So far this year I have reviewed both Tiger Woods 11 and Madden 11. Both I praised, giving them positive and glowing reviews respectively. Both I was enjoying – and still am, technically – playing through their individual career modes.
But now I find myself reviewing NHL 11 and starting yet another career – and that’s before I even get FIFA 11 and PES 11. I know in advance, no matter how much care I garner for my created ice-thug, that he will be left to die of hypothermia in the save file of neglect.
It’s not out of choice. I don’t go, “nope, had enough of you” and throw it into a dusty corner of the room. There’s just always something else coming out, something else to distract me, to review, to play until my eyes leak. I miss the days of my youth where I would play the same Master League on PES for about 7 seasons, constantly upgrading and replacing.
It’s not like I don’t have the time, I think I need to concentrate on just one. Focus on taking the Packers to the Superbowl, putting the time in, instead of pissing about on the golf course when I should be on the training field.
It’s different with shooters. Give me an average to amazing multiplayer game and you won’t see me for weeks, months even. But they lack the true grind of a good manager mode. Sure, they have ranks and leaderboards to keep you fragging, but they don’t touch the almost RPG like grind of the good-old-days of PES.
There is a connection between sports games and RPG’s – faint, yes, but it’s there. RPG’s have the epic stories and great battles but so do these sport games, only you crate your own. The boss battles take the from of promotion games and Champion League finals. Meeting and falling in love with new characters is akin to picking up an unknown star on the transfer market and turning him into the next doomed box-art star.
I look back at the stars of Geroge Street United and they shine in the same light as Barret and “the boy” from Secret of Mana. I just need to recreate these times, invest a little bit of myself into these teams, get that bond back.
Or maybe I just have more of a life than I did in my teens.