Trimming the fat

I’ve been playing through Scribblenauts lately, and one thing is becoming abundantly clear: I am not having a good time with it. It’s controls are beyond frustrating, and the puzzles, with their potential to be unique an interesting, are banal and repetitive. Two of my friends noted you could beat most of the puzzles with a helicopter and a rope. Their assessment was dead accurate.

As I ground my way through it’s 200 levels or so levels at a snails pace, I had to stop and wonder whether I was actually having a good time with Scribblenauts. I mean, playing this game was actually becoming stressful. So why did I keep pushing through it? To simply check it off my list and move on to the next game? Something seemed wrong about that to me.

To be completely honest, I really want to done with my backlog and move on with my life. Suddenly I understand why most of the games on my list went unfinished – most of them aren’t fun to begin with. I miss the feeling of being lost completely in a game, the feeling that there’s nothing else you need to be doing except playing that game. You don’t get that when you’re beating a game simply to get to the credits. You feel rushed, like you need to finish the game so that you can get to the next one as quickly as possible. I don’t like doing this. It makes gaming a chore, and with all of the other responsibilities I need to take care of in my life right now, I don’t need another obligation to fulfill.

On the other hand, I don’t simply want to give up on my endeavor. I started this backlog because I knew going forward I wanted a clean slate. I wanted to be able to buy new games without having to deal with the guilt of not beating the previous ones. It’s been a way of making my purchases feel justified, so that I don’t feel like I’m simply wasting money in the future. A way of enforcing my policy of finishing one game before moving on to the next.

So in the interest of saving time and effort, I’ve decided to trim the fat off the backlog by removing those games I truly have no interest in playing. Just so you don’t think I’m trying to back out of a challenge, I’m listing the games I cut out here along with my reasons for doing so:

Final Fantasy Legend – This was one of those games my brother and I got for a car ride, played for a single vacation, and then never went back to. This game seemed mind-numbingly boring, and it was literally the first game I removed from the list. Good riddance.

Forza 5 – Tim actually bought this one, not me, so I originally threw this one on the list for completeness. Going back to it recently, though, it’s obvious that this is one game I will never, ever get around to finishing. I mean seriously, the main game alone is about 55 hours long. I know it’s basically the “best game” on the XBox One at the moment according to several sources, but I’m still not convinced that’s a good enough reason for me to play it. Maybe Destiny will finally get Tim and I to dust off the console and give it the attention it deserves.

Devil May Cry 2 & 3 – Technically another set of games I didn’t buy. My brother fell in love with the Devil May Cry series back in high school and bought all of them to play. I’m not even remotely interested DMC2, and DMC3 was so difficulty the last time I played it I gave up on the first level. I probably will go back to finish Devil May Cry 1, however, so I’ve left it on there for now.

SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs – Yet another game that randomly appeared in my game collection one day. I think my brother bought it for the online aspect but I can’t remember if he ever got around to playing it. Looks as boring as dirt in my opinion, and since this one of the games I never bought in the first place, I’m taking it off the backlog.

Road Rash – Where do I keep getting these games from? This one was definitely from a friend of ours that must have left it over our house one day. I definitely never bought it, at any rate. Either way, I’m not really interested in this game at all so I took it off the list.

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos & Frozen Throne – These were games lent to my brother so he could play DotA with a couple of friends of his. I borrowed the CDs to play through the campaign at one point but then gave up soon after. Funnily enough, I actually am pretty interested in going through these games one day. But if I do, it will have to be after the backlog is beaten.

Grand Theft Auto – I was tempted to beat this game since I’ve beaten every other game in the series since this one (with the exception of GTA2), but it’s become clear to me now that it’s not going to happen. The game is repetitive and frustrating as it is, and with other things to do in my life, I can’t really sink the time into it right now.

Conflict: Desert Storm – I actually beat this one already! My friends and I played co-op on this game for hours when we were in middle school. I bought myself a copy to play through the campaign alone, but never got around to beating it solo, so I think it’s about time I shut the door on this one.

Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter – This was a game I got in a Humble Bundle along with System Shock 2. I only wanted the pack for SS2, but decided to download and install this anyway. I promised myself I would actually get around to playing it, but now chances seem more and more likely I simply won’t. It’s a great series though! If you’ve got the time they’re very entertaining.

The good news is that now I have a list of games I’m truly excited about – games that make me want to play them. That being said, I’m diving back into some more games. I actually have a lot of finished games that need a Progress Report on them, so hopefully I will get to those soon!

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One Response to Trimming the fat

  1. Chris N says:

    Brother here, I just wanted to comment on a few of the games listed here.

    Final Fantasy Legends: Hands down the most confusing game at both age 10 and 23. The fact that you could recruit a white mage, make him eat ogre meat and turn him into an ogre always confused the hell out of me. I remember playing it on vacation only because we had already beaten Wario Land 3 twice over.

    Devil May Cry: The ultimate pain in the ass when it comes to hack and slash games. While combo’ing to S rank combos was fun, it got repetitive and annoying especially because I refused to play the game on any other difficulty besides Hard / Expert. I have #4 too if you ever want to play it :).

    SOCOM: I actually bought this game one weekend with Swiz when we decided we wanted to beat it. I think we got to the 4th or 5th level before we finally called it quits. We thought it would be like Ghost Recon but we were so so wrong. Also, Hoose played it online so I wanted to try it out. Needless to say, I didn’t realize we didn’t have the online adapter and finally when I got to play it, it lagged worse than Counter Strike 1.5 on a 56k connection. Also, if I remember correctly, the hit boxes on the game were absolutely awful. You’re cross-hair could be right on an enemy and even though one good hit would kill them instantly, it was almost impossible to get a bullet to register a hit. I would even wager it had worse hit-boxes than Killzone.

    Road Rash: This game is actually Kuhn’s if I remember correctly. He brought it over because we both thought it was the funniest thing to hit people with chains to knock them off their bikes. Even now I’m laughing writing this comment thinking of the random AI characters that literally fly off their exploding bikes when you lash them with spiked chains.

    Warcraft III: This game was given to me by either Jeff or Tom when we were all into the Starcraft BW / WC3 / Diablo 2 days. Even though the CD was used, I was lucky enough that Jeff had also sent me a 7 page word document filled with CD keys for all of those games. The best part was back then if CD keys were used they didn’t prevent you from playing the game. However, you couldn’t access general chat and were eternally placed in a chat room called “The Void.” I remember going on mIRC chats that traded CD Keys for other games and website passwords (mainly adult website passwords that I would sell to kids in school…RIP Kayanx93:password1)

    So there’s my version of the back story to each game so I understand why you would take them off. But if anything, you should at least give WC3 a shot because the campaign was pretty good.

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