We have probably all gone through a rough patch with gaming. A time when you just can’t click with games for a bit. Maybe you’re too busy with work, school, social situations, writing blogs all the time. Maybe there isn’t a game out currently that is doing it for you, and your older games just aren’t as fun any more. I’m sure it happens to us all, and I have recently gone through such a patch.
I still have games from last year left to finish. I have yet to finish Assassins Creed Revelations, Forza 4 and RAGE. I have finished the main quest in Skyrim, but although I enjoy the game immensely, I just haven’t been able to summon the enthusiasm to play it, even though Dawnguard was fast approaching, and looked suitably epic. I hadn’t played my XBOX for around a month, haven’t even turned it on, hell, I hadn’t even thought of turning it on. Sure I have been busy, both with writing, work and a few big personal issues that have been occupying my free time, but this has all happened before, and I always managed to get a few hours solid gaming a week.
I was a bit worried that perhaps I had somehow given gaming up, that it wasn’t for me any more, and I couldn’t legitamatly write stuff for a gaming website if I wasn’t a gamer. It was even more worrying as I have classed myself as a gamer since before I knew what classing myself as something was. I had always played games, always wanted to play games, but I just didn’t have that impulse any more.
There was a cure however, and bizarrely it started whilst watching a film. I’m interested in watching the new Amazing Spider-Man movie. As a film and comic geek, I’m hopeful that this new take on Spider-Man might not be as bad as some early reports are suggesting. However, as is my want before a big franchise film is released, I like to ‘catch up’ on earlier entries in the series. As such, last Saturday, after a very boring, but useful, morning learning how to save children’s lives with CPR etc. I sat down for a few hours, put the original Spider-Man in the blu-ray player, and pressed play.
The first time Peter Parker used his new found powers, I started to get an itch. At first I wasn’t sure what it was, but as the Spidey action unfolded on screen, a clear thought formed in my mind. I wanted to play the new Spider-Man game, I wanted to experience what it was like to be Spidey, even if it was sat on a couch with a gamepad in my hand. By the end of the film, I needed to play the game, it was essential. I immediately left, went straight to my local Gamestation, picked up The Amazing Spider-Man and went to the counter. But before I got there, I saw a huge poster for Dawnguard. I needed points to download it. Points card picked up, I took both to the counter. Suddenly my gaming sense was turned on. As I waited in the queue, I saw the pre-order boxes for upcoming games. Forza Horizon, Assassins Creed 3, Halo 4, Black Ops 2. I wanted all these games, I couldn’t wait to play Forza and Assassins Creed. It all instantly became clear in my mind. My gaming buzz was back, and with a vengeance.
I took the game straight home, and played it for 4 hours straight. It’s not the best super hero game in the world, that’s Arkham City, but it was close enough. This obviously isn’t a review of the game, if it is, it’s very off topic, but the joy of swinging around New York as your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man was thrilling. It spoke to the child in me that first picked up a Spider-Man comic, that first wondered what it would be like to be him. Now obviously, a video game is a long way from swinging around a city on home made web fluid, but the joy remained. I had rediscovered the joy of games, and it wasn’t a game that was fantastically reviewed, it wasn’t a stone cold classic that did it, it was a movie tie in game. Sometimes it’s the little things in life that bring the most pleasure, and virtual web slinging did it for me.
Since last Saturday, I have been busy, but have managed a few more hours on Spider-Man, a few hours in Skyrim, I even played the xbox live release of the X-Men Arcade game. I have plans to finish ACR soon, in preparation for Assassins Creed 3, I even downloaded Harley Quinns Revenge DLC for Arkham City. A few weeks ago, I didn’t want to even look at a video game box, but I just needed to plug myself back in to what made me want to play video games in the first place. Games are fun, and I guess I forgot that for a bit, but I’m back on board now, thanks Spider-Man.