So, today, I "beat" a game for the first time in a long while. Saints Row the Third. By beat, I mean finished the main plot all the way to it's conclusion. I don't feel the need to go through and obsessively dominate the game by beating every little side challenge, nor do I feel the need to pick up any of the DLC. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that I have no real desire to play the game co-op, which is apparently where they expect the true longevity of the title to exist. Took me little less then 20 hours, start to finish, with a couple of mini-game stops. The game is useful, for the purposes of blogging, as an example of things in the gaming industry that I both enjoy, and dislike.
I'm glad I didn't pay full price for the game. $60 for less then 20 hours of enjoyment is not what I would consider to be a value. It's one of the reasons I almost never pay full price for a game. I dislike DLC as a whole. I view it as a cash-grab on top of an already over-priced game, and if you have the balls to release "day one" DLC, then you better have a damn good reason why it wasn't included in the game at launch for free. But, looking over the list of DLC, I'm seeing nothing that I "need" to complete my experience. Fluff, basically. Some new costumes and game modes for multiplayer, and as I don't do multiplayer, no need for me to spend the money. I might be tempted to pick it up, to support the developer, but as THQ is in bankruptcy proceedings and probably won't exist as an entity within the next year, there really doesn't seem to be a point.
Now, I've given some thought as to why this game managed to catch my attention the way it did. I honestly think it's because it's basically a cartoonish parody of GTA. I detest the GTA series, this is not news to most. The last one I played was San Andreas, and I just couldn't get into a game that glorified the gang life to that degree, and that tried to give some lame-ass "he's just trying to do the right thing" story while the game mechanics supported doing the wrong thing the whole time. Turning hardened criminals into a romantic ideal is not something I think children should be exposed to, and let's face it, there are a lot of idiot parents who pay no attention to what their kids are playing. But SR3 unashamedly mocks the "gang life" by molding a brilliant caricature that both explains why the player is doing what they do, and making it clear that it should never be taken seriously. Still not kid friendly though. I got a genuine kick out of discovering that Terry Hogan voiced one character, and there's a cameo by a celebrity that was so awesome and ridiculous, and yet so perfectly done that it blew my mind. I won't ruin it for anyone though.
I tend to lose interest in games before I finish them. The reasons vary, but, for one reason or another, I get bored. FFXIII? Gorgeous game. Stale story, uninteresting characters, bland mechanics. Mass Effect? Hard to quantify that one. Combination of only trying the PC version, which is badly ported, and having something come up and distract me every time I get about 4 hours into it, which then means that I then dread redoing that 4 hours when I finally find time to retry it. The list goes on. Randomly generated content and MMOs are pretty much the only thing that can hold my attention for more then 5-10 hours, so I consider it quite the accomplishment that I finished this game, although I may step into it again from time to time to snag achievements.