It'll be the holidays before you know it, which this year means the release of two next generation consoles -- the Playstation 4 and the XBox whatever it will be called.
There doesn't seem to be a great deal of excitement surrounding these releases though, at least not from what I've seen. There could be many reasons for that -- maybe the technological advances aren't big enough to justify the price, maybe more and more people are finally getting sick of the same old thing, maybe more and more people are discovering that PC and/or portable devices are all they need to get a gaming fix, maybe people have grown weary of the gaming industry, or maybe (like in my case) it's some or all of those things along with other things I haven't mentioned.
I was a PS2/GameCube/XBox owner and part-time PC player two generations ago, and I was a PS3/360/Wii and part-time PC player during the most recent generation. When Wii, 360, and PS3 hit, I was still very happy with the PS2/GameCube/XBox combo and wasn't really ready to give it up, but eventually I knew I'd want all three consoles because I was always someone who was afraid to miss out on a good game, wanting to play every good exclusive that came down the pike.
I don't feel that way this time around. I've gone from being a Nintendo-first gamer back in the GameCube days to now not being sure I'll ever own a Wii U at all. I went from XBox being my least-played console to 360 being the most-played to the point where I don't know if I want to own anything else. My PS3 I mostly use for watching blu-rays these days. Meanwhile, I still dabble in PC from time to time although PC gaming isn't nearly as fun for someone with a bad back, bad neck, and bad hands like me, so I don't play it as much as I'd like. As for exclusives, I'm not sure there are as many anymore to justify owning all three consoles, not to mention I'm not I care as much about missing out on them.
But I don't know... maybe three years from now I will find myself once again with all three. I definitely don't plan on being an early adopter, probably waiting at least a year before considering any new console. Maybe that gap will get me hungry for the new ones. But I'm also very much considering going to the PC more as sticking to things like Steam Sales would be good for my increasingly small wallet.
What are your plans? Are you excited about next gen? Don't care? Somewhere in between? Are you going to buy on day one, or are you going to wait a year or two before making the flip?
It's taken until March 1 to start to dig into my 360 backlog that I built up on Black Friday (and added to the other day by buying games I'm not sure I actually wanted from the current 360 sale just because they were cheap, like El Shaddai), but it's finally time. I decided to play Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story on Wii before getting into the 360 stack. I had no idea I would sink over 150 hours into Xenoblade Chronicles though, so it's taken longer to get her than I thought.
Xenoblade's stunning Eryth Sea zone was worth the price of admission.
Xenoblade Chronicles received lots of love from game reviewers as well as the gaming community, but I can't say I was ever in love with it despite spending that much time with it. It was great in a couple areas -- some of the zones were wonderful, and the soundtrack stood out as well. But I felt that the story, characters and combat system stayed in the range of average-to-above average for most of the game, while a large percentage of the extreme quantity side quests (of which probably took up over half my playtime) too often felt meaningless and grindy. But it did have that classic JRPG feel and did a fine job of filling a JRPG void that has been missing on consoles for much of this generation.
The Last Story was brought to us by the same person who created the Final Fantasy series (Hironobu Sakaguchi), so it's not too much of a surprise that it felt at times more like a traditional Final Fantasy game than any game in the series since Final Fantasy X. It was pretty experimental (and hit-and-miss) in terms of its combat, so that won't remind you at all of Final Fantasy, but some of the game's more romantic and grandiose moments definitely had that epic Final Fantasy feel to them. The game is unfortunately held back by technical issues and lack of polish, among other things, but I think I actually wound up having more fun with this game than Xenoblade even though I scored it a little lower. I liked the setting and characters, and it had a silly sense of humor too. It was pretty short for an RPG; I ended up with about 39 hours played and probably could have cut that by at least 15 if I had stuck to the main story. It did feel a little thin in that area, but not so much that you feel slighted.
There's a great game somewhere inside The Last Story, but it didn't always find its way out.
I also have to a bit at the Japanese perv factor at work as each game had a way by design to strip all your characters down to their undergarments while still maintaining armor value. So if you ever want to play a game where you can defeat giant bosses while your characters are in their underwear, this is the place to look.
Anyway, those are probably two of the last games I'll play on Wii. I still will probably play Skyward Sword and maybe Kirby's Epic Yarn, but after that it will probably be time to retire the Wii for good. It was nice to spend some time with it after only having played one game on it (DKC Returns) in like two years. It made me feel like I got more of my money's worth than I originally thought.
Well that's all for now; thanks for reading