The Drive to Revisit the Past at the Expense of the Future

Image by Flickr user deeplifequotes
Image by Flickr user deeplifequotes

But when I read about Fable Anniversary now, as strong as the drive it to play it, the drive to give it a pass is just as strong. I have very similar feelings about playing The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD for the Wii U. I bought (and traded in) the original Wind Waker for the Gamecube. It was so very brilliant in the moment, just like Fable. Both games represent my gaming past in a very tangible way, and I’m not sure that playing the revamped versions of either will set forth such solidifying memories. I fear that either would be very fun wastes of time. And as I’ve said before, I really don’t have much gaming time to waste these days.

We all face at least a few tough choices when we go to pick the games to play. Between current releases and backlogs, it’s not like we’re suddenly not going to have anything to play, but in that questioning moment of “what should I play now?,” there’s little doubt in my mind that, well, a good bit of doubt comes into play. The problem is, those re-releases of past titles, they are our warm blankets on cold days. They bring us comfort, especially when they are accompanied by a crop of pleasant memories. They are easy to pick up and put down because they are so familiar. And why is that a problem? Because gaming is and should be all about progression! What’s next and where can I get it?! Right?

Maybe?

My single biggest gaming profession is “Just play. Play what makes you happy.” And maybe I should just shut up and take my own advice. Alas, how I wish it was that simple! For every Fable Anniversary, there are at least two or three new games (either really new or new to me) that I think I should play instead. It’s like going to your closet and thinking “I’m going to wear a new pair of shoes today” when you know you’re just going to put on your favorite pair of old boots, again. Eventually those boots will wear out and then where will you be? Sad and without comfortable footwear, which is the worst kind of sad.

So yes, I have a backlog with all sorts of older, interesting gaming opportunities; and yes, I have a small stock of truly new games that I really want to sink my teeth into (see my Listmas list here); and for some reason I want to throw it all onto the backburner (again) in order to spend time in Albion or cruising the high seas with Link? It’s just not making sense to me at the moment. Can you help me understand? Time is of the essence, people, and I simply don’t have enough of it! Curses!

Oh and then, just yesterday, my husband asked me what I wanted for Valentines Day. Y’know what I said without a moment’s hesitation?

Fable Anniversary!

Le sigh.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Hatm0nster says:

    I generally tend to stay away from HD re-releases. Not that I don’t like to replay games (quite the opposite actually) but I don’t see the merit in spending money on a slightly prettier version of something I already have when, as you said, there plenty out there that’s new for me spend my time and money on.

    There are exceptions however. HD Re-releases, are very much worth it when they add new things. I got “Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD ReMix” for exactly that reason. It’s not just a graphical upscale, it’s the “Final Mix” version that was previously never released outside of Japan, plus re-orchestrated music. New enemies, new cutscenes, new boss, and it all looked incredible! Totally worth it!

    Got Wind Waker too. It looks awesome and the new additions are nice (there’s a sail that doubles your speed and does away with changing wind direction) but it’s not as worth it. I’m not sure if I’d recommend buying it.

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    1. cary says:

      I have heard very good things about KH 1.5 HD Remix; and you’re right, if the new game adds to what the older game set forth, then that makes it worth it. That’s supposed to be the case with Fable Anniversary, but I’m still not convinced I absolutely need it.

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  2. gimmgp says:

    It’s a tough choice, deciding what to play. I understand the notion of trying to only focus on new games, since the general idea should be that what is fresh should learn and build from the past. But when I look out at all of the mess of new games and tech, so many of them seem redundant and stagnant. There is a reason that certain games get re-released: these are the pinnacles of design that should be preserved and studied.

    While piles of generic shooters and bland action games get pumped out every year with a shiny coat of paint, there are some solid HD upgrades that should not be ignored. Oh sure, I have played Shadow of the Colossus plenty of times, but I still bought the PS3 version. Playing an upgraded version was a combination of warm fuzzy gaming and seeing the sort of game that is lacking in modern offerings. It may be taking time away from playing a brand new game, but I come away from the experience with a better idea of what sort of creative design could be applied to a modern title.

    Long story short, don’t ignore these updated versions of beloved titles just to “stay current.” Sometimes it’s better to look back to improve the future.

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    1. cary says:

      Can’t argue with you there. Though, the point you make about certain games should be preserved, it makes me wonder why Nintendo didn’t remake Ocarina of Time instead (or even Majora’s Mask). I get that Wind Waker works in HD, but Ocarina of Time is far and away much more beloved than Wind Waker.

      P. S. My goodness, do I have to play Shadow of Colossus sometime soon. It just keeps coming up everywhere. It’s got to be a sign!

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