Well boys and girls, here is my take on the "And the gamers who play them" theme. I, am an overwhelmed gamer. An overwhelmed gamer has a deep love for all of gaming, and it's just too hard to keep up. There are also several games that I wish I wanted to play, but playing them ends up feeling more like a chore/work than actual fun. Allow me to explain.
I would say my free time for games is about average. I work 40 hours a week, hang out with friends, and have other hobbies like camping/hiking, photography and table top gaming. I don't have school and homework anymore, I don't have kids, and right now I don't even have a steady girlfriend sitting around sucking up all my time. So why do I have this problem of always falling behind?
Also, I feel like its important to point out that the cost of keeping up with new games can get really out of hand but thats not really my main issue. I'm sure it is for others, but even if I could afford 60 dollars every time a new game came out, I still wouldn't have time to properly play them all.
Most gamers and reviews will criticize a game for being too short. Games like Uncharted, Heavenly Sword, and Call of Duty 4 are some recent games that have received this sort of flak. Also, a lot of people are worried that it's becoming more of a trend, with game story lines resembling movies too much. This actually makes me happy though! I though Call of Duty was perfect because it only took me two nights to beat it, it was non stop action, I was never stuck wondering what to do next, and if I wanted to keep playing I could try harder difficulties or take it online. Short isn't bad as long as the story feels well rounded and complete. I haven't finished Heavenly Sword or Uncharted, but I know I'm going to like them in the end because they are complete stories.
It's the games like Resident Evil, Half Life, Tomb Raider, Zelda, and countless RPGs that I am continually bumping down on my "to play" list. These are all very good games, yet they always throw some kind of damed puzzle situation in there that slows it all down. I like puzzles and problem solving, but thats what games like Professor Layton are for. I would be able to play through these games much more quickly if they didn't require a strategy guide to find all the items and buttons and hidden characters. Sure, you could check every nook and cranny of every level to make sure you didn't miss something, but is that fun? I don't think so. Having to babysit a strategy guide while playing is also a serious mood killer.
This is probably why open world games, real time strategy, and hack and slash RPG are my favorite genres. These games let you formulate your own plan instead of trying to figure out what the designers want you to do. Diablo 2 is so appealing to me cause the levels are random every time, making it impossible to hide a key that you need in the dark corner behind a rock. Grant Theft Auto allows you to have a free roaming sense of exploration that doesn't feel like a chore because it's fun the entire time when you can steal cars and kill people along the way. Exploring in a game like Twilight Princess is dull to me because it feels like back tracking and my movement through the game has halted.
I haven't finished all the Metal Gear Solid games yet. I've only played Final Fantasy 7, 10, Tactics and Chrono Trigger(which counts as a FF game don't tell me it doesnt!) I've never really been into the survival horror genre. I know, I'm a horrible person.
The best remedy I can see for the Overwhelmed/Impatient Gamer is to play those long single player games with a friend. One person is playing, the other person has the guide. This is actually a lot of fun and you can switch off every other mission or whatever. Cheat codes can also be helpful, but be careful not to ruin the game you jerk.
Ok, I've already spent too much time writing this. I should get back to playing Final Fantasy Tactics advance, so I can play FF12, so I can play Revenant Wings....