The decade is coming to a close and I still don’t know what to call it. We had the eighties, and then the nineties, and then… what? The Ohs? I’ve heard people use “oughties” and “naughties.” I kinda like that last one. Sounds provocative!
On topic, it is tradition to welcome the new year with a list of resolutions that will never be met. I figure that if we are going to make promises to ourselves that we aren’t going to keep, we might as well make them as frivolous as can be. And what is more frivolous than video games? Nothing… except maybe the World Rock Paper Scissors Society.
So raise your glass and ring in the new year with these 2010 resolutions as suggested by the the Gamer Limit crew!
I resolve to reduce my backlog.
Like resolving to lose weight or quit smoking, tackling the stack of games piling up in the corner of your room is the ol’ standby. This is the resolution you are least likely to keep because of how overwhelming it can be. While you may not be able to eliminate your backlog entirely, you can take steps to whittle it down.
Select a few choice titles and set a date by which to finish them. Rotate games by playing up to a specific checkpoint and then swapping discs. Above all, don’t allow yourself to get discouraged and fall into a rut, letting the cases pile up even higher.
Or, you know, just sell a bunch of ‘em. You haven’t played them yet, and you probably never will.
The next couple of resolutions tie into the one above. Consider them alternate approaches to backlog reduction.
I resolve to finish one game before starting a new one.
Remember back when cereals had kickass prizes inside like color-changing spoons, and the only thing you wanted to do was tear the box apart and fish the sucker out? Mama would always scold you, “Don’t open a new box until you’ve finished the old one,” because then you’d have two boxes of uneaten cereal that will sit in the pantry to grow stale and infested with sugar ants.
It’s the same with games. Some flashy new whizamajig comes out and you just gotta buy it. You put aside whatever you were previously playing to start the new game, and eventually you are trapped in a cycle of playing games for a scant few hours before being distracted by the next shiny showpiece.
I know folks today have the attention span of a goldfish, but let’s try to focus. No matter how amazing they may be, don’t buy new games until you’ve conquered your old ones. If you have a few shrinkwrapped games in the backlog, leave ‘em be until you’ve gotten your money’s worth out of the opened ones.
I resolve to stop feeling obligated to finish really bad games.
Sometimes you just gotta put your foot down on stinkers. People have told me how great MadWorld is, and how it has all the trappings of old-school beat-em-ups, but I couldn’t get more than an hour in before shelving it. I keep saying I’ll get back to it some day, but now I’m thinking I should just let it go.
Don’t second guess yourself. Don’t get trapped into convincing yourself that a game will get better if you plug away at it for a few more hours. It could be the biggest release of the year, but if it doesn’t tickle your senses, then just tell it to screw itself.
Besides, one man’s trash is another man’s “Game of the Forever.” Hawk that mother for a decent price and brighten someone else’s day.
I resolve to spread my time across more than just the Xbox 360.
Multi-console owners have their work cut out for them. Playing all the defining titles on a single platform doesn’t leave much time for anything else. While this holds true for every platform, I don’t think many will disagree that the 360 commands the most gamer hours this generation.
Why should you share the love when you’ve got Mass Effect and Left 4 Dead waiting for your gentle caress? For one, you dropped hundreds of dollars on those dust-collecting paperweights in the corner, and you owe it to yourself to squeeze some value out of your investments.
More importantly, as gamers, we should strive to be well versed in the best the medium has to offer. The more you’ve experienced, the more you’ll become an ambassador of sorts, welcoming new gamers into the fold and helping others across those unfamiliar platform waters.
I resolve to catch up on all the PS3 exclusives I’ve missed out on.
Oh my God, you guys! Did you know that the PS3 has dropped to $299!? Duuuude! I wanna buy one! Holy craaaaaaap!
And that’s how a lot of buyers felt this past fall and holiday seasons. There’s a lot of fresh blood over in the Sony camp. You might be one of those new faces yourself! What are you going to do with your new toy after you’ve spun a few Blu-rays in the slot? Netflix? Home? I don’t think so.
You want GAMES. The PS3 has a ton of great exclusive titles that you’ve been missing out on. We have Metal Gear Solid 4 for the conspiracy nuts, and LittleBigPlanet for the crafty do-it-yourselfers. I’ve heard good things about those Uncharted games as well.
Spend the first few months looking back on all that has passed before turning towards the future and all the good things to come.
I resolve to encourage more people to play the Wii.
Psst! Hey guy! I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the Wii isn’t all that popular among enthusiasts. What are ya gonna do about it?
First of all, give some small-scale Wii titles a chance. Games like Little King’s Story and A Boy and His Blob were two highly regarded games from this past year that didn’t get enough attention. Do a little searching through the Wii library for all those gems that fell through the cracks.
Armed with new found love and appreciation, spread the word about all the solid merriment that can be had with the console. Sure, it may be a bit of a drag to sift through layers of garbage, but that’s never stopped gamers before. Why should it now? As long as you keep your mind open, you are bound to find great value in the Wii.
I resolve to upgrade my computer and play more PC games.
The most recent PC game I own is SimCity 4. Before that, I owned the original SimCity and The Even More Incredible Machine. I could do with a little more PC sugar in my life.
So… go for it! Got an old ‘n’ busted amalgamation of chips and cables that can barely run Word? Beef it up, or build a new one! I keep telling myself I’m gonna drop my six-year-old laptop and construct a beast of a rig, so maybe this will be my year. What else am I gonna do? Buy inferior console games?
PC games offer another dimension of play – elements that you just can’t find in the home console space. It’s the domain of user-generated content and resolutions that would make even the most hardcore videophiles break down in tears of reverence. And where else are you going to play an MMO? Final Fantasy XI? Get the hell outta here!
I resolve to reduce my time playing games.
If micromanaging your gaming habits is a serious concern, perhaps the real problem is that you are playing way too much.
Maybe you are swamped with work. Maybe the bills have been piling up. Perhaps you and your significant other have decided to start a new family and concessions have to be made. In the face of all that, should video games be commanding so much of your spare time?
That’s not to say you can’t still game. Just think twice about sinking your free periods into that 40-hour RPG. If that still doesn’t cut it, consider quitting for a period of several months while you sort your affairs. It might be tough to resist the crammed first quarter (thanks a bunch, Modern Warfare 2), but you gotta prioritize.
Aside from that dose of reality, I think 2010 is going to be great – don’t you? Whether you meet your resolutions or let ‘em fall to the wayside, keep the gaming spirit burning well into the tens! The tens… tens. Nineties, naughties, tens, twenties… doesn’t sound right. Tenties?
Oh boy. This is gonna be a big problem for me.