Saturday, October 6, 2012

Am I alone?

     I have always had some issues when it comes to being something of a perfectionist.  I get it from my father.  But sometimes, this can turn into an obsession.  Let me provide some background.

     I have been playing games most of my life.  At an early age my family bought an Atari 2600 and thus began my passion for video games.  Some of my early favorites were of course Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Circus Atari.  I remember my parents loving it when the little Circus Atari guy would go splat after missing the seesaw.

     After the Atari 2600 I remember I was able to get an NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) and this probably lead to my obsession.  It started with Super Mario Bros.  I remember the first time that I found a hidden block and that was the exact moment it started.  As a perfectionist, it really bothered me because I could not see everything.  How could I be sure I got everything if some of the stuff was hidden?  Now I found myself spending time searching for stuff that may or may not be there.  I should probably also clarify that I view using strategy guides as cheating.  So, I had to find everything myself.  Now this may sound like I would hate gaming because it would turn into work.  I still enjoyed the experience though because finding hidden items or collecting everything was a challenge.

     I had a lot of consoles, pretty much one every generation after that and mostly all Nintendo.  I never really got into any of the other consoles but there was a particular time when I changed course and picked up the original Xbox.  I had the GameCube as well from that generation but I will discuss the reasons that led me to Xbox in a different post.

     Around this time I began relying on video game reviews to determine which games I should be buying and playing.  My philosophy is simple.  When you have to find everything you should probably only play the very best games given the time investment.  This led me to Halo: Combat Evolved.  I searched every nook and cranny of that game and beat it on every difficulty level.  I enjoy playing a game on every difficulty level because I am intrigued by what the developers do to make the game harder.  This was also rewarded in the early Halo games with different dialogue that would occur based on the difficulty you were playing.  At any rate, I beat Halo to my satisfaction but this took a long time.

     It was around this time that I started using for my review scores because I liked that they averaged all major reviews and gave the games a score based on the aggregate scores.  The next game on my list was GTA: Double Pack (GTA 3 and Vice City).  These two Grand Theft Auto titles really did take me forever to beat to my standards.  As anyone who has played the games know, these games are as complex as it gets.  To further complicate the matter I decided that I had to achieve the highest possible rank in both games.  This required a certain score in Vice City that was extremely time consuming to acquire.

     The next game is Halo 2.  I am sorry to say I am still playing this game.  Sorry only because I have been chipping away at it forever.  This is a great game.  I am currently working on the last level on heroic difficulty.  One of my friends states that I will not be able to beat Halo 2 on legendary difficulty to my standards as when I play the game I must clear every level of bad guys.  Perhaps he is right, or perhaps I will find a way.  I just like finding stuff without cheating.  I do not have lots of time to game anymore which is why I am still working on Halo 2.  When I do play though, I like to take it seriously.  Is anyone else in the world as obsessive about playing their games?  Let me know if it's just me and if I need to get some help in the comments section below.


  1. I don't play my games that way though I do like to try and beat the game without using guides or the internet for help. One time on Elder Scrolls: Oblivion (Game of the Year edition) I had contracted with vampirism. As a character of good I was trying to get rid of it and played countless hours trying to do the quest that helped me get rid of it. I swore I had the right ingredients but the witch who knew the cure wouldn't ever accept what I had. Finally I cracked and looked online to find out in the GoTY edition there was a bug where it couldn't be rid of. Hopefully you've never been stuck on something that wasn't even your fault but you never checked. Otherwise, I don't think you need any help if isn't taking away from other aspects of your life in a way like horrible drugs do. And if searching every nook and cranny is your way of enjoyment then enjoy. I always wondered how people always found the "easter eggs" (hidden goodies) in games.

  2. Thanks for your feedback. I do know what you mean. There is a glitch in GTA 3 like that where if you do things just right then a particular group that you needed to lay a beating on would never show up. I believe it was called the purple nines glitch. But similar story to yours. Could not figure out why they were not showing up. Did a quick search online and found it was a glitch. That was a nasty glitch because you cannot get past it because the mission is critical to the progression of the game.