I can't remember if I mentioned it before or not, but I'm quite intrigued by R-Type Tactics. So much so, in fact, that this marks the first instance of a game--or anything for that matter--that has made me wish I owned a PSP.
Which is not to say that I don't see merit in the PSP; it's a nice little platform and has some interesting features and capabilities. But ultimately I buy game consoles in order to play games and while there are several PSP exclusives that seem intriguing such as Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror and Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, none are sufficient to make me think, "If only I had a PSP so I could get in on some of that!"
This is how it always works with me: I see a console released and I examine the features and think, "Huh. Okay." Then some amount of time passes during which games are released and eventually I begin building a list of them which I want to play. Usually this applies to exclusive titles but to some extent it also simply represents games which I am currently not capable of playing with my existing hardware. Eventually the list builds a critical mass where the number of games it contains outweighs the number of games that I'm interested in for my current hardware and that's how I decide it's time to consider making an investment.
What strikes me as interesting about the PSP/R-Type Tactics thing is that it is the first game for that platform that is on my "Want to Play" list at all. Like I said, there are other games I would play if I could, but so far just this one that I truly want to play enough that it makes me regret not being able to. What's odd about this is how long it took for the PSP to come up with a game that I feel like I'm missing out on. For a system that's over two years old now, that's pretty unusual.
But then again, ever since the XBox 1's late-to-the-party arrival marked the beginning of the end for last gen hardware, I've somehow approached things a bit differently. For example, at this point in the previous round o' consoles, I already had the Dreamcast, PS2, GameCube and GBA and was only about six months from the XBox. This time I have one console and one portable... and I'm not really feeling that I'm missing much. In fact, while I hesitate to make any predictions because I'm almost always wrong about what I won't purchase, at ths point in time at least I'm feeling pretty happy with just the 360 and the DS.
I noticed the other day that part of it is my ability to explore each respective system's libraries a bit more. I've played games on both systems that definitely would have fallen through the cracks a few years ago. Games like Condemned: Criminal Origins and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney are the kind of word-of-mouth games that aren't exactly marquee titles which means they have a kind of risk-vs.-reward element to them (especially if you're making purchases). I mean, let's face it, it's pretty safe to buy the next Halo or GTA game: If you liked the previous ones you're pretty much guaranteed to get more of the same. When you have pretty much every piece of available hardware you end up playing only the really "loud" games that have the most spotlights shining on them because with that much hardware you have so many options you can't keep up even with those sometimes.
But there is something to be said for picking a campsite and setting up a tent in it for a while so you have a chance to really sit down and soak up all the scenery, not just the biggest landmarks.
* * *
Just a couple other notes today: First, I picked up a copy of the aforementioned Phoenix Wright from GameStop for $20 new due to their Memorial Day sale. I admit that I have less hesitation with purchases (so long as the prices are reasonable) now that I'm heavily into Goozex; purchases now just feel like deposits into a sort of General Gaming Fund whose collective value remains far more constant than it has historically been. It does decrease with time and trading activity, but on a much gentler slope.
Anyway, the game is remarkably fun for something with so little actual interaction. I think part of it is that PW is almost the ideal bathroom game. I'm not ashamed to admit that one of my principal pleasures with portable systems is the potty factor: Given the choice between reading some dumb magazine and letting the game continue, I'll take the latter any day.
Also, for whatever reason I got started down the path of examining the leaderboards on 360Voice.com. You know, I'm a bit of a gamerscore nut and I take a perverse joy in seeing it steadily rise, but I will never understand how someone could take that and extrapolate it into a state of mind where you feel happy doing whatever memory card tricks or hacks or whatever to give yourself points you didn't earn. I mean, look at this person. S/he "earned' all 1,000 points from Viva Pinata in a single day. Which is pretty funny when you realize that one of the achievements in that game is awarded for putting 50 hours into it. Hmmm.
It's not a jealousy thing or even a bitterness over his/her willingness to cheat when I am not. I honestly don't care what other people do to get their scores wherever they are, I just don't see how doing whatever this person did to acquire all those points even remotely resembled fun. And since gamerscore and achievement points are utterly valueless outside of the associated entertainment they ostensibly represent, doesn't it seem like an incredible waste of time?