I love video games. I really and truly do. I love them so much so that, as I’ve stated in the past, I’d like to make my own games someday. In many ways, gaming is better now than it’s ever been. But gaming is also a mighty expensive hobby, and I’m not made of money. Even more so, gaming is becoming more and more time consuming.
Now, I realized some time ago how much of a time commitment gaming was becoming, but it really hit me personally when I played Persona 5. Now, don’t get me wrong, from what I played, Persona 5 was a pretty great game. But once I had put more than ten hours into the game and still wasn’t done with the first dungeon, it kind of lost me. I still want to go back and finish it sometime, but it really hit me just how long games get these days. And it would be one thing if it were a couple of games here and there, but it seems like most major releases these days require 50+ hours just to get through the story.
Somehow I actually managed to beat Red Dead Redemption 2, which was a great game, but took forever just to get through the story (and as I mentioned in my review of the game, it’s fifth chapter feels like little more than extensive padding just to drag out the story longer. And yes, this was the primary reason I scored RDR2 an 8 as opposed to a 9, despite its many, many strengths). For as much fun as I had with the game, it seemed like its main story – great though it was – went on much longer than it needed to, when the countless side activities the game’s open world provides would have more than sufficed in regards to content.
In short: these games are too damn long.
That’s not an innately bad thing, of course. But if you have one game after another after another that each take forever to complete, you begin to not have time for any of them.
That’s why, as of 2019, I’m trying to cut back on my video game purchases. Yes, I bought the Bowser’s Inside Story remake and Kingdom Hearts 3 already. But the former is a remake of my favorite DS game, a title I enjoyed so much I definitely want to give it another whirl in its new guise, while the later has been in the making for thirteen years (and, more importantly, I love me some contemporary Disney, so I couldn’t resist playing a game that featured Frozen, Tangled and Big Hero 6 in it). So that’s two games so far in 2019, plus a couple other I have on pre-order. But if we went back to this time last year, I had pre-orders up the wazoo! And, as is evidenced by the fact that I’ll only now be getting to my reviews of games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and God of War (and still need to get to a point where I can review Ni no Kuni 2), I’ve gotten pretty backlogged.
In my defense, the reason I’ve been playing so many games these past few years is, well, because of this website. I greatly enjoy writing reviews and sharing my opinions, and I want to build this site up. What better way to do that than build up an extensive library of game reviews?
Well, I think I’ve succeeded in building such a library of reviews covering several different eras of gaming and many different genres. Not to brag or anything, but my Red Dead 2 review was my 328th video game review. So I think I’m at a point where it’s okay to slow down with the video game reviews for a while.
Now now, I don’t have any plans to stop updating this website. I plan to keep on keeping on with the Dojo. But when it comes to video games, I think I’m going to start prioritizing the games I still have in my collection for reviews, and that I don’t need to purchase more than a few new titles every year. Granted, that may make my annual Game of the Year awards less interesting (talking of which, my 2018 awards will happen really soon), but there are only so many hours in a day.
I still have plenty of games I already own that are in need of some reviewin’, and I’m still going to buy new games and review them. But because time and money are limited, I’m going to have to be more picky. I’m going to try and put a number limit on myself for games per year, and try to stick to that (there will be exceptions of course. If Nintendo suddenly announces they’re making Super Mario Galaxy 3 and it releases this year, I don’t care if I’ve met my limit, that’s a game I’d make exception for no question).
I remember in my younger days, I replayed video games a lot more. Star Fox 64, for example, is an easy game to beat. But I still probably spent countless hours on it over the years playing its single and multiplayer modes over and over. I find myself continuously wanting to replay games like Bloodborne and Super Mario Odyssey, but then I tell myself I’ve already reviewed them, and that I have other games to review. But games like Bloodborne and Odyssey are the kind of games that beg to be replayed over and over, much like Star Fox did all those years ago. Besides, it’s not like someone is paying me to play these games (though I am continuously trying to build up this website and hopefully can get some earnings from it. Wouldn’t that be dandy?). Plus, there are more ways to write about games than the direct reviews themselves.
While it’s been great picking up different big releases each year to review them, I think I’m at a point where I can also just replay games if I feel like it, and write other articles about them. Don’t worry, I’m still going to write game reviews, but probably less for newly released games every year. Gotta pick and choose.
Yeah, I will review Persona 5 and other extensively long games when I can. But I’m not going to try to rush those games to completion just to add another review to my belt sooner. If anything, my review of Red Dead Redemption 2 felt special. As long as that game was, I took my time with it, and my review almost felt like a reward to myself…as weird as that sounds.
Basically, my point is, it’s getting harder and harder for me to review every big game that gets released these days. So I’ll be slowing down with that for a bit. Again, I think I’ve reviewed enough games, covered different genres, and awarded each number on my scoring system more than enough to justify the majority of my reviews in the foreseeable future being games I already own. Like I said, that’s no shortage of games as it is, and with the occasional review for a new release, Indie games, and other articles focused on games, and I think I still have more than enough game-related material for my site. And of course I also have my movie side of things and, as I keep saying, I want to start writing about TV shows to some degree as well.
So…sorry I’m not going to be able to review every major release that hits shelves, but I will still keep the gaming side of this site strong and healthy. Like a kid who ate his broccoli. Plus, this opens up more time for me to work on other creative outlets, like my long promised videos and studying up on video game design. You’d want to play a game made by me, right?
Hope you enjoy what I have in store.
7 thoughts on “My Gaming Future”
Definetly a sensible way to go. Personally, I gain far more enjoyment doing the broader pieces and creative pieces over strict game reviews.
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I have no schedule or discipline when it comes to my own site, so yours is admirable. A lot of games are definitely very long. I think it’s to be expected with JRPGs like the Persona games are, but the time they demand is too oppressive for a lot of people. Two years ago when P5 was released, I had a 9 to 5 job that gave me time to follow my video game pursuits, and it still took me two months to finish the thing. Today, I have no idea if I’d even be able to start it, considering all the time constraints I have.
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I agree with your sentiment of how gaming is better now than it has ever been. But you’re right; games tend to be too long for their own good and if it’s one thing I do miss from the SNES era, it’s that games were only ever as long as they needed to be. Too many developers seem to think that “more time = more content = more quality”, and it can be incredibly difficult to keep up if you’re not always playing the hot new release of a given week. Indeed, it took me a long time for me to finally complete a game released in 2018 (Spider-Man). There’s also a bit of a strange paradox in how AAA developers by and large are only interested in gearing towards young adults despite kids and teens having the most time to spare with this hobby.
Anyway, I’ll be interested to see what you have to say about television shows, and who knows? Maybe after taking a break from writing about them, you’ll regain interest somewhere down the line.
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Yeah, I would say gaming is better now than ever…for the most part. There are definitely some problems unique to the era (pay to win, the ideas that having story = good story and that linear games are somehow bad, and, oh yeah, GAMES BEING TOO LONG!). I would say the 16-bit era still holds up well by today’s standards. And as I’ve said ad nauseam, I firmly believe Super Mario World, DKC2 and Super Mario RPG can still rightfully claim a spot among the best of the best, even in this day and age. And yeah, the fact that games are so hefty yet primarily geared towards adults these days is odd, to say the least.
Thanks, hopefully I can get to the TV stuff soon. I’ll still be reviewing some big games, I just can’t afford the time (and money) like I’ve been doing (I know I bring up Mario a lot in terms of the standard, but Odyssey was a fantastic example of a big game done right. Decently lengthy but not too long campaign, but had tons of optional stuff to keep it going. Big, but not demanding). But I’ll still try to make my reviews worthwhile. Kingdom Hearts 3 will probably be my first “big game” of 2019 review. After that… maybe Sekiro.
I imagine trying to keep up with every big release without being a full time game reviewer must be hard, and the length a lot of these are pushing for probably doesn’t help. I don’t have this problem as there’s only so many games per year that get my attention, but it’s no good if it gets to a point it makes it hard to revisit a game, or worse, be able to finish games you haven’t done so yet (and not from lack of interest).
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