I apologize for making yet another blog so soon after the last. Here is my blog from yesterday, which talks about my fresh perspective on Gamespot moving forward.
Lately the weather has been changing - fast. I'm not sure if anyone else has given much thought to it, but formalities aside, we are entering Autumn - for realsies. I always tend to get nostalgic and reflective around this time of year.
2010. It wasn't that long ago, or rather, it still doesn't seem like it was. It was a year of great change in my life, as I made the bold decision to leave behind my sheltered life at home and move in with the woman I'd been dating for several months. Up until that point, my future was quite the uncertainty. I'd passed on going to college, and felt crushed by the realities of the world and the workforce. But an unexpected relationship developed at the beginning of the year, and for nearly every weekend that Summer I had spent the weekends traveling out of state to be with my sweet one.
Sometime before the Summer, I had sold my XBox 360 and all of the games I'd owned for it. It was due to feeling like most people on LIVE were rude, after a depressing party chat session. I began to miss my 360, however, and as Fall approached that year I hoped to buy a new game system to share with my girlfriend. We soon agreed upon going half & half to buy a brand new XBox 360 model, with the new Kinect, which my girlfriend was mainly interested in trying out.
We bought my second 360 in either September or October of 2010. At the time it was actually pretty thrilling. Maybe part of me was really excited because everything was so new to me - a new love, a new house, a new opportunity in life. And here was me and my girlfriend's new game system. I immediately set about downloading all of the old Arcade games I used to have, and began trying out the Kinect. At first, I felt bad because of all of the (tons) of games I owned, my girlfriend didn't seem interested in a single one of them.
Of course I had something to look forward to - Halo Reach. Though I was a year late to the party, I was still really excited by the game and enjoyed it a lot when I did finally play it. I made sure to buy another copy of Halo 3 digitally, and picked up another copy of Halo 3 ODST shortly after. I would spend the next couple of years making some progress on each, and getting every achievement for ODST.
I would soon find a game that both my girlfriend and I really enjoyed in Costume Quest. After playing through the demo, both of us fell in love with everything about this game - from the Halloween theme, to the adorable too-smart-for-their-age children, to the stamp equipment feature, to the ambitious and addictive battle system where the kids powered-up and turned into super-hero versions of whatever costume they were wearing.
A large part of my inspiration for writing this blog is Costume Quest. When I played this game, it perfectly matched the time and the mood that Fall. It felt like Fall outside, and it was Fall in this game. We both went on to play CQ and its DLC a few times over the years. And Autumn has always been one of my favorite times of year since moving here.
Life in this new household was difficult at first. During my Summer and Fall weekend visits, things went fine because I rarely bumped into other people in the household. I officially moved in after Thanksgiving 2010, and the initial reception was lukewarm. My girlfriend and I were already having one of our first 'fights', and I quickly began to clash with our two roommates. One roommate got angry whenever I used the bathroom in the mornings and took from her work preparation time, the other roommate frequently bothered me with his creepy doings.
Up until the end of 2010 I also spent a lot of time looking for work. Getting used to the area was challenging enough, especially because I come from somewhere much smaller. I remember spending hours collecting applications, and then going back out to return all of them. It's a shame that most of those places never called me back, but I finally caught my break at the tail end of December, when I was hired on as a dishwasher at a small diner beside my house.
I blew a lot of money after I moved. It went quickly. One big mistake I made early on in 2011 was buying a launch 3DS, and then seeing the price drop shortly after. D'Oh! I ended up selling it by year's end out of need for money.
2011 seemed like it lasted for a long time. Time seemed to slow down, perhaps because I was still getting used to my new life, and so much was happening every day. As the Summer rolled around, I had fallen in love with the Toy Soldiers games. I can't remember if I bought the first game before or after my move, but regardless, it stayed in my memory as one of my favorite downloadable 360 games alongside hits such as Costume Quest. That Summer, Microsoft released a new Toy Soldiers game, Cold War, as part of their Summer of Live program. I enjoyed it a lot, though I still tend to like the first game more. But Cold War did introduce a lot of original concepts to the gameplay, and a cool 80's action movie vibe.
The Summer kept plugging along. Soon we were repainting our living room, to make it our own. I remember I was doing touch-ups in the living room one day when my girlfriend came along and told me the latest news - our one roommate was moving out. It came as quite a shock to me. Even more shocking, was when our other roommate, who had been living here for several years, also decided to leave - and took off before our other roommate. My girlfriend and I were left without roommates, and had to make a decision - would we get new roommates, or have the house to ourselves? Though things are taking longer to pay, we opted to live alone as a couple, like we figured we eventually would.
By the end of Summer I discovered another 360 gem, with Double Fine's Trenched, renamed as 'Iron Brigade'. The same people who amazed me with Costume Quest, and also put out the so-so Stacking, made magic happen again with this mech-customizing, alien-shooting team-based downloadable title. It made me a believer in Double Fine, and became yet another big hit for me on the system.
The end of 2011 was difficult to adjust to. I got Halo: Anniversary when it came out and enjoyed it, but I was admittedly starting to get burned out on Halo again, especially after I became stuck in Legendary mode. It began to contribute to my steady re-loss of interest in the 360.
In early 2012 I took on a part-time job at a donation center's warehouse, but then left it and stayed on at my old job under the conditions that I would get a promotion and a raise. I got the promotion, but my boss never gave me the raise. Months passed.
One of the last big disc games I got for my 360 was Red Dead Redemption. I never got to appreciate the game fully, but was happy with what I did play. I would later buy it again on the PS3, and damn wouldn't you know, had the same results. I remember I got Trine 2 at one point, hoping I would play it with my girlfriend, but we never did. My girlfriend also got into Dragon Age and Mass Effect somewhere along the line, either in 2011 or 2012. It would take me longer to get into Dragon Age, and I'm still not really into Mass Effect.
The remainder of 2012, I had a Vita. I owned that thing clear up until about mid-2013, so for about a year. I had some good times with it, played a lot more FF7. but it never got enough AAA games. In early 2013, my girlfriend and I bought a PS3. And then, I ended up fed up with Microsoft before and during the XBox One unveil, and pre-ordered the PS4. On launch day 2013 we got the PS4. That Christmas, I got the 3DS XL. I ended up owning that for a shorter period of time than any other game system I've owned, selling it under half a year later in June. And of course that brings us to now, with me buying the XBox One.
And it's Fall again.
4 years after moving out of Pennsylvania and into New York, my life has changed a lot. I've spent the last nearly 2 years working for the same place - that's the longest amount of time I've worked for any employer. I'm in college. And things are maybe starting to pay off.
It's funny how things kind of repeat themselves in a good way, though. Here I am with a new XBox system, with a new Costume Quest and Halo on the way, and a new Toy Soldiers coming next year. I will probably be entering a new career soon. And next year I will be entering the next level of my relationship with my girlfriend - now my fiancee - when we become husband and wife.
I'm not sure how much Fall has to do with any of that, but at any rate, it seems to be the season of brand new beginnings...