Top 5 Friday: My Gaming Resolutions

For whatever reason I have always loved end of the year / beginning of the year type of stuff.  I love seeing end-of-year recaps, awards, etc… and I’ve always loved doing resolutions.  Sometimes I stick to them pretty well, sometimes not.  Either way, I always like doing them.  For 2015 I have gaming resolutions that I’d like to make.  There are some pretty significant areas I need to work on as a gamer and I’d like to address those.  So, in no particular order, here are my five gaming resolutions for 2015.

  1. Get a console.

When the PS4 and Xbox One came out I was super excited.  I had been out of console gaming for quite a while and I was ready to get back into it.  I did a bunch of research about system specs and launch line-ups.  Then the consoles launched and I felt really underwhelmed (as did a lot of people).  While the PS4 had a better price point and some really great marketing, neither system felt like a must-have.  It’s been over a year and, to be honest, I still feel that way.  So my resolution for 2015 is to have one of two things happen.  Either a) the PS4 or the Xbox One will give me a really great reason that I must buy one or b) the Wii U’s line-up will get even stronger than it already is with the addition of Star Fox and The Legend of Zelda and I’ll buy one of those.  Either way, come this time next year I’d like to call myself a proud console owner of some kind.

Update:  NAILED IT!  January 2nd and I can already take one off the list.  My wife and I had a bunch of extra Amazon credit thanks to a lot of nice wedding and Christmas gifts so as of today we’ll be the proud new owners of a Wii U!

  1. Finish a Zelda game.

I tried, with Chris’s help, to get through the original The Legend of Zelda but we ended up getting sidetracked with other games and I never came back to it.  For such a storied franchise it pains me to say that I’ve never finished a single one of those games.  Maybe I’m making too big of a deal out of this; maybe I just don’t care for Zelda.  That’s ok I suppose, but I feel like the franchise has all the makings of what I like in games, so I really don’t want to give up on without beating at least one game.  Ultimately I’d love to go back and beat all of them so that I could say I have, but it really depends on how much I like each one.  If I beat the first one and just hate it the whole time then I’ll be less inclined to play the next one.  That said, I know that each one is very different so just because I dislike one doesn’t mean I’ll hate the next.  At any rate, I’d like to at least say that I’ve beaten one single Zelda game.

  1. Engage more in the community.

A lot happened this year concerning the overall gaming community.  Gamergate was, and continues to be, a very nasty bit of business for any gamer who also considers themselves to be a thoughtful, compassionate human being.  For adults who are capable of having interesting debate on the state of gaming culture, journalistic ethics, etc… (without getting caught up in the rhetoric and hyperbole of the situation) to stand in the back and say nothing is counterproductive.  It seems to be only the loudest, most radicalized parties on either side that seem to say much of anything.  Meanwhile, gamers who might have something meaningful to add to the discussion simply refuse to acknowledge it.  And to be clear, I’m not only talking about gamergate.  Whether it’s a community issue, a particularly divisive game or game review, I’d like to take a more active role in being a part of the community that best represents my favorite pass time.

  1. Whittle down my game backlog.

As of now I have 321 games in my Steam library.  Of those, I’d say that I’ve played less than half of them.  If I had to throw a percentage on it, I’d say that I’ve played somewhere between 25% and 40% of them (I checked, it’s 27%), and that’s not even counting the console games I’d like to get in to.  I’d really like to raise that number, after all these are games I’ve bought and paid for.  It’s money I’ve already spent, so I might as well enjoy it, right?  The tricky part here is what I consider playing a game.  Because games are so different from one-another, one game might be beatable in 4 hours while for another, four hours seems like nothing.  So my problem is that I don’t know what to consider a large enough slice of a game to call it “played”.  I’m not going to force myself to beat every game that I’ve purchased, especially when some of them I just might not like.  On the other hand though, playing something like Divinity: Original Sin for 30 minutes is not enough time to determine whether or not I like this game.

  1. Branch out.

Like most of us, I’ve come to enjoy certain genres and shun others.  I don’t care much for platormers, racing games, sports games, or adventure games (The Wolf Among Us being an exception).  The thing is, I didn’t always feel this way.  I used to really like all of those genres.  I grew up with Mario, Madden, and Gran Turismo.  I loved Burnout and NBA Live ’95.  As I’ve gotten older my tastes have narrowed.  On some level that’s ok, and it’s probably to be expected.  As we develop we become more in tune with what it is that we like.  I’m not sure that I don’t like those things anymore though.  Instead it feels like it’s become more of a case of liking things like RPGs more than platformers; not of a case of actively disliking platformers.  I’m not saying that I need to love any of these genres but I’d at least like to revisit them.  They say that our taste buds change every seven years, maybe the same is true of our taste in other things too.  At the very least I want to play a racing game or a sports game and be able to definitively say, “I still don’t like this, I’ll try it again in another seven years”.