All your old levels, abilities, and equipment carry over. You get to keep all the modes you unlocked in the last playthrough. Feel free to take different story branches and shoot for a different ending this time. You usually don’t get the best ending the first time through anyway, right? You beat the year once; you wanna GameFAQs it to fly through this one, that’s your business.
Me, I plan on making this playthrough count. Even wrote me down a couple of aims that I’m shootin’ for.
1. Not gonna feel obliged to collect every achievement in a game, even if it’s a game I love.
Assassin’s Creed III broke me of this one. I’m not going to go back and 100% that buggy, uneven game, even if I did fall in love with its complex narrative, even if I am in awe of its pitch-perfect period setting. Even if one of my buddies did get me an Assassin Tomahawk replica for my birthday.
2. Going to keep revisiting classic games that I missed when I was younger because they were outside my comfort zone as a gamer.
Last year I experienced gems like the original Half-Life, Metroid, Tetris Attack, ActRaiser, and Gran Turismo, all of which I’d passed by as a youth for one reason or another, and all of which are well thought of in the gaming canon. It was an eye-opening experience.
3. That said, I’m not going to force myself to play every older game in a series just so I can feel “prepared” for a new installment or reboot.
I still haven’t played last year’s highly-praised XCOM: Enemy Unknown, despite the fact that I ostensibly love turn-based strategy, because I have been telling myself that I won’t have the “proper context” until I delve deeply into the beloved original (which is sitting in my Steam library as I type this, nearly untouched). I may have also been planning to force myself to play Terror from the Deep.
Sophie Prell’s tantalizing previews of the Tomb Raider reboot have convinced me that the new, Squeenix-published take on Ms. Croft ought to be on my must-play list as well, and I may or may not have bought all nine of the other games when they were on sale for $15 last week. But I’m not going to make myself play them all as a prerequisite for playing the new one! I swear!
4. I’m going to finally play through all of Final Fantasy V, dammit.
Because I just know that as soon as I do this, Square Enix is going to announce a 3D remake for mobile devices. I just know it.
5. I’m going to keep supporting indie and crowdfunded games, even if some turn out to be duds, because it democratizes the medium.
And that’s good for everybody, in the long run.
6. I’m going to support my local barcade.
Because coin-ops are just as cool now as they were in the eighties. So is drinking.
7. I’m going to be optimistic about games as a medium.
All evidence points to 2013 being weirder and more exciting than 2012 as we approach the end of one console cycle and the beginning of [????], and I’m electing to espouse the perspective that change is a good thing, and games are only going to keep getting better and more interesting in the year to come.
And so I bid you all a Happy New Game Plus, and encourage you all to quickly and enthusiastically select Continue. I think this year’s going to be a good one.