With the announcement of so many HD remasters lately, it's understandable that we are all excited to be able to play our favorite masterpieces from way over yonder. Kindom Hearts 1.5HD and FFX HD are definitely on my hot list this year. There is another way to look at this however.
I don't want to sound cynical, but it feels like these games are serving as ways to make sure we don't tear game companies apart for taking so long with projects that are sitting in purgatory right now (KH3, FFVersus XIII etc...). How much longer can companies keep holding us back with ports and remakes before they run out and eventually have to put out the games we've been waiting half a decade for?
I'm not saying I hate HD rereleases, they are a nice slice of nostalgia and handle as well as I remember them. But for companies that release old material instead of actually working on the stuff in development, how much more can we take it? Can we handle waiting this long, or will we turn our backs on the companies because of it?
As much as I love gaming, I think I've hit the point where I should cool down a bit. For the last year, I've been playing at least 90 minutes a day every single day straight without stopping; even on days when I should be studying for university. I've been replaying old games and new ones, but I really need to consider how this is is affecting me.
I've been getting more tired lately, probably from burning off all my energy in my morning sessions. This has also led me to becoming easily bored from games I found interesting. Also, where I live, electricity bills are really high right now, so if I cut back a little they may not be so high.
My problem is that I play games to fill up time in my day. I have other things that kill as much time, but games are more stimulating than reading and I'm not exactly an exercise nut either. I'm on break from studying for now, but I don't want to spend every day playing games and tiring myself out.
Do you get tired from overplaying? What other things do you do instead of games?
I've been noticing something with game scores lately. I've been noticing some mediocre scores from games that are part of series that were groundbreaking when they first came out. Sometimes these scores are all over the place, coz I've been hearing some people say that Pokemon Black and White 2 is really boring but some say its fun. The same goes for RE6, is it really as bad as people are saying or are all the reviewers going through a really bad day?
Not just this year but the last few years as well. Skyward Sword, from what I've heard. has been called the best Zelda game but has divided fans on its layout and level structure. I enjoyed the game, but playing it through the second time made me consider the faults that were mentioned by people. Then of course there's FFXIII. As my first Final Fantasy, it was a good game, until the second time...
After hunting down the other main games, XIII basically throws the book out the window and creates this really strange departure from other games. If it were any other game it might have been forgiven, but as part of an influential series...
I guess game developers are trying to reinvent their games, but is it a bad thing if a game violates their traditions or sticks too close to it? Can we call a games series too old if we've been either getting the same thing for years or if it's not the same game we fell in love with from the beginning?
Ah, collector's editions; when die hard fans want a little something extra when a disc in a cheap $1 case isn't enough. I find myself writing this swinging between wanting and not wanting to buy a collector's edition. After you've paid the extra cash and drooled all over the lore books and art cards, the next thing you do is shove it into the back of the closet and forget about it. This is the feeling I get when I buy special editions, I buy, drool and then go 'meh'.
I've bought a few special editions and avoided a few, but now I'm really busting myself about whether it's worth it or not. I saw this problem when I bought the special edition of FFXIII-2. The price was a bit higher than the standard, but I guess I was being deluded by my fanboy ideas. When I got home, I just ogled the art book and listened to the CD, and done! Now all the stuff is still in the box and gathering dust on my bookshelf.
There are also times when I resist the urge to buy a special edition then regret it later. This happened to me when I ogled a special edition of SCV. I'm a fan of the series (but this one was honestly a bit of a let-down), but I held back on getting it because the box was massive. The worst part of this was that it was at rock-bottom prices in the cheap shops. Sure it was artbooks and soundtracks again, but I think it was the price that was calling out to me (this is not making sense, is it?).
Anyway, is a special edition worth all the clutter and extra cash? Will you enjoy it instead of sticking it in the closet? Right now I'm ogling a particular edition of AC3, which I just realized seems more exciting than anything else because it DOESN'T have an artbook. Just getting something off my chest, enjoy your lives parked in front of blindness-inducing screens.
If you've played as long as I have, you'll become attached to a few game series. Sometimes when I play games from this generation, I become bored real fast. Don't get me wrong, these games are spectacular and real good-looking, but sometimes when I need something simple I hop onto PSN and get something from the PS1 era. And thanks to the miracle of HD collections, I'm replaying my most beloved adventures before they came to a screeching halt.
I've come to love being able to relive these moments, from finding every little thing in Jak and Daxter (on my first run as well!), to finding the Thievius Racconus in the first Sly game. There's just some satisfaction out of blowing up a giant Precursor robot that you don't get from sticking your hidden blade into that Cesare moron (That's still a very good game though). There has been a downside to this. Playing through Jak games again, I'm surprised how short they are (the first was what 10 hours?). I could have sworn they took a bit longer without doing all the side quests right? Also they are a lot harder than I remember; fight Mz. Ruy in Sly Cooper after not doing so in a while and you'll know what I'm talking about. But I guess what counts is that these games are fun.
Between a compressed play time and level of challenge, I think what made these games fun is that they managed to place mini games and minor challenges every now and then to break the pace of run, jump and smash. Some games in my library tend to bank on one formula, which may be the reason I find them so boring; otherwise they're just too easy.
Speaking of difficulty...
My first Final Fantasy was, ironically, XIII. First-time around, it was alright; the fighting was fast, the story offered some twists. Second-time around, everything just crawled and crawled before it picked up momentum. Now FFVIII; the black sheep I've so heard many times. Sure it's system was a little screwy, but the challenge in it was what I found the game to be interesting. Comparing both games, and having played both games more than once, XIII was on auto-pilot through and through, but VIII had a broader depth of strategy in using the abilities (and who doesn't love the dance scene?).
To wrap up, I'm not saying that I hate this generation's games, it's just that when game series move on they either try to reinvent the book or throw it out the window. I'm not much of a fan of spectacular eyesores or revolutionary battle systems, I'm more into being able feel a sense of depth and challenge in a game instead of being wooed by the graphics (did that make sense?).
What do you think is the difference between a JRPG and one from the West? I think JRPGs have these giant worlds where the story has your head going in circles to try and make sense of it all. Western RPG's seem able to compress everything into bite-sized piece and still make everything make sense.
Gameplay-wise, JRPG's seem to focus on just adjusting your gear and what abilities you use; like the Matera system from FFVII. Western RPGs seem to take a more sophisticated approach, where you not only select your gear and abilities, but also how you use them. Also, JRPGs start off with the world around you being really limited, where all you have to do is get one place to the next before it finall opens up and you are free to explore. Western RPGs on the other hand have the whole world open to you from the start, so you can start a story quest in one place, then take your time with sidequests and exploration before moving on with the story (Elder Scrolls?).
I'm not sure if what I've written makes sense, but feel free to comment if you can understand it.