So here I am doing that thing I do after beating a game. I like to call it my "post-game juggling act." It's what happens when I finish a game and can't make up my mind what to play next.
I replay a lot of older games and this year has been no exception to that tendency. I've played half of the Metal Gear Solid series and some Castlevania as well. That being said, Hotline Miami is the newer experience I've recently completed for the first time. I enjoyed it very much, too! It felt like Halo, Smash TV and Majora's Mask had a three-way, couldn't decide who the baby belonged to and left it on Tommy Vercetti's doorstep.
Now here I am trying to decide what to play next by playing, well, everything.
One thing I've noticed this year about my gaming habits - outside of replaying stuff - is that I've been playing games that don't really end. Freedom Wars, Spelunky, Resogun, TxK and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate are all fairly endless in their design; each of them more about mastery than completion and I think that, much like Freedom Wars, I can probably milk up to eight months of gameplay out of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate.
But somehow, I find myself juggling MH4U, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Final Fantasy VIII, Metal Gear Solid 3 HD, Dragon's Crown, Spelunky, TxK, Resogun, OlliOlli and Etrian Odyssey Untold. Also, Dissidia Duodecim.
Knights of the Old Republic I picked up for my Galaxy Tab 4 since Amazon was nice and gave me $15 credit to use on their app store, so I got that with GTA III. It had been a while since I'd played KOTOR and I've been pillaging apartments on Taris and bickering with Carth ever since. I also later picked up that uppity Twi'lek and her walking carpet friend, which swore its life to me. I'm now patiently waiting to get to the part where I get to use The Force to choke people to death and use a lightsaber -- even if I have to suffer an AD&D ruleset to get there.
TxK is really just Tempest. It's literally Tempest. It's so Tempest I'm actually not surprised Atari tried to get an injunction against Llamasoft over it because they made very little effort to differentiate TxK from it beyond adding a perk system of sorts to each level's progression. I mean, sure, on one hand, screw Atari and its need to control games it won't publish or just ruin as they try to modernize them, but even so TxK isn't really breaking new ground here. It's a good game, but even New Super Mario Bros. could justify "new" better.
In Spelunky I've been trying to secure the path to the third zone and I've started losing my patience hording money to buy shotguns when bombs, ropes, capes, webbing goo and everything else are much more useful. But Tunnel Man wants a shotgun and so I guess I'll be getting him one even if I have to rob the shopkeeper. Sometimes I piss shopkeepers off when I didn't even bomb the inside of their store and, really, it's not my fault that booby trap rolled a boulder in the store. Why does he even have a shop down here?
Final Fantasy VIII and MGS3 are being reviewed for "Better with age" entries. I think I'm making this harder than it needs to be by imposing a "no alerts" rule on MGS3 HD and the complete lack of the crouching sneak that MGS4, Peacewalker and MGS3D had is sorely missed in this port.
And then there's Etrian Odyssey Untold. I've been working this one on-and-off for a year. I'm finally in the fourth stratum and dealing with shifty sand paths pushing me around , fighting monster tree FOEs and one FOE is currently blocking my path to the the next level, meaning there's some special requirement I'm missing to wake it up, kill it and get down the next level.
I don't know why my attention gets split in so many directions like this, but I do know that I won't be picking up Lost Dimension or Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold until I get this sorted out... and then MGS V: The Phantom Pain comes out not long after. I'm leaning toward getting the PS3 version for now, though I'm wary about the lack of talk of the PS3 and 360 versions. I just know I can't possibly scrounge up the cash for a PS4 or Xbox One in the time between now and early September.
I know I'll just get the game again on one of the next-gen systems, but its the last Kojima MGS and I don't want it spoiled for me. And I know when I have that game it's going to get all the attention anyway.
For now, though, the juggling act continues. What will I settle on? I have no freaking clue.