It’s happened to all of us at one point or another. We play a game for a couple of hours, get distracted by something new and shiny, and then attempt to pick back up the first game a few months later. Typically, at this point, we’re past most major tutorials. We may not remember what we’re supposed to be doing at all. We’ll resort to looking at controller configurations in the menus and do nothing for a few minutes but press every button in an attempt to trigger remembering how to play. We’ll die a lot at first, and either one of two things will happen: we’ll find our groove back and continue with the game or put the game in the pile of never to be played again, but we say we’ll start it over some day.
Last week, this game for me was Batman: Arkham Asylum.
While I have nothing pressing for the next few weeks or so, I’ve decided to take this opportunity to clear out some games from the stack of shame. Last week, I finally finished Halo 3: ODST, and then I decided I needed to finish Batman: Arkham Asylum. I’ve already started it, I’m not that far into it, so it’s time to play it and clear it off the stack. I’ve only played the game for 2-3 hours tops, but apparently a lot was taught in that time. I could not remember how to do anything, and unfortunately, none of the takedown button combos are in the controller configuration menu. They’re also not in the strategy guide, which greatly disappointed me the most. Those who have played know how important it is for Batman to execute ground takedowns (obviously the inverted and silent takedowns don’t require button combos, just certain situations to trigger them) while fighting and while taking out armed convicts. It shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that I died more in the first 30 minutes of playing last week than I did the first time I played the game. At the very least, it was easy to remember what I was supposed to be doing.
Normally, with my level of zero patience, I’d rage quit or start the game over completely. But for some reason that day, I was determined to get back into the swing of things. I relearned how to do a ground takedown by accident, which has greatly improved my enjoyment of playing. I’m still not very smooth or fluid with combat, but I think with another hour under my gaming belt, I’ll be okay.
With this experience, I can’t help but obsess over another game I have sitting in my stack of shame unfinished. If I’m this rusty after putting down Batman: Arkham Asylum after only playing the game for a few hours, how horrific is Dragon Age: Origins going to be for me when I pick that game back up? I have well over 20 hours logged there and I haven’t played it in well over a year. I have a feeling I’m going to have to start a new game to relearn how to play via tutorial before jumping back into my old game. I am not looking forward to that, as much as I want to finish that game.