Howdy ladies and gents and welcome to another blog post. Today’s subject matter is one I wanted to write back December during the Christmas season, but I never got around to discussing it until now. Video games are one of my favourite forms of entertainment and at several points in my life I how found them consuming my life to the point of addiction and it took me til 2014 to realise that I’m totally obsessed with it all over again.
Now gaming addiction, anyone within the gaming community knows of it and has seen what it has done to certain gamers when there is no moderation or control. And while the media have tried to understand/show what it is through the news and documentaries, it is mainly just the dark/sad side of things shown and while some of it is true, it isn’t the only form of gaming addiction. To me I think that there are different levels and types of addiction and it also doesn’t have to be so much an addiction as an obsession that just needs to be fed.
So what’s my gaming addiction? Well I think it is just the need to play games and obtain more to extend my super fun time experiences.
But in all honesty my obsession comes from childhood. I’ve been gaming since around the mid to late 90’s with my Sega Mega Drive and Nintendo Game Boy Pocket, and then with my additional sessions with Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64 and Sony Playstation. From Sonic the Hedgehog to GoldenEye to Mortal Kombat, my life has been full of video games of all genres and sometimes it can just be like the best feeling ever. Just you and your games, it can be one of the most engaging experiences and people who haven’t played games can’t begin to comprehend how satisfying a good gaming session can be. But it doesn’t have to be alone, it can be done with friends and family. Besides having some of my favourite gaming memories with my friends, at the same I have shared a lot of my gaming experiences with my sister. We both played game franchises like Pokemon, Mario, Sonic, Kingdom Hearts and Zelda to name a few either together or individually. It is one of our major bonding points.
This was pretty much me and my sister in the late 90’s to early 00’s along with the sleeping father in the background too haha. 🙂
But growing up into my teenage years, I was able to full dive into the world of gaming and find myself getting lost in gaming for days/weeks/months/years on end. I think it was towards the end of my college years in 2010 when I started to move away from gaming and started getting more interested in films, this was mainly due to my only consoles being my Wii, PS2 and DS, so I was limited for choice when it came to new and varied games. But it wasn’t until late 2011 when there was a resurgence and again in 2013 when my gaming fire was relit. By 2014 I was back to being the gaming madman that I remembered from my youth and it was a gorgeous feeling. Going to uni definitely helped as it reminded me why I loved video games and how it really is the best thing for get together or solo activities. But what’s become clearer to me in recent years is that gaming experiences doesn’t end with one game, you need to have more. I mean sure you could play a really good game and you play it anywhere from a few days to a few years, but, once it is over you know you need to find the next best thing, whether it is the same genre or a different one. I’ve always had more than one game on the go, sometimes even leaving a game to play a new one, but the point is that I’m never locked into one game, I’m constantly looking for new experiences and that’s half the fun of gaming; find something new and becoming obsessed all over again. I even buy games when they’re on sale just because they’re games that I like or could want in the future.
Now I just want to talk about some of the games and franchises that have made me feel that insatiable need to play and find similar experiences:
Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II
In the summer of 2004 my friend lent me this game for the Gamecube and it left the biggest impression on me. PSO Ep 1 & 2 is one of those kind of games that hooks you and never let’s go. Once you get into the game mechanics you want to level grind, find better items, beat more enemies and just see how far you can get. Make no mistake the game is not easy and you’ll get beat a lot if you’re unprepared, however, even in defeat you jump back in because you want to do better and get stronger. This is one of the best RPG’s I’ve played as the combat is real-time, challenging and best experienced with others. I lost weeks of my life to this game and I am not ashamed, that was addiction.
I’ve always loved playing Sonic games especially the games on the Mega Drive and the Adventure re-releases on the Gamecube, but it wasn’t until Generations came out in 2011 that I found that I’m still just as obsessed with Sonic games as I was as a child. Generations was the best of both worlds; the classic gameplay from the 90’s mixed with the modern speed-based gameplay from more recent games like Rush, Unleashed and Colours. I bled through the demo, bled through main game in a few hours and played so many of the stages on repeat because I loved the music, gameplay and nostalgia.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
If you’re a regular on this blog then you would have seen my recent post on Skyward Sword, but for those who didn’t read it to put it bluntly, I really like this game. Sure it is not the best Zelda game when it comes to the difficulty, side quests and introduction to the game mechanics at the start of the game, at the same time the game was a very refreshing take on the series with motion-based combat, a different approach on dungeons and a more lively and character-based story. I think the game is charming, fun and interesting. The main things that keeps my coming back to the game is the combat, inventive boss battles, character interactions, item crafting and the presentation. I have spent an absurd amount of time just listening to the music, riding on the Loftwing and exploring the different locations below and above the clouds for treasure chests, that stuff is super addictive.
Before Terraria, I’d played a few games on Steam like Microsoft Flight, Super Crate Boy and Fieldrunners, but this game was the first to change my opinion on games that could be fun on PC for me personally. This game is like the 2D equivalent of Minecraft, but for me it was way more interesting for me. What I like about the game is the crafting, exploring and fighting, it is simple and yet so gratifying, plus even you really get into the game then you can get lost in it for hours and that’s happened to me on many occasions.
Pokemon series (Pokemon X & Y)
It wasn’t until I started playing Pokemon X upon its release that I realised how closely I’ve been associated with this series since childhood. I spent the majority of my childhood and teenage years with the Pokemon series on my Game Boy Pocket, Colour and Advance. I mainly have love for the first two generations mainly because that was when the series was still new, special and crazy popular, and when you’re young, Pokemon just seemed so much more fun. Pokemon X brought me back to my childhood and gave me that same sense of discovery, mystery and fun that I felt was missing from previous entires. The graphics and music was incredible, the online features were awesome, the new region was fun and the game mechanics had changed just enough so that there was new things to experience for veteran characters. I wasted so much time listening to music and trading random Pokemon with people online, it was great while the fun lasted.
Super Smash Bros. series (3DS & Wii U games)
Then we have the Smash Bros. series, oh how I love it. Since the first game on N64, the SSB series has become more and more dense, inventive, fun and addictive. I have to say that the peak of my SSB obsession was with Melee due to the fact that I played it for so many years before the release of Brawl and still went back to it because of the faster and more chaotic gameplay. But with the release of SSB for the 3DS it felt like I was getting back to basics with the game, having fun and beating up characters with stylish attacks. Playing Smash on the go was something I wasn’t sure that I would love but I honestly couldn’t get enough and the Wii U version is no exception. With the HD graphics and 8-player fights, stage builder and additional music, I find myself getting lost in this madness.
Fire Emblem: Awakening
Now we move onto my most recent obsession. I first played this game in the early part of 2014 and I was addicted. Not since Pokemon X had I felt such a rush and a need to play a game nearly all of the time. I never played any FE games prior to this but since there was so much hype behind it I decided to give it a try and I can say that the hype was to be believed. This is one of the best games I have ever gotten into thanks to the game mechanics, leveling up, various weapons, character relationships and job classes. I spent 47 hours on my first playthrough, but then I had to get rid of it. However a few months ago I bought the game and fell in love with it all over again, my current playtime is around 54 hours. This game is the main reason I turn on my 3DS these days as I love to come back to the game mess around fighting the Risen or Streetpass players.
To conclude video games, they have become my jam again and while I still love my films and going to the cinema, I have really gotten back to gaming and am not satisfied with having one good experience. I need more. I’m constantly on the hunt for more games that will feed my obsession/addiction and I love it. Well that’s another blog post done, thanks for reading and I’ll catch ya later!