Saturday, 23 February 2013

1up Blog #41: A Time to Play Games (10/13/2008)

Any adults notice how our gaming life has switched around on us? Remember when we were kids and we would play games for hours each day? We usually had enough time to beat them like four or five times over the years. There was still a huge issue with gaming then though: we never had the money to buy everything. Now we have more than enough money to buy all the games we want (because really, $10-$60 is really not that much at this age), but with so little time to play them. Though I turned 18 in January, I've been living with this dilemma ever since I got a job (or pretty much the last time I blogged!). Gaming for us has become an ever increasing fight for our time and as a result, money is earned by the companies that succeed in drawing us in!
 
       Though Lost Odyssey is the last game I should be playing with so little time on my hands something just attracts me to it. Maybe it is the fact that it is more or less FFX on Xbox 360. Though I wondered why I like “interactive-movies” so much when I really hardly even watch actual movies. I realized that RPG’s do what movies can not in two hours and that is engaging us (like books). After you run around with the same characters for 10 or so hours, remembering names are no longer a worry and the plot just flows along. Also, I find myself in nearly every movie just wanting to stop and look around at its world, or mess around with something. RPG's are critisized for being so limited in interaction, but I think it’s only an improvement on the confined world of movies.
      
 
       This epic scene from the beginning of Lost Odyssey feels as if it is from a movie
 
       On the other end of the spectrum, we got Patapon, a game weaned on short, thrilling plays. This one took me a few hours to get into but it’s amusing that once the game started getting hard I liked it more; a hardcore game (strategic and challenge based) masked as a casual game. Who am I kidding? From the cutesy visuals, to the quick missions and then the gibberish voices, this game screams casual through and through, and it’s great.
 
       Oddly enough, the game that seems to fit the best into my adulthood is really the same game I've been playing since those younger years: Halo 3. With both hardcore, challenging single-player (at least with higher difficulties and skulls) have been the staple of my gaming since I started playing the series about six years ago. That jump-in-and-play feeling that draws in casual gamers to go into multiplayer day-in and day-out also affects me. That's why I'm still playing this after a whole year after the game’s release.
 
There are still people who doubt why this series has reached the level of fandom it has. I am living proof.
 
       It’s funny how I can neatly tie-in all three games I'm playing right now into these separate groups, and aptly break down the three major types of games, each of which have an almost equal share of my time. Maybe all that the game companies need to do is make great games and then marketing just needs to convince gamers of that. Now, I know Okami will be brought up as an example in this, however, it’s clear your average gamer doesn’t even know what that game is about; When I bought it the clerk looked at the back of the game wondering what kind of game it was, with a surprised look on his face he said flatly, “Wow, that’s weird!” Was Halo’s quality well communicated? Well, all I can say is that I’m almost scared for when the expansion comes out next-fall (when the next year of school will just be starting). Maybe games do have a bigger control over me than I thought.

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