Totilo At Play

June 15, 2009

Game Diary - June 15, 2009: Unplayed Parts

Filed under: Totilo Game Diary — stephentotilo @ 8:00 am

swordsI played a bunch of games this past weekend, but what strikes me while I’m writing this is what I didn’t play of those games.

I almost finished side-scrolling real-time-strategy WiiWare game Swords and Soldiers (review coming from me on Kotaku later this week) without playing its multiplayer mode. My wife agreed to try a level of splitscreen with me so I could experience that part of the game for my review.

I’ve been playing PS3 third-person turn-based strategy game Valkyria Chronicles a little bit at a time, and I’ve ignored the “potentials” system in that game, a deep index of personality quirks that affect the performance of the members of the squad you lead into battle. One guy might become a worse fighter if you make him crouch too much. Another fights better if there are women nearby. One woman fights better when she’s standing on dirt. That’s too much depth for me. I’m ignoring it.

And I played The Sims 3 for a few hours without touching the furniture-customization options. I was barely interested in changing the color of the pieces of furniture I bought for my characters. For many Sims fans customization is the main draw of the game. But I’m ignoring it.

When we’re young our parents encourage us to clean our plates. But this weekend, I was struck by how much of my games — even the ones I enjoy — I choose not to consume.


  1. Do you think this has anything to do with the way you play games?
    To me there always seems to be a keeping up with the Jones’ mentality surrounding games discussion in the enthusiast press.
    It seems that no one wants to talk about last weeks flavor. So, if you aren’t moving on to the new shiny thing everyone is discussing you’re left talking to an audience that has largely already moved on and wants you to keep up.

    Comment by Nouseforaname — June 15, 2009 @ 10:38 am

  2. Isn’t it amazing that games are so rich and deep now that you have a choice to delve into only certain aspects of them and still find the experience rewarding? Don’t you think the developers intended this, at least to some extent?

    Perhaps the clearest example of piecemeal gaming would be modern MMORPGs, specifically World of Warcraft. Not really into groups and dungeons? You can solo just fine from level 1 to 80. Don’t like professions and crafting? That’s great, you don’t need them and you can participate in the highest level content without ever touching them. The newly implement achievement system only makes a player’s focus or specialization more explicit. Love exploring? The achievement system recognizes it by awarding a title. Killing the hardest bosses in the newest content? Congratulations, you get a limited time, high speed mount.

    There is some virtue to games singularly focused on one mechanic and executing on it perfectly. However, there is nothing to be ashamed of if when presented with a menu of options, you make a choice to try just one.

    Comment by Sean — June 15, 2009 @ 11:38 am

  3. and just why did you feel the need to ban me from Kotaku?? huh??

    Comment by mobiletone — January 15, 2010 @ 1:12 pm

  4. This is really useful post… thanks for sharing… great games you played… Liked them…

    Comment by Gamecium — January 22, 2011 @ 2:04 am

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