There have been obstacles. As of four weeks ago, I started writing a weekly feature for Games are Evil (GrE) dubbed, The Vault where I explore under appreciated, underrated and otherwise forgotten games from previous generations of hardware. I'm making do with the classics in my collection for the moment, but the compulsion to spend up big on eBay is still there.
I'll take EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM!!!
They (and by they, I mean the internet) say it takes between three to four weeks to break a habit, and I'd say that's about right. I still visit my old haunts -- the likes of Play Asia, ozgameshop, JB Hi-Fi, even EBGames if I'm desperate -- and I'm managing to walk away without too much trouble. That doesn't necessarily mean that I don't want to pick up any new releases, rather now they're not the only thing I think about.
I'd love to say that I'm proud of myself, but the last seven weeks have revealed that buying (lots of) games is a coping mechanism for me. Not being able to rely on that crutch and being unable to source another one has left me pretty stressed out. On the bright side, I've found myself reading more and -- perhaps more pertinently -- actually playing the games that I've accumulated over the last few years.
I've also been helped along by my wife's generosity. She thankfully and mercifully surprised me with a $50 PlayStation Network card a few weeks ago so that I could pick up the PlayStation classic, Alundra along with a throng of other games that haven't aged as gracefully. Tomb Raider for one would have to rank as one of the ugliest and most awkward games after being fondled by Father Time for more than fifteen years.
KILL EVERYTHING WITH FIRE!!!
I only need to survive for another three months and then it's mission accomplished. The first real test lands next week in the form of Tekken Tag Tournament 2, and it doesn't get much easier in the following weeks with Assassin's Creed III and Halo 4 also surfacing this year.
Wish me luck.
Dutch note: Call it shameless advertising, but I urge you all to head over to GrE to read The Vault at the very least. For a quick taste, here's what I've covered so far:
- Vagrant Story: "While playing it again has been a pleasure, it’s almost jarring just how well Vagrant Story holds up in terms of art direction, technical prowess and combat mechanics. This is a game that not only deserves its place in The Vault, but pretty much demands you take action to acquire a copy, digital or otherwise. It may have been a critical success, but unfortunately, its innovative approach to combat and enemy encounters have failed to endure. If you’re getting tired of the grind and would rather see how the JRPG could’ve evolved into something more bearable, it’s time for you to discover (or revisit) Leá Monde."
- Crusader: No Remorse: "Crusader: No Remorse would seem to have all the ingredients for an enduringly popular videogame, though sadly it seems to have successfully evaded the spotlight since release. This has just as much violence and scores more weapons than your average brown and grey shooter, but the unusual perspective and divisive scripted sequences may have proved too much for the peanut gallery. If you like bombs, lasers, dance music and utter carnage, do yourself a favour and download this classic today."
- Maximo Vs Army of Zin: "It may not be for everyone, but the charming visuals, frantic, combo-heavy combat and heart-in-mouth platforming sequences have helped Maximo Vs Army of Zin stand the test of time. It was never held in as high regard as some of Capcom’s other third person action games, but I’d argue that it’s just as enjoyable as the Devil May Crys and Viewtiful Joes that graced the previous generation of consoles. For those up to the challenge, I’d thoroughly recommend teaming up with Death to take on the mechanical hordes of Hawkmoor."
- Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap: "Even after more than twenty years, the storybook charm of Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap can’t be underestimated. With a constantly-evolving protagonist and a cast of colorful enemies, it’s entirely possible that you’ll forget you’re grinding for gold when an enchanted forest or deep sea adventure serves as the backdrop for such a draining genre trope. It’s difficult, and repetition is key to experiencing all that’s on offer, but you simply must take up the quest to claim the Salamander Cross and restore Hu-Man’s luminous, green hair."