If you know me, or if you read this blog, or monitor my Usenet and forum posts, then you’ll know I buy a lot of games. Like, loads. I play a lot too: most days I put in an hour or so, longer at the weekend. This may appear to be a very long time to non-gamers, but you have to consider how much time I don’t spend watching TV, which is far more passive and couch potatoey.
But herein lies a problem. I have so many games, but an hour a day is not long enough to play them all, especially when some titles (like Oblivion and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance) are huge, time-sucking monsters that completely eclipse the smaller games I buy. Viva Pinata and Animal Crossing are games with no end, and have magical addiction powers, hooking you from the very second you start playing. Games like Canis Canem Edit, Table Tennis, Metroid Prime Echoes and many others just don’t get a look in. They’re bought in excitement, looked at for a bit, wait patiently on the coffee table for a few days, and then get put away in the game cupboard never to be seen again.
Forgotten and unloved sit Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, Mario and Luigi 2, Contact, Lostmagic and many others, all games I was looking forward to owning, all games that arrived and were promptly ignored. Even the new Wii Zelda game has already ended up in the “save for later” pile. A pile which rarely sees light of day, and is almost never subtracted from.
So what do I actually play then, if all the great games get put to one side? Recently, it’s been Mario 64 on the Wii. And Sonic the Hedgehog. Old games I own many times already and have completed several times before. Sometimes I’ll think “Hmmm, I feel like starting a new game”, and then spend an hour perusing my game library. I’ll skip over high scoring things like Pariah and Stranger’s Wrath, bypass Metroid Prime Hunters and Age of Empires: Age of Kings, and instead plump for Barbie Horse Adventures, Sonic Heroes or some other no-mark title.
The solution? Maybe I need to buy less games. Maybe I need to spend more time playing them. Perhaps I need my head seeing to, as I clearly like to punish myself by playing crap games rather than good games, or playing the same game over and over instead of anything new. In reality, of course, I’ll just carry on doing exactly what I do now, and will be picking up all sorts of gaming crap come the January sales. Crap games that I’ll be playing instead of the ace titles that I’ll no doubt also buy.