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LONG BLOG

Cblogs of 01/03/16 + Sometimes Its Okay To Stop

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I have a viewpoint that may be very controversial (considering fan pressure campaigns), or more likely isn't at all (due to similar reasons as I). Despite this, I believe there is a general trend within videogame series that leaves me simultaneously happy it has now begun to occur but also let down it is a very rare exception. Maybe it needs to be said loudly, proudly and with enough muster to ping the ears of developers? Well, worth a short...

…I enjoy it when a series finishes.

When I say finishes, I do not mean the developers or publishers announce to the world that a sequel couldn't be less likely if the world erupted into flames like its older sibling The Sun. Instead I mean a game is designed around the idea of being a goodbye letter, a finale and the final chance to wrap everything up. The developers walked in knowing it'd be their last shot to finish the narrative, and so they do so with bittersweet vigour like a long love affair you have to say good bye to.

It is understandable it has been incredibly rare (if ever done) up to lately. There is the obvious capitalist part (i.e. it is easier to sell a game part of a beloved franchise than outside of one), writing unfamiliarity (because let's face it, we're still learning how to make a story with games) and unpredictability of a series as a publisher/developer may randomly decide to keep going or stop depending on various reasons (e.g. sales). 

However, there is also how much we look towards the future. When we become attached to a growing narrative, we always look towards what other wonderful avenues it could go down. I bet no one anticipated Metal Gear Solid would suddenly go Cold War spy-thriller after 2. Similarly, wasn't it cool when Silent Hill 3 continued on the story of 1? Oh, and when Far Cry 3 had Vaas, didn't we become gleeful about the series? What if it had ended prior to those moments? That'd be a shame.

Man, what if Silent Hill ended before Silent Hill: The Arcade... Actually, that would have been pretty lovely. 

Yet, I still believe we need to sometimes let go. We need to finish the game on a final note and then move on. Not only doing such a game creates closure for everyone (developers and audience alike), but it is your chance to wrap up all the dangling plot threads. In addition, it allows developers to move onto new pastures with the knowledge that the previous project is truly done, rather than a looming cloud that may be invoked one day. Plus, who wants to see a series they love gently fall into disrepair like the Silent Hill, Corpse Party and Sonic the Hedgehog series? I believe it is better to stop when the going is good, wrap up the story and maybe weave a heart-warming goodbye to the fans in it.

So here's to CD Projekt Red, Hideo Kojima and Kotaro Uchikoshi for making the gutsy decision to stop. Thank you for wrapping up The Witcher (which is on a long long hiatus at least), Metal Gear Solid and Zero Escape. Thank you for providing closure to a series people love, allowing people to see everything to an end of some kind rather than floating “what if”s about and for weaving in a final goodbye/thank you the fans deserve (especially Kojima in this regard for Truth – The Man Who Sold the World). The end of a franchise never has to mean the end for the content that left us in awe, the people behind it are still about and there is no reason they can't go on to make another game series to get excited about.

...And with that, speaking of closure, there's a good few blogs to recap including some Game of the Year lists (which wouldn't you look at that, mine has fallen out of my pocket onto the floor the same day as this! Whoops!). So let's get going!


A – Oh, the brick wall of a boss, how it haunts me. While TheBlondeBass talks about how the final boss of Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?, I am reminded of my own demons of dealing with bosses. Oddly though, the tension of facing off against a boss that may be undefeatable for my level  puts me off continuing way before the boss fight frustration does. This has especially cropped up in Persona 3, Final Fantasy 7 and Final Fantasy 8, just on the last leg quitting due to the fear of having to try, try and then try again due to an inadequate build. Well done on taming the beast TheBlondeBass.


S – Dreamweaver's has made it into 2016 with his silly Comments of the Week series, still committed to scrolling news posts for the most appealing comments for your delicate eyes. Here's to reaching 2017 with the series!

A – OverlordZetta, unafraid of things like deadlines, comes to us with what they are thankful for: The end of The Grind, when grinding goes awry. Beyond the obvious “everything is bad when the good goes foul”, I do understand what they mean. There is a difference to me between JRPG level grinding (e.g. Persona 4, Persona 3 or Final Fantasy 9)  that can feel relaxing and being asked to find and collect 420 flags in Assassin's Creed in the most tedious way possible. I am thankful too when I manage to avoid The Grind.

A – One of them fightin' game fans with the twiddly arcade sticks? Virtua Kazama talks through all the fighting games (as well as DLC) being released in 2016. Guile as DLC in SF 5 still surprises me, although still holding out for the unlikely chance of D.Dark as DLC.


This week, I've been mostly listening to: Tower from The Beginner's Guide. 


Playing The Beginner's Guide a few days ago was just a hell of a trip best saved unspoken and unspoiled.

C – One day... ONE DAY Lewzr will tame Baldur's Gate, an RPG that has been resting on his shelf for 20 years. I hope the day comes though.

C – I really hope Jeremy Steimel gets through a Legend of Zelda title, as it is the elusive hunt that he regrets not managing. Although to me, you can enjoy a series without completing a title. Like I love everything From Software has made in the last few years (Demon's Souls onwards), but I just can't complete a Soulsian game. They tend to be too hard for fragile me. Despite that, the time spent with them are always fantastically grim in a way that scratches my dark fantasy itch perfectly. Good luck with Legend of Zelda though!


T – cheetaman goes back through most of the games they played in 2015, talking about the ones that win, the ones that lose and the ones left singing the blues.

R – Lord Spencer continues to find Mega-Drive games that I've actually never heard of, this time reviewing the Electronic Arts strategic title General Chaos.

T – Sometimes a “top five of the year” list is troublesome to write, especially if you just haven't played much that year. Fortunately, Scrustle gets around it by declaring it as “top five games I played in 2015”.

R – Kooram stumbles upon a game of invisible discs called Rebel Galaxy, set in an unique universe where space is so peculiarly shaped that you can only travel along a 2D plane. Shame really, as I think it seems to under-cut the draw (i.e. simulation) on the sacrificial altar of accessibility. 

T – TheKodu wants to know: Are you willing to spend $70 to show to the world you are part of the PC Master Race? Still, the fact the joke has ballooned into a $70 price tag amuses me and interests me greatly. Makes me wonder if one or two emoticons uploaded at $50+ might be by the developer...


"Y'know Donnie? I don't think I will scatter your sorrow to the heartless sea. Instead, I will always be with you. Plant your roots in me Donnie, 'cause you ain't gonna end as ashes. You're...You're a diamond."

C – Remember Mega Man Legends? Oculin thinks about the early attempts at cell-shaded graphics and, well, it feels a bit short I admit. While it wasn't originally written for Destructoid (and therefore was not originally intended for our community's preference of length), it still feels like it ends just as it is still being explained. He is still good at talking about it, just could have done with a bit more to the topic.


- Riobux

LPotD.

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