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GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - Not-so-optional sidequests

Happy 2nd anniversary to the 3DS! Yes, it's been 2 years since the portable came out in Japan. It got off to a rocky start, but boy is it kicking ass now! Here's to a third year full of amazing content and even more success. See you in a few, short hours!

I don't know about you, but depending on the game, I am either very interested or not interested at all in sidequests. Plenty of games offer up content that is off the beaten path for you to partake in. Sometimes you get juicy details and upgrades that relate to the main story, other times you feel like you're doing busy work.

I know that RPGs are notorious for dishing out sidequests. I'm experiencing that right now with Ni no Kuni. Almost every review I read stated that sidequests should be taken on every chance you get, as the game can be a bit tough without the added boost you get from those missions. Couple that with my lack of skill in RPGs and I was scared right into every sidequest there is.

In a game other games like Super Mario Galaxy, I will take on any 'optional' content that I can. I don't care if there are 120 more stars to collect or something like that after you 'beat' the game. When I enjoy an experience as much as that, I want to prolong my stay with the game as much as possible. Everywhere I can go, anything I can do, everything I can see...I want in.

Do you feel that some games don't really leave you with an option for sidequests? If you don't do them, you'll be ill-equipped and left missing important story tidbits. That doesn't really seem too fair to the player. Sometimes we just want to see what happens in the main adventure! Leave a comment and let us know.

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16 total comments (View all)
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26 Feb 2013 06:19

I never thought there were sidequest on mario galaxy 2 . I always try to find anything on a zelda game , failing most of the times . I don't think of the three gold coins as sidequests also .
To me sidequests would be in rpg , and i don't like the turn based rpg , or automated fight rpg . Well i guess , sidequests are a way to enjoy the world a little bit more , because the reality is , unlike fps which are out every single month , those games usually come every two , three or four year .
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26 Feb 2013 06:35

I love sidequests. Anything to prolong the game experience if the game is good :)
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26 Feb 2013 06:40

I don't like when a game makes a story-forced sidequest.

TWW's Triforce hunting? Twilight Princess's Owl statues? As a sidequest, I'd enjoy them more, but when they are part of story progression, it feels like it slows down the pace and gets boring.

Those are things I want to do when I want to unwind from the quest, not as part of it.

It seems stupid, like it shouldn't be different (it's still a break), but it's the fact that when they force them upon me, it's usually when I am in the swing of things and don't want to be slowed down.

Having said that, I love sidequests. Majora's Mask is the epitomy of Zelda sidequests for me, having done them properly and fleshing them out and having them add to the story.

The same goes for Deadly Premonition, and in some cases, Xenoblade Chronicles (a lot of the sidequests in that have no real value, but they do shed light on the world around you, even if not always the story).

People complain about achievements a lot, but the ones I like the most are the ones that represent things I would've done anyway, such as collecting all the coffee cups in Alan Wake, or the manuscript pages.

I love collecting crap. Achievements are just another thing to collect for me, but 90% of them are story based, difficulty-based or things I'd be doing anyway. The only time I go out of my way for them is if it's a game I really love, and that's because I want to display that I've completed a game I really like. Or if it's easy enough.

And sometimes you're not even rewarded for things, but I do them anyway. Example being, Alice: Madness Returns. You get absolutely nothing for getting 100%, yet I went out of my way to collect all of the hidden bottles to get all the concept art, simply for completion purposes.

Collecting and sidequests are huge for me, but I hate when they force you into certain things at the worst times. I like these things because they are optional and I can do them whenever I want to, making the game feel different for me than for someone else.
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26 Feb 2013 09:13

Whether or not I do the sidequests. t all depends on how much I like the game itself and if the sidequest in question felt like it's enhancing the game's experience but I won't do a sidequest if it doesn't feel like it's adding to the game itself or it only gives an achievement or trophy, it has to be in game content (additional story, characterization, money, items, or additional levels or areas).

For example, I loved Majora's Mask. So I wanted to experience everything the game had to offer, but it was great because just about every sidequest was fun to do and had a pretty good reward for doing it.

BUT, if I'm not totally invested in a game or the sidequests are boring, then I won't do them plain and simple.

I remember playing Solatorobo and not doing any of the quests if I could get away with it just because I was blazing through the story waiting the game to get fun (it didn't) and wondering when the characters would shut the hell up and stop explaining obvious things (they never did).

I actually understand where you're coming from with Ni No Kuni, RMC because I did the exact same thing with Xenoblade Chronicles. I used the sidequests to farm for cash, AP, and EXP but I didn't mind because I thoroughly enjoyed Xenoblade, and of course it didn't hurt that half the time I had already fulfilled all the requests for the sidequest before taking it on.
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26 Feb 2013 09:46

The sidequests I prefer are ones that feel like I'm playing a part of the main game and have a worthwhile payoff in the form of an awesome item, enrichment of the story and world, or both.

Chrono Trigger would be my pick of a game that executes it perfectly.

-The side quests come towards the end of the game so the pacing is never broken when you playing through the main story.

-They are completely optional as you can go right to the last boss and beat him just fine without the items you receive.

-The rewards are worth it as you get the best items and power ups in the game for doing them.

-They play completely like the normal game that you've been playing up to that point

-Best of all the are great ways to enrich and flesh out what was already a fantastic story. Not to be too descriptive of them but it's great feeling to resolve some of those loose threads from the main story and tie them up. I loved being able to get some resolution for Frog, Lucca, and Robo.

I hate sidequests that amount to fetch or trade quests to aren't fun and just eat time. A lot of games are guilty of this.

Ni No Kuni has weak sidequests but they are at least pretty quick and painless to do. The only ones that are a major pain are the Derwin ones because some of those familiars just do not want to be tamed.

But even though you should do them but they are still absolutely completely unneeded to beat the game. The upgrades you get make things go smoother and quicker compared to if you didn't have them and considering how relatively painless they are especially once you get the Travel Spell and a certain other thing I won't spoil since it concerns the story the time invested in doing them more than makes up the time saved from what the upgrades will bring you.
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26 Feb 2013 10:32

Sidequests are a real problem tbh. I don't care that little Jimmy needs 15 Phoenix feathers to cure his plagues, not when that is the only reason he even exists. This was particularly bad in Xenoblade where the sidequests just felt absolutely meaningless. It is a problem with most RPGs and MMOs. Star Trek Online does it a lot to, but I forgive it there because providing aid to impovershed planets like Bajor, studying newly discovered planets and taking samples of plantlife, and diplomatic missions are a huge part of running a starship in that series and making you feel like an officer in Starfleet. Otherwise I cant think of an example where it really works. Even Zelda, collecting Golden Bugs or Skulleta tokens got old fast. I usually do sidequests when I happen across them but I rarely go out of my way to do them.

And I dont know what Galaxy you are playing RMC. I havent 100%ed Galaxy 2 yet but I have for galaxy 1 and I dont remember anything even resembling a sidequest. I guess the Star Coins in NSMB could count and I hate having to collect those just to access World 9.
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26 Feb 2013 10:54

95% of the sidequests in Xenoblade were boring and generic. I'd much prefer a smaller number but in higher quality like Majora's Mask (dat Anju and Kafei sidquest)
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26 Feb 2013 11:55

AnoukiAgentYellow wrote:95% of the sidequests in Xenoblade were boring and generic. I'd much prefer a smaller number but in higher quality like Majora's Mask (dat Anju and Kafei sidquest)

Agreed. That's the one MMO trait they need to leave out of the next game. At least turning in the side quests was easy enough.
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26 Feb 2013 12:25

I've been around RPGs enough to not worry about falling behind, if you find the monsters too hard, just set aside 30 or so minutes to grind and you'll be back on track. But even so, I do most of the sidequest that come my way, unless there too tedious; if that happens, then I will usually just set it aside then try it again later.
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26 Feb 2013 12:51

I'm with you, RMC. It depends on the game. If I love the game, I will do everything the game has to offer. If it's just an okay game, I might skip some of the BS.
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26 Feb 2013 12:57

It really does depend on the game. Mostly, though, I devour side-quests. I really like getting 100% on a game, even though it rarely comes to fruition.

Of course, I am REALLY looking forward to Animal Crossing New Leaf, and honestly, that game is nothing but side-quests. I think that's why I like it so much. :D
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26 Feb 2013 13:21

I pretty much do any and all sidequests in the games I play, so it doesn't really matter to me if the are optional, or related to the story at all. But, I can see the annoyance if you were forced to do a sidequest type thing as part of the main quest. Sometimes I'll do each sidequest as I come across them, and sometimes I'll build them up and do a bunch at the same time. Take a break from the tough task of saving the world, to help out some of the locals.
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26 Feb 2013 13:34

I'm really enjoying Ni No Kuni. Anyone else agree that this game would have been perfect for the Wii U? One could draw the spells and really get immersed into the game. Oh well. :(
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26 Feb 2013 14:50

I usually do everything I see presented before me and take a lot of time exploring the world and seeing what it has to offer. I want to get the most out of the game experience, which is why I do this.
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26 Feb 2013 23:46

What's up with the red hover text?
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27 Feb 2013 03:37

If the sidequest gives you a reward, preferably in story and items, I would do it. If the story is good, I don't want to miss out on anything. It's also a good way to make grinding in RPG's more fun and optional.

Some sidequests in Xenoblade were cool, but many we're boring. I finished the game and wanted to play on afterwards. But after trading 50 herbs for another herb that gives me another sidequests for herbs, I stopped.

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