Owning a few casual video games, the kind you can go back to when the mood strikes you, are great for those days when you feel like playing a game that doesn’t require more than an hour of your time. It doesn’t involve full concentration and there aren’t any levels or boss fights you need to complete. Games like Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Nintendogs are the type of games where the only tasks you have to do is either keep your town in order or your pet well-groomed and fed. These games are seemingly easy to play, but it does come with its own set of problems.
One of the biggest problems you don’t anticipate when you are slowly taking stock of the games you’re trying to complete in your backlog is where you go next from the last point you saved. The problem is only made worse when you haven’t touched the game in about 4 or 5 years.
Usually when we choose to purchase a video game, we tend to make our choices based on reviews, gameplay, graphics, and story. What often gets overlooked is the time and detail artists take to make the environment you’re playing in truly spectacular.
As an adult with jobs, lives, and responsibilities outside of our geeky hobbies, time can be our enemy. Being an adult gamer requires mastering the skill of time management. We have more concerns we have to deal with in our daily lives, but carving out at least 20 minutes or an hour of time to play a game is possible. The only time playing a video game where time can be an issue is when you want to replay a game you’ve already finished.
Earlier this week, I dipped my toes into the warm, murky waters (at least I hope it’s water) of Grand Theft Auto V. I didn’t get bit by anything or contract some terrible disease as a result, which is good, because I’m having a grand ol’ time in Los Santos. As I usually do with games that I really want to play, I previously ignored most reviews and avoided eye contact with stills from and images relating to the game – not an easy thing to do in this day and age. But of one of the things I didn’t ignore were numerous retrospectives about the GTA franchise. I knew that the game had come a long way, but having only completed a couple games in the series, I didn’t really know just how far it had traveled to get here. It was fun to read and hear about people’s experiences with various GTA games. Unfortunately, my personal favorite game of the series, Chinatown Wars, was often glossed over. In this nice video from the good people of Revision3, it isn’t mentioned once.
There was a time when I approached gaming the way I read a book––if you’re in the middle of reading one book, finish that one before moving onto the next. It’s insanely difficult to be reading two books at the same time. It is for me at least. You’re following two separate stories with different characters. Sometimes a plot can be really intricate to the point where you really need to focus on one story and not get lost somewhere in the middle. When I play video games these days and as my game collection has grown considerably over the years, there are several games I can name off the top of my head where I’m half-way done with them.
It has been a really long time since I’ve played and beaten Square Enix’s Nintendo DS game The World Ends With You. It’s one of my favorite JRPGs for the DS and one of those games I could not put down. I loved everything from the battle system to the graphics. Watching the transformation of main character Neku Sakuraba go from a disaffected youth who doesn’t care about anything or anyone to someone who finds purpose, meaning, and a reason to live is one of the most compelling stories I found in a video game.