Over the the last few months I have been going back to much older video games to pick up where I left off and finally complete them. Among those games I’ve returned to is Remember Me, a 2013 video game developed by Dontnod Entertainment and published under Capcom. I had forgotten that the studio behind the widely successful Life Is Strange series were the same people who did Remember Me seven years ago. After playing the game and beating it a few weekends ago, one of the things that stood out in my mind was the recurring theme of memories that has popped up in the French studio’s later titles.
Retreading video games you started years ago, but never finished, brings forth a number of feelings. It’s like someone you met briefly but never really got to know better, or recalling memories that now seem vague and hazy with the passage of time. Since the pandemic has forced many of us to stay at home longer than we would have under normal circumstances, it has opened up opportunities to shift your attention on other activities that used to be deemed as “I’ll get to it eventually.” The much older video games in my backlog have been getting a lot more love and attention in recent months.
Making the most out of a crap year means retreating into the things that give you a measure of joy and escape. Being stuck at home a lot of the time has encouraged me to revisit video game backlogs and select games I’ll want to pick up again after not touching some of them in months or years. When I’m able to fully focus my attention on one game I accomplish a lot. Recently I finished playing The Witcher 2: The Assassins of Kings, and I’m thoroughly impressed with the work CD Projekt Red had put into this 2011 game.
When you’re playing any video game and you’re looking to tick off a number of quests from your to-do list, you highlight the quest you’re in the process of finishing and then consult the in-game map to know exactly where you need to go to get to your destination. Most maps are straight-forward and allows you to place a marker at or near the area you want to be. But when a map is poorly designed or just too damn difficult to understand, then it makes your task much harder to complete.
How we remember things begin to get a little hazy with the passage of time and age. Details are harder to recall, or you remember moments with such clarity while the rest kind of fade into the background. Dontnod Entertainment’s recent video game Tell Me Why explores the memories we remember or the ones we like to forget. How do you move on from the past when your own mind won’t let you until you confront the truth of what really happened?
Some stories are just too good you don’t want them to ever end. You’ll want to spend as much time with the characters you have come to care about, or the world is just too amazing not to stay in it a little bit longer.
This is how I felt about the video game Final Fantasy XV. It’s one of the few games that stuck with me after I finished it and I welcomed the new content they kept adding onto it. When Square Enix announced the cancellation of their planned DLCs for episodes Aranea, Lunafreya, and Noctis, I was disappointed. I was really looking forward to playing them. When a book was later announced to finish up the story of the main game, I was quick to buy it as soon as it came out.
It’s hard to imagine we’re only a few months away from the end of 2020, which will go down in history as one of the strangest, tumultuous, and bleakest times we have endured. Just because the year hasn’t lived up to what we had hoped it would be doesn’t mean the world stops turning. I’m eager to put the summer heat behind me and welcome back the cool crisp autumn air.
While I may have been staring at the same walls for months now, I’ve managed to keep myself busy with plenty of books, games, and some movies. Here’s what I’ve been filling my days with.
The constant plight of gamers has always been having too many games and so little time to play them in. Games will be partially started or not started at all. Many of them are in various stages of progress, and you’re lucky if you ever actually finish a single one. Completing a video game has always been a cause for celebration for me because I take a really long time to play one. A video game I had the honor of finishing was Gone Home on the Xbox One from The Fullbright Company, and it was one of those games you don’t know what to expect.
One of the great burdens of being an adult is weighing your options to make the best possible decision. Is this really a need or a want? With the world being what it is these days, those choices are crucial to ensure you have enough in your savings to pay bills, meet basic necessities, and still have enough for those just in case emergencies. Buying the latest video game release would be far below anyone’s list of priorities right now, if you have the extra money to spare. If you’re a gamer cutting back on purchasing games on a whim for any number of reasons, the ever daunting backlog becomes increasingly useful to have when saving money is what’s more important at the moment.
There have been times I wish I didn’t have a lot I was interested in like anime, manga, video games, classic literature, comic books, and writing. I often thought it would be easier if I just had less to focus my attention on during my downtime. I still think that way, but having your hand in so many pots does come in handy when you’re suddenly thrust into a global health crisis no one could have ever saw coming.
I’ve written about how some escapism is necessary right now to cope with the uncertainty we’re living in. It keeps you sane and prevents you from unraveling. The past four months in lockdown has me turning to fantasy as a way of dealing with a world that no longer looks familiar.