I’m currently sat in the kitchen with a still warm cup of coffee, Stef’s in the lounge booking our tickets for a second helping (3D this time) of The Hobbit and Shakespeare is trying to dig up laminate flooring next to me (now he’s just jumped into his tray for the morning ‘deposit’).
I’ll be honest, with illness, Xmas and whatnot I’ve been a little lax on the writing front. I needed the break, though. Got about 500 words down yesterday on Vulkan Lives, but I really need to up the ante if I’m going to hit deadline. Plus, I’ve got a radio short to do and I am currently nursing a new Salamanders short story over its 5k finish line. Oh yeah, and I have a bunch of synopses I need to get on with. Phew!
Anyways, during my fortnight’s convalescence, I’ve filled my time with an inordinate amount of gaming. I see inordinate as I don’t actually game that much. I own several consoles and even have a bunch of games downloaded to my iPad, but I’m not an online gamer (I really don’t have time for all that – even the likes of Mass Effect and Dragon Age put me off with the sheer amount of hours needed to ‘level up’ or learn some new skill or whatever), and don’t play that often.
Illness, of the not serious kind, is a good opportunity for me to rectify that. I’ve had a bunch of games in need of completion for my PS3 knocking around for a while. I started off with Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, finishing the game before I’d even realised it. Easily as good as Uncharted 2, I was so gutted to have no more story to go at that I almost purchased a Vita to play Golden Abyss but abstained when I read some poor reviews regards download times and Sony’s proprietary memory card policy. Still, an awesome game and I even went on iTunes to buy a few tracks from the OST (love Drake’s theme).
One game down, I moved onto the next. It was like I was fourteen again, playing on my Sega Mega Drive and trying to finish every game I owned. Tee hee. Man alive, I remember those days playing Spider-man and getting as far as the King Pin, trying to kick his fat ass while Mary Jane was being slowly lowered into some death trap or other. Or Streets of Rage II, taking down the besuited big boss man with the machine gun (I always played Axel because his special moves were awesome). Or Golden Axe, beating the Dickens out of Death Adder at the end. Come to think of it, what happened to all those sideways scrolling beat ‘em ups, any beat ‘em ups come to think of it – that’s definitely a game genre that no longer exists.
Ahem, apologies, I digress…
Next up, I broke out Modern Warfare 3. Bear in mind I’d not long finished Black Ops II, so I wondered whether I’d be a little CoD’d out by this point. Not so. I’ve played it to the final level and am chasing down Makarov in his hotel. Bring the rain!
Perusing my stack of unfinished games, I still have Max Payne 3 and God of War 3 to go at, not to mention Lego: The Lord of the Rings. I even purchased Far Cry 3 yesterday after much deliberation (in the end it came down to this or Dishonoured, but I went for the former because I figured Dishonoured, whilst good, might end up a bit like Mass Effect in that you can’t bloody well finish it or get any sense of closure if you do – what can I say, I’m a completer-finisher).
There is something invigorating and wonderful about a prolonged session of gaming. I’ve enjoyed it, and it has taken me back to a period in my childhood when there was a very definite console war raging between Sega and Nintendo (tell me back then that Sonic and Mario would star together in their own title and I would have slapped you and told you to stop being silly).
I know it can’t last, however, as I’ll be back at work in a couple of days, and the writing will have to kick in again if I’m going to finish everything I’ve been contracted to do to deadline. I suspect Far Cry 3 will be sitting on my shelf gathering dust for a little while, perhaps I’ll have the new Tomb Raider to join it or some other title I don’t even know about yet. It’ll be stacked up with the rest, a last vestige of my childhood calling out to me, waiting for me for when I’m I’ll again or when the work schedule isn’t quite so time consuming. I reckon the latter is unlikely to ever be the case, but maybe next Xmas I’ll return to them, back to gaming.