I can’t believe that it’s been six weeks since I popped Final Fantasy VI into Slot 2 of my Nintendo DS, effectively putting an end to my current playing of Pokemon. Since then, I have loaded up not a single Pokemon game for GBA, DS, WiiWare… anything.
It’s been perfectly wonderful.
To briefly recap, I played about halfway through Yellow back on the GB(C) when it first came out in 1999. Got pretty bored and dropped it soon there-after. I felt the bug coming when Generation IV (Diamond & Pearl) were on the horizon, and decided to give it all another go having skipped two generations. I picked up FireRed (GBA) and Pearl (DS) the day Generation IV was launched in the US, and proceeded to put something like 90 hours into GBA and around the same into DS (I honestly don’t remember the exact numbers; it was approaching 100 for both, I think…?). Once I “beat” Pearl (that is, defeated the Elite Four), I captured all of the standard, non-event legendaries and various specials, and then pretty much let it go.
Many months later, I randomly picked it up again. I don’t know why or how, but I did. Perhaps it was around the time that the special event critters were being passed out at Toys R Us…? I finally started messing around with things like trading on the GTS (and with a couple friends), going underground, breeding… all things I barely dabbled with on the initial playthrough. It was like a whole new world of end-game content was available to me, despite it being there the whole time. I really enjoyed it all. My Pokemon Ranch added a little bit of fuel to the fire, giving me even more of a reason to try completing my PokeDex and transfer specifically-bred (and traded) critters for the sole purpose of putting them on the ranch and seeing what they do.
It was like I was a kid again, dedicating all of my gaming time to the same, singular game (even playing FireRed or Ranch was essentially playing Pearl, since they all led to that destination). The only “problem” with this was that I was ignoring all of the other games I had been accumulating and dropping. Sure, I would hit up the new multiplayer games when friends were around (Mario Kart Wii, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, various other fighting games including the standard Capcom staples, etc.)… but no progress was being made in any single-player games. I just wasn’t getting any other experience. It was really bothering me, but at the same time, I told myself I was having fun and that’s all that really mattered in the end.
While I still stand by that justification, I have to say how wonderful it is to be playing some other games again. I’m somewhere around ten hours into Final Fantasy VI, and while I’m still waiting for that huge emotional impact to hit me, it’s fun to be playing none-the-less. That’s really all I’ve been able to put time into right now (with the upcoming wedding, and all) since I’m able to play it on-the-go (mostly during lunch at work), but I’m psyched to come home after the honeymoon and know I have so many other games (both new experiences and re-playings) waiting for my time…
WipEout HD (barely started), Super Mario RPG (re-play; in-progress), Ys Book 1 & II (not started), Shining Force II (re-play; not started), Soul Calibur IV (in-progress), DBZ: Burst Limit (in-progress), The World Ends With You (not started), Space Invaders Extreme (not started), Bioshock (not started)… Hell, I might even go back and play some more of Super Mario Galaxy, which I was having a ton of fun with but just suddenly dropped (classic Mike gaming).