Sitting back and taking a moment to soak in all the glory of a game just isn't something that typically crosses my brain to do. I don't just play games; I tend to burn through them. I mean with over 90 games played last year alone and over 80 the year before, what choice do I really have? Sure, I may take time to do a ton of side quests if it's a particularly enjoyable game, but I have one goal above all else - to beat the game as quickly as possibly so I can move on to the next in my infinitely expanding backlog. On occasion I even find myself getting stressed out or angry when a game is taking longer than How Long to Beat tells me it should. Clearly, this isn't the best way to approach my main relaxing activity, and I know this will only get worse with a second child on the way and my first beginning to rebel against the notion of frequent napping. That's why I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it when Hitman 3 made me take a minute and slow things down.
It appears the days of consoles launching with cutesy mascots may be long over. Sure, the PlayStation 5 comes pre-loaded with the delightfully nostalgic tech showcase Astro's Playroom, but the real console exclusive that has people trying to get their hands on one of these elusive wonders is Bluepoint's remake of FromSoftware's Demon's Souls. At last, those without access to the Souls game that started it all way back on the PS3 can experience this intriguing historical document of a game that laid much of the foundation for the far more heralded Dark Souls trilogy. It both feels somewhat old as many of the constructs found within have reappeared multiple times in the ensuing decade plus of Soulsborne titles but also thrillingly new as massive improvements to graphical fidelity, frame rates (a Souls game running at a consistent 60 fps might be the most impressive thing Sony has ever done), and that wonderful haptic feedback the PS5 controller is becoming known for. While I may not have found myself slamming my head against the wall out of frustration like most Soulsborne games are notorious for (I suffered a mere 79 deaths versus the thousand or so I usually do, but I mainly attribute this to that smooth frame rate and tons of prior Souls experience), I still found myself completely absorbed in the fog-covered world of Boletaria, loving learning how one of my favorite genres of games got its start.
Despite the evil forces of the bot gods and crashing websites being aligned against me, I managed to score pre-orders for both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S thanks to my impeccable skills at refreshing web pages incessantly. The next-gen is here for me at last, and it's pretty damn glorious. Fortunately for my general well-being, I do have a wife and kid or else this week off for Thanksgiving where I got to really dive deep into my new beautiful gaming children may have seen me officially become one with my KILLABEE chair. There's a lot to love about both new consoles, and it's still far too early to know where they'll land in the all-time gaming pantheon, so the point of this post is merely to talk about what I've noticed about the two machines and not overly compare the two (especially since that's a more apt exercise for the Xbox Series X).