My name is Josh, and I have a problem. They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right? Well, I have a problem when it comes to gaming, and it may or may not have something to do with my unwavering desire to collect things. At first, it was just in-game collecting, but since the launch of the first Skylanders game, my collecting habit has transcended digital collecting and transformed into an obsession to collect physical gaming pieces.
Skylanders, Skylanders Giants were the biggest enablers of my addiction, but more recently with Disney Infinity and even Pokémon Rumble U, I'm finding more and more things to collect. Thankfully, I never got into collecting statues from collector's editions or stuff like that, probably because they didn't serve any purpose at all other than collecting dust, but with these NFC seri, I am able to justify it more easily. Not that I really have to justify it at all to anyone, but it keeps me from feeling horrible about myself, riddled with buyer's remorse each time I go out and buy a new character.
My eight year old son is who I got into Skylanders for originally. I got him the first game and some characters for Christmas one year, not knowing if he would dig it or not. Well, he fell in love with it immediately, and I knew what that meant: we would be investing much more into this game than originally thought. Again, at first, it was all for him, but the more time I spent hunting down hard-to-find characters, the more I fell in love with the collecting process. It was the thrill of the hunt, the satisfaction of finding one left, and then the reward of adding it to the growing collection.
Eventually we finished off all the Skylanders in the first series, and then with Giants, we just recently did the same. Unfortunately, because of the upheaval of familial status that happened which led to me moving out, our bond over the series and the collection we amassed would change drastically. I'm not around all the time to talk to him about the ones we don't have, bring home new ones and just genuinely enjoy the games with each other. It sucks, but it's totally something I'm trying my best to adapt to.
Well, with his birthday conveniently falling so close to the release of the newest Skylanders game, Swap Force, it was only inevitable that I get the game for him. His little sister and I went out to the store early in the morning to pick up the starter pack for him, and while she wanted to pick out a new, additional character to give him for his birthday, I chose not to dive in to the investment as I normally would. For one, I don't want to be that guy who feels like sticking it to the ex by going above and beyond with gifts for the kids, because that's not my style. But also, I have a plan for collecting this series of Skylanders figures.
You see, when the PS4 is released, I think I am going to get this game for myself. According from people in the know, the PS4 version seems to be the definitive version of this game. That makes me excited, for sure. But also, I really want to play the game, enjoy the game, and collect the figures for myself, since I can't really do that with my boy like I used to. So instead of buying him all the figures and letting him keep them at his mom's house where they will go unappreciated and probably end up in a box or gone before I know it, I figure I can collect them, and if he wants to borrow them sometimes, or just play the game over here when he comes over, that would work.
I also realized that I really want all of the series 1 and 2 Skylanders as well, if I'm going to be jumping into series 3. Part of me just wants to go and start buying all the old ones, but I don't know how hard that will end up being, much less expensive. I then wonder if my boy would want to keep them over here with me at some point, either when he loses interest in the series or just because he would have more fun with them with me anyway. I'm not sure which route to go with this, but it's proof that my addiction to collecting is reaching all-time highs.
The game itself is fun, by the way. The new characters are fun, especially the swapping ones. While swapping bottoms and tops of figures with other ones seems gimmicky, it actually adds some unique strategy to the game that it's been missing in previous entries, from what I can tell from the time I spent with it. But honestly, I can't wait to see what this game looks like on the PS4. It's going to be sweet, I'm sure.
So do I really have a problem? I don't know. It's fun collecting all these things, and since they have a purpose, it makes it far more enjoyable. I like the Disney characters because, well, they are Disney characters, and Disney is just awesome. I like the Pokémon figures for nostalgia purposes, and because they are a lot cheaper. I haven't fully committed to them, though, in hopes of real Pokémon figures and a game being in the developmental pipeline. And the Skylanders figures? They are unique, original, and make me remember back to my childhood when I was always using my imagination to create crazy monsters and creatures. They are really cool characters and they seem to keep getting better, despite it being a massive cash cow.
Maybe this is just a cry for help. Maybe not. Either way, the first step is done.
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