My name is Jared Whittaker, one of the hosts and Audio Chewbacca of the Super-Fly Podcast and PCW! Welcome to Game Changer, a weekly burning missive about all aspects of video gaming with a little bit of opinion thrown in for fun. Proceed with caution and tread lightly, gentle gamers. It’s going to be good time. Like the first time you saw Super Mario 3 good time.
It wasn’t that long ago that my launch Playstation 3 died a long and honorable death in August. I was ok with it, starting to game on my new laptop and having new gaming experiences with games I couldn’t play otherwise. But then I got another PS3 and started….watching Netflix as God intended, in HD on a 42″ TV. But recently, I started actually playing games again on my PS3. (Mosty due to buying NBA Jam: On Fire Edition) But I noticed that things weren’t the same and I had changed my gaming habits some. Here’s what I noticed about console gaming coming back after a layoff….
1. Re-Downloading Extra Content and Patches Sucks
One thing that I never minded was the constant firmware updates on the PS3. Even before I signed up for Playstation Plus, where a feature in it allows you to schedule firmware updates to when you are sleeping, I never blew a gasket over waiting for updates. That said, when I sat down to play Burnout: Paradise for the first time in almost 10 months and it took almost an hour to download all the game patches, DLC content I paid for and the updates, I was really over trying to play the game by the time it was finished. And I had to do it with every game I bought. It was a pain and it really just made me continue to play NBA Jam since it was the new games. As much as I like hitting jumps in the fake General Lee, waiting an hour to do it bummed me out.
2. Losing All Your Progress Sucks
I play my games. I mean, I PLAY all my games. I clocked an unbelieveible number of hours playing games. There’s a certain amount of pride in how long you’ve played a game. My 670+ hour Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion game save was my best gaming story ever. A combination of dedication and insanity, it was my badge of honor. Now….gone. All gone. There are other games that I’d played for a long time as well, like Fallout 3 and GTA 4, but that was my gaming crown. Now…all gone. And it’s not like I’m going to play those games over again. It was a special time where I had the time to play video games for 16 hours at a time. And as much as I like Fallout 3, I’m not likely going to play it to the same extent as I did before again. While I suppose that my hard drive on my laptop could crash out, between cloud saves and re-downloading the game, I’m covered if the unthinkable happens. It just hurts a little to think that all the time I spent blasting aliens and saving the world disappeared into the ether.
3. Replaying Means Remembering
While I have a lot of games I loved playing, there’s places, races and missions in them that I’d rather not ever have to playthrough again. The B Licence races in Burnout: Paradise were downright brutal at times, the first two levels in Metal Gear Solid 4 continue to be some of the hardest parts of the game since trying to restart the game again, the last 4th of God of War 3 got intense as you approached the showdown with Zeus, the pinkslip races in Midnight Club: LA were some of the hardest challenges I have ever played and more. Not that these games are bad, it’s just the white-knuckle, controller gripping moments that I described are better once you’ve managed to pass them. hey, I’m all for a challenge, but I play games to relax and have a good time, not for my hands to turn into claws when I’m 45 hours into Fallout: New Vegas’ Hardcore mode and I’m in the middle of the desert and doesn’t have any food or water.
It’s not all bad, it’s just different getting back into a routine of sitting down on the couch, grabbing a controller, throwing in a disc and starting the game. In comparison, it takes less than a minute to start Skyrim from the desktop of my computer. Losing your game saves and progress is a huge setback and makes you really feel like you’ve lost time playing. The advent of cloud saves seems to have solved this issue for now. Cloud saves saved me from starting Modern Warfare 2 over from scratch when I recently started playing it over again. But for me, it’s going to be a grind getting back all the ground that I lost with the passing of my last system. I know, first world problems….
But that could just be me. Have you had a game save disappear on you? have a console crash out on you at a crucial point in a game? Do you just get back on the horse and go or does it let all the air out of your tires? Let us know.
Jared Whittaker plays a lot of games. Not as much as he’d like, but as much as time and money will allow. If you want to play some games with Jared, you can find him on Playstation 3; PSN tag: JFX. He is also on Steam and Battle.net as JFX316 and while he doesn’t have an Xbox 360, he has the coolest Gamertag in the world: Obiwan Jaborni. Feel free to add him as a friend or email him at JWhittaker@PanelsonPages.com. and on Twitter as JFX316