The Summer “Lull” is the Best Time of Year in Gaming
We Don’t Need No New Releases
I love gaming in the summer, its my favourite time of year in the industry. Big time new releases are still a blast. The hype, anticipation, and even the uncertainty, all giving us that warm and exciting feeling we all want to replicate when we unwrapped our favourite SNES or Genesis game (I grew up in the gaming wild west days). Sometimes we get that and it’s just fantastic. For me, I love finding those hidden gems from months or years back, and catching up on the inevitable backlog from Steam sales.
I think it all started back in the day when me and my younger brother would spend our Saturday mornings nose length from the TV screen making our way through the Donkey Kong series or finally trying to concur Super Double Dragon. It is a little different as a kid, you’re at the mercy of your parents, family, and gift giving with the games you own, but these are still my fondest gaming memories. As I’ve gotten older I’ve been all aboard the Hype Train many times, Halo 2, the Uncharted series, and most recently the Arkham games. I was a pretty late adopter of the Sony consoles so I missed out on the Uncharted 1 & 2 releases. To get myself prepped and ready for the 3rd installment, I spent the summer previous playing through the first 2. I loved every minute of it. That was one of these first times I came to the revelation that summer is my new favourite time for gaming. One of the main reasons is time, I just don’t have the time to play all the newest releases, I’d love to but life gets in the way.
I am dying to get into Arkham Knight, but I just haven’t had the time. I’ve played numerous games since it was available, and I honestly haven’t felt like I’ve missed a beat, if anything I’ve had a better time experiencing games I hadn’t cracked open yet. This has been my approach the last few years between (roughly) May and October, focus on the past and take the time to play something I didn’t have time to a couple years ago.
Some of my favourite games of all time have been played in this “summer lull.” Fez, Mark of the Ninja, The Wolf Among Us, Thomas Was Alone, and Bastion are all ones that first come to mind. I sift through my Steam library or PS Plus list, boot them up, and love almost all of them. Maybe it’s just the games I’ve decided to play that have created this sense of joy in my summer gaming, if I played the latest Arkham game would I be having just as much fun? Maybe, but I also like jumping from game to game sometimes. This summer for example, I’ve gotten deeper into Heroes of the Storm, but along the way started playing Ori and the Blind Forest, Journey, and (trying to become the motorized Pele) Rocket League.
Growing up in the North East coast of North America it’s not exactly the warmest or friendliest weather all year round, passing on the rare warm weather would be a great tragedy, so if gaming is in the cards why not take it with you. Right now I’m discovering one of the best 3DS games I’ve ever played, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. I’ve even gotten around to finally reading Ready Player One, also a great way to get outside while also being a huge geek while I’m at it! I actually want to thank the gaming developers out there for giving the industry some much needed down time like the summer. Without it, I don’t know if I’d have experienced a lot of my favourite games. Sure, you’ll hit some duds, or something you’ve heard is fantastic but just didn’t connect with you. For me it was Monaco, Witcher 2, and Spelunky (I know, for shame!).
Maybe it’s not for everyone, but I love heading back into my own personal collections to replay a title I love, or boot one up for the first time. I love gaming, new or old, taking the time to experience many of these unique and innovative games has not only given me more appreciation for what the industry really is, but made me fall in love with video games even more.