GameFAQs's list of top FAQs is generally a really good indicator of what games people are playing right now. And it's quite telling that Final Fantasy III (the DS port of the Japan-only NES original) is still hanging out on that list after 5 months. Because old school RPGs are fucking brutal. I'm glad to see that many of my fellow gamers are still working on this one. My commute gives me near infinite time to grind through any game. Unfortunately, RPGs demand just that: infinite time.
Last week I was so psyched to be close to the end of the game. I was in the last dungeon of the game, decently leveled (with one of my jobs at level 99), and had all the best gear. I'm in the final stretch. I pass the point of no return (no more opportunities to save), and prepare for the final boss battle. 2 hours and 4 bosses later, I'm actually at the final boss. I'm getting a little nervous at this point - because if I die at this point I've lost 2 hours of work (or roughly 2.4 bus commutes). Thank god for the quicksave feature (non existent in the original game), otherwise I would have had to do that all in one sitting. But I'm feeling good, because the mini bosses leading up to the final one were pretty manageable. Then I get thoroughly owned by the Cloud of Darkness.
Fast forward to this week. My commutes are spent grinding my character's levels up so that I can make my second attempt. And now that I know just how long that attempt is going to take, I'm sure as hell making sure I'm ready. Because I'm a stubborn son of a bitch, and I will beat this game.
We forget in the modern gaming world just how unreasonable games were back in the day. I'm sitting there, post-smackdown, thinking all sorts of nasty thoughts about FFIII's game design. But then I step back a bit, and remember that I had to do almost exactly the same thing when I played through Final Fantasy I (you have a rematch with all the four elemental bosses, and then the final showdown with Chaos, who will most likely r0x0r j00r b0x0rz). I guess I just had a lot more patience when I was 8.