Do you find yourself with less time for games now? How do you deal with it? How do you decide which games to play?
Jenni: I think I have about the same amount of time to play video games as I did before. I usually play around 10, maybe 12 hours a week. If it’s a slow period, where there aren’t a lot of games to cover and review, then of course that number is greatly reduced.
When it comes to deciding what games to play, I prioritize. If there’s a game I’m covering, I play that first and foremost, trying to get as clear and informed an opinion on the title. I could never see playing a game for less than 5 hours if I’m going to be writing articles on it.
If I have no games to cover, then I’m usually playing the latest RPG I was able to get my hands on and spending 10-15 minutes a day catching up with Animal Crossing: City Folk.
Louise: Now that I have a day job, I seem to go through spurts when it comes to game time. Split that up between the systems I own, and I definitely have less time to devote to each console. Of course, like Jenni, I also prioritize my games by if they’re games I need to play to write about, or if they’re personal non-work related games.
For personal games, I look at a variety of sources before deciding to purchase a game to play. First, I read reviews just to get the gist of the game, then I ask a few friends who’ve played the game for their opinions. Then I read forums to get a wider range of thoughts on the game. By then, I can judge if I *really* want to play the game, or if I can wait for a price drop.
I have a mental list of “must play” games for each console and most of them are in my backlog, so for the time being, I just pick games out of that list.
Spencer: Like Ishaan I play a lot of portable games. Fortunately, portables are where RPGs are at too! Carrying my DS or PSP and taking advantage of both system’s sleep modes works out pretty well.
I think I started to shy away from ridiculous side quests to save time too. Dodging a hundred lightning bolts for a part of an ultimate weapon? Sorry, Lulu. Also I don’t hunt for achievements or go out of my way to find e-tokens like trophies. I’d rather enjoy my games than boost an arbitrary number.
Ishaan: I cope by doing most of my gaming on the DS, and I’m actually glad it turned out that way. It’s often very easy to ignore handheld games if you have a lot of time to spend on gaming in general. The DS gets playtime absolutely everywhere…in bed, during long trips, in the loo…sometimes even at a food joint while I wait for my order! There was a time when the DS was the only system on which I actually played FPSes!
On the console side…my last job kept me very busy, so I barely had enough time to finish a game or two every six months. I recall Persona 3 took me about 4 months to beat…I’d play it every weekend for a few hours. Totally worth the effort though. Now that I’m in between jobs, I have a lot more time on my hands, which I’m using to catch up with a whole bunch of console games, based on developer or uniqueness. I just finished Persona 4 and now I’m back to working my way through Rune Factory Frontier while I wait for Wii Sports Resort.