So it’s been over a year now since next-gen became current gen and I’m still waiting for an excuse to embrace it. PS4, Xbone. Xbone, PS4. PS4 has better specs and Xbone has that Orwellian Kinect spycam that you have to pay $100 extra for. PS4! But Xbone has Halo, Dead Rising, and then they ditched the Kinect. Xbone! But the same games on PS4 are better….but what if Xbone gets the zombie game of my dreams? Well, I guess it doesn’t really matter right now, as all the best games are still coming out for the last gen and I’m still getting caught up on my PS3 exclusives, having been a Xbox warrior most of the last decade. I can wait for Sony and Microsoft’s latests to justify my love before I huck most of a paycheck their way for new hardware.
But hark! ‘Twas Christmastime a mere fortnight ago! And on that blessed morning what before my wondering eyes did appear, but a Nintendo Wii U (but no tiny reindeer). Lest we forget, the current gen technically started over TWO years ago when everybody’s favorite old school game company dropped their “last gen technology for this gen!” console waaaaay back in November of 2012 and we pretty much forgot about it (at least until the latest Smash Brothers came out). But the fact is that the Wii kicked the crap out of its competitors the previous gen in spite of its comparably low horsepower so Nintendo was clearly doing something right. And they’re still more or less doing it.
Sure, the Wii U is a glorified tablet that comes with a console, but tell me what current system has more quality exclusives? There you go. I may be warming up to this idea of going with the baby console for babies for a while. Yeah, old Nick’s gonna play up some Nintendo just like old times. Oh, wait. The gift was for my son. I’m stuck here with my broke ass playing old last gen games while writing a weekly video game column on the internet (I’m SOMEBODY dammit!) and my spoiled brat of a child who’d rather watch Stampy Longnose make YouTube videos of The Hunger Games on Minecraft than actually play with any of the dozen odd Disney Infinity figurines he’s collected or many games he’s accumulated has gone next-gen before me.
Well, I didn’t want to play video games on a stupid iPad thingy anyways. Wait, he also got a GameStop gift card and bought a sweet light-up Xbox-style controller too? And there’s a Marvel game involved? Well, I do love my superheroes, and that little plumber fellow always knows how to have a good time. Wanna co-op, kid? I shall teach thee of the ways of the great Mario, his verdant brother Luigi, the noble Toad, and the Princess of Peach. A fine tale indeed. Also, I’m going to rub it in when I get the high score. You see that, boy? I’M wearing the crown! ME! In your third grade FACE! I’m such a good dad.
But on the plus side, Lego Marvel Superheroes is more complex than you’d think and I’m happy to help him figure out the puzzles. Right before I blast his ass dead with repulsors, that is. Builds character, you see. Family time is all well and good, but now that little red dude on my shoulder is telling me I’ve got to figure out how to get Mini-Me out of the picture and rock some real deal shit. I want some Monster Hunter 3 and Bayonetta 2. Is it bad parenting if you look for excuses to ground a child just so you can send him to his room and play his video game console? Nah. When in doubt, just say it builds character.
It’s an interesting time in technology. One with a lot of unforeseen headaches like when everything uses a HDMI cord now and your television only has one port, two at the most. Or when you try and bring up Netflix and you can’t because the kid has made such a mess out his Nintendo ID’s that you just keep spinning in circles trying to match the right email and password and the right Mii. Damn it, kid!
I swear, all of this awesomeness is wasted on the young. Or maybe it’s just time for me to grow the hell up and let the next generation of gamers do their thing without me standing over their shoulder shouting about how gaming is MY generation’s thing and mocking their Let’s Play internet celebrity heroes’ Spongebobian speech mannerisms. Nope. Saddle up the hate train. Or horse. Shut up.
In all seriousness, I’m pretty pleased to be the father of a future gamer. I can almost hear him questioning other players’ sexualities through his headset now. Wow, that “all seriousness” thing never lasts long with me, does it? But hey, any time with my son is quality time and it’s actually pretty cool to break in a new generation of consoles with my son sitting next to me.
Sure, I’d rather be doing adult stuff like decapitating virtual noobs and whatnot, but I’ve still got my PlayStation for that and stomping Goombas in a Tanuki Suit isn’t really something that ever gets old, you know? Plus, there’s like a million unlockable Marvel characters in that Lego game and who wouldn’t want them all? Ooh, Black Widow has stealth mode! Growing up is way overrated. Part of the joy of parenting is reliving the things you loved in your youth through sharing them with your offspring. Let’s play some more Super Mario 3D World, little man. We’re in this together now. Sony and Microsoft can wait.