120 Games, 1 Goal - Pile of Shame: 0


#61

Shamelog #003 - Watching a Masked Dog

This past week has been a quiet one, with an early dive into Watch_Dogs and Zelda: Majora’s Mask.

Watch_Dogs is quite… bland. It seems to be a competent open world, but already it’s disappointing how much the game is “GTA with a side of hacking” rather than “Hacker with a side of guns”. Aiden Pearce is also… yeah.

Majora’s Mask, on the other hand, is much more interesting. I had played through it about 2/3rds of the way through on 64 about 8 years ago, so I’m treading (somewhat) familiar waters. It is a little aimless I’ve found - as in, you really need to prod at it yourself, learning the local’s routines.

There’s definitely a large element of right-place-right-time to a lot of the events, though they are signposted well if you know where to look. The large bomb sack is a great example of that early on - chances are you will stumble across the hidden thief in north clock town, and are nudged in the right direction and timeframe when speaking to the old lady in the bomb shop. Inquisitiveness is rewarded, and I’m digging it.

A short one for this week, but as I progress through these 2 games I’ll go a bit more in depth over the next week or two.


Statistics
Games left to play: 118
Current game: Watch_Dogs, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D


#62

No, I skipped Primal because I had held off playing Far Cry 4 for almost a year, so I ended up finishing it only a few months before Primal came out. I was all Far Cry’d out at that point so I just skipped Primal. Maybe the best idea by the sounds of it.


#63

Shamelog #004 - Watch_Dogs Through Gritted Teeth

This week’s escapades have involved repeated attempts to dive into Ubisoft’s rendition of Chicago - and let me tell you, it hasn’t been great.

Trying to get into Watch Dogs has been… frustrating. Issues with the PC version notwithstanding (having the game boot up and reset to default settings every damn time is annoying, particularly when you want to avoid online play) Thursday’s attempt nearly broke me.

I spent a full hour procrastinating playing. Reading articles, watching YouTube. Finally I jumped in, determined to just do a single mission for the night. I was loaded out front of my safe house, so I jumped into a car and headed to the objective marker. Upon exiting the car 5 minutes later, the game automatically decided I was holding on to L2 & R2 for dear life - in other words, the game had me constantly spraying bullets everywhere. OK, it wigged out - time to reload the save. No biggie. Get in a car, spend another 5 minutes driving to the objective marker - same thing. Reload. Jump down, get in a car, immediately get out. Aiden Peace and his iconic hat continued to be an uncontrollable mass murder machine.

It took a full reboot of my PC to get the bug out of the system.

I played no more Watch Dogs that night.

As of tonight, I’ve managed to progress through the first act (of 5….). I’m actually finding the auxiliary characters surrounding Mr Pearce more interesting than the titular dude himself. Weirdly enough, they seem to be more rational and believable than Aiden - for example, I was totally on his sister’s side in the cemetery, where she pleads with him to stop doing what he’s doing. Yes Aiden, give up the hacker life and we can be done! Alas, we need him to go off the rails and all vigilante, else we wouldn’t have a game. You could almost make an argument for this game being a commentary on the psychopathy of gamers who feel the compulsion for power fantasies and mindless killing, but I’m pretty sure it ain’t going in that direction.

Though I’m finding Watch Dogs quite off-putting, I have this weird I need to know drive to see it to the end, despite the challenge from my partner. Two particular pieces of media have had me thinking about this game in different lights this week: this Waypoint Forum post about influences by games media, and this [game array] video about how we define meaning in video games. Both have had me questioning how my approach to this game has been defined by the media and general opinion around them, and whether I’d have a completely different experience in a vacuum.

When I was younger, GTA 3, Vice City and San Andreas were wondrous playgrounds to cause chaos in, but after repeated playthroughs of the beginning of IV and then being the odd one out in not enjoying GTA V, I figured it was time to let that style of game live in the past for me. However, when Mafia 3 rolled around last year, I fell deep into it, almost getting the platinum. Playing Watch Dogs is helping me work through my complicated relationship with the modern-day open-world genre, so we’ll see where we end up.

That’s it from me this week; see you all when E3 is done and dusted! I’m already intrigued by A Way Out and am quite keen to play through Battlefield 2’s campaign when I finish this list of games in 2025.


Statistics

Games left to play: 118

Current game: Watch_Dogs


#64

Shamelog #005 - Putting the Dog Down (+ My Birthday!)

Thankfully, only part of that headline is literal.

Friday was marked as the last time I will play the original Watch Dogs game. After starting it about 2 years ago, it feels good to cross it off the list.

My opinion on this game, throughout the entire time playing, continued to be mixed. Thankfully, it ended up being the gameplay that pulled me through - through Watch Dogs, Ubisoft managed to successfully build a modern day open world playground filled with relatively interesting things to do and unique ways of interacting with them. The last mission of the game was also quite brilliantly executed: What amounted to fighting against the city was a clever way of showing you the ultimate destruction having access to the systems of the game can create.

One thing Watch Dogs’ story succeeded in doing (if you can call it success?) in a way that few other games do, is be confronting with the idea of the power fantasy - in this specific case, making you feel gross for acting “above the law”. I’m unsure how much of that was intentional, but you know. Like many people, I’m a fan of superheroes and the like, but this game brought the dark truth to the fore - characters like Batman and Green Arrow taking justice into their own hands is fundamentally wrong. There are justifications all over the place in those fictions (the police are corrupt or unequipped to handle supernatural threats for example, or our heroes are played up in their righteousness) but ultimately their actions spark consequences for innocent people, right or wrong.

When I play through an Arkham game beating up thugs or funneling myself down the horrific rabbit hole of Spec Ops: The Line, there’s a level of disconnect in my actions. Batman is a fictional character who Doesn’t Kill People; Walker is a trained special ops soldier who us sure he is making the right decisions in a war zone. Aiden Pearce is a regular Joe in a regular city already doing dubious work, who happens to have access to a powerful arsenal and has a questionable mental state. The game sets him up as a vengeful character in an impossible situation, taking matters into his own hands to fight the system - instead, all I could see is an immature man with a powerful phone and access to machine guns, following a path that (I hope) any rational, sane person would otherwise avoid.

Watch Dogs provides the player with a warped and frankly dangerous alternate reality where the real victims are the innocent. Aiden loses a niece in a car crash, then decides to murder hundreds of people to get revenge. The game attempts to justify this as setting up the main figures as Bad Guys, but when you take down the top villain by hacking his pacemaker and slowly watching his body shut down through bulletproof glass, all I could feel was sick to my stomach by what this character was. Was that the point? Something tells me it partially was meant to be, but ultimately the game had to be fun for as large an audience as possible, so that message got drowned out by the end.

As someone who’s never been in a fistfight and attempts to de-escalate conflict rather than stoke the flames of violence, there’s always a level of disconnect I have when it comes to almost all video games. With Watch Dogs, I needed to force myself to take it one step further than normal in order for it to be #fun, and that honestly made me feel a bit broken afterward.


After all that heaviness, I jumped into Kirby & the Rainbow Paintbrush on Friday afternoon. That game is good, wholesome fun! I enjoyed it enough to have finished it by Saturday night, if that is any indication. It starts off easy as most Kirby games do I’m told, though by the end it starts pushing the mechanics presented by the game to the limit, as not actually being able to control Kirby can be a tad frustrating. Still, a nice, colourful, cheery game was just the ticket this weekend.


As mentioned in the headline, it was my birthday this past week! As per my agreement with Loren, any games she bought me would be added to the pile to finish before the end of 2017, and of course that’s what ended up happening:

So, two more bonus games added to the mix. I’m going to have my work cut out for me. Looks like I am going to be digging into Far Cry Primal after all @Lassemomme & @Ali_D!


Statistics

Games left to play: 118 (-2, +2)

Current game: Assassins Creed 3


#65

I must once again applaud you for subjecting yourself to this god forsaken undertaking and wish you all the best of luck, good sir/madam. You’re gonna need it for AC 3.


#66

Ha thanks dude, was already a little testy with Watch Dogs, yet here I am diving into an even older Ubi game haha. I am one of those weird ones who really digs the modern day stuff, so I’m hoping there’s at least a bit of pay off there with 3.


#67

There is definitely stuff to enjoy in 3, no worries! I think the idea of using a pallette cleanser like Kirby so to speak in between large AAA games is probably a good idea going forward.


#68

Man reading this sort of makes me want to do this, and then I realize I probably have 215 or so games on my list and I dont know that it will ever happen


#69

@jdick516 when I sat down to write out this list, I ended up crossing off a ton of games before I’d even started, because I realized they weren’t really for me - for some reason I’d bought the gears of way games for example, and while I know they’re good, they just aren’t for me. It was more about realizing what I actually really wanted to play from what I had and cutting out the cruft. It’s worked out pretty well so far at least! :slight_smile:


#70

I was wondering if you had done that myself. im sure if I did I could pare the list down a decent amount. Maybe I’ll take a crack at it myself…


#71

I’ve been doing this on my own and went from about 80 titles to 60 titles over the past month. I’m doing it differently in that I’m giving a game 30 minutes and if it doesn’t grab me, I move on to something else. I’ve only finished 7 games in the past month, but I discovered a lot of games I got from humble bundles/PS+ that I have no desire to play and since I didn’t drop money on them deliberately, I don’t feel bad about it.

I finished:
Mini Metro
Human Resource Machine
No Time to Explain Remastered
Undertale
Sproggiwood
Abzu
Shank

I passed on:
Bully
Unmechanical
Badlands
7 Grand Steps
Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble
Secrets of Taetikon
Not a Hero
Mercenary Kings
Xenonauts
Gratuitous Space Battle
English Country Tune
Fractal
Mushroom 11
Spirits
Organ Trail: Director’s Cut

Keep in mind, I’m not saying the above were bad games, I just know myself enough to know what kind of games I enjoy and these games generally weren’t those. The exception would be Xenonauts, which is great and totally my kind of game, but I feel like I’d rather go back and play X-COM: UFO Defense again given that it has more character and atmosphere.

Currently playing:
Massive Chalice
Steamworld: Heist

Started a while back but haven’t touched in a few months:
Alien: Isolation
Torment: Tides of Numenera
Horizon Zero Dawn


#72

@jdick516 it’s all about just being focused. Look at each game carefully, zero in on what made you buy it and what draws you to it, and then decide if it’s really for you. I’ve bought a ton of games over the last 5 or so years in particular that were just because they were on sale and they were classed as good games, but in reality I don’t actually know that I’ll enjoy them much. I’ve got a feeling folder in my steam library that’s just “steam sale games” with about 100 games in it, which are there if I ever need them, but if I never play them, so be it. That’s how I came up with this list - they’re all games I definitely wanted to experience.

@TheJames nice job! That really is a great way to do it, dabbling to see if it’s your thing. I do hope to get to a point one day where I can do that with a bunch of old games - I have boxes full of 360, PS2, PS3 and more games that I’ve ended up with but never even considered, like Vanquish, various RPGs, the aforementioned steam sale list etc which would be cool to check out one day, just not that high on the priority list. Feels good to cross things off the list though hey, even if it’s just an “ok, I know this isn’t for me” type deal. Do let us know you go continuing on - Steamworld Heist in particular seems super cool because it’s a whole genre change from the original, and I also have Torment and Horizon on my list!
Also, how did you like Undertale in the end? There’s another thread on here all about it, but I’m always curious to see people’s opinions on it who come to it after the whole hype debacle.


#73

I quite liked the end of Undertale. Smart subversion. Not really much to say about it beyond that.


#74

Fair enough! Did you go pacifist, neutral or destruction, and did you know about that going in? It’s one of my favourites of all time, but largely because of my lack of knowing anything going in I’d wager.


#75

I got neutral. I tried to go pacifist because I head the game ends differently, but I couldn’t figure out how to go pacifist on a couple of fights so I just gave in and murdered some creatures from time to time.


#76

That’s cool, I did exactly the same actually. I think that’s kind of how you’re “meant” to do it - play through it that way, then play through it pacifist. Thankfully it’s pretty short haha. For me, it went from a good game to a fantastic game by doing that, as it does some things that no other game does when you do that. Don’t want to be too spoilers in case you decide to go back in haha. If you liked what you saw in the neutral and arw curious how deep the rabbit hole goes, I’d definitely suggest going back in, but if not that’s cool.

If you do, the only thing I’ll say is that you never have to even do damage to any creature, you just have to be determined not to :wink:


#77

I put it on my list to replay at some point. Want to work more on the blacklog right now.


#78

Shamelog #006 - An Eager Assassin

Several metric tons of words have been spilled over the Assassins Creed franchise, and of all those the consensus on which one is the worst seems to be AC3. Yet here I find myself, diving headfirst into its colonial depths.

As one of those apparently hard to find fans of the modern day stuff, I’ve been looking forward to this game since I finished revelations several years ago. So far it has held up its end of the bargain - there’s enough there to tease me. As for the actual assassin part, it takes a long time before you officially don the garb and mount the wrist blades as it were, but I’ve found the story to be quite intriguing. The playing of several different characters was the right choice I think, helping flesh out the characters and plot.

I’m finding the side activities of AC3 to be surprisingly fun - I do fancy a spot of checkers, and the side content related to the homestead and frontier are great. I’m loving the focus on the Native American story, and the diversity of the cast (particularly the homestead) is fantastic - something I’ve never heard spoken of in reference to this game.

I also started up Until Dawn this morning, thanks to my girlfriend. I’m what people would call a “baby”, someone who nopes out of horror given the chance. But since she loves horror, we’re doing this - on the stipulation that we play during the day and she is with me 100% of the way, making every decision. It’s gonna take a while to get through, but it’ll be worth it I hear.

Shorter post this week, though I have a feeling I’ll have more to say about AC3 next week when I’m at least closer to done. Short version for now: this game shouldn’t be looked over! It’s no Ezio trilogy, sure, but it’s actually still quite a good game.


Games left to play: 118
Currently playing: Assassins Creed 3, Until Dawn


#79

Shamelog #007 - Master of the American Revolution

Alright, straight up. I don’t get the hate for Assassins Creed 3. Ok, I guess I kinda do - Connor can be a bit off-putting, the story feels like there were some context cuts made, and the actual Assassin part of the game was mostly a vessel for the modern day storyline. That last part is what leads me to understand why people rag on the modern day stuff so much. Still, as a fan of the Ezio trilogy, I really enjoyed myself with this one.

It was real good coming back to an AC game. It felt familiar, comforting. It was muscle memory to run along rooftops, jump into hay bales, and stab unsuspecting foes in the neck.

While it may not have been intentional, Connor being an off-putting character felt important to me. His reactions, his misunderstanding of western societal norms and culture, his almost juvenile approach to the revolution - it all makes perfect sense. His character is a native of the land - his people lived entirely different to the so-called “civilized” invaders.

As a non-US person, this was my first exposure to the American Revolution, and it was kinda great how it weaved in (presumably accurate?) important battles and events, as the AC series tends to do. I’m so unknowledgeable that I didn’t even know the British were involved, for example.

One major part of this game that got completely looked over in its coverage and any talk I’ve heard about it is the representation and the honest look at racism and sexism of the time. Holy crap is building up the homestead a great part of that game! You get all sorts of folks from all walks of life coming together to form this community. No doubt it’s inaccurate to the time as fuck, but I loved that about it. Even just for Connor alone - him getting treated as less because he is of Native American decent by both enemy and ally alike is quite well done.

After coming to the conclusion of the modern day arc starting with the first game (where it goes from here is high on my question list for Black Flag and beyond) I still don’t understand the disdain. Yeah I get that people just want to play these games set in these time periods, but that meta layer stringing everything together was fascinating. I’m impressed they actually went whole hog and ended it too, considering there were going to make more.

Maybe it gets a bad wrap because the previous AC’s are so highly regarded, or because series fatigue was starting to set in already, or because the modern day stuff just didn’t click with them. For my money though, AC3 is a great game, and any fan of the series would enjoy it immensely.


One side note - the completion of AC3 marks the fact that I’ve finally finished all the games that were included with the console when my partner gave it to me for Christmas. Her giving me an Xbox 360 was ultimately what kickstarted me back into loving games again, so to finally close that circle off feels like a milestone. I’m already so glad I started this adventure. Everyone has their own way of choosing and playing the games they do, but I feel like I’ve finally found the exact way I want to enjoy my time playing games. It’s already been a blast - can’t wait to see where the next few months take me.


After a chat with Loren this week, we realized that the 3DS Zelda she bought for me was actually Ocarina of Time, not Majora’s Mask, which I’ve already played. Majora is still on my pile, but that means it’s no longer a part of this year’s challenge! So for 2017, we now have left the following:

  • Tales of Berseria
  • Far Cry Primal
  • Until Dawn
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order
  • The Witcher 3

I think I might actually make it!


Games left to play: 117
Currently playing: Tales of Berseria, Until Dawn


#80

I love these posts! I want to do something similar on my blog but lack of recent play time makes it a wee bit tougher. Maybe time to let the inspiration hit!

Can’t wait to see what happens when you hit Witcher 3. That’s the one that scares me here.