Also different kinds of stupidities in games that weren’t all that great to begin with.
    5. Still haven’t got tired of games I really truly love, like Operation Flashpoint.

  14. 1. I just finished Red Dead Redemption, and it was a very awesome conclusion.

    2. Assassin’s Creed 2, not to mention AC1. I just love those games. People claim they’re repetitive, but I’ve played far more repetitive games.

    3. Left 4 Dead, CoD4’s Singleplayer, and maybe some others. I don’t usually go for 100% Completion because I’m lazy.

    4. Either I don’t like the game, or I run out of time. Like if there are new games that come out and are more interesting, I just don’t get around to finishing my other games. This used to be the case with Persona 3 (which I STILL haven’t beaten fully, mainly because I got the Fes edition), but I am playing P3 pretty regularly. So mostly, even if I like a game, I tend to take my time with it and savor it, but this can cause me to not complete it. A better example is Tales of Symphony, which I never beat because I just got tired of it.

    5. Well I certainly haven’t crunched any numbers, but it’s all in the pacing and whether I have physically enough time to beat the game before other games come out. I mean I still love P3 after about 60 hours of rather repetitive gameplay (don’t worry P3, I still love you) but the story events happen regularly enough to keep me very interested. I’ll pretty much always finish a short game that is around 10 hours, like CoD or whathaveyou no matter what the pacing is like (and I make every purchase count, so I don’t buy crappy titles), so my boredom becoming an issue only applies to games that are 20 hours or more, like Red Dead or Fallout 3, both of which are fairly long but never got boring.

    Good questions, and that’s an interesting fact about gamers. I doubt gamers are fickle or impatient, it’s just that there are more games than we can keep up with once in a while. Personally, I make an effort to complete a game, and occasionally that is a Herculean effort, but a satisfying one ne’ertheless.

  15. 1. I think it was Red Dead Redemption. I’m still in the middle of FFXIII and Dragon Age: Origins. I’m nearly finished Fallout 3 GotY’s expansions. It took priority due to Fallout: New Vegas’ imminent release.
    2. We’re going back a while here, Borderlands maybe? I don’t remember my aftermath of Bioshock 2, but I did do it 3 times.
    3. The game I’ve replayed most is either Hitman: Blood Money or RE4. Recently? RE5.
    I sometimes complete games 100% but I’ll try to sample as much as possible (so, 60-70+%?).
    4. What factors? Memory wipes (sorry Dark Cloud). The last game I stopped playing for good? Heavy Rain as I didn’t want to be put through the stress all over again. I may eventually go back, but it won’t be for a while.
    5. If I love the game enough to keep me playing it? Until the next game I enjoy as much comes out.

    Also, does prestige mode count as replaying games? If so CoD4 7 times, MW2 3.9 times.

  16. 1. Red Dead Redemption

    2. Portal, I guess. It’s pretty rare that I’m inclined to replay something before at least a year has passed since my first time through.

    3. Chrono Trigger, or FFVI if we’re only counting complete playthroughs. No, that’s a lie – it’s definitely Myst, counting all its editions and re-releases over the years. Pretty sure Red Dead Redemption was my first 100% completion ever.

    4. I guess it depends on the genre. I’ve definitely ditched a few adventure games a short way in due to terrible dialogue and disintegrating plot. RPGs with overly complex combat systems tend to get the boot as well. For good is a tough one – might be Eternal Sonata, as I haven’t touched that in at least 9 months.

    5. I apparently fall on the fickle end of the spectrum with this crowd – haven’t found a game yet that I really never get sick of. Even with Red Dead Redemption, which definitely qualified as a game I loved, I was thoroughly done with it by 100% completion at about 50 hours in.

  17. 1. StarCraft 2

    2. Liberty City Episodes. I waited for over a year for it to come out on PS3, loved it, and wanted to play it again.

    3. It’s either Borderlands or GTAIV. I know I’ve played Borderlands at least 6 times through (2 of them were second play through) and GTAIV is probably the same (lost count). I just love them both so much. Good question, I almost always finish a game I start (except Metro2033) but I rarely get 100 of all the achievements (I did 100% of Fallout 3 and infamous). I stop when it stops being fun. I think finishing the game and 100% completion are two separate things.

    4. Lack of fun or interest, broken/bad game mechanics, or it pissed me off. Metro2033; I got tired of the total repetitiveness, broken game mechanics, and the lack of a decent reason for the protagonist to be doing what he was doing (story didn’t really make much sense to me).

    5. Not really sure, but I have noticed that the more times I play through a game the longer I have to wait before the next play through to peak my interest, otherwise it gets too repetitive.

  18. 1. Okami was last game I finished, but I also played that when it came out. New game I finished? Limbo.

    2. Demon’s Souls, over and over and over again. And 3D Dot Game Heroes.

    3. See above. I’ve played through Demon’s Souls more times than I can count. I don’t usually go for 100% completion, but I did get in Demon’s Souls, FFXIII, and I’m close now in Fallout 3. With less money to buy new games, I find it easier to enjoy each game I play to its fullest.

    4. I usually get tired of repetitive quests in games, especially fetch quests or the “keep your teammate alive” quests. Simply, whatever makes me bored.
    I think Ninety-Nine Nights II, but I never really thought I’d beat that anyway, just rented it to have a little fun smashing lots of things up for a few days.

    5. A game I love? I keep coming back forever.

  19. 1. The last game I finished was Episode 3 of Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People. I’m new to Point-and-click adventure games, so I ended up looking online a lot for these games. I love the parts, however, when I manage the toughest puzzles on my own, often just by screwing around.

    2. That’s a tough one. Once I beat a game, I immediately lose interest in it.

    3. I have played the crap out of Oblivion, even after several re-installs and breaks. I have never actually 100% completed that game, though. The only game I have completed fully was Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat for the GameCube.

    4. If a game has bad controls (New Play Control: Donkey Kong Jungle Beat), repetitive shooting (Call of Duty 2: Big Red One), etc. I won’t finish it. I never finished New Super Mario Bros. Wii because I just got bored of jumping around. Maybe I’ll finish it someday.

    5. If it’s a game I really love, like Oblivion or Smash Bros. Melee, I will play it forever.

  20. Doh. Just realized I never commented with answers to my own questions. Here it goes:

    1. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. Amazing co-op experience. You have to play this game if it’s available to you. Lots of gameplay for a downloadable title, too.

    2. Probably Limbo. I’m a huge fan of the atmosphere, and I’m dying to see if I can knock down the achievement for only dying a handful of times. Though it could very well be impossible.

    3. I’ve replayed the original Metal Gear Solid more times than I can count. Mario 64 is another one that I would just play over and over again, because I loved the way it controlled. In the post I named the winners for this gen.

    4. I mentioned it in the post, but Blood Bowl is simply one of the most frustrating games I’ve experienced in a long time. I was raging so hard while playing it. I’ve been meaning to write a review of it, simply so it could stand as our only F rated game on GS.

    5. After about six months I can get tired of a game, but that’s after playing it almost every day for six months. Halo 3 took me about a year or more to get tired of, but Left 4 Dead fell somewhere in the 4-6 month range.

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