If I ever get back to my 3DS, I might get back to a 2016 Mario & Luigi game that I still haven’t finished, in part because, when it came out, I still was in the middle of playing the 2013 Mario & Luigi that came out before it. I used to be on top of this series, but now, as with many others, I’m falling behind.
There’s already been a new Mario & Luigi spin-off since the 2016 game, with another spin-off slated for next year. I yield, makers of Mario & Luigi games. I yield.
As I look at my failing progress in Professor Layton games and Ace Attorney games and so many more franchises I used to be on top of—and as my anxiety builds about sequels and prequels and spin-offs that are surely on their way—I face the fact that something has changed. Perhaps this is what happens when you get older, get kids or just try to keep up with too damn many video game series.
I used to be a person who kept up with all the Metal Gears, but still haven’t started Metal Gear Solid V.
I stopped playing the annual Call of Duty campaign several years ago, as I couldn’t even keep up with that.
I still haven’t finished the latest Gears of War after chewing through the earlier numbered releases.
I try more than 100 games a year, out of curiosity and for my job, and I love playing this stuff, but I find so many franchises hard to keep up with nowadays. I think it’s a real possibility that what formerly seemed unthinkable—getting lapped by a Mario sequel—might happen. I better get back to Mario Odyssey some time in the next, what do I have... three or four years?
Some series just release at too relentless a pace for me. I used to play every Fire Emblem that arrived in the West, on Game Boy, on DS, GameCube and Wii and played about 50 hours of 2012's Fire Emblem Awakening. I never got far in the game’s sequel, 2015's Fates, and then abandoned it to play Fates’ sequel, 2017's Echoes. Didn’t get much further in that one, and now I think I’m just going to bail and reset with the planned Switch sequel this year.
Some series falter in such a way that it’s not a big deal to skip an entry ever so often. They’re not quite a group of sequels, but the story-driven games from the studio Quantic Dream had been interesting enough for me to play Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain as they came out. I’m intrigued by the next one, Detroit: Become Human, but don’t mind skipping its predecessor, Beyond Two Souls. From what I understand I didn’t miss an unmissable game.
Some series I’ve probably played too many of. Sequels in games often better their predecessors, making me wish in retrospect that I skipped the earlier one. My enjoyment of, say, the Wii U’s Pikmin 3, might have been improved by not already playing the similar Pikmin 2.
I don’t want to fall behind on any more series. So, last night, I took a break from playing through the new God of War’s end-game to go back to Assassin’s Creed Origins’ final expansion, Curse of the Pharaohs. I really like the AC series, but I realised I was at risk of letting that game’s last bit of adventure go unfinished and for all we know a sequel could be coming out within the next year.
On the horizon, I’m excited about the late May sequel for Nintendo’s relatively obscure Western quasi-tower-defense Dillon series and just realised this morning I never finished the last one of those. I need to get on it!
This is the least bad problem a person can probably have, but it is a change I’ve noticed to how I play games. Whereas I once could keep up with a rotation of new games and sequels comprehensively, I now need to recognise it's going to be a bit more like how I buy iPhones—the occasional skip, one that might sting early but will likely work out just fine.