Time & Money or: Good Titanfall & Bad Mario

I need to vent a little. Videogames and I have a rocky relationship. I've always loved everything about them: the creativity, the exploration, the challenge, the camaraderie, the sheer joy. But as I've aged, I've gone from an active player to more of an interested follower and an avid collector. It's not for lack of passion, but instead due to the simple fact that adult life (or at least the adult life I have pursued) has put me in a situation where success and money are inversely related to time.

Like all children, I had a lot of spare time when I was young, but very little cash. This meant getting 2-3 videogames a year as gifts and playing them to death. In the Atari and NES days, I would play anything I could get my hands on. As I got older, games changed and so did I. I wanted more; the longer the game, the better. I spent hundreds of hours playing classics like Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy, Xenogears, and just about anything else that was overly long and unnecessarily dramatic. JRPGs were my go-to genre since they often gave the best dollar:hour ratio and catered to my inquisitive nature.

Fast forward 11 years and now I'm at a time in life where I have plenty of income, but very little free time. I want my games to be high quality, short, extremely focused affairs. But there is just so much available right now and I have so many fantastic games for the 360 and PS3, I often feel joyously overwhelmed by my options. And sometimes I just want to relax with a less involved form of entertainment or try another hobby. Because of these restrictions, I rarely play anything any more. So, I've come to one realization.

IT'S TIME TO ACCEPT REALITY, FORGET THE BACKLOG, AND STOP BUYING SO MANY DAMN GAMES! I'm never going to play the hundreds of games I've accumulated. There I said it and it can't be taken back. I've realized that if I'm going to get through games, I need to focus. I have the new systems and it's time accept my fate. It's 3DS, XBONE, PS4, and Wii U from here on out. Any older games I buy are being bought so my future children will have a kick-ass library of "classic" games to play. With that off my chest, let's move on to next-generation games.

Titanfall

It is as good as they say. I was a skeptic, but have been converted by simply playing the beta

  • I love Halo and enjoy Battlefield, but never really liked COD. This game combines the best elements of all of those games and, amazingly, the sum is greater than the parts.
  • Mobility is king and this is only reinforced by fantastic map design.
  • Mechs are badass, but appropriately fragile. On foot and in-armor are both viable options at all times and having the ability to decide which you use is just plain fun.
  • Burn cards are a great way to do perks. Making them disposable was genius.

Paper Mario: Sticker Star

I feel like I'm playing it wrong because this game is, to put it simply, bad. Allow me to explain:

  • Battles are meaningless and punitive because of the lack of experience points and the disposable sticker system
  • The story is meaningless and, despite some clever dialogue, only gets in the way of progress
  • Wiggler and World 3 (this entire section of the game is actively, offensively bad)
  • Boss fights
  • Being forced to find hidden objects (not difficult, just annoying) and then return to town to convert them to stickers to progress
  • Ugh.

That's all folks.

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