Routines & Gaming Ruts
I am a creature of habit. I like to organize the things I enjoy in my free time into a set routine, and woe betide anything or anyone who dare interrupt it. Over the last year, increased responsibilities have eaten into my spare time, so I like to make sure that I can make the most of what I do have and ensure that I can fit-in the things I enjoy.
Being the dangerous loose cannon that I am, I tend to throw caution to the wind and avoid routine at the weekends. However, on weekday evenings there is a set time slot for blogging; surfing the net, which usually follows the order of hotmail - twitter - my blog - ESPN - Kotaku - 1UP - checking online game retailers - freestyle surfing; exercise; studying Japanese, which often involves me laying on the bed for 15 minutes with a text book covering my eyes; rubbish TV and of course playing video games.
I do not adhere to this routine because I fear the world will implode if I don't. In fact, most nights I will have to jettison at least one part of the above list and, as of yet, the world hasn't ended, though London did its best to convince me otherwise over the last couple of days. But come rain or shine, my hour or so of nightly gaming is the one thing I will go out of my way to preserve, as if my life depended on it.
Gaming is a great way to wind-down of an evening, and I find few things more relaxing than settling down in front of the TV and losing myself in some of the latest and greatest games. Some people will watch a movie, others will read a book, but I will always opt for a good game when I'm looking to relax. Fortunately, my wife is very understanding of my hobby, which is fortunate given that we live in an apartment where she cant really escape it. She will nod and smile politely when I share my favourite games of the year or the reasons why I'm playing InFamous 2 again, and she even enjoys the odd game herself: I have lost count of the number of times she has completed Dragon Age Origins and DA2!
I love having a new and engaging game to get stuck into. However, when I don't have one my routine crumbles, as I lose focus and am far less efficient with my time. I may be found wandering aimlessly around the living room, mumbling to myself about summer droughts and who shot JFK, or perhaps playing a DLC game just because its at the top of my download list and I don't have to make the effort to change discs and commit to playing something else.
With the summer release drought in full effect, I decided to catch up with a few DLC games that I hadn't finished and embark upon a second playthrough of InFamous 2, earning myself a precious platinum. As much as I'm enjoying revisiting Super Stardust HD and still finding things I like about InFamous 2, I have come to realise that I can't exist on a diet of recycled, gaming experiences. This most recent rut has taught me that I need something fresh to demand my attention and keep me locked in.
I'm not too sure how this applies to HD remakes, but I know i'm already excited for the Metal Gear Solid collection and the ICO set wont be an issue, as I have only played Ico and SOTC very briefly in the past. I definitely enjoy revisiting past gaming experiences, from either this or previous generations, but they need to be balanced alongside something new. So perhaps its time I finally splurged on Shadows of the Damned or Crysis 2 to bring some equilibrium back into my gaming. After all, my routine depends on it.
Odds & Ends
£115 in-store at Tesco? Now that's aggressive pricing. I think I shall succumb to the new, low cost and pick up a copy of Ocarina of Time to boot, so that I may finally discover what all the Zelda fuss is about. I'm not sure what else to buy though, as its not exactly endowed with quality software. I'll probably opt for Puzzle Bobble/Bust-a-Move, as I can get it new for £9.99 and have always been a bit of a sucker for the puzzler. Besides, I'm sure it does amazing things with the 3D tech!
Tokyo Game Show & Taking Requests
After a week where I was starting to wonder if I was going to get a press pass this year, I'm relived to say that it is all now sorted. I will be in attendance on the 15th and 16th of September and there will be a shit-load of coverage here at toomanywires-uk. I do have obligations to fulfil for other websites, but I'm hoping to be able to take requests from toomanywires-uk readers, giving you some hands-on details about the games you are most interested in. Stay tuned.
Yesterday, I wrote a blog about overlooked and underappreciated games, and I alluded to a forthcoming post about overrated titles. After sitting down to write said post, I realised that it would just be an extended rant about LA Noire, and how I feel many critics were so excited by the outstanding facial animation and mature storyline that they were blind to the fact that, at its core, its not a particularly good game. So for now, I have put that one on the backburner. In the meantime, you can read some truncated thoughts on LA Noire here.