I've been playing "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" since the release of the Nintendo Switch on March 3rd, 2017 & I'm nowhere near completing it. Ok, the limited amount of time that I play is a factor, but another factor is that this is a huge expansive world. I spent more time walking slowly, listening to the natural sounds, those soft piano accompaniment, & admiring the scenery than completing any plot-driven task. I rarely even engage in combat unless I really have to. This game can be really tranquil if you let it be. I do make attempts at certain goals, but it's very easy to get distracted in this iteration of Hyrule. I'll head off in the direction of a shrine, tower, or some other important part, but then I'll find myself collecting mushrooms & apples to cook with for hours, which pass by like minutes, and then my system is giving me alerts that it's ready for a break & it's time to charge it again. Sure, I could dock the system and keep exploring, but there's always some grown-up thing I need to do, a project that needs my attention, another form of media to consume, or the sweet release of a midday nap with the tv as background noise.
2017 has been packed to the gills with games that I want to play with no signs of the releases slowing down. A few of them are downloaded & ready to go on my PS4 harddrive. "Nier: Automata" is waiting. "Gravity Rush 2" just had Raven DLC released. I haven't touched "2064: Read Only Memories" at all. Only played "Ghost Blade HD" twice. And the list goes on for awhile. Not to mention things I've got my eye on & just haven't pulled the trigger on the purchase. I'm thinking I might have time to get to some of this stuff some time around December. Just in time for the next slew of releases to roll in around 2018 -- I'm looking at you "Shenmue III". Not to paint this as some 'woe is me, I have too many great video game to play' scenario because I'm glad so much cool stuff is coming out & I'm able to get it, but the double edge to this blade is I don't have the free time to play games all day like when I was a kid. Besides, I've got so many other things to do that sitting around & playing games all day seems kinda ridiculous. Maybe the point I'm trying to get at is that while playing Zelda, I'm considering a new way to play. Approaching games like this as a long term investment like reading a long novel. Play for an hour or so here & there and take my time with it. There's no need to rush to the finish line. I also don't need to play every new game upon release either. I don't know how people who don't work in the games industry (i.e. people paid to play through games for review, guides, testing) are doing it, but that frenzied nature isn't for me. What's it for? To brag? To get to the next game to speed through? Or do they have the luxury of a ton of free time? Nothing else to do with themselves? I don't know & don't get it. For now, I embrace those slow strolls through Hyrule, take in the sights, explore, adventure, and be engulfed by the world the developers built. Really enjoy the journey. When I need a change of pace, I've got plenty of other stuff to jump into for short burst & a change of scene, but I can always come back to this world as well.