Jeez, has it already been twelve days since my last post? Oh, how time flies. I'm both super-duper busy and really tired these days, a combination that's hardly conducive to long and productive gaming sessions. At times like these, I would normally take it easy and fall back on Visual Novels; but alas, I have none to play these days. I'm so desperate for a VN that I tried playing Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom on the PSP, despite the fact that my first brush with the series on the Vita ended up with an aborted playthrough after mere minutes of play. There was no miracle this time around either: I gave up after an excruciating hour of plodding through what was probably the most boring dialogue I've ever endured in an otome. I kid you not: that game totally sucked my life energy. Then I tried Muv-Luv, despite knowing a good portion of the plot; but the ugly character design and dumb immature dialogue were too much to bear, and I gave up. I'll try it later, I promise; but right now, this is definitely not what I need. Replaying old VNs is out of the question, because I remember all of them way too well; and I simply don't have enough mental energy to dive into Point and Clicks à la Danganronpa or 999.
So here I am, stuck in virtual (non)gaming limbo, in a period where I'm making drastic changes to my life. What better time, then, to take stock of my gaming accomplishments and ponder what direction I want to sail towards in the next years? None, indeed! Gaming per se will undoubtedly follow me wherever I go, so there's nothing to ponder there; collecting, on the other hand... Now that's a whole other can of worms.
Let's face it: I've grown increasingly bored of collecting in the past two years. My Collector's Delight and Coveted Games posts have gotten scarcer and scarcer until disappearing entirely, along with my purchases of collector treats such as Special Editions. Collecting, which used to be an immense source of joy, has slowly but surely turned into a chore of sorts. My current dissatisfaction with all things collecting stems from two main reasons:
- Being a game collector just takes up way too much space — like, physical space. I hate cluttering and item overabundance; and thus the mammoth number of games currently lounging on my shelves makes me feel seriously restless. So much useless plastic, so much room taken!
- Most importantly, I've gotten over the fetishist side of collecting — the whole 'sniffing booklets and gazing at box art' shebang. I used to be the most hardcore game manual aficionado, prizing those booklets like they were holy scriptures; nowadays, not only are there no more gaming manuals to cherish in brand-new physical games, but I know RPG mechanics so darn well that I don't even need manuals. In fact, the last times I tried to read the booklet before playing a game, I grew bored and dropped it after two pages. As for box art, it's always the same anime-ish crap anyway — so much so that my sister, who doesn't play RPGs at all, can identify the games I covet in a display rack solely by looking at boxes. Totally true story.
In a nutshell: I've become blasé about the useless fluff that surrounds game cartridges. I was always in for the gameplay, for the games themselves; and I bought them physical first and foremost for the sake of perennity. Whatever pleasure I derived from satellite elements such as booklets and box art is long gone, and there's no telling if it will ever come back. And thus I've taken a momentous decision: I'm going to throw away all boxes and booklets, and hold solely onto cartridges and UMDs.
Rest assured, dear fellow gamers, that this is by no means a rash and sudden decision. In fact, I've been pondering that move for months now. I want to simplify things, to go back to the sheer pleasure of the gameplay experience, without any interference. And I already have a preview of what a cartridge-only collection might feel like, which is none other than my GBA/Game Boy library. That library is solely composed of bare cartridges without the slightest trace of a booklet or an original box; and yet, I love and enjoy those games no less than my boxed ones. I'm ready for that major step, and I'm gonna take it, one game at a time.
Then, there's the matter of the Switch Lite and Pokemon Sword&Shield. I'm getting seriously hyped up about those games — there, I said it. A limited Pokedex was never an issue for the serial Pokemon solo runner I am, and I totally dig the idea of a Pokemon region inspired by England. And then you have Galar Ponyta, who's tugging at my heartstrings like crazy. See, I'm kind of a closeted Brony: I owned a couple of Little Ponies as a kid and have the fondest memories of crafting all sorts of adventurous stories around them. And Galar Ponyta looks insanely like a '90s Little Pony, which triggers all sorts of nostalgia attacks in me. I want to run solo with him! I have to!
And since I'm mentioning Pokemon solo runs, I'm currently wrapping up one of these — because when you're low on gaming juice and want to play something low-maintenance, Pokemon is the next best thing to a VN indeed. I'll see you soon for the inevitable run report, dear fellow gamers!