I buy too many games and never finish them.

Hello, I am Kawika. I have a problem. I might be in good company here and maybe some/most of you are suffering from the same delusion I suffer from. The fact is, I can’t finish the games I already own & yet I keep buying more games.

Sure we all have a back log. That is a good part of gaming. Sometimes you need to put something down to gain some perspective. Maybe you got to a boss that was too hard or you just felt either boredom or maybe you feel like you’ve played the game before even if the game is brand new. Meaning, it could be a re skinned, lesser or greater version of a game you had before.

I want to take a look at my year of gaming (retro games not included. Not all modern games are included either, i just am writing from the games that stuck out that I enjoyed but didn’t ultimately finish.)

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 - got frustrated, needed a break. Came back only to quit for another game
Yakuza 0. Loved it. Didn’t finish it - God of War game out
God of War. Loved it, didn’t finish it. Got stuck on trying to beat optional content and put it down and then another game came out.
DQ11. Loved it, didn’t finish it - distracted by Spider-Man (then found out its coming to switch in 2019) I lost all steam.
Spider-Man. Loved it, finished it, platinumed it.
Got sick and platinumed some Telltale games (Batman & Tales of the Borderlands).
RDR2 - enjoyed it, didn’t love it. Felt too similar to things I have played before.
Rockstar is way overrated imo.
Ys 8 - Enjoyed it, but the game is 60 hours long and I am already feeling, I have seen most of what this game has to offer in 20 hours. I don’t know if I can stand putting in another 40.
Smash Bros - I don’t like spirit mode and I am already bored trying to unlock everyone. Why do I keep buying these games. Nothing will be as fun as Melee (at the time).

The list goes on and on.

Its not really my fault a lot of the time. I want to like a lot of games but since I am 33-35 years into this hobby and I think I have seen too much. Also, the fact that I am older means I have a lot of responsibilities. I can’t blow off sleep & my kids for a week straight to power through a campaign.

2 games stuck out the most as far as why I quit playing (or lost steam).

Dragon Quest 11. The rumblings of a Switch port put me at a disadvantage. Coming out near spider-man as well. After I finished Spider-Man, I came back refreshed and ready to play. But then I had forgotten what I was doing. So I wondered around for a hour, hoping to figure it out. And eventually, I just said, maybe tomorrow. That tomorrow grew into weeks and I never picked it up again.

Red Dead feels like a prettier but lesser version of RDR. The game really funnels you down the path in the missions. Do the mission exactly and never deviate and you will pass. Use any creative ideas and you fail. Then after the mission, you can do all the crazy stuff you want to do and have little to no consequences. But the game doesn’t make being bad feel that fun and you can totally glitch the system and do all the crime you want and no one will be the wiser. You are also put into some situations that My Arthur wouldn’t do. One mission requires you to break a gang member out of jail but then when you break him out, the dude goes on some killing spree and will get killed unless you fire back. I am down to help someone get out of jail, but I am not down to snuff out a whole town of people. . Later on, you pay your bounty off and everyone forgets what you did.

I watched a YouTube video of someone discussing RDR2 and GTA 3 and he reminded me of a few things and even how I was able to finish a mission. The GTA 3 mission had you go somewhere to kill a dude, then he manages to escape and gets in a car and drives off making it really hard to complete. The Youtube guy said what he did was start the mission, steal the get away car and take it to the body shop and plant a bomb in it. He then parked it in the spot that he found it. So when the chase ensued, he was able to trigger the bomb and beat the mission. I did the same mission completely different. Not thinking you could steal the car, but knew he would go to the car. I took my car and blocked his car, which gave me enough time to lob some grenades and kill the target.

RDR2 has no ability to cheat the missions. Its basically a series of do this and then that in this order or else. Suffice it to say, I feel GTA 3 did some of the missions better. Sure, RDR2 has a lot of awesome moments on their roller coaster but I just don’t know if I care to finish it.

Ultimately, I find. My real enemy is time. If I see a game is more than 50 hours long I really don’t want to play it. I know I won’t finish it. I know there is going to be 0 chance of it. JRPGs were my favorite genre when they were manageable but ever since FF7 they have grown from 20-30 hour games to most typically requiring 60 -100+ hours. At most I could play 2 hours a night which would take me well over a month or two to finish it. But if I do that, I am skipping out on nights hanging with my wife after the kids go to bed.

I really wish modern games would cap out at the 30 hour mark and add NG+ if they feel the value isn’t there. I guess this is why I enjoy retro game. I can beat Mega Man 2 in a sitting and have a great time doing it. (this is precisely why I want to watch very little tv but love movies). Ultimately, I still want to play something new as well so there is that struggle. I might have to come up with a formula for buying games (If a game appeals to me and if Metacritic > 80% but < 45 hours long = buy)

TLDR. Kawika is an old man, who has played too many games and father time is catching up with him so he is trying to figure out how to enjoy games without giving up on life.


I agree about RDR being better than RDR2. The Artists did a great job, especially that Senior Prop Artist. That guy is really good :wink:

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I can relate to this, particular over the last couple of years.

This year I wasn’t really dedicating a good amount of time to the new games I was playing - it felt like I would play enough to either finish them, or get a feel for what they are about, and then move on. I could have kept playing Gal Metal to master it, but didn’t, for instance. I dropped Spintires: Mudrunner without really playing the game as it was intended. I unlocked the true ending path on Coven: Labyrinth of Refrain, but never went on to actually play it. I dropped a bunch of games because other stuff came along.

It’s also little coincidence that an overwhelming proportion of the games that I did play to their fullest this year were retro games - stuff like Wario Land 4, Super Pang, Ninja Cop, Umihara Kawase Shun, Last Window. It helped that most were portable - making them even more commute friendly than Switch stuff - but their design philosophies often make them feel more valuable to master. Less superficial gamification in there, making any expression of mastery more tangible. Beating Wario Land 4 on super hard mode, or returning to Umihara Kawase Shun to get to another ending door never felt like ticking off a box like how some modern titles can be structured to reward players.

But even then, there’s always allure of discovering something else to be playing, new or old. I wanted to replay Boktai this summer but dropped it for something else. I picked up Final Fantasy V Advance but couldn’t justify setting aside the time to play it. Same goes for Pop’n Music Portable. Picked up both titles but ended up getting sucked into Zanac x Zanac instead.

A formula, or a few loose rules for buying modern games would definitely help:

  • Being more focused
  • Picking up modern games which don’t have grindy progression systems
  • Picking up modern games with new, or unique takes on existing gameplay mechanics. You’re probably more likely to fall in love with a game like that in a genre you’ve played to death if it serves up something genuinely new or exciting.
  • Playing, or replaying retro games which you know won’t be a huge time investment
  • Playing games which do something completely different

Going forwards I’ve decided I’m probably not going to pick up games that don’t really do, or ask me to do, anything I haven’t done before in similar games.

Let’s take Hollow Knight. I’m sure it is a fantastic game, but given its rather long (20+ hour) running time I’m not convinced this one will stick with me when I’ve played many other games in the genre. So I passed on it this year. I did pick up a new game in the 2D adventure genre - Yoku’s Island Express - and its chilled out yet challenging pinball adventuring proved to be one of my favourite games of the year.

Likewise I’d take Banjo: Nuts and Bolts over Yooka Laylee any day if I wanted a game of its type - both are about environmental problem solving, but the latter is too scared to stray from the original Banjos’ formula to be interesting to me as a new game.

Completely agree about the RPGs, by the way. Despite I am Setsuna being a throwback-affair that doesn’t really have anything new to add to the genre, the best thing it did was capture the essence of the 16 bit era of JRPG, leaving behind all the bloat that started to be introduced after FFVII. While I still play long RPGs and visual novels (I spent 55 hours on Labyrinth of Refrain this year and 45 on Octopath Traveler) it comes at the expense of other things I could be doing in my own time, or other games I could be playing, and it’s getting harder to justify that time investment.

Anyway, I don’t know where I’m going with this long post, but here’s to 2019 and a leaner list of games.

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I really loved Hollow Knight though. I started playing it and couldn’t put it down. I would think about it all day at work, and think about going home to play more and more. Amazing game IMO.

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I think part of my problem was so many cheap indies sucking time. I way over did it this year with indies and in 2019 I am going to only buy indies that are 1. on sale and 2. worth it.

Hollow Knight is too long. I got so pissed after 10 hours i looked it up and was surprised to find out this is a 20-30 hour ordeal. 22 hours in, i think i should have replayed Sotn, super metroid, metroid 0 and fusion. Probably would have been less time too. Not only that, I got the game on PC (free) and Switch. And the switch has so much input lag compared to my pc. I am not replaying it on PC and I think i am going to just be done with the game.

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I attempted to complete very few games this year which is probably why I was successful in beating a few that had been on my playlist for over a decade each.

For RPGs like Chrono Cross, I’ve also taken to asking for hints here on RGB. It helps to get a spoiler free nudge in the right direction to ensure you don’t lose momentum in your play through.

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I hate to admit it, but jrpgs on ps1 I try to play on Vita so I can stop at anytime. Standbye mode is so clutch thing. I wish PSIO could do save states

That’s the thing, I’m not even sure myself anymore. You see, I’m surprised I haven’t been engrossed by the new Monster Boy game despite admiring its evident quality - I think I’ve just had my fill of games of its ilk. Only played 4-5 hours on it since it came out.

Yeah, while they aren’t all 2D open-ended adventure games I did replay Zero Mission and Fusion this year, and played Wario Land 4 on super hard mode and returned to The Adventure of Little Ralph to try and 1cc it (hahaha that didn’t go that well). Probably spent less than 20 hours overall among the lot (maybe a bit more if you throw in Yoku’s Island Express) but it felt like those games asked so much from me during their comparatively short running times.

The two hours and fourteen minutes I spent on Metroid Fusion during some of a week’s commuting felt like ten hours on other games for some reason.

Truth be told. I haven’t replayed all of those games in the past 10 years. Zero mission is quick and never feels painful. I’ve been itching to replay sotn. I’ve only beat fusion the one time. As much as I adore Super Metroid, I’m not sure I want to replay that any time soon either.

I do this too. I just resign myself to the fact that I shouldn’t feel bad about not finishing a game as long as I had fun with it during the time I did spend.

Thankfully I was never an achievement chaser. If I’m really intrigued I’ll just watch the end in a longplay on YouTube. Seriously!

PS: I hardly ever play a game for a second time.

This year has been a good one for me. I managed to pull myself away from the limited releases and special editions where I felt I “had” to buy the game. Why am I buying a Limited Run version of a game, a year after it came out, for 4x the eshop price?

The Prime pre order discount went away this year and that stopped me from pre ordering games. Maybe it’s just me getting older or maybe it’s because 99% of games launch broken or get significant patches down the road but I just don’t feel the need to play most games at launch anymore. I’d rather wait a few months and play them when they are “finished” and half the price.

I stopped buying games during steam sales and the like. I’ve started to only buy games when I’ll actually play them. I’m pretty sure if I bought every game I played this year at full price it would be less then all the games I bought for “cheap” and never played.

As far as finishing games goes I stop when I finish the game or it finishes me. The moment I’m done having fun is when I stop playing the game. If I want to I’ll watch the ending, or alternate endings on youtube.


It’s not worth beating yourself up for not finishing a game. If you loved DQ11 and didn’t finish it, I’m sure you still got 10 - 20 hours into it and had a good time and that’s fine. Maybe you’ll find your way back to it at some point, if not oh well.

If money is so tight that you can’t afford buying these games that’d be another thing but if not personally I just try to enjoy what I can when I want to.


Money isn’t tight but buying games I don’t play is wasteful behavior.

I’m with @Socksfelloff in theory. I still have best buy gcu until February and I’m sure I will be up to my bad habits until then. I seemed to talk myself out of PSVR (for now). I’ve got a box of amiibo and switch games that are going back to best buy when I kick this flu.

I did buy game pass and I think that will help those days when I just want to play something new to me. I won’t feel bad about putting a game like that down. I never care about PS+ or Gold “Free” games like I do when I actually put money down for something.

Anyway, I managed to start playing Red Dead 2 again. Let’s see if I can ride the wave till the end.

Edit: I did for the most part stop buying games on steam sales. Once in a while I will spring for something but it’s been at least 5 or 6 sales since I bought a game on steam.

Focus on one game at a time. I’ve been beating more games lately that way. One reason I love the switch is because I can pick it up and immediately pick up from where I left off. Also don’t feel obligated to keep playing games you aren’t enjoying.

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That was me with Fusion and Zero Mission too (hadn’t played either in over ten years). It was great returning to them and being significantly faster despite that long time gap. And I wouldn’t say no to replaying them again in the future.

I used to be in the early days, but I didn’t really understand how they worked. Now I don’t care about completion - but I know if I could do better or master a game I like outside of any gamification or box ticking.

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I feel for this OP.

“It’s nuts. And it’s not like I’m not using restraint.”

Indie games on sale are my weakness. I need to buy when I want to play, not when it’s on sale.

Rofl I had a laugh at that too.

Yep… it’s true. I stopped paying attention to sales and ended up spending a lot less by simply not buying stuff I’d never play.

It’s unfortunate, but the industry has gradually become saturated with too many Indie games. Back on Xbox 360 and PS3, these games generally felt like bold new takes on classic concepts.

But today, you sort of have to sift through a lot of derivative stuff to find the indie gems. It’s made me reluctant to even consider them without a demo.

It sucks because some of the greatest games I’ve ever played were indies - FEZ, Shovel Knight, Rocket League, Towerfall, Binding of Isaac, etc.

There really are way too many indie games. Looking through the Steam new releases list and increasingly the Switch eShop list is really awful.

It felt a lot more special even 5 years ago to hear about new indie games. Now I’ve just tuned them all out and pick then up late when I’m looking for a certain kind of game.