When I was reading Cary’s post entitled “I Am the Future of Gaming?”, I couldn’t help but see myself. For me, too, the future of gaming couldn’t be further from the truth. Forever stuck in the past, I will often find myself buying a new console just before its predecessor is announced. More often than not, I’ll get around to playing games years, or even decades, after everyone else. Sure, I’m occasionally able to get a game around its release date, but more often than not, I feel like I’m keeping up when I’m able to buy a game only a year later.
For the past decade, it became my mission to catch up on a bunch of old titles from the 90’s. Old Final Fantasy games and other beloved Square titles were the dominant games on my list, and in more recent years, I achieved my goal of playing the original Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon trilogies in the form of their remakes, the N. Sane Trilogy and the Reignited Trilogy, respectively. Oh yes, I am quite the latecomer, and though I felt as if I had finally more or less caught up with all the really old games I wanted to play, my interest was renewed once more in the past with the announcement of Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time.
I think I’ll be able to get that particular game around its release date, which is an anomaly for me. But that’s not really what I was talking about. Because I’ve become a Crash Bandicoot fan thanks to the N. Sane Trilogy, and rather than solely looking forward to the future of the series and that brand new game on the horizon, I’ve been spending a great deal of time looking back instead. More accurately, I’ve been watching YouTube videos to get acquainted with what the series had been up to following the original trilogy on the PS1.
Yes, yes, I know what you might be thinking. There’s a reason the Crash 4 trailer purposely made a joke at the past games’ expense. You might remember it, the short little exchange where Coco says they only stopped Dr. Cortex three times, while the mask replies that it “feels like more”. I get it, the old Crash games, post-Naughty Dog, I mean, were not exactly regarded very highly. And with the recent trailer’s response to these old games, it feels as if they’re not exactly very relevant to this new game’s story.
Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but watch reviews and even some cut scenes from these past games so that I could at least get an idea as to the series’ history and the characters introduced after Naughty Dog stopped working on the games. In the end, my greatest interest lies in Twinsanity and the cut scenes from Mind over Mutant, the latter of which were surprisingly amusing in how they changed animation styles. With that said, I have a question.
Is Twinsanity worth playing or would I be better off just watching a playthrough online? Because after all the research I’ve done into the past of Crash Bandicoot, I can’t help but feel rather intrigued by that game in particular. I mean, Twinsanity is the game where Crash and Dr. Cortex team up, and even if the game is not supposed to be the best, I can’t help but wonder if it would still be good for a laugh or two.
But there you have it, folks. A new Crash game is coming out. A whole new console generation is upon us (namely in the form of the PS5, in my case). And here I am, looking into a game released in 2004. Why am I always looking back over my shoulder at what I might have missed when I should be looking forward to the future?
Well, for one thing, the future of gaming is far more expensive than its past. Also, the farther we step into the future, the more games get left behind, either to be forgotten or picked up by someone like myself who wishes to leave no halfway decent game behind.
Like Cary, I am definitely not the future of gaming. More often than not, I find myself discovering a game long after everyone else has played it and set it aside for bigger and better things. And I’m not exactly bothered by that. There’s a place for every gamer out there, from the trailblazers who forge new paths ahead to the archaeologists like myself who spend their time uncovering the fossils of the past.
Photo by Nikita Kostrykin on Unsplash
Through some retrospection I’ve come to realize that I’m in a transitional period between being on the bleeding edge of gaming, and where you are. I still play games on current generation hardware, and I fully anticipate purchasing a PS5 day one (given no supply shortages), but the amount of games I purchase at launch has dwindled from 10-15 per year to 1 or 2. Ive spent more time playing games on older hardware this year more than ever, probably thanks in part to a slower release schedule due to COVID-19. Even so, my desire to “stay current” is long gone unless it’s something that I can’t afford to wait on for whatever reason (seeing spoilers online, close friends or family also playing, etc). This mentality might take me out of the greater conversation surrounding a game during its peak period, but one thing I’ve learned about fans of games is that no matter when you play, people are always willing to revisit titles they love. The conversation can continue one, two, five or even ten years down the line. “Enjoy things in your own time” is my new mantra. Sometimes it’s day one, and sometimes it’s day one thousand, and both are okay.
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Great post! I wholly agree with what the Benji said — gaming, just like any other hobby, is something you have to take at your own pace. If your chosen pace is to “keep up with the Joneses,” that’s perfectly fine. The community needs those Day-One buyers; after all, they help promote and hype new stuff as much if nor more than any marketing department. But those of us who remain a generation or more behind, either by choice or not, are just as important. We inform how important it is to not forget that games can be timeless. There’s no developer today who doesn’t want their game to become as memorable and as lasting an experience as Super Mario Bros, or Chrono Trigger, or, heck, even Space Invaders. There’s a reason so many people turn to gaming’s past for good times, because there are some very good times to be had. 🙂
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