The End of a Generation: Intro
I'm back, for a bit.
Throughout this month and next I'll be sharing my thoughts on the outgoing (7th) generation, just ahead of the long-awaited arrival of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The Wii, PSP and DS have already been replaced by the Wii U, Vita and 3DS, and now it's time for the PS3 and 360 to step aside and bring this generation to a close.
The 7th gen has certainly been a long'un, full of highs and lows, and I want to take this opportunity to look back before looking forward. Although this won't be a full-time return to blogging, for the next month or two I will be posting regularly, sharing some final thoughts on a period of gaming that I have enjoyed more than any other. I hope you'll join me.
Let's Catch Up
It has been almost five months since I last updated Toomanywires, but not much has changed in that time. I continue to enjoy video games, waste far too much energy pining for Japan and I'm still not entirely sure how to use a semi-colon;
When I left you back in May, I was beginning to fall for Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. I'm happy to report that I caught the hunting bug and spent two hundred hours between the Wii U and 3DS versions. Most of that time was spent in co-op with my wife, who took to Monhan like a Plesioth to water. The tails off, honey.
I did of course make time for other games. Here's a quick rundown of the last five months of stick twiddling:
Aliens Colonial Marines (PS3) - Rubbish, yet fairly inoffensive. Fairly
Attack of the Friday Monsters (3DS) – Surprisingly brief but oh so charming. It succeeded in generating a sense of nostalgia for a time and place to which I have no connection.
Call of Juarez Gunslinger (PS3) - Great arcade action, and all the better for an interesting story full of legendary figures from the Wild West. A return to form for a series that had gone to shit.
Final Fantasy XIV (PS3) – Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into it. I spent most of my time in Eorzea fighting boredom and felt no great desire to explore. My wife seems to be enjoying it though and I may give it another spin when it moves to PS4.
God of War Ascension (PS3) - It's God of War, again. I played it and have nothing more to add.
Grand Theft Auto V (PS3) - Despite finishing the story last night, I'm still not sure how I feel about GTAV. One minute I'm all-in, the next I'm losing interest and going on dead-end rampages. The writing is poor; the lack of subtlety is depressing and the satire suffers by trying to lampoon everything under the sun. However, for the most part the narrative has succeeded in holding my attention. The sheer size of the map is overwhelming, yet the promise of new discoveries keeps me exploring and the attention to detail is truly astounding. I need more time to make up my mind and also to fully experience GTA Online, assuming Rockstar are capable of fixing it.
Shatter (PS3) - I returned to set some new hi-scores. I left with renewed appreciation for what is still, by far, the best game on the PlayStation Network.
Spelunky (Vita) - This just isn't for me.
Snatcher (Saturn) - After almost a decade of apartment dwelling, this summer we finally moved into a house. I now have space for a very small games room, which I've filled with retro goodies. The Japanese Saturn has benefited most from this new arrangement and I've committed to finishing Hideo Kojima's Snatcher. It's definitely testing my Japanese, which was the point, but I do love me some Cyberpunk. The excellent soundtrack, straight out of an 80's cop movie, needs no translation.
The Last of Us (PS3) - I was thoroughly invested in the narrative and the relationship between the very believable leads. This made the gameplay inconsistencies and regular bouts of Rambo-itis even more painful. The Last of Us is very good, but I'd stop well short of calling it best-of-gen.
Tomb Raider (PS3) - Despite the Homer Simpson-esque levels of punishment Lara withstands (comical) and her refusal to put on a coat (frustrating), I really enjoyed this reboot. More please.