I am a mere 17 months from hitting the big 30 and something is becoming apparent, something so terrifying that it scares me like the teenage population of Elm Street fears the night time. I am talking of course about reaction times or to be more to the point the loss of them. I sat down today and played Sonic The Hedgehog 2, not a particularly hard game but one that requires timing. Timing I have lost. So there I was playing quite happily until I got to the ‘Wing Fortress’ level. That’s right, the one right next to the (Amazing) end of game boss fight. Yet I was denied access. I just couldn’t make it through. I don’t know what happened no matter how hard I tried to reach the hand rail on the belly of the airship I missed. Eventually I got on to it only to somehow keep throwing Sonic into a flame curtain as if he suddenly had a fire fetish.


It’s not just Sonic 2 either. Recently I tried to play ‘Rock Your Socks Off’ by Tenacious D on Rock Band 3. I would usually achieve 5 stars on expert without a problem. Now I am reduced to Hard mode at best. What is even more alarming is the speed that this seems to have happened. In 2008 I was able to beat guitar games with no problem fast forward to 2012 and I am wondering if I should have robotic implants.

I have never been a fan of ‘First Person Shooters’ or ‘Shoot ’em ups’ but when I was given the opportunity to participate in the Killzone 3 beta I was more than happy to give it a shot. I liked the game instantly even though I was constantly being killed. I though that it must be because I haven’t levelled up and I decided to stick with it. Over time I unlocked all of the engineer’s upgrades and continued to play. I still get shot like I am a sitting duck. I have looked through guides, watched Youtube videos and even tried varying my tactics but still I got my behind handed to me on a plate. I still play the on-line mode occasionally but have come to accept that if my ‘Kill/Death’ ratio is equal then I feel that I have done well.

So where does this leave me? I am clearly being outpaced by a generation that will think ‘The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ came from space and that Jackie Earl Hayley has always been Freddy Krueger. The truth is I don’t really mind where I am at the end of the game just as long as I had fun playing it.  As I get older I  don’t want to be rushing around missing all the hard work games designers have put into an environment. I want to experience it. See it all and take it in. No, it doesn’t mean I am going to be drawn into swords and sorcery-esque role playing games’s (Not that they don’t appeal) in fact it’s quite the opposite. I love games that last around 20 hours, Like Darksiders and Infamous, Something that is satisfying but not overly filling. Although, saying that there is one game that I am chomping at the bit for which matches the sword and sorcery criteria;

Ultimately I just want a game that I can take at my own pace. Something relaxing yet stimulating. There will always be a time when I pick up Burnout Paradise again and try to beat all of those ‘road rules’ but I’d rather take a drive and listen to my songs before getting tangled in a multi car pile up.

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