Comfort Gaming

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Stanshall
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Comfort Gaming

Post by Stanshall »

I dunno about you but I'm struggling to get into anything besides story driven stuff at the moment. I've been working full time throughout lockdown, so I'm fortunate in a way that not so much has changed in my life. On the other hand, while I look forward to getting home every evening and getting stuck into a game, I'm finding that a lot of my usual favourite things are just stressing me out and a lot of other games are boring me. I'm aware that I'm pretty tired out by the many problems caused by Covid, which is a big factor in my current tastes, but that's not the discussion. It's about what comfort gaming is for you these days (or in general).

I play a lot of bullet hell, rhythm and fighting games, FROM and Platinum type stuff and I just can't be doing with the concentration or intensity right now. I still really enjoy them for a bit but I feel burned out very quickly. I lose my temper which isn't really me. I just want something mentally easier. So then I think, OK, time to really give Captain Toad, and Yoshi's Crafted World or whatever a proper chance and after even less time, I just think this is inane. (Unfairly) they currently feel like the equivalent of one of those Spot the Dog books where he's looking for his ball or whatever. Is it in the picnic basket? No. Is it in the bog...? Look, it's obviously on the last page, let's get this charade over. I know that's horribly reductive but I feel like I can see through the illusion. (I know I sound depressed, I'm just really tired).

And so the only stuff that's really keeping me engaged are second playthroughs of FF7R, Skyrim, Uncharted 4 and RDR2 (which I'm taking much more slowly than first time around), and the AC Odyssey DLC. I've also started FFX for the first time on the Switch and I suspect that will be in the mix. They're games which don't especially respect your time, even Uncharted, long periods of repetition but they want to let you sink into them. And oddly for some perhaps, Dark Souls is also enormously comforting right now. I've just played it so much that the deliberate pace and knowing the entire thing inside out is very comfortable and familiar for me. I don't care if I die because I've already rinsed it. I just soak it all up and transport myself. Right now, that's all I want from gaming.

What about you?

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Jon Cheetham
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Re: Comfort Gaming

Post by Jon Cheetham »

I've been in the mood for something with a cracking story as well. That's why I booted up the free download of Uncharted 4 that came out on PlayStation, ended up loving it as well as TLOU which I played next. Being absorbed in a really tremendous story has been great these past few weeks.

The other essential aspect of my comfort gaming, especially later at night, has been big comfy open worlds. Platinumed Dragon's Dogma, beat Far Cry Primal, currently revisiting my ~140hr AC Odyssey save file and might end up just playing this for the next couple of weeks... It's so good.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Comfort Gaming

Post by KSubzero1000 »

Come to think of it, I don't think I really have such a thing as comfort gaming in that sense. I adore the cozy feeling of revisiting an old classic and do so regularly, but when I'm feeling too tired or stressed out to focus on playing games properly I usually prefer doing something else with my time, like watching a movie.

I suppose the closest comparison to what you're describing would be my semi-regular Fire Emblem handheld replays. Unlike most of my other favorites it requires absolutely zero dexterity, and following these beloved characters on their journey will never get old to me. If anything, knowing the maps and other gameplay elements ahead of time helps me appreciate their design even more, if that makes sense. Watching all the dominoes carefully fall in place exactly as anticipated is super satisfying.

Plus, the handheld factor makes it particularly well-suited for cozy late-night blanket-wrapping action. Bliss.

Stanshall wrote:
May 17th, 2020, 9:51 am
I dunno about you but I'm struggling to get into anything besides story driven stuff at the moment. [...] I just soak it all up and transport myself. Right now, that's all I want from gaming.
Hey man, nothing wrong with that. These are trying times. :thumbsup:

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Alex79uk
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Re: Comfort Gaming

Post by Alex79uk »

Yeah I've never had a comfort game, I'm usually just a one play through type of person. Even with arcade games like shmups I get in to, I'll play them till I finish them and then don't really go back. I'm struggling to get really in to much at the moment other than Animal Crossing, but I'm about 3 hours in to Metal Gear Rising and really enjoying that - you know you get those games you can't wait to get back to, this is one. Annoying though because I went to play it last night and my Internet was being slow so could play it properly (playing via PS Now) so had to give up for the evening. Fingers crossed for better performance tonight!

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BaileyBoy
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Re: Comfort Gaming

Post by BaileyBoy »

For me pretty everything I play is comfort gaming in some form. I tend not to get stressed out even with very challenging titles and find slow, incremental progress through a difficult game quite relaxing in itself. The only thing I'll always avoid when tired or stressed is anything multiplayer, which never goes well unless I'm "in the zone", but gaming in general is my ultimate comfort zone.

I suppose the closest thing I have in the traditional sense would be arcade racing games which I'll frequently zone out too while listening to a podcast or watching a stream. I've been enjoying checking out some of the lesser known titles on the PSP over the last few months, Gripshift is my go to at the moment. It's almost entirely made up of sub one minute stages and there's hundreds of them. Perfect for when I feel like I don't have much of an attention span.

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svyatogornyj
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Re: Comfort Gaming

Post by svyatogornyj »

Comfort is so closely linked with nostalgia for me in gaming terms, so I usually try to work through an N64 platformer with great music (Mystical Ninja starring Goemon or Space Station: Silicon Valley). I've played them before growing up and they're low-stakes but satisfying. Games developed by Rare in the collect-a-thon vein also work well.
I've also had to work throughout the shelter-in-place orders all these months, and I actually used a replay of TLoZ:ALttP as a kind of balm for the same reason: burn-out. It's been wonderful playing through a gorgeous game I'm so familiar with but I'm taking my time and using a 100% guide this time. There are so many little things I missed growing up even playing through it so often. I think the time investment is perfect, too: each night anywhere from 20-60 minutes can get you through some overworld chores and a dungeon.
The odd thing is that even though I've always enjoyed sims/etc. like Harvest Moon I'm getting anxiety about finally starting a game like Stardew Valley or Cities: Skyline, probably ONLY because they seem perfect for times such as these, so I've given myself too much pressure.

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stvnorman
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Re: Comfort Gaming

Post by stvnorman »

I’m struggling to not play Animal Crossing at the moment, but for proper comfort gaming I head back to my Spectrum+2 for Feud, Renegade and Shaolin’s Road, or maybe Destruction Derby 2 on PS1.

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Magical_Isopod
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Re: Comfort Gaming

Post by Magical_Isopod »

Normally, I have trouble sitting down and focusing on games for any extended period of time... But I noticed a really interesting trend when reviewing my PSNProfiles account. The periods where I'm not regularly popping new trophies have also coincided with my major depressions. I'm not sure which way that goes - if gaming helps keep my mood up, and when I stop, I get depressed; or if depression makes me less likely to sit down and focus on a game I enjoy. I'm definitely leaning to the latter, given my previous education in psychology.

But I've been in pretty high spirits lately, and I've been attempting a near-completionist run of FF13-2. The way that game is structured basically requires a guide, so I've been barreling through leaving no stone unturned. But the looooong play sessions with very little feeling of progression are also a little deflating, so I'm gonna try and start some new games as well.

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Flabyo
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Re: Comfort Gaming

Post by Flabyo »

I’ve literally had no energy to do anything other than play Overwatch and Apex Legends so far this month.

I’m about halfway through a bunch of other story driven games, but I just don’t want to go there at the moment. They’re more effort than I want to put in.

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hazeredmist
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Re: Comfort Gaming

Post by hazeredmist »

Phoenix Wright (any) is my comfort game. Has been since discovering the franchise on DS many years ago. Currently playing Spirit of Justice DLC case for a short while before sleep each night. I play other visual novels but in between new experiences I will always replay the old PW games.

Rocket League is my "can't think what to play or be bothered to approach my backlog" game.

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Caligulas Horse
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Re: Comfort Gaming

Post by Caligulas Horse »

I like to chuck on one of those retro games collections e.g Sega Genesis Collection. Then I can just play for a quick 10-30 minutes on a few different games, easy to jump in and out.

Dynasty Warriors 3 can be a nice relaxing way to kill a couple of hours (and a couple thousand soldiers) but not a new game. Possibly the worst game to start again on imo.

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Sinclair Gregstrum
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Re: Comfort Gaming

Post by Sinclair Gregstrum »

Caligulas Horse wrote:
May 20th, 2020, 3:33 pm
I like to chuck on one of those retro games collections e.g Sega Genesis Collection.
Same - the Mega Drive collection on Switch is great for some quick and easy fun. Sonic 2 and Streets of Rage 2 in particular.

I'm finding Shenmue 3 wonderfully relaxing at the moment, with it's leisurely pace and rural setting. Yes there's the odd scrap every now and then, but mostly it's wondering around a village talking to old people. I love it!

My go-to comfort game for over 20 years though has always been NiGHTS Into Dreams. Lovely visuals, cheerful tunes, and gameplay that's all about the joy of flight that you can really relax into a groove with. It's perfect.

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