The games I’m not playing …

As regular readers will already know — and are likely getting tired of hearing — I’ve been really busy over the past few months. Actually, I suspect that I’m getting more tired of it than people are of hearing about it. Anyway, one of the things that always gets lost when I get busy are video games, right after all of the errands and household jobs that could be done but aren’t urgent so I can say “I’ll do it later as I have lots of time and surely I’ll get some free time soon!”. So for the past few weeks, I haven’t been playing video games much at all.

The problem this time is that I don’t actually have time to play anything serious, even though I both want to play “The Old Republic” and “Elsinore”. This is the reason this post is coming out today instead of another Ranathawn journal, because I only have one section left and don’t know when I’m going to play the next one, and would like to keep that as regular as I can when I actually can play it. But I don’t have the 3 – 4 hours available to play a planet to get ahead a bit. Elsinore is the same way, as I need more time to get through it and if I’m having a hard time finding 3 – 4 hours once a week for TOR I’m not going to find 3 hours multiple days in a week to make that work.

I do have a few — though not as many as I’d like — more casual games that I can pick up and play for an hour or so when I get the chance. The big game for this was always “The Pinball Arcade”, where I can play a few games on some of my favourite tables. I could probably also play the Persona Dancing games, although they aren’t as interesting to me, or drag out some of the fighting games. However, I also recently picked up some of the retro gaming consoles. I’ve had the Atari 2600 and Commodore 64 versions for a few months now, but didn’t really play them much. As I noted to a friend, the Commodore 64 one didn’t have any of the games that I actually played when I had that system, although some of them were interesting (oddly, the only exception was “Impossible Mission”). For the Atari 2600, oddly the graphics got in the way. “Burger Time” was the worst for this, as it looked simply terrible. “Asteroids” was pretty bad as well. On the other hand, “Missile Command” and “River Raid” worked really well. The graphics in those games worked well enough for their gameplay as you had other things to focus on. Anyway, there were other games that didn’t work that badly that I could have played.

The bad graphics in the Atari 2600 version got me to buy another classics console because it actually has a nice version of “Burger Time” on it, and a couple of other interesting games (“Street Fighter II”, for example). And I broke down and bought the Sega version for “Altered Beast”, although when I tried it out I never managed to get to the beast part. And there are other games on all of these consoles that I’d like to play at some point, so there are things to play on them, as well as some shorter games from GOG that I could try.

So why don’t I? Well, the time to do this is when I’m watching something on TV that I don’t really care that much about watching, like baseball. But with my accomplishment kick, it’s rare that I’m not watching something that I want to watch. And if I’m not, I’m usually doing something else that’s incompatible with playing those games. So what’s been happening is that I get home, throw on some TV for background noise, do some stuff, and then settle in to watch the shows that I’m supposed to at least be paying some attention to. That leaves little time to play games.

I could fit them in while watching “Charmed” … except that out of all the shows I’m watching right now it’s the one that I’m most enjoying watching. Which is kinda sad, come to think of it.

So I don’t have the time to play either longer session games or shorter session games, for different reasons. The good news is that while I’m busy I often read more. The bad news is that right now that’s logic puzzle books and not anything on the list of books that I really want to finish. The good news is that I’m actually enjoying them. The bad news is that the books contain sodium benzoate …

Anyway, I expect to find some time to play the longer session games — especially TOR — next month. I have no idea when I’ll get to play the retro console games. Maybe Christmas …

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