Replaying The Old(er) Vs. Starting The New(er)

claptrap party time

A conversation recently came up between my partner and I about what I wanted to do for my birthday this year. It’s near the end of November and, typically, falls right around (or sometimes on) Thanksgiving. Historically I have had mostly depressingly lackluster birthdays, and I often waffle between wanting to do something awesome (one year we rented an entire roller skating rink for just the two of us) and just staying home and hiding in the corner pretending I’m not getting older when in reality, that’s all I’m doing.

But this year when he asked me what I’d like to do, I immediately knew.

Starting in November, the Xbox One will have backwards compatibility and they already confirmed the one title I was most excited about: the original Borderlands.

So when he asked, I immediately answered that I wanted us to play through the original Borderlands on the Xbox One. He is typically not one to replay a game, but in this case, he agreed.

Looks like we are finally going to need another controller. Yay!

But this got me thinking. There are so many new (and new-ish) games out that I’m aching to play. Games I have in my possession. Why would I be more excited to replay an old(er) game instead of diving into a new(er) one? Is it familiarity? Is it comfort? Is it something else I can’t put my finger on?

Or is it because the original Borderlands is just that rad?

I think it’s the last one. And maybe a little of the others.

Part of this is the novelty of being able to play it on a current gen system. Between all platforms, I’ve easily completed the original Borderlands (and all DLC) over a dozen times spread out over various characters. I have never been able to pin down what it is about the game, but I have a great big weakness for it. I think it about it often, sometimes when I’m doing something totally unrelated. I will be driving to the store and find myself thinking, “Man! I should go back to Headstone Mine to see what’s what.” Or, “I wonder what’s going on in Jakob’s Cove.”

These are silly thoughts only because I already know what’s going on in those places. I just want to go back and re-experience them.

I also love an excuse to play some excellent couch co-op with my partner. I think Borderlands was the first occasion where we were both sucked in to the experience of the game in a big way. We played so much that a lot of things fell by the wayside like proper eating and sleeping. Probably not a great call health-wise, but worth it overall.

So combine this with my current gaming situation: I’ve got a veritable ton of newly released games on deck, yet all I seem to be able to play is Destiny. And lots of it.

I have both the time and opportunity to play all these new release games and yet I’m daily to be found in space doing a lot of things I’ve already done before, and will likely be doing again. Why?

Well for one, because I enjoy it. So there’s that.

But in the grand scheme of things, I wonder why I have spent so much time on games I’ve already played, versus starting in on new games (or at least new to me).

Sometimes my brain is a mystery.

So I wonder, how do you tackle this issue? Do you prefer to replay older games over starting newer ones? Or do you abandon a game as soon as you are done and then start in on a fresh experience? If you do go back to older games, what drives you to do so?

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with Destiny. Again. We’re getting pretty serious, Destiny and I.

5 replies »

  1. Replaying a game is a hard choice to make when there are so many others I want to play, often already purchased and calling to me on the shelf. It’s easier when it’s an updated version, though, and there are no shortage of those. Of course, that’s mostly related to games with a story or campaign. You know, with a beginning and an end. I’ll never get tired of going back to Zen Pinball 2, even to old tables I’ve played countless times. Great replayability!


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