In spite of my “Wii” problem, I’ve gone back to one of my older 360 titles: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

I’ve been a big fan of RPGs for years, and I really do like this game. It’s huge, it’s expansive, it’s immersive, and therein lies the problem.

As great of a game it is, I feel in some ways that it’s too big.

Not that I think the designers should have limited the scope of the game by any means. I actually enjoy the freedom the gameplay allows, but in some ways, it’s almost intimidating. My character runs around in this huge world that allows me to do whatever I want with no seeming restrictions. I can talk with anyone, or fight, be good or evil. The slightest move, I may accidentally steal something that I only meant to just pick up and look at. It plays too much into my need to explore everything. Very little is off limits, so I have to check it all out.

I think I currently have a dozen active quests to explore. Every time I stumble upon a cave or wander into some new town, I seem to have some new itinerary added to my roster. I’ve been playing a “good” character, so of course I’m going to provide aid to the weak and helpless. That also means that I’m not going to steal, follow the codes of my guilds, and not be a nuisance in town. You find that “Good” may be more initially restrictive, but hopefully will lead to the greater respect and rewards.

This freedom in exploring everything also allows me to merrily skip into areas where I have no business being in the first place, which means my character is largely the whipping boy for some gang of thieves or huge beast that is clearly out of my league. If I’m lucky, I’ll usually just get only so much of the crap kicked out of me to where I can hobble back into some safe zone, licking my wounds the entire way.

This is not as much of a “User friendly” RPG as say, Phantasy Star, Final Fantasy, or in some regards, Legend of Zelda or Fable II. In those games, you get an awesome weapon, you don’t worry about it breaking mid-fight. You can carry as much stuff as you want without fear of being weighted down. It’s much more detail oriented, and in its own way, rewarding.

I’ll probably brave another journey through the abandoned fort I’m trying to muddle through tonight. I need to buy some torches as giant crabs and angry thieves keep coming out of the shadows, and I can only set so many people on fire before thinking it would be nice to actually plan a better initial strategy. I think I’m going to have to reign myself a little more in so that I don’t rush into every cave and Oblivion gate for the sake of exploration, until I’m a little more realistically equipped to handle these challenges.

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