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Egads, I'm A Finicky Gamer

This wouldn't be the first time I suggested, "It might be time for me to quit mainstream gaming, cold turkey, forever," but it seems that every time I come back to this juncture, it's a little more true.  The thing is, the more games I buy, the less time I actually make to play any of them.  In fact, my "WHY DON'T YOU PLAY THESE" folder on my desktop is up to 170 shortcuts now... ugh, so much wasted money, at least I know I bought most of those games at 50-75% off.
Come to think of it, Nagi in Hayate The Combat Butler would seem to be equally
dissatisfied with gaming in general.  No wonder I like this anime so much, hmm?
Right now, I'm doing an awful lot of passing up buying games that have been on my wish list for awhile.
  • Saints Row IV was 50% off, but why bother buying another open-world game in the GTA 4 style when I haven't bothered to finish the perfectly good ones I have already (not the least of which being Saints Row III).  It seems the developers did arrive at the same conclusion I did when playing III though: you've essentially superpowers in that game.
  • Metro: Last Light is tempting me with a 60% off bargain but, when push comes to shove, haven't I played enough atmospheric first person shooters?  In fact, I stopped playing Dishonored about halfway through it, and I'm pretty sure that's a better example of the genre even if Metro: Last Light has its own share of memorable moments.
  • Stealth Bastard Deluxe was on sale.  I took it off my Steam wish list, instead.  A thinking platformer?  What was I thinking?  If I really wanted that, I could always go back and try to finish Braid.
And those are just that ones I remember.  For that matter, I barely made any time at all to play Pokemon Y or Rune Factory 4, through no apparent fault of the games themselves: I'm just bored of these kinds of games.  I haven't bothered to even launch Steamworld Dig yet, and that might have been a mistake.

In truth, there's only two kinds of games that really interest me at all right now.

The first kind of game is a persistent state environment with compelling enough gameplay that it does not feel like a grind (which disqualifies 99.5% of all MMORPGs right off the bat).

To an extent, this is why I've been playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf so much.  However, I'm afraid that pastime is about to come to an end: my home is almost fully upgraded, and the Nooklings rarely ever have anything in stock that I haven't already unlocked on the catalog, so I've just about run out of things to do in the game.  Too bad the company you keep in Animal Crossing is a tad lacking in overall complexity to be all that worthwhile, too.  What really needs to happen is a story of some kind.

Other examples of this kind of game include Minecraft, Roguelike games, and The Sims, but eventually they all run out of unique things to do, and then they're as good as finished.  The last really good one I remember playing from here was Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead, not because it was a zombie-themed (zombies are so passe for me) but rather because it was a roguelike with a fantastic sense of freedom... but, in the end, winning this game turned out to be losing it, because all that happens is you survive as a heavily-armed badass.

The second kind of game is open-ended space simulators with roleplaying mechanics of relatively sophisticated growth potential, such as Egosoft's X series and Space Rangers.   These games set themselves apart from other examples of the space trading a combat simulator genre by going the extra distance to produce universes that actually change with the actions of the player.  In the latter games in the X series, you can build your own starbases and gather a fleet of robot controlled ships to do your bidding.  In Space Rangers, you are undergoing a battle against genocidal robots and (in the recent HD: A War Apart version) a universe-shaking pirate threat.

(As it turns out, I just put down $25 on the "A War Apart" retool of Space Rangers 2, a game I already own.  Might as well, considering so few games actually interest me that this one actually emerges as worthwhile to play.  Next paycheck, the latest of Egosoft's X's games comes out, and it's going to be one of the few sure bets for computer gaming entertainment I had in half a decade.)

You know, looking over these paragraphs I just wrote, the problem is clear: the bar of computer game quality is set ridiculously high for me.  It seems what I want is a game in the vein of being escapism - take a vacation from your dreary real life behind and pretend you're in a nifty virtual world.  But not just escapism; really good quality escapism.  (My experience with MMORPGs have probably conditioned me to feel this way.)
Well, about 95% of games out there are simple clones of existing concepts that might innovate in one way or another, but are not all that remarkable.   The remaining 5% might make some overture towards a greater sophistication, but only a tiny fraction of this tiny fraction actually do so to an extent that is enough to capture my geeky desires.

I might as well cancel my GameFly subscription: I really do have a better chance of producing a game I could enjoy myself than waiting for somebody else to make it, but that's only a ghost of a chance considering I have a long, long way to go until I actually have developed the necessary skills to pull something like that off.


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