The Gamer’s Honeymoon
I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the less flexible my taste in games becomes.
Back in the day, I’d be happy to play all manner of genres from flight-simulators to adventure games, fighters, dungeon crawlers, sports games and arcade action in every flavour and colour available. But from around my mid-twenties onwards, I became much less inclined to sample games outside those genres in which I felt most at home. So that’s basically shooters. And the odd driving game.
Never tell a pig it’s in shit if it’s happy, eh?
Yet despite my ever narrowing view of the gaming landscape, there’s one time when all bets are off and I can look once more at what’s on offer like a fresh-faced gaming newbie: the launch window of a new console.
Maybe it’s the relative lack of games available in a launch window, coupled with the insatiable thirst for all things shiny that drives me into pastures new? Or it could be the inevitable release lull after the opening window, just as you’re craving for something fresh after that killer launch game that you just finished? Either way, one thing’s for sure: I find myself more than happy to have a blast at basically anything.
I like to call it The Gamer’s Honeymoon. And it is nice.
Marriage: an evolution
Yet as time passes and more of your genre-of-choice titles are released, you find yourself slipping back into old habits, quite happy to go a few months without a significant new release. But in those first few weeks it’s like being a born-again-gamer taking a wistful look back at genres you’ve long since neglected – just to check-in and see how they’ve grown up in your absence.
The Witcher 3, for example, looks like a prime example of such a title. I gave up on sprawling, life-sucking RPG games pretty much after Baldur’s Gate in 1998, with only Oblivion and Skyrim tempting me back for a dabble. But I know full well that The Witcher 3 will tempt me one more time into a Tolkien-fuelled frenzy as I lap up it’s next-gen-ness – purely for the sake of it.
Then again, there is one spanner in the works that may ruin all of this doe-eyed love: that thought that I might not jump onto the next-gen bandwagon straight away – or even at all.
You see, despite all of my excitement about things new and shiny, there’s no arguing that this generation has gone on for a good couple of years too long. In that time, I’ve become quite used to the status quo, with all the hullabaloo surrounding the PS4 and XBOne seeming a little more hollow and jaded than any other launch build-up I can remember. With my kids pestering me for a console in one of their rooms for Christmas, my initial plan had been to buy a PS4 for the lounge and move the PS3 into my eldest son’s room. Now the dust has settled after E3, I’m becoming more inclined to just buy a second, used PS3 to fill the gap and wait six months until the both the price and availability of PS4 games becomes more favourable and the XBOne vision becomes clearer.
So, could it be that in their mad clamour to grab my attention, both Sony and Microsoft have actually put me off that first snog?
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Husband. Parent. Gamer. Go figure.