“You’re too afraid of dying.”
That li’l nugg of wisdom was from my 9 year old, watching me play Overwatch last weekend. If I heard that type of precocious talk from a kid in a movie, I would roll my eyes hard.
But he’s my kid, and existential implications aside — he kinda has a point.
I am pretty conservative with my choices when playing games and I’m not sure why. I mean, the obvious reason is that I’m not very good and lack the twitchy reflexes of my twenty-year old self.
So I was rooting around in my brain to figure out if there was some deeply buried memories of old Atari and NES games that lacked of save points, so dying in-game to me today still means a painful process of re-playing entire levels.
I typically shy away from more realistic games like Call of Duty and Ghost Recon because no shields, man! As a rule, every shooting game should come with a regenerative shield that allows me to take multiple shots to the head before I die. Save the realism for the graphics, I want to keep playing.
And maybe that’s it right there. The fewer chances I take, the longer I can actually play a game instead of waiting to re-spawn. But then am I really enjoying the game?
I mean, so what if I die? I’m not trying to go pro, and it’s not like my PS4 is that holographic game James Bond played in Never Say Never Again. You know, the one that shocked the loser and the viewer because 007’s toupee was so bad.
The point is, dying can be part of the fun, and can make the moments when you go all Leeroy Jenkins and don’t die that much sweeter.
Or maybe this fear of mortality is all for crap. And the fact is I’m just chicken. Two minutes later in that same conversation I asked my son for some strategy tips, to which he shrugged and said “I dunno. I just run into a fight and mash a bunch of buttons.”
NetfliXbox, or, I can see your Halo
Microsoft livestreamed its big Xbox Series X first-party game showcase yesterday. Things kicked off with an extended look at Halo Infinite gameplay footage, which, if I’m being honest, just looked kinda… same-y.
Halo at this point feels like a Marvel movie. It’s slick and good-looking, but so familiar and so polished as to remove anything interesting. But I haven’t played it, so what do I know? (I know that ten year old me would fly through space and time to punch me in the face for badmouthing the Marvel Cinematic Universe. All kid me had was the Legends of the Super Heroes, and I was grateful!)
Microsoft also talked up the new Forza Motorsport, a new RPG called Avowed, and a new Fable game. There was also a new multiplayer Tetris that could be interesting, and despite my bitching about it, Destiny 2 Beyond Light actually looks fun. The dark adventure game, Medium, could be a sleeper hit as it lets you play in a physical and spiritual world at the same time. And the art for Sable is must-see fan-dibba-doozy-tastic.
But the REAL star of the Xbox presentation was the fact that all of the games shown will be part of Microsoft’s GamePass, which is $9.99 a month. So for less than your Netflix subscription, you get access to all of the games mentioned above, plus a bunch of others. That deal may be hard to, err, pass up.
If that’s not enough (greedy!), when the Ultimate Game Pass becomes available, it’ll just cost you $14.99 to stream those games to your mobile device.
Both Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 will be available this holiday. Which means that I will not be available for much of the holidays.
How I stopped worrying and learned to love Discord
40 Bit Gaming contributor, Mike Romo, is back with some surprisingly warmhearted news about joining a cult on Discord. For real, it’s helping him get through the last bits of Destiny 2. Read his full report.
Speaking of Discord, I was thinking of starting a 40 Bit Gaming Discord channel. Discord is actually a pretty easy thing to start up and it would be a way for gamers of our age to connect and play without all those pesky (or toxic) young people getting in the way. Shoot me an email and let me know what you think.
The newsy bits
Rocket League is going free-to-play. Free-to-play mostly sucks, but Rocket League is mostly awesome.
Huey Lewis and the News made a Sega-looking video for its latest song. It’s hip to be a 16-bit square. (Sidenote: The Questlove Supreme podcast is always good, and his interview with Huey Lewis is phuh-nom-inal.)
Reminder: You can get your own 40 Bit Gaming T-Shirt! Any money I make gets donated to World Central Kitchen!