2.16.2007

Game Juggling

How many can you do at once? Er, let me clarify: how many games do you normally play during one given time period?I've experimented with a few different approaches, some conservative, some dangerous. It is a huge challenge that many gamers face, especially during the holiday season when many of the most anticipated games of the year are released all at once. Do you play them one at a time, remaining steadfast in your resolution to be loyal to one game up until the end (of the game or your patience)? What if you like variety? How much is too much? Sometimes I like to have a game-per-mood. For example, right now, I'm playing three games pretty steadily:

1) Final Fantasy XII (PS2): Yes, I am slow and like to take my damn time with Final Fantasy games. This is my game for relaxation and slow planning. Nothing says "lazy night" like moving the left stick around while my party automatically fights and heals themselves.

2) Gears of War (XBox 360): Big and beautiful. I play this when I feel like celebrating High Definition or just want to shoot stuff. I'll also play this if I feel like being social online, only to quickly quit when I realize that the "community" online at 2a.m. is, well, they probably don't have their driver's licenses yet.

3) Diner Dash (PC): Casual and free -- everything that does not scream "hardcore!". This is for mornings when I just can't wake up. Nothing prepares you better for the workday than a nice breakfast and multitasking like a madman to serve dozens of customers at once.

I highly recommend a balance like this, if you're going to tackle the intimidating world of a polygaming (like that?) lifestyle. Here's a snippet from one of my failed experiments, trying to play two ridiculously complicated RPGs at once. WARNING: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!
Ted's Log: Attempting to play two RPGs at once. Crazy, you say? Hey, I beat Final Fantasy VII. I can handle long games, buddy. Here we go, Xenogears and Final Fantasy Tactics. Why do no one in these games have normal names? What game am I playing....what that a plot twist, or did I change the disks and forget? Crap. Okay, Xenogears, I'm putting you away for a rainy day.
And, sadly, that rainy day never came. Don't let this happen to you. Plan correctly! Think you can put ample time into Gears of War, Lost Planet, and Rainbow Six: Vegas simultaneously? Fine then, big shot. Do your worst, but maybe think about trying a game that doesn't involve shooting someone in the head? Viva Pinata perhaps? LocoRoco? Pokemon Diamond? Variety is good for you, and it will save you from losing a game to the cruel abyss of not-enough-time.

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