As a small child I dreamed of reviewing games as my full-time job. Literally, I actually had dreams about being an adult and reviewing games as a career on multiple occasions. Unlike most little boys, becoming a policeman or firefighter wasnít even on my radar.
Today, Iím still trying to achieve this goal. Iíve made tremendous progress over the last year or so and Iím lucky enough to be in the position where I can now receive review titles from a number of different publishers and video game manufacturers. Lately, Iíve been reviewing titles like crazy and itís a dream come true.
However, Iím quickly starting to realize something; playing a game simply for review purposes and not because I want to enjoy the experience itís offering, takes a lot of the fun out of playing video games.
It might sound like Iím complaining and I guess I really am in some ways. Donít mistake that for me being ungrateful though. Iím thankful for every single game a publisher or PR rep sends out to me. Even now, sometimes getting my hands on games from certain companies takes a little convincing as Iím still relatively new to the industry and the local Toronto gaming scene.
I guess my 8-year-old self thought reviewing games would be slightly more fun. I didnít realize that sometimes I might have to play through a game I wasnít that excited about in a relatively short period of time. Reviewing games is still a blast and I really enjoy it, but on occasions when I donít feel like playing a particular game that I need to review because Iíd rather play a different title (even though I need to get a review finished in a few day) straight up sucks.
This happened a lot when Mass Effect 3
was first released. I had a barrage of titles to review, but all I really wanted to do was see the ending to Shepardís epic space-opera story. Iím not saying the games pictured in the header image of this story are terrible video games. In fact, for the most part, theyíre pretty awesome. Right now though, Iíd just rather be playing Mass Effect 3
than any other video game.
The fact that this isnít my full-time job is also a factor. I have work, school, a life outside the realm of gaming, and a girlfriend to entertain. Sometimes there just really isnít as much time for gaming in the average day as Iíd like. I also freelance for a variety of different publications now, and still have to hold down the fort as GameJudgmentís Editor-In-Chief. Iím not complaining. Iím happy and I love what Iím doing, but I wish there were more hours in the day for gaming.
This is why when I purchased Mass Effect 3
, I made the conscious decision not to review the game. I didnít want to rush through Shepardís final journey. I wanted to take my time and enjoy the experience. It may take me awhile to reach the gameís apparently terrible ending, but thatís okay with me. With some video games, I feel like itís more about the journey to complete them than actually finishing them, and that brings the highest sense of satisfaction.
As a reviewer, I think itís important that you donít end up writing something about every single game you play. Itís crucial that sometimes you just play a video game simply for the sake of enjoyment and for no other reason but that.
It helps you remember why you enjoy playing video games so much in the first place.
Follow me on twitter @Patrick_ORourke