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Nostalgia and Video Games April 19, 2010

Filed under: gaming — lexd @ 6:52 pm
Tags: , , ,

There’s a lot of conversation in the video game industry about the value and quality of more vintage (read: older) games.  Many of today’s gamers — particularly the RPG type, including myself — tend to put older games on a pedestal of sorts … and many of us are pretty disappointed with what’s coming out lately. Personally, I started to get disillusioned with Final Fantasy around the time that FFX came out. They just didn’t have that magic that I was accustomed to.

Gamasutra‘s Leigh Alexander, is another example of this trend. At the beginning of this month, she wrote an article about how she — a hardcore RPG player who cried when Aeris died in FFVII — was completely unattached to the characters in the early stages of playing the much-lauded FFXIII. The article explores Leigh’s musings on this — have we as gamers changed as we aged, or are the games themselves just not as engaging as those we played when we were younger? Are young people (read: kids) more inclined to be attached to games than we are as adults? Do we love these older games because they were the hook into a hobby that has doubtless cost us thousands of dollars and hours of our lives?

I read this article shortly after I’d ordered Final Fantasy VI Advance, so I figured I’d use my reaction to it as a very unscientific example to answer these questions. Even though Final Fantasy VI is my favorite video game of all time, I think it’s a fair example because I never actually played all the way through the remastered release for Playstation. (Not even my love for that game could make me play through it … IT RAN SO SLOW.)

So, here I am, an aged gamer, experienced in a variety of games I’ve bought in the 15 or so years since I first experienced Final Fantasy VI (which was one of my first RPGs, BTW). I haven’t played it on a console since high school, and haven’t played it at all for at least four years. The game arrived Friday, and I plugged it into my DS on Saturday.

Would it compel me the way it did the first time I played it in fourth grade?


While this doesn’t necessarily prove anything (there’s so many variables here), I think it’s pretty telling that I can enjoy a game released in 1994 more than a lot of games released today. I can’t honestly remember the last time I spent that long playing a video game. This is a game I’ve played at least 10 times before, and I couldn’t put it down. (Parts of the game have been re-translated, so I admit that’s part of the appeal. No more awkwardly-translated dialogues.)

To be honest, I was kind of worried that I’d ruin FFVI by trying to play it today (I’ve heard this a lot about FFVII, actually). It’s the same way that movies we 80s kids watched were incredible to us then … but when we watch them now, it’s kind of a letdown. That’s what I was expecting.

Instead? Why yes, I did bring my DS to work with me today to play at lunch. Thank you for asking 🙂

Currently loving: Final Fantasy VI Advance, how today is flying by, getting back to the gym (free trial sessions FTW!)

images from Wikipedia


My name is Lex … February 3, 2010

Filed under: gaming,rant — lexd @ 8:26 pm
Tags: , , ,

… and I have gamer ADD.

At any given time, I’m playing between 5 and 10 games simultaneously.

This sounds absolutely crazy (and even worse, sounds like I’m living in my parents’ basement, just gaming all the time), but it’s true. Currently, I’m in the middle of:

  • Machinarium
  • Arkham Asylum
  • Final Fantasy X
  • Phoenix Wright: Justice for All
  • Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
  • Bowser’s Inside Story
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii
  • Scribblenauts

I define “current” games as those that I play at least once every two weeks.

Holy shit guys, I need help.

I’ve always known that I’m a multitasker. It’s why I work well at an agency. I’m always doing at least 3 things at once. I regularly keep at least 5 windows open in each browser I’m putzing around in. I’m reading 3 books right now. BF and I are watching about 4 TV series right now.

But 8 games? I know I don’t have a lot of free time, but you’d think that would make me commit to one game before starting another. But no. I’m like a kid in the proverbial candy store, just playing EVERYTHING I have in my grubby little hands and then tossing it aside for the next yummy-looking thing.

My friend also just pointed out that I haven’t beaten 2 of my top favorite games of all time: Fallout 3 and Oblivion. Before you start laughing, I’d like to point out that I’ve put more than 120 hours into Oblivion and nearly 80 into Fallout, so it’s not like I played for 5 minutes to say that I played them and then moved on.

This has dealt a serious blow to what I feel was a pretty solid gamer status. My confidence is shaken.

Someone else please tell me they do this, too. I need to feel less crappy about my gaming habits!

image from henry9112