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Live the rebound

Live the rebound

As you might have expected, I’ve been as busy as I can be with video games over the past few months, and honestly, I’ve been playing far more of them than I could have possibly kept up with when I was unemployed and single. So many have become one-week affairs, while others are destined to be played, dropped, and picked up again repeatedly, and others still I haven’t even booted up once. I’d kind of like to get things in order and start finishing a few of them, so I’m going to start a preliminary list of games I’ve been into lately that are fighting for my precious free time. And this list will cover only games that I’ve come in contact with for the first time over the last year. I have so many Gamecube and PS2 games I need to get around to playing, that this list would take forever if I counted all them too. Old stuff I’ll catch up on once the new stuff thins out.

Games I’m playing regularly

Despite all the games I’ve played once or twice and forgotten about, there are many that I continually find time to spend on. Pokémon White is the newest and most obvious example. I’ve been playing the shit out of this one over the month or so it’s been out, and I can’t get enough of it. Those little monsters always find a way to worm their way into my heart. Though admittedly, I would have been even happier with it had it excluded all of the old monsters in favor of the new ones. What are we at, 600 or something now? Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock has been spinning a lot inside of my Xbox, despite the fact that I’ve likely gotten all of the achievements that I can and I’m playing it just for fun instead of progress at this point. Which, actually, is kind of the point, but whatever. I’ve 100%-ed Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, but I still hold out hope that someday they will actually release the DLC we were originally promised to have in February. Being that it’s the only 3DS game I own, Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition is getting plenty of play, but I think this will end up being a once-in-a-while game once I get the “beat arcade with all characters” medal. Dissidia: Final Fantasy is far more fun that it should be, but really, I want to forget about it and go get the sequel. Good thing new games aren’t in my budget.

Games I play sometimes

I’ve begun working my way through Brutal Legend, and while I love it to pieces, it’s getting less play than SSFIV3D, and how does that make sense? Picross 3D, which would have benefited greatly by being held back for 3DS, is not as fun as regular picross. But I’ve been picking away at the puzzles since it came out and am almost finished! I’m sitting at about 350 completed. Final Fantasy IV DS is brutally difficult, and is definitely not the breezy, nostalgic joyride I assumed it would be. But I’m soldiering through it anyway, getting stuck, slowly power-leveling my way though, and then dropping it for weeks at a time. Shadow Complex I could quit anytime, but I only need the Level 50 achievement and sadly, that’s essentially just a time-eating cheevo dressed up in a deceptively fancy hat. Secret of Mana seemed like a great idea for an iPhone game, and it could have been, but I just cannot bear the touch controls. And Donkey Kong Country Returns is such a great game, but it’s soooooo hard. And not great for two-player. I don’t imagine I’ll ever finish Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology even though I pick it up and log a decent number of hours each summer.

Games I played for a week and forgot about

I really wanted to play more of Fallout 3, but it’s so huge! I’ll never finish that monster. Not without power-gaming it for about a month straight, anyway. Final Fantasy XII is the same way, but I do pick that one up for a week or two every few months in a vain effort to make a little progress. I wanted to say my goal was to finish all the mark hunts, but I think I’ll have to settle for all Espers after reading about Yiazmat (he has more than 50 Million HPs).Arc Rise Fantasia is a different story. It’s a fairly fresh JRPG, with a not-entirely-cliche story and a battle system that is both fun and speedy, but the voice acting is so, so awful. It’s not so much that I don’t want to ever finish the game, but it’s enough that I would be okay if I didn’t. Alone in the Dark, the 2008 one, is another mixed bag. It’s got a lot of neat ideas, but gameplay is pretty much balls. It seems like 100%ing the cheevos would be easy if I could struggle my way to the end. Crackdown 2 was fun at first, and I like the in-game help for finding all those orbs, but near the end I gave up because it really just wasn’t as fun as the original, no matter how hard I tried to pretend it was. With Epic Mickey, I knew I was playing more for the atmosphere than the gameplay, but it (the gameplay) was just so mediocre that I’m having trouble pulling myself back in for the good stuff (presentation). Little King’s Story, on the other hand, has fairly good gameplay and presentation, but I can’t play it because I’m at the point where the enemies are actually dangerous, and I can’t bear to send my beloved villagers to their dooms. They all have names! And families! I’m not a monster! And speaking of which, I was completely obsessed with Monster Hunter Tri and Monster Hunter Freedom Unite last summer, but they have dropped completely off my radar, despite the fact that I really want to set aside some time for even one of them.

Games I own but haven’t stared

Why haven’t I played Dead Rising 2 yet? Honestly, it’s because I loved the original so much, I’m afraid the sequel won’t be as good. Loved Case Zero though. Deadly Premonition I got because despite the fact that he said it was awful, Steve’s description of the game (and its easy cheevos) made it sound like a game I wanted to play. So did the Gamespite Quarterly 6 review. The Incredible Hulk (360) will sit on my shelf and collect dust forever. It was better off in the Wal-Mart bargain bin. Technically I’ve beaten New Play Control! Pikmin like a dozen times, but I suppose I should play it at least once to justify the $30 expense. And if you want to pick, I have played the first two levels of Dawn of Mana, but that was so long ago I can’t even remember the experience. Eternal Sonata I hear is not so great, but how can I resist a JRPG that co-stars Frédéric Chopin? By leaving it on the shelf next to The Incredible Hulk, I suppose.

Oh good gravy. And these are just the games that spring to mind. Even if I don’t write an article at all this year, I hope to make use of this webspace to help keep track of how I’m progressing through my backlog of games. I didn’t even consider WiiWare/virtual console games. Or PC games. Or Shantae: Risky’s Revenge! That one really deserves to be finished. Ugh. I’ll have to come up with some sort of system to keep track of what I’m playing and what I need to accomplish in each game. I tried using The Backloggery some time ago, but… I don’t know why I stopped updating it. Maybe because I play too many damn games. Oops.

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