moving ahead with trepidation

Moving ahead with trepidation

Now most of you readers are probably gaming buffs. You know many kinds of gaming fun, and have lived many adventure through your little avatar. You’re fit and ready to do some button mashing and to kick some ass. You are most probably looking forward to the next challenge. No problem to take on the most fearsome boss. You will surely show him your worth and that trying to beat you at the game is pretty useless.

Now you know I’ve been very happy to plug along in Dragon Quest Builders in the past few weeks. Having loads of fun but still, the game made me realise something. It basically comes down to this: I don’t have your kind of confidence, dear reader. My little YvoCaro loves her adventures, but she is always just slightly aprehensive. She just isn’t sure she will have what it takes to win to next battle. To beat the boss that is surely lurking around the corner.

Channeling my apprehension

Of course, little YvoCaro gets that feeling of apprehension and trepidation from me. I like to be in control. The games I choose clearly reflect that, I love games where I can call the shots. Games like Harvest Moon and Story of Seasons won’t happen without me making the day to day choices. A game like Animal Crossing is a little different, as life just goes on even when mayor YvoCaro is gone. But then, life is so peaceful there that nothing major can go wrong. I mean, Brewster could make his coffee too strong, or Booker might arrest Savannah when she comes through the gates uninvited. But I have every faith in Isabelle to right those kind of wrongs while the mayor is otherwise occupied.

moving ahead with trepidationThis is where my strong preference for turn based fighting comes from: the first hesitant step into gaming outside of the sheltered world of Animal Crossing was in Pokémon Platinum. In the Sinnoh region battles could be won by heavy grinding first, and by making sure YvoCaro had some smart strategic thinking on her side, along with enough potions and revives.  It was only a lot later in my gaming life that I dared venture out to adventure games with real-time fighting.

Can she take the pressure?

So while making my review for Dragon Quest Builders it dawned on me that I, and little YvoCaro with me, move ahead in the game in a very careful way. Afraid she won’t be able to slay the next fearsome monster. She felt pressure when she had to face the Stone Gollem in Cantlin. She tried to prepare in the extreme, by making nine Cantlin shields, a couple for every side of the city. Trying to protect her town. she kept putting the boss fight off. And she is doing the same now with the boss fight with the Hades Condor in the Rimuldar chapter again.

moving ahead with trepidationThen it hit me: this is what I often do when a game gets to be too challenging: I try to be over-prepared. And if that fails too, I’ll give it a try or two, and then just put the game aside. Leaving my little YvoCaro dormant in yet another save-file. Which of course explains my massive back-log to some extent!

It left me wondering: am I the only one who feels this way about pressure in a game? Are you ever confident in your gaming capabilities? Or do you choose more wisely and just play video games that you know you can handle? Oh, and don’t worry. I don’t suffer from a split personality!


  1. When I get stuck on a game I also tend to take a break from it. I do have some unfinished games for that reason! Or for some reason I only pick up Phoenix Wright games when I’m sick. I think the most irritating experience I had was when I played an Assassin’s Creed game. There was a challenge that I did so many times and failed. It became irritating. Then I picked up the game a few months later and beat the challenge on the first try. I was happy, but mad at the same time lol. I can’t say I’ve avoided a game for difficulty reasons though.

    1. It’s true indeed, that one tends to pick up games according to the circumstances. Not strange, when you’re sick you wouldn’t want to do a huge challenge. Some relaxing is in order then.
      Not only do I run away from the challenge, I game in fear of the challenge presenting itself. You’re much braver then I am!

  2. Hello Yvonne,

    I have exactly the same thing!
    I like games where there is no time limit. Where you can prepare yourself in the extreme. Where you can level up as mutch as you want before taking on that one boss.
    It’s not that i want a game to simple, i just wat the opportunity to play in my own pase and prepare so mutch that it is stays fun.
    I don’t like just barely surviving, playing the same level (or fight the same boss) over and over again.
    As a result, i do 3 times as long over a game than my boyfriend. But i don’t mind, more game play time for my money!

    I really liked the persona games. The story, the gameplay, the graphics… but i didnt’ like the time pressure. The fact that you cannot level up (as mutch as i would like) before continuing with the story.
    Once i came to realize there was a ‘time pressure’ element i stopt playing and didn’t pick it up since.
    Ashame because i here lot of good things about the serie. But i just really don’t like the feeling of being to week, of being unprepared, of maybe not surviving. Not in control of how you choose to go about it.

    I did really like Xenoblade (both of the wiiu versions), Ni No Kuni, Kingdoms of Amalur, Fantasy Life, Animal Crossing and Paper Mario

    Groetjes, ronja

    1. Hey Ronja, how have you been doing?
      I’m so glad that I’m not the only one feeling this way. Time pressure is the ultimate no-no for me, I’ve given up on all of those games. Even the old brain training games, I just cannot cope with time pressure. It makes my heart race and I feel so stressed. That is, of course, on a smaller scale the same that happens when I have to fight real time. With no turn based taking turns and thinking it through.
      I do take a long time too to go through my games, which is only natural when you want to prepare to the utmost. But, at least we really get our money’s worth, right? You’ve got some hardcore games on your list too, don’t you? Good for you!

  3. I get how you feel. I usually do a lot of grinding in games, not just to be prepared, but also because it’s a thrill to feel stronger. I get most nervous in games that don’t allow you to save before a major boss. There are some old RPGs that do that (original Final Fantasy III, for instance), and it always makes me nervous when I don’t have a save to fall back on. I would hate to lose so much progress, so I grind ahead of time so I don’t get stuck in such situations. It’s especially stressful during the “point of no return” in RPGs when they warn you that you won’t be able to save from here on out. I try to do everything I can beforehand so that things will go as smoothly as possible!

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