Gaming These Days?

In fact, one of my earliest interests in journalism (as opposed to fiction writing, an earlier predilection) was my high school subscription to the Official US Playstation Magazine while I was in high school. It occurred to me that these guys (and the odd girl) were having a lot of fun. I had visions of 12-hour gaming sessions followed by marathon feats of writing just under deadline. I would have loved an internship at that magazine office.

I don’t game as much as I used to, simply because it’s too much of a time-suck and I have trouble fitting it in. But I’ll always be a gamer, old-school, eighties style (though I keep up with the industry and don’t just play on NES emulators all the time). And I still take the odd review title, which you’ll have seen if you check in here regularly. So allow me to share some of the stuff I’ve been playing in some of the cracks in my work schedule these days.

Growlanser IV for the PSP, part of a series but very much a stand-alone from what I can tell. A very tough, deep, and rewarding tactical RPG. I put it down after I did my review a couple months ago, and picked it back up this weekend when I didn’t feel like reading or doing anything resembling work during my downtime.

Kingdom Rush, which I very nearly beat tonight, narrowly failing to take down the final boss at the end of a grueling final level. It’s a tower defense deal in the vein of Crystal Defenders, one of the best I’ve played (I’ve played quite a bit in the genre over the last couple years since I’ve discovered it), and it’s free to play online (with optional premium content). I saw it recommended elsewhere and have had a few late nights with it since starting it a few weeks ago.

Older titles: I picked up a cheap copy of Metroid: Other M back in the summer, started playing it one day, and haven’t gotten back to it for a few months. But I think I’ll find time over Christmas for a proper playthrough. I also have picked up Mirror’s Edge a couple times recently, just to play a level or two for fun, on a regular story mode playthrough. No OCDing over time trials or anything like that. Just enjoying the atmosphere and narrative.

This game really does need a sequel. I suspect it may end up like Beyond Good & Evil. We’ll wait 10 years before we see anything because it’s a little too smart to bring in the big bucks like some of the juggernaut, by-the-numbers franchises. So long as it’s worth the wait.

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