Monday Gaming Diary: Life is Too Short to Play Games You Don’t Like

Oh Mickey and Oswald, how I want to have fun with you…

This is where I grin broadly at the realization that I’m no longer really in the games writing industry–it means I no longer have to review games. The emphasis is on the “have to”, because while I would get to review plenty of games I really enjoyed and learned of games I wouldn’t have otherwise, there was more than one occasion where I would “have to” review a very unpleasant game. Sometimes it was unpleasant because I was terrible at it, or the game was just flat terrible. It’s part of the business, right? You don’t always get to review nothing but teh Haloz; sometimes you have to take the Amys as well.

However, when you don’t get paid for doing so, it makes taking the bad even more cumbersome and difficult to do. My time is limited as it is, so being “forced” to play a game I really don’t like makes the experience roughly ten times worse. I had to review Arc Rise Fantasia for Kombo way back in the day, and I called the Reviews Director after playing for 20 hours, begging him to let me review the game before I finished. I think it went somewhere along the lines of, “PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME PLAY THIS ANYMORE, I’M BEGGING YOU!” Luckily for me, he agreed that playing 20 hours of a JRPG was more than sufficient to review the game, and I was able to free myself from that demon to play something I really enjoyed.

Since I am no longer writing for Gaming Angels, I took a look at the first quarter to see what games I would now be interested in, since I already knew I would be reviewing roughly 6-8 games in the first three months alone. I cannot accurately convey the delight I experienced when I saw I would only be purchasing three games early next year.

So, where am I going with this?

I have started three games this last month, and at this point, I’m not sure if I’ll finish them just because I’m not having any fun. Right now the biggest culprit is Epic Mickey 2, which I want to like very badly, but I can’t. The camera is somehow still not great, even with the dual analog sticks, the aiming is awful, and the story is lackluster at best. I played for over 15 hours, and I still can’t tell you really what the problem is. Maybe I would feel differently if I had finished the first game, but as it is now, I dread going back to my gaming room and turning on my PS3.

I feel almost the same way about Assassin’s Creed 3, but I know that’s mostly because I was so burned by all the bugs. I have downloaded the patch that supposedly fixes them, but I haven’t checked out how well the glitches have been fixed. It’s mostly because I’ve had to play other things to get other guide reviews out, but it’s also because I’m feeling extremely apprehensive about turning the game on. I honestly hope I get over this odd fear, as I really do want to finish this game before the end of the year. I’d like to start 2013 with somewhat of a clean slate from 2012.

But you know, if don’t finish all these games because I don’t have fun playing them, then I’m okay with that too. This is a hobby, after all, and why should I do something in my hobby that isn’t fun? The point of a hobby is that even though it is work of some sort, you enjoy doing it. That’s the only reason I can come up with for all of the scrapbookers in the world.

You know what else I think this means? I think it means I need to play Mass Effect again, the whole series.

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