BY SEAN CLARK
[I love games, but the older and busier I get, the less time I have to play them. Being as book-minded as I am, I’m mostly drawn to games with compelling and intricate stories. In this column I share some of my game playing experiences that I think might be of interest to fellow book nerds. You can read previous installments here.]
I’m finding myself increasingly tired of most video games. In recent months I’ve found myself less and less willing to sit in front of a TV with a controller in my hand. I can’t remember the last time I turned on my Xbox, and if it weren’t for the Virtual Console and today’s re-release of the excellent Wind Waker, my Wii U would be in the same dusty boat.
I still do carve out some play time during my commute to school, or while watching football or listening to podcasts before bed. For many, the iPad (or some other tablet) has filled this space nicely, but I’m sticking with my 3DS.
I have an iPad and I love it; I hate playing games on it. Sure, there are a handful of outstanding games on iOS (some favorites: Superbrothers: Sword & Sorcery EP; Year Walk, the overpriced Final Fantasy Dimensions), but for the most part, it’s full of shovelware garbage. With few exceptions, I don’t find seeing how long I can keep a dude from running into a wall, or constantly tapping little buildings to collect one kind of money to buy other little buildings that the little guy in the corner constantly reminds me I can get with less taps if I pony up my real money on some second in-game currency to be even remotely fun after about 5 minutes. (And yes, I admit I fell down a Tiny Tower hole a couple years back, until I realized playing it was closer to ant farming than actually doing something fun.)
I’m not usually one to evangelize, but if you spend more than an hour or so a week mind-rotting with these sort of apps, you should really considering getting a Nintendo 3DS. It’s the one device I still use with any sort of regularity for playing games, and has come to rival the Super Nintendo in my mind as the best video game device I’ve ever owned.
Yes, for the the first year or so it was overpriced and there was a real dearth of things to play on the damn thing, but the price has dropped the two models (I prefer the XL) to the sub-$200 range and a third, budget-cost, non-3D model is coming in October; the eShop has built up a respectable selection of bit-sized, above average downloadable games unrivaled on iOS; and so far in 2013 it’s delivered not one, but three of the best RPGs (my bread and butter) that I’ve played in a very long time–as well as a growing library of pretty darn good games. Continue reading