It’s not About the Journey
It’s about the Beginning, or End.
I’ve had a conflicted view for a while, which are better, beginnings or endings? A bad beginning can make the plot feel worthless, and a poor ending can ruin a fantastic story.
Endings can nicely wrap up a poorly told story. They’re important. Ending a game gives that great sense of achievement — it’s over — another game bites the dust! The sense of completion fulfils you; how much will vary from game to game. Good, or bad it’s the end of your journey.
The finales of my favourite TV shows have left me feeling down and empty for days. There’s something morbid, absolute and upsetting about endings — that’s why I dislike them.
Fallout 3, one of my favourite RPG’s, has such a horrific ending. It leaves you with a binary choice: live, or die. Until that point I’d loved the game. The ending wasn’t what I wanted at all; at least with most RPGs you can on after the ‘end’. Whatever you decided the game was still over, at least until DLC corrected this. At the end that sense of adventure you feel through the game is gone. But, without endings there wouldn’t be new beginnings.
When I start a game, I’m filled with awe and wonder. I want to discover everything on offer! It’s the feeling you get from starting a fresh run of XCOM, there’s so much hope. You’re the saviour of humanity! The possibilities are endless; taking from E. L. Doctorows “[it’s] like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights but you can make the whole trip that way.” Like a new baby lamb coming into the world you don’t know what to expect.
All this, however, happens once you get past the tutorials. Tutorials, tutorials, tutorials — the one bit of gameplay standing in front of you and having fun. Sometimes though they’re a necessary evil, giving you the building blocks for your adventure.
Most are bearable, with few exceptions; Driver for the PS1 had a “tutorial” so hard it was more like a final test, not allowing you to progress any further until you’d figured out how to master it. They can also be fun; take Far Cry Blood Dragon's for example — that game realises how tedious they are — then takes the piss. But tutorials, my friend, are over quickly allowing you to enjoy everything else on offer.
I still feel beginnings, are much better than endings, because you’re never sure what the journey will hold. I’m sure you all have different views though. Come at me! Let’s start a conversation in the comments section, and begin a new journey.