Sunday, December 25, 2011

Culling the backlog...  


Happy Holidays and a pre-emptive Happy New Year to everyone who reads this blog. Whether you keep up with every post or if you only pop in once in a while, I appreciate the time you take to check out what I’ve got to say. Thank you muchly for stopping by, and thanks for supporting Drinking Coffeecola.

Games: So 2011's over. What's next?

At the moment, I've fulfilled all of my GameCritics obligations and I'm just coasting for a couple of weeks. Although it feels weird to not have fifteen projects burning at the same time, it's nice to take a quick breather from the hectic pace -- especially from all the madness that happens in the fourth quarter.

Personally, I'm not playing anything substantial at the moment; just a little of this, and a little of that. However, instead of starting up something big, it's usually around this time of year that I get the urge to go through my backlog and weed through the accumulated pile. I've got quite a bit of stuff stacked up, so I need to start deciding what I'm actually going to try to play, and what I’m never going to get around to. If nothing else, that "never" stack can stop collecting dust and be put to better use by being traded in for some credit towards a 3DS or a Vita…

(note: not my actual stack of games - just a dramatic re-enactment.)

Here's what's in the stack, not counting all of the XBL/PSN/WW downloads I haven't touched yet:

A Boy and his Blob (shelved @ 30%)
Alice in Wonderland
Boom Blox (thinking about it makes my arm hurt…)
Broken Sword
Chocobo’s Dungeon
De Blob (didn’t like #2)
Endless Ocean 2
Madworld (shelved @ 80%)
Monster Lab
No More Heroes 2
Punch-Out (shelved @ final boss, IIRC)
Red Steel 2
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Super Paper Mario
Tatsunoko vs Capcom

Army of Two 2
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (shelved @ 25%)
Batman: Arkham City (shelved after 4-5 hours)
Bayonetta (started/quit three times, never finished)
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (wife’s 20hr save was killed by a glitch, scared me off)
Child of Eden
Dead Space 2 (shelved @ 50%)
Earth Defense Force 2 (shelved @ 50%)
Eternal Sonata
Gears of War 3 (waiting for a 2nd copy to co-op with the wife)
Halo Wars (shelved @ 50%)
LA Noire
Metro 2033
Red Faction Armageddon (shelved @ 50%)
Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper
The First Templar (shelved @ 50%)
Velvet Assassin
Viva Pinata 2

Resonance of Fate
Tekken 6
White Knight Chronicles (shelved after 4hrs)
Yakuza 3
Yakuza 4

Bard’s Tale
Disgaea 2
Jak & Daxter: Lost Frontier
Final Fantasy XII (shelved @ 40hrs)
Manhunt 2
Okami (the wife took 65-ish hrs to finish, didnt want to commit that much time)
Sakura Wars
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
Spy Fiction
Summoner 2

Sooooooooo…. I’ve definitely got a few ideas about which of these titles still hold interest for me and which don't, but I figured I would throw this list out to you, dear readers, and see if you have strong feelings about any of 'em, either positive or negative.

Are there some in this list I should absolutely get to? Are there some that I can toss aside without a second thought? If you've got any feedback either way, post a comment or hit me up on Twitter and let me know. The great purge hasn't begun, but the time is coming.

(Side note: I will weep tears of blood if/when we finally move to an e-only future and lose the abiliy to trade/sell games we don't want any more. Fizzical m3dia 4 lyfe, yo.)


Writing: Games talk aside, I'm a little ashamed to say that I did not meet my deadline for the edits that were due on my book this year.

I'm not trying to make excuses because I’m big believer in personal accountability, but with everything that was on my plate, it was just too easy to keep putting the book on the back burner and tell myself I’d get to it later. That's exactly what happened, and ‘later’ was a while ago… hopefully the publisher I had lined up will still be interested, and if they are, I'll probably take this time between now and February to buckle down and get it done.

Otherwise, I've got a screenplay that I'll be shopping around and I'm considering starting a collection of short stories. The idea of starting and completing a tale in less than a year is starting to look more and more appealing these days… we'll see, though.  I'm trying to be much more realistic this year in terms of time management, so I think I will have to scale my expectations back accordingly.


What next?

You can also bookmark this post using your favorite bookmarking service:

Related Posts by Categories

9 comments: to “ Culling the backlog...


    I'm commenting on the 360 titles only. Of those listed, that you haven't logged any playtime with:

    Darksiders: I really loved this game. Some people say it's derivative of the 3D Zelda titles -- well, I never owned a Nintendo console past the NES, so any similarities didn't bother me. Cool art direction, surprisingly fun combat, and some great bosses. Also some great puzzle bits later on in the game, when you get it's version of the portal gun.

    I think it's worth logging a couple hours into L.A. Noire. I really enjoyed the game, but I recognize it wasn't for everybody. (A lot of hate on the end of year gamescritic podcast!) Following you on twitter I've gotten some idea of your taste in games, so I don't think you'll have any desire to finish it, but it's worth getting a taste.

    If you've never played the original Viva Pinata, then you should definitely try VP2. I logged a ton of time into VP, but that was early in the 360's life when there wasn't a lot of other titles to distract me. But it's so different then anything else, even with the wealth of new titles coming out, it might hook you.

  • Zolbrod


    Wow, that's an...extensive...backlog. There's a bunch of games on there that I've never played, but here's my 2 cents:


    - Broken Sword: still one of my favorite point-n-clickers ever. The newly added stuff for the Director's Cut isn't that interesting, but the main game is still great. Not too long either. Recommended!

    - Super Paper Mario & Super Mario Galaxy 2: These are no-brainers.

    - Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Unless you're a die-hard fan of the over-the-top VS series, don't bother.


    You have lots of stuff shelved/unfinished that I'd tell you to give another chance (Bayonetta, Arkham City, Dead Space 2), but you've probably already made up your mind...

    Oh, and don't bother with Eternal Sonata, unless you're a really REALLY big fan of Chopin. Like, REALLY.


    - Resonance of Fate is awesome. It's also quite hard, takes a long time to get used to, and it has Nolan North in it. This one will require effort and persistence, which may not be what you're looking for right now.

    Haven't played any of the Yakuza games, but everyone tells me they're pretty damn good.


    - Okami is lovely. It is very well possible to spend 65 hours on it, but not required. It IS long, though, you'll probably need around 40, but it's a great ride. Hey, you may even end up WANTING to spend 65 hours on it (your wife can't be wrong, can she? ;) )

    - Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. I'd have told you to get the Wii version, since the Wiimote adds a LOT (believe it or not), but it's too late for that.
    Still, it does some really clever stuff (the psychological profiling and the way your choices affect the game), and it's not very long at all. Nightmare Sequences can be a bit of a pain though.

    I don't know if you ever played the original Silent Hill, but you'll enjoy Shattered Memories's story more if you're familiar with the original. You don't need knowledge of the old story at all, but the new one works just that little bit better as a retelling. Not required, but a bit more fun.

  • Benjo321


    Out of that lot I'd put Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Yakuza 3 at the top of the list. I sunk a lot of time into Yakuza 3 this year and it was by far my favourite non 2011 game of the year. Gave up on Y4 after 5 hours though, just didn't have the same charm as the previous game.

  • Jay


    Yo Brad and holy shit man! I thought I was overdoing it with like 5-6 games owning at the same time. And totally agree on the digital media phenomenon, I also love trading my games with other people. Here in the Netherlands we only have a (very) big private internetsite, check it out ( comparable to craigslist, no 2nd hand stores like gamestop, can't even rent games here... So after finishing a game, I either trade with another person or sell my games. No point in owning old games that only lose value and never play again imo.

    About your games: I'd love to read a review from your hand about Yakuza 4, since I am considering playing that myself, though I am not a big fan of GTA type of games. In other words, mission fetch BS. Wonder how you see this game...

    And also, L.A. Noire. I was hoping Rock* would do something different with their major resources, and they did, but I am afraid they failed miserebly (sorry, my spelling sucks a bit). Would love to read your view on this game. Keep up the good work man and happy newyear!!!!!!


    I'm gonna have to agree with Zolbrod on Eternal Sonata... Honestly, I liked what I saw of it, but from my discussions with you and reading what you like/dislike, I don't think it's too different a JRPG to really grab your interest.

    I can't believe you haven't played Okami, though! You can definitely beat the game in 40-45 hours, though. Definitely worth checking out, even though it is pretty easy. At least put a few hours in before you get rid of it, if you ever go down that route.

  • Joan




    OKAMI (It's too long.)

    All three of these are good in their own expected ways. PAPER MARIO loses charm after a bit... GALAXY is fun, if predictable... OKAMI is beautiful, but waaaaaay too long for what it is.

    That said, I'm of the opinion now that if you put more than ten hours into a game, but can't remember when you played it last.... it's time to move on.

    Good luck!


    Thanks to everybody for the feedback... I've taken note of the comments and filed the info away.

    Appreciate it!

  • Anonymous


    Resonnance of Fate is da Bomb, WKC is retarded.