Completion versus saving time

GamesKristina Pino3 Comments

So, it's been a while since I wrote about Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. I was playing it a while back, pretty enthusiastically so and blowing through the game as quickly as I could.

But I haven't played in over a month now, namely because I hit a spot in the game where I'm almost finished, but things opened up for me to handle side missions and other things. I have a few choices, and I could go for the "full completion" by doing all these side quests, getting the Hylian Shield, and anything else that strikes my fancy like getting as many heart containers as possible and all that.

After failing to attain the Hylian Shield two or three times now (the challenge for it isn't difficult, but it's easy to mess up), I'm wondering whether it's worth all the effort at all. That, of course, got me thinking about whether it's worth it to get the full completion in every game I play in general. Why do it? Most of the time, you don't get much (some trophies? Achievements?) in return and you'll have beat the game just the same, just for 20 hours more time than you might have otherwise.

Yeah, it's cool to get all the "extra story," background stuff, extra little emblems and badges you can show off to your friends for taking the time to do all these extra things, but I used to go for it when I had more time, when I was a care-free student that finished her homework for the day. Now, though? I think a bit more highly of my time and have to think twice about it. I value the hours you get out of a game based on price, but at the same time I look at those hours and wonder, "what else could I be doing with these 20 hours I'd spend in front of the tube? Maybe paint something, or go outside and take some pictures."

It isn't really fair to myself to take away my gaming hours like that due to lack of practical justification for them, though - especially me being a believer in rest time. We can't be going on like an Energizer Bunny all day long until it's bed time. Everyone needs some unwinding time, and some days I choose video games to fill up that time.

So now I'm stuck. Do I put in the hours to get all the cool extras and the nice shield for my game, or do I skip it in favor of putting it away for good and playing something else? It all comes down to that, since I've been much choosier about what I sit down and play due to lack of time.

Somehow, I don't think I would be able to leave the game half-done like that without getting that iconic shield. I might end up trying that challenge again, even though I've spent most of the game not depending on any shield at all. Why? I guess I'm just nostalgic.

I also have a really bad habit of getting to the end of a game and not actually finish it. I'm not sure how many folks out there have this same problem, but I just feel like I'm "done" by the time I get to a certain point. Plus, who is to say that by not beating that final boss I haven't played just as much as the next person who did? What's an extra hour?

I want this year to be the one that I finish all the games I start, though, so I won't let it happen with Skyward Sword.