下手の横好き世界5 by William Van Hecke

In Quest of the Yarikomi

So I’m on my second loop through Ar tonelico 2, because I want to see the Cosmosphere and ending for a different character. This time I’m turbo-buttoning through the story bits and concentrating on leveling up, so that I can get past the stuff I’ve already seen as quickly as possible. Surprisingly, this second pass through the game is still quite fun, now that I’m learning the secrets of powering up my characters for battle. If I didn’t think I’d already missed some stuff that I can’t go back for, I might be tempted to try for yarikomi — the level of extreme game completion that would take at least 150 hours for a game like this. I’d see every conversation, craft every item, rescue every I.P.D. Reyvateil, explore every level of every Cosmosphere, and power everyone up to the max.

Usually I am pretty rushed to get to the end of a game, so that I can move on to the next game in my queue. I couldn’t really understand people like my roommate in college who went around beating all the Weapons in Final Fantasy VII just for the sake of having done it. Or the mythical players who left their level 99 dudes on the battery backup of RPGs I rented or bought used. But now I’m starting to see the appeal of approaching each new game as a miniature hobby in its own right, something you play and play until you’ve exhausted everything it has to offer.

Maybe, in this new land of buying fewer games, I should find the few games that I really want to get deep into, and go for yarikomi. The GUST, Nippon Ichi, Flight-Plan, Intelligent Systems, Sting, and Atlus games I’m interested in these days certainly support that approach, or even specifically encourage it.