Returnal, my fifties and the importance of motivations - editorial

Returnal, my fifties and the importance of motivations - editorial


I have always had two dreams: to play as long as possible and, a desire that I developed later, to end my career as a videogame journalist.

The second way, over time and the change in the rules of engagement of the gaming industry (with the consequent shift of budgets towards shores that I have been forbidden from my age), is becoming increasingly difficult. Being a gamer, however, it will be said, is a pleasure that I can reserve until the Supreme One decides to keep me in this existential plane.

But that's not the case.

Yes, because although over the years I have developed an insatiable passion for trading card games, which with their 30 seconds between one shift and another should be right for me even the day I was in an RSA, in reality I still have the passion for titles I've always played. And that's a whole different kettle of fish ...

Let's take FPS for example: not that it has ever been a phenomenon, mind you, but I've always done well. Then, of course, when he was still a kid I saw what Stermy was doing and I wanted to hang up the mouse. However, I repeat, I have always defended myself well ...

The difficulty level of Returnal at the beginning will seem severe but right. The fifth biome, however, will upset your beliefs ... Well, now the fifty candles have been extinguished, I can tell you that what you hear around, of pro-players who have to abandon their career due to age limits at 25, it's all true. Playing online, not with champions, but random people caught with match-making, misled me; it gave me the illusion that time was passing, yes, but for others. But then there came a time when my brain was sending input to the middle finger to trigger the gamepad trigger, the other had already shot me. And gradually, this happened more and more often.

In some moments, when maybe I pick up Destiny 2 after a while of not playing it, in the first games in the Crucible they kill me while I'm still figuring out if what I have in front of me is an ally or an opponent. Then I quickly recover my hand, but still it is a sadness that I do not tell you ...

Fortunately in PvE I still manage well and, when it comes to completing a Raid, I do my job . And then the morale rises; but then I see my friend Mattia go alone and without dying of things where scientifically I leave my feathers at least a couple of times and in three people, and then the mood obviously sinks. Of course, when I see how my peers are doing, self-esteem goes up again ... and then get ready: once you reach a certain age, you will be subject to frequent mood swings ...

So we come to the subject of this article, namely Returnal. The Housemarque game for me was a real revelation because, I have no problem admitting it, it didn't hit me the first time I saw it. I attribute the blame, in part, to the communicative poverty of the trailers, especially since I have always (well) used to having someone who shows them to me and explains them to me live at some fair ... but the fact remains that I raise my hand and take on my responsibilities: I didn't understand.

Selene Vassos's expression is the same as I had, last night, after yet another death in search of the third key ... This error of evaluation, however, was also my luck, because approaching the game with modest expectations I was then struck on the way to Atropos (or was it Damascus?). But Returnal, who does not go light on his own, sees a surge in difficulty with the fifth biome that transforms it from difficult to frustrating.

And so we come to yesterday, when I spent a good part of the afternoon and evening groped to collect those three damned keys necessary to continue. Why needless to say, it is enough to die only once and you lose them all, having to start again from the fourth biome.

I try, I try and I try again ... but nothing to do, at most I will take two. And there begins all the psychological twists already experienced when I did not know how many attempts to take down Artorias of the Abyss in Dark Souls; those who dig your safety from within and in the end you show up at the appointment with sweaty hands, an accelerated heartbeat and that tension that soon leaves room for resignation when, after a few seconds, you already find yourself with a modicum of life. >
So, at about midnight I reach the bitter enlightenment: Lorenzo and Alessandro have finished Returnal, I don't necessarily succeed because I am 25 years older than them and it may be that the game is beyond the limits that the age allows me.

Artorias of the Abyss from Dark Souls is the boss who made me suffer most of all at the time. Today, he is the one with the most fond memory. Dejected by this realization, I put myself on YouTube to see some new decks for Hearthstone and Runeterra, then I switch to Twitch ... and I rightly see Returnal. I start looking at some channels and, almost amazed, I realize one thing: that everyone who was playing them, even with 10,000 spectators at the same time, was playing worse than me. Possible?

I look at one, I look at two, I look at three ... there is only one good Korean (and you thought) but the others seem to me to be Sunday players. And here is the surge of pride: but does it exist that they do and I do not? But how: those playing there like that have the equivalent of a sports hall watching them, and I, who are better than them, have to give up? But it doesn't exist!

So at 2:30 am I turn the Play back on and go back to Returnal. And all of a sudden I feel like Neo when he discovers the matrix: the enemies I see them first, the shots I see them first ... I proceed cautiously but with certainty, I also gulp a couple of right perks and finally, at four in the morning, I collect the three keys and step to the last biome.

I fall asleep happy and relieved, reviewing the best plays in my head as if it were Sunday slow motion; and when I woke up this morning, the first thought that crossed my mind was: "Returnal ... I did it!".

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Final Fantasy XV's Pitioss dungeon was such a hardcore experience that I felt the need to write an article about it right away. I recently read an interview with Valentino Rossi in which he basically says that he does not retire because he still enjoys a world of racing, and because although the young people are strong he does not feel less. And that while aware of the passage of time, he will do the best of him to make his life difficult. Well, I feel exactly like him and those of you who have a registry similar to mine, I'm sure you will understand.

If you want to make sense of this stream of consciousness, then here's the moral: never ask yourself limits, do not think that something is precluded to you a priori. Keep the gamer spirit you have intact (otherwise you wouldn't be on these pages), there will always be room for you. If you need to, cheat on yourself (were those streamers really that bad? The important thing to me at the time was that they were), and if you find the right reasons you will make it.

I will remember Returnal, as well as I remember the fight with Artorias or the Pitioss dungeon from Final Fantasy XV, as that game that put me to the test, almost defeated me ... but then in the end I won.

I will also remember him for making me understand that life, on closer inspection, is the hardest of rogue-like: there is only one attempt and what is lost is lost forever. Sometimes you go on because you are a winner, others simply because you don't want to lose. But it is better to do it hard-nosed rather with a trembling hand, don't you think?

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