5 Games To Change The Pace
Why do we play games?
Seriously now. Why?
Hopefully your answer is somewhere along the line of: “For fun,” or: “Needing to unwind after a busy day,” or simply because it’s a personal passion.
This time of the year when the game release schedule is bursting at the seams; we’re bombarded by choices. Shall I pick the latest Assassin’s Creed? Or perhaps the latest Call of Duty? Maybe I need to a look at my backlog and see if I’m perhaps missing out on something great?
I encourage you to pick up a newly released game that tickles your fancy if the finances allow it. There’s just one thing I noticed after a rather eventful year of gaming; it’s not a routine per se, but something isn’t feeling quite right. What is responsible for this uneasy feeling of “enjoying the game, but not to it’s full potential”?
Every now and then I’ll get this “ants in my pants” feel while playing some of the games I love. What I usually do is stop playing games for a short while and focus on a book or something of the like. It’s not necessarily the game’s fault (never, actually), rather me being over-saturated by gaming. I may be playing the most fun military shooter on the planet, but it’s just me not enjoying myself.
I went to investigate and found the following deduction; I’m playing too many serious games. They require too much thought and don’t have that “feel good” factor you need every now and then. (Don’t get me wrong, the more a game makes me think, the better. I’m just not able to enjoy them to the fullest, if they are indeed the only games I’m playing.)
If you’re not quite the bookworm or movie-bug, and still need gaming as a rule; I might be able to help…
Therefore, I implore you to take a look at the following titles that will have you playing with a refreshing feel: (Hopefully.)
Before you tear my head from its right and proper place about this being a game focused on the more casual players; hear me out.
I played this game at a friend’s house and immediately fell in love with it. Rather strange because the games I was playing at that stage were titles such as Darksiders II and Borderlands 2. While those games are indeed great, I had an unexpectedly commendable time with Bad Piggies. What’s even more impressive is the fact that I sat and watched my friend play for around about three hours. I’m not joking or exaggerating; three full hours. Why did I find this game so mesmerising?
The central premise consists of you building all sorts of transportation methods for your adorably cute little pigs*. They need transportation to a specific spot on the level and optional objectives make for some wacky fun. Experimentation is the name of the game. This specific track kept me coming back for more. The game becomes more and more complex; no argument there, but why was I able to play and watch for such an amount of time? This coming from the person that struggled to keep a friend’s attention with Uncharted 3 and its magnificent set-pieces.
You may sit and stare at the menu if it pleases you to do so; all while admiring the ridiculously awesome contraptions carrying the pigs to their destination or downfall.
If you feel the need for a change of pace while still requiring you to use your thinking cap; be sure to try this one.
Plants vs. Zombies
Leave my head alone please; I know this one is nothing new.
That being said, no matter how many times I’ve completed this game alongside its various challenges or mini games, I still enjoy myself.
For those of you who haven’t played the game or don’t know what it is about; you fight zombies. With plants. Plants that kick ass. Plants that kick zombie ass.
Your main resource is sunlight. You use it to buy sunflowers (to produce more sunlight) and other plants to defend your home from the undead hordes. You defend from your front yard, backyard and rooftop. In the day and at night. Each location and different set of circumstances will add to the challenge. The zombies also escalate in ways to defend their approach and naturally ramps up the difficulty.
Like I mentioned above, it’s nothing new, but it’s guaranteed to either bring a smile to your face or keep you entertained for a while.
Spore may not have been the end product everyone was hoping for, but after having played it for the first time a few days ago, I’m surprised at the amount of fun I had.
Will Wright is well known for SimCity and The Sims. The Sims gave us the ability to play a controlling overseer; playing the watchful and protective eye in the sky or menacing puppeteer. Clean your toilet, eat food with a green mist hanging above it, be trapped a room with no way out; resulting in the Sim characters wetting themselves and have the Grim Reaper all over their behinds. Have your lady go take a shower, use cheat codes to remove the shower and …
I’m getting off-topic here.
Spore. Yes, Spore.
It was so refreshing being thrown into the game without any story or complicated tutorial. You choose your planet; give it a name and you’re off. You begin by playing as a minute, pee-wee little creature trying to survive in a pool filled with dangers and slightly less minute little creatures. You either choose to be a herbivore or a carnivore. Your play-style will differ depending on your choice.
As a herbivore, I swam around collecting DNA. Growing all the way, I eventually grew legs! (-smiley face-)
While playing as a land creature I encountered lots and lots of equally disproportioned creatures wanting to be impressed by my singing / dancing and showing off abilities or just plainly wanting my gluteus maximus on a platter.
It’s not for everyone, but the amount of customisation to your creature(s) is staggering. No matter if your creature has eight legs or five mouths; it will still be animated appropriately.
A worthy candidate for a change of pace and passing the time.
The LEGO video games have over time grabbed my attention and it’s not difficult to get entranced by the witty and cute factor they so whole-heartedly possess.
My favorite of these being LEGO Batman.
The first LEGO Batman didn’t feature any voices, just a series of grunts. It added to the wacky feel. Wacky while still being rather true to the source material. Let’s re-phrase that: True to the source material without the dark, morbid and unsettling vibe like that of the comic books.
LEGO Batman 2 features voices, but it is no less wacky than before. Smash ALL the things, collect all the coins being puked out by the aforementioned smashed objects, fight villains and build a lot of random objects to somehow defeat the boss character. Fun all the way!
It’s not a kiddy game while also not being for every other gamer out there. But know this: “Let’s put a smile on that face!”
I acquired the DOOM 3 BFG Edition during the last week and may I say this: “I’m actually playing a decent shooter again!”
People, may I just say that I forgot what kind of fun there is to be had in a shooter without a complex plot and AK-47’s totted by modern day Russians wanting everyone and their moms dead.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy today’s shooters, but damn, I’m having so much fun with this game again.
I played it a fair amount of time back on PC and while it may not be a graphical powerhouse compared to today’s games, I cannot describe the amount of fun I’m having by shooting lots of demons in the face.
No objective markers. Listen to audio logs for the codes to specific lockers. Have a monster jump out at you without a more complex solution than shooting it in the face.
If a change of pace is something you need and you need it in a first person shooting form; look no further. (Not for the faint of heart though.)
I’ve yapped all over the place about the games I like when needing a desperate change of pace.
What plan of action do you guys partake in when a change of pace is needed?
Come on now, don’t be shy!
*I disliked them so much while playing Angry Birds, but I’m totally in love with them in Bad Piggies. You may scroll back up now…