What is “Completion Armor”?

I’ve had a New 3DS XL for months now, and excluding the Virtual Console releases, have not played any games exclusive to the system. One of the first, if not the only, exclusives is none other than Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, a port of a Wii game by the same name (sans the ‘3D’, obviously).

xenobladechronicles3d_preview_4What’s kept me away from this one since my upgrade to the N3DS has been one thing, and that’s the playtime. You can’t enter a conversation about this game without someone mentioning that it takes as long as roughly 1 entire pregnancy worth of time to beat. 80 hours seems to be the average. That’s quite a time commitment. Just slightly less time than it would take you to watch the entirely of Lost, but hopefully you won’t dwell on it for years afterwards, questioning why you did it.

Xenoblade Chronicles has what I like to call “completion armor.” Completion armor is a phenomenon that keeps me away from playing certain games when the sheer size of the game seems too overwhelming to get through. It’s a frustrating topic to me, because as I’ve gotten older, the ceiling for games with what I consider to be completion armor has gotten much lower.

Pictured: What I’m Trying to Avoid

Simply put, there are too many games out there that I want to play. Most of them are out already, and the other couple are trickling out of the studios at the usual pace. It’s much less intimidating to play something for ~30 hours or so, than to take on an ~80 hour journey of insanity and commitment.

Dark Cloud 2 is my current romantic love interest of which I’ve logged a little over 20 hours. I’m still having a great time with it though, and when I get home and finish all the daily shit, I can’t wait to unwind and play it. But it’s still rated around 70 hours. Between that and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, I’ve got a pretty full plate in terms of games to play, and with Monster Hunter Generations and Pokemon Sun/Moon coming out later this year, I’ve got my hands full.

All of that being said, I realized that I can’t go on forever like this, avoiding games like the plague that very well might turn out to be my favorite, like Dark Cloud 2 is doing right now. I’ve decided to keep things as simple as possible henceforth, 1 lengthy game on the 3DS, and 1 lengthy game on my collection of consoles (PS2, GameCube, Wii, and N64).

In other words, I might have to give Xenoblade Chronicles a shot. It just looks way too sweet to pass up.

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