It’s the New Year, a time when people make resolutions for aspects of their life that they’d like to improve in 2020 and beyond, whether that be weight loss, reconnecting with family or planning to better manage the balance between your work and personal life. That said, I’m going about resolutions a little differently this year, and not just because I’m actually setting some.
Because gaming constitutes a huge portion of my life as both a job and a hobby, logic dictates that I could improve my life by improving my gaming habits. Yes, instead of working on my stress eating habits and occasional temper, I’m going to play games better, I guess. Seems like a mature and measured response for a 26 year old man, but either way, here’s how I plan on improving my gaming habits in 2020.
1. Tackle My Pile of Shame
2019 offered some absolutely incredible titles worth playing, but at the time of writing, some of them have still eluded me. Games like Sekiro, Judgment and Afterparty are just sat there, waiting to be played, while I’m loading up Halo: Reach for another couple of multiplayer games. This can’t go on any longer. My Pile of Shame needs to be gutted.
Unfortunately for last year’s games, my shame pile extends a little bit past 2019. Titles like Minit, Gris, Tetris Effect and Return of the Obra Dinn form the 2018 layer, while 2017 holds such gems like Prey, What Remains of Edith Finch and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I’ve played BotW at least, but not long enough to really sink my teeth into the game so on the pile it goes. Throw a few older titles on there like The Evil Within or Final Fantasy XV and this so called pile quickly becomes a mountain; one that needs to be scaled, or at least reduced in 2020.
2. Play My PS4 A Little Bit More Than Not At All
Possibly one of the biggest gaming “crimes” I’ve committed in 2019 is only booting up the PS4 when work demands it, mainly for the purposes of reviewing a game. As much as this might breed hate in the comments, I’m an Xbox guy. It’s my all-in-one box, offering games, entertainment and, perhaps most importantly, pretty much all my friends, something the other platforms can’t offer to me.
That said, it’s a crime that the most successful console of this generation is relegated to the world’s biggest paperweight, so in 2020, I intend to play my PS4 a lot more than I have in the past. With titles like Judgment already in my big old shame pile, I’ve been given reasons to dust it off after all. I mean, I’m paying for PS Plus for a reason, right?
3. Take A Risk Or Two
On the whole, I’d consider myself a gamer with a wide ranging taste, but in reality, that tends to extend to mostly conventional genres. Tell me about fighting games, racing games, FPS games or something of that ilk and I’ll usually have some kind of interest, but tell me about a game like Stardew Valley and you might struggle to get me excited.
2019 showed me that I can be wrong with those assumptions. After decades of ignoring Pokémon games, Sword and Shield became one of my favourite games of last year. Maybe 2020 should see me widen my tastes even further and take a risk on a game I’m unsure about, regardless of the outcome.
This risk could be an already released game, with my mind thinking of possibilities like Fire Emblem: Three Houses or Death Stranding. Both games seem so far out of my wheelhouse that I’d have to travel to the next town over, but they’d fit the bill for this resolution. I could also take a punt on an upcoming game like Final Fantasy VII Remake or Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Whatever game I choose, I intend to step out of my comfort zone.
4. Actually Learn A Fighting Game
For someone who says they love fighting games, I don’t tend to play them as much as I should. The excuse is always time, but it feels like it’s just that: an excuse. If I put my mind to it, I could probably set aside some time to learn the ins and outs of a particular fighting game, so in 2020, I intend to do just that.
Unfortunately, I’m not quite sure which game to go with right now with my choices split between the likes of Street Fighter 3: Third Strike, Killer Instinct, Tekken 7 and Mortal Kombat 11. Maybe I could even learn Guilty Gear so I could combine my PS4 resolution with this one. Talk about a top tier speedrun strat.
All of the games mentioned above are incredible fighting games, each with their own intricacies and challenges, so perhaps I’ll switch from game to game as the year progresses. A different fighting game for every season, or something to that effect. Either way, I plan on making the dumb Hadoken tattoo on my left wrist proud.
5. Say No To Battle Passes
Right, 2020 is the year I’m drawing a line in the sand: I’m sick to death of battle passes, and refuse to engage in their bullshit any longer. More power to you if you enjoy battle passes, I can see why you would. They’re a good way of monetising a free-to-play game (and I feel like I should stress I only mean it’s good when they’re in a free-to-play game), while providing a host of items and rewards for dedicated players, but that’s my problem: I’m hardly ever a dedicated player.
Maybe it’s because I’m older, or I’m a little bit busier now, but I can’t sit there and play the same multiplayer game for hours and hours on end like I could for Halo 3 and Reach when I was a teenager. Even now, I can only muster about two hours of Reach or Overwatch in one session before I want to play something else, only coming back to the game days or weeks later.
In my mind, the existence of a battle pass in a game only serves to make me feel guilty whenever I decide to play something else. You’ve paid for the premium tier, and it’s only available for a limited time, so why waste your time playing another game? It’s a toxic mindset I refuse to engage with in 2020, especially when the battle pass finds its way into a game I’ve already paid for. We’re looking at you, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
That was my list of gaming resolutions for 2020, but what are yours if you have any? Let us know.
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