Out of Touch with Games

I’ve been meaning to post about how I am out of the loop when it comes to mainstream games these days. Wario Ware? I still haven’t seen it, but apparently it is huge. I didn’t see the Nintendo DS in action until a few weeks ago. In fact, I haven’t seen the PSP. Lumines? Wipeout? I haven’t seen the Game Boy Advance SP except in other people’s hands.

I wanted to check out Prince of Persia: Sands of Time a few months ago, but it was sold out. I ended up getting Metroid Prime, which is definitely a fun game, but my keyboard/mouse hands can’t remember how I used to play Goldeneye 64 with a passion. I bought Civilization III months ago because it was at impulse-buy range (under $15). I still haven’t pulled the cellophane off of it. I’m only now considering purchasing Unreal Tournament 2004, which got to the top of me and my friends’ want lists because it was available for Linux out of the box (thank you, Epic! I’ll thank you with my dollars soon).

In the meantime, there has been new a Metroid game, a new SimCity(how did THAT escape my attention?!) and an expansion pack for Doom 3. Nintendogs was out. Nintendo was announcing a new game console. All of these things were news to me way after they should have been.

I used to be on top of Nintendo-related news since I had a subscription to Nintendo Power. Last year I realized that I wasn’t playing Nintendo games as much so I gave it up, but now I find myself surprised that other people know about things before I do. I used to be the GOTO guy for Nintendo trivia and knowledge!

And regarding PC games: I just don’t have the time to play all the games I currently have, let alone buy new ones. I loved Homeworld Cataclysm, but I wasn’t going to buy Homeworld 2 since the demo didn’t impress me that much. Dungeon Siege? Sounded cool, but I wasn’t really compelled to play it. Black & White’s expansion didn’t end up in my collection even though I loved the original.

Am I really capable of making good games if I don’t even play many of the existing games? You can’t become a good writer without reading a lot of books, and I think you can’t make good games without playing a lot of games. The good games will inspire, and the bad ones will acts as sign posts, warning the intrepid developer about what not to do and where not to go.

Clearly, I have some improving to do.

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