Winter. Known to Carly as: the worst season.

It’s a bit rubbish to be honest, but whenever this time of year rolls around I become a creature of comfort (please read this as lazy and honest), and actively partake in the ancient art of hibernation. Getting cosy and playing games, no one can say that doesn’t sound heavenly. But the games I play are nothing recent, but more a step back in time to something familiar or a game from a long time ago that I am yet to experience.

I always seem to go backwards at Christmas. As soon as I get a cold draft in my bones I bolt off under a duvet, constant cups of hot tea and sink myself into something from years gone past. And this year is no exception, albeit a few slight variations on what we can call ‘old’.

Once again I have dusted off my house brick cunningly disguised as an original Nintendo DS and had a gander though my town in Animal Crossing. I seem to revisit this annually now, last year I played the Wii version religiously over the festive season but as soon as my PC arrived in February all was abandoned. The DS version was no exception and I spent a good hour or so digging up weeds. Why? Well, that’s a bloody good question. It was neither rewarding nor enjoyable but I still did it. A possible sense of guilt for the abandonment perhaps? I am not sure myself, but what I do know is Cat Town (yeah yeah, shut up) is once again weed free. And more than likely will yet again be forgotten about in the new year, shame on me.

Every single time I log on to that bloody game…

This year, I am console-less for the first time since I was 6 years old. I still have my Wii but to be honest, I have had zero drive to actually set it up and play since moving to a new flat in the early summer. And to think I used to be such a proud little product of Nintendo.

We thought about replacing the Xbox 360 and the PS3 (which still remains in several pieces) but other life commitments got in the way and we never got round to it. And for the first time in 2012 I am really missing the company of a console. I adore my gaming PC, but to play anything means leaving the comfort of my duvet and couch and sitting at a desk. Pretty pathetic if I do say so myself, but that is how my winter gaming works. It was always something to look forward to coming home to – proper relaxation.

With the loss of my daily fix of MMO nonsense, I have been turning to Steam to look for cheap and easy (oo-er etc.) entertainment. Grabbed Saints Row the Third, practically died laughing at the character creation only to discover that my wired Xbox 360 pad crashed the game as soon as I enter combat. Tried playing on a keyboard and progressively got worse. Interest GONE.

Moved on rapidly to a few puzzle games but nothing stuck. I craved my duvet and comfort too much to enjoy things and wound up where I am now – right under that duvet with my DS and a grumpy face.

My face, all winter long.

A few nights ago, I excitedly downloaded Street Fighter x Mega Man for the PC and after a few controller fights, I finally got it up and running. And after an hour’s worth of playing, I did exactly that – got up and ran! Never was one for Mega Man games, but this has been driving me bonkers since I started. I eventually put the pad down to write this just to get away from it. But now I can now hear the other half swearing at it, so he is having as much joy as I did! His running commentary on how he has been doing is hilarious, but a bit too colourful to be writing down here…

Saw this screen FAR too often >:(

But why do I continually return to games that are not keeping me satisfied? Am I taking comfort in something familiar to fill the gap until the next game related distraction comes along? Patterns are emerging but no conclusion, leaving me even more frustrated. I promised myself in my new year’s resolutions that I would embrace new games and try something different. At least I can be smug and say I was right – I did not stick to my promise! But I am far from happy about it so it’s something I should address.

Yeah yeah, you have heard it all before, right? My annus horribilis (yeah, you read that wrong ya filth) of a life without consoles as been a lesson learned. Not doing this again!

I have, however, done the majority of my console gaming at my friends house, whilst he has both major consoles actively set up we have favoured the PS3. When we are not kicking several shades of crap out of each other on Super Street Fighter IV, we have been dabbling in other genres and even attempted Borderlands 2. And for anyone who knows me, that is terrifying! But I miss having MY console in MY house where I can lay about in my onesie and play whatever I want.

Next year, I am treating myself to a new Xbox 360. Or I fully expect to go postal at some point!

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