I’m currently in the middle of playing two player intensive games: Horizon: Zero Dawn on PS4 and Fire Emblem: Fates for 3DS. I got the Fire Emblem special edition thanks to a friend who bought multiple copies, so I’ll be able to play through both stories and the special third DLC thanks to them. I’d say I appreciate it, but for me it’s a ball and chain to a arduous playthrough of a decent game that most people enjoyed.

And I’m the one making it that way because I don’t play video games the “right” way.

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When Nintendo developed Fire Emblem: Fates, or any of the other Fire Emblem games (soon to include Shadows of Valencia), I like to think they developed them in pursuit of a fun, jaunty experience. Instead, what I do is soft reset every time a character dies, micro-manage relationships, and hold items because I tell myself I’ll definitely use them at the final boss. What’s worse is that I realized after a few chapters that I let Sakura die and needed to restart.

The same happened with Mass Effect Andromeda. It was a janky game for sure, but I made the experience worse by obsessing over making the “right” decisions and check-listing quest objectives better than I manage my own real-life calendar. The fact that one quest involving upgrading the Nomad never checked off despite completing the single objective necessary still bugs me.

Hey, it’s over 50% at least...

And now I’m stuck with Horizon, where I backtrack constantly because I’d rather finish side-quests and collect armor than complete the main story. A game that puts Mass Effect to shame and it’s getting the same treatment. Horizon doesn’t deserve that. I deserve better. And even though I’m sure developers account for gamers like me, I don’t think I’m the ideal consumer.

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I know. You are all thinking I’m being to critical. I’m allowed to “enjoy” a game however I want. But what if it’s a mix of enjoyment and annoyance? Sure, there isn’t a real “right” way to play any game. As long as you’re having fun, who the hell cares how you play: Put on cheats! Be a completionist! Play on casual mode! But how do you rectify a play style when it actively degrades the fun you have? Do I even want to?


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JpSr388 is a casual(ish) gaymer, hardcore Nintendo fan, designer & writer. He writes about what he cares about, and is always good for some opinions. Keep on the lookout for more editorial, QuickDraws, Hot Takes and reviews here.