So I finally played bloodstained. I’m here at 99% map completion, with a heckbunch of shards and finished quests and whatever, and now just about all I have left is to beat the main boss, and I kind of can’t be bothered.
This happens to me a lot. I wind up doing everything but the main story, trying to complete all the sidequests, minigames, and extra bits before the main story is finished, and often instead of advancing the main story. I did this in Final Fantasy XV, for sure. Then I get to the point where I have to do the main story, or in this case just finish the game, and it just pulls back the veil on “wait, why was I doing any of this in the first place? was I having fun at all?”
In the case of bloodstained, I did all these extra things to get stronger, and to make the parts of the game I like least (fighting bosses) as easy as possible. When the last thing to do is fight a boss, and the story is worse than nothing (worse because it takes a lot of time while being uninteresting and predictable) it’s like wait… I don’t like doing that stuff, what reason is there to keep going?
And why did I do all that stuff to get to that point? Why is my map 99% complete? why do I have level 9 familiars? What good was any of it?
Then there’s the flip side of that coin, for folks who play through the main story, intending to do the side quests later. Then they get to the end and think - well, I’m finished, why should I go back and do those side quests?
What is it about a game like bloodstained that will get some of us grinding away as though it were fun, but without actually having much fun doing it? Is it the numbers going up? Is it the shiny shard animation? Do we just get that little dopamine spike of being like “oh, I did the thing I was trying to do?” I don’t dislike bloodstained despite it being ugly, having a bad story, and feeling like work. Why don’t I dislike it?
I feel like the Yakuza games do a good job with this stuff though you can fall into some of the same traps quite easily. The key here is the main story is interesting and well paced, while the side quests are goofy and interesting bite-sized affairs, and neither of them step on the others feet. But I still see through PS4 trophy analysis that only 40% of people are doing 10+ quests, or whatever.
This is a broad hand-wave-y topic but where do things fall for you all here? Do you try to 100% the game? Do you tend toward side quests over the main story? Do you burn through the main story like a rocket? How do you feel about the whole thing? And what makes you want to complete quests versus not?