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On the Road

So in the not too distant future I'll be taking an extended trip away from Gamereactor to trek across the other side of the world for a couple of months. It's a backpacking trip, so space and weight is at a minimum. So that definitely means no monitors and consoles (even if I could get a power lead to stretch that far), and a stripped down approach to gaming on the move.

The deliberations have already begun in earnest. Do I take a 3DS with a case packed with games? Load up my travel laptop with indie titles to dabble with on evenings? Or do I finally see about making some headway in Persona 4 on PS Vita?

Were some people have the curse of a Steam stockpile, I have it with PS Plus. Great games that I still need to get through. That alone would be good reason to go Vita over 3DS, but then we enter the digital vs physical discussion. I spent the last six months trying to find my Super Mario 3D Land cartridge in an office measuring little more than eleven feet by twenty. The smallness means they'll be easy to lose on the road, doubly-so for the pill-sized PS Vita carts. But if I want to go digital, and have plenty of choice, I'm best paying extra and getting a 64GB card for the Vita (a colleague suggested I pick one up in Japan during my time there, but trying to download the extra titles on road will see me flying back home by the time I'm finished).

Cables and chargers factor in as well, as unique plug-ins mean extra space in my backpack. I can charge my iPhone through my laptop, but both handheld consoles need their own power supply. Unless I take the plunge and upgrade (downgrade?) to the PS Vita Slim with its universal charging cable, that I can also use for my portable speakers, and save some more space.

Of course, I could just drop the handhelds entirely and try a few months without gaming at all. A detox of sorts. But that means living without my TXK/Lumines fix, putting my Virtua Tennis career to one side, giving up on the perfect Star Fox 64 3DS run, or ignoring the perfect opportunity to final play Chrono Trigger. Doesn't matter if I'm in the middle of a new city or climbing a mountain in some distant country - sometimes the best escapism comes through a gaming screen. That's been the case for 24 years, and I doubt it's going to change.

At least several years of Tetris has given me the rudimentary skills to pack efficiently. I'll get there yet.