Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Goodbye Eric Vs. 365, Hello Eric Vs.

Starting July 1st, 2020, Eric Vs. 365 is over and is changing into simply Eric Vs.. It was very interesting doing the 365 (366) game format where I covered a different game every day for a year, but it was also a little too restrictive because I wasn't able to make new videos for games I had already played and it also meant I pretty much couldn't really play new stuff as much as I wanted to because I had to keep pumping out new content for other games. It is a relief that I can go back to playing whatever I want and making videos about whatever I want. 

Continue reading to see what I learned over the last year, and what is coming next.

With that said, I do think there is something interesting about keeping track of the total number of different games I'm playing, so when I play something "new", as in, not already included in Eric Vs. 365, I'm going to continue to number them. They'll be labeled "Eric Vs. - Game #XXXX - Title" and I'll continue making a blog post as well as a video for each one. When I make a new video for a game I've already played, it'll just be "Eric Vs. - Title (Subtitle)" and may not necessarily always have a written blog.

Honestly, no one watched the videos or read any of the blogs anyway, but I had a lot of fun making them, so I'm going to keep going with it in the hopes that maybe, someday, I'll gain an audience. I admit that by the end it was kind of a grind and I lost my motivation, but some of the videos I made over the last year were really entertaining and I'm really happy with most of the blogs (but even those I sort of sputtered out by the end ...). 

I also want to say that I kind of surprised myself over the last year with how much my tastes in games have changed. I don't like most "AAA" games very much at all. I don't like most big name Sony releases at all. It is disheartening to have seemingly everyone else around me going nuts over games that just look bland and boring and awful to me. I don't "get" it anymore, I guess. Of course, most indie games are also giant piles of trash too. I'm in a weird place, man. 

I can say with confidence I'm probably never going to play another Call of Duty, or Battlefield, or Gears of War ever again. I'm probably never going to play a new sports game again, other than "maybe" Madden. I've also realized, much to my surprise, that I don't think I actually like From Software that much. I love Dark Souls 1 and 2, but DS3, Bloodborne, and Sekiro are not my cup of tea at all. Hopefully Elden Ring plays more like DS1 and less like DS3, is all I'm saying. 

I also, through the magic of emulation, rediscovered retro gaming. Now, I'm not one of those "Games were better 30-years ago" weirdos, and honestly think that 99% of retro games have aged exceedingly poorly, but the ones that are still good are really freaking good. Without emulation I wouldn't have a chance to play most of these games, so I'm grateful for it. I also like being able to play European or Japanese games that never got released in the US. Yeah, I use emulation instead of original hardware. Yeah, I download games. What of it?

It's kind of a relief to be able to realize all of this. Back when I was a reviewer I kind of got caught up in the hype of the "AAA" release cycle and grinded through all of these games because it was my job. Now that it isn't my job, and I don't have to pretend to like boring military shooters and increasingly crappy sports games, I can proudly and loudly say "These games suck and I'm not going to play them anymore". Wow, that feels good.

So, moving forward, don't expect many of the hot new "AAA" games to be covered. It just ain't happening. I'm going to play more Farming Simulator, and hunting games, and fishing games, and anime tiddy games (lots and lots of these, I think), more retro games (thank you emulation!), and I'm seriously considering running a full 36-race Cup season in NASCAR Heat 5. I'm also leaning towards trying to get into streaming again.

And there you have it. A look at the past year and a vision of the future for the next year or so. Thank you to anyone that bothered to actually read or watch any of it.