My name is Christopher Lage, I've been playing video games since I was a small child. The first this I can honestly remember is getting an NES for Christmas when I was 3 and playing the Mario Bros./Duck Hunt Game that came with it. Ever since I've been a gamer. I even spent a few years claiming to be "industry personnel" and it's gotten me into an E3 at a very reduced cost! (Thanks GameStop). Not to mention half of my wardrobe is free advertising for old games. I did work for the company as an assistant manager for three years and now I'm currently a security director for a shopping center.
What I'm currently playing:
New Super Luigi U (Wii U)
Pokemon X (3DS)
The Stanley Parable (PC)
What I'm waiting for:
Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS)
Bayonetta 2 (Wii U)
Since Nintendo has the "fuck-all we'll do what we want" approach to letting the masses know when the Wii U is coming out; I've been feverishly going through my Wii backlog at about a game a week pace at the moment. As of this writing I've "completed" Metroid: Other M, but have to go back into it one last time to finish the epilogue. Unfortunately for the completionist in me, I now have a dreaded item completion percentage on my map in each area of the BOTTLE SHIP. I'll end up losing more hours scouring the areas to make sure I have everything, it's a horrible curse. But lets take a look at whats on the agenda until that oh so vague time of year Nintendo is calling Holiday 2012:
Not pictured: Xenoblade Chronicles (rebuild Colony 6), The Last Story (Available 8/14), and Pandora's Tower (currently on order from import)
For Skyward Sword it's only a matter of completing Hero's Quest but all together I've got at least 200 hours of gaming left in this generation of hardware (with SS, Xenoblade, Pandora's Tower, and TLS taking up the bulk of it). Most gamer's have the notion that backlogs are evil, attribute them to work in some form or another, or a monumental challenge to dredge through before spending more money on games they'll want to play later. For me its quite the opposite; not only do you get to experience new gameplay, stories, and entries in some of your favorite franchises but the additional price of admission lets you jump in on the conversations of games that you may have missed out on in the past. Augmented with the addition of the internet, where you'll always be able to find someone, somewhere, to have a conversation about a game you've been playing is an added bonus.
For example, the aforementioned Metroid: Other M. I picked this doozy up at Best Buy for the insanely low price of $5 brand new! For the 50 Club Nintendo coins I got for it, it was worth the price alone! However regardless of my previous views on the title from my albeit short time with it upon release, I wasn't sure what to expect. For the record when Other M did come out: I picked it up day one, brought it home, played about 2 hours of it and thought that it was pure shit. I didn't like the controls all that well, I thought the cut scenes while gorgeous, ruined Samus as a character, and promptly returned it. In fact I was more of a detractor to others wanting to pick the game up. Working for GameStop at the time, I encouraged others to cancel pre-orders or just choose something else when they brought it up to the counter. There was a hatred attributed to blind, immature, fanboyish rage that left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. Now that I've completed it, I want to apologize to all those folks who I steered in the wrong direction.
I know baby, it wasn't you. It was me. I'm sorry
Other M wasn't perfect by any means. I still have some of the same issues I had with it when I originally picked it up and acted like a dick. However I've come to terms with the overarching plot/story design. There are going to be folks, like myself, who didn't want a "coming of age" tale of Samus as a character. It doesn't ruin her as a solo, kick-ass bounty hunter, if anything it adds depth and an inner monologue to the first bad-ass woman of gaming. Depth I was too blind to see during my initial play through. In terms of restricting item usage and powers until authorized by Adam, I understand why it happened. The game would have been far too easy (its not very difficult to begin with), if I could do anything and everything right from the start. Without ruining anything for those who haven't played it, the call backs, fan service, soundtrack, and nostalgia the game does offer; it was well worth the $5 price of admission. I cannot recommend this game highly enough if you get a great deal on it! Not to mention giving me the inspiration for this blog post, it was a win-win.
Remember folks, its August. The dog days of summer still have some time left before we all can jump back into gaming for the fall season. I'm sure like myself, some of you guys and gals are replaying games you've already completed, or just doing something else entirely. These are worst few months of the gaming year, and have been since the dawn of time. We know what to expect with June-Sept and every year I find myself increasing more bored with the hobby in general during this time. This was the first year I've been able to really take a step back, analyze and prioritize my backlog, and really start to get through it. Its been a positive experience so far.
Just do yourself a favor and treat it less like something you have to do, and more like something that you want to do. There are brand new experiences, stories, and characters sitting on your shelves: some you'll love, and some you'll hate; nothing is perfect. But it will shorten the wait for that big blockbuster fall game you're looking forward too and you just might learn something along the way.