Professor Layton stole my life…

Literally, every time I pick up one of those games I never put it down! I’m addicted to the intense, mind-blowing puzzles, the soothing music, the intrigue of the mystery. What is it about them that’s so charming and keeps you hooked?

I think it’s quite a healthy craze as far as crazes go. In my youth we had Pokémon cards and Yo-Yo’s, the popular playthings of the time. I went for both of these fads with gusto once upon a time, but now I can’t even remember what was so interesting. Then again, I’m not really the best example of a healthy fad-follower – I’ve lost hours and days of my life to many things in the past. Once something grabs my attention it’s usually unflappable. This is balanced out by the fact that once something loses my attention it might as well be invisible, because it’s very difficult for me to force myself to focus.

Here’s a list of my most obsessive time-invested crazes, in no particular order because they come and go:-

1) Professor Layton, obviously. I can’t put it down once I get into it, even going so far as to try completing the puzzles on over-packed trains.

2) Pokémon. Where the cards may have lost their appeal, the franchise as a whole still hasn’t. I can’t think of many games that can keep me busy till the early hours of the morning and still drag me out of bed before 10am to catch morning-only species. Then there’s the fanfic – I may as well commit a whole separate section to that one.

3) The Sims, varying from the PS2 titles such as Bustin’ Out, The Urbz and Sims Castaway to the PC version, which really did absorb me. I never played the first title, and I don’t think my laptop has the specs to run the third generation, but when it did come out I happily ignored it and bought all the newly reduced Sims 2 expansion packs. One of my most frustrating moments was the night I stayed awake until I finally got my main couple pregnant, only to nod off just before the baby girls was born – and have her name forever stuck as “baby girl”. With no knowledge of how to fix this problem at the time, I had to reload it…

4) Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, another title which kept me entertained for hours. Skyrim? Not interested, not until it’s been out for a while and the hype’s died down. I’m fed up of hearing about it, and while it looks very shiny and interesting I still can’t shake the feeling of warm, fuzzy contentment when I think of my time playing the predecessor.

5) Tony Hawks Underground 2, which is going back a fair way now. I obsessed over that game when I first played it! In fact, when I got my PS2 I’m sure that was the first game I got with it, and was the main reason for me buying it in the first place.

6) Super Mario, starting with the N64 version. I recently fixed the graphics problem I had with my console and restarted the game, although for nostalgia’s sake I do still have the originally completed save with all 120 stars and the 100 lives from Yoshi unlocked. I also spent hours on Maro Kart 64, and became such a whiz at it once upon a time that many of my friends struggled to beat me. I think the 64 generation is still my favorite, as I’ve tried Super Mario Sunshine and found it to be lacking, but I do really enjoy the Super Mario Galaxy games on the Wii, and I love Super Mario Bros on the same console, especially when there’s a few of us playing at once (although not coin battle – one of my friends is particularly vicious at it).

7) Anime, which I know isn’t a specific title, but I can’t pick any particular one. At the same time, I can’t stop watching them either. Once I put one episode of something on that I like I have to keep going, like Jaffa Cakes and Cadbury’s Fingers. They are the two things I can’t have just one of – you always have to have two!

8) Minecraft/ Terraria, both of which are major building, mining and crafting games. there’s just something about being creative in such a visual way that keeps me running back for more time and time again.

I was aiming for 10, and I know there are way more than that. I could think of 10 television series’ alone, including House, Big Bang Theory and Black Books, that kept me going well into the night on that “just one more episode and then I’ll sleep” mentality. But those are the main ones that spring to mind for me.



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