Sure, I play games…

Just not that well. Perhaps that’s why I prefer RPGs, where the only thing I have to actively worry about is improving one “thing”: a character that I will most likely grow too attached to and pamper into the ultimate asskicking machine. That was pretty much what happened when I played Final Fantasy XIII; I spent all of my components on Lightning’s stuff and upgraded the crap out of the Blazefire Saber. Everybody else? Maybe a few levels each in their equipment, but nothing like what Lightning had. By the time we were ready to take on Barthandaelus, it was a massively overpowered Lightning plus Fang (’cause she’s a badass) and Hope (whose hitpoints had to be majorly buffed; a gust of wind could’ve taken his ass out, but at least he can heal himself).

FPSs (?) are okay…as long as I have either a) a gun (with an almost infinite supply of ammo) that I can just spray and pray, b) a shotgun with the ability to fire scattershots or whatever, or c) a sniper rifle. I love me some sniper rifles. Just yesterday, I was playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution and it was the Highland Park level. I was skulking about after cleaning up the first area, just picking through the remains of what had to be the most stressful firefight ever. It was an accident and I’m not sure how I made it through 2 EMP grenades and a couple shots to the face. I’m just going to chalk it up to painkillers and a few stupid AIs. Anyway, I made it to the tip top of the second area and there he was, a lone sniper with a lovely sniper rifle, just waiting to be picked from his cold, dead hands. Or, more accurately put, his cold, tranquilized hands.

See? I can be humane! But it was the kind of situation where my tranq rifle was the only thing that I had with any kind of range. I would’ve used my silenced combat rifle, but I left it at Adam’s apartment, damn it all. A shotgun, while incredibly powerful, would require me to be sneaky enough to get the jump on this sniper’s ass. I could’ve used a pistol, sure, but that was too noisy. It’s a shame, too, as I had combined it with a laser targeting system that I picked up not that long ago. As awesome as it would’ve been to try it out, it would’ve alerted my prey below to my presence. And “prey” they were, strolling about through the crate-strewn floor, looking confident in their prowess to kick anyone’s ass when, suddenly, a bullet gets them right in the back of the head! To be honest, I rather enjoyed picking them off one by one…

I should probably take a moment to reassure you that, while it seems as though I know what I’m talking about, I’ve never shot a real gun before. Ever. An airsoft gun, sure. A slingshot? Of course. An actual gun that needs to be hefted, carefully aimed, and handled? Oh hell no. Hopefully, that day never arrives. I’ll leave that in virtual reality; I’m not exactly fond of getting shot at in-game as it is, so the real deal is, to me, best avoided. If anything, I’ve yet to get my hands on a paintball gun, so the world is still safe.

RTSs like Starcraft 2 or Total War? Noooooooo. Why? There’s too much stuff to keep track of, to put it simply. I dunno, I like the idea of being a lone badass Angel of Death that showers bullets (or spells or whatever) more than being some kind of Tactical Commander/Godlike Controller of the World. Developing one character is more than enough, why am I going to multiply them by a million? Aside from having the most ridiculously overpowered army (or a harem, if it’s a million Lightnings), it just complicates shit for me. I just feel overwhelmed, I guess, by all of the things that I’m supposed to do in those games. Build this building, suppress a riot way over there, oh no! Your fields are now on fire and you didn’t build enough fire stations because you were trying to increase your revenue! Ugh, no! Leave me alone, tiny people!!

It’s not as though I haven’t attempted to play those kinds of games. I still remember trying out The Sims and Total War: Shogun last summer. Both experiences ended with me quitting the game out of sheer confusion. In The Sims, it was because I had to monitor every single day of their lives. So, this fool can’t get his own ass to and from work every day?! Pathetic! As for Shogun, I started a campaign on the easiest mode ever…and committed seppuku fifteen minutes later because I somehow pissed off the guy with a naval fleet. Terrific. At least my units didn’t run from battle; they were outrun, outgunned and, consequently, slaughtered.

Have I gone back to try them out again? I wish I could, but I’ve somehow acquired a backlog of games to make my way through. I blame OnLive and their penchant to practically give games away.

So, what am I playing right now? Or, to put it more appropriately, what am I playing and then leaving alone for a very long time because I get stuck somewhere? Still working through Deus Ex: HR, of course, sniping suckers on the way. Then there’s Borderlands, Assassin’s Creed 2 (stuck at the stupid capture the flag game in Venice) and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (because continuity can suck it!), all of which are on my OnLive account. I have a few MMORPGs because why the hell not; there’s Dungeons and Dragons Online, Torn (which is text-based and, strangely enough, pretty fun), and RuneScape. I do have a Steam account, but because my laptop is not so much a “gaming machine” as it is a “laptop”, I only have Terraria installed. So, a bunch of unfinished games are at my fingertips and what do I find myself reaching for to ease my summer doldrums every day? Fucking YouTube.

In the end, I do play video games. Occasionally. I just happen to be rather mediocre at it unless it’s all about clicking to attack, like Diablo III. I love the Barbarian class for just that reason! It’s nice and simple to just click, click, click. I would’ve gone Demon Hunter, but, as hot as she is, her resources are just…why? Why do you have to be so complicated to play, Demon Hunter?! It’s only my first time, so please…be gentle. And don’t confuse me with TWO fucking resources!

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Filed under Summer 2012

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