Now don't get me wrong; I love my Vita. Its a great piece of hardware and there are some great games, some of which I never would have played without the Vita. So what's the problem? I bought it a few months back instead of a 3DS because it was the smart thing to do, not the right thing to do.
What do I mean by that? I bought a PS4 at launch and, as most of you know, the Vita is capable of streaming from the PS4. Accompanied with the free game catalog of PS Plus games, the great indie support and ports of those games from the PC and the awesome sales that Sony has it had a lot of pros that I liked instead of cons. Compared to the 3DS, which was close to the same price for the XL and didn't feature cross-buy OR free games, the smart thing was to get the Vita.
And that's why it was the wrong thing to do. It was the smart thing to do but not the fun thing to do. I've played a ton of games on the Vita I wouldn't of have ever played without it. Hell, Thomas Was Alone so far is one of my favorites and its a platformer with shapes. Simple little shapes. But there is something missing from the indie games that I've downloaded and played: heart.
Look at those people having fun!
After a few recent game releases on the 3DS and the Wii U, I've seen people light up about the games. They're having fun with them. Counter to the people (videogame hipsters) who talk about indie games or AAA games, who look at almost every game with a critical eye, the Nintendo players are just having fun. There's something else there that I haven't had in a while playing games. Sure I've had fun and experienced great stories and great multiplayer experiences on all my consoles, but there's that magic that's missing. Similar to going to a non-Disney themepark, sure they're fun but there's nothing about them that scream, “Take my money! Take all of it as fast as you can!” Nintendo does a lot with a little.
Hearing people talk about Mario Golf on the 3DS or Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U really got me thinking about my glory days with the Nintendo line, the NES and SNES days, playing on the couch with my brother or friends who came over. It got me thinking that, with the Vita, I would never play a Zelda game on the system or get to see Kirby suck up another enemy. It was a sad revelation that, at least for now, I have to say “Bye” to those characters.
I know some of you reading this would say just to go buy a 3DS. I wish it was that simple. I had to make a choice for a handheld console because I knew I would just be getting one of them. Unfortunately when finances come into the mix, fun goes out the window a lot of the times.
A lot of naysayers have put Nintendo down for the past few years. Yeah, they are going through some hard times. Hell, I bought a Wii a few years back and it pretty much only served as a Netflix player, outside of a few games. It was a pretty bad decision to buy it and my wife reminds me a lot about it. But Nintendo holds the power of nostalgia that, at least for people my age, Sony and Microsoft can't touch. Over the years I've come to realize that not every game has to be some great, massive experience. The game can just be fun. And that's okay.
So you Nintendo players out there: enjoy your gaming. There's something special with those characters you're playing with.
So I've been around Destructoid for a few years and have seen the Avatar Adoption Program and figured I would give it a go. Be prepared for a sob story that is sure to get me adopted. May I present my avatar:
My avatar, drawn by the one and only Mikey Turvey, has cancer... No, not that. My avatar's dog was run over three times....No. That won't work either. Ok, I may as well be honest. I live in Florida, which some of you may know as the wang of the United States, where other states and countries send their criminals to start over. We don't have video game conventions and most people have the douche-y "Salt Life" or "I Kill Fish" stickers on their cars, in an attempt to be a redneck. Come on, it's Florida. I'm an original Texan and it's pathetic here. So based on that, as you can see Florida may not be the prime demographic for convention planners to bring one to Florida for me to attend.
So since we don't have video game conventions I will, more than likely, never get a chance to go to a PAX Prime, PAX East, Magfest, GDC, Mexican Luchador Juegos Conference or anything closely related where I would finally get to meet fellow Dtoiders and get involved in all the fun shenanigans I keep hearing about. Besides the fact I would have to disguise a trip to a convention as a family trip that my wife would have no interest in going on, it would cost about $2000 or more for plane tickets, a hotel, rental car, food and entertainment to treat my wife and son on a trip. That's just not going to happen anytime soon. I've been playing the lottery but so far, no luck.
So, PAX Goers, I ask of you, let me live vicariously through you this year at PAX. Photos with my pseudoself with y'all would be awesome. I could never repay you!
This is a little off topic from the requested Bloggers Wanted post but this is how I feel towards the incoming console generation.
Like many of you on here I belong to the older regime of the gaming community. Its kind of weird saying older when I'm only twenty-nine but we're fans of a younger industry and were in on it since almost the beginning. Like many of you long time gamers I'm a veteran of many Console Wars, between two to three main consoles depending on the generation. I've had my fair share of loses, like my totally rad Sega CD, and my share of wins that I was able to rub in my friends' faces who picked wrong with their stupid Atari Jaguar. However, leading up to each console launch was always exciting for me and I always seemed to have more fun talking about it at school than actually getting a system at launch. I would scour over my EGMs, Gamepros, and Gamefans to see what was new and what new information was coming out. This was a ritual every few years, even up to the launches of our current systems, but with the magazines obviously replaced by gaming blogs and websites.
So that leads me into the anticipation of the impending console launch around 2013 to 2014: I really don't care right now. I've had my current console since launch and I love the games and every other media thing the consoles do now. The games look great, most the stories are engaging, the downloadable games are a blast to play, and I seem to have played more games this generation than any other generation since my Atari 2600. I'm not ready for another generation, no matter what the promise is of better visuals, better AI or increased whatever. In the past cycles the promise of better graphics, from 8-bit up to 64-bit 3D visuals have always driven the promise of better games and have gotten everyone excited but I'm in a place now where I care more about the stories and characters than how the game looks. With the rebirth and success of low visual downloadable games, such as Super Meat Boy, on XBLA, PSN and Steam it seems a lot of people are demanding less and less graphics and power to run their games. Obviously I'm not saying we should play Battlefield 4 as a 16-bit downloadable title but the visuals/graphics don't seem to be a very big selling point anymore.
Its also money. I don't want to invest in a new console right now. I don't want the game publishers claiming all the added development costs are making the prices go up to $70 or more now (even though they were that much for the SNES, I don't want to pay it again). I don't want physical media to go away because I enjoy the freedom of being able to sell or trade in a game I finished or didn't like to put that money towards a new one. I don't want to have to buy a subsidized console for $200 on a two year contract because a stand-alone console is upwards of $1000. I'm just not ready for it.
Obviously we're still a good ways out from learning more official information and even longer until the consoles launch so maybe as time goes on I might get more excited. As of now I just don't want a new console cycle.
Bear with me here. I'm not the best writer when it comes to blogs. I've never written one so that should at least give you my qualifications but nothing says I can't give it a shot.
I have been part of Destructoid for a little over a year but not really an active member until last fall. During the past few months I've come to know a few of they people on the site (mainly Chillybilly and Andy Dixon), either through the forums or on Friday Night Fights, that, like me, have a full time job as well as a family. Now, I don't know what their situation is like for the most part (hell, Chillybilly seems to have an endless supply of funds to spend on non-official Mario figures-ha!) but for the most part, I have to have a delicate balance between work, family time and games. I'm writing this blog not so much as to vent but just put it out there what some of you younger gamers might have to deal with in a few years or something older gamers with kids might be able to relate to. Every now and then I'll pick a topic to write about that would relate to gaming as a dad that I think would make a good article. I'm also open to suggestions or conversation in the comments, if anyone is interested.
For today-it's time and money. As I write this I have to leave in about twenty-five minutes to pick up my four year old from school. People with kids know that they take almost all the time in the day up, leaving very little to games, movies or just to sit and stare at a wall. My son goes to bed around 8 PM and I have to go to bed about an hour and a half later just to get enough sleep to get up at 4:45 AM the following day. So that leaves little time to play games on the days I work. My weekends are better but only when I don't have to work extra duty on my days off. The time I do get to play games I tend to drift more towards multiplayer games (At over 70 hours Battlefield 3 is probably the longest I've spent on a game...ever) due to the social aspect of it.
Now, have you ever heard the saying, "Time is money?" Sure you have. I try to spread my $60 game investment over a long period of time. An eight hour FPS will last me about two months while Mass Effect 1 and 2 took me about a year to push all the way through. I get some of the people's argument about spending the money on a game and getting through a 70 hour RPG in less than a week. Obviously you have a lot of time on your hand and feel you need a game that is 300 hours long to justify $60. Great. I can't do that. As I've grown up and time has become more and more rare I've taken to quality games that may be shorter but I still get enough of the game out of it that it justifies my purchase. I personally don't care whether the game I have will last me until I'm 60 years old, as is the case with games like Skyrim, I just want to finish a game and get something out of it. Case in point: Red Dead Redemption. I think I finished that in about 20 hours. To some people they may have felt scammed out of that time compared to previous Rockstar games but from the characters or the story I feel my $60 was more than justified. That 20 hour game play took me about two months to beat.
Now, I could go on and on about it but I'm trying to keep it brief. That and I have to leave 5 minutes ago. My future blogs, if anyone is interested in this one, will be a little more concise as I learn how to write a better blog and give myself a little more time to do it in. I'm open to suggestions, comments and CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. Thanks for reading!