With a full-time job, a wife, and a house full of dogs (we have four!), I have very little free time. I love video games and I really enjoy playing adventure, open-world, and role-playing games but those are also the ones that require the biggest investment of time. Since my personal life and my gaming hobby don’t always mix, I often start these games but never finish them.

A character performs magic in a cutscene from Lost Ark

Trying to juggle a few different games at the same time

At the moment, I am juggling a few games. Since it launched last month, I’ve been playing Pokémon Legends Araceus before I go to sleep. I have a Nintendo Switch by my bed, so I’ll spend 20-30 minutes each night making small progress with the game. Honestly, PLA is a lot of fun. It’s one of the more challenging Pokémon games I’ve played in a while.

I recently dabbled a bit with Lost Ark and tried out the Cyberpunk 2077 Series X update. Lost Ark was fun but I haven’t played much over the last two weeks. Meanwhile, with Cyberpunk 2077, I sampled the improvements but also haven’t gone back in more than two weeks.

If you haven’t already, check out my review of The Cruel King and the Great Hero. After I posted my review, I started playing Gran Turismo 7. Like PLA, I’ll play for about 30 minutes each day, unlock some new content then come back the next day. I plan on posting something around GT7 in the next week or so, I need to unlock more content before sharing my thoughts.

a section of gameplay from Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Wanting to play the games people are talking about

Of course, there are also the recently released and soon-to-be-released games I’m interested in. Although I haven’t been tracking it too much, I downloaded the trial version of Triangle Strategy. Considering my enjoyment of similar tactical RPGs like Jeanne D’Arc and Final Fantasy Tactics, if I find the prologue intriguing, I’d probably want to play more.

Then there’s Elden Ring. For a genre I’ve never really spent much time with, the more I see, hear, or read about it, the more I’m curious to try it. My biggest concern for this isn’t the time-sink, it’s that I could get too frustrated with its difficulty. I’m on the fence, but I do feel that I need to give it a shot at some point this year.

The list of other games I’m interested in is only starting to grow. There are a few remakes/remasters including Chrono Cross and Front Mission that I’d like to play. Kirby and the Forgotten Land looks fun, I really want to try the demo at some point. I suspect I’m missing a few other notable games coming out over the next two months. They might not have my attention now but that could change if I hear good things.

Gameplay from Pokemon Legends Arceus

The need to prioritize

Ideally, I’d love to come across those games that don’t require that much. I can invest 8-12 hours, but I think these 20+ hour commitments are just not possible for me. It’s a tough balancing act. Developers want to keep players engaged and gamers certainly want to have the most value for their time and money spent. For me, a dozen hours is absolutely worth it if it’s enjoyable. As this year progresses, I hope to come across more of those manageable and enjoyable experiences.