End of Quarter Review... Not Good - Pile of Shame March 2021

Title refers to my success. You all are killing it. I'm devoting 100+ hours to AC Valhalla and now Immortals... oops. I should probably find a gimme game this month just to say I actually finished something.

Some housekeeping notes.

If you're interested, trueheart78, has the 12 month 2021 pile plan thread over here.

A quick reminder, in order to be considered "Pile of Shame" the game needs to be at least three months old. Otherwise, it's just a new game you haven't gotten to playing yet.

Also, if you are curious about some of the previous threads, Picks of the Pile, etc... Please go here and check out the spreadsheet I setup.

Let's get on to the games!

This month's Pick of the Pile is


"Welcome to Torchlight! A boom town founded on the discovery of rich veins of Ember, a rare and mysterious ore with the power to enchant or corrupt all that it touches. Emboldened by its power, legions of twisted creatures have begun to swarm up from the tunnels and caves below town. Explore the depths, collect loot, and level up as you save Torchlight – and possibly the world." (Official Site)

Assassin's Creed Origins - benign1
The Banner Saga - AUs_TBirD, LastSurprise
Batman - The Telltale Series - AUs_TBirD
Dino Crisis - AUs_TBirD
Doom (2016) - iaintgotnopants
Dragon Quest XI S - brokenclavicle
Ether One - AUs_TBirD
Far Cry 5 - Glycerine
Final Fantasy X - Stele
Hades - Eleima
Heaven's Vault - benign1
Immortals Fenyx Rising - Stele, Hemi
Inside - iaintgotnopants
Nioh - Stele
Observation - Eleima, benign1
Pikmin 3 Deluxe - LastSurprise
Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm - LastSurprise
Star Wars Squadrons - Stele
State of Decay 2 : Juggernaut Edition - Glycerine
Super Mario 3D World - iaintgotnopants
Tomb Raider - Glycerine
Torchlight - LastSurprise
Trials of Mana - Malkroth
Tropico 6 - Eleima
Yakuza 0 - Forlorn Hope

Black Mesa - Forlorn Hope
Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor - jdzappa
Imperator - jdzappa
Tyranny - brokenclavicle, jdzappa
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands - jdzappa

Final Fantasy VII Remake - Malkroth

Nintendo Switch
Luigi's Mansion 3 - AUs_TBirD
Ring Fit Adventure - bobbywatson

After my disastrous track record in February, it's a wonder I'm declaring anything, but I'm still going to declare... Observation (multi), Hades (multi) and Tropico 6 (multi).
We'll see what else happens...

Wait is Fenyx Rising eligible now? If so put me down for PS5.

Playing that in Jan and Feb is part of why I'm still carrying over Nioh (PS4) and Final Fantasy X (Switch, multi) for another month!

I'm actually in endgame of FFX though. Could beat it tomorrow if I really pushed. And down to 3 more story missions in Nioh. But those can be tough. I feel good about finally finishing both this month.

Edit: still doing Star Wars Squadrons too. Having 3 games I can only play on TV is hurting my progress. Maybe I should use PS5 remote play on my PC more...



The Banner Saga 1 - AUs_TBirD
Batman - The Telltale Series - AUs_TBirD
Dino Crisis - AUs_TBirD
Ether One - AUs_TBirD

Nintendo Switch
Luigi's Mansion 3 - AUs_TBirD

February I did pretty good on shorter games, finishing all of them except for my stretch goal of Dino Crisis (though I did make some progress). The one longer game I had (Banner Saga), I however didn't touch. Time to rectify that in March.
The main reason I didn't accomplish more in February was that there were quite a few days (about 8) where I didn't play anything due to just not feeling up to it, or playing something requiring less concentration than the games I declared.

Learning nothing from this experience, I'm now going to commit to too many games for March!

The Banner Saga 1 (PS4/multi) - My main focus for the month.
Batman - the Telltale Series (PC/multi) - Individual episodes short enough for an evening each.
Ether One (PC/multi) - like Before I Forget from last month, another game with dementia as its subject matter.
Luigi's Mansion 3 (Switch) - the one game on my list I can play when the kids are awake/around. About halfway through already. A good afternoon game for weekends, or early evenings during the week.

Stretch goal:
Dino Crisis (Dreamcast/multi) - stretch goal again. I honestly don't know if I will make it through this because the enemies are tough and the controls awful. It's not the first game I've played with tank controls, but it may be the stiffest. Willing to give it another few attempts before shelving it though.

I'll declare Observation (multi), also carrying over Heaven's Vault (multi) and Assassin's Creed Origins (multi).

Only calling two this month, and I'm not entirely sure I can do both, but here goes.

Dragon Quest XI S (Multi)
Tyranny (PC)

I completed three games out of five last month, not bad I guess. Nazi Zombie army I had actually just bought, so didn’t mean to declare it, just thought it was awesome enough to mention. I bolded it like I was picking it though, so my bad. I’ll shoot for a little lower goal for March with two carry-overs and one addition, all multi-platform:

Far Cry 5 - Glycerine
Tomb Raider - Glycerine
State of Decay 2 : Juggernaut Edition - Glycerine

So..how about..Yakuza 0 (Xbox Game Pass PC/Multi) and Black Mesa (PC). I recently got an Oculus Quest 2 so I can play Half Life Alyx but I told myself that I couldn't get it until I beat Black Mesa. Hoping that motivates me..

I'm carrying Doom (2016) and Inside from last month. I'm probably going to hold off on declaring anything more until after I'm done with both since March is probably going to be as bad as February was for game time.

I'm also playing Super Mario 3D World on Switch. I don't know if that counts. It's technically an old game but it just came out on Switch last month.

AUs_TBirD wrote:


You are my hero

Hopefully this is the last time I have to declare Ring Fit Adventure (Switch). I'm getting closer and closer to the end. I can't exactly rush through that one, and in World 22, I feel like each stage leaves me out of breath and aching all over.

Which, to be fair, is the point.

I'm going to be ambitious this month: carrying over Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm (multi), and declaring Torchlight (multi), and Banner Saga (multi).

Finished State of Decay 2, though it almost felt like cheating since I did most of the work last month.

You can go ahead and mark off Batman - The Telltale Series for me. Finished all episodes in the course of 24 hours thanks to an impromptu vacation day.

Batman is something I was never actively involved with. I watched two or three movies, saw a few episodes of the original and animated series, and may have had a comic book or two. That's it though.

This game made me interested in knowing much more!

It's standard Telltale gameplay, but heavy on the quicktime events due to frequent combat. Luckily, it's very forgiving and I only failed once. Not sure how else they would have handled that without turning it into an action game.
The story, acting, and presentation really drew me in, however! Some of it is cliché, and the player is really just along for the ride rather than in control, but overall I felt it was really great. At the conclusion of every episode, I immediately clicked "start next episode", and I'm toying with the idea of adding Batman: The Enemy Within to this month's rotation because I really want to see what happens next.

Hopefully they expand the detective "clue-linking" gameplay in the sequel - that had potential.

Hemidal wrote:

Hades - iEleima
Observation - iEleima, benign1
Tropico 6 - iEleima

It's official, Apple has taken over my life.


I'll get that fixed right quick

Please put me down for:

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands (reaching max level)
Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor

Finished Doom. It was fun but I don't think I'll be picking up Doom Eternal any time soon.

I completed Observation! It's... really something. Still need to process it though...

The Banner Saga is down!

Finally finished Nioh this weekend.

Really great souls-like. Deep combat, some cool mechanics, an interesting story, and well... probably way too much loot. But overall a ton of fun.

I have Nioh 2 already, and intend to play it soon. But definitely a palette cleanser is needed before another tough game.

I’m scratching WOW Shadowlands off the list as I hit max level, completed the single player campaign and beat the regular dungeons. I know I could go on and start raiding but frankly don’t have the time or inclination.

I've sunk 20 hours into Tropico 6 and while I haven't finished the campaign, I'm marking it as "done". I've played around in the sandbox quite a bit. Was exactly what I needed, loads of zen qualities to it.

I’m also going to declare Pikmin 3 Deluxe (Switch). Won’t finish everything I’ve declared, I’m sure, but I could get through 2 of the remaining 3 games.

Finished Inside. Um...this game is f*cked up. I mean, I really like it but god damn. I went in just thinking it was Limbo 2. I was not prepared for what it actually was. I remember thinking Limbo was just kind of alright with some frustrating bits. Inside was much, much better but Jesus Christ...

I'm not going to declare another game yet and probably won't for the rest of March. I'm probably going to change up my planned order to focus on short games for April. By the end of April, I should be able to get back to longer games.

I do still technically have Super Mario 3D World to work on but, with how often I pick up my Switch, that's probably going to be a couple month affair.

After getting nothing done in February because of Valheim, I am ready to clear a couple games off my backlog. Might be a little ambitious for this late in the month, but I want to finish Trials of Mana (multi) and Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS4) before the next JRPG club game starts up.

Saw both endings of Ether One on the 14th.

Set primarily in the someone's memories of a mid-1900's English mining and fishing town. Gameplay can best be described as a walking sim with puzzles. The point of the puzzles is to reconstruct those memories, because Ether One is about dementia.

This is where I was, for quite a while, very unsure if Ether One was being respectful to those suffering this awful affliction, as it seemed to treat the process rather flippantly - as a convenient story setup. As the story progressed, more background information came to light that framed the game as a sincere attempt by the protagonist at "treating" the disease, before a twist in the story changes the premise yet again. As more and more information is revealed, the setup seemed increasingly respectful, but I'm still not sure the developers entirely got there.

That's not the only point of criticism, unfortunately. The other is the puzzles themselves. There are many of them, and some of them are good, but far too many are needlessly obscure, requiring amazing abilities of recall and laser-like vision. I needed to look up at least a quarter, probably over a third of the solutions. I lost count of the number of times the solution involved a black-light bulb. Granted, a good number of the puzzles can be skipped, but you will also miss out on sections of the story by doing so.

The fact that you have a "home base" where you can store over 120 items makes the puzzles and "carry only one item at a time" mechanic more bearable, and being able to warp to base and back instantly works great. The story is far deeper than it initially seems and can get a bit emotional at times, but never quite hit home with me. The village and mines, with all the little backstory bits, are interesting to explore; the mines perhaps a bit less so, come to think of it...

Sadly, the experience is further marred by bugs - a surprisingly high number of them in fact. Most could be solved in game (such as getting stuck in a door), but a few required reloading the last save, or even the game (voice tracks not triggering). Looking online, I found out I absolutely wasn't the only one experiencing these.

All in all it's well presented and can be an interesting experience, but the too many ridiculously obscure puzzles, bugs, and a feeling that it just wasn't treating its subject matter seriously enough make Ether One hard to recommend.


Have made some progress on The Banner Saga, but at the rate I'm going, it'll be down to the wire to finish by the end of the month.
Very little progress on Luigi's Mansion 3, as kiddo keeps wanting to play other things.
Haven't touched Dino Crisis yet this month. Uh-oh.

Finished Fenyx Rising. Really enjoyed the trimmed down AC map, combat, story, and humor. Thought I might try to platinum but some of those trophies are just silly.

Started playing SW Squadrons again, and got through 3 or 4 missions the last 2 days. Might actually finish another game this month.

I got out in Hades! I'm marking it as "Beaten", even though I'm going to keep playing because, much like Zagreus, I still have questions.

Congratulations! Such a great feeling.

Well, going into the weekend and a little bit of time off work, I found that I didn't really want to play any of the games I declared here. Rather, what I wanted was some Nintendo-style platforming, so I bought Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury. Nothing else from the pile is getting finished this month!