When a game hits the point of diminishing returns...

When a game hits the point of diminishing returns, what do you do?

Suck it up and finish it? Or just stop playing?

This has happened to me quite a few times. Most notably, with Octopath Traveler, I enjoyed the game tremendously at the beginning and played the first 3 chapters of all 8 characters (plus a good chunk of size quests). By Chapter 4, I just feel burned out because it's difficult to level up everyone at the same pace plus boss battles can last very long. So I put the game away, knowing that the "true ending" will be even more of a chore.

My answer has changed over time. When I was younger, I would suck it up and plow on through regardless. These days I will drop a game the moment I realise I’m not having fun anymore. Also unless someone I trust has recommended a game with a weak start and it is worth “getting to the good bit” I no longer have any patience for anything with a drawn out, weak opening

I used to finish everything, still do this with movies and books with rare exceptions. But narrative games like jrpgs are tricky bc of the possibility of the experience getting better if you stick with it.

I admit there’s a low batting avg on bad jrpgs getting better…

@Fran#30791 Heh, this is entirely my view too! I like the idea behind it all, it has great music and some of the character openings are actually pretty good but then it just putters along and I feel like most of the character arcs cap off at chapter 3 really (Olberic's one for example).

I got to hour 50 and just walked away.

Brandon kinda touched on this in the newest episode, but I‘ll constantly get to the end of the game and don’t wanna put up with the final boss and I‘ll just quit. I’m not any kind of achievement hunter and I don‘t have a compulsion to platinum any game I play, so if the final bit of a game is too frustrating I’ll just look the ending up on youtube and pretend I beat it myself lol.

Sometimes I'll really push myself to enjoy a game that I'm not having fun with, but I feel like mainly it's out of buyer's remorse. And the effort at which I push myself to enjoy something is directly correlated to how much money I spent on it.

For me it honestly depends on how close to the end I am. If I‘m 3/4ths of the way through a game I’m a lot more likely to push my way through to the end than if I'm right in the middle.

JRPGs should be given at least 10 hours (the point at which suikoden II gets really good)

not to overgeneralize but i strongly feel that game quality suffers when playtime runs beyond 40 hours. it's just too long and i wanna play other stuff, thank you. i'm on 60 hours of subnautica at this point and my affection for it has really waned in the last third of the game. then again when i check howlongtobeat it says average playtime is 28 hours so may not be correcting for the dumbass factor here

It often happens to me that I‘m playing a jrpg and right at the final boss I try to beat it like 3 times and then after getting killed 3 times I realize I’ve been playing the game considerably underleveled (compared to walkthroughs or guides) and that in order to beat the final boss I would have to exit the annoyingly large dungeon with a ton of random encounters and then grind, buy some equipment and then traverse the annoying final dungeon again. And I just quit the game there.

This happened to me recently in Final Fantasy IV and Dragon Quest V.

@Fran#30791 no joke, Octopath is the game that jumped to mind when I read this thread title. I adored it a lot more than I thought I would for the first few chapters, & I'm resolved to truck on 50-ish hours in, but I sure do wish everyone had three chapters instead of four


This happens to me every time I try to play an old Phantasy Star game. Love them to death, but can't stand grinding for the sake of it, and always find myself trying to go into areas I shouldn't be because I should have been wondering around elsewhere killing baddies till I'm level whatever.

@Syzygy#30851 i bailed while on the surface so can't imagine what the underground is like

A lot of games don't have a narrative arc or linear path of progression, but even for ones that do, I look at the games in my personal collection as a well-stocked bar or pantry. Sometimes I get hooked on one flavour or ingredient for weeks at a time, and go hard on it for a while, only to lose the taste for it somewhere down the line.

I guess what I'm saying is, diminishing returns can be a permanent state of affairs, or it can be temporary. When I hit the point in my relationship with a game where I stop thinking, "I gotta have it!" I set that game aside. Doesn't mean I'm not having fun anymore. I've simply reached the point where that specific kind of fun is not what I'm in the mood for.

I used to like whiskey a lot. Whenever I drank (which wasn't all the time, or to excess), I'd reach for a nice whiskey. I went through a gin phase. Now I appreciate bitter and citric IPAs - that's all I want to drink. I still like whiskey and gin in theory, but I'm cool with not drinking either of them at the moment.

I think of games that same way, even ones that have a logical or obvious "finish" point. I'm never only playing one game at a time. There are always three or four in rotation, and they come and go whenever it feels right.