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.
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!