Lately I've been replaying old games that I've already finished. But for some reason I've been feeling bad about it?? So I wanted to untangle that with this here blog post. Come along with me!
First I wanna talk about my own habits when it comes to replaying games. There are two reasons I'll return to a game even if I've finished them already: to remember them, or because I love them.
Replaying Games I Love
Replaying games can feel like a bit of a hassle. It's not like watching a movie or even reading a book, particularly when it comes to the games I love. There's potentially 30 or 40 hours I have to invest to play a game I've already played.
But there are some games where time simply isn't an issue because of how much I love them. I do a yearly playthrough of Ocarina of Time for example, usually deep in the winter right before I get cripplingly depressed. It has never gotten old for me, simply because of how important that game is to my life and how it's shaped me.
There's also Shadow of the Colossus, a game I can and have cleared in a day out of sheer love for it. It feels no different from experiencing a piece of art with fresh eyes and time. SotC in particularly hit me hard with a replay, as I continue to grapple with my mortality salience - it felt more impactful than ever despite playing it multiple times in the past...seventeen years. GOD.
Another game I replay nearly yearly is Chrono Trigger. This is because it's the perfect game. Moving on.
Replaying Games to Remember
This is the other major category as far as replays. Sometimes it's been years since I've played a game and a sequel is about to come out, as is the case for Star Wars: Jedi Survivor. Or it's just me getting old, and I can't remember a game beyond its high points, which is why I'm replaying Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
The nice thing is that if enough time has passed, these games feel like entirely fresh experiences, or I find new ways to enjoy them. Unlike a book, which you can't really change the method of reading, some games you can approach with new strategies or builds. In Like a Dragon, for instance, I'm using an entirely different main party, with different classes for each member. I've gotten to see some neat new attacks and synergies that I didn't before, which has been fun!
So why does it make me feel anxious sometimes?
Replaying Games to Fight Capitalism
I think when I go back and play a game I've already played, I sometimes believe I'm depriving myself of "new experiences." Against my better judgment, video games are a big hobby of mine, so I am pretty interested in whatever's coming out next. But sometimes it just feels like the bell of capitalism ringing, urging me to consume the next product.
Time is limited on this great blue ball, so I sometimes feel like if I'm not constantly experiencing new things, then I'm doing myself a disservice. But I think it's a greater disservice to not let myself relax and enjoy something for the second, third, or fifth time, even if it's by all accounts a "time sink." It's what I want in the moment, and it just might be okay to indulge that urge. I don't even have to finish what I started if I don't want to!
Anyways, that's this week's dose of "Mint does an Overthink." What about you? Do you like to replay games? Got any you replay regularly? Let me know in the comments or on Cohost!