What We're NOT Playing - Volume 17 (The We-Love-Whales Edition)

notplayingwhale.jpgThis week, we switch up "What We're NOT Playing" a bit.

It's just me and Totilo, and we talk about what we are playing (go figure!) -- namely "Endless Ocean" (still) and "Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn" (still). But those games brought up a good question:

StephenTotilo: Thankfully, "Fire Emblem" is turning a corner for the better... on its 14th hour

TraceyJohn: So 14 hours in, you're finally getting some satisfaction out of it? How long should someone play a game to give it a chance? I think Cip mentioned last week he played "Endless Ocean" for 10 minutes and gave up.

StephenTotilo: Somewhere between 10 minutes and 14 hours is the sweet spot, for sure. 10 minutes isn't enough time for just about any game

So readers, what do you think? How long should a game be given a chance?

Read on for more of our thoughts on "Endless Ocean" "Fire Emblem, and why we aren't playing "Advance Wars: Days of Ruin" and "No More Heroes" (yet)...

nomoreheroes.jpgStephenTotilo: Tracey, I've already been scolded by one of our readers this week for a game I'm not playing.

StephenTotilo: That's what happens when you post your full Wii playlist for January and "No More Heroes" isn't on it.

TraceyJohn: But didn't you not receive "No More Heroes"?

TraceyJohn: Either way, the reader must be angry that you didn't run out and buy it

StephenTotilo: I eventually did, from the fine folks at Ubisoft. I hear the game's good, and I'd like to play it, but I'm afraid that if I abandon "Fire Emblem" on the Wii that I'll never get back to it. Do you ever have that happen with a game?

StephenTotilo: Makes me wonder if I'm really enjoying "Fire Emblem" or if I'm just on some sort of lab rat treadmill that, once I'm off, I'll be smart not to get back on

TraceyJohn: That's possible, I've heard "FE" was tough.

StephenTotilo: But I did really like the last few "Fire Emblem"s, so I don't want to think of it that way

TraceyJohn: One of my new year's resolutions was to play only a few games and focus on those before starting anything new, no matter how much I want to try everything as soon as I get it

TraceyJohn: So that's left a few good games untouched. And for me, that includes No More Heroes (sorry, Reader)

StephenTotilo: Why? Do you feel like you were missing out on important game endings?

TraceyJohn: Definitely. Such as "Mass Effect." Now I want to get to that sex scene, which is towards the end, right?

StephenTotilo: It is toward the end. Near the climax of the story.

endlessocean.jpgTraceyJohn: And now since a reader wrote in that he "beat" "Endless Ocean," I've been doing a little swimming with that one. I'm probably playing it more than most people think I should...

TraceyJohn: As our co-workers duly noted last week...

StephenTotilo: And you see that I hadn't lost my mind?

TraceyJohn: Yes! Although I have yet to find the humpback whale...

StephenTotilo: I can't remember if they tell you about it or if I just stumbled/swam upon it

TraceyJohn: Besides, the Enya-style music is pretty soothing after a hectic day here

StephenTotilo: Tell the world what your most sublime "Endless Ocean" moment has been so far...

StephenTotilo: I had a walrus waddle onto my boat. I had a great time exploring some sunken ruins. But the best thing so far may have been finding a sperm whale (think Moby Dick) in a deep valley

TraceyJohn: There's no stand-out whale moment for me yet, but I was flipping through the encyclopedia of stuff that can be found and there's quite a few interesting ones. With 40+ pages of animals, I can see how the game could be endless

TraceyJohn: We are probably boring people with our endless "Endless Ocean" talk...

fireemblem_ike1.jpgStephenTotilo: Back to "Fire Emblem" for a second... I think the problem I was having with it is that the previous games did a great job developing your affinity for all the characters. You took an army of them into battle after battle, levelling each one up, placing each one just in or just out of harm's way. And you eventually have this highly skilled portion of your army (basically your favorites)

StephenTotilo: And in this new game, they keep changing the roster you fight with

StephenTotilo: You get one roster for a few missions, then another roster for a few more

StephenTotilo: Only in my 14th hour with the game last night did I feel that it had finally settled down and was letting me develop specific characters

TraceyJohn: Do you care less when characters can't die forever? If you don't care so much, why do you keep reloading the game? (I haven't played it)

StephenTotilo: I care MORE when characters die forever, which they can't in this new "Fire Emblem," since you can so easily get them back via the re-boot trick. But compare that to a game I actually have been neglecting, much to my surprise

advancewars.jpgStephenTotilo: "Advance Wars"

StephenTotilo: the new one

StephenTotilo: I took that to the laundromat on Saturday certain that I'd really like it. The first "AW" on GBA was among my favorite games of all time

TraceyJohn: So what happened?

StephenTotilo: My interest in the second GBA game faded and I thought the first DS one over-complicated things

StephenTotilo: This new one, despite the darker tone, would be the return to form I need, or so I thought.

StephenTotilo: They even improved the touch-screen controls that hadn't worked so well in the first DS one

TraceyJohn: But...?

StephenTotilo: But I started playing the game and thought -- I don't need more of this in my life

TraceyJohn: Cip has my copy

StephenTotilo: I played a ton of the GBA game

StephenTotilo: And I started thinking about "Fire Emblem," which was back home in my Wii and was thinking, "hey, at least there's some sense of character progression to those units"

StephenTotilo: So I'm on this sliding scale of disappointment, I guess. Thankfully, "Fire Emblem" is turning a corner for the better... on its 14th hour

TraceyJohn: So 14 hours in, you're finally getting some satisfaction out of it? How long should someone play a game to give it a chance? I think Cip mentioned last week he played "Endless Ocean" for 10 minutes and gave up.

StephenTotilo: Somewhere between 10 minutes and 14 hours is the sweet spot, for sure. 10 minutes isn't enough time for just about any game

StephenTotilo: You've got a meeting to split too, right? Anything else you need to confess to not playing?

TraceyJohn: Ha, 14 hours sounds totally fair. No more confessions this week, other than I'm playing too much "Endless Ocean" and not enough "No More Heroes." Let the chiding begin!