Alright No Shame November, time to get a few things off my chest. We’ve all had those moments in games that we’re not too proud of. We can usually blame frustration or impatience, though sometimes we find ourselves trying just a bit too hard for something we realize doesn’t really matter (I know some of you have resorted to Hannah Montana for that easy Platinum Trophy). No matter what the cause, I think we can all agree we walk away feeling like we need a very hot shower.
Now before I talk about my shameful past, you’re going to need to know what I take pride in. I take pride in playing games to completion, though I can’t be bothered with trophies. Games should convey a sense of satisfaction without crutching on text prompts and gold stars. I don’t use guides, and I don’t give up. I also rather like to win.
Now, I’ve been gaming for many years, and have accumulated a number of shameful moments throughout my time. The most profound though have been cases where I’ve had to have others complete portions of games for me, or had to resort to a guide.
Great games have a lot of thought put in to them with the intention of challenging the people that play them. Designers don’t just throw in middle fingers to piss you off, they’re striving for a goal. They want you to feel a certain way. Using guides, or even worse, having others play through sections for you, shits on all those efforts.
Star Ocean 2: The Second Story took me 3 years to beat, simply because I was incapable of overcoming Indalecio, the final boss. I finally went back to the game, used a guide, and apparently all I needed to do was equip a different piece of armor.
What had I done? I’d drained all satisfaction from the end of that game. It had become meaningless (and I loved that game!). My wife still won’t let me live that one down. Of course I lie about it all the time. But I know even Rena was disappointed in me.
So what would I say is my most shameful gaming experience? I’d have to say having friends beat the Fire Temple in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for me. I mean, come on, the Fire Temple? It wasn’t even the most challenging part of that game. I’ve no idea why I did it. I was young. I died a few times. We all make bad decisions when we’re young.
This is made worse by how good of a game Ocarina of Time was. I’ve played games like Bayonetta with my wife, some bosses she’s more adept at, so she does them. I’m fine with that. But Ocarina of Time? I’m pretty sure cheating yourself, or anyone, out of that experience is against the Geneva Convention.
I still own a gold cartridge copy of the original Ocarina of Time, but have never replayed it. I’ve beaten all the Zeldas (excluding hand held installments) since, but have never erased this blot on my gaming history. Forgive me Princess…