You might recall reading about me finally finding a copy of Suikoden III after many years of searching through shelves of used PS2 games at every GameStop I visited. Actually, I wrote about it one month ago exactly. And yet, despite my deep and unrelenting love for the series, despite my excitement over finding a copy and having it in my collection and picking up the box now and then to confirm that, yes, it is real and, yes, it is mine…I’ve still not played it. Honestly, I’m kind of scared to.
Then again, I was also a wee bit scared to play The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, but for different reasons. Open-world games as massive as Bethesda makes ’em can be nothing but daunting; I love them, but sometimes struggle with staying focused, with sticking to the plan, and before you know it, I’ve lost the main thread and am now just wandering around, trying to find a place to call home. Still having fun, mind you, but feeling off, like I’m playing it wrong. I want to do everything, but to do everything means total and utter devotion. Which also means time, and time for videogames is not something I have as much for as I used to, seeing as I still plan to be either a famous writer or cartoonist–whichever happens first is fine by me.
With Suikoden III, I’m worried about being disappointed and then having to deal with the fact that I put way too much thought and care into obtaining something that ultimately did not do it for me. That’s some heavy thinking there, but it’s how my mind operates; I build my own structure of hype, and it’s very hard to get down from it safely. Supposedly Suikoden III is the best of the 3D games in the franchise, but a lot of that praise was printed back when the game came out. Y’know, in 2002. It’s hard to know how to interpret those claims some ten years later. I mean, I thought Suikoden V was fantastic, even with its slow start; in fact, that eight or nine hour intro is the reason why I admire it so.
Over the summer, for seemingly no reason at all, Tara popped Final Fantasy VII into her PlayStation. I chose not to watch, but because we were in the
attic The Leaky Cauldron, I had to listen, and from what I heard, it sounded bad. Some games don’t age well, and some gaming mechanics definitely don’t age well; what might have been fast-paced battles and crazy good graphics back then certainly do not cross the mark today. Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII are games I’m scared to go back and play, and prefer to just leave them as fond memories for as long as possible. Same reason I haven’t gone back to Suikoden or Suikoden II–though, as an uber fan, I have to believe they stand the test of time.
I don’t know. Maybe I’ll just bite the bullet, put Skyrim aside for a bit this weekend, and see how Suikoden III goes. It’s gotta be better than some other PlayStation 2 games I’ve played recently, right? Right? Keep me in your thoughts.