You know what makes it really difficult to really extract value from games? To really get into the meat and potatoes of an offering? I’ll tell you; it’s– SQUIRREL! … By which I mean to say, for those unfamiliar with UP! (for shame!) I am very easily distracted when it comes to my gaming interests.

To such an extent, I don’t really understand how some people can play and finish one game. Then the next. Then the next. Then the next- and on. It seems to me they are crafted out of different stuff. Some form of precision German engineering, perhaps. Or maybe they’re wizards. But, when these people take the definition of ‘finish’ as “I have 100% of the game’s achievements”, then clearly, space magic is the only answer.

Common Causes of Distra- SQUIRREL!

Other People

I resisted MHS2 for a while. I thought it was a cut-down, budget version of MH. Wrong. It’s as fully featured as World or Rise, just in a Pokemon/JRPG format. Incidentally, it was a friend who talked me around on it too.

Other people are the worst… When it comes to keeping me on track with a given game. It was a recent example of this, in fact, which has acted as inspiration for doing this post! Frostilyte wrote about Enter the Gungeon, and even though I’m still enjoying Final Fantasy XIV and Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin a lot — it did still cross my mind to perhaps give Gungeon another try and throw it into the mix too.

Bad Nait! No!

This effect is strongest with friends and people in our li’l community.

But general zeitgeist or YouTuber attention can get me to sit up and pay attention too.

As a side note to this one: For now? I have managed to put the lid back on considering Enter the Gungeon. I think two ‘major’ games at a time is enough for variety while without removing any chance of completing. Dark Souls: Remastered and XCOM 2 still sit on the sides as somewhat situational, so they’re fine.

Game Releases

New stuff is fun!

Starbase launched into early access today…

Space Engineers on Steroids!

…In this particular case, I’m holding off. I’ve been following the development a little, and it seems this is quite a rough and ready launch. Early reviews seem to be suggesting this is the case, too.

But other times, a new launch has the power to derail anything that might already be underway. … Or else it might fall to the bottom of the ‘Play Soon’ pile and never get played. Hoping against hope that I might select it one day, even if only for the #MaybeInMarch Love your Backlog event. ;)

Game Updates

Doesn’t have to be an entirely new game.

Big updates to games I already like have a large pull factor as well.

X4: From the 3.0 Beta. Of course, we’re now up to 4.0 — and I still haven’t actually jumped back in yet for any significant time.

No Man’s Sky does this to be quite frequently. Some of their updates have been insanely good and I always appreciate being surprised by the next one.

They can have an almost opposite effect too though.

When I know significant updates are coming for a game — two from CDProjekt Red spring to mind here actually; with the ‘Next Gen’ patch coming for both The Witcher 3 this year, and Cyberpunk 2077 I think next year now.

CP2077 might be perfectly playable now, particularly on PC. But I’m still going to wait! Likewise for The Witcher 3; I’ve had a bit of an itch to play again. But gonna wait! I don’t want to pick these up now and make any progress, ‘missing’ the updated versions.

Can I Do Anything About It?

Should I do anything about it?

Maaaaybe.

On the one hand — variety and not being ‘tied down’ to anything in particular is a valued part of my gaming style. Focus is for work stuff and general adulting. Gaming should be free! FREE!

But on the other hand… While completion doesn’t rank incredibly high up on my gamer motivation profile at all… I still like the idea of it. Of at least giving it something more of a shot, now and then.

And sometimes — as is the case with FFXIV right now — the motivation is to be ready for something new. I want to complete the current story content before November if I can. I don’t know if that’s achievable with the hours I’m putting into it — but it’s what I’m working toward in any case. So, for once, I can be part of the new expansion hype with FFXIV. :)

So what am I doing?

Well, for one — I’m still giving myself the flexibility to have two different games filling the function of ‘me’ games. FFXIV and MHS2. I can pick and choose and play whichever I want in the moment. They might still be surrounded by other things for MP within my friend group — but I don’t intend to drop either of these until they’re ‘done’.

Whether I’ll stick to that, who knows! Both of these are fairly lengthy titles, so I haven’t exactly started on easy mode here. If I had to predict which I might drop first — I’d say MHS2. When I play it, I’m still loving it and it has the power to keep me up altogether too late. Buuuut it still has the potential I think to feel like a bit of grind.

So we’ll see.

Open to other suggestions too, on things that might mix completion with flexibility. :)