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I'm so not a hardcore gamer anymore. Back when I was in high school, I was a completionist and perfectionist. When playing Final Fantasy 6 and Chrono Trigger, I had to do EVERYTHING there was in the game; I had to find, do, and see all things the games had to offer. I had to get my characters to max level, learn all spells, and for FF6, get everyone's life to 9999 with 999mp. I was so frustrated that after all my plans, my Terra only had 9989hp! I had to start over again! D; In Final Fantasy Tactics, I did every side thing I could, including collecting all the side job artifacts and reaching the end of the Deep Dungeon where I taught Ramza AND Meliadoul the Zodiac summon. I chose to teach it to Meliadoul simply because I loved the way she looked. XD I ended up erasing my file afterwards after discovering that she was a poor choice to teach it too because she has the LOWEST magic attack power out of EVERYONE who joins you. @_@ Of course I regretted it later. Orzlll
I considered myself a hardcore gamer back in the day, but things have really changed in gaming over the years. For one, games have gotten far deeper and more complicated; the to-do list has become insanely long if you want to experience every little thing or make the ultimate gear. There are even some games in which you're kinda expected to sit around for two to five hours straight before you can reach your next save spot, or they might require some serious planning and grinding for you to have a decent chance in a normal fight.
Looking back, I know now that there were much "hardcorer" games out there that weren't tied to gaming consoles, but I really felt pride in my game achievements back then. It felt a little bad that as years went by that I couldn't really bring myself to get as deep or as kick-ass in certain games. The rewards just didn't seem worth the time investment nor did I seem to have the stamina to keep up with the grind, especially since my real life time was becoming more and more valuable. I was resistant to idea of calling myself a "casual gamer" because of my pride; I fit it since I'm definitely not "hardcore" anymore. I still get excited and love a lot of things like the engineering, the artwork, the mechanics, the philosophy, and the metagame that many games contain; maybe being a casual gamer isn't so bad, it's simply a broad term after all too. What counts is that we enjoy how we choose to experience a game, right?
Even when hearing about Phoenix mode in Fire Emblem Fates in which units that died simply revive on your next turn took me aback. After talking to a friend about it, it felt okay to me. Not all of us have the time or energy to focus into the game and of course the old hardcore kid in me kinda fights the idea, but there are some people who play Fire Emblem because they simply love the stories, the characters, and the world. It's great that it opens the door to so many more people. It's not like casual or phoenix mode affects classic mode in anyway. Isn't it great to have more people who love the same things as you? =) Of course the discussion on how casual gaming design affects MMO's and online multiplayer games is a whole other matter and which I'm not going to get into. >_>
Anyway, in other news, I've been super focused over the past few weeks about art. @_@ A lot of things I hear and see, push to practice and do art all the time to improve, but I really wonder if that's for me. =o I love and enjoy doing art and I seriously want to get better, but there's also the idea of experiencing other things in life too. I'm also passionate about games which, from my history, has often been a huge source of inspiration. I bring this up because it kinda feels like because of my struggle at the idea of diving in and becoming hardcore and being consumed into improving my art skill, I'm taking a casual route. Maybe being hardcore isn't really such a great thing because in doing so, sometimes you neglect other things with significant importance, like love, and your relationships with people and/or family. It seems to be a very common choice that a lot of people are confronted with when pursuing a career seriously.
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