There’s a blissful lull in gaming for me right now, a halcyon moment after the headlong rush of Heavy Rain and God Of War III – both big games for Sony, both occupying much of a weekend but only one hitting the mark. The truth is that despite my bubbling distrust of modern console gaming, I yearn for the thrill of the next big thing and am perfectly at ease gleefully leaping from one blockbuster game to the next.
To some, videogames are disposable. They are, by definition, a luxurious commodity that outside of our blinkered, funneled perception of the industry most of the human race either isn’t interested in or doesn’t care enough to warrant their time being spent pouring over websites like ours. I’ve met casual gamer friends that ask whether I’ve played ‘game X’ a month after release and are genuinely surprised when I say I have.
I have one particular chum that’s keen on games with big bosses. Not just your average common-or-garden beasties, but titanic Titans and colossal Colossi – the kind of enemies that dwarf the player and require hours of work to bring down. Regardless of the quality of the title (I’ll not mention some of the worse) my buddy will buy the game – the only criteria involved in putting down the cash is the size of the player’s opponents.
Only Zeus himself can have pre-empted the mild confusion that greeted him, then, when he saw that I was playing God Of War III over the past weekend. To me, the game is a landmark title for the PlayStation 3 because it encapsulates everything that’s great about gaming – it’s big, bold, fabulous to look at and can be beaten in-between episodes of Dancing on Ice. But unless I’m going for the Platinum, it’s time to move on.
A casualty, perhaps, of a combination of my limited time for getting the most out of games and the fortunate position we’re in here with the website, but as I’ve said before reviewing isn’t always a blessing. Yes, it’s nice to get the review out alongside the embargo, it’s exciting to see what all the other sites are thinking as we all ‘go live’ with one precisely timed manoeuvre, but it’s also nice to get caught up with the hype as the retail day rolls around.
Moments like the launch of a God Of War game only roll around once or twice a year. I remember frantically running around the electronic shops on the eve of the launch of Zelda: Ocarina of Time desperately trying to bag myself a copy (I got one for £70 and was immediately offered double that on the train) and the day the Wii came out required a panic-striken 10 mile drive to some guy’s house who fortunately had managed to get two.
What I’m getting at is that waiting for the day the game is actually on the shelves can be more exciting than the postman delivering a jiffy bag of early gaming goodness – waiting in line with fellow gamers, discussing the reviews you’ve read and the rumours you’ve heard are the things you simply don’t get with a pre-release promo disk. Don’t think me ungrateful, because I’m not, but it’s just not all it’s cracked up to be sometimes.
I don’t know what the next game I’m looking forward to is, actually, we’ve already covered Final Fantasy and Gran Turismo’s not out until 2015, so I’m probably just going to enjoy the silence for a week or two, and pick up on some XBLA titles I might have missed out on; games that don’t necessarily cost $44 million to make, have television adverts interspersing the beautifully coiffured hair of Ant and Dec and need finishing in two days.
After all, the next big thing is just around the corner, right?