As the beginning of 2014, you know how many games for which I was so incredibly excited I was counting down the minutes to the released dates? Exactly zero. That’s not to say I wasn’t looking forward to a few games (South Park: The Stick of Truth, Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze, and Fable Anniversary, for example), or that I was oblivious to the release of the likes of Titanfall, Thief, or other big budget titles. It’s just that nothing new really lit up all my gaming cylinders.
So here we are nine months later, and only one game has me all a’jittery – Dragon Age: Inquisition. It’s the only game this year that I’ve even thought of pre-ordering. And if I do get it, well…it’s still an if. (Though I probably will get it.)
Lately, I’ve been much more interested in less current games: older Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii games, as well many from generations long gone. It’s not that current games aren’t awesome and all, it’s just that…that…well… Okay, take for example the latest Tomb Raider. It looked fantastic, got solid reviews, and with its Uncharted-ness seemed to be right up my alley. It was an immediate addition to our Gamefly queue. Once it arrived, I managed about an hour of play before I got bored. Awful, right? I mean, how could anyone not enjoy a game like that?! As I played, everything just had that “been there, done that” feeling. Maybe I was in a grumpy mindset, but it just felt like other games that I had played before, and I simply wasn’t interested in continuing. That’s my prevailing thought when it comes to most of the games that are being released: not interested. Even if a game is hyped as being “new,” “fresh,” and “different,” somehow it never turns out to be those things exactly.
Aside: It goes without saying that there are exceptions. As I mentioned, I do want to play Dragon Age: Inquisition, but that’s primarily because I’m already invested in the series (happily [Origins] and less so [DAII]). I’m sure the same will happen with the likes of Uncharted 4, Kingdom Hearts 3, Batman: Arkham Knight, and maybe The Witcher 3 (if I can manage to complete to first two.)
More and more I find myself shying away from your drive-around, shoot-em-up, stealth-attack, twitch-mash, battle-battle games and favoring not just simpler games, but simpler games from the past. And not even “simpler” games, generally – there are a number of old RPGs that I’d really like to get my hands on, like Chrono Trigger, Super Mario RPG, and early Persona games. And it’s not like going retro with my gaming is going to create more free time or make me never want to pick up an Xbox One controller. What I’m looking for right now in gaming is satisfaction, and for some reason, right now, my instincts are telling me that I might find more gaming satisfaction in past rather than current games.
Granted, this is all quite subjective and up-in-the-air at the moment. I did start playing Max: Curse of the Brotherhood recently, which reminded me of how great platform puzzlers can be. Sadly, and despite my protestations in June, I’m nowhere close to finishing Metroid Prime (though there’s still time before the year’s end). So it’s not like I’m suddenly going to trash my backlog and start scouring eBay for old games and consoles. But after Dragon Age: Inquisition, who knows? Maybe it’ll renew my faith in AAA titles, or maybe it’ll push me even farther into thoughts of retro-dom.
How excited/happy are you with current games as compared to those of previous generations? Do you have older games in your stash that you continue to enjoy despite their age? If not, what retro games would you like to play that you haven’t already?