So Many Games, So Little Time - How I Survive

By Chad Awkerman

November 3, 2009

We’re well into the fall gaming season – a time of year that traditionally sees some of the high-profile releases that we’ve been hearing about on a near-constant basis for the last year. With so many great games, how do you prioritize? Which games do you gravitate toward playing first? While that answer is different for each individual, I’d like to give you a glimpse into my mind – if you dare proceed.

If I’m prioritizing strictly on my enjoyment alone – not on what I need to review – it’s quite a random process. Much like my writing or jumbled thoughts, I game in “stream of consciousness”. In other words, I play whatever strikes my fancy at any given moment in time. And, to be quite honest, I sometimes change my mind more than a woman suffering from an extreme case of PMS.

Japanese RPGs tend to top my list if a new title is available. As I play these, I rush into it with all the enthusiasm in the world, but then peeter out toward the end, intermixing my playtime with something more aggressive, such as a shooter, for example. This has been happening most recently with Magna Carta 2 and Borderlands. If I want to dole out endless streams of hurt to manage my daily stress, I’ll definitely go for shooting holes in the nearest scag or claptrap, whichever is closer at the time. (Seriously, I wish I could shoot the claptrap in Fyrestone, the thing drives me to drink…literally.)

Blasted stream of consciousness…much like the claptraps in Borderlands, the final dungeon of Magna Carta 2 is enough to drive anyone to drink heavily. How in the world one would manage to make it through that place without a strategy guide is beyond me. I was completely deflated after having to repeat one puzzle area in there three times before I got it right – with the strategy guide at hand, I might add. Pop that disc out and throw Borderlands in.

I’m not a huge fan of FPS titles, but I enjoy them occasionally. However, there is one downside to these games – I suck at them. I suck hard. In fact, the phrase “epic fail” pretty much describes me playing an FPS. I’ll run into a den of scags, guns blazing, and get ripped apart in seconds, wondering what I did wrong. Yet, the experience is oddly fulfilling – letting loose, guns firing off every which-way. Like I said, it’s often a stress reliever. Still, the fact that I’m worse than horrible at games of this genre does take its toll.

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Here’s an idea, let’s play Forza 3. When I’m stuck, frustrated, annoyed, flustered or otherwise at odds with other games, I can always pop in a racing game to play for a bit. You can quickly and easily race a few events, play with the hundreds of sparkly color combinations you can apply to your dozens of cars and literally spend hours browsing the hundreds of 2010 Camero “Bumblebee” designs – because apparently everyone can do better and make it more authentic than the guy before him. Did that sentence make any sense? No? Good. Stream of consciousness, remember?

So, here’s what we have so far – I’ll play a JRPG until I start losing steam, then an FPS-ish game to shoot things in the face. When I tire of those, then the old fall-back – a racing game like Forza 3 that I can play in little chunks. I eventually finish all three by continuing that cycle until I curl up in a fetal position in the corner and cry myself to sleep.  Sometimes I’ll even wake up screaming in the middle of the night after having a nightmare of massive piles of plastic game cases falling on me.  I guess what I’m trying to say is, in times like this when there are so many games coming at me from every direction, it’s hard to stick to just one and play nothing else until it’s complete. Sure, that could possibly disrupt the pacing of a story if the game has a good one (read: not Borderlands, sorry), but it helps keep me sane. These are just the three (er, four, see below) games that I’ve purchased myself over the last few weeks, this isn’t even counting all the games I want to play that came out over the same time period or are coming out soon (just for the record, I’m not touching MW2 with a 10-foot pole). How do you deal with a massive influx of awesome titles?

Oh god, Dragon Age: Origins comes out today. Help.

[Note: If you haven’t already noticed, this is not a serious article, but it is strangely accurate in describing my personal gaming habits.  Scary, eh?]

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Chad Awkerman

Chad joined the DualShockers staff in mid 2009 and since then has put much of his time into covering RPGs, with a focus on the Japanese side of the genre, from the obscure to the mainstream. He's a huge fan of iconic games like Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy VI and Persona 4 yet enjoys the smaller niche titles, as well. In his spare time he enjoys experiencing new beer, new foods and keeping up with just about every sci-fi show on television. He's married to an intelligent, beautiful Southern Belle who keeps his life interesting with witty banter and spicy Cajun cooking.

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