I’ve noticed lately that I rarely find the time or energy to sit down with a game for hours on end. Baten Kaitos must’ve been the latest game to get that treatment and since the wife hogged it, I haven’t found time to continue it, despite being very enthusiastic about it.
I am very much into Ikaruga, OutRun 2 and beat ’em ups (Soul Calibur II foremost). I think this is because I can play a meaningful game in just ten minutes. A successful OutRun run takes just under five minutes, as do a couple of rounds of Soul Calibur. Donkey Konga you can only play for five minutes at a time – I was about to give up because of physical exhaustion when first fighting Karate Kong.
Another cool thing about these quick games is that you don’t have to think about them. When playing an RPG or strategy game, you need to keep the game in your mind, merely put on shelf while you’re not playing. That can be tiring.
There are some games which absolutely require more than an hour of gametime. With these games, I essentially need to arrange a date with the game, plan the session in advance, informing my wife that this evening I’m going to play a game and nothing else. While I feel this is somewhat silly, it does lend a nice air of… expectation to the event.
Games which require this treatment are Madden NFL, the Metal Gear Solid series and, say, Morrowind (if only for the loading times). But of course, in practice you do this kind of thing pretty rarely, no more than once a week, with the possible exception of weekends.
I don’t know if this is a good thing or not. On the one hand I miss really delving into a game and burning away hours upon hours in a game world, but on the other hand I like the way these less time-consuming games don’t take over my life. Although having played games all my life, I highly suspect this is merely a phase and a time will come when I’m exclusively into more demanding games, again… like King Of Dragon Pass, which I haven’t still tried out, or I-War 2, which I really want to get into, but haven’t found the time or energy yet.
Edit: quickie games aren’t the sole property of the consoles, of course. On the PC I fancy Mutant Storm, Parsec47, MAME and the zany Typing Of The Dead, which is only made more hilarious by its awkward technical merits.