My wonderful partner is a gamer (both of ours are, actually). He plays video games, D&D, etc. Since I like to snuggle with him on the couch, I have watched quite a bit of video gaming. I never play myself, though. It seems kind of tedious and I don’t have the eye-hand coordination for it (since I didn’t grow up doing it). Studies show that video gamers are actually better at attention tasks than most other people!
Even though I only watch, usually, I still have opinions about games that I like and don’t like. And a few times I have actually played some things on the Wii, due to ease of control. I thought WiiSports was totally fun — well — fun until I hyperextended my elbow playing frisbee. Oops. We also tried Super Mario Galaxy, which was again fun, especially the team-play aspect that let me be a backup player to his more experienced play. The parts I had trouble with were the parts where I had to jump. It turns out that, in video games as in life, I have only rudimentary jumping abilities.
Most recently, we tried Kirby’s Yarn Adventure. The thing that made me stop playing was the discovery that leveling isn’t linear. At first, each level is ok and I am finally starting to get the hang of it when WHAM! the next level is way, WAY harder and I can never manage it (for values of “never” meaning “I am too lazy”). (#2 says: They do that on purpose, it says so in my partner’s book on game design. That’s how they get less-lazy people trapped.)
My favorite game, which I watched my partner play hours and hours of several years ago, remains Rogue Galaxy on the PS2. Here are the things I like about it:
- When you kill enemies and get coins, they are given to you all in a lump at the end. Therefore you don’t have to run around picking them up, which is distracting, as in Kingdom Hearts.
- The game has great music. It’s a real trick to play, say, the same going-into-battle music or the same running-around-this-planet music over and over and over and have me not get sick of it!
- The mechanisms of combat are not annoying. There’s a mix of environments to keep it interesting.
- For the most part the characters were not too annoying (except the Jar-Jar guy) and the game is more female-focused than usual, though it is still a male-focused game.
- Importantly, it had an innovative collecting system where you find items and have to strategize how to put them together to open up new items
- Somehow I got into the story and made him wait for me to finish it. That NEVER happens! The game is pretty, too, though not as pretty as, say, Kingdom Hearts. Bioshock on the PC was very pretty too.
#2 says: Some of you have already heard my sad saga of why I can’t play video games anymore. To recap: DH leaves for a conference. Day 1: I work until 6pm, then play Neverwinter Nights until 10 or so. Day 2: I work until noon, then play Neverwinter Nights until midnight or so. Day 3: I play Neverwinter Nights until DH gets home and I’ve beaten it on Day 5 (or was it 6 or 7? It is all a blur…), wondering why I smell bad and don’t appear to have eaten or blinked in several days. Video game privileges revoked as apparently I have no self-control. It is a wonder I ever made it to the bathroom (assuming I did).