One of the greatest strengths of the PS Vita is the diversity of its games library. With a few exceptions, notably MMORPGs and titles that lend themselves to eSports, there is generally something for everyone. My own tastes as a gamer tend to lean more towards arcade games, or titles that have a relatively short learning curve regardless of whether they are native Vita games, or those from its vast legacy catalogue.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy games that offer deeper, more engaging gameplay. However, my lifestyle has changed somewhat over the years. I’m not exactly a youngster anymore and don’t have the spare time to spend learning the intricacies of learning how to play a game before I can sit down and enjoy playing it. I wouldn’t describe myself as being an impatient gamer when it comes to the PS Vita or one that likes to rush through games – I spent the better part of 100 hours on both Sword Art Online: Lost Song and Tales Of Hearts: R, but sitting down with a hefty manual or playing through a tutorial lasting several hours just isn’t my thing these days.
I know many people raved about the PS Vita port of Football Manager Classic 2014 when it arrived on the scene. Even more so because of the innovative cross play functionality it offered with the PC version. But despite being eager to support the platform and buying the game soon after release, the cartridge spent less than an hour in the console. The statistics-heavy game must have seemed like heaven for the obsessive football nerd, but it left me feeling cold and I simply couldn’t stay focused for long enough to want to get to grips with it. Maybe the original Football Manager from the 8-bit era is just more my style?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind games that have a degree of strategic planning and thinking to them and I believe that for the right game it can work remarkably well. Role Playing Games like the Final Fantasy series are amongst my all-time favourites, and despite being story-driven throughout, the need for strategic thinking plays its part. While you can take a hack-and-slash approach to the combat system and hope for the best, careful management of your equipment and weapons will ultimately give you the best chance to complete each game in the series. I’m replaying the remaster of Final Fantasy IX on the Nintendo Switch at the moment and I’m continually fine-tuning the settings for my party to get the most out of the game.
But whether it’s a more straightforward game where you can adapt strategies as you play such as the PSM favourite Super Tank Poker or planning out the best starting settings in Stellaris, the PC sci-fi empire building epic the key to having the most fun certainly seems to be finding the best approach for each game as well as finding the right type of strategy game for you as an individual. Some love thrill and challenge of real-time games and the adrenaline rush that comes with them, while others prefer the more laid back turn based approach. Certainly games that are turn based give you more time to think and plan out what you intend to do and I’d say they’re better for us “oldies” whose reactions aren’t quite what they used to be!
All said and done, I think my brain is getting a little too old for games that need to put it to work having already reached it’s half-century. I never did get my head around chess despite having friends try to teach me when I was younger and playing countless games with tutorials including the classic CDTV version of Battle Chess. Give me something I can follow without too much to digest right from the start and it will keep me happy for hours on end… I’m just too much of an old-school arcade gamer at heart I guess who is stuck in the 80s!