Screw this “Q1 is the new holiday release window” nonsense. I’ve been making a point of revisiting a bunch of old titles lately. I abandoned some of these games because I got stuck, others because I was bored and others because…well, I can’t remember. Here are a few of the games I’ve been playing over the past few weeks.

Amped 3
What happened: I picked this one up used a while after it came out, and it didn’t seem to jell with me. I ended up putting it on my shelf, where it sat until last weekend.

Why I went back: Mostly, I was looking to play something that wouldn’t be inappropriate for my two-year-old son. I got completely sucked in this time around, beating the game and finishing a ton of challenges. The controls didn’t magically repair themselves while the game was exiled, but for some reason I was able to work past them. If you haven’t played it, you can buy a used copy for a song. The cutscenes alone are worth the low price of admission.

Burnout Paradise
What happened: I played it for a few days immediately when it was released, and then set it aside. I think the lack of a decent crash mode made me cry whiny tears or something.

Why I went back: I was thinking about all the game’s DLC and thought it would be worth giving it another shot. About 30 or so events later, I was hooked. Even though the showtime thing is no replacement for a proper crash mode, the racing and just about everything else is good enough to make up for it. I need to stick with it long enough to memorize the city’s layout. As it stands, I find myself looking at the minimap more often than is probably necessary (or safe).

Stuntman: Ignition
What happened: I got stuck on the Never Kill Me Again – Base Brawl level and finally stopped playing after almost tearing my own head off in frustration (this video at about the 1:40 mark shows the part that did me in).

Why I went back: I am a masochist. Also, I remembered that the game was quite good up until the time that it wasn’t. I replayed that last section about a dozen times before finally beating it (yes, that last jump off the ramp felt great). Supposedly, the part that blocked me is the toughest part of the game. I’m planning to blow through the rest of it this weekend.

Have you played anything lately after taking an extended break? What did you think? Did the time away make you see the game in a new light, or were the old annoyances just as troubling?