You look at that figure and you know you’re unsatisfied. You know it’s not the real deal; the head honcho; numero uno; top dog; big cheese; number 1 – The illusive 100%. Sure, it’s an impressive figure, but in a world where most of us strive for perfection, it’s just not good enough is it?
Such is the struggle with gaming. More specifically, my struggle. Now, I’m not usually so concerned about the Platinum trophy or a full list of achievements all that often. Most of the time, just completing the story on hard will suit me just fine. Final Fantasy X, for example, teased me with this for almost 13 years. I bought it when I was 8 or 9 and couldn’t finish it. I didn’t understand the mechanics; why did this boss keep destroying my team in seconds? Seymour Flux on Mt. Gagazet, in case you wanted to know… he was a right pain in my arse, so I put the game away. It wasn’t until late 2014 that I decided, you know what, he’s tortured me from the back of my mind for long enough – I’m gonna pick up that game again and smash it. So I did. It wasn’t even hard… first try, absolutely wrecked him. Beat the game, job done. My conscience finally clear. But I didn’t 100% it. Honestly, that would take too long and anyone who actually has the 100% for Final Fantasy X, pat that back of yours because bra-bloody-vo.
Sometimes there are games where I can actually be bothered. Fallout 3 was one such title on that list. That game grabbed me by the balls and wouldn’t let go. Still hasn’t: I love the more recent Fallout games to pieces. It took me some time, but hunting every Behemoth, doing every mission, finishing the main story with both the good and bad karma options and the Bobblehead collecting were totally worth it. I would say I have fully experienced that game and scraped every last ounce of its creamy goodness from the figurative barrel.
Another set was the PS1 Spyro trilogy: Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage and Spyro: Year of the Dragon. These were some important games from my childhood – this was my Mario (aside from the Super Mario World 2… but shh). Got them off PSN for less than a fiver. I was single, home from uni, had nothing going on and I thought, come on then let’s do it. Every egg, every gem; you’ve been HAD. In sequence. Another one crossed off the bucket list. I was even having a chat with one of my exes at the time; she was telling me about how well her course was going and how great her new boyfriend was (It’d been 2 years since we split and I asked, she wasn’t a bitch, rubbing it in my face or anything… much). He was in the 1st team for Rugby, played 3 instruments at grade 8 and another 2 pretty competently, spoke 3 languages, acted, sung and was on track for a first class degree. So what? I just 100%’d Spyro: Year of the Dragon; slap that mother on my CV.
There’s always been one that has haunted me more than any others, however. And that one is Pokemon… The first game I ever played. And that’s even the whole point of the game isn’t it? Gotta Catch ‘Em All. It’s goading you into it. Daring you to do it. I was 4 years old, booted up Pokemon Blue on my Gameboy Colour and thought, right, I can do this. I CAN catch them all. I’m better than Ash, right?… I wasn’t. 147 was my grand total: 97%. So close and yet so far. Can’t actually remember what 3 (or 4 if you want to get pedantic) I was actually missing, but I’ll bet they were rubbish. And to this day, not a thing has changed. I still haven’t managed to Catch ‘Em All; I just like the games. Blue, Silver, Ruby and then a lengthy hiatus until Omega Ruby late last year before my current run on Moon. However, I’ve caught the bug again. It’s my second playthrough and I thought why the hell not? Wonder trading and the GTS will make this a heck of a lot easier. Gone are the days of link cables! A sordid thing of the past, kept under wraps by us older folk. And it sure, it really has been a lot easier. Until now, now that is. I’ve beaten the game, defended my title and caught everything. The Tapus? Easy. Necrozma? Done-ion rings. Even got myself an illusive Weavile after a long slog to find that sharp claw thing it needs… but here I am, sat staring at 99%. There’s one, just ONE more to get and it’s killing me. Slowking. The bastard stood there all innocent. He’s mocking me. I have the Bro, but I used my Kings Rock already on a Politoed!! The GTS can’t help either. Everyone wants a Mew or a Giratina or Lugia or something absolutely ridiculous. I’m not paying for Pokemon bank so I can’t get any of them… my only hope is to wait as my flatmate beats the story and can get his own Kings Rock… until then I guess I’ll just have to be stuck, sat here, staring at this stupid bloody number – the worst percentage of them all. Fuck off, Slowking, you great turd.
As of publishing I have officially completed the Pokedex. Was it worth it? Meeehh… sort of. It’s nice to know that I’m done, but other than that, not so much. Are you guys struggling with anything of late? Leave a comment and let me know; it’s good to hear from you! If you want more, you can follow me on Twitter @snakeintheplane to keep up to date with my existing. I’ve got more rants brewing, so stay tuned for the next Snake in the Plane!