Monday, July 17, 2006

Just Can’t get into it (In Which I Complain)

I’m in a video game slump. My usual routine is that whenever I find a bit of free time, I position myself on the couch, fire up on of the consoles or my DS and get lost in hours of fantasy. But the past couple of weeks—ever since I finished Baten Kaitos—it hasn’t been so.

I’ve started Xenogears. I figured since I’ve enjoyed the Xenosagas and Baten that I should try out their predecessor—but often I find that when I’m playing it, I’m bored. I don’t know if it’s the PS1 graphics, the more typical fighting engine, the lack of female characters...Whatever it is, my heart isn’t in it. Playing feels like a chore.

After renting it for months on end, I finally purchased a copy of Pikmin 2. I love the premise of the game: plucking Pikmin out of the ground, fighting off bugs with the big, fat purple ones, discovering and towing home treasures, such as little pots of Carmex. Alas, I’m finding that after playing it for about an hour or so, I get bored.

I’ve tried watching Shions_Glasses play Fable. I’ve enjoyed watching him play other games, why not this one? Once again, I’m not sure if it’s the deficiency of women characters (I’m notorious for developing apathy when I don’t have a good female character to latch on to) or the lack of a good, strong plot: I watch Shion play, I fall asleep.

We haven’t finished Silent Hill 4 yet, but I’m not really in the mood to.

I have a copy of Beyond Good and Evil, which I know I really need to play, but I don’t want to.

Maybe my problem is that I need an RPG—maybe subconciously longing for immersion, for total addiction. I just finished my summer class and have nothing really important to do before my trip—it’s perfect timing for hours and hours of play. So, Digital Devil Saga? I wanted to buy it used, but found that the first one is super-expensive. Tales of Legendia? Not cheap enough yet. I was tempted to buy the Game Boy release of Tales of Phantasia, but cringed at that price. Why are they charging $30 for a Game Boy game? Which brings me to the DS—nothing’s appealing to me there either. I’ve started up Animal Crossing, but with half-interest.

It’s my first gaming slump in a long, long while. Sadness.


Jacob said...

Sorry to hear about your video game slump. Your more than welcome to borrow my X-Files game, if you want to. I'm not sure that you would, considering you have another survival horror game to finish. However, one of the alluring aspects of the games is that you get to play as either Agents Scully or Mulder, each with different game experiences (and similarities, of course). Perhaps the best aspect: performing bloody autopsies.

I still want to catch up on seasons of the X-File before I commit to it, so let me know if you want to check it out.

100LittleDolls said...

Hmm... I might take you up on that offer. I have a feeling it won't be as creepy as Silent Hill 4--or at least the X-Files game shouldn't give me gross dreams.

Leah said...

Beyond Good and Evil! That game is so fantastic I don't even know where to begin. I suppose just play it, you can decide for yourself - I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on it. I played the gamecube and playstation 2 versions; I prefered the gamecube because the WaveBird's my favorite controller.

As far as your slump goes - have you played Oblivion? It's actually very good, so long as you do the side quests because I found the main story woefully lacking.

100LittleDolls said...

I know I'm going to like Beyond Good and EvilI don't know what's holding me back from starting it. I have the PS2 version, maybe I'd be more inclined to play it if I had the gamecube. Maybe tonight I'll just have to start it, no matter if I'm in the mood or not. :)

Ah, Oblivion! I do want to play that, hands down. But I have no 360, and my laptop can't handle it. I have a feeling that in the future I'll probably get a 360, but for now I'm saving up for a Wii.

tekanji said...

I’ve started Xenogears. I figured since I’ve enjoyed the Xenosagas and Baten that I should try out their predecessor—but often I find that when I’m playing it, I’m bored. I don’t know if it’s the PS1 graphics, the more typical fighting engine, the lack of female characters...Whatever it is, my heart isn’t in it. Playing feels like a chore.

I went Xenogears --> Xenosaga (haven't played 2 yet, though, gotta wait until my Japanese is up to par, seeing as my only PS2 is Japanese). I got maybe 2/3 of the way through and then I realized that I didn't care about the game, the plot, the characters... nothing. At all. Not even a little bit.

I don't even know why I picked up Xenosaga after that. I'm glad I did, because it's one of my favourite games, but Xenogears was just so... well, honestly, awful.

I'm telling you to start playing Beyond Good and Evil right now. Make Shion start with you if that's what it takes (although, I warn you that he might not stop playing after that). It is a seriously good game. I never finished it because my PS2 (the American one) died before I was done and I haven't gathered up the will to start from ground zero with my GC, but it is a good game. Perhaps the best I've ever played.

Anyway, enough ranting. Hope your gaming slump clears up :)

jfpbookworm said...

Yet another recommendation for BG&E. I just picked it up this weekend (used, for $8!) and although some of the combats are frustrating for an adventure/RPG gamer like me, it's still really good so far. I just hope I don't hit a wall the way I do with most action-adventure games, where they ramp up the difficulty about halfway to two-thirds of the way trhough.

Xenogears is in my RPG backlog, but I played part of Xenosaga I. I actually liked the plot - I hadn't seen many space opera settings in RPGs before. The system, however, sucked - it seemed that there were a lot of options for everything, and no way to tell what difference any of my choices made. When the levels started getting repetitive as well, I stopped playing.

Brinstar said...

BG&E was all right... I got it because of all the critical acclaim and such. It had good characters, memorable characters. It was a bit easy in parts. The sneaking bits were tricky, though (at least for me). End boss battle was not too difficult, and the end reveal was a bit too predictable... However, it is a solid game, and well worth playing.

I loved driving Jade's little hovercraft over the water randomly and aimlessly. It's kind of like riding Epona across Hyrule field in Ocarina of Time. In fact, I would say that BG&E has many similarities in terms of the overall gameply feel to LOZ: Ocarina of Time.

Leah said...

I agree with brinstar on BG&E - it does feel like LoZ: OoT in some parts. I don't think it's too difficult, but the sneaking parts do get tricky. It also feels good to know I wasn't the only one who rode Epona around endlessly for many, many minutes of my life. :)

As far as the Wii goes, I have never been more excited for a game console. Ever in my whole entire life.

100LittleDolls said...

Thanks everyone with your comments! With all these votes for Beyond Good & Evil, I'm definately going to start that next. (Tonight I'm finishing up the Dragovian Trials in DQ8.)

I'm glad to hear someone else liked Xenosaga, I haven't come across too many people. I'm actually releaved also to hear you couldn't get into Xenogears. It's a game that so many people praise, I'd began to wonder if it was me.

I like Xenosaga II's battle system better, and it's completely beautiful. A little on the short side, but I rather want more from a game than be bored. I think RPG-wise I was spoiled by Baten. I loved that it was in a lot a ways a typical RPG, but had the exciting battle system that just made time fly by.

When I get the Wii, the first game I'm downloading will be Ocarina of Time--I never had access to an N64, so I've completely missed out on it. (Though horse riding was one of my favorite things to do in Shadow of the Colossus.)