Weekly Wringer 91: Stream a little (PS4) stream

Finally, we know about the PS4 thanks to Sony’s announcement last week. Well ok, we don’t know how much it will cost, when it’ll actually launch, or even what it actually looks like. But we do know that Sony has promised to make good on their acquisition of Gaikai by streaming PS3 games to the PS4. But what role will streaming play for the PS4? Will we be able to stream PS2 and PSX games at launch? Will native backward compatibility ever arrive on PS4? Conjecture abounds today on the Weekly Wringer as the Commodore talks about the role of backwards compatibility, streaming, and physical vs. digital in the next console generation.

Download MP3 version here: Weekly Wringer 91

71 Comments

  • Blake Blake
    Posted March 4, 2013 at 2:01 PM | Permalink

    Video games, like any other artistic medium can be hard to let go of. With engaging stories, relatable characters, engrossing atmospheres, and music that can really tug at your heartstrings, there are a number of games that just really get to me for many different reasons. Fallout 3, for example, is a game that thrusts the player into an immersive world filled to the brim with crime and hardship. After about 20 minutes of gameplay you are given just enough supplies to go out on your own, and explore a vast post-apocalyptic world. From there the choices are up to you. Do you want to continue the search for your father, or stockpile ammunition and kill every npc in the game? The act of immersing the player and giving them seemingly unlimited possibilities, combined with masterful storytelling and atmospheric music help make Fallout 3 a very memorable experience.
    Games that touch us often speak to the human condition. Once again I’ll use Fallout 3 as an example. The game has characters that are going through some pretty tough times, having to scrounge up food and supplies to keep themselves and their loved ones alive. And still, in times where there are no consequences and being unjust and self-centered pays off, there is a force for good. Even in the toughest of situations, there is hope.
    Another game that was difficult for me to let go of was The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. Once again a very engaging game that combines great music and storytelling with many many possibilities of things to do. Naturally this game is a bit more narrow in scope than Fallout 3, but it still manages to have me actually care about what happens to the characters. This game had a bit of a twist that Zelda games before it didn’t have. You aren’t just saving the world from a mighty tyrant that wants nothing more than to see suffering. You are saving people from an immediate death. This puts a saddening and frightening spin on the game that drives the player to continue. If I ever found myself discouraged I would just whisper quietly, “C’mon Blake, these people are depending on you, you can’t just let Anju die without reuniting with Kafei!” All jokes aside, this game truly engrossed me and kept me playing for a very long time, and it was a sad day when I felt it was time to pull the cartridge out and move on to the next game.
    There are games that get me misty eyed for purely nostalgic reasons. These are games like Super Mario Brothers, Excitebike, Bad Dudes, and Mario Party 3. These games Weren’t hard to let go of because of the games themselves, but because when I think of them, I think of all the times that my father, brother, and I would play them. These games are directly related to my childhood, and when I think of them I can’t help but smile and have a chuckle or two.
    In conclusion, there are many reasons why we get attached to games. There are infinitely many more than the ones I have listed here, and anyone who calls himself/herself a gamer most likely has a few games that make them feel all fuzzy inside.

    • DTX180
      Posted March 4, 2013 at 11:22 PM | Permalink

      This might be somewhat of a weird answer since the game is alive and doing ok from what i understand, but the earliest days of World of Warcraft is probably my best answer for this question.

      I was a big fan of World of Warcraft in the beta and vanilla days. Everything felt like a complete unknown. Nobody knew the “correct” builds when talents were implemented early on. Places like the Hillsbrad Foothills and Ashenvale were always filled with tons of PVP action. Hell I remember during the beta the barrens (one of the first zones you go to) felt like some brand new world.

      After the first 2 or so years of the game, I lost interest. The frontier aspect of the game didn’t seem there anymore. Exploration of how to improve your character stopped as everyone started figuring out the best builds and items. Exploration of the world itself stopped as everyone started getting to the max level. The expansions didn’t really interest me much, as guides already existed for quests. The beta for the much smaller expansions also allowed people to know how to do everything, etc. There wasn’t much of an unknown.

      I’m not gonna claim WoW ever had a great story, or engaging characters (I’d argue that War3′s story kinda started the ruining of warcraft’s lore). I’m also not gonna claim its my favorite game or even a great answer for the wringer. But the first year/year and a half of the game was just a blast for me.

      Side note: I think thats my problem with MMOs. Once the initial exploration and unknown feel goes away, it bores me a lot.

      • DTX180
        Posted March 4, 2013 at 11:24 PM | Permalink

        CRAP. I put this in the wrong area. I apologize to everyone.

  • Markies
    Posted March 4, 2013 at 4:16 PM | Permalink

    Final Fantasy X

    The best way to describe Final Fantasy X for me is that game is home for me. Playing Final Fantasy X is like walking through my door after a long day or even especially after a long trip out of town. FFX’s world is just where I feel the most comfortable and the place that I know more than any other place. Also, it has so many small details that I could search for years and truly never find every little thing. I have put thousands of hours into that game and I realized later on that most of them were my own mind finding a reason to justify keep playing the game. I literally could not stop playing the game because I could shut the world off and enjoy myself. I am an American. I live in Final Fantasy X.

    A secondary answer and one that seems a little too easy would probably be Grand Theft Auto. More importantly, GTAIII for the world and Vice City for the time period. I know GTAIII so well that each street is known to me. Vice City is also special because that is the time period I grew up in. Every song, car, fashion trend and little nuance was experienced by me first hand before I even put the game into the console.

    I could also make an argument for Ocarina of Time, but I am certain somebody else will speak more eloquently about it. But, those are the worlds that I could not let go of. Those were my video game homes.

    • Posted March 12, 2013 at 12:48 AM | Permalink

      Final Fantasy X was engrossing with the voice dialogue, however with the metrosexual likes of wakka and tidus i really hard a hard time REALLY getting into it like i did with FF6. However for me, if all the FF games made after 6, this really was the one i got into the most. I remember being a sophomore in high school and totally digging it, however it did have its awkward moments (google: “Tidus and Yuna laugh…out loud?”.

      However as among the first RPGs with really decent voice acting or voice acting at all… it was definitely a good entry to the series.

      Getting engrossed into the world though… maybe at the time of playing it i was really into it, but in terms of the rpgs and games I’ve played since 2002 its really just a foot note. Although i would really like to see XHD on the vita.

  • SmokePants
    Posted March 4, 2013 at 5:32 PM | Permalink

    I expect RPG’s to dominate this discussion.

    As I sit here, I am ACHING to play the new (and final) Mass Effect 3 DLC releasing tomorrow. That trilogy is this generation of consoles to me. To not only step back into that world, but back into that character, and back aboard that ship, and back with that crew, it’s a really comforting, warm feeling for me that was amplified with each successive game in the series.

    The only other game world that ever hooked me that deeply was probably Chrono Trigger. You explore that world not only along its space axis, but its time axis. And like Mass Effect, the close-knit cast of characters do more to draw me in than any lore that these worlds provide.

    When I played Chrono Cross, it didn’t feel like the same world to me. In fact, it felt like a completely unrelated JRPG. But the real kick in balls came when it was revealed that ::SPOILER ALERT:: the CT characters were unceremoniously erased from existence. I can’t imagine a better way to emotionally eject me from the world than that.

    Luckily, I just pretend that Chrono Trigger has no video game sequel. The sound track sequel is pretty sweet, though.

    • Mr. K Mr. K
      Posted March 4, 2013 at 10:31 PM | Permalink

      Don’t feel bad about Chrono Cross. The DS version of Chrono Trigger retcons all of CC out of existence.

      Even though I loved CC and felt it was an awesome sequel to a great game. Meh. Different strokes.

      • SmokePants
        Posted March 6, 2013 at 11:27 AM | Permalink

        I don’t mean to hate on Chrono Cross. It was a fine example of a JRPG of that era — I just wasn’t a fan of JRPG’s of that era. In CC, they took some things I loved about CT: the seamless, in-world battles, small cast of memorable characters, and a time-bending yet simple and fun story and did the complete opposite of those things.

        But back to the “world” aspect, I played most of the game in the dark about how this was related to Chrono Trigger at all. The world was completely different and tiny, there were dragons now, and weird, sinister cat-men skulking around. Towards the end, they do explain all that stuff in an exposition dump, but I was already checked out by then.

        If I was trying to make a game that moved an established and beloved world forward, I would consider Chrono Cross a case study in what not to do. From my cantage point, anyway. I realize that everyone has a different relationship with these worlds and a different idea of what is important and core to them.

        • Mog Mog
          Posted March 7, 2013 at 3:44 AM | Permalink

          They would never have been able to duplicate Chrono Trigger. I think it would have been a huge mistake to try. Chrono Cross is a seperate entity and world from Trigger and I really liked it that way. I can understand wanting Chrono Trigger 2, but seriously doubt it would have lived up to your expectations anyway.

          (What, Mr. K? Pretty hard to retcon stuff out of existence with a multiverse. Only way I can think they could retcon CC would be to say there was only one possible universe. All I’m seeing new in ds version is more of a connection to CC and talk about there being multiple realities.)

          Played Blue Dragon btw? I havn’t had a chance to, but always heard good things. Supposedly an “extension of” Trigger.

        • Posted March 12, 2013 at 1:02 AM | Permalink

          I was a huge fan of JRPGs at that era and man… did Chrono cross seem like a downright insult to chrono fans. I put about 20 hours into it back in the day from a rental copy and i kept asking WTF does this have to do with time travel… or chrono trigger… or anything i actually wanna be playing.

          I’d love to score a copy as a keep sake on my shelf but chrono cross can’t hold a candle to the original.

          Honestly if they decided to do a chrono reboot… i with they would do it outside of both universes, the plot in CT is resolved, and who would give two craps about Chrono cross in 2013… if they made a new JRPG that perpetuates the ideas of chono trigger (time travel, great character development, awesome last boss / plot) they might do good, but i’d hate to see a remake right now with the current RPG garbage that square expects us to buy.

        • Posted March 12, 2013 at 1:06 AM | Permalink

          I was a huge fan of JRPGs at that era and man… did Chrono cross seem like a downright insult to chrono fans. I put about 20 hours into it back in the day from a rental copy and i kept asking WTF does this have to do with time travel… or chrono trigger… or anything i actually wanna be playing.

          I’d love to score a copy as a keep sake on my shelf but chrono cross can’t hold a candle to the original.

          Honestly if they decided to do a chrono reboot… i with they would do it outside of both universes, the plot in CT is resolved, and who would give two craps about Chrono cross in 2013… if they made a new JRPG that perpetuates the ideas of chono trigger (time travel, great character development, awesome last boss / plot) they might do good, but i’d hate to see a remake right now or maybe ever… with the current RPG garbage that square expects us to buy.

          • Mog Mog
            Posted March 14, 2013 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

            Sums up the problem with Cross pretty well. It wasn’t Chrono Trigger. I think it helped I’d already played and been massively disappointed by FF7. I didn’t expect much from Cross and was pleasantly surprised. Taken on its own merits, I think it’s pretty good. Compete with what is arguably the greatest rpg (or even game) ever? No. Few games do though. Likely alot of my hatred of FF7 stems from it not being FF6.

            Yeah, I’d really hate to see a remake or sequel especially from SquareEnix (though the new TombRaider is looking pretty alright). I think most everyone involved in CT went to Mistwalker.

    • TheBeerNinja TheBeerNinja
      Posted March 6, 2013 at 11:26 PM | Permalink

      I love your comment and the two games you posted. Mass Effect is a huge part of my gaming history and Chrono Trigger is something I totally missed. To see you bring up both games in a comparison sort of makes me want to force myself to experience Chrono Trigger in its entirety.

  • Zork86
    Posted March 4, 2013 at 6:25 PM | Permalink

    I’m having a little trouble remembering one reaching really far back, but I can think of an instance of this type of thing happening fairly recently.

    Shin Megami Tensei Persona 3.

    I had spent roughly a little over two months straight just playing that game. Throughout it, you hang out with a lot of different characters and you see a lot of different things go down, you can even enter a sort of relationship with characters of the opposite sex. You also can get into a kind of routine like you would in real life in the game world, get up, go to school, study or go to the mall or whatever come home and go fight demons in the satan tower. By the time it had all ended I felt kind of sad that it was over after so long. (Easily a 100+ hour game btw) But now, I look fondly back on it, and someday, I’ll come back to Gekkokan High and help everyone defeat the shadows.

    • The Bowtie Guy The Bowtie Guy
      Posted March 4, 2013 at 6:31 PM | Permalink

      Really? I beat Persona 3 in 80 hours on my first go, 50 on my second. Persona 3 is an impressive world because of how it lets you live in it, but it’s not as strong as it could be due to very limited exploration possibilities that naturally come from the game taking the form of a sort of “summary.” Thus, I think Nocturne is stronger – Nocturne simply feels more like a complete world. I’d love to see a more fleshed out version of Iwatodai – one that allows the player to roam freely. Something like Shenmue, really – where the player can just live in the world for awhile, and not in the way a Grand Theft Auto protagonist does.

      • Zork86
        Posted March 4, 2013 at 10:40 PM | Permalink

        Well, I actually spent quite a while trying to get a lot of other Personas and training my characters, or grinding if you want to call it that. I didn’t think of it so much as grinding because I was having some fun.

        • Zork86
          Posted March 4, 2013 at 10:41 PM | Permalink

          It may also be worth noting I have the PSP version which added extra bosses and has the optional female lead character.

          • The Bowtie Guy The Bowtie Guy
            Posted March 4, 2013 at 10:58 PM | Permalink

            … And removed the cutscenes and explorable environments. Play FES later to get the full experience.
            Also, if you grind in Persona 3, you’re doing it wrong. The game has a very well planned difficulty curve. Just something to keep in mind.
            Check out Nocturne, though. More traditional experience in some ways, completely revolutionary in others.

    • Posted March 12, 2013 at 12:52 AM | Permalink

      I’ve recently begun my journey on the psp version playing P3 on my PS vita. (its awesome all the persona games are on there downloadable)

      But after playing persona 4, p3 is kind of a come down. I’ve only gotten about 6 hours in but i really don’t like how you don’t control a character but you control a ball that you move around rooms highlighting things. (again I’m on the psp version and if the ps2 version is different and you get to control an actual character rather than a highlighter I’ll order the game on ps2 tonight.) But dispite how cool the story is so far, the game play really gets me in P3.

      I still plan to finish it but i miss moving an actual character.

  • The Bowtie Guy The Bowtie Guy
    Posted March 4, 2013 at 6:27 PM | Permalink

    Man, I’m going to spend forever and a day answering this question, aren’t I? Well, time to get started!

    When I first saw this question, the first one that popped into mind was the world of Fallout. Fallout 2 may have been the better game, and Fallout 3 may have been more accessible (though extremely dumbed down). Fallout, though, has the best world of all. You can smell the lingering stench of the nuclear bombs. Everything is sun-bleached. Villages are quickly thrown together. The wasteland feels expansive, mysterious and perhaps even infinite. Fallout 2, as good is it was, lost that feeling due to the fact that society sort of began to pull itself together.

    Mother 3 was the most emotionally difficult game world to let go of. This has much to do with things that would spoil this wonderful game for those poor souls that haven’t played it yet. I will simply say that I cried myself silly at the end. I revisit the game all the time, and the impact never decreases.

    All in all, I think the most effective game world has been Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. So much story is conveyed through so little text, and most of it is conveyed simply through being there. The end of the game necessitates the end of that world, and as horrible as the world may be, it has a strange charm. I’ve lent the game to many friends, and their reaction is always the same: All the emotions hit the player when they would logically hit the character, and after awhile, the demon-ravaged vortex world doesn’t seem too bad, partially due to the character’s transformation into a demon.

    • Posted March 12, 2013 at 12:54 AM | Permalink

      Dude i played trying Fallout 1 and F2 per recommendation of a co-worker after playing F3… and after not having played it back in the day… man does it feel old. It feels like xcom or something from that era. confusing and sorta hard.

      after discovering fallout 3 and new Vegas i really wish i could get into the old games but they just haven’t aged well for me man. All i can wait for now is fallout 5.

  • Posted March 4, 2013 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

    Have I ever let go?

    I have a hideous backlog of games that I have never touched, and many that I have. As we speak, I stand at the threshold of the final disc of Final Fantasy VIII and for the longest time I was on Ganondorf’s doorstep in WindWaker.

    I will not lie; I do procrastinate things. But in the case of video games, it’s often because I don’t want to leave. It took me six years to beat Final Fantasy IV and VI because of that… and because my mom, as an avid gamer herself, had already beaten the games. More honestly, she had me take control of the final battles. So I had, in essence, already completed those games. So when I did play them for myself, I explored to the fullest and tried to find everything I could.

    The question of “What is the hardest game world to let go” becomes a very hard choice for me. I haven’t even finished Skyrim proper yet. When I play my character, I live there, and I have no intention of moving on just yet. When I do finally move on though, I don’t think it’ll be hard to let go, because Ahiru Fahkir’s journey will be done and I can close the book on her without regrets.

    When I finished FFVI, I said farewell to my best friends in video games. I completely love everything about that game and it stands at the very top of the mountain in my love of RPGs.

    But, the hardest world for me to give up… as it stands.. is Okami. It’s no secret that I love a lot of Japanese culture, history, and mythology. The fact that Japanese games dominated my childhood is firmly at the center of my love of anime. And Okami is deeply rooted in Japanese folklore and culture. It is also the country of Japan itself.

    I adore the artistry of it. I love the sort of brush painted watercolor look to it. I am amazed at the depth and breadth of storytelling in it. this isn’t just about Amaterasu. It took so much to get to orochi, that only my experience in Zelda games told me that it couldn’t possibly be the end of the game. I was correct in my assumption and I couldn’t be happier.

    Anyone who loves Zelda games will love this game. There is so much to explore, and the skills you get add to your ability to explore and achieve things. But the atmosphere and music really sell it. The Celestial Brush is a joy to work with, and I love how intuitive the controls are. (I have the wii version)

    This game has moved me through so many emotions; through laughter and sadness, in ways I did not expect. And it’s also taught me things too.

    I would love to travel to Japan some day, but if I never go, I have this very beautiful travel guide to it named Okami. :) And once I say good bye, I will say hello to Okamiden.

    • Posted March 4, 2013 at 9:13 PM | Permalink

      *Just as a note, I knew that the game couldn’t be over because my inventory sub menu wasn’t even half full.

    • Mr. K Mr. K
      Posted March 7, 2013 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

      I had the exact opposite problem with FF6. The first time through, I wanted to take down that prick Kefka so badly that I didn’t recover a few characters. Gotta admit, he was TOUGH so underleveled like that.

      After watching the credits, I immediately restarted the game, with a strategy guide and did EVERYTHING. I got everyone to level 99, taught them all of their magic and had the best equipment. I wiped the floor with him.

      I immediately started the game again after that, and played with a Game Genie.

      Since then, I’ve played through it every way possible. With cheats, straight again, minimalist playthroughs (with only Celes, Sabin and Setzer), using exploits (like having General Leo). I’ve devoured it every way possible.

      • Posted March 16, 2013 at 11:37 PM | Permalink

        Oh that’s cool ^_^ I love the Illumina sword but I hate having to chose between materia or a sword :/

        • Mr. K Mr. K
          Posted March 17, 2013 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

          Materia? Wrong game! :D

          Also, you get the Ragnarok when given the choice between the sword and esper. But you do get the Illumina if you wager the Ragnarok in the Colosseum.

          • Red Mage Red Mage
            Posted March 17, 2013 at 7:23 PM | Permalink

            The nice addition in the GBA version of FFVI is that you can keep the extra Ultima Weapon and Ragnarok that can be stolen from the third tier of the final battle because the game allows saving after the credits to play the new post game dungeons. It’s actually possible to farm them for everyone that can use them if you really want to put in the effort to re-climb Kefka’s tower and beat him and watch the ending over and over. In the original version, I always went with the sword because it was always possible to learn Ultima from the paladin shield. A little bit of a pain to uncurse the shield though.

  • Mr. K Mr. K
    Posted March 4, 2013 at 10:26 PM | Permalink

    This one is going to take a bit of explaining, because at first it’s going to sound a little strange.

    The world I don’t want to let go of is World of Warcraft’s Azeroth. “But Mr. K, WoW is still popular and thriving!” Yeah, no kidding, but the problem is the game is so different now, even though hardly anything has changed.

    Two and a half years ago, the game changed abruptly, and in my opinion, not for the better. There was a massive cataclysm (lending a name to that expansion’s title: Cataclysm) and it changed everything. Many quest lines were taken out, the difficulty was nerfed to a level where you can get to level cap within a week (if you try hard enough), the little things that made the game unique were gone and everything felt a little TOO streamlined.

    Granted, Blizzard was going for streamlined with that expansion, citing that the days of “Everquest-like leveling were over.” The rationale was that since the game had been live since 2004, the game stopped being about a sense of exploration and leveling and transitioned exclusively to endgame content and what the WoW community has labeled “chorecraft.”

    I remember playing vanilla, sans expansion, and I’d log on, work on my trade skills, help guild mates level alts, then raid until midnight. Now it’s almost like I HAVE to do a random raid, random dungeon, random scenario and all 31 of my dailies in order to keep up with the curve.

    I miss Azeroth. The way it was. Not out of a sense of nostalgia, but because it was a BETTER game back then. Maybe not a superior game (it’s definitely got features in it now that I adore), but I still argue it was a BETTER game pre-Cataclysm and had a better community.

    I continue playing this game because of my love of a single facet of the game no longer exists. I didn’t give up a game I love, I didn’t beat it and move on to something else– it was forcibly taken from me.

    I’ve been playing through Final Fantasy 6 (my favorite in the series) this last week and as much as I still love it, I definitely feel diminishing returns as I continue through the story. It’s the same beautifully written story I’ve enjoyed DOZENS of times, even if I can get into a rut with it, still know the story, progress, beat it and move on. (What I wouldn’t give for a mind wipe machine that could allow me to play through FF6 fresh.)

    But I can go back to that world easily. I have three copies of FF6 (SNES, PSX and GBA). Pop it in and there it is. But with WoW, it’s sad, because even though everything is the same, it’s completely different.

    I spent some time away from WoW retail last year and played on a private vanilla server and another for Wrath of the Lich King. I had a really great time. It was the content I’d missed and it was presented in a format that I adored, but the social aspect, which was a huge part of the game, is gone. There were probably 100 people playing the game across both factions. I made a couple of online friends, and I’ve met up with a few back in the retail Mists of Pandaria version.

    I hate to feel like I’m nostalgia’ing here, but I kind of am. While I had an AMAZING time playing two older versions of the game, the social aspect was still gone. Even in the retail version of WoW, it’s gone. Everything is all “STFU NOOB AND GET RAID READY!” What’s sad is that going in zone chat and announcing to everyone you’d reached level 12 is dead.

    So I stick around with WoW because it keeps me marginally connected to a game that just doesn’t exist anymore. And that makes me sad, because I don’t want to let go, no matter how much I know I must.

    • DTX180
      Posted March 4, 2013 at 11:27 PM | Permalink

      Pretty much agree with you on WoW vanilla. Crazy how we were writing this up probably at the same time.

      I guess the only thing I disagree with you on is how I don’t even bother to play the game anymore. But I haven’t played it since 2007 or so, so I didn’t even try Lich King, Cataclysm, Pandaria, etc.

      Never the less, you read my mind on this one.

      • Mr. K Mr. K
        Posted March 5, 2013 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

        By the time stamp, I wrote mine an hour before yours. Still, same sentiments. Though you did truly miss out on Wrath of the Lich King.

        • DTX180
          Posted March 5, 2013 at 5:00 PM | Permalink

          I was watching a basketball game while typing mine, but ya.

    • Mr. K Mr. K
      Posted March 5, 2013 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

      “O wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world. That has such people in’t!” -The Tempest

    • Askew_Taboo Askew_Taboo
      Posted March 6, 2013 at 2:42 AM | Permalink

      Classic WOW and The Burning Crusade were some of the most memorable times I had in gaming. However, when I left WOW I had no problems actually saying goodbye to the world. The world changed so much throughout the years that I started to resent it. The social aspect of the game was hard to let go of, and was one of the primary reasons I kept playing even though the game no longer enthralled me.

    • TheBeerNinja TheBeerNinja
      Posted March 6, 2013 at 11:46 PM | Permalink

      There is always an explanation or a story to accompany a Mr. K post. Saying goodbye to something that is gone or changed is the hardest in my opinion. It is interesting to read how you experience games I have played myself, but you put them into the context of your own life. I also get a giggle from Captain Picard in the hat just like I did when you had the laughing Data gif.

      • Mr. K Mr. K
        Posted March 7, 2013 at 8:00 PM | Permalink

        Well I’m glad you appreciate my posts. Without trying to toot my own horn, I’m a writer at heart and by matriculation (though not currently practicing).

        I miss my Data laughing gif, but with this new format, it doesn’t render properly. But if you want it, here it is.

        http://i.imgur.com/ZWlK0zh.gif

        • TheBeerNinja TheBeerNinja
          Posted March 10, 2013 at 4:58 PM | Permalink

          Haha, it is glorious. It will remain with all my images for many years. I thank you for that.

  • DTX180
    Posted March 4, 2013 at 11:23 PM | Permalink

    This might be somewhat of a weird answer since the game is alive and doing ok from what i understand, but the earliest days of World of Warcraft is probably my best answer for this question.

    I was a big fan of World of Warcraft in the beta and vanilla days. Everything felt like a complete unknown. Nobody knew the “correct” builds when talents were implemented early on. Places like the Hillsbrad Foothills and Ashenvale were always filled with tons of PVP action. Hell I remember during the beta the barrens (one of the first zones you go to) felt like some brand new world.

    After the first 2 or so years of the game, I lost interest. The frontier aspect of the game didn’t seem there anymore. Exploration of how to improve your character stopped as everyone started figuring out the best builds and items. Exploration of the world itself stopped as everyone started getting to the max level. The expansions didn’t really interest me much, as guides already existed for quests. The beta for the much smaller expansions also allowed people to know how to do everything, etc. There wasn’t much of an unknown.

    I’m not gonna claim WoW ever had a great story, or engaging characters (I’d argue that War3′s story kinda started the ruining of warcraft’s lore). I’m also not gonna claim its my favorite game or even a great answer for the wringer. But the first year/year and a half of the game was just a blast for me.

    Side note: I think thats my problem with MMOs. Once the initial exploration and unknown feel goes away, it bores me a lot.

  • Posted March 5, 2013 at 1:19 AM | Permalink

    Hmmm, I’d have to say Tales of Symphonia. When you spend 60 hours with a group of really likable characters with mostly rich (if slightly cliched) backstories you tend to fall in love with them. I loved the worlds of Sylvarant and Tethe’alla and was truly engrossed in the overall narrative. I didn’t want to see Colette die, and I wanted to help realize Lloyd’s ideal of a world where no one has to be sacrificed.

  • Man with a harmonica Man with a harmonica
    Posted March 5, 2013 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

    Rayman Origins. My ostensible disinclination to continue a video game longer than is strictly required, a propensity which I previously only had a dim awareness of, was illuminated fully by this question.. Love for a video game world, then, manifests itself in me not by a steadfast, obdurate playing routine but by a readiness to let go.

    Who truly enjoys himself to the very end in a video game, looking at the mirthless remains of what was once an active, energetic world? – the remnants of your great adventure, now redolent of the band that split up long ago but stubbornly continues to play with only half its members remaining. No, that will not do for me: when a game’s narrative has finished, so I am finished with it.

    What game, the question then becomes, captivated me the most till the very end? – made me wish it would go on for longer, such that I could procrastinate putting the experience behind me a little more? Rayman Origins, is, indeed, the answer. Oh, how deeply touching this game was in its serene simplicity – so carefree that it became a blank mirror, taking everything in but never willing to ruin its divine innocence by reflecting it. Such time I spent collecting all that was available before I played even the final level, activities of day and night.. I hope the next one comes out soon, but only when the time is right.

    • Man with a harmonica Man with a harmonica
      Posted March 5, 2013 at 4:30 PM | Permalink

      Okay.. I’m sorry for writing that as if I was a failed Victorian pulp novelist. What I meant to say was that Rayman Origins was so immersive not by virtue of its profundity but for its lack thereof, creating a world so devoid of depth and darkness that it could be enjoyed on an entirely different but very jovial level.

  • 1337Scientist 1337Scientist
    Posted March 5, 2013 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

    Breath of Fire II: SNES

    I’m always hearing Chrono-this and Earthbound-that but very rarely hear an utterance of BOFII. I found the story of BOFII to be very emotional and more adult-oriented on a level that I didn’t really see in other console RPG’s at the time. When I finally beat this game I was not happy. I had become so engrossed with the characters, building my town, and building the characters up that I actually avoided the final boss confrontation for quite some time (Sonic Rose touches on this phenomenon in her post). However, I did finally beat it and haven’t touched it since. It’s weird because I’ll go to the grave claiming BOFII is the best 16-bit JRPG on the SNES but I can’t seem to bring myself to picking it up again. It’s really strange, especially in light of the fact that I play Chrono-what’s-it-called once every couple of years or so in addition to Earthrebound.

    I noticed that the more I like a game the more hesitant I am to beat it. I want to drag the experience out, make it last as long as possible. I guess it is because I know that I won’t want to pick it up again after that. Conversely, I have no problem picking up an “OK” game and giving it another run through. I would have to say that that this can most likely be attributed to not wanting to “ruin” the emotional memory that I built on the first play through. It’s almost as if a new experience with the game could sully or muddy my initial fondness and I would rather not risk losing it. Most recently I’ve been experiencing this with Batman Arkham City. I’ve been playing that game for a couple years and am just about out of stuff to do. Oh well, I guess it’s time to finish it and put it back on the shelf and put my experiences in their memory locker.

    • Askew_Taboo Askew_Taboo
      Posted March 6, 2013 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

      Is it possible the reason you don’t want to revisit BOFII because there is this fear in the recesses of your mind that all these fond memories of the game are obfuscated by nostalgia and playing through the game again might tarnish your memory of it? I enjoyed BOFII very much as well, and haven’t played it since my first time beating it either. However, there have been games where I remembered being enamored with them and upon revisiting I found myself wondering what I fell in love with when I played it the first time.

      • 1337Scientist 1337Scientist
        Posted March 6, 2013 at 9:21 PM | Permalink

        I believe that you hit the proverbial nail on the head.

  • Anatoray_Lizard Anatoray_Lizard
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    Arcanum was and is always hard to leave when I pick it up again. That steampunk magic vs technology concept was done so well that it is always fun to be in. I have also found that the formula and setting is rarely used in other games, which makes it even more enduring.

    In a similar way, games like Baldur’s Gate 2 and Temple of Elemental Evil are so expansive I just find it hard to get tired of the settings, despite some game faults.

  • Maze Maze
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

    Games that feel like they are finished when you beat them I’ve never got that feeling from no matter how much I enjoyed the world they created. Games that seemed too short or to end prematurely on the other hand…

    DragonQuest VIII: Awesome game. Fun. Loved it. But too short. You only get the jobs option in the last like 1/4 of the game. It felt like there should have been MORE when it ended.

    X-men: Same. I loved playing it, but just when I got my characters built up the way I wanted them? Last board. No new game plus. Got me right up to the brink, then let me down.

    • TheBeerNinja TheBeerNinja
      Posted March 6, 2013 at 11:56 PM | Permalink

      Are you talking about X-Men Legends? I like how you brought up new game plus and if you are referring to the Marvel action rpgs I totally love that second playthrough using beefed up characters that was in the Marvel Alliance games. (Human Torch, Deadpool, Captain America, and Thor)

      • Maze Maze
        Posted March 8, 2013 at 7:39 AM | Permalink

        @BeerNinja: Yes, I am. The first one. That second playthrough just didn’t exist in that one. W/out it? Huge letdown beating the game. They fixed that for the sequel Legends 2. But they took out my two favorite (Emma and Psylocke) characters. Still Legends 2 is probably one of the best local multiplayer action adventure games. Not that there’s a whole host of competition in that genre.

        @Mr.K: I enjoyed it. I just wished it had lasted longer.

        • Mr. K Mr. K
          Posted March 8, 2013 at 6:34 PM | Permalink

          Don’t get me wrong, I adore the first three DQ NES titles, which I didn’t play through until recently. I just really don’t like DQ8. I haven’t played the others.

        • TheBeerNinja TheBeerNinja
          Posted March 10, 2013 at 5:08 PM | Permalink

          Iron Man in Legends 2 is the most fun I’ve ever had just shredding enemies with an overpowered menace. Too bad he got nerfed in Marvel Ultimate Alliance. I think I may go back for another run of the original and kick some butt with Storm.

    • Mr. K Mr. K
      Posted March 7, 2013 at 8:01 PM | Permalink

      See, I’ve bought DQ8 twice and I still can’t get into it. It’s currently sealed away, probably to never be completed.

  • The Male White Mage The Male White Mage
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

    There are two games that come to mind but one I can not remember what it was, so onto Minecraft Classic.

    For me I still miss Minecraft Classic but it wasn’t my choice to leave it. I needed a new computer and after getting it I tried playing the game, but Java (along with other software needed for the internet) doesn’t work well on Linux, I could stand refreshing the page after loading the game but during gameplay the minor flicking would get to me.

    So when I installed Windows on this computer I went to play it again and found out that I couldn’t load nor save levels, so browsing forums on why I found out that around the Beta 1.8 update Minecraft.net had a slight redesign but when Classic was moved the game itself still wants to access the old directories of the website.

    So a couple of months ago I wanted to go back and just explore Classic and play around with sponges but I found out I don’t have Java installed in Firefox, which I forgot about since when I bought Minecraft it told me it wanted Java 64-bit to use far render distance and thinking of it how often do I use Java in my internet browser beside for a couple of games so I uninstalled the 32-bit version. Anyhow with all these security updates regarding Java I am not going to install Java back into Firefox just to play/explore Minecraft Classic for a little bit. So pardon me as I got distracted while typing this but I need to update Java yet again, (at least Flash is up-to-date.)

    One final thing: I used MCEdit to get Chaos and the Light Warriors into the current version of the game but it was very annoying since I really dislike navigating and working in an 3-D program, but the thing is some of my worlds cannot be brought into the current version since sponges no longer work and some builds are made in lava with flammable blocks…I really do miss not needing to light areas up, playing in lava without flames in my face or things catching on fire and let not forget about lack of bugs.

  • Red Mage Red Mage
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

    I usually don’t have a hard time leaving a game behind when finishing it especially if there’s a satisfying ending that ties up the story. There’s so many games out there, I try to look forward to exploring new games and their worlds rather than harp on how I’m going to miss playing further adventures of and its world/characters. With that said, there have been moments I wish a game were a bit longer so I didn’t have to say good bye to the story and characters so soon but I never have any difficulty finishing a game in the way SonicRose described (purposely not challenging the final boss to avoid beating a game).

    However, recently I did pick up a new game on a whim at a discount wholesale retailer that I have been reluctant to put down and move on to the next game in my backlog. Endless Ocean: Blue World on Wii I picked up mainly for some cheap Club Nintendo coins but I have been surprisingly enamored with exploring its underwater world. It’s not an action packed game, it’s a very calm and serene experience focusing on exploration rather than action. The main story takes only about 7 to 9 hours to accomplish but I’ve so far clocked in about 60 hours exploring categorizing fish and discovering hidden treasures. Something about the game releases my inner Jacques Cousteau, maybe because of my interest in life sciences and the pursuit of knowledge and exploration. Whatever be the reason the game resonates with me so well, EO:BW is a surprisingly wonderful and under appreciated gem of the past console generation (Welcome Wii U and PS4) that I am having a hard time moving on from.

    • TheBeerNinja TheBeerNinja
      Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:10 AM | Permalink

      I checked out the trailer for this game on youtube here:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPhEt7So9IA

      It seems more like a fantastic experience than just a game. I can see how it is hard to leave and after discovering everything there isn’t much purpose. Too bad there aren’t expansions to add new things.

  • Askew_Taboo Askew_Taboo
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

    I feel like I’ve made my heart cold due to all the bittersweet emotions beating games used to have on me. I remember becoming full of anxiety when approaching the end of a game I loved. Somewhere along my gaming history that feeling was replaced with relief. Even at a young age I knew that my first experience with a game could never be fully replicated on subsequent replays.

    The cheap answer — every JRPG I played on the SNES was a hard world to say goodbye to. I also had trouble letting go with a few PlayStation JRPG’s as well. I sincerely long for a game that will bring back that sensation of not wanting it to end. I want to feel bittersweet about finishing a game and wonder if its possible anymore.

  • Siska83
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 9:04 PM | Permalink

    My answer may be a bit unorthodox as a multiplayer FPS doesn’t really have a game world, but for me it would have to be the days of Counter-Strike 1.6 (and earlier)as it represented some of the best years of gaming for me so far.

    While it was a blast to play casually as well as through various competitive leagues, I was lucky enough to be part of a fairly big community of “Locals” (a midwest based server). Over the years we held LANs at which people from all over the areas even parts of Canada and the east coast came to meet up and mingle and game and basically turned it into a weekend long gamathon/party. Made some great friends and met tons of great people along the way. It’s a shame the game is only a shell of what it was anymore, but those years will forever be irreaplacable.

  • Mog Mog
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 4:26 AM | Permalink

    I worshipped me some FF6. Magic and steampunkish world with mechs. Awesome. Chrono Trigger. Who doesn’t love time travel? I’m with Maze and Red Mage though. When FF6 and CT ended they felt complete. The story was done and I was ready to move on. Games like Xmen Legands and DQ8 are great examples of worlds I didn’t want to leave, but felt forced out of.

    My pick would be kindof in the middle. Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen. The world felt very alive. Characters were well varied. Towns liked you or didn’t. Ghosts, vampires, werewolves, angels, kraken, dragons,… All great stuff. Exploring every little nook and cranny for a hidden town or item was great. End left me very unsatisfied though. I didn’t want to leave. I wanted more. Maybe it was all the time and effort I spent building up my army or just the lack of a great overarching story, but felt like I’d just gotten everyone the way I wanted and there was nothing left to conquer. More than anything though I wanted to pit my army against my friends armies. 2 player Ogre Battle has never to my knowledge been created and I want it so badly.

    • Man with a harmonica Man with a harmonica
      Posted March 8, 2013 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

      I forget about that game all the time – I’m just gonna go buy it right now.

  • TreuloseTomate TreuloseTomate
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 6:45 AM | Permalink

    I really had to think about this for a while because there are two candidates: Final Fantasy 7 and Tales of Symphonia. But I think FF7 takes the cake.

    ToS
    In 2004, I remember spending the days after christmas doing nothing but playing this game all day. I must have finished it in about three days. Then I started a newgame+ and finished it a second time. And then a third time… I liked the story and the characters so much, I wanted to experience it again and again. Up to that point I hadn’t played that many JRPGs and despite the story being clichéd, from the moment that twist in the tower happened, I knew this was my game. I just couldn’t let go. I wanted to see all the possible outcomes, with and without Zelos. I had to get all the character conversations in Flanoir. Very difficult to let go… I played through it at least 8 times, one time even on Mania difficulty.

    FF7
    This was my first Final Fantasy game, so you can imagine what happened… Basically it’s all of the above. Loved the story and characters, tried different paths and relationships with characters, etc.
    Then why does FF7 win over ToS? Because it came first. And because I 100%ed it, something I didn’t do in ToS. On my second playthrough, before I got to Sephiroth in the final dungeon, I didn’t want it to end. I remember leveling up all characters to level 99, feeding elixirs to these goblin creatures for hours. I got all of the ultimate weapons and limit breaks for each character, including Vincent, Yuffie and Aeris! I did the chocobo races (and everything else in Gold Saucer) and bred the golden chocobo to get the kngihts materia. I collected EVERY materia and brought it to master level. And then I could finally beat the crap out of Emerald and Ruby weapon, two of the toughest bossfights I’ve ever seen in videogames.
    I couldn’t get this game and the music out of my head for years. :o

    There were certainly more games that I spent a lot of time with, like Diablo 2 or Mass Effect. But the question was: “What videogame world was the hardest to say goodbye to?” And it wasn’t hard with those two games, for example. In D2 I played a sorceress to level 81 or 82, then got bored. And Mass Effect? Well, let’s just say, after what happened with ME3 I don’t want to visit that universe anymore.
    Maybe I should mention Half-Life though. Because that is a world I would like to see more of, especially after that mean cliffhanger in episode 2, and I replayed HL2 and the episodes many times. However, this isn’t really saying goodbye. We are are just waiting for HL3 which remains on top of my most wanted games list.

  • EVENING_BEAN EVENING_BEAN
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:43 PM | Permalink

    A lot of great comments so far, many that I would echo if I weren`t afraid of beating a dead horse. I will back up Treulosetomate on FF7, though. There are plenty of games that we can`t say goodbye to because we enjoy the gameplay, the nostalgia, maybe the challenge. But if there was ever a way to prove that a game`s WORLD was difficult to say goodbye to, I think “Advent Children” is a perfect example. It`s not even the game itself, and yet tons of people bought a movie just to relive the lives of those characters.

    As far as the most difficult world to say goodbye to, I would actually go back to Warcraft II. This was my first RTS game, as well as my first game with online play with friends, so I`m sure that`s influencing me a bit. But it did so many things better than others of its time: balanced gameplay, great music, great learning curve, and hilarious quotes from units being clicked too many times. Whenever my friends and I played any other of the berjillion RTS games that came out at that time, they either weren`t as good as Warcraft II, or they just did the same thing with a different set of races/species/whatever. That`s why we continued to play Warcraft II for YEARS after the release of other games with much better graphics, including (shock!) Starcraft. Not that we didn`t play those other games, too, but nothing compared to the longevity that Warcraft II held in my circle of friends. Something about the world brought us back much more often than other games did. To this day, my friends and I still have inside jokes involving poor impersonations of British peasants and Cookie Monster-style orc voices.

    With an RPG, ubering your characters and completing every single side quest can occasionally ruin your experience, like eating chocolate `till it makes you sick. We`ve all had those moments where battle music drives us nuts. Plus, so many of those great games keep getting re-released on new platforms, so you don`t actually have to say goodbye to them. But with the arrival of MMO`s and DOS-hostile computers, I really did have to say goodbye to Warcraft II. When I realized for the first time that my new (at the time) computer wouldn`t be able to play games like Warcraft II, I`m pretty sure my eyes were tearing up.

  • Vulcan Assassin Vulcan Assassin
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 11:32 AM | Permalink

    For me, The hardest video game world to say goodbye to is the world of the Shenmue Series. In fact, I can’t say goodbye to it. Here is my reasoning:

    I discovered Shenmue by random one day when I was looking for a new game. I was younger and my best friend had just died in an accident. I guess I was looking for a game that would make a nice diversion to help me relax and escape for a bit, if that makes sense. I had heard good things about the Dreamcast although I had never played one, and Shenmue looked pretty epic. So I picked it up along with a used Dreamcast and took it home.

    Shenmue’s world turned out to be the single most immersive game experience I had ever encountered. There were so many things I had never seen in a game before. Every character in the game had a voice acting, a name, and a daily routine. the game kept “real” time. A shopkeep would leave their house every day at the same time and walk to their shop and open it, and close up and walk home at night: just like in real life. Weather was random and actually had seasons that changed as weeks and months passed; there was rain, snow, it was incredible. There were facial expressions, and EVERYTHING could be interacted with; or so it seemed.

    It was like living a double life in a game. You could wake up and do anything. You could live out Ryo’s destiny, or spend a year spending you allowance in the arcade every day (playing real Sega games!). You could get a job at the docks driving a forklift. You could go into shops, bars, restaurants, fortune tellers, convenient stores, towns, cities, and more. You could walk anywhere, ride buses and motorcycles, save kittens, drink soda, win prizes, collect Sega capsule action figures and toys, listen to and buy cassettes, and so much more. You could become a martial arts Virtua fighter style master and rough up thugs and gangsters. You could find (and lose) love. You had friends and family who supported you. And best of all – it took place int the 1980′s! As a child of the 1980′s I found this nostalgic in a way.

    Shenmue and it’s world bought me a lot of entertainment and fun in my life when I really needed it. I still remember coming home from work (driving a forklift at my real-life job) excited to play Shenmue all night – I was at the part where I had to get a job at the docks. How surprised was I to discover my job in the game was also driving a forklift! Not only was it fun, but gave me a laugh as well.

    Shenmue is hard to say goodbye for a lot for a lot of reasons. I’ll just name a few: 1. I loved it’s massive wide open feel, like it was actual another world, and how attached I could become to it (as described above) 2. It’s sequel was a Perfect sequel. it tied in to the first game like it never ended – I love that in sequels. 3. IT WAS NEVER FINISHED. This is the MAIN reason I can’t say goodbye. The Shenmue series dropped the biggest cliffhanger I have ever experienced in a game series, and left me there.

    So I can’t say goodbye to Shenmue, and most likely never will.

  • TheBeerNinja TheBeerNinja
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 4:54 PM | Permalink

    The first game that comes to mind when I see this question is Mass Effect or more specifically Mass Effect 3 since it is the end of the Commander Shepard story arc. The Mass Effect series drew me into its world more than any other any other property in games or just media in general. The main driving story of the series is an interesting, but somewhat generic tale of an overwhelming force destroying life. The visual representation of the game world is also somewhat generic, but still has a bold and impressive look to it. Mass Effect does simple as best as it can be done. So, what makes Mass Effect special and something I don’t want to leave?

    Start with the characters and Commander Shepard in particular. A frequent comment (or criticism in some cases) I see regarding Mass Effect starts, “Well, my Commander Shepard …”, something than shows how people experience the games differently. Shepard can be a man or a woman, each with a fully voice acted role and slight variations in how other characters react to the player. These details make Shepard more fleshed out and real within the world than other created characters ie: Skyrim that aren’t really unique other than appearance or skills.

    Commander Shepard’s crew throughout the series has always been filled with a wide array of characters, each offering enough personality and backstory to fill a game of their own. Even non-combat crew members such as Joker and the engineering team offer up their own tales and add to Shepard’s story as well. The characters of the Mass Effect universe respond to the player’s actions, are influenced by conversations, and continue to evolve as a result.

    The crew can also influence the player, which in my case was Garrus, Liara, and Legion. My preferred Mass Effect 1 team was Wrex and Tali, a team I used in multiple playthroughs with different character classes or morality choices. In Mass Effect 2 when Garrus and Shepard are reunited, I was so happy to see Garrus again even though he was basically nothing more than a talking decoration in my Mass Effect 1 experience. I brought him along for every mission in Mass Effect 2 and he was basically my lieutenant, the guy that would take over if Shepard failed or in one mission in particular would lead the others while Shepard infiltrated an enemy base.

    Liara is a bit different than Garrus for me in that I didn’t really appreciate her until towards the end of Mass Effect 3. She was just sort of there in Mass Effect 1 and when she showed up in Mass Effect 2 it was neat to see her, but a quick conversation with her was enough. Even with some very good DLC featuring Liara, she was still just a character that I liked and not one that I wanted to bring along for my journey. She was an early squad member in the third installment and I finally discovered the usefulness of biotic powers, so I kept her in my squad. As the game went along, my fondness of Liara grew. Just before the end of the game there is a conversation between Shepard and Liara that is sappy, but it is also quite a nice moment between two characters that together have survived the galaxy burning around them.

    Legion is a character that I found interesting in Mass Effect 2, but it (or he) did not join my crew until later in the game. Legion was also excluded because Garrus permanently held a spot and other characters were a better fit for my team in that third squadmate role. For anyone playing Tali’s loyalty mission in Mass Effect 2, bring Legion for some glimpses of the geth perspective that is further explored in Mass Effect 3. Legion’s story in Mass Effect 3 is one of the strongest points in the series and it made me use Legion as much as possible when finishing off the DLC for a character I wanted to import into Mass Effect 3.

    Mass Effect is an incredibly personal experience for each player. I have a bunch of video game toys I rotate on my desk such as Link, Darth Revan, and Strider Hiryu. The Mass Effect series is represented by my space bro Garrus Vakarian because the generic Commander Shepards aren’t my Commander Shepard. I completely disagree with the claim that Mass Effect just gives the illusion of choice. While many scenarios are choice A, choice B, or choice C, there are so many combinations that each playthrough can vary quite a bit and is also altered by the character class and squadmates (with unique dialogue during missions) selected. The Mass Effect experience allows the player to exist inside its universe and blaze a champion’s trail up to the finale. Mass Effect allows its players to craft their own plan to save the galaxy. Sometimes it is rewarding to convince an abused test subject to release his tormentors for a trial and prevent any bloodshed. Other times ya just gotta Sparta kick a motherfucker through a skyscraper window.

    Before I get to my final point, I want to comment on the outcry of the ending of the Mass Effect series. I am one of the many that is not satisfied with the last 20 minutes of the game and that is a part of why I had such a hard time saying goodbye. Mass Effect 3 is essentially one long ending with most storylines wrapping up in spectacular conclusions, each plot point overshadowing the underwhelming final moments. The Mass Effect series spanned three games with an explosive narrative constantly escalating the stakes until… well, something. I was able to get past the horrific quest system, lame side quests, poorly planned required disc swapping, and the ridiculous bug where I had to reboot literally more than 15 times because Commander Shepard’s eyes would leave his skull during cutscenes. Those were disappointing because previous Bioware games including non Mass Effect series did not have those issues and a rushed release for Mass Effect 3 shipped it with bugs and story cuts. My problem with the final moments is due to previous titles putting out something better as well as earlier story “ends” in Mass Effect 3 itself paying off tremendously.

    The main crux of why it was so hard to say goodbye to Mass Effect is the format of the game. A player may progress through missions in an order one chooses, but once an area is completed with the exception of a hub world, one cannot return. This includes the end of Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, so once the playthrough is complete, the experience truly is done. In an open world game like Skyrim, enemies respawn, undiscovered quests and infinite simple fetch quests remain, and the player can still experience the world as the hero that one creates. The story may have peaked, but a player still has the option to return for a quick visit. The only way I can return for a visit in Mass Effect is to start a new adventure, erasing everything and nothing is like that first run through a game where the player doesn’t always know the best path to take. Mass Effect ends and Commander Shepard’s story is complete. The DLC for Mass Effect 3 adds content to the middle of the story because there is a definitive ending to the trilogy, so I’m left wanting more and knowing it cannot continue. When speaking with the communications officer during the last mission I knew the series I loved so much was about to be over and while I was pumped to see the conclusion, it just bummed me out that this was it.

    The team that helmed the Mass Effect series has splintered apart with a few leaving games all together, so who can know what will come next? I was elated to read there will probably be another Mass Effect game, but it will not be Mass Effect 4 since Commander Shepard will not be the playable character. Hopefully, the new team can match the efforts of the first team and learn from the mistakes because I would love the opportunity to return to a new Mass Effect experience even for just a moment.

    • TheBeerNinja TheBeerNinja
      Posted March 10, 2013 at 5:02 PM | Permalink

      Mass Effect may be the hardest to say goodbye to, but I really want to take a trip into the world of Monkey Island. I would love to spend a night just sitting on the porch of the Goodsoup Hotel with all the kitchsy tiki decorations and that cooling tropical night breeze.

      • Posted March 12, 2013 at 12:56 AM | Permalink

        Man who doesn’t wanna go back to monkey island. A really awesome remake for the next gen would be AWESOME…. and let telltale make it. EVEN BETTER!

  • Posted March 12, 2013 at 12:40 AM | Permalink

    Whats up guys, Long time lover of the COTGW First time commenter! I realized that i love to listen to the COTGW podcasts so i started listening in my car on my hour community.

    Anyways, the commodore posed the question on the hardest gaming world to leave.

    There’s quite a few games that i had a hard time leaving as a kid. FF6, Chrono Trigger, Earthbound… and i have played these games over again several times (some more than others…) in my older years but there’s nothing like your first romp in a world.

    The absolute hardest world for me to leave was when i recently finished playing persona 4 golden. Its really the JRPG that’s been missing for the last 10-15 years for me. No world has taken me back to my SNES rpg days as an adult like persona 4 has. The characters, the game play dynamics, the interactions with all the characters… the world… its just all amazing. So amazing after finishing an 80 hour RPG i went a head and beat it twice in a row.

    The world in Persona 4 is so engrossing with its whole murder mistery plot, the girls you date, the people you meet, your social connections… it really makes you feel like your living high school all over again… just in japan, and rescuing kidnapped people… MY GOD is persona 4 fantastic.

    Unfortunately returning to the world in the form of persona 4 arena really didn’t do it for me, but it does provide building blocks that might include persona 3 + 4 in some sort of a persona 5 type game? maybe?

  • Rooben Rooben
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 5:14 PM | Permalink

    I’ve got big gaps in my gaming history but in recent years it has to be Xenoblade Chronicles – got me back into gaming.

  • widdowson91
    Posted March 13, 2013 at 5:41 AM | Permalink

    Hello Commodore. I’ve been watching videos here on Clan of the Gray Wolf for a few years now, but this is the first time I’ve commented on the Weekly Wringer. In the argument of digital vs. retail I feel far more satisfaction from physically owning games. I bought Super Meat Boy from the Xbox Live Arcade, but I received so little satisfaction from owning it that I ended up buying it physically for the PC. In terms of streaming backwards compatibility I feel it won’t work that well for Sony, especially when they’ll undoubtedly charge to stream PS1, PS2 and PS3 games you already own on disc.

    In reply to the question asked at the end of the show I’ve found it hard to leave quite a few game worlds. What instantly springs to mind first is Gaia in Final Fantasy VII. Final Fantasy VII isn’t my favourite Final Fantasy game (that honour goes to VI), but it was one of the game I played most as a child growing up with the PlayStation. I still fondly remember my Dad one night coming home from work a little later than usual, and he shocked me by bringing Final Fantasy VII home. At the time it was massive, the first JRPG I ever played. It was a completely new experience for me and I adored every second. Midgar alone was hard to say goodbye to, but the entire world itself felt magical.

    Another big one for me has to be Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Ocarina of Time is undoubtedly my all-time favourite game, and I have played it so many times that Hyrule itself has become a sort home away from home. I actually feel I could work my way around it now with my eyes closed. Ocarina of Time is such a finely balanced game in general, but I was awestruck when I first stepped out on to Hyrule Field in glorious 3D for the first time back in 1998. I actually still get chills today thinking about it. I only wish I could recapture that feeling today. It’s hard to explain the feelings that game gave me to a younger gamer who has grown up with the HD consoles.

    Aside from these two there are many other game worlds I loved. Final Fantasy VI had a magnificent world, as did Metroid Prime (my god, that game is goddamn near-perfect). I loved the worlds of both Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross, but for vastly different reasons. The world of Chrono Trigger was great because it felt like you were playing in an Akira Toriyama manga, while the world of Chrono Cross was visually gorgeous and extremely colourful and atmospheric. I loved any Dragon Quest world also for the same reasons as Chrono Trigger. I also loved exploring Cryodiil in Oblivion. While I feel Skyrim is a more complete game I felt exploring in Oblivion was better because I fell in live with Cyrodiil more than I ever did with Skyrim.

    • EVENING_BEAN EVENING_BEAN
      Posted March 16, 2013 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

      Yeah, I`m totally with you on the Hyrule in Ocarina of Time. A number of people talked about having trouble leaving video game worlds behind because they get emotionally involved with the characters and the story, and I feel that same way about many games. But if I choose to define a video game “world” as strictly the environment and not the characters or even gameplay, Ocarina of Time shoots right to the top of the list for me. I had the exact same experience first walking into Hyrule Field, back when we could be visually amazed with a hell of a lot less pixels. Nostalgia plays a part, for sure. It seems like the nostalgia factor comes up a lot in Weekly Wringer discussions; fortunately, for this week`s topic, I think we`re supposed to be looking through rose-colored glasses.

  • widdowson91
    Posted March 13, 2013 at 5:47 AM | Permalink

    I would actually say that Hyrule from Ocarina of Time was indeed the hardest to leave, but in truth I’ve played the game so many times that I feel I’m still there and that I’ve not left yet.

  • mrandycretin mrandycretin
    Posted March 13, 2013 at 9:54 AM | Permalink

    For some reason I’m finding this to be a really hard question to answer. My first thoughts were of RPG’s such as Final Fantasy V and Chrono Trigger, but I don’t think it’s necessarily the worlds I’m having trouble leaving behind so much as it is the characters I’ve developed. I have a lot of trouble deleting my old save files because I’ve grown attached to the characters I had the first time i played the games. But the worlds I have less trouble leaving behind.

    The best I can come up with are Zebes and Dracula’s Castle. But I’m always really excited too, when it’s time to leave them. They keep me coming back but they’re not hard to leave. I love seeing them destroyed in my wake.
    I guess in that sense, they are hard to leave.

  • Shook50 Shook50
    Posted March 13, 2013 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

    I can definitely agree with the Elder Scrolls games and Fallout 3 being hard to leave. They’re so huge, you always feel like you might have missed something. One game that I played for quite a while was Baldur’s Gate 2. I remember loving the story pretty well, though I still remember several of the great characters. Minsc always made me laugh, though I always eventually put him out of the party for some reason. I would go about every section and make sure that there wasn’t a part of the fog of war that was blacked out, just to make sure there weren’t any quests that I might have missed, especially the second time through. I know that the main city, Athkatla I think, would take me about ten hours in itself to check out. The world in general was fascinating to explore as you became more powerful. Though I’ve never really gotten into D&D, I’m sure the world and lore from the tabletop game heavily contributed to how great the Baldur’s Gate world was.

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