Tuesday, May 25, 2010

On the flip side...

Most RPGs have a "decompression chamber" at the end of the game where you can go to deal with the tiny bubbles boiling out of your bloodstream and make you fit for normal human interaction again. Typically, what happens is, a master dungeon opens up after you've beaten the game, and grinding your way through the superfluous post-game level 3000 zombie chickens eventually gets boring, at which point you quit. Or that's the idea. I suppose a few otaku get oppressed by all the left-overs; they haul out their +12 sonic screwdrivers and dive in for three or four more months of gratuitous Grondheimlichkeit.

Not entirely so, Infinite Space — Extra Mode is too dumb to qualify as Hyperbaric Therapy, while New Game+ simply lets you to replay the game and take all your less-travelled paths in the original gameplay. You find yourself recruiting new characters, missing others, going to Enemonzo instead of Zenito, making friends where you found enemies, recruiting Radimir and once again failing to get Rufina, drawing blanks that were lively the last go-round, and so on. It's not, in other words, remotely like winding down. You wind up playing a new game sort of like the one you just finished, with a handful of additional blueprints. Just as addictive. Just as appealing. Every bit as annoying, although you've climbed the learning curve and all you need to do is grind it out. Again.

You have to take yourself by the scruff of the neck, come the wee small hours o' the morning, and put it down. Put it down. Done.



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