With all this newfound time on my hands I have been able to do the one thing that I haven't been able to really do lately and that's play video games. I have truly experienced a gaming renaissance not unlike the one that I experienced when I first started buying games for my PS2 years ago. For the past few years all I've been able to do is play a game here and there, get a major ways through it and then drop it because of some other life priority but now I'm actually actively juggling about 5 or 6 games.
Let's see where to start. I guess we can start with the games that I have decided to analyze and post here like Guardian's Crusade which I finally beat and am actively analyzing to post soon (bear with me please), Dead Rising, Condemned 1 and 2 which I finally beat, Castlevania Aria of Sorrow, Shining Force, Dragon Warrior 3, and Shin Megami Tensai 3: Nocturne. Most of the games on this list I actually did start playing for fun but then realized that they were so cool and "different" that they warranted a closer look. Though I beat Condemned and Nocturne I'm still "collecting" in those games. I play SF and C:AoS on my laptop's GBA emulator and am having fun and learning many gameplay "tricks" from those. I beat DW3 years ago as a kid but picked it up again because (Nostalgia mainly) I remembered it had such original ideas in it. This is one of those games that needs to be remade. Dead Rising started as me telling myself that I was about to have fun and troll around in the game but it looks like I was trolled and that game frustrates me to no end. I added it to the Closer Look analysis queue because although I hate it so much I am still compelled to pick it up and challenge it again. My friend Ryan shares my same opinions of the game and yet he loves it while I hate it. I find that dynamic interesting.
Beyond playing to learn I am ecstatic that I can also play just to -- you know -- play. I was able to play and beat both Onimusha 1 and 2 in only a few days and then started the third one. I am delightfully enjoying this series but have decided not to put it in my Closer Look series. Some things should just stay fun. I had a nice run at Dungeon Fighter Online until the makers, Nexon, decided to shutdown the North American servers in June. I'll be sad to see that go but oh well. I'm always playing Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown and thanks to my friend Will have improved my technique at that. I started a game called Dust for the Xbox but watched my friend Will run through it and was exhausted by the end of it. I've even started playing the Indie Game Dreadmor and am having a blast (and high blood pressure) playing that.
So I can honestly say that I feel like a kid again, getting lost in so many worlds and exploring all these characters and situations and gameplay types. It's a good feeling and even better because I'm both learning and playing for fun. It's great because beyond all that I still manage to write, hang with friends, help out my mom, make a little cash, and live life the way I want. I won't be able to keep this up for too much longer but I will remember this time and I will remember it fondly as a golden period.