There’s been a discussion in the Women Gamers community at LiveJournal about what the definition of a hardcore gamer is opposed to that of a casual one. It’s probably really down to hair splitting but it makes me think of my own gaming experience. I can go for very long periods of time without gaming, but there are times were I just can’t get enough of video games to the point where my books are greatly neglected. My own collection of consoles and handheld systems puts very few titles out of my reach.
Some time ago I became aware of a game called Shadow Hearts. I didn’t buy it when I first seen it because I didn’t often have extra money to throw away on games since it usually went toward books or feeding my growing obsession regarding anime. However, one of my grandmothers gave me one hundred dollars and I decided that it was the perfect excuse to buy this intriguing title. I fell in love with the game! I had to share this wonderful discovery with friends and they all enjoyed it too. When I discovered that the game had an alternate ending, I did everything to obtain it and through much hair-pulling I have found all the secrets in that game… so I guess that’s as close to hardcore as I’ve ever gotten when it comes to being a gamer.
I discovered that Shadow Hearts was something of a spin-off of an earlier Playstation game called Koudelka. I had the luck to find it in a used game shop and the gameplay proved to be quite different. I did almost beat the final boss until the game froze up on me, which I think warrants a howl of frustration. So going through all of the last disc again I was only able to gain the losing ending FMV during the next play. I really do need to play through that game again and work on getting the ending for if you beat the final boss. That game has things that are really creepy in it.
Anyway imagine my great delight when I heard a sequel to Shadow Hearts was coming out? I was up at EB Games as soon as possible to get Shadow Hearts: Covenant and the strategy guide because I wanted access to everything in the game. There’s still a few secrets I haven’t obtained in that game but it continued the trend of me staying up playing the games for an unheard of succession of hours. I think it was ten hours for the first game and this game was twelve hours… I don’t even read for that many hours without taking a break!!! Alternate history is fun at any rate. You get to take out Rasputin!
The latest installment is Shadow Hearts: From the New World, which as the name implies moves away from the Europe/Asia settings of the previous games. I don’t know if this game was as well received as the previous ones, but I loved it. Sadly though I’ve neglected to do more than complete what needs to be done for the alternate ending so I really need to work on getting this game up to 100% completion. (See I work this hard on games that don’t even have achievements or trophies!) I think it’s safe to say that the Shadow Hearts series are my favorite video games.
After my abysmal failure at trying to play Mafia, I decided that I needed to play something else on my Playstation 2 and it’s been so long since I gave any proper attention to the Shadow Hearts series that I decided to play the first one and enjoy myself of going through the games again. Unfinished games will simply have to wait for another day.