Episode 41: Forever Incomplete

by J.P. Corbran, James Dawson, Andy Goergen, Zachary Miller, Neal Ronaghan, and Scott Thompson - July 7, 2012, 7:04 am PDT
Total comments: 28

What games will YOU never finish?

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As the barren summer months roll on towards a promising and bountiful fall, what better time than now for some somber reflection?

Kicking off episode 41, Neal and Zach talk about their lists of games they'll never, ever finish. Not that the games are bad, per se, but with Neal's model airplane hobby and Zach's burgeoning male modeling career, who has the time to play every game he wants anymore? Have some games that will forever be relegated to your backlog? Tell us about them!

Next, we have the second installment of our Pikmin series, focusing this week on Pikmin 2. JP, Andy, and Zach discuss the often-overlooked sequel before JP reveals that it is his favorite GameCube game EVER. Crazy, or just crazy enough to work?

Closing the show out is a bonus segment about Gravity Rush for the PS Vita (boo! hiss! snicker!), featuring Neal, Zach, and James. I can't make any dumb jokes here, because I frankly don't know what the hell a PS Vita is.

As always, you can send us listener mail by clicking here. Oh, and don't forget to review us on iTunes. See you next week for every podcast's milestone episode - number 42!

00:00:00 Intro

00:00:59 Games Never Finished

00:20:21 Pikmin 2

00:43:42 Outro

00:44:38 Bonus Segment - Gravity Rush

This episode was edited by Scott Thompson.

Talkback

Pixelated PixiesJuly 07, 2012

For me there are so many games that I'm likely never to see through to completion, some of which I like more than others.

I'm probably never going to finish Phantasy Star IV, because I feel compelled to explore every inch of a game but hate goddamn random encounters.

I'm not going to be finishing Alien Soldier because I suck at it.

I will never see the ending of Epic Mickey because the camera got on my nerves towards the end and I lost interest.

I've also resigned myself to knowing that I'll never complete Zelda, Zelda II, Metroid or Metroid II. The reason being that the first Zelda and Metroid respectively that I played were A Link to the Past and Super Metriod. I can kind of enjoy the NES precursors as historical novelties and appreciate that they're hugely important, but I just don't think they're all that fun to play. I need more structure to my games and these first steps towards open game worlds for me have been understandably ravaged by time in a way that the NES Super Mario Bros games were not.

cL7oudJuly 07, 2012

Excited for the Gravity rush talk love that game

purevalJuly 07, 2012

I hate to think that I will never finish these games, because I cling to the hope that I will hit the lottery one day and have nothing better to do with my life than finish all the games I want to, but my list includes:


Final Fantasy II (US name)-Made it to the final boss, then my half-brother moved out and took the game with him. Bought it years later but have never had the time to put into it.


Final Fantasy III (US Name)-Bought it a few years ago, put a few hours in and never had time to go back.


ChronoTrigger-Ditto


Mario RPG-Got about 3/4 of the way through it, something else came out I started playing, by the time I got back to it I forgot what I was doing.


Xenoblade-Was part of the Operation Rainfall hype, bought it when it came out. Realize that having 2 kids (1 a newborn) and a long RPG was not a good mix.


Metroid Prime-Bought it when it came out, realized that my motion sickness had gotten so bad I could only play the game in 10 minute intervals. Not happening.


Donkey Kong Country 1-Beaten it, never managed to get the 102% realized I blew my chance on one of them, never going to play the whole game again.


GTA San Andreas-Stuck on the stupid RC plane mission. Too frustrated to go back to it.


Katmari Damacy-Just never seems to be at the top of my list.


Guitar Hero-Man I suck at rhythm games.


Looking at the list I realize I should stop buying RPGS, I just do not have the time to sink into them that I need.




Quote from: pureval

Donkey Kong Country 1-Beaten it, never managed to get the 102% realized I blew my chance on one of them, never going to play the whole game again.

DKC1 only goes up to 101%, and you can always complete it. There was a rumor that you couldn't, but you can.

Pixelated PixiesJuly 07, 2012

I kind of feel bad for you guys if you didn't see Okami through to the end. I understand where you guys are coming from, as the game is quite long, but I was just so invested in the story, the characters and the world that I just didn't want it to end. I actually remember being a little choked up when that game finished. I won't spoil it for those who haven't finished the game but I found it quite touching.

I often joke that it's one of my favourite Zelda games, but it's kind of true.

John E GJuly 07, 2012

Radiant Historia
I can see why some people are over the moon about this game, but I just grew tired of all the text.  Weird because I beat Golden Sun 1 and 2 way back when.


Zelda II: Adventure of Link
Got to the final sequence and died after that brutal final dungeon... never ever going to want to pick that up again.  Just too much pain


Mario RPG
Love the game, played it at a pals house originally on SNES and again on Wii... never did get to the end though.


Metroid Prime 2
Because the ending was ridiculous and I hated it...





AVJuly 07, 2012

Okami dragged on for me too, the japanese cultural aspects just felt too alien for me. I got maybe 30 hours in and just stopped caring.


Finished all Metroid Prime games, but Other M just bothered me too much to finish it.


I have Punch Out and Sin and Punishment for Wii but never touched them.


River City Ransom I got lost and just didn't care anymore.
Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream it gets too hard and frustrating.
StarTropics the game just wants to piss you off, so I gave up on it.
Pushmo is getting to be too difficult and I'm at the last set of levels.
Gargoyle's Quest is so easy to get lost I got sick of the rpg elements but the platforming was fun

LithiumJuly 08, 2012

as for games i'll never finish bit.trip.runner will probably be among them. I got to the last level before the last boss (3-11) and i just hit a wall and didnt want to spend the next 3 hours doing it over and over again until i got it. the fact that there are no checkpoints is really discouraging since you got to go through the entire level again just to have another shot at the one part you cant pass. it gets too tedious for me.


but i never had a problem with finishing all the games on my collection so my list is fairly short, in fact all of the games that i own but haven't finished are all digital downloads on steam (damn you sales)

KDR_11kJuly 08, 2012

There are far too many games (thinking on the level of hundreds here) I will never finish. Most because I simply lost interest and forgot about them, some because they simply suck and some because I got stuck. RPGs are ALWAYS prime candidates for never finishing since they're so long and can get quite repetitive plus offer a lot of time in which more immediately interesting things might come out. There's also the case of games where I simply switch to playing only multiplayer.

Pixelated PixiesJuly 08, 2012

Quote from: KDR_11k

RPGs are ALWAYS prime candidates for never finishing since they're so long and can get quite repetitive plus offer a lot of time in which more immediately interesting things might come out.


Same here man. I often find it hard to motivate myself to finish RPGs, largely because of how they usually spike in difficulty towards the end. Having your whole party be wiped out by one instant-death attack and the only solution to this problem being to grind for levels? No thanks.

It is, however, partly my fault as I refuse to grind throughout these types of games. I will of course level up naturally but I never go out of my way to grind for levels. As a result I often get through boss battles by the skin of my teeth (which is probably an RGP's way of telling me to level up some more), but if I'm able to proceed in the game I feel like my approach to playing it is valid. Yet, I always end up stalling at the last boss. It's pretty frustrating.

Those RPG's I have completed have not necessarily avoided the problem of having a huge difficulty spike at the end, but they have overcome the issue in other ways. Xenoblade for instance created a world which I really wanted to explore. I wasn't going out of my way to grind, but I enjoyed exploring and therefore naturally levelled-up, leaving me in a reasonably strong position for the end game.

purevalJuly 08, 2012

Interesting. I knew it was 101% or 102%, I just guessed. I have tried getting one of the last 2 secrets to fire and it will not let me. It ends the bonus game before I can get into the second one.

BrandoggJuly 08, 2012

Skyward Sword =(

HeyItsMeJuly 08, 2012

Hmm probably some of my DS Games.

Chrono Trigger
DragonQuest 9
Golden Sun
The World Ends With You(At the last area. But can't beat it at all)
Rhythm Heaven (I love the game but don't wanna skip anything)

house3136July 08, 2012

I’m completely with Pixelated on this one. I started playing Okami, got about half way through, got stuck and quit.  I picked it up a year later, beat the game, then immediately started playing again. I completely understand it’s not for everyone; especially not those that play several games a month like the NWR staff does. I played through the hour long optional demon gate battles to attain all 100 beads and 100% the game. I set the game aside a while back with the intention of playing it again in the near future. For those that can’t get enough Zelda, give this game a try; I just checked eBay, it’s Nintendo Selects priced. The game doesn’t hold your hand, the soundtrack is excellent enough to own, and the storytelling is strongly Japanese (for better or worse). Ironically, I bought Okamiden during the 3DS drought and haven’t finished it yet. Thank you Neal for bringing up this game because now I feel compelled to finish it.

Quote from: pureval

Interesting. I knew it was 101% or 102%, I just guessed. I have tried getting one of the last 2 secrets to fire and it will not let me. It ends the bonus game before I can get into the second one.

You have to jump up into the wall and down to the door while holding the barrel otherwise you end up leaving the room instead of triggering the second bonus room. I don't know why.

I'm glad folks like Okami, but even after hearing people effuse some praise for it, I don't really have much interest in going back to it. I think it's beautiful. It's got solid mechanics. I just don't really want to play it ever again.

On the other hand, I'll likely replay Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, and Skyward Sword in my lifetime. I guess Okami isn't my favorite Zelda game.

I definitely echo the RPG never-finishing concept. There are so many RPGs I've gotten 1/3 or 1/2 through that I'll never finish. Funny thing is, I don't really feel cheated by not doing it outside of seeing the story through to the end.

You have to understand that Neal Always wanted to be raised by wolves, but could never find any friendly enough. Now he is bitter and hates them. He has a sick affinity for killing Star Wolf with extreme prejudice in Star Fox 64.

Maybe I just don't identify with dogs, but I can identify with silent dudes.

Evan_BJuly 09, 2012

Unlike Neal, I've had droughts where I've gone without Xenoblade (months or so), but each time I reach a new area my passion for seeing the game through til the end is rekindled. It's so hard to hate this game.

But! I will never complete Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time. I've said I would, but I always get to the same place- where you fight the Prince's Father, and I just get frustrated and fed up. I know it's a good game- I've enjoyed everything up until that point so much- but I just can't bring myself to get any further because of the awkward combat mechanics.

There's very few games I don't think I'll ever complete, but Sonic and the Secret Rings is one of them- just a terrible game, obviously.

This may be the most atrocious instance, but I doubt I'll ever beat Ocarina of Time. Again, I get to the Temple of Shadow and I just get tired of playing. The hover boots certainly don't help, and that dungeon's layout is so convoluted and tedious I can't bring myself to complete it. I know, I'm missing out on the later half of one of the best games of all time, but that's why I have Twilight Princess- polished, prettier, and more unique in design.

So the theme seems to be, for most people, that RPGs are hard to beat. I wonder how developers can alleviate that issue? Smaller, downloadable RPGs, sort of like the Penny Arcade games? Breaking the game up into episodes for more convenient start/stop points?

Pixelated PixiesJuly 09, 2012

Quote from: oksoda

So the theme seems to be, for most people, that RPGs are hard to beat. I wonder how developers can alleviate that issue? Smaller, downloadable RPGs, sort of like the Penny Arcade games? Breaking the game up into episodes for more convenient start/stop points?


That would certainly go some way towards alleviating a few of the issues I have with how RPG's are structured. For me though it's not merely a case of them being difficult, it's that often the only solution is to grind. When I find myself at the last boss and my whole party is getting instant killed even though I've already equipped my best stuff and stocked up on everything I could possibly need? It's those situations that make it quite clear that strategy just isn't going to cut it, and that the game needs me to go and grind for a few hours.

It's kind of a shame that The Last Story took as long as it did to reveil the depth of it's combat. The last boss in that game was so fun to fight, as it had a great mix of action and strategy while avoiding to be either too easy or too hard. If a battle seems impossibly hard, the player feels like they need to grind to make up the difference. If, however, a game can demonstrate to the player that they might win with a different approach or change of tactics then the player's more likely to experiment.

That's why I have no problem banging my head against a brick wall for hours if I feel like I'm learning or making progress. Even if it takes me hours to finally beat that boss. If, however, I feel like I'm required to go and grind for a few hours for what is effectively the same result, then I usually don't bother. I'm expending the same amount of time and effort in both scenarios (if anything grinding is the easier of the two), but for me the latter is never an option because quite frankly I don't think it's fun.

geoJuly 09, 2012

Awesome guys!  Thanks for the timestamps!  You guys rock!

Evan_BJuly 09, 2012

To me, Xenoblade has been the perfect blend of story progression and leveling. The game has difficult enemies that can often be subverted by implementing different arts or partners, so you have such a wide breadth of options available to you, and the wonderful thing is, it can't really HURT to switch out your partners. Also, the amount of sidequests that involve gathering and killing enemies is massive, so it doesn't hurt to pick off a few foes here and there.

The exploration aspect, with each landmark rewarding more experience points, is genius and further helps the game's progression. I've only been held up once or twice in the game, and surprisingly, it hasn't been with bosses. My general stupidity when traversing the terrain often kills me, and a few random enemies have managed to take me out, too.

That being said, I do not particularly enjoy RPG's that require a good deal of grinding, unless they offer something more substantial in addition, like Pokemon.

LithiumJuly 09, 2012

Quote from: NWR_Neal

I'm glad folks like Okami, but even after hearing people effuse some praise for it, I don't really have much interest in going back to it. I think it's beautiful. It's got solid mechanics. I just don't really want to play it ever again.

Even though I played and beaten Okami I don't necessarily disagree with you, when i played it I was in high school and had all the time in the world, if i had played the game today, chances are i probably would be in the same boat as you. Back then being a teenager with plenty of time but very little cash, a 60 hour game is something to put in the positives column, but now it's the exact opposite for me. Xenoblade is probably the longest game i've played to the end because it's probably the only game I've ever played that not only is extremely long, but doesn't have any filler or feels repetitive.


However the main issue i find with long games isnt the length of the game exactly but the pacing. Take the mass effect games for example: they are what i consider to be extremely long games at about 30 hours a piece but they are paced in a way that the game is divided into discrete missions which will take about an hour or less to complete through the beginning, middle and end. In that way it's similarly paced to watching an episode of a show on HBO, just do a mission and then turn the game off. Often times games are paced like a movie, with the beginning middle and ending paced throughout the whole game.  when accommodating the lifestyles of gamers as they eventually get older and the demographic begins to expand I feel that at least in the way we pace long experiences we have more to learn from Television than we do Movies.

Favorite part of the episode:

J.P. says he never got the final treasure in Pikmin 2.
J.P. later says he 100%-ed Pikmin 2.

Which one is it, J.P.? Did you 100% Pikmin 2, or did you eat babies?!?!

TJ SpykeJuly 09, 2012

I loved Pikmin 2, and I actually liked the cave sections (most of the time). I 100% the main game, though some of the challenges were pretty hard.

Quote from: NWR_Neal

Favorite part of the episode:

J.P. says he never got the final treasure in Pikmin 2.
J.P. later says he 100%-ed Pikmin 2.

Which one is it, J.P.? Did you 100% Pikmin 2, or did you eat babies?!?!

I don't remember the exact context, but I'm pretty sure I was talking about the original Pikmin when I was talking about 100%.

During the Pikmin 2 segment? :P
You're probably right, but it wasn't specified.

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