Hopefully everyone had a fine Memorial Day weekend. Mine was filled with assorted lounging, graduation parties, and family gatherings that primarily consisted of me being assaulted by small children. (Or, alternatively, nearly losing a chess match to an 8 year old.)
The weather here has suddenly spiked up to near a hundred degrees, and while I’ve been enjoying the heat, others have not been quite so welcoming of it. When I have taken temporary absence from the warmth, I’ve been retreating to the chilled indoors and engaging in more Kingdom Hearts 2.
As of last night, I have found myself with something of a quandary. I reached the final ramp that leads up to the final boss, surrounded by my faithful friends and companions, with danger threatening all the worlds – and I promptly turned around and walked away.
You see, there were tasks yet to be done.
Now, there is a part of me that seeks completeness in things for its own sake. It is not in my nature to leave things unfinished. It is a struggle for me to put down a book with the intent of not finishing it, no matter how vile it may be. Perhaps half a dozen times have I done so, the majority of which were in the last year, when I realized that I was under no compulsion to inflict mental trauma on myself through atrocious writing. But even with that epiphany… it is difficult.
So I already have the danger of obsession – leaving something in an incomplete state is irksome to me. And when it comes to games… well, there is a devil of a powergamer lurking within my heart, and once upon a time, when I played RPGS my goal was to claim total victory. It was not enough to merely win – I need the knowledge that I have demolished and mastered every aspect of the game.
But things change. For me, the game these days is more about the story. And in truth, I did not have the time to invest in fully conquering games when I could simply… finish them. Especially as games such as FF X (and even worse, the atrocity known as FF X2) went on to build realms of completeness that were a time sink beyond all comprehension.
So I turned away from that road, and merely played the game for its own sake.
But now… a dilemma. If I actually want to get the good ending, I need to complete a variety of tasks.
Most of them, in fact, are already done with ease. It is merely the final few that are the challenge, that require the extra time of leveling unto infinity – defeating the 50 round tournament. Battling the ultimate optional boss. Etc.
So I’ve resigned myself to the grind.
Similarly, I’ve been trying hard to bring myself to stop reading several webcomics. Some of them I simply started without realizing they weren’t really worth my time – others have, indeed, changed over the years. And I don’t hold this against them – but, as with other things, I have this awful compulsion to keep with them, even after I’ve lost all enjoyment in the reading of them.
Now that I’m done waxing verbose, I’ll come to the point of this little tirade – am I the only one like this?
Do others have a similarly hard time, or is it easy to walk away from webcomics that you no longer enjoy, books that aren’t worth reading, games not worth playing?
Is it easy to identify when something isn’t worth your time – and even once you’ve done so, is it easy to let it go?
I have a harder time giving up on something serialized, like a webcomic or a comic book or a television series, than I do a complete work like a novel or a film. Usually I’ve been wrapped up in a serial work for longer before I realize it isn’t doing anything for me anymore.
And I always hope it will get good again. I tend to keep going back even after I’m disenchanted, until some major dissatisfying event makes me stop believing I’ll grow to love it again.
Well, with something that you have to check like, every day, or every three days, or whatever, if it stops interesting me, I tend to forget about it. For instance, I haven’t looked at Errant Story in months.
But was the latest Eddings book really that bad? I heard someone compare it to Polgara the Sorceress, and that was my favorite out of all the Belgarion books. I wasn’t a fan of the Elenium, although it was alright, I thought that the Mallorrean was pretty flat compared to the Belgariad, but still pretty good, and that the Belgariad was pure entertainment, especially the first three books. It looks like there’s a wide range of types in Edding’s books, and I guess I’d like to know which of those its most like.
See, for me it tends to be almost the opposite – with something I check every day, it becomes so easy to get into the routine of it that I almost don’t notice when I stop enjoying it.
As far as Eddings goes, I’m planning on doing a more in-depth post into some of the books I’ve recently been disappointed in, but I’d definitely say it is, in fact, that bad.
I remember enjoying Polgara the Sorceress, and I was a huge fan of his earlier works – but this most recent one, along with the Dreamers series – are beyond atrocious. I go into a rage whenever I spy them in a store, claiming the name of novel. It is a lie and an insult!
Anyway, outraged rantings aside, they really just aren’t any good. Bad characters, bad writing, bad plot, bad pacing. I don’t know how he lost the magic, but it’s definitely gone.
In response to Corinne:
I hear you on holding out hope. There are some comics that I start reading, and after a couple weeks realize they aren’t worth my time. But when a comic once was good, and I occasionally remember how it was, that is when I have trouble giving up on it.
Megatokyo is one of the commonly used examples, and it serves well here – I’m generally very dissatisfied with the current state of the comic, but every so often it does something that really makes me laugh, or think. The moments are few and far between, compared to the comic’s early days… but I can’t ignore that they are there.