When was the last time you got so into a game that you were absorbed by it completely? You couldn’t put down the controller/handheld/etc. You kept looking up better methods of playing. You wanted to buy accessories like clothing, models, whatever that were branded from that game. You just could not stop playing it.
For me, it was quite a long time ago. I recently have picked up a game that has done exactly just what I said above but before that I’d have to go back to Metal Gear Solid 2, a 2001 game.
I was heavily engrossed into the Metal Gear storyline. I was given the very first game by my ex-girlfriend’s dad who knew I liked to play games. I whipped out the NES and played it like crazy and got my parents to hunt down a copy of the second game. Then Metal Gear Solid came out and that blew my mind. To see what they did with Metal Gear Solid 2 just hit me like a ton of bricks and I couldn’t stop playing it or talking about it. It was beyond my comprehension back then to think any game could do better, look better, or make me think that hard.
I bought action figures and models for the characters and had wallscrolls up in my room. I had the soundtrack playing in my CD player constantly. If it was Metal Gear, I was in. As much as I liked the previous games, for some reason I just couldn’t get over Metal Gear Solid 2. I played through that game many times with the first three playthroughs just to make sure I hit every story point and understood everything. I dare say I was obsessed.
The Metal Gear franchise followed me into the following games but still nothing has grabbed me like two did. I was very happy with Metal Gear Solid 4 and even after the edge of the seat Chapter 5 and ending, I see looked back and thought Metal Gear Solid 2 was the best the series had to offer. I have a lot of fond memories of that game and this entire series.
I honestly believed that my days of getting that big into a video game were over and done with. It’s hard enough for me to sit down and complete a full game that I’m not reviewing here let alone get that big into something. The same goes for books and movies and the such. I was very big into Game of Thrones but I’ve resigned myself to just watching the TV show now (even against the wishes of my few friends who have read every book). I thought, hey, I can get into a game or movie but my days of being absorbed into something are long gone… unless they made a big budget Guyver 3 movie with David Hayter. That’s besides the point, though.
Turns out, I was wrong. I’ve gone since 2001 without finding a game that not only did I absorbed into but also crack my top 5 of all time. That list includes Phantasy Star Online, Metal Gear Solid 2, Diablo 2, Pokemon Gold/Silver, and Mega Man X4 (I’m a big Blue Bomber fan, sue me). I kept going thinking that this was my list. Those were the games that I couldn’t stop playing. Those were the games that really grabbed me. I have to add another title to that and I believe it’s time for X4 to leave that list and make some room.
For over 40 hours now I’ve been completely engrossed and absorbed into a game. I can’t put it down and I can’t stop looking up stuff about it. I’ve bought a wallscroll for my room. I’m heavily thinking about placing a bid on eBay for the collector’s edition which is overpriced now and unable in stores. I even want the PlayArts figures which go for over $50 each. I want things from this game because I am having such a memorable experience with it.
That game is Persona 4 Golden for the Vita. Originally released in 2008 for the PS2. I can’t tell you how hard I am kicking myself for ignoring it back then. I bought this game knowing full well that out of all of the Shin Megami Tensei games I never got into Persona. I tried Persona 3 Portable on my PSP but didn’t get passed the first few hours. Don’t kill me, though! I am going to go back and play after Persona 4 Golden. However, with all the reviews and talk from gamers about how great Persona 4 was. I just couldn’t ignore it anymore.
I’m glad I took the risk and bought this game because it is now on my top 5 games of all time and has given me an experience I haven’t had in gaming for a long time. I care about these characters. I pick and choose what I say to everyone. I just can’t stop playing this game and I didn’t think I’d ever experience something like this again with video games.
This just goes to show that I thought too quickly and resigned myself to a fate where no games could ever beat my top 5 nor the experience that Metal Gear Solid 2 gave me or even the multiplayer experiences I had with my friends in Phantasy Star Online. I was wrong and I couldn’t be happier about that fact.
I know plenty of people who believe their gaming days “are coming to an end” or that gaming “just isn’t that good anymore” and hell, I thought that way, too. Persona 4 Golden has proved me wrong and I feel invigorated to play games with an open mind again.
It’s 2001 again for me and I’m hoping for more.
What games have done this to you? What did you get so absorbed into?
By the way, here is that featured image in it’s full size in case you wanted it.