It was Christmas 2008 and as the college semester ended I was getting ready for my holiday vacations. My Xbox 360 had died (RROD) and I was broke as hell, so I went back to the Wii and my PC for some Christmas time gaming. I started my vacations by ordering The Longest Journey (saga which I am a hardcore fan of since then) and Sanitarium through a very cool trading site that used to exist at the time and went by the name of Goozex (no longer working). I did this by using the first 100 points they awarded me just for joining the community and another points I earned for referring a friend. Both games were awesome and I just felt so nice and focused while playing them that I basically breezed through all the puzzles and problem solving with a lot of ease. Also both storylines were really surreal, which helped to the overall "mind on the clouds" mood. It is also worth noting that the temperature at the time was near perfect and there were a lot of rainy days (which I love) making it all a lot more enjoyable.
After that, Nights: Journey of Dreams was going to be released and in a lucky turn of events, my mother bought it for me as a Christmas present (which was very surprising considering that the last game she had bought for me at the time was Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones (NES) so yeah, it had been a while). Been a long time Sega fan, I found the game to be quite enjoyable even if official game reviews were not that good. I was also one of the very few that actually used the online feature this game had, in which you basically constructed your own dream world and could have friends visiting your world while you were visiting theirs. The whole dream topic made the experience to be very mellow and relaxing and I thought that the game's ending was even better than in the original Sega Saturn games.
|So there was another game like Hotel Dusk: Room 215... I have to play this!|
After that, as New Year's Eve was getting near, I got a couple games for the Nintendo DS at a bargain bin at Kmart (they don't do those anymore) which were Hotel Dusk: Room 215 and Contact. In Hotel Dusk I was instantly absorbed by the film noir style it had and also by its intriguing story (in which I got a couple bad endings before finishing it the way I was supposed to). As for Contact I got it thinking it would be some sort of DS Earthbound and while it wasn't exactly what I expected, it still made up for a pretty nice experience.
Finally as 2007 went away and my vacations were ending, I got some more cheap games while I had the chance. This time it was Trace Memory (DS) and Alida for PC (Alida was through Goozex). Trace memory was a good game that made me feel as if I was watching one of those "wth is happening" anime series and Alida took me back to the days of games like Myst. I barely finished both games before college started again and I went back to the daily grind.
So yeah, my little story of an awesome holiday season... So what?
Why do I tell you all of this? Well, because this was my case, but I'm sure each one of you had at least one occasion where you went full mellow gaming just to kickback and relax. For me, that holiday season was very special even if my Xbox 360 broke down (missing out on some of the new games) and even if most of the games I played were one year old at best. This proves one simple thing, which is that following the latest trends will not always lead you to the full enjoyment of your games. At times you just have to look back and give a chance to those games you may had missed when they first released. Give it as try, as it is a very fun and rewarding thing to do.