Role playing games, eh? Orcs and dragons and goblins and elves? Wearing pointy hats and your mum?s dress? Throwing funny-looking dice and talking like Shakespeare. Role playing games, eh - they?re mental, aren?t they?
STOP RIGHT THERE!
While role-playing games do
involve dressing up in your mother?s clothes, they are No
laughing matter: in the time it takes for you to read this sentence three hundred European teenagers will become addicted to Moon Sugar
In the Republic of Ireland, bootleg Phoenix Downs
are the number one cause of death in men aged 25 to 25 and a half. What started off as a fun and harmless way to worship the Devil has become something quite different - and quite dangerous.
There?s no getting around it: RPGs are dangerous for your mental health. A 2006 psychiatric study proved that the very act of pretending to be a wizard was enough to drive your average gamer insane. Fortunately there are a set of rules you can abide by to keep your marbles firmly where they belong. The tips listed will help you survive RPGs with your sanity intact so please, if you value your brain, put on your +3 Pinnafore of Pantyline Protection, and read on . . .
SPOnG?s Top Ten Tips to Not Going Mental in RPGs
Tip # 1 - Keep multiple saves
This is a must in any RPGs developed by Obsidian Entertainment, a development team known for their strong writing, their bold characters, and code so glitchy that cult platform shooter Metal Arms: A Glitch in the System
was originally known as Metal Arms: Alpha Protocol in the System
Star Ocean: Til the End of Time
In epic-length RPGs one save is never enough. If you don?t abide by this rule you can guarantee that as soon as you hit the 30-hour mark, or finish a strenuous boss fight, your solitary save will become corrupted. The bigger the game, the more saves you?ll need, but be warned - saving too frequently can be its own path to madness. If you end up with a screen-filling stack of meticulously categorised save-games, you?ll know you?ve taken things too far.
As a bonus tip, if you?re playing an RPG on an original PlayStation or PS2, don?t even think about using a third-party memory card for your saves. Official memory cards are still quite expensive, but unless you want your Star Ocean
save to have the longevity of a fairground goldfish, they?re worth the extra cash.
Tip # 2 - Don?t grind to maximum level
They call it ?the grind?, and not because it?s a sexy dance involving grinding your crotch against a lady?s rump to ?They Call Me Mr Boombastic?. No, this is the grinding of teeth against granite, or broken glass against the balls of your feet, of your forehead against a breezeblock wall. This is the process of repeating the same actions to gather experience points in tiny incremental notches until your little RPG guy reaches the next level, and the next, and the next.
This is where you kill a thousand mobs, craft a thousand items, pick a thousand magical herbs and watch as, little by little, your character becomes a better fighter, gemsmith or druid. This is spending hours maxing your stats until your RPG guy is level 99 and you?ve wasted days upon him, at which point you?ll be entitled to have a little cry about the shell your life has become.
Unless ? that is - you decided to put all that time into leveling Aerith in Final Fantasy VII
, in which case you won?t have the chance to regret your wasted time as, upon her death, you?ll be too busy rocking and dribbling while your sanity blows raspberries at you.
ON YOU GO