Whether it's collecting all the secret objects in a game, or even searching every corner of the landscape to uncover an entire map, a large part of gaming is built around compulsions. With that in mind, what's the most obsessive-compulsive thing you've ever done in a game? It could be finishing every aspect of a game to get 100%, or even going the extra distance to make your gaming experience unique to you - such as building an insane settlement in Fallout 4. Whatever it is, we're interested in hearing about it.
As always, while you ponder your answer, here's the USgamer team to tell you about their crazy obsessive-compulsive moments.
I spent quite a while contemplating this one and really couldn't think of anything. I really want to be OCD when I play video games, especially RPG. I don't know how many ridiculously obsessive, Type-A endeavors I've initiated only to realize after a little while that it's so damn boring and I'd rather do something more constructive with my existence. I have attempted to complete Dragon Quest IX's Alchenomicon crafting system (stalled out ⅔ of the way through, when I started to hit alchemical components that required multiple preparatory steps involving rare materials), master every Job class in Final Fantasy Tactics, complete every quest in Skyrim, gather all 108 Stars of Destiny in any Suikoden after the first, fill every inch of my Animal Crossing town with flowers, and get 100% completion in every Metroid. I have failed, universally.
No, the most OCD thing I've ever done with video games wasn't in a game but rather about games. Namely, trying to research the history of every Game Boy game ever released, in chronological order. This has involved all kinds of OCD tasks like cross-referencing multiple release lists in order to determine the full list of games released in all territories, the order in which they were released, fussing around with Japanese resources, hunting down boxed copies of hundreds of games, photographing and scanning their packaging, and getting into the dark, horrible world of modded consoles and upscaled RGB output. It's fun, but it's also preposterous.
Lemme see... I think the most ridiculous OCD thing I've ever done in gaming was in Gran Turismo - the first game in the series. I'd picked up an import copy the day after Christmas in 1997, and was playing it morning, noon and night. I was utterly in love with the game, and wanted to experience every aspect of it, and pretty much did. But there was one thing I wasn't happy with: For some reason, I became obsessed with acquiring all the prize cars in "the right order."
Basically, I wanted to collect every variant of every car in the game in the order that they're won, so I'd end up with a saved game of cars all grouped together neatly. What that meant doing was starting over from scratch, and playing through each race until I'd won every variant of every prize car that particular race awarded, and then I'd move onto the next one. Since cars are given out randomly, and the color variations were sometimes numerous, that meant playing and replaying races repeatedly until I'd gotten all the cars that I wanted. It took me weeks to do this, but I persevered, because I loved Polyphony's brilliant racer so much, and wanted the ultimate neat saved game.
Looking back, it was a pretty pointless exercise, but my OCD basically gave me a reason to keep on playing the game way, way beyond finishing it. I essentially made my own game out of collecting cars, which extended my playtime enormously and enabled me to milk every last drop out of the game. Once I'd finished my save game, I copied it to a special card that I still have. I don't think I'll ever use it again, but it's still in the back of a drawer, forever a monument to my obsession with Gran Turismo.
The basic open world game loop of go to place, climb structure, finish missions, free region? I eat that stuff up. I've said this before, I'm the kind of person that tries to clear all these open world maps. As long as the missions aren't too annoying, I will get them all a solid try. I draw the line at collecting hundreds of meaningless collectibles, but otherwise, I tend to do my best to complete open-world titles. I actually find it relaxing, jumping from region to region, methodically clearing my path.
When I reviewed Batman: Arkham Knight, I cleared the entire city and all of the Most Wanted mission, except a Professor Pyg fight that was bugged in the review build. Every Assassin's Creed? The whole map is usually under my control before I really get into the story. Mad Max? Yes, I did those all those races. Just Cause 3? Every base, town, and outpost was liberated.
This can backfire of course. In the case of The Witcher 3 and Batman: Arkham Knight, a played on debug code, so my successes were not tied to my PlayStation account. I bought both games after the review, but I've been unable to start playing them again because all I see is mountain of stuff I need find and clear in order to satisfy the yearning for completeness that lives inside me. The Witcher 3 fills me with dread when I think about the game's first major region, let alone the rest of the game.
I like open-world games because I have this general compulsive need to scrub at a games' regions and missions. I want them to be complete, so I don't have to play the game again. When I'm done, I really want to be done. And that was before I became a regular reviewer. Some time this holiday season, I need to start Far Cry 4 and Rise of the Tomb Raider. Pray for me.
Well, I've managed to catch 'em all, and I may or may not have spent hundreds of hours riding back and forth on a bicycle hatching eggs to get a perfect base stat for my Pokemon. But that somehow doesn't top what happened to me when I was playing Final Fantasy IX in college.
I was in the process of replaying all of the Final Fantasy games released up until that point, and my girlfriend liked to hang out and watch. At her behest, I ended up doing nearly everything that I could, including defeating Ozma. But that somehow wasn't enough. My entire party needed to be at level 99 as well.
"The numbers are different," she explained in that matter-of-fact way that she has.
Well that was a bridge too far for me, but not for her. When I wasn't around, she started just grinding experience to see how high she could get my party. She would sit there at a plateau where high-level dragons appear and just kill them again and again, earning a little experience each time. Once I walked in to find her dead asleep on the couch with the game on, her finger still twitching on the button and selecting the attack command so that she could kill more dragons.
I still tease her about that from time to time, but I think she found it meditative to sit there and try and max out my party. She got them pretty high too - by the time she finally stopped, they were somewhere in the mid-90s. I'll admit, I've done some pretty OCD things, but I don't think I'll ever be able to top that.
Ah, the wonders of Kid Time: When you need to come up with elaborate activities for the sake of filling a day containing no real obligations. (At least, if you were a coddled suburbanite like me.) Since I grew up in a pre-Internet world, it's no wonder RPGs became my genre of choice in these veritable Dark Ages. Simply put, they offered a ton of content when content still had value—these were the last years a little boy like me could find legitimate entertainment by watching the entire run of Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. roughly five times. And Mama's Family? Don't get me started.
With a nearly endless amount of time on my hands and no productive way to spend it, in 1994, I devoted my attention to the newly released Final Fantasy VI for the Super Nintendo. From the first time I saw screenshots printed in a magazine, this last 16-bit Final Fantasy became an absolute obsession of mine, to the point where I didn't really want it to end—I recall restarting it several times, not because I missed something or made a mistake, but because I wanted the experience to last as long as possible. I eventually pushed myself towards the finale, but before I entered Kefka's Tower—the final dungeon—I got to work making sure ALL 14 characters reached level 99 and learned every spell—except for the few who couldn't.
Now, I'm not sure how long this took, seeing as Final Fantasy VI's clock stops at 99:59. But I certainly got my money's worth out of this SquareSoft RPG, which made its cost of $79.99 (in mid-'90s bucks!) seem somewhat reasonable. I guess it's a good thing this completionist streak didn't last long, because with our modern open-world games, I'd likely be living a reclusive Howard Hughes-style Hell of my own making.