Editorial: Spoilt for Choice

Some days I wish I was more addicted to Warcraft than I am.

How I feel when Warcraft will not hold my attention. This happens more often these days.

Some days it can be hard to sit down and choose a game to play. With the abundance of new releases nowadays, the temptation is always there to purchase a new game on day one. Who does not like the smell of a new instruction manual? Half played games fall to the wayside for exciting new encounters, and so a backlog of unfinished games starts to build up. Is this then why, when faced with a whole day to play games, some of us end up spending more time choosing what to play than actually playing something?

My story starts early on my day off. My usual go to game is World of Warcraft, but as it is the day before raid lockouts reset, I have already progressed as much as I can on my character for the week. I do have a second account to play with Lusipurr on the American servers, though any progress I make their will mean there is less that he and I can do together when he has time to sit down and play. This leaves me with a difficult choice; what game should I play instead of Warcraft?

There are a few games that I will play for a few minutes here and there, flash-based browser games and iPhone titles. Each of these can be played for hours on end, but do not give a sense of fulfillment that some larger titles give. Maybe it is because I am unable to gain achievements in these games that I give them less weight than other titles, or maybe it is because few of my friends will ever play them. I spend most of my gaming time playing by myself, even in online games, though I can always hop on Ventrillo or Skype and chat to friends who play the same games as me. Playing something different to everyone else means they mostly get an explanation of the game I am playing, though if we are all playing the same game we can share stories of our adventures and little details instantly recognisable.

Unless I feel like parting with lots of for energy boosts.

Book of Heroes is good for half an hour of time wasting, but it will not fill a day of gaming.

So, this left me looking for something a little more ‘meatier’ to play. I lost progress in many of PlayStation collection last year when my PS3 broke, including Skyrim and Final Fantasy XIII-2. By now most of the plot of these games have been spoiled for me, but I have always wanted to experience them for myself. The trouble is, when faced with huge worlds like these, it can be hard to muster the effort required to play them through until the end. Knowing that I have to go back to the usual (but enjoyable) grind in Warcraft the next day, I try to avoid anything that would take me longer than a couple of days to play. This rules out the majority of my PS3 collection, and any game I would want to play there.

This leaves me with my handheld systems. I have had a project in the works for a while to collect as many pokémon as I can and put them into one cartridge. This is a goal I can spend most of the day doing, then leave it until I have another day free to pick up again. With a new generation of the Pokémon franchise out in three months, I should be preparing to transfer my 500+ pokémon over to one of the new titles. A quick scan of my collection shows that most of my collection either requires hours of grinding to obtain evolutions, or starting games from scratch to collect rare pokémon. Again, this task gets left until I have the enthusiasm to spend time playing through another whole game.

So, what did I learn from my day of not playing games? First, I should put off buying more games until I finish the ones I have. Secondly, I should get out of the house when I am off work, maybe that would encourage me to play my handhelds more often. Lastly, MMOs are not quite as addictive as one might think. Well, the school holidays are right around the corner, and my days off will be filled with needs of my children, so this will not be a problem for much longer.

What about you readers? Do you suffer from having too many games to play? Are you plagued by indecision? Let me know in the comments!

5 comments on “Editorial: Spoilt for Choice”

  1. Until I finish whatever it is that I happen to be playing, I generally try to refrain from starting something new, especially RPGs. So, instead of having a lot of half finished games on my shelf, I have many games that haven’t been played months upon months after initial purchase. The Instant Game Collection of PS+ adds to this as well.

    When choosing what to play next, I used to have a rigid queue that was mostly based on how long I owned unplayed titles. Now I tend to just grab whatever sounds like the most fun at that particular time.

  2. I combat this problem with the one-system system. In other words, I have a PS3 and nothing else. There are SOOO many games I would like to play on PSP and Wii. Now I don’t have to worry about those. However, the introduction of the trophy system has created an entirely new problem. I feel obligated to get every trophy before moving on. I had a fairly good thing going for a while but then I came across so e games that take over 500 hours to platinumize and now I have like seven unfinished games in my trophy case and it drove me INSANE until the PS4 got announced. When I get a PS4, I will start over even if the PS3 trophies carry over somehow and I vow to platinumize every JRPG on the system. It’s going to be hard but I am staking everything on this.

  3. TLZ, I can definitely empathize with you. I understand trophy completionism all too well. Recently I gave up trying to 100% the list of everything I play, as I have missed out on way too many great titles while grinding away at trophies. I just wish there was more time. :) Why start over on PS4? Why not just continue on and platinumize (nice word!) everything from here on out with your current profile?

  4. I don’t know. I just want to try ONE MORE TIME to have the account where everything is 100%. To do that on my current account, I’d be playing a lot of catch up. Have seen the kind of insanity you have to platinumize (because platinum is not a verb) Star ocean 4!? Hahaha. But I have a goal to play every single JRPG that comes out on PS4 so I’ll have to be pure vigilance to succeed for very long.

  5. I have seen Star Ocean’s requirements. I have a pretty good idea of what they entail from my time with Star Ocean 3 on the PS 2. Pretty crazy stuff, even puts Disgaea to shame. There will almost certainly be some equally demanding RPG platinums on the PS 4. I wish you the best! :)

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