Read my story, and please, please tell me you have a similar one.
I'm a massive Prince of Persia fan. Massive. If my Prince of Persia fandom could be measured by scientists, they would discover that it is big enough tohave its own gravitational pull, and would be very relieved that it's a personal video game preference rather than a black hole, because if it was, we'd all have been sucked into it years ago, and would be now living out our days in nightmare hallucinations about robots.
The Sands of Time trilogy, in my opinion (and this is my article, so this now becomes fact) is one of the absolute greatest achievements in video games, blending cerebral spatial navigation, stimulating, brainy combat and a joy of movement that took lessons from old sensei Super Mario 64 and can now spar with the old master all day without taking a bruise. I don't speak of the 2008 abomination though, as I hold it similar on my patented Scale of Awesome to herpes and nuclear holocaust.
Andnow I've discovered The Forgotten Sands is a real return to the glory days, and several pairs of my pants will never have their dignity again.
The hidden depths of the initially simple combat. The tactical interplay of different approaches neededfor different bad guys. The evasive, spatial mastery needed to skillfilly take out 50 Harryhausen skellingbones at a time. It's like Geometry Wars with swords and backflips. I am a happy man.
And the intelligent platform puzzling is sharper than it ever was. The Prince's new powers (the on-the-fly water solidification especially) are bringing some of the tightest, cleverest, most hardcore challenges the series has ever given me. It's seat-of-the-pants problem solving, lightning reaction challenges and spectacularly cool pay-offs every step of the way, just like Prince of Persia should be.
But it won't leave my head. For a second.
I'm starting to resent every minute I spend away from The Forgotten Sands. I'm beginning to become irritable whenever anything pulls me away from it. 'Stupid shower', I think. 'What real use is cleanliness anyway? This water won't even turn solid and let me climb up to the ceiling' My bed times are getting later and later. I know my brain will be as much use as a chocoloate teapot in work the next day, but I don't care, because I'm playing Prince of Persia, and in a way that's just as beneficial to my psyche as sleep.
The old parkour obsession has come back, stronger than ever. Just this morning I was observing the grooves in the outside walls of the GamesRadar office, working out my route up to the roof and wondering how much cardio and upper-body work I'll need to do before I make the ascent. And those trees outside the window are tall and very straight. I am absolutely going down for lunch via one of those later.
So what I want to know is, has this happened to you? Not necessarily with Prince of Persia, but with any game. Have you ever loved, played and lived a game so hard, so long and so obsessively that there really is nothing else in your mind? Has it changed your daily routine? Has it sculpted the way you think? What was it? How did it happen? And what anecdotes has it left you with? Let me know in the comments, or hit me up on ourFacebookandTwitterpages. Tell me I'm not alone.