I remember a time when I absolutely hated the winter and summer slumps of game releases. For whatever reason, these were (and still are) the times when barely anything new or interesting would come out, leaving me with no choice but to play old games (eww!). I used to count the days until March finally hit and brought all the exciting stuff with it, but now I feel very differently. Now, I actually look forward to this time of year.
Anyone who’s been a gamer for a while knows the pressure that comes with the yearly release schedule. Half the fun of playing games is talking about them with friends and peers, so there’s always pressure to stay current with whatever’s coming out at the time. Stray away from new(ish) releases for too long and you risk being left out of the conversation. So once March hits and something on your list gets released, it’s time to drop what you’re doing and jump on it so as to have something relevant to add to the conversation.
Such isn’t the case during the summer and winter months. Hardly anything of note gets released in these times, so I can just relax and play whatever I want. Maybe I want to play something new that I couldn’t make time for last year. Maybe I want to play Majora’s Mask again for the twelfth time. Time’s standing still as far as game releases go, so the world’s my virtual oyster.
I’ve been making really good use of the time this year if I do say so myself. I’ve almost played all the way through The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and its DLC packs; I’ve just about finished another run through Majora’s Mask; I did a cooperative playthrough of Super Mario 64 with a buddy of mine, and I managed to put a nice chunk of time into the newly remastered Halo: Reach. I’m also in the process of revisiting Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE via the Encore port for Switch. It’s really been a great past couple of months, so much so that I’m almost sad that March is finally on the horizon. I’m sure it’ll be a lot of fun too; Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Persona 5 Royal are finally out after all. Even so, I would have liked having a bit more time to laze around in my gaming backlog.
This is, of course, just part of my own perspective on things, and one that I wasn’t really aware of until relatively recently. I like having the chance to talk about older games without the newer ones butting-in and demanding the spotlight, and I like not having to figure out which new games to pick-up and when (or if at all).
It might only be me who sees things this way, so I’d like to know: What do you think of the summer and winter release slumps? Do you find them annoying or relaxing?
Image by Flickr user Mario Conde (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)