…at least for a while. I've been following this 'system' of playing games that has substantially increased how much I enjoy each game. And it's as simple as playing a good variety of games at the same time.
I recently saw this post on the sub about Ghost of Tsushima being a bad game because it follows open-world tropes. And while I'm yet to play it, I am, in fact, playing Horizon Zero Dawn right now which it does follow those tropes as well – and I'm enjoying it a lot. And I think it's because of the system I have in place with how I shuffle through games. I thought a couple of guys here might find it interesting. It sure has made gaming in itself more fun for me.
Basically, I've created these 10 categories, which might not be as intuitive to everyone in here, but they're personal to me. You could, say, create 10 or so like this which works for you, even share it in the comments if you intend to go through with this. Every game I end up playing will go in either of the 10, like THIS:
- The Online Game. Eg. CSGO
- Coop Campaign with Friend. Eg. Battleblock Theatre
- Third Person Campaign. Eg. DmC5
- First Person Campaign. Eg. Titanfall 2
- 2D Campaign. Eg. Hollow Knight
- Souls-like Game. Eg. Dark Souls 3
- Open-world Game. Eg. Horizon Zero Dawn
- Stealth Game. Eg. MGSV
- Rogue-like 1. Eg. Spelunky
- Rogue-like 2. Eg. Dead Cells
This isn't a system that'll work with everyone, but what works for me. As you can see, there's Souls-like, Rogue-like, Open world, etc. there which add a lot of variety but not everyone plays all genres, which is what I'm kind of getting to.
So, obviously, what I do is that I juggle around all these games. 10 is a number I think works for me because I like to have 2 rogue-likes for having an option whenever I want a "quick round" of a game that's satisfying to play and has a self-contained gameplay loop of 30 minutes or less.
There's a couple of rough 'rules' (you could call them that) I follow are:
- If you can't decide what game to play, just click the one that you haven't played for the longest.
- If you're really enjoying the story or campaign of a certain game, you can put everything else on hold and play that! It's all about enjoying at the end of the day.
Eg. When I picked up Uncharted 4, I don't remember touching another game till I was done with it for those 3-4 days (I game roughly 2-3 hours a day, which went up to 4ish when I was playing Uncharted)
- Whenever you're staring at the 10 games on your favorites to decide what you're playing – just try to think which of these you 'miss playing'. Now you know which one to go for.
I kind of want to get more into why I chose the categories the way I did, which is precisely why you should pick categories that are personal to you.
First of all, the multiplayer is what I play with my group of online friends. The community aspect is what keeps it fun, so you could say that 15 or so of my 30ish weekly gaming hours is just this. It's no hard and fast rule, but that's what ends up happening usually unless I take a break to play some campaign I'm really getting into. The coop campaign is something I play with another close friend, and we usually go for a session once every 3 or 4 days.
The first-person and third-person campaign categories are kept purposefully vague so I can factor in any variety of games I want to. The previous third-person I played was Uncharted 4 which is, obviously, very different to DmC5, which is very different to my next planned ones – Life is Strange, and then Rise of the Tomb Raider. The first person campaign is usually something that can bore you easily in my experience. I played Doom 2016 earlier this year and the game was a repetitive slug-fest and I wouldn't have finished it if I didn't have this 'system' in place. I played it once every week or two, which made me miss that crazy arcane action even more, and made it way more enjoyable to come back. Definitely wouldn't have enjoyed the game as much if I played non-stop. But right after that, I played Firewatch which I finished in one sitting. It all depends on what game it is, and how much of a break you need to take with it, if at all. I've been playing Titanfall 2 right now, which innovates a lot in its levels but still has very generic gunplay, so I play it once every week or so. I plan to go for completely different first-person campaigns next – The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, and then Dishonored. You could say these 2 categories are what my "main campaigns" are.
The 2D Campaign is usually an indie game and definitely acts as a breath of fresh air among all the other 3D games. Currently, I'm playing Hollow Knight – and I think it's another game that becomes more enjoyable with this spaced-out system since it's all about taking your time and exploring. I usually play this from my bed late at night after everything, since the aesthetic is so relaxing. I played Inside before this, which was a puzzle game, and have Undertale on the list – both of which are widely different from Hollow Knight.
I've only recently gotten into Souls-likes so this is a category that I can have more comfortably than those who might have already played through most of them. I finished Dark Souls till NG+ previously this year and have been playing Dark Souls 3 now. Sometimes I end up playing this as my only SP game for days, but it's always refreshing to step out for a week then, and come back when I begin missing the combat and world. Now, this is different from the previous categories I described because this is very genre-specific. While I can put in a lot of variety in my FP, TP and 2D campaigns, I specifically make a category for Souls-like because I always want to have one from this genre to my in my list of gaming options. Have Bloodborne, Dark Souls 2, Sekiro, Nioh, etc. on my list to play next.
Here comes the open-world game. This is the game I play when I feel like I want the freedom of exploration in my game. Roaming around in the world, picking up a couple of side quests or main quests, and basically fuck around. Out of all 10, this is definitely the one I wouldn't want to be playing as my sole game. Because these burn you out so quickly. The only exception I remember is The Witcher 3 that I played back in 2018 and played 180 hours including the DLC. That was a crazy 2 weeks. I know a lot of people say it, but since playing that game, all open-world games are just not "there". The optimal way though, is to play for a couple of hours, do a couple of quests and then not touch the game for another two weeks or so (of course not some hard rule). By then, you begin wanting to explore the world again. It may even make mediocre Ubisoft games playable if you have them getting wasted in your library. It didn't for me though. I played AC Origins for like 10-15 hours but then I've currently moved on to Horizon Zero Dawn. It's much more enjoyable and I actually want to go back into the world rather than just playing the game for the sake of it because it's been over a month since the last time I touched it (which was the case a lot of times with AC). I'll probably finish Kingdom Come: Deliverance after this, picking up after dropping it 60ish hours in, 2 years ago. By then, Cyberpunk will be out.
The Stealth Game aka MGSV for the last 2 years. I love this game but I am never going to finish it. I remember reading a similar post about it on r/patientgamers as well. I hop in and out once every 2 weeks when I want high quality stealth gameplay but I know if I stay for longer, I will hate this game because of how uninspired the mission design itself is. It's great for having stealth missions, but it's definitely not the kind of game you want to be playing solely. If I do finish it, or probably "am done" with it, I'll move on to Hitman 2016. But I don't think Hitman even comes close to the quality of stealth in MGSV, because it creates the illusion of freedom by just having multiple linear scenarios you can do your mission in. The AI is very "gamey" too. If someone has suggestions on a great stealth game, I'm all ears BTW.
And the two Rogue-likes I just have for when I want to just "play a game" without having to bother with progressing any campaign at all. Just a satisfying game that gets reset the next time I hop in, and doesn't take longer than 20ish minutes to play a round of. Dead Cells isn't as engaging after finishing it once, but Spelunky might be one of the best games ever made. Would definitely take suggestions for a good rogue-like off-topic.
Now, these 10 are how I like to categorize my games. Someone else might prefer to be even more specific with the genres, like how I made a point to include Soulse-borne games. Someone might have a game like Civ 5 or something among those 10. But just keep it vague enough so you can factor any game you play, and try to have a good variety of games to play from. Let me know if any of you end up trying this, and if it makes the same games more fun for you. Remember, at the end of the day – it's all about having fun.
TLDR: Have a variety (10's a good number) of games to play from, and don't touch one unless you're really into the campaign or it's been so many days/weeks you've begun to miss the game.
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