No that isn’t a type-o, I didn’t misplace the ‘in’ prefix, I really mean satiable. I know that flies against convention, in fact it may even be an oxymoron given the accepted definition of what a fanboy is; but this isn’t about semantic dissection so let’s get down to brass tacks.
If you’re at all familiar with our podcasts it should be pretty obvious that I’m a Dark Souls fanboy; I’m unapologetic about that, I think the series is more than worthy. That said, I think it’s important to maintain objectivity. I’m a Dark Souls fanboy because it speaks to me personally, and while that sounds like an obvious statement, what I mean is, I don’t want to imply any kind of superiority, it’s purely a preference, one that others will share and still others will not. Put simpler still, it’s just an opinion. Now, before you start thinking I’m descending down a rabbit hole of over analysis; this is important, I’m setting the theme y’all, it’s a about distancing yourself from your emotions, like I said earlier ‘maintaining objectivity’.
A few weeks ago I finished Dark Souls 2. I really enjoyed it, as much as to place it side by side with it’s progenitor as one of my stand out highlights of this generation. Critics seem to highlight that it’s easier than Dark Souls, which on balance, I’d agree it is, but I don’t consider that an automatic negative. The game is still anything but easy, the challenge is squarely maintained, if anything, I’d say that it’s more forgiving rather than outright easier. This isn’t a review though,I just wanted to clarify that I enjoyed it.
When it comes to Dark Souls, I definitely considered myself insatiable at one point. I was putting crazy shifts into it and trawling the wiki’s and youtube for hidden items and lore alike. I was fully immersed in the world and it made for a powerful experience. As I’m writing this, my game clock in Dark Souls stands at a stout 182 hours, on its sequel I’ve clocked up 97, that’s 279 hours total; pretty staggering as a body of time, but it was all spent willingly and what’s more important, enjoyably. Now, as I alluded to in the introduction, a fanboy is expected to be insatiable…
so why is it that I’ve now sorta stopped playing Dark Souls?
To me, the answer is simple; I’ve had enough. It was an amzing combined experience. I spent less time, but better, in Dark Souls 2, as I’d learned the formula from the first game and as such, was way more efficient in my exploration and exploitation of the game. I made little inroads into new game plus, but my motivation tailed off, it wasn’t that I was bored, just that I was satisfied.
I liken it to food, you could be faced with a giant banquet table of incredible food, but you will only eat to the limits of your appetite. This doesn’t mean you’re disappointed when you walk away from the table, leaving uneaten food behind, because you ate to your capacity. Appetite beyond capacity is unhealthy in all things, and I don’t think gaming is any different.
I remember when I finished Arkham City and was giving a rundown to Bain; given my positive review he naturally asked how enthusiastic I’d be about another sequel; he was pretty surprised when I told him I wouldn’t be interested at all. It was the same scenario, Arkham Asylum was a great game, and as a Batman fan I was in hogs heaven, I finished it with a lot of enthusiasm for a sequel, Rocksteady had delivered a really in-depth and faithful representation of the Batman universe and I wanted to see more of my favourite characters realised in their world, so when Arkham City came around I embraced it with open arms.
Playing through the game I was treated to an exhaustive Batman compendium, seemingly every character had a part to play to varying degree’s and by the time I finished the game I’d gotten what I was looking for; Rocksteady’s complete translation of the Batman world. As a result of this, it was no surprise to me that I completed the game fully satisfied and didn’t feel a desire to experience any more. I can see why this wrong-footed Bain, as both a videogame and Batman fanboy I should have been truly rabid in my insatiability. I suppose it just comes down to individual nature, evidently, insatiability is not in mine.
This may be why I’m at odds with the typical fanboy ‘more mentality’. Putting aside my anti-social creators resentment for non-creators who demand content ad-nausium whilst contributing nothing themselves, I can’t comprehend any appetite that’s literally infinite. Maybe that’s a flawed viewpoint, as videogames inherently have it within them to deliver different experiences each time, but when looking at most franchises they follow the same patterns. I mean, surely you’ve got to agree that in essence Arkham City, and for that matter Arkham Origins weren’t poles apart from Arkham Asylum? To me they were very much continuations of the formula, and my mentality is that any repeated formula will reach a stale point eventually if you push it. Surely it’s better for your natural appetite cap to kick in before that point?
Perhaps that has a part to play in why fanboys become some of the most ardent and butthurt critics of a series when it begins to fail. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of evidence for games that simply disgrace illustrious progenitors <cough cough SONIC> but in my opinion, phenomena like the common uprising against Call of Duty, is far less an issue of decreasing game quality and far more an instance of the above scenario; a rabid audience insisting a series push on further than its legs can carry it.
Anyway, I’ve already written too much for this, but I hope it’s at least food for thought. Anyone out there got any opinion on this, agree with me? Disagree with me? Let me know, and we can thrash it out in the comments, cos I’ve already surpassed the TL:DR line on this one…
– Drew –
p.s. It’s emerged that people are getting salty about Zero Suit Samus’ high heels in the new Smash Bros game, apparently it’s sexist? I don’t know about all that, maybe, MAYBE, I could see fragments of a case when people got a little heated about Sammy’s bombshell physique; frankly as a sociologist, I could get into this all day, but I don’t see the point, her build makes sense to me, she’s an active woman. As for the heels, let’s be real, gal pal doesn’t need them, she’s 6ft 3, but they’re rocket heels man, that’s pretty pimpin, so I say good for Sammy, I’m with you and I’m sending this one out to you!