Christmas this year was very good to me. My wife, always loving, went above and beyond and teamed up with a friend to get me an xbox 360. I have always loved video games but always been fairly cheap for the most part, although in the right situation I don't haggle on price, but game rigs and games are one of those places I try to wait for the price to drop. Well, not so here.
My friend Matt brought over his system a few times for game night and the group would sit down and split (split) screen Halo 3 and tear each other up.
Okay, that's a lie.
Matt would tear us up over and over to the point of bringing us, all much larger than him, nearly to the point of murderous rage. Really. I almost killed him once, but he was faster than me. Lucky him. Truth is I now understand he is down right gifted in the FPS genre and should really be on a pro team someplace making the money they make. I'm sure it's not much but I'd wager it's more than he's making now.
Anyway, I digress, the point here is to high light my 360 gaming goodness. I've never been one to be focused enough to beat games. I've played alot, but once it's no longer fun and too much work I tend to walk away from them. I'll only fight a boss so many times, try a puzzle so often, or look for the ring of whatever digital sounding whoozit so long before I put the disc back in it's case and forget it. I attribute this to my Nintendo 8-bit days because game developers at that time had less tech to work with and relied more on LENGTH over anything esle. Not their fault, I still love those games, but damn. Really. Can anyone remember trying to beat Mario Brothers without using warp worlds? Or how about the original Final Fantasy, woooo boy did that take some time. I can honestly say the first game I ever beat was, well on consoles at least, was Legend of Zelda (still have the original cart) and then I found out there was a second quest. Oh my goodness, and that was harder than the first. I didn't finish it, but I nearly did.
With the 360 this has changed though, I find myself putting in the extra time to beat a game. Why you ask me? I can hear you now; "Why oh why Diceman do you put in the extra hours to beat these games when before you wouldn't?" Let me tell you.
Whom ever developed that idea at Microsoft/Xbox needs a promotion, it is genius. It tapped into something within me, something I understand now as a need to compete. It opened that up a previously unknown font of competitive enegery within me. I have pondered this briefly, between load screens, and realize that as my Xbox is LIVE I am likely to have my gamerscore seen and my achievements observed by the mass of xbox gamers out there. This means that if I do infact take the three hours it took me to beat the final boss of Conan then I have more than self recognition to be rewarded with. Anyone who cares can look up Conan on my gamer card and see that I have, in fact, defeated what is likely the most annoying boss in the history of gaming.
I think playing Halo 3 with my friends generated this need to compete. Now keep in mind this is not a need to win but to actively compete and put up a good effort. I don't feel a need to be king of the hill, it's enough to have knocked the king down a few times and made him take attention when i'm coming. You can take a look at my Halo 3 scores and see I don't have to win but I like to score a Spartan Laser kill every now and then and don't mind sticking them with a plasma grenade if I can over common battle rifle fire.
I've, barely, added my Gamercard to this blog so you can see how i'm doing. I imagine there will be many who have much higher scores than mine, but that isn't important to me. I'll work my way up, slowly but surely, and I may never take the time to get into the 1,000 clubs for games (lets hope I don't go down that rabbit hole) but i'll be sure to finish what I start since I know people can see that I finish it.
Oh yeah, one more thing, Viva Pinata. This is ever present on my tab of games recently played. I' don't get this. My sons play it lots but not on my profile. It must just track what ever is played in that particular 360. Strangely though I started playing because I didn't want to look like a tool and not have any gamerscore on the game.
Sad? I hope not.