Journal of a Gamer - Saturday, 28 October 2017: Fearlessly Committing Early to Holiday Game Releases
It's time to reflect on the past few weeks in gaming and get a little cathartic. From the Journal of a Gamer:
It's fall, and that means that it is also the holiday game release season. And we are most certainly in full swing. I've deviated from my past historical norms this year. Probably mostly due to the increased frequency and consistency by which my friends and I are manning the E2KG Network Channel and recording and publishing our podcasts. Working with a small team of content creators has proven to be the refreshing change in venue that I needed. We talk on a daily basis about games, gaming culture, and the news cycle. And so I have been more consciously aware of the week-to-week release of this fall's biggest titles. In past years, I would only have been aware of them at the seasonal level of granularity. I would have continued to muddle through my backlog in the fall months, and would have likely waited to scoop anything extra that I wanted during that down week between Christmas and New Year's Eve. But this year, the conversation has pervaded my daily, and so I have been incentivized to be on top of these releases a bit more than usual. Here are a few things that has led to.
The primary addition to 5 million gamers' dynamic this year is the Nintendo Switch. For me, I needed to correct the problems I had been having with my microSD card, which limited my ability to download large games, as we slid into the Holiday release season. I opted to grab a 200GB SanDisk SDXC UHS-I card that was on sale and that seemed to correct all of the issues I was having. My purchase of the card coincided with the Switch OS v4.00 update, which then ensured that I would be able to move all of my games and save files around to get them on the new microSD card without any problems. Once I was on the new card, that allowed me to grab FIFA 18 and NBA2K18. While these games are not getting high marks with reviewers, there are two factors that allow me to observe this without concern. From what I have seen, a lot of the negative knocks that are being applied to these games is because they do not have all of the modes that come on the other console versions, and yet it costs the same. And any DLC consumes a punishing amount of storage, given the Switch's inherent storage constraint. But the only thing I care about for either one of these titles is the Franchise Season mode, which both of them have. And I do not plan on buying DLC because I do not play the MyCareer or Make-Your-Player RPG modes. I am just interested in the notion of a long-season format game that I have the ability to take with me to counter the sheer length of the regular seasons for these sports.
The other platform that I have addressed for the Holiday Season has been the PlayStation 4. I have not gotten around to obtaining a PS4 Pro; it's on the list, but it may or may not happen this quarter. What I have done is selected the PS4 as the place I am going to play Destiny 2, and I've put in a good chunk of time in it. I made a single continuous run through to complete the single-player campaign, hit level 20, and open the rest of the world that you really only see glimpses of in the main campaign. The other space I've plumbed is the racing scene for 2017. There are a large number of racers coming out this fall; larger in comparison to past years. We are getting Gran Turismo, Forza Motorsport 7, Need for Speed: PayBack, and Project Cars 2. I recently obtained that last one, and just started to get warmed up to it and learn the new physics engine. And it's different. With a pretty steep learning curve. I've gotten started in the G40 league and learned some pretty harsh lessons. The game has really brought back the necessity of tuning a car to your specific driving style and each specific track. It's just not optional. One day soon, that is going to be immensely fun for me. But today, it's incredibly emasculating. Hopefully my time in bondage will only last but so long. And then I'll need to swing back and get NFS:PB and Forza 7. Gran Turismo is looking like a pass, given all of the negative feedback I am seeing on it. And honestly, having one of these games drop off the quality radar is just fine, as it still leaves three titles to pay for and three more really big buckets of content in the backlog.
I'll be in touch for more philosophical thoughts in gaming. Until then, take care.