David and I have been on a bit of a hiatus, we realize. It's the time of year where things become incredibly busy at work for both of us. Of course, between that, we've actually been playing (and remarkably, finishing) games so that we have something to write about here, instead of relying solely on our sharp wit and use of images to wow and distract you.
In this post, however, I'd like to talk about the concept of bridge games. Unlike the introductory picture, I don't mean the type of bridge played by your grandmother (mine, personally, is partial to gambling and other games of chance), but those games that you play between games.
I know, the concept sounds a little absurd at first. Here at the backlog, however, where much of what we have to complete consists of long RPGs, or involved platformers, we've come to appreciate them. You see, bridge games are those which you aren't under any pressure to finish. They are the games where it's more about the journey, rather than the destination.
|Sadly, few games are actually about Journey.|
Again, I realize that sounds ridiculous as well, since that idea is what should encompass gaming in general. However, in an oversaturated market where adult gamers often have more games than time to enjoy them, picking a title which to put your focus on can be a bit of a task. Looking at your entire backlog can be a bit overwhelming, if your task is to finish everything on that list, particularly if you have an RPG-heavy library like me and David.
Bridge games also serve as a nice distraction if you get stuck with a particular game, or need something to break the monotony of a title. It's a nice, mindless distraction through which you can give your brain sometime to relax after being unable to finish a particularly hard battle, or are frustrated with a particular puzzle. Fighting games are usually a nice choice for this, although some people may prefer an RPG that they already finished, and choose to go through at a slower pace the second time around. While expressing my love-hate relationship of Disgaea to the Enabler once, she acknowledged it as a bridge game of sorts. For her, it's fun in small spurts: Pop the game in, do a little grinding here and there, then set it aside for awhile. When approached from that angle, Disgaea is a good choice.
I, however, need a little more than exploding penguins on some days. Thus my bridge game of choice has been Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2.
|Because watching Itachi curb stomp Sasuke never gets old.|
|Because watching Jecht be a family man never gets old.|
Both of these games do have their respective quest and story modes which are chock full of unlockables. Certainly, it's possible to finish these games. The sheer amount of content ensures me that there will be plenty to do. The lightness of the quest mode does not make it intimidating to pick them back up should I choose to continue. The presence of other gameplay modes (which is admittedly where Dissidia Duodecim wins) provide a welcome distraction. Really, there's no rush with completing everything in these games. It's simply nice to pop in the game for a bit, do a few fights to have some feeling of progression, then go back to the game that's my current focus for completion.
Perhaps as my backlog whittles down (hey, I can dream), I'll have less of a need for bridge games and will instead be able to immerse myself more in the gameplay experience of the remaining contenders.
But for now, games like these provide a nice venue for me to continue using my leisure time as it's intended, rather than setting aside a game and making myself go back to working more than I already do.
To our readers: We're curious -- what are your bridge games of choice, if any?