Gears of War 2. Resistance 2. Fallout 3. LittleBigPlanet. Call of Duty 5. MK vs. DC. Banjo-Kazooie. Guitar Hero 5 and Rock Band 2. Does this look familiar? That's right, it's the end of the year and every developer has it in their thick skulls to release a ton of great games at the same time. But is too much a bad thing? As Link's little buddy, Companion, would always tell me, "Listen!!".
Last week, I bought LittleBigPlanet, Fallout 3, and some others, all which I had been waiting for. Today I'm picking up Resistance 2. In my back log, I have around 30 games I still haven't really 'experienced' for various reasons. Everyone gets to this point, and I express it every year around this time that gaming becomes a chore rather than a pleasure. Is this really the developers fault? No, not at all. It's more of the fault of a combination of things, including marketing, our favorite game website and magazines, friends, and of course, us. We become so materialistic for the games we "need" that we fail to even finish the previous batch of games we need. Some of us do it for other reasons. Some may do it for bragging rights. Some may do it because they're bored already of the previous 'exciting new product'. Me personally, I do it because I have the money and I just want to bathe in the gaming greatness of the end of the year titles. I wasn't always like that. It just happened with this generation of games, really. It's not that they're better than the past generation or the games when I was growing up, it's more that they're more thrown in my face with gorgeous screen shots and videos at every turn and a game addict like myself just can't help and score the newest and latest.
I often like to roll back in my chair and think back to the good ol' days, back to when I was growing up. Those who read my blog(s) know that I often treat gaming like your grandfather treats his stories of war, family, and snow climbing for school. I just love thinking back to when really, I only looked forward to maybe 5 games a year, most of them on the PC. In 2001, I remember the only game I even cared about the whole year was Conkers: Bad Fur Day. I bought a few games in between here and there but that was the game for me for that year, and I managed to beat the games in between as well. I think Paper Mario came out that year too, which was second on my list of 'must haves'. I often try to think of why I was like that back then, where I bought games, finished them, and sometimes finished them again and again (Sam & Max: Hit the Road I've beaten probably 40 times in my life). I can only come to the conclusion that I spent less time worrying about what was coming out and set my scopes on what was on my list. Everytime I see a game coming soon now, I just want it. But is that a good thing?
I'd like to go back a bit, not to memory lane, but to a comment I just made about finishing games. Maybe no one does this anymore, but finishing games over and over has become a thing of the past it seems. The only time we relive games now is if they release some DLC. That really just sucks. I miss going through some of my PC games again and again, but I see it slowly fading from me and I'm sure others too. It's a probably because by the time we get close to even finishing some of these games, another one hits the shelves and we're told we need it, so in our minds, we do need it. We rush there, buy the game, and then finish about 1/3rd of it before we realize we have several others sitting there, waiting to be played. Again, it's not the developers faults for putting out killer apps each year, it just is part of change.
So, this year, when you're trying to impress the school chums/work chums with your new game, remember that you should be playing games for you. Don't overload your schedule with games you'll never finish. We all do it. But if you continue, eventually you're going to feel like this.
-dryvby, feeling like this around this time.