Gaming Overview – January 2013

A new year!  What does that mean?  Well… not much.  I wanted to cut down on my backlog this year, and while I’ve succeeded in “cutting the fat” of my collection by selling some games I wasn’t fond of, nothing much really happened otherwise.  It’s probably because I picked up a second job for a few months… but the good news is that no activity means not a lot of new games, either!  Anyway, I get this stuff from my Backloggery page.  Let’s begin!

Any new games?

A few.  The Steam Winter Sale ended at the beginning of the month, so I picked up Symphony (musical!), Cherry Tree High Comedy Club! (har!), and Superbrothers: Swords and Sworcery EP (indie!).  The Indie Game Stand has some pretty neat games from time to time too, so I bought Love+ (plus!).  Nintendo’s running a promotion for the launch of the Wii U Virtual Console, and is offering one game a month for a measly thirty cents… I can’t pass up such a good deal, so I picked up the game for this month, Balloon Fight (Joust with balloons!).  Finally, I kickstarted Strike Suit Zero, and that got finished, so there’s that.

Not much going on in the realm of buying this month… I’m off to a good start!

What did you beat?

Well…

  • The Walking Dead (Episodes 4+5) – I felt that the story slowed down a little in 4, but the ending in 5 was simply heartbreaking.  Overall a great game.
  • Scribblenauts Unlimited (1-28) – As I thought about the Scribblenauts series before playing it, I didn’t enjoy it too much.  I lack the creativity to really enjoy these games, though.

Yep.

What other accomplishments?

I’ve made a fair amount of progress in Pokemon Black 2, so I’m thinking I can beat it in the next week or so.  Also, with the Console Elimination Round, I’ve been making slow progress with Legend of Legaia, but I have more time to play portable than any console.  I’m also been playing Zombie Driver for my A-Z Challenge, but it’s… kinda painful, so I don’t play too much at one time.  Finally, I started (again) my Atelier Rorona completion run.  Sometimes it’s a little hard to stay focused…

Over in the Dusty Corner, I wrote about my thoughts of selling some of my games, and it might not be what you expect.  That’s the extent of it, though.

And that’s all for this month!  February had Fire Emblem: Awakening coming out, which is the best game ever obviously, and I’ll be doing something to hopefully help with my backlog and lack of writing.  Until next time!

Sometimes It’s Best To Let Go

A few days ago, I did something I hadn’t done in years… I sold off some video games. I didn’t really have a reason to do it, either; I wasn’t in bad financial straits, nor was I running tight on my gaming budget… I didn’t even buy a new game with my funds. I simply sold some games off… and guess what?

I’m glad I did it.

As of recent, my backlog has grown to pretty monstrous proportions. Impulse buying and the thought of ‘having to get a game when it goes on sale’ has made it so I have over four hundred games. The worse part was that I felt as though I needed all of those games.

“Oh, we can’t sell that one, I might play it again.” “Wait, I still want to try that one out.” “I don’t really like this one, but what’s the point of getting rid of it?” The excuses went on and on. The one that really sealed the deal, though, was that I’d never make any money back. Gamestop and other companies, big and small, offer a pittance for trade-ins, only to turn around and sell them for many times the buying price.

I think another thing was seller’s remorse. I sold my games all the time as a kid, and I’m sad that I did now. I sold away so many classics, and games I wish I could own again. I suppose that stopped me in my tracks whenever I wanted to sell something… because I was so worried that I was going to regret it, I just put it back on the shelf, no matter how much I disliked it.

However, recently Best Buy ran a deal where you got double the money for trading in games. Not the best deal, sure… but looking at some of the games we had, it wasn’t a bad deal. Six bucks for Ninety Nine Nights, a game I both didn’t spend much on and didn’t like? Not bad. At first, Bacon and I only turned in a couple 360 games… but that was only the beginning.

When we did that, I realized something: It’s okay to get rid of games. If I don’t enjoy a game, or am never going to play it again, it’s alright to get rid of it. I guess something clicked in my mind, and I started going through our other collections… and found a fair amount of games that we were never going to touch, or ‘trimming the fat’, if you will. Some we sold to Best Buy, others to friends, but the end result is the same–after so many years, I actually sold video games in my collection.

So what’s the moral of this story? There probably isn’t one for a lot of you… but for me, I learned that just because you collect something, doesn’t mean to have to keep everything you hate. I learned that just because it’s a part of your hobby, you don’t have to embrace the bad with the good; you can just enjoy the good. Oh, and the most important thing of all? Sometimes, it’s best to just let go.

A-Z Challenge – Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4

Persona 4 is a game that I find difficult to talk about.  It’s not that it’s bad, not by any means… in reality, it’s the fact that it’s good that makes it so difficult to talk about.  Persona 4 has a huge fan base, and there’s really nothing I can say that hasn’t been said by the droves already.

Since that’s the case, I’ll just say this… I enjoyed Persona 3 a lot more than Persona 4.

That doesn’t mean I dislike Persona 4; not in the least.  It’s a great addition to the SMT series, and does nothing to shame the series’ name.  However, the story just wasn’t to my tastes.  It was just a little too silly and over the top–you’d expect teenagers dealing with mysterious kidnappings and murders to be taking things a little more seriously.  I understand the need for some comic relief… but it’s just too much. It’s the one area that I think P3 does far better than P4; and for me, that’s a big enough area to decide that it’s the better game.

Other than that, though, P4 does pretty great in other areas.  Combat is the same as most SMT games; however, having all melee attacks under one category makes it a little more simplified.  Also, P4 allows you to control your party members–a boon when compared to P3 and its sometimes frustrating AI.  Dungeons are more interesting to look at (though fundamentally the same as the previous entry) and the difficulty is still cranked up high.

I can’t stress this enough:  Persona 4 is a great game.  So is its predecessor.  Both are worth tracking down and playing some version of if you’re a RPG fan.  Which one you like more seems to mostly depend on taste; while P4 has a few mechanical upgrades, the biggest changes are the mood and the story, and everyone has a different opinion on what they enjoy.

A-Z Marathon – Trine

Box art box art.

Trine is one of those games that, for me, started with a “I’m not sure…” and ended with “OH MY GOD THIS GAME IS AWESOME AND I WANT MORE”.  It’s really just a great experience all around, and a game that everyone should try and play.

Trine is a sort of platformer puzzler, in which due to plot events, you control three different… er, heroes as you free the country from its cursed fate.  The Knight, the Wizard, and the Thief all have different abilities that are upgradeable, and using these abilities to their fullest extent is the only way you’re going to get to the end of the game.  The Knight is the physical attacker, and has a hammer and shield that you can use for some puzzles; the Wizard can make boxes and platforms out of thin air, which you can use offensively but is mainly used for getting places; and the Thief has a bow for ranged attacks and a grappling hook for swinging around, making her more well rounded.

The Knight's tbe best for attacking enemies... though you don't have to use him.

The best about this game is that there’s always more than one solution to a puzzle.  In many instances I could see how I could have gotten through the area with either the Wizard’s boxes or the Knight’s brute force, or even a combination of all the heroes.  It allows for some dynamic and neat solutions, and makes it so you get just the right amount of challenge so that it doesn’t frustrate, yet gives you satisfaction… especially when you figure out how to get to a hard to reach treasure chest.

The game’s graphics and atmosphere are beautiful.  It ties everything together and makes Trine a polished experience.  It’s well worth the playthrough for anyone that enjoys a good game, regardless of whether you’re a puzzle or platformer fan or not.

Gaming Overview – December 2012

A new year is here!  Great!  Maybe I’ll do better than last the last involving my gaming backlog… or other aspects of my life, for that matter.  Regardless, it’s time to look back at my gaming month (in shame), and then look forward to the shiny new year!  My stats are grabbed from my Backloggery page.  Let’s get the show on the road!

Any new games?

It wouldn’t be a normal month without buying new games!  It’s mainly because of the Steam and XBLA sales, though.  For starters, I bought the Humble THQ bundle, which came with a bunch of games I probably won’t touch.  Next, the result of using 3DS points got me Liberation Maiden (liberating!), The Denpa Men: They Came By Wave (Japanese!), and Pokemon Dream Radar (Legendaries!).  For Christmas I got Code of Princess (look at that bust!) and Persona 4 Arena (Ark System’s the best!).  The XBLA sale netted me Fez (indie!), The Walking Dead (zombies!), and Jet Set Radio (graffiti!).  The Steam Winter sale let me get Darksiders II (plus all DLC!) and Thirty Flights of Loving (30!) on the cheap.  Finally, I also got Scribblenauts: Unlimited (everything!), Torchlight II (now with more Diablo!), Titan Quest (when did I get this!), Eversion (creepy!), Tokyo Jungle (survive in arcade style!), Pikmin (Pikmin!), Pikmin 2 (two!), Sonic and the Black Knight (I needed a third game for buy two get one!), and The Basement Collection (not a fan!).

…So, that’s a lot.

What did you beat?

lawl wat baeting gamz iz so last munt

  • Costume Quest – Fun enough.  I wrote a post about it already.
  • Ys Origin – The Backloggery Game Club selection for this month.  I’m still in the middle of writing a post for it.
  • The Walking Dead (Episodes 1 and 2) – Fantastic narrative, and the decisions you have to make really drive everything home.  Highly recommended.

That’s it.  As usual, it’s bad looking.

What other accomplishments?

Well, I started playing my Steam Recommendations, though I’ve only beaten Costume Quest and Ys Origin.  I’ve started Portal 2, but progress is sporadic.  Beating Costume Quest also got me one step closer to finishing the A-Z marathon, with only six games remaining.  I also made progress in The Denpa Men and Pokemon Black 2, but I’m no where near beating them.

In the Dusty Corner, I only wrote one post, basically my Games of the Year 2012.  Nothing too special going on there.  I didn’t really write much, as you can see.

And that’s all for this month.  Next month I may or may not be extremely busy, we’ll see.  Also, whether I’m busy with gaming or not is up for debate.  See you then!

Console Elimination Round!

The start of a new year, the start of some new marathons to get the backlog down!  This year, Backloggery user Slayn_Bacon and myself are running the Console Elimination Round, where a user picks a system, and tries to beat all of the console’s games by the end of the year.  It’s a simple enough concept, but one that would prove challenging enough!

There’s others joining in on the fun, and you can see their progress on my Backloggery page.  But, for myself, I’m also going to write about the games I beat, because why not?  I need more reasons to write!

Anyway, my first goal is to beat my remaining PlayStation backlog.  This includes:

  • Brave Fencer Musashi [Info]
  • Front Mission 3 [Info]
  • Koudelka [Info]
  • The Legend of Dragoon [Info]
  • Legend of Legaia [Info]
  • Mega Man Legends 2 [Info]
  • Parasite Eve [Info]
  • Persona 2: Eternal Punishment [Info]
  • Vagrant Story [Info]
  • Wild ARMs [Info]
  • Wild ARMs 2 [Info]

After that, I want to beat my PSOne classics, on my PS3.  These are:

  • Alundra [Info]
  • Castlevania Chroncles [Info]
  • Parasite Eve II [Info]
  • Suikoden [Info]

That leads to a total of sixteen games, mostly RPGs, that I need to beat by December 31st, 2013.  Let’s see how well I do!