I hate starting over.
June 25, 2018

I once put over a dozen hours into Assassin's Creed II. I loved what I played, dug the missions especially and even enjoyed completing all of the side nonsense. I don't remember how far into the game I got, but a message popped up on my TV screen as the game autosaved. Something about corrupt data. I thought nothing of it because I figured there would be other autosaves. None of them took, though.

When I booted up the game later on, it didn't load my data. In fact, all of my data was gone. All of those hours were gone. Everything I worked for was gone.

I haven't restarted AC2 since that incident, and I probably never will.

This occurred to me on a number of occasions. Either something happens to my computer or one of my consoles that prevents me from finishing a title, and I end up abandoning it. Sometimes my save file goes corrupt and I have to take everything from the top. When I'm able to jump back into the fray, I find myself dragging my feet. However, lately I've starting dragging myself kicking and screaming so I can scrub more games off my backlog. It's either that or stare at their names in my spreadsheet file for several more years.

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I recently got halfway through Sly 3 before my save file went corrupt. I about set my PS2 on fire over that one, and nearly gave up on getting through the Sly series altogether. I persevered, though. I restarted Sly 3, marathoned the first few chapters and eventually finished the whole campaign. Although it's a good platformer, I took no joy in starting over and forcing myself through content I'd already experienced.

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I picked up a used copy of Breath of Fire 2 about 1997, around the time I got my first job. It was the only the second thing I'd ordered off Amazon (the first being a VHS copy of the horror flick Rawhead Rex, which is pictured in my blog's banner above). I didn't even have a credit card at the time because I was only sixteen and didn't even entertain the idea of having a checking account. I had to talk my dad into letting me use his card while I compensated him with cash. He wasn't happy about it, and said it would be the last time.

I played most of the way through the game, blindly. I only had dial up at the time and hadn't discovered GameFAQs yet, so I had no idea what I was doing. The adventure got pretty hard because I was still somewhat green at RPGs, as it took me way too long to realize that fighting most of your battles was wiser than running all of the time. I lost interest fighting one of the final bosses, an old man surrounded by demonic eyes. Not long after giving up, I brought a PlayStation, and Beyond the Beyond soaked up my free time.

I tried once again to get through BOF2 when I bought a digital copy of it on Wii Virtual Console. I didn't get much farther than the giant roach boss before I lost interest again and started playing other stuff.

Over the years, I grew reluctant to give the game one last whirl. Recently, I mustered the courage and bought the Wii U edition and forced myself through it. In the twenty years since I first bought it, BOF2 aged somewhat poorly, but still held up enough that I could get through it. I finished it a couple of days ago.

I blasted my way through Avencast: Rise of the Mage a few months ago. I eventually neared the end of the campaign, where all I had to do was get through the final dungeon and defeat the antagonist. As I voyaged through one chamber, my computer crashed. I restarted the system and pushed through the same chamber. Crash again. Third verse, same as the first. Crash. File corrupt. Fifteen hours of gameplay down the toilet. Bear in mind that this was my second attempt to get through the game, as I was distracted by numerous other titles during my first playthrough.

My computer was pretty much done for. After six years of service, it was time to retire the venerable creature that a friend and I built one Saturday afternoon (using parts obtained from New Egg at a discount). My current computer runs Avencast without a hitch, so it's time for me to resume my quest.

Avencast is a decent RPG, but not a great one. The thought of having to redo those fifteen hours doesn't sit well with me. As I sat down tonight to get back into the game, I felt a blood curdling scream issue from the depths of my psyche. Deep down I don't want to force myself through this piece, but at the same time I don't like leaving business unfinished. As of now, I've gotten through all of the early campaign side quests, and I'm about to advance the story. Let's hope some unexpected catastrophe doesn't prevent me from finishing this time.

Most recent blog posts from Joseph Shaffer...

honestgamer honestgamer - June 25, 2018 (11:58 PM)
I know how you feel, I think. I got a good part of the way through Kingdom Hearts on PS2 and then lost interest. So I revisited it on the PS3 and made it further. I was seeing genuinely new things again, finally. Then my PS3 wouldn't boot up for more than a few seconds. It was toast. I lost my save but bought a new PS3. That one quickly died, as well. I now have a working one that has endured, but I haven't dared start Kingdom Hearts over again. And there was another big game I put 60 hours into that also fell to the broken PS3. I also had my first platinum trophy, only it didn't sync with the server before my PS3 died so... nothing. And I almost had another platinum, for Witch & The Hundred Knight, except I couldn't find the last .01% of a map somewhere that had to be explored to earn the final trophy. So I've had bad luck too, and there are so many other games to play that I fear I'm unlikely to ever go back to any of them. Especially the slogs.
overdrive overdrive - June 26, 2018 (12:54 PM)
When I bought Final Fantasy IX, I'd made it to the final dungeon. I also knew that in blasting through the game, there was a bunch of stuff I'd missed (for example, the optional book boss you can encounter during a mid-game trip to Alexandria Castle) and I hadn't really done much of the optional mini-game stuff, so I had plans to play through it again. Anyway, one night, I wasn't in the mood to tackle the final dungeon and its bosses, so I figured, "What the hell; I'll start my new playthrough and finish the old one some Saturday or Sunday when I have a free day!".

Guess what happened and who saved their new game DIRECTLY OVER THE OLD ONE. Guess who never tried anything like that again.
sashanan sashanan - June 27, 2018 (10:37 AM)
On PC, hardware failure has sometimes cost me my saves, and only on some of the games did I restart - and even then not usually right away, needed to cool down first. Fallout 3 and Mass Effect 2 both got their restart. Dungeon Siege, original Fallout and Warcraft 3 haven't yet, and it has been years on all of them.

To combat my dislike of restarting I've at least cleaned up my gaming habits such that I don't play a dozen games at once and end up abandoning more than half. But technical issues can never be completely taken out of the picture. Over the years, I've had a hard drive dying on a laptop and a video card on my desktop - the latter wouldn't have taken my save except that, while trying to figure out why it no longer booted, I ran a recovery that took everything on the C: drive. So my saves were lost through my own unnecessary action. That was painful.
overdrive overdrive - June 28, 2018 (07:04 AM)
Oooh, yeah. Hardware failure. A few years ago, I'd decided to make a run at Balder's Gate II on my Mac. I got up to the Spellhold dungeon and was working through it (after doing virtually anything a person could do in Chapter 2 without needing the extra levels and weaponry and armor you get in Spellhold, the Sahaguin City and the Underdark)...and my computer died. There are times I think of restarting it on my older laptop (that has a CD slot, with my newer one, I'd have to buy it again via Steam or somewhere), but I'm just so emotionally broken after that I haven't had the heart to try...

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