I have at least three Playstation memory cards filled with Final Fantasy VIII save games. They are at key points in the plot, so that I can go back and relive the story without playing through the sometimes grindy game itself.
Ditto for FFVII, FFIX, FFX, Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2, Front Mission 3 and 4, Valkyrie Profile and VP: Silmeria, Star ocean 2 and 3, Arc the Lad (TotS), and probably a half dozen or so games that I’ve forgotten about. It’s one of the strengths of a console game that allows for multiple saves; I can replay the story (or show it to my wife or siblings) without making them sit through the “game” part. Don’t get me wrong, I usually like the game, or else I wouldn’t bother with it, but sometimes it’s really nice to go back and pick up the story without playing through everything again. It’s the curse of the “cutscene” storytelling in games; there are usually two parts of the title, the game and the story. There’s no way around that if you want a strong narrative without the ability for the player to derail your story.
I love the option to “turn back the clock” and take a quick spin through the game. I love these long, involved RPGs, but I don’t have as much time as I did when I was young and didn’t need sleep. The ability to revisit parts of the game are a nice compromise between the desire to replay the game and the lack of time to do so. (more…)