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.
Video games offer another entertainment medium and outlet for escapism and stepping into the shoes of someone else’s life. I’ve played a fair amount of video games where I was a human Grey Warden, an N7 soldier, a crown prince trying to take back his throne, or a teenager attempting to get a handle on her time traveling abilities. In every role I assumed during my time with a game, it allowed me to really get inside the head of these characters and truly understand what their experiences were. But one experience I could probably do without are the sex scenes found in some mature video games.
Let’s face it—being an adult sometimes sucks. Not only do you have more obligations and serious concerns to think about, but your time becomes far more precious. You’re lucky if you can spare 20 minutes for yourself. One of the downsides of developing an interest in video games later in life is not being able to spend as much time as you want on it. You either have to take care of more pressing issues going on in your own life, or you want to be able to play another game you have been meaning to play from your backlog. I’m coming to terms with probably not being able to get to every game I currently own, but at the same time, I’m thinking maybe the workaround to getting close to playing everything is cutting out most side quests from my gaming time.
Spending a significant chunk of our days at home will most likely prompt many of us to be creative with the time we’ve got when we’re not dealing with real world problems. We all need time to relax and de-stress because, let’s face it, living through a global pandemic is depressing and rife with a lot of anxiety for many of us. A running joke I have seen on social media is how introverts are more capable of dealing with long and extended amounts of time inside than the extroverts and social butterflies of the world. As a self-professed introvert much of the time, I do think there’s a grain of truth to that joke. I’ve got plenty of home activities to keep me busy for however long I’m expected to stay home. Being unable to commute to the office or go out in general doesn’t bother me too much, but I do miss seeing friends and family in person. Despite the extraordinary circumstances, I’ve taken this as a good opportunity to draw my attention back to my video games backlog.
The summer season tends to encourage people to go outside or plan vacations. Other times it’s a good reason to catch up on other leisure pursuits, like gaming. My summer has been getting away from me with vacations, social engagements, and general errands that have been keeping my schedule jam packed. But I have managed to fit an hour or two of gaming on some weeknights and weekends.
One of the most rewarding things about blogging is its community. The simple act of reading, commenting, and following other bloggers, whose interests are similar to your own, leads you to life long friends and supporters you never would have connected with otherwise. And what’s especially great about the WordPress community is the overwhelming warmth and kindness that unfailingly greets you every time you come online, which can sometimes inspire your fellow peers to nominate you for a blogging award.
The month of October will conjure a lot of images—pumpkin spice everything, foliage watching, or several rounds of beers at Oktober Fest events in your local area. But nothing screams October quite like Halloween does. Black cats, jack-o-lanterns, costumes, candy, and spooky ghost stories bring out the fun and festive side of Halloween. But if you’re past a certain age where eating candy or dressing up is no longer cool and you’re a gamer, maybe you prefer to celebrate Halloween by staying in and playing a scary video game.
Horror is not my favorite genre, and I have touched upon it before in the now defunct Geek Force Network. But just because you won’t find me playing games like The Evil Within or Silent Hill that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways I could get my own dose of chills and thrills through other video games. Sometimes you may actually play games where you wouldn’t expect to encounter a part that just makes you jump out of your seat a little or leaves you with an uneasy feeling until you get through that one section of the game. In honor of all things that are a little bit frightening, I’ve compiled a short list of gaming moments that gave me the creeps. There also may be some spoilers in the video games I discuss, so proceed with caution.
There comes a time in everyone’s life when you sometimes have to admit to yourself you might have taken on more than you’re able to handle. Maybe you got too ambitious or you didn’t carefully plan everything out in your head. Whatever it may be, this is the situation I found myself in when I made the attempt to play and finish Saints Row IV.