Summer Gaming Patterns and Outside MMO Impressions

 

Assassins Creed

I am a creature of habit.

Sometimes those habits don’t quite mesh well with my hobbies, but that’s just the way it goes. Specifically, my gaming habits change dramatically with the changes of the seasons. I’ve found that during the fall and winter (last winter we got 68 inches of snow) I tend to stay indoors and will start picking up and playing more long-term games like MMOs a lot more seriously. During the summer, though, I head outdoors. BBQ’s, bars, camping, going down the shore, baseball games, disc golf, weekly Ultimate, you name it. So in the summer, gaming takes the far backseat. Sadly, writing about gaming goes with it. When I don’t play, I don’t have a lot to say (unless you want to hear about my Ultimate and disc golf exploits? Maybe?).

Walking Dead, Season 1

Walking Dead, Season 1. Complete. Damn, Telltale really is doing a fantastic job.

I realized I had a pattern to the way I play games way back during my young days of playing World of Warcraft. Back when I kept the subscription going year round on the “hope” that I would find time to play, but never did (what a fool I was). I found, though, that I kept coming back at the same time every year. Right in the middle of the Halloween festivities.

So from October to March, I’m all about gaming. From April to September, not so much.

This doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped playing entirely. Quite to the contrary, I’ve found my tastes shift. I’ve really started getting into single player and indie games, finishing up games like Assassin’s Creed 1 and 2. Also playing a lot more mobile games like Tiny Tower, games that I can pick up on the go (Note: I use the phrase “mobile” and “games” in the same sentence very loosely, these mobile things are more like psychological traps).

Tiny Tower

Tiny Tower. Seriously, this game should come with a Surgeon Generals warning.

The latest MMO offerings this Spring really haven’t been enough to draw me away from this pattern, either. Here are a few very off-the-cuff thoughts:

Landmark – A Minecraft clone with better graphics. Pass. Sidenote: Why did they remove the Everquest title from Landmark? Are they now backpedaling, and cutting any possible link that would have existed between the two games? Sorry, just seems a little shady.

Elder Scrolls Online – Yet another fantasy hack and slash themepark MMO, wearing the trappings of Elder Scrolls, one of my favorite series. I won’t lie, the setting of a game means a lot to me. It’s why I’m still such a big fan of Star Trek Online after all this time. But when they remove the soul of the series, TESO doesn’t have much left that hasn’t been done before. The title may say Elder Scrolls, but it just doesn’t have the *soul* of Elder Scrolls and that’s a major turn-off for me. If it had been the same engine, but any other IP, I might have been more interested.

Wildstar – Looks a lot better than the others, I’ll give it that, but even the premise of Open Beta didn’t entice me. The telegraphing system looks to be just an evolution of The Secret World’s style, which is fine, but nothing drastic. The art style, though gorgeous in it’s bright colors is too reminiscent of World of Warcraft’s cartoon styling for me to not be reminded of it at every turn. Finally, the “elder game” looks to also be trying to grab that piece of the Warcraft pie, using the same raid-or-die approach. What this all says is that the game simply isn’t for me. I’ll leave all the real time-investment-heavy stuff to those of you with more time and interest.

ArcheAge – This may be the only title that has really piqued my curiosity as of late, but I’m not sure why. I don’t think sandboxes and I make a good fit. I don’t have the time to invest or the inclination to use others pre-made efficient builds, which most sandboxes require. But the whole “paying for alphas and betas” thing seems too sketchy. Pay a lot of money to be a part of a buggy experience and the chance you might get really tired of the game before it even launches? Ha! No thanks. If anything, the cost to be a part of alphas and betas should be LESS than the cost of the game when it launches. Stop this enticing with items nonsense and entice with price. I’ll wait for release, whenever that will be, to see if I’m still interested.

Octodad, Dadliest Catch

Octodad: Dadliest Catch. Not a long game, but frustratingly fantastic. Not to mention some of the awesome one-liners.

But in the meantime, I’ve heard that The Secret World’s Tokyo is right around the corner. Even though the hype of it has long since faded, I’ve read that it is still very much worth the wait. Star Trek Online has released Season 9, and has a new Featured Episode, which I hear is one of their best ones yet. My backlog is still plenty full and needs trimming, and then I’m still working on that old resolution list.

In other words, don’t mind me. I’m still here, just more in the background, getting as much out of summer as I can. Even if that means less gaming.

// Ocho

So Much To Play, So Little Time [Poll]

So, tell me, what exactly do I play now?

Welcome to my summer gaming habits. I know, I know… I haven’t updated since May 12th. Bad Ocho, very bad Ocho. So sue me. I have this thing that happens during the summer where suddenly my want to sit behind my computer screen playing games suddenly falls off the table. Going for walks, grilling on my deck, visiting friends, impromptu bar runs, it all suddenly becomes a much greater priority than gaming. Hence why I shall always remain in the “casual” category of gamers. It’s not that I don’t love my hobby, it’s just that it’s still just a hobby and as such, takes that low position amongst my priorities. So, during the summer, I may not update as often as other times, and also sometimes I don’t feel like I’m adding a whole bunch to the conversation, so this leads to periods of inactivity. That is just my introverted, worrying, insecure side talking, though. And sometimes it’s right. However, I’m sure I’m not inconveniencing my legion of readers by taking periodic breaks.

But ANYWAY, I’m starting to see a trend among my fellow bloggers, a trend of… exploration. And I, being an intrepid explorer myself, am willing to leave the choice of which game in my collection I should play up to the fates (that would be you). Now, my collection is pretty big, what with Steam and GoG.com being sooo tempting at times, so below is a list of 5 games that I have never touched, or never really got that far in, that I would like to give a shot.

Some are MMO’s, some are not. Some are newer, some are older. My tastes are very eclectic. So, please, pick the game that you would most like to play vicariously, and I will try my best to live up to it. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below…

All 3 of you. 😛