The Final Countdown

It’s been roughly one year since I started this blog. Back in March I was asking myself if I could finish my backlog by my 25th birthday. It looks like those estimates were a bit too bold. May 22nd is now a month behind us, and I’m actually barely halfway through the list of games I thought would be done by now.

Fear not, though. As many times as I’ve promised myself I would drop this whole blog if I got past a certain date, I seem incapable of giving up on projects once I’ve started them. I feel doomed to finish my backlog, for better or worse.

Things are, however, invariably starting to wind down. In fact, with the completion of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS recently, I am now down to 10 remaining games (minus the co-op games I am unable to finish without friends). To commemorate this event, I am listing off my unfinished games in order of their chronological release dates, and my thoughts on each one:

Chrono Trigger (SNES, 1995): I guess it’s appropriate that Chrono Trigger is the first entry on the list. Get it? Because it’s in chronological order? Hur hur hur. Either way, I’m actually nearing the end of the DS remake, and am having a wonderful time playing it. Definitely worth the playthrough.

Caesar III (PC, 1998): This is probably my longest-owned game that I have yet to beat. Caesar III is a city-building game Chris and I bought in 1998, right around its release, and we have yet to beat it since. Even going back to it year after year, I was unable to make much progress in it. And you know what? It’s still god-awful hard! No wonder I could never finish it! As it turns out, there’s an entire science to beating this game, and a few niche communities still exist to play and discuss its mechanics. I finally managed to crack its secrets with the help of some online guides, and am very close to finally beating it for good!

Jet Force Gemini (N64, 1999): Screw this game. Everyone who’s played it gushes over it, right before admitting that it’s way too hard. Even my roommate Tim admits that this game is utterly broken. This game is going to get beaten, but it’s going to require lots of alcohol. Save scums, anyone?

Banjo-Tooie (N64, 2000): I want you to know that Banjo-Kazooie is one of my favorite games of all time. It may seem surprising, then, that Banjo-Tooie, which many people felt was superior to the original game, has remained on my backlog for so long. I left the game halfway finished a number of years ago, and every year that passes makes it harder to go back to. First, the resolution is attrocious on modern televisions. Second, I have absolutely no idea where to go now, and have no recollection of what Jiggies I have left to collect. Sadly, it looks like I’m going to wind up restarting my progress with the HD remake in order to see this one completed.

Black & White (PC, 2001): This god-game from Lionhead Studios has remained incomplete in my library for a long time now. I got about a dozen hours into it back in high school before giving up on its difficulty. Although I’m confident in my ability to finish it this time around, quite frankly the mechanics always felt a bit messy. It will interesting to see how it feels this time around.

Commandos 2: Men of Courage (PC, 2001): Kind of an odd entry on this list for most people. Commandos is a gamer’s game: It’s relatively unheard of outside of most gaming circles, but a hardcore community of fans continues to discuss and mod the game to this day. The game requires serious patience, but it’s open level design and mechanics lets you complete each level in dozens of different ways, making it popular amongst the puzzle-solving crowd. The tragedy is that for being almost entirely forgotten, Commandos 2 is one of the most beautiful games out there, and the handcrafted isometric environments could practically pass as artwork. I’m a huge fan of the first game, though, and the first few missions of this one have already shown it to be vastly superior to the first. This one may take a while, but I think I’m going to enjoy it.

Warcraft III: Frozen Throne (PC, 2003): Of all the games on my backlog, Warcraft III was the one game people urged me to complete the most. I finally finished the original a few months back, and am well underway to finishing the campaign in the expansion (I just got to the hidden tower defense level, actually). I never considered myself much of a Warcraft guy, but since starting this game, I’ve become oddly addicted to the storyline. Go figure.

Commandos 3: Destination Berlin (PC, 2003): Not much to be said about this one except that it’s the sequel to the second game, and supposedly just as good. Oh, and Chris got it for me as a Christmas present one year! I’ll be going through the second game before this one, so I have a good feeling this one is going to get stuck the end of the list.

Dead Rising (XBox 360, 2006): Oh man, I can’t wait to finally play this. Dead Rising has been one of those games I’ve been meaning to play for a long time, but have been putting it off for a while. I believe Chris actually beat this one, and my friend Alfred completely dominated its endings back in high school. I may just save this one for last, so I can savor it in peace.

Hitman: Absolution (PC/Steam, 2013): One of the few modern games left on my backlog. I believe Andrew got this for me as a Steam present, and although Chris actually managed to beat it, I seem to be stuck on the fifth level. Not to worry, though. I’m sure that the second I dive back into this, I won’t be able to to put it down.

I suppose it won’t be long now until all of these are finally finished, though I can’t help but feel it’s going to take me longer than I expect to get through them. Now, enough time has been wasted writing. Time to log some hours!

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