Friday, 17 January 2014

E14 Top Tips: Juggling Your Video Gaming (Part 2/2)

Rob Wade

Read Part 1 Here

So yesterday, we saw some beginnings of a Top Tip set, specifically to do with making the most of your video game collection, and playing to whatever advantages you have at your disposal. Here's part two of that list, which we hope you'll enjoy.

Play To Your Mood

Had one of those days at work? You know the kind I mean. The kind of day where everyone's wearing novelty outfits, and you're the prick who came into work wearing a suit because you set a rule on your work email to send all the emails from Tim to the Recycle Bin and he's the one who organised it? It's for charity, and you look like a heartless bastard who ends up paying in money out of guilt, when you didn't even get to wear a bloody outfit. Now you're even more annoyed. You're out of pocket unnecessarily, and the people at work think you're a joyless tool. What's worse, the girl at the coffee shop that you've flirted with for weeks has gone right off you because she misheard something you said and thought it was antisemitic. Brilliant.

Sound familiar? It shouldn't - I was going for a combination of unlikely factors for comedic effect. Nevertheless, if you're in a mood, you want to do one of two things with your gaming. Either it needs to put you in a better mood through being nice and cutesy, or it needs to help you de-stress.

Sandbox open-world games tend to be a great way of relieving stress in the case of the latter, as I've had some fantastic evenings on Xbox Live with friends throwing corpses from the top of a building in Crackdown. Never underestimate, however, the calming effect that a game like Viva Pinata can have on you after a tough day.

Just make sure to avoid Blood Bowl if you're a PC player in a shitty mood. Those dice rolls are horse shit. Ooh, and FTL is probably not a great idea to play in one of those moods, for the simple fact that it's akin to having your balls sandpapered by a horde of angry toddlers.

Similarly, if you're in the kind of mood where you need to talk to a friend over the aforementioned Live, PSN or Skype-style service, probably best to pick a game that you don't need to be heavily focused on (see earlier point regarding variety and the like, the same principles are valid here). Driving games are good in this scenario, I've found, as you tend to find yourself (much like when you're driving in real life) going into somewhat of an auto-pilot mode and enjoying the conversation. Not a literal auto-pilot mode, you understand, otherwise the driving game would stop being fun.

Sample pile:

  • Forza Motorsport 4
  • GTA V
  • Viva Pinata
Have A Co-Op Game On Standby

This is a slightly flexible one in a similar vein to one of the earlier tips, but a very much more specific application of it. I'll use an example from my own gaming life currently. An example gaming pile from my recent playtime includes one game on each of my three main consoles. On Xbox 360, I was enjoying Syndicate, EA and Starbreeze's excellent FPS reboot. On PS3, I used my Playstation Plus membership to enjoy some Remember Me. On Wii U, I had (and still have) New Super Mario U in the drive, so that in the event of stress I can unwind. When it comes to PC, I also have a number of smaller games to dip in and out of (thanks mostly to my sister's boyfriend and his array of extra Humble Bundle codes, which has helped my collection bump up to 210).

However, occasionally, one of my Xbox Live friends will express an interest in playing Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, and why not indeed? It's a great mode. ME3, therefore, sits within easy reach of my gaming setup on the off-chance that said friends will fancy a game one evening. In the past, that extra game has been Borderlands 2, Gears of War 3 or one of the many excellent Halo co-operative experiences on Xbox 360. In every case, however, it'll be a game I have finished on single player.

The advice, therefore, is simple: Mix it up. If you're feeling burned out on The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, ask if anyone fancies a game of Halo 4. If you're completely bored of The Last of Us (although, if you are, get out), ask one of your friends to join you in Uncharted 3 multiplayer or something. Hell, write into us Here, and if I've got a copy of something you want to play, I'll give you a game. Change your routine up along those lines, and you'll find yourself burning out far less quickly on games. What's more, you'll cement some great friendships as you do, as some of my fondest experiences with my friends have resulted from some classic gaming moments.

So there you have it. Over the last few thousand words, you've hopefully gained some insight into my gaming style, which may well help you in your quest to keep your collection fresh and your gaming life enjoyable. Just remember the most important rule of all: gaming is a fun activity, and should be enjoyed as such. Although I've come to the above conclusions from my own experiences and my own personality, I by no means wish to suggest that you should spend too long organising your playtime to the detriment of your actual playtime. That'd be shit.


Agree? Disagree? Got any other tips of your own to add to the mix or debate with Rob? Write to us at or let us know in the comments below!

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