Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Am I just too old?

Am I too old- A mobile phone game opinion post?

How about that for a long unwieldy title for my blog post?
Let me tell you a story!  Don’t worry, it’s relevant to my overall topic, I promise!

My grandmother on my dad’s side of the family refused to own and wouldn’t even use a microwave.  She had an oven; in her mind she had no use for the newfangled contraption.  Of course if I wanted to help her out while cooking I could use it, she had no problem letting me get my hands dirty with the modern techno sorcery, but not her, oh no!  It wasn’t a generational thing either, my mother’s parents used the microwave and other modern technology just fine (except for the computer but that’s a different article).  As near as I could tell my grandmother simply didn’t like modern technology.
As a youth I didn’t understand.  It made no sense.  Why would you not use the quickest most efficient means for accomplishing a task?  I made a vow, then and there, that I would not become like my grandmother.  If I couldn’t appreciate a new technology at least I would make myself familiar with it and never malign it.

Fast forward to present day.
You thought I forgot didn’t you?

I don’t “get” the modern fascination with cellphone games.  At first I just thought, “stupid kid crap, they just don’t have long enough attention spans.  It’s all that Facetwitter, or Youbook, and texting nonsense, grumble, grumble.”
But then, like a once dormant volcano, a catastrophic explosion shot an inescapable question into my mind.
Was it really that the technology is stupid?  Or am I just too old to “get it”.
Had I broken my vow?
Had I become just as guilty as my grandmother all those years ago?
I had to fight it; I had to figure out just where this hate came from before it was too late.
My findings might just shock you.

Perhaps the problem is that I just don’t like portable games?  I sure hope not!  I have a Nintendo 3ds and before that I had (still have) a DS and a PSP.  Before them I had members of the previous iteration of handhelds. 
The bottom line is that I like portable games just fine.  While I prefer to sit down at home and play games on a big screen, I have enjoyed and am enjoying portable games.  Look at my previous article about New Super Mario Brothers 2 if you don’t believe me.
In research for this article I played some popular cellphone games.  It wasn’t screen size which isn’t much smaller and in some cases is slightly larger than the portable systems screens that I just mentioned. 
I will say that I didn’t like all the touch screen controls.  My stupid hands take up too much of the small screen, though part of that is because I’m a lefty who writes “over the top,” but after time I’m sure I would become defter in my handling.  So that’s not it.

Perhaps it’s the types of games?  In researching I look into the variety of games and they were quite large.  There were puzzle games, strategy games, tower defense games, along with more traditional games. 
I have always broken the types of games I play into three categories:
1.        Story games- Games I play because I want to know the story and how the story plays out.  Typically these are RPG’s and are my favorite.
2.       Accomplishment games- Games in which I want to accomplish something.  Usually beating the game, but not always.  Mario games fall into this category.
3.       Time waster games- Games I play because they are addictive and I have nothing better to do or play.  These are short games that are played over and over. 
Over the years I have played countless games in all of the above categories.  While I prefer story games, I actually play less of these than the other because of the time investment that they require.  Most of the mobile phone games fit into the third category, but then so would Mario Kart and I’ve played tons of that over the years. 
It was as I looked over this list and considered the games I have played recently that the answer hit me.
Here are the games I’ve played since January:
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (1)
Final Fantasy X-2 (1)
Diablo III (2)
Lego Batman 2 (2)
Transformers Fall of Cybertron (2)
New Super Mario Bros 2 (2)

Do you see it? 

Let’s go back the previous year:
Batman Arkham City (1)
Disgaea 4 (2)
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1)
Mass Effect 2 (1)
Assassins Creed 2 Brotherhood (2)
Assassins Creed 2 (2)
Dragon Age 2 (1)
Do you see?

Despite what I thought, I really haven’t played any games that I would label as a three.  I’m so excited!  I’m not too old; I just don’t have any time to waste!
So I discovered the truth!
You may be asking, “But Crazy guy I work and have a family, I still have time to play waste games.”
Good for you!
I’m sure if I played fewer story games I could fit a lot of level 3 games into my schedule.  I prefer to have a story, I just do. 
Until Next time!

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