Side questing, a must for you?

A Quest is at hand: the Fellowship of the Rings
A Quest is at hand: the Fellowship of the Rings

A Quest, such a beautiful word! One of the first times I heard this word was when I first read The Lord of the Rings when I was young, and the word Quest stuck in my mind as daring, noble and adventures. Forget all the trouble it got you into, just focus on the noble part of what you were about to do. And of course every quester went willingly, hardly thinking of their own safety or future, just having a burning desire to make the quest a success. Frodo is the ultimate embodiment for me of a noble quester, crying out at the council of Elrond: “I will take the ring to Mordor…though I do not know the way” And even now, years later, I love to take up a quest in my games, whether it’s in an RPG or adventure game. The moment they tell me that my little YvoCaro has to go on a quest, I’m at the ready to guide her along.

But what about side-quests? Does a game have to have side-quests? As far as I’m concerned, side-quests make a game complete. In Pokémon you can chose to level up a well-balanced team and beat every gym leader. Beat the Elite 4 and the Champion, and feel as if you’ve had a great adventure, thwarting Team Aqua or Team Magma or whichever evil doer you have to stop. But, Pokémon has a lot of side quests too, growing Pokéberries and making them into Pokéblocks. Decorating your secret base in ORAS, or trying to find every fossil and gem available in the underground in Platinum.Pokemon, ORAS, Omega, Sapphire, Side quests, Participating in beauty contests and make sure your favorite Pokémon is the fairest in the land. To me, the game wouldn’t be as enjoyable if they had deleted all the side quests.

What game has the best side-quests, or is it just a matter of taste? What kind do you enjoy the most? I love crafting and making things in the game. Fantasy Life is perfect that way, you can find your own balance in following the Takes of Lunares and battling your way through, but making your own potions as an alchemist, making your own clothes as a tailor and decorating your own home as a carpenter is what makes a good game into a perfect game for me. Zelda games are well known for their side quests, I remember in A Link between Worlds the quest to bring all the squid babies back to Mama Maiamai and getting nice upgrades in the process.
LTTP, Zelda, link to the past, Mother maiamai, sidequest, collecting
A gaming friend of mine has a strong need to finish up each and every side quest in a game. She just can’t skip things, has to collect all there is to be collected and do everything that can be done. I can only look at that in admiration. I do love my side quests, and like I said, a game wouldn’t be complete without them. But I know myself well enough to know that there’s only so long that I can play a game. Some games can really grab me and have me coming back to them time after time, but I do tend to go from game to game, hardly ever finishing it entirely, side quests and all. ( Here’s the blog that I wrote about the lucky few that I managed to finish entirely) It’s certainly much easier on your wallet if you devour a game from start to finish, but on my defense I’ll say that I go back to games too. There’s always a rich choice in gaming for me!

So, how does it work for you? Do you love side quests, and what kind are your favorites? And do you play them to the max, tying up every loose end along the way? I love to hear your thoughts!

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