I recently took up video gaming… again

I was a kid when Pac-Man was out. I would have lived in the arcade if I could, and in the early 90’s it felt like it when I worked at a game room in Cool Springs for about three years (that’s too long as a note.)

TL;DR – things I’ve been playing on my gadgets.

As a gamer, I was pretty awesome. Anything I played I was instantly good at. This isn’t a brag as a note. Most people I beat in fighting games even if I didn’t know how to play that game. I was just a little faster, always felt like whoever I was playing was doing the right thing but slower than they should.

Games like DDR, Just Dance, etc I would destroy people. I wasn’t particularly graceful but I did the moves. Foot needs to be there, there, and then there? Bam, done, score the points.

I feel I was just faster at processing mental to body positioning input. Not that I was particularly skill king. Friends used to joke it was like playing the jerky flash, and then after getting my genome sequenced with one of those spit tests evidently I have a fast twitch gene so maybe they were.

About the time of the XBOX One I stopped playing much. I’d slowed down in my gaming because, well, arcades were a dying thing as of 2010, I’d been married a couple of years and beating noobs at Dave & Buster’s didn’t exactly fit in to my scheulde. Oh yeah, I also had a couple of kids 2013/2015 and didn’t sleep for three years.

Completely stopped online gaming because having to pause to change a diaper or put a sleepy one back to bed gets you hated or killed.

My friends also didn’t like playing me in games because even with Mario Party I somehow always would win. It’s become a running joke that I go to a friend’s house whenever he’s completed whatever new Mortal Kombat is out and unlocked all the characters and the destroy him the first time I play and try and learn the new combat system.

So, it became a thing I did less and less, and then Marvel’s Spider Man came along in 2018. Spider Man for the PS1 was one of my all time favorites. I didn’t particularly want a PS4 but there was a deal, the game called me, first one I’d felt like was built for me in forever, and I got another console.

And yeah, every other game I got after Marvel’s Spider Man I was not happy with, or it was kind of great, but didn’t grab me. Or ok and I just spent $60 that could go to paying off a house. I played God of War and, fun, beautiful, felt like too much on a rail. The Last of Us: amazingly done story, not a fan of the game.

I got a video card and processor upgrade for my home computer last year and got a chance to take a crack at some PC gaming which has taught me that whatever speed advantages I had have atrophied in multiplayer scenarios. Kids are faster now.

It’s also taught me I’m a demon with a mouse and a louse with an XBOX or PS4 controller.

With the PC finally being able to run somewhat modern games I started out with some single player heavy story games I think the first was Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order which… I don’t know, I felt like I was on a rail and I just took a mental note of every place I knew I was going to come back to when my wizard got new socks that could handle a boulder or I suddenly remembered how to Double Jump.

I beat it, and then ended up with the PS4 copy of it, which will explain later.

In December I enjoyed knocking out Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice first and discovering I was rather sad I’d not discovered this on the PS4 a year before.

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice Release Date Revealed | Flickr

There’s a number two of it coming out but I may wait on it because the first one’s still ringing in my head. Evidently you either love it or hate it. The combat was absurdly simple though so it made me feel like I hadn’t lost my edge.

The next I moved on to Control, mainly because evidently I had a thing for games with a female protagonist in hell/facing demons, and I also had a gift card that had to be used. Seriously Kristen Wiig needs to play her in the movie.

I can’t tell you what an absolutely inconsistent but overall good experience that game was. Felt like a nice combo of X-Files, Damage Control, and every third Robert Anton Wilson book.

Also felt like they really should have figured out in this day and age how to prevent a character from getting stuck inside walls, which I managed to do a couple of times. Playing the expansion now and so far all I’m feeling is meh.

Following that was Street Fighter V Champion edition something that… no… the game’s either moved on or I just need a fight stick, it’s not enjoyable with any of my controllers. I feel like I’m watching a cartoon half the time. My lawn, off of it.

Due to having received a PS4 copy of Star Wars for Christmas, I had to make a trip to return it and get something else. I ended up hitting up a GameStop Prestige.

I wanted to get something the kiddos could enjoy, so my plan was to do a trade for Mario Party or something. We ended up with that and Bendy and the Ink Machine. Also Spyro Reignited, which my kids hate, I’m not a big fan of, anyone wants to trade that on the Switch for something else drop me a line.

Bendy, I have no idea how to convey the absolute stupid terror this thing put into me as my 6yo demanded I play it so she could watch.

Mario Party on the switch was Mario Party – if you’ve played one you know basically where you’re at. The 6yo had fun. It’s too slow for me. Too many times yelling “press A” or equivalent.

Then during our second Covid lockdown (one from the city started Mid-March, state started April 2,) I discovered Ori and the Will of the Wisps. I’d never heard of the series but dang if it isn’t just one of the neatest and most maddening games I’ve ever played.

It… don’t know how to describe other than very pretty, the gameplay is good, when you lose you’re not punished (except the sandworm… that felt brutal) and it’s beautiful.

You ever take a serious break from gaming and then lose sleep coming back into it? Any recomendations on good games I may have missed in the past few years?

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts