Certain games suck you in. You get absorbed into the story, the mechanics, the physics, the advanced techniques and tricks. Before you know it, you“re playing one, or a few games and only those games. It may be for certain achievements, or to best opponents, or for a challenge. I admit that fighting games tend to do this for me. I get caught up in the mechanics of how combos work, what is unavoidable, too cheap, too obvious, and learn certain strategies for certain characters. Fighting games are also good in short bursts, if you“re strapped for time.
Then things take a turn in your enjoyment of the game. The game is still fun, but you are always working toward a certain goal. It“s not as fun as it was when you started. Maybe it“s pulling off that combo, or finally getting a win after a losing streak, or looking for that lost item that requires a specific set of items, or choices to be made (to the point that a guide is needed). You look at the trees instead of the forest, so to speak. Your individual goals matter more than the game as a whole does.
Then a new game comes along, and takes your enjoyment back into the forest, the whole picture. All the elements of the game seamlessly weave together, and you find yourself not caring so much about your performance, or the details of the mechanics, and just enjoying the game for what it is: A video game. Entertainment.
And you“re having a blast!
For me, that game was Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. It was like the spirit of the Metal Gear Solid games, but in a new package. A new world to explore, a new story to experience, but with a character and a series I knew. The alert sound was there, but with completely different music. It wasn“t thriller and suspense style music, it was hard rock and metal, which got your blood pumping and told you to fight. The signature alert sound effectively changed meanings in Metal Gear Rising.
I found myself doing my usual habit of playing with the controls and screwing around. I enjoyed it tremendously. After certain battles, especially boss battles, talking to your teammates for over 30 minutes was normal. I loved most of that.
This happened once again with Guacamelee! I will admit that my experience with Guacamelee! was rushed, because I wasn't playing it on my system, but playing through it was pure joy. The mythology, the humor, the luchador motif, the combos, combined with all of the power ups you get, made the game just so much fun. Co-op play sold the game for me.
So that is one main reason I like variety in my games. A chance to explore new worlds, and at times, just get lost in different aspects of games. Every type of game offers its own thing, and sometimes those things, whatever they may be, can take you by surprise.