Gaming in 2012

In a week from now, we will enter into a new year. With the new year, people write down resolutions on what they hope to accomplish to enhance their lives. For me, one of my minor yearly resolutions is to complete more games from my increasing gaming backlog. Unfortunately, ever since my workload at work has increased significantly year after year, I’m having a tougher time not only to carve personal time to play these games, but also enjoying my time with them as well. The constant stress of my job, compiled with supporting my family (my parents in particular with their struggling grocery business), and other things. It hasn’t been easy ever since I started working at my current job (still my first) five years ago, coming home each weeknight feeling tired and not always in the mood to play games. I even have trouble playing games on the weekends, where I'm usually off from work.

I was off to a pretty good start in the first couple of months, as I was able to wrap up Radiant Historia [DS], Rayman Origins [PS3], Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet [XBL], Kirby’s Epic Yarn [Wii], Rhythm Heaven Fever [Wii], Sonic CD [PSN], Shadow Complex [XBL], and Journey [PSN]. I thought I could keep the momentum going, but a run of family drama, work, and tackling Devil Survivor [DS] put a halt into my completion goal for some time. I toughed out and completed Devil Survivor in May. The work at my job slowed up in the early summer months and I found the time to finish Sly 3 [PS3], Atelier Rorona [PS3], Bastion [XBL], Devil Survivor 2 [DS], and PixelJunk Shooter [PSN] in June and July. I was progressing through Atelier Totori [PS3] while working on the Giant Bomb Wikipedia pages for both Rorona and Totori until a certain game released in August that not only killed all momentum I had in working down my backlog, but ate up most of my gaming time entirely and ended up being my game of this year.

That game was Persona 4 Arena [PS3]. I wasn’t going to get the game because I haven’t completed the original Persona 4 [PS2] (*gasp*), but my fighting game friends (all but one haven’t played P4 either) convinced me to get it, as they’re fans of Arc System Works games (Guilty Gear, BlazBlue). I placed my pre-order to get the bonus arranged soundtrack and got my copy on the day of the retail release. I remember on that night I played up until one in the morning with a couple of Giant Bombers. Obviously, it didn’t help that it made me feel like shit at work during the week, but I had fun. I was disappointed that I was unable to compete in the first Giant Bomb P4A tournament as I had to work on that Friday it was held.

I kept playing despite my poor play with a few Giant Bombers and did carve out a weekend dedicated to completing the game’s story mode. I tried my best to play other games in the meantime, but I kept going back to P4A sparring with the GB P4A community. The only other game I completed in this long P4A stretch Jet Set Radio [PSN], which I already completed when I played it back on the Sega Dreamcast. I did compete in GB P4A Tournaments 2-4 and enjoyed myself despite only winning one tournament match. The Giant Bomb vs. GameFAQs was announced soon after the fourth tournament and I put my entry as a participant, thinking that there will be enough entrants that I wouldn’t get picked. Well, that didn’t pan out as I thought and was selected as one of the twelve members representing Giant Bomb in this cross-website battle. Those who were selected in the team spent many nights sparring each other in preparation for the battle. I didn’t fare well when I was up to fight, but managed to win two rounds against my opponent through Chie’s God Hands. Right now, the GB P4A community is down to the final session in the month long GB P4A Season this weekend. It doesn’t seem like there’ll be any future events held, but I sort of enjoyed myself playing all those sessions with all the GB folks I played against in this great game.

However, all the commitment toward P4A in the second half of the year not only hampered my effort in working down my backlog, it was also affecting my energy outside of gaming. I wasn’t taking care of myself properly, staying up later than I would normally would (screwing up my sleeping pattern in the process as well), then coming into work always feeling tired, then going back to play more P4A on some nights. During the time leading up to the GB/GFAQs battle, I had this nagging thought of not wanting to let my teammates down and wanted to improve my play to not look to bad when the time came. Luckily with the season, I’ve been able to take care of myself a little better although I’m still struggling to get good sleep.

Also in the second half of the year, I got a 3DS and purchased a bunch more games to further dump more games to my already large list games to my backlog pile. My workload at my job skyrocketed as my company won a bunch of projects that I have trouble overseeing every one of them in detail, making me feel very miserable and have been affecting my mood to play video games at times. Not to mention in reading the chat from the few fellow GB-ers in the P4A chat room of the many other games that I have not played (you would not believe the number of big or classic games that I haven’t played) that I hope to get to, but unlikely. I tend to avoid the big games at all costs as I want to focus on games that I’m more interested in.

I completed two games in the past week (Mighty Switch Force [3DS], Rhythm Thief and the Emperor’s Treasure [3DS]), as well as playing a variety of different games. I wish I had more time to tackle my backlog, but I’m resigned to the reality that I’ll never get around to most of these games. I’ve been putting unnecessary pressure on myself to get to all of these unfinished games that I should just let go. If I get to it, great! If not, then so be it. I just hope I don’t further burden myself next year with the amount of new gaming purchases. Life’s not getting any easier for me as I try my best to not let myself get so stressed out too much over things.

Next year, my video game goal is to not play more games or tackle my gaming backlog. My goal is to enjoy playing games again.

For those that actually read this entry, many thanks. (This probably wasn't the best of blog entries to read, but thanks anyway.)