Unfinished Games

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Unfinished Games

John Scott Tynes discusses how to make sure no game goes unfinished.

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The list of games I never get round to finishing is embarrssingly long and it's not because the games are rubbish. In most cases I'll reach a hard level then not touch it for a few months go back to it after feeling guilty and do it first time.

And I agree I did the Krogan Battlemaster fight on Veteran difficlutly with a sniper/tech guy. Very hard. I take it its the one after you resuce the blue skinned doll. With the long cutscene before it. Eventually I worked out that the enemy uses the same tactics regardless of what I did so i abused this until i got lucky.

I think that is what cheat codes were for back in the day. Sadly they have gone the way of the Dodo. My favorite Super Nintendo cartage was the Game Genie, just because it would allow me to see all the content of games I would normally label unbeatable.

hamster mk 4:
I think that is what cheat codes were for back in the day. Sadly they have gone the way of the Dodo. My favorite Super Nintendo cartage was the Game Genie, just because it would allow me to see all the content of games I would normally label unbeatable.

I find this post quite interesting...

I got a lot of games I never finish... Either because I lose interest, or simply because new games pop up.
Those in the last category I usually finish later, but some I never do... I don't know why, but it is hard to jump in again when that happens. Oddly enough, I have a few games where all I have left to do is the final boss or sequence. And these are great games (Psychonauts is one of them) Why haven't I done that last bit? I think it is because then the game will be finished. And if I finish it, it loses something. Like when you are reading a brilliant book you never want to end. It's like that. I don't want Psychonauts to end, 'cause it's 'effin brilliant.
But at the same time I really want to see how it ends... will probably play through it next week, now that this thread made me remember the fact that I haven't beaten it yet. And remembering that made me lose the Game. Curses.

Jaqen Hghar:
I got a lot of games I never finish... Either because I lose interest, or simply because new games pop up.
Those in the last category I usually finish later, but some I never do... I don't know why, but it is hard to jump in again when that happens. Oddly enough, I have a few games where all I have left to do is the final boss or sequence. And these are great games (Psychonauts is one of them) Why haven't I done that last bit? I think it is because then the game will be finished. And if I finish it, it loses something. Like when you are reading a brilliant book you never want to end. It's like that. I don't want Psychonauts to end, 'cause it's 'effin brilliant.
But at the same time I really want to see how it ends... will probably play through it next week, now that this thread made me remember the fact that I haven't beaten it yet. And remembering that made me lose the Game. Curses.

Heh. I wonder how many games you haven't finished that use the "false ending" trope? Where you think it's the end, but then the game picks up and takes off from that point. Just something you might want to consider.

On topic: Wow.. so it seems all those "hardcore" gamers aren't so hardcore after all. 28%? And people wonder why the Wii, with simple games that, even when you complete them are generally still playable, is so popular.

If they guys working on Alone in the Dark didn't have the time or money to fix the difficulty issues in that portion of the game, I doubt they would have the resources to implement your Gamer Hero idea.

That said, I do think it's a good idea, though we'll have to wait and see how Miyamoto's "Demo Play" does to determine if it actually works in practice.

Kwil:

Heh. I wonder how many games you haven't finished that use the "false ending" trope? Where you think it's the end, but then the game picks up and takes off from that point. Just something you might want to consider.

Not many I think... I usually check it online to see if I am close to the end if I find out I have done this :P
I never do this on purpose you see... it just happens.
And I am supposed to go to bed. Don't make me go search for tropes again...

there are definately a good number of games in my collection that i just didnt like enough to play all the way through, like GTA4 (and dont give me crap about it, it just wasnt personally my game) and definately many that were too hard, like the original Fire Emblem (which i admit wasnt all that hard, i just wasnt very good at it=P)

My unfinished games would be all role playing games iv'e ever owned except for Zelda(Wii) and mass effect. just thinking about the hours toward just fighting monsters to level up high enough to beat the game were to intimidating for me and i gave up trying to reach there ends before i ever started.

There are two games I ever bought but didn't finish.

The first one is Gauntlet II for Gameboy. No matter how hard I tried and how many dungeons I cleared, I would eventually get stuck and die. Years later I realized that Gauntlet II is a never-ending game. The game will keep going for as long as you manage to stay alive. There is no last level, no final boss. So this one doesn't really count.

The second one is Final Fantasy VII. I'm a huge fan of RPGs, both on of off the computer, and FF7 was my first JRPG. Let me correct that: it was my first and final JRPG. Although the cutscenes were far beyond impressive and it had a decent story, I found the gameplay to be incredibly boring. I never did mind a bit of number crunching and I understand that some repetition is sometimes required in a CRPG but the whole menu-selecting battle system just didn't fit me, and believe me when I say that I tried, and I just didn't click with the main characters. The immersion just didn't take place. I ended up downloading a movie player and watching all the cutscenes from the CD, after which I sold the game second hand.

I tend to finish all my games of late. I want my achievements.

But when I had my PS1 I only completed 2 games, Ace Combat 3 and GTA 2, out of around 20-30 games. Most of this was due to difficulty and me being useless at all my games cause I never truely learned how to play perfectly.

I completed GTA 2 with cheats then without them cause I got better. And Ace Combat 3 cause I just love flying sims and got rather good at it.

I currently (I only have a Wii) am working on beating the games I haven't finished. I just beat off Super Paper Mario, and Super Mario Galaxy only recently. Oh, and Rival Swords. I need to beat Soul Calibur Legends, and Mortal Kombat Armageddon when I can. Other than that, Pokemon Diamond is on the bottom of my list, as it's new.

And after todays Unforgotten Realms, I feel the urge to play TF2. And therefor should get the Orange Box.

Sounds similar to the intent of quick-time events - you're taken through a scripted sequence and every so often you have to provide some input to keep the scene moving. Unfortunately that all too often turns into "Press X to not die" and becomes a punishing test of your reflexes.

It could be done well though, if the buttons you're expected to press are essentially the controls you would be using to control the action anyway, but with your method/route pre-decided and scripted. So for a cinematic race with stuff exploding left right and centre you could have an event pop up that you need to brake for a corner - don't press the right button, you spin off into a falling chunk of masonry or something. It _could_ be done well, but it very often isn't and you end up unable to watch the cool cinematic stuff because you're on alert for the event notifications.

Maybe also if there was some pre-warning - the event comes up, you're going to need to press the button in 3... 2... 1.. DO IT NOW! and then you've got some time interval to press it. Means you can take your eyes off the notifications occasionally to watch the pretty pictures for a bit.

Funny, when I read the title I thought you meant games that are unfinished by the developers--in other words games that are released in a beta (or alpha) state. That's been a bigger problem for me lately.

Okay, fair enough, there is quite a few polished games I haven't finished. If somebody pays $60 for a game they probably want all the content. Locked content and even linear levels go back to arcade days. Drop that. All levels available once the game is installed. If you want to start midway through it might spoil some of the story but that is your choice. Simple fix. Power to the player.

Now role playing games that involve leveling and gearing up solve most of the problem right there because if you can't finish a task at, say, level 6, then just grind a couple levels and go back at level 9 with better equipment and you probably can. But if you can finish it at 6 you can still feel how leet you are.

Then make games good. I'm not in the least bit surprised only 28% finished GTA4 because, content aside, the game is garbage and finally we have proof. If the game is good, even if it's hard--and my reflexes aren't what they were 20 years ago--I'll still trod my way through it, cursing God and Jesus and throwing my controller against the wall the whole way. If the game is boring I just start playing something else.

Here are the games that I never completed:

Oblivion IV Elder scrolls - it just took to long and I kept getting side tracked and did useless things. Also I was never happy with my characters and after I usually did something I would think to myself a few hours "oh I wish that I had done that" so I would create a new character. I am up to my 5th character but now whenever I think of the game I just say "sod it"

Fallout 3 - pretty much the same thing as oblivion and I was borrowing it from my friend for a short time only. (I'm up to my third character on this game)

Forza Motorsport 2 - Well on this game what do I do first. You race. Then what? You race some more. And then? Race some more. And after that ... oh sod it! Repetitve is the only word I use to describe that game.

Soul Caliber 4 - I just think that it is a truely aweful game but seeing that it was bro's that bought the game I don't realy care.

Far Cry 2 - When I first saw this game I knew it was going to be good and it was. Fighting in the middle of Africa, doing risky missions, saving buddies from death or easing their passing, playin' with fire. These aspects of the game were brilliant and the story was believeable enough but those thing which I have just listed were the only things that you realy do in the game and it only gets more and more repetitve so I just gave up.

I liked all of the games I just wrote about, except for Soul Caliber 4, and they are fun to play when I a bored. These games all have reason that make you stop playing but what I find interesting is, What gives a game replayable value? What reasons does a game have that would make you want to play it again? There is only one game for me that does this which is the Orange Box. This is Half Life 2 episode 1 and 2, Portal, and Team Fortress 2. I don't know what it is for me that makes these games so replayable. Although Yahtzee could probably give you a hell of a lot of reasons why you should play Portal.

Strongly agree with your sentiments JST.

A while back I decided to make a point of genuinely attempting to finish games. I will freely offer that I am getting more out of my gaming since I did this than ever before.

All those times I hit places in agmes where it was too hard, or too boring to press on, now I plough through and I would say the results have made me wish I started doing it a long time ago.

So what you're asking for is to CHOOSE to perform QTE's?

Yahtzee will kill you, you know?

For shame.

It's all in the pacing, I remember a game called "Contact" (?) and I got suck early on a really annoying boss (made even more annoying by the combat) and eventually getting bored, playing every so often and finally quitting altogether.

If a part is to frustrating or boring that it can actually bog down the player and cause them to seek out other games to fill their void, then there are problems.

In true spirit of this article, I didn't finish it.

It is true though, every game I got except for HL2 and Ep1 are in someway unfinished, some are very close,but it tends to be some nail on my smooth floor that pops my tires for the game-mobile, leaving be stuck,because the game-mobile never came with a spare. I'm not saying I need the spare, just make sure your game doesn't have any nails sticking out. Plus the nails are great for Yahtzee to pull at with his critic mouth.

Another thought: if I really want to see all the content that I can't or don't want to finish, you have "Let's Play" video's on YouTube. Heck, in that case you don't even have to buy the game. I stopped playing WoW at the start of WotLK but I still watch videos of the instances and raids. Suits me fine.

Just to add: the suggestions in the OP sound like implementing official cheat codes as one of the options in the main menu. Sounds good to me. I can understand the problem game designers have of appealing to a wide range of player skill. There should always be an easy mode, maybe disguise it without actually calling it an "easy" mode, that should be truly easy (I'm looking at you Super Stardust HD and WipEout HD), and then difficulty settings can be adjusted upward from there.

Edit #2: Okay I just watched the Alone in the Dark video. I'm going to hazard a guess that this game took driving controls from the fail GTA4 playbook and that's why it was hard, once you had worked out the route. I know it took manakin character design from fail BioShock textures. I'd guess I wouldn't have finished the game either.

I need to beat Mark of the Kri,Front Mission 4 and the 3 sly cooper games and God of War 2 that I bought a while back

and the games I need to buy and beat are Ratchet and Clank games,old FF games and tactics and first two jak and daxter games

those statistics seem a litle misleading especially when you consider that most people buy tc games for the mp.

Jaqen Hghar:
Oddly enough, I have a few games where all I have left to do is the final boss or sequence. And these are great games (Psychonauts is one of them) Why haven't I done that last bit? I think it is because then the game will be finished. And if I finish it, it loses something. Like when you are reading a brilliant book you never want to end. It's like that.

Same reason here. Many of my 'unfinished' games are ones that don't allow you to continue to play after beating the final boss - and I'd like to be able to do all the sidequests/secrets/etc. (frex, I've never beaten OoT because I'd like to find all those darn Skulltullas first). Completing those sorts of games means losing their gameplay afterwards.

On the half-auto pilot, Tales of Symphonia (and perhaps others) featured the ability to switch between Manual, Semi-Auto, and Auto (AI) controls even mid-battle. Semi-Auto retained player control but did more with player input - importantly, issuing an attack caused your character to first close with the opponent so that the attack would connect. Manual offered more freedom but more chances to screw up (jumping became very easy - useful if you wanted it but annoying if you couldn't control it well)

The proposed idea is good, but it only solves (partially) one problem - difficulty. Including the auto pilot requires that the game itself is not broken in the first place. However there's a load of other reasons for not finishing the game: bugs which may prevent completion (GTA4, Crysis); game turns shite (Far Cry when mutants appear) or just becomes dull and boring (BioShock and ton of others).

If you throw the game away because of a difficult area, it may be for two reasons: either it's really just difficult, like some areas in Mafia for example, but you can always use cheats in that case. Or, you don't like the game anyway and the difficult area is just one last straw, like in my case the bug run in HL2EP2. And the auto pilot again only solves the first issue.

And anyway, many games are not finished because the owner wants to play multiplayer and just tries single for the sake of checking (like GOW2 and COD5). And GTA4? Well most people play that for the sandbox experience, the campaign drags so slow anyway.

And the most important thing - I play games to have fun, if the game is not fun for whatever reason, I put it off and try not to think about the lost money.

I make a point of finishing every game I buy, even if it's kicking my ass like Valkyria Chronicles is right now. I don't think that "gamer hero" mode should be a part of every game, rather, that there be games that are strictly "gamer hero" all the time, and the rest of them play just as they do now.

The reason I don't finish most games is cause I get distracted by shiny objects. But I guess that I have high standards on games, there are few I finish.

I keep checcking on this one game in development limbo. It was called possetion. it was basicly like overlord with zombies. But their were different classes of zombies and it was really cool. come to think of it.....Overlord and left 4 dead may have got their inspiration from this. The zombie classes were like the infected on left4dead and overlord looks like possesion except in a fantasy enviornment.

Wow, I guess my friends and me are way more hardcore than we thought. You really couldn't beat the Battlemaster (I assume you mean the one at the end of Therum, there are actually several you fight towards the end). Were you playing on the easiest difficulty? I played on medium as a soldier, adept, and engineer, and I blew through that guy while barely blinking. Sorry man, maybe that kind of game just isn't for you? I everyone I know that owns it have managed to complete at least one playthrough. Maybe they've been lying to me?

I have to admit that of all the Games I have played the first I ever beat at normal difficulty was Streets of Rage 2. The rest in no particular order are Halo 1( did beat that one on Legendary) and 2 (only on normal), Mechassault(on easy to unlock a mech), the story mode for Soul Calibur, the story part of all the GTA's on the last gen systems, Stubbs the Zombie, Psi-Ops, Resident Evil 2, Grandia 2 (that's the game that made me like RPGs)and finally Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2. I have been playing since NES but quit when Big M pulled BS with my Live subscription.

Am I the only person here who thinks the old-school cheat codes system was perfectly fine as a way of getting less skilled gamers through hard circumstances?

Honestly, I still miss the days of Big Head cheats, Paintball Mode and Infinite Ammo. Those are still available in PC games through the developer console, I know, but for some reason they dropped out of console games. I never really saw why they stopped implementing cheats, except for cheapness and laziness, the typical reasons why any good thing would drop out of the games industry.

I have Gamers ADD. I play a great game, then I see another great game and play that.

I only finish games I truly like. I have played alot of bad games

Silva:
Honestly, I still miss the days of Big Head cheats, Paintball Mode and Infinite Ammo.

Ahh, big head mode, maye ye nevar bee forgotten.

I suffer acutely from never quite finishing my games. God of War, Ico, Kameo, Prince of Persia... I never quite beat the final boss on Metroid Prime, and I only really had one crack at it, but it was almost dead, so I'm pretty sure that one will fly. My biggest problem though is Morrowind. I would like to finish it, but every time I start it up and play it for a few days, something else will catch my eye and poor Morrowind will be left to catch more dust. Trouble is, by the time I get back to it, I've forgotten basically everything I'd done up to that point, and feel obliged to start a new character. And so the terrible cycle begins anew...

The thing I find is that most games have some kind of level or section about 2/3 of the way through that is harder than the rest of the game combined (eg the robotic bosses found frequently in FF games and the lift with skeletons and a spike roof falling on you in God of war2). This is the biggest culprit of me not finishing games as I tend to give up after 20 or so attempts at something in a game (less if there's an unskippable cutscene or half a level to play before a new attempt can happen). Not quite sure why this happens but it's incredibly frustrating. Another culprit is the "random encounters" that come about so often that you constantly lose track of where you are in a maze and while the game isn't too hard it's just pointless fighting 100+ battles just to move from one screen to the next (I'm pointing at YOU Xenogears). I don't mind games that are difficult but difficulty needs to be consistant and having some boss battle being harder than the final boss just breaks the whole experience.

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