As my life becomes more and more complicated, and I have less time available to devote to dedicated gaming hardware, I’ve decided to run a little experiment over the course of the month: Can my gaming habits be satisfied by only playing games on portable consoles? For me, this includes 3DS, PS Vita, and if it comes to it, iOS games. After looking at the release lists for the next month or so, the titles I’m actually very excited about are almost entirely 3DS bound. I just picked up Fire Emblem: Awakening today, and near the end of the month I have Etrian Odyssey IV to look forward to. In the meantime I’ve been tinkering with the earlier Etrian Odyssey games, along with trying to go back and finish Kid Icarus Uprising. I also picked up Ikachan on the 3DS eshop over the weekend. While I do very much want to play Ni no Kuni, I also just don’t have the time to dedicate to sitting in front of a TV for a lengthy JRPG right now. Being able to play Persona 4 Golden on a portable was the only reason I was able to finish it, let alone put nearly 80 hours into it, so a move like this isn’t as scary to me as it may seem. Western third parties mostly ignore portable platforms, while Japanese developers tend to thrive on them. The DS has many amazing (albeit very niche-focused) titles coming out over the course of the spring.
Dedicating a month to portable games is likely going to be easier than I may make it out to be, since the way I play games, I rarely get to the biggest and newest titles until months after they come out, mostly out of not wanting to pay $60 for a game. I bought and played through DmC: Devil May Cry, but the only reason I bought it when I did is because I was able to get it for less than $40 on PC. I do worry about games becoming more expensive, but when games like Dead Space 3 are being released with a lot of convenience oriented micro-transaction content, it leaves me with little desire to pay that much for a game at launch, much less at all.
I’m currently sitting on a stack of Etrian Odyssey games, Fire Emblem: Awakening, Kid Icarus Uprising, and a handful of other crazy time-sink games that I’ll have no problems dedicating countless hours to. My love of video games has always been more Japan-centric, even if I didn’t know it, and with these type of games being released, that doesn’t look likely to change.
Even beyond February, I’m realizing that a lot of the games I’m even excited for this year are 3DS games. Monster Hunter 3G is released in March, while Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers comes out in April. I have Pokemon to look forward to in the fall, and I’m assuming that Animal Crossing: New Leaf will be released sometime this summer.
If this somehow becomes a problem over the course of the next few weeks, I can at least be thankful that February is a short month.