When do you need to take breaks from games?

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When do you need to take breaks from games?

Postby Sonic# » Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:27 pm

I've been playing Trails in the Sky: SC and thoroughly enjoying it. I'm not usually a completionist, but I find that my habits of talking to every NPC are rewarded by finding and completing various sidequests, so I've been taking the extra step and trying to get every recipe, sidequest, and chest I can. I love the main characters, and think Estelle is my favorite protagonist in recent memory. (I'd put her above Alex and perhaps Hiro.) If I had played these games 10 years earlier, I would probably have sought out a community just to talk about this game.

However, I'm close to taking a break with TS: SC. I just played a half-hour portion that culminated in my facing a mini-boss that I absolutely could not beat, even after restarting the battle a few times. I don't resent the need to level characters or change my equipment to be more optimal for the fight, but knowing I have to repeat that half hour took the wind out of me. I feel like breaking for a few weeks and playing some other game (like Persona 5, which I just ordered) will allow me to come back more enthused about grinding a bit to get further into the story.

This sometimes works. I did this with the first Trails in the Sky at a couple of points. I've done it with previous playthroughs of Lunar games, with Chrono Cross, and with several other long, story-based RPGs. On the other hand, this usually represents the death of any given Final Fantasy playthrough, and I never did beat Alundra after setting it aside. For some reason I find it more difficult to return to those games, perhaps because I'm returning at a point where I can see where the story is going, and I don't find the prospect of grinding for the final dungeon or two worthwhile.

Anyway, I'm curious. When do you need to take breaks from games? How often do you return? Do you start where you left off, or do you need to start the game over again?

"Than seyde Merlion, "Whethir lyke ye bettir the swerde othir the scawberde?" "I lyke bettir the swerde," seyde Arthure. "Ye ar the more unwyse, for the scawberde ys worth ten of the swerde; for whyles ye have the scawberde uppon you, ye shall lose no blood, be ye never so sore wounded. Therefore kepe well the scawberde allweyes with you." --- Le Morte Darthur, Sir Thomas Malory

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Re: When do you need to take breaks from games?

Postby Alunissage » Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:38 am

My housemate and I took a three-week break from Vay when we encountered the Wind Elemental, during which we played another game through to completion. =) We did finish Vay eventually. Which reminds me that I have it on my phone and could be replaying it, if I had more hands and possibly an extra brain.

I have a bad habit of stopping in replays right before the final boss. This is particularly the case with Zelda games because I've already done the fun parts of exploration, getting all the equipment and stuff, and dungeons, and if I've played it before I already know the story. There are a couple of games I've stopped on the first playthrough right before the end: Albert Odyssey and Donkey Kong Country (1).

The problem I have with taking breaks in RPGs is that often I've forgotten key story bits and so I have no idea what's going on when I pick it up again. There's not much reward in story bits if you don't have any idea who these people are. I stopped FF2 about 3-4 dungeons before the end because I got stuck on grinding to get a rare drop, and now I'd have to start over because I remember almost nothing at all of the plot. Same deal with Tales of Destiny. I think we were about halfway through and then other games came out and we forgot about it. I'm kind of in that situation with a Legend of Legaia replay, but the guide for that game tells everything, so I can read it up to the point where I paused to see what had happened.

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Re: When do you need to take breaks from games?

Postby Ardent Fox » Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:57 pm

I try not to take many breaks. If I take an extended break, it lasts way longer than intended when I go to play something else and I come back not knowing where I am and starting over. If there's one game series I do that most with, it's the Souls series. I'll go, ram myself against a wall, take a break, come back and do it all over. Mercifully, I've discovered, that happens way less now. Mostly because my skill has improved. But also because I know that if I don't get past something, I may never pick it back up.

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Re: When do you need to take breaks from games?

Postby Zero » Fri May 26, 2017 4:22 pm

I generally play videogames every day, but these days I hardly ever stick to one game at a time. It takes me a little longer to beat games but I also never get burnt out on any one game to where I feel like I need a break from it. Yesterday I was replaying Tales of Vesperia. Today I'll probably put some more time into FFXV as well as some SFV or Super Smash Bros. Tomorrow, probably some more Breath of the Wild.
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