Unfinished Business

Sometimes you just can’t find the time, nor the will to see something through.

Never watched all of that classic film? Didn’t finish that play through of a game that everyone raves about? That killer Netflix series that you just stopped watching half-way through? We’ve all done it, and I think it’s ok.

This is a sister-piece to a post called “finished business” and the impact of leaving behind a world and characters that you’ve loved.  Had a genuine emotional attachment to.

The reverse of that is giving up and not really caring and leaving this “unfinished business” that niggles in the back of my mind.  I think it’s time to let it go. It’s ok to stop wasting your time, even if it means you might have wasted your money.

Re-opening old wounds

I’ve dived into all kinds of games since starting this site.  Some are games that I “have” to play (The Last of Us….), others are for the sake of taking a look and seeing if you’ll become engaged and see the good side of things.

Truth is, I’ve just given up.  Losing interest isn’t something I do often, but I’ve found that when I make a more concerted effort to be engaged in something that I’m “supposed” to love, I just can’t click.

Mass Effect Andromeda is the most recent one.  Expectations were low, going in, and truth be told I was having a good time. I missed the Mass Effect lore and that whole universe. 

I wasn’t exactly hankering for more, though. Because I’d had closure on that franchise after a wonderful 3-game arc.  This is where I struggled.  I’d already grown attached and then had to wean myself off of a whole universe.  Part of the struggle to enjoy it was the fact that I couldn’t be bothered to re-attach myself to it after getting past that feeling of something being truly over for good.

So, I got bored with the busywork, realised I didn’t need this in my life anymore and let it fall by the wayside (oh look…….I’ve given myself some unfinished business to niggle at me!).

Trying to buy-in on someone else’s love

There are so many things that get recommended to me, so many things that people love.  It’s hard to not get caught-up in the hype sometimes.

You’re told by so many sources that something is a masterpiece, how can so many people be wrong, eh?

The fact that these are opinions (and are of course subjective), apparently don’t matter. I read and read, I listen, I develop a pre-conceived opinion that’s overwhelmingly glowing, and off I go.  Straight down the road to sheer disappointment.

Let’s be fair, that’s the way people react to things now. Marketing does such a good job at hyping things up that we’re almost always let down.  But that’s designed to do that (it’s arguably a whole other piece on how deeply invested people get into marketing hype these days….).  The people we respect and trust aren’t.

I avoid this for the most part for new releases, but for “classics”, I trust people I know and certain sites/reviewers.  How can it all go so wrong?

The Last of Us was a perfect example.  I love Naughty Dog games. I love a strong narrative with excellent voice acting.  There isn’t a single person that I know who’s played it to completion who hasn’t gushed about it.

I got bored.

There, I said it.  The Last of Us is boring.

Exposition – character development – sneaky bit – action bit – repeat process.

The story was fine, and I was into the characters.  The actual gameplay bits were just forced and dull.

Sadly, the story wasn’t enough to feel the drive to continue through the ballache of each room/environment that just meant sneaking and crafting.

I enjoyed it initially, but it got very tedious.

Knowing that I’ve missed out on a story really bothers me.  But knowing that it probably wouldn’t have been worth the time it was taking, is enough to tide me over.

I’ll get back to it……..well….I probably won’t, more unfinished business.

Future concerns

The thing that bothers me now, is remasters.  Games and franchises I’ve loved in that past.  Not being expanded upon, but prettied-up and made available to re-live.

Awesome, right? Re-playing something you love can only be a good thing…….

Unless you remember things through those thick-rimmed rose-tinted glasses.  Which we invariably do.

SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS™_20180211195949

So as it stands, I’m really keen to try Two Point Hospital which looks like a spiritual successor to Theme Hospital, with the same concepts, humor and a slicker presentation.  And the Shenmue/Shenmue 2 remasters, this time same game, but sharpened-up and ready for the current gen devices.

Two Point Hospital is on the cards for the future, but I’m worried that it’s going to shatter my memories of those halcyon days with my brother on our Compaq Presario PC.  I know that, before I even make the purchase, I’ll never see it to completion.  This is about re-living the old days for a little while, then letting it rest again.

Currently though, Shenmue is proving interesting. It handles like it used to, it looks like I remember, and it’s a little clunky.  It’s like how I remember it, but very clearly better than it used to be.  Tough balance to strike, there!  So far I’m impressed, but not every re-make and remaster is destined to be like this.

I’m really keen to finish them both, especially as I left the last hour of Shenmue 2 and never got back to it (unfinished business from 10-15 years ago?).

I like getting back into what I used to love, but is the magic re-capturable? (not a word….).

All of these memories and moments don’t just come from a product.  Your experience with them comes from a whole host of factors.  The timing, the people you play with, doing things for the first time, experiencing things for the first time.

Re-make all you like, and I’ll have a good time where I can, but nothing will ever be as good as it was the first time.  Especially when you remember things more fondly than they perhaps deserve anyway.

Hopefully we can just play new games, or keep playing good games (as is the trend now, all these never-ending online games!).  Failing that, re-play your old games. 

I don’t want to have to play games that are just a cash-in on an old universe, or on my nostalgia.  We try not to live in the past in our real lives, why should we settle for that with games or films or TV series?

If it’s not living up to the hype, the memories or your expectations, it’s ok to drop it and move on.  Who has time to not enjoy things?

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