Grab What You Can from the Pile and Don't Strain Yourself

I installed Fable III. That's a start.

However, the challenge maps in Arkham Asylum and an attempted speed run of Braid have been eating up my gaming time. I was okay with this until I realized that a third of the month is nearly gone.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I installed Fable III. That's a start.

However, the challenge maps in Arkham Asylum and an attempted speed run of Braid have been eating up my gaming time. I was okay with this until I realized that a third of the month is nearly gone.

I can relate on feeling that the month is going fast.

I'm actually making some headway in Mother 3 this month, though I've had to resort to some level grinding. Can't say I'm all that good with the music combo system there.

Started RE4 but haven't touched it beyond my initial, one-hour play session. Mass Effect 2 is progressing slowly but nicely; I play it for a couple of hours once or twice a week when I can. I've got to increase my time with it, though. As for ToMI: RotPG, I've just gotten to

Spoiler:

the crossroads

. Good thing it's a shorty, that one!

Very nearly done with Splinter Cell Conviction. I've beaten all the DLC maps in Hunter mode on Realistic, and gotten the "Perfect Hunter" Achievement. I just have one of the challenges left before I can call it done.

Slowing down in Baldur's Gate. I am at the start of the final chapter, but since I want to really complete things, I'm pushing through Durlag's Tower before heading to off to deal with the BBG. Wedding in 11 days; either I grind this thing into completion by Sunday, or it's a lost cause for May.

TheHipGamer wrote:

Slowing down in Baldur's Gate. I am at the start of the final chapter, but since I want to really complete things, I'm pushing through Durlag's Tower before heading to off to deal with the BBG. Wedding in 11 days; either I grind this thing into completion by Sunday, or it's a lost cause for May.

Failing that, write your own vows, and add in the sub clause "In sickness, and in health (and pile progression)". Important you include that after health, otherwise people might get you inflatable cushions as a wedding gift.

Congrats by the way.

Finished up Kirby's Epic Yarn. It was a great game. My initial assessment was that it was going to be way too easy but it turned out to be the right amount of challenge for a platformer and offered many different levels of play. I loved the "no die" mechanic instead of having to start the world over (which you would still need to do if you are trying to gold star the levels). From the variety of the levels, bosses, and transformations, I have to say I enjoyed this more than what I have played of New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

So far I have yet to put Enslaved into my PS3.... I've been, of all silly things, watching baseball instead. And The Witcher 2 lands soon. Might have my first fail-filled month if I'm not more diligent!

Finished Vanquish - surprised that it was only about 6hours.

Thoroughly enjoyable game, completely forgettable plot.

I do find it amazing that given the speed and chaos going on in this game and how pretty it was, the game never missed a beat. No texture pop-in, no drops in Framerate, nothing. Bravo Platinum Games.
Note: To be fair the 360 version of Bayonetta that I played also was flawless in its visual (and sound) execution imo.

Time to move on to Spider-man: Shattered Dimensions.

Unannounced: Finished off one of Stardock's early efforts, Lightweight Ninja (PC). I picked it up in an Impulse sale a few years ago for 50 cents or so, and I can safely say that it isn't worth much more than that. LN is a kiddie action platformer with a poor story, crudely drawn cut scenes, occasionally good music, but very loose controls and very poor collision detection. Those last two led to plenty of frustrating moments. Ty, the protagonist, goes from 0 to 100 in about two steps, which makes precision platforming a tricky affair. Furthermore, enemies can harm you even before their animated sprite touches Ty's; they are approximately 1/3 larger than they appear. If the control and hitbox issues were resolved, Lightweight Ninja would be a decent action game with several collectible projectiles including reusable ninja stars of various powers, acorns, and paper airplanes. In the game's 16 short levels, there is only one boss battle at the very end and the replayability of the levels exists solely in the form of trying to collect all of the gems and other pick-ups, as well as speed runs. I would recommend avoiding this Stardock offering.

EDIT: Since it's still early in the month, let's toss Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (PC/multi) up there. On a whim, I fired it up again, and my initial not-so-hot impressions have changed; not to mention that the instability I experienced months ago seems to have vanished.

AUs_TBirD wrote:

EDIT: Since it's still early in the month, let's toss Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (PC/multi) up there. On a whim, I fired it up again, and my initial not-so-hot impressions have changed; not to mention that the instability I experienced months ago seems to have vanished.

Enjoy the ride. I was pleasantly surprised by the SP of BFBC2, despite the random choke points and my inability to figure out exactly what / when they wanted me to do during a thunderstorm.

In other news, finally started making progress on Goldeneye last night. Man, I need to spend some time messing with the controls becasu the ADS mechanic throws me all kinds of off due the changed sensitivity. Still loving the Wii-mote pointing and am tempted to think anyone who gave up on pointer controls (like my friend did) was try to use the defualt control which is slugish and really is a pain to work with. I ended up using the "experienced 2" setting after finding my old settings a bit awkward since I only wanted to play for a short while last night and it worked out mostly good, but needs some fine tuning. To me, it just feels better (more connected to the act of aiming?) than analog sticks.

Also, what's the SOP for games you're making slow progress on, that you don't intend to finish this month? I've been slowly playing through Titan Quest in co-op with a non-goodjer buddy, but the end probably will not come until July. I guess that means I don't really need to add it to the pile list because it's not something I need help pushing through.

mrtomaytohead wrote:

...Also, what's the SOP for games you're making slow progress on, that you don't intend to finish this month?...

I need to know the answer to this also, since pretty soon (like next month, maybe) I'm going to have to tackle Baldur's Gate 1 and 2.

It's up to you guys. I'd rather see it get listed on the month you think you''ll finish (maybe one before). I don't want to keep repeating the same titles for 6 months while you finish other games off the pile.

Hemidal wrote:

It's up to you guys. I'd rather see it get listed on the month you think you''ll finish (maybe one before). I don't want to keep repeating the same titles for 6 months while you finish other games off the pile.

Yeah, that's why I ended my post the way I did it. I know i dragged Far Cry 2 out for like 3 months last year, but I swear I was doing just about everything I could to keep making progress and it being an FPS had no idea I would end up putting 50hrs into it.

Garden Ninja wrote:

I need to know the answer to this also, since pretty soon (like next month, maybe) I'm going to have to tackle Baldur's Gate 1 and 2.

My advice? Don't rush these. Baldur's Gate for the first time is an experience to be savored. Don't cave to BGTutu on your first playthrough; grab the GOG versions, install the Widescreen mod and GUI if you must, and let the original experience be.

So I think I'm declaring Sam & Max again (I promise...seriously); I also added Castlevania: Symphony of the Night to the pile, so I think I'll set my sights on that and chip away at it this month -- and that'll likely be my carry-over, chip-away at it game for a little while.

Nevermind. Filthy skimming on the above exchange between Hemi and Tomato, so just put me down for Sam & Max and if I don't, I won't declare it again until I think I'll finish.

My main goal this month is some actual, in-person tabletop D&D, so between that and wrapping up the school year, I don't think I'll have too much time for the pile.

TheHipGamer wrote:
Garden Ninja wrote:

I need to know the answer to this also, since pretty soon (like next month, maybe) I'm going to have to tackle Baldur's Gate 1 and 2.

My advice? Don't rush these. Baldur's Gate for the first time is an experience to be savored. Don't cave to BGTutu on your first playthrough; grab the GOG versions, install the Widescreen mod and GUI if you must, and let the original experience be.

I actually grabbed the Baldur's Gate 4-in-1 Compilation (4 DVDs) a couple years ago, before they came out on GoG. I have it installed with the Baldur's Gate Trilogy mod right now. I've probably played the first several hours (Nashkel and the surrounding area, but not to the mines yet) like 10 times in those two years.

Why do you say to avoid Tutu (and presumably BG Trilogy) on the first playthrough? I'm building a new PC this month, so not using it is as simple as not installing it when I install the game.

Edit: Also, 35 minutes later, Splinter Cell Conviction is done. Moving on to Sly 3

Garden Ninja wrote:

Why do you say to avoid Tutu (and presumably BG Trilogy) on the first playthrough? I'm building a new PC this month, so not using it is as simple as not installing it when I install the game.

In my opinion, a huge part of the fun of the series is starting out with a very weak canonical character, using the 2E rules as implemented in the original engine, and gradually becoming more powerful as you progress. The jump to the refined BG2 engine -- what you get "from the beginning" if you use TuTu or the Trilogy -- both changes the game balance (especially with the XP cap removal), and removes the meta-pleasure of completing the first game and slipping into the second one's changed engine.

While I've no complaints about things like Baldurdash (the bug fix collection) or the Widescreen Mod (making the game bearable on modern LCDs, although I never play at >800x600), I think you're diminishing the experience and pacing if you set yourself up with the Trilogy/TuTu systems. Bioware made two distinct but amazing games, and they're worth experiencing as such.

Of course, I could just be a curmudgeonly old man.

PS: Stick it out through Nashkel. It starts getting good there, even if it's a slow burn beforehand.

Finished Time Gentlemen, Please last night. Lots of fun pokes at various adventure gaming tropes.

And I really hope to finally get EU III off my list this month. Steam says I'm closing in on 100 hours on it. Someone tell the Ottomans to quit using spies to start rebellions in all my colonies. Spending all my time swatting flies.

Defense Grid and all expansions are done! I had a great deal of fun playing, and messed around with some of the non-campaign stuff, like the grinder levels. I'll probably keep picking it up over time. About halfway through, I really started to understand how to get gold metals, and I'm tempted to go back and get all gold medals. Getting gold on the last main level was pretty satisfying.

This is a good month for reducing the pile - only a third of the way through and another game down... Prof Layton & the curious village is beat.

Let's see if I can get one more in before Witcher 2 is unlocked and try for STALKER : Shadow of Chernobyl finally.

Dragon Age Origins: Awakenings and the last pieces of DLC are complete! The last boss of the Golems DLC was a real pain and I did turn the difficulty down to beat him, but I am somewhat relieved to be through all of the DA:O saga. Great game, great universe, however, when all said and done, I clocked in at 91 hours on Steam. I need to stop playing such large games...

Hopefully I will be 2/2 on Pile completion this month and be able to finish off the campaign in Dawn of War II!

Crysis finished.
Thoughts:
Not exactly what I was expecting. I was expecting more interesting uses of powers but they felt pretty boring and like they were an afterthought.
The environments were pretty but fairly boring

Spoiler:

the only really cool place was the ship/mountain thing with the 0 grav

The AI was pretty dumb and made the game easy, as I could just sit in one spot near a base and shoot them as they all run to the same mounted gun/cover.
Overall a boring but solid shooter. Polished with only a couple bugs that I noticed. Though I had to change graphical settings multiple times I could never get anything that didn't give me some annoying hitching/stuttering. Never really got big framerate lag though.

It's been a while, but it feels good.

I FINISHED A GAME!!!!

Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper went down. Full 1K too (not that that was a hard ask, only 4 missables), but if you knew what they were before hand, dead easy.

It wasn't a masterpiece, but it wasn't terrible either.

I also cleaned up Forza Motor Sport 2. Undeclared, but I felt like doing a little spring cleaning (even though it's almost Winter down here). That one now sits at 970/1000, but the 1million online credits will just have to wait.

Onto the other title declared for the month now! (exits with spring in his heel).

FedoraMcQuaid wrote:

Crysis finished.
Thoughts:
Not exactly what I was expecting. I was expecting more interesting uses of powers but they felt pretty boring and like they were an afterthought.
The environments were pretty but fairly boring

Spoiler:

the only really cool place was the ship/mountain thing with the 0 grav

The AI was pretty dumb and made the game easy, as I could just sit in one spot near a base and shoot them as they all run to the same mounted gun/cover.
Overall a boring but solid shooter. Polished with only a couple bugs that I noticed. Though I had to change graphical settings multiple times I could never get anything that didn't give me some annoying hitching/stuttering. Never really got big framerate lag though.

Out of curiosity: what difficulty did you play on? I only found Crysis enjoyable on Delta; with the easier difficulties, the gameplay holes you mentioned really stood out.

TheHipGamer wrote:
FedoraMcQuaid wrote:

Crysis finished.
Thoughts:
Not exactly what I was expecting. I was expecting more interesting uses of powers but they felt pretty boring and like they were an afterthought.
The environments were pretty but fairly boring

Spoiler:

the only really cool place was the ship/mountain thing with the 0 grav

The AI was pretty dumb and made the game easy, as I could just sit in one spot near a base and shoot them as they all run to the same mounted gun/cover.
Overall a boring but solid shooter. Polished with only a couple bugs that I noticed. Though I had to change graphical settings multiple times I could never get anything that didn't give me some annoying hitching/stuttering. Never really got big framerate lag though.

Out of curiosity: what difficulty did you play on? I only found Crysis enjoyable on Delta; with the easier difficulties, the gameplay holes you mentioned really stood out.

Hard

Whee - another one down. Best month for clearing the pile EVER.

Stalker : Shadow of Chermobyl is FINALLY beaten after years of procrastination. Full disclosure - I had to cheat like a mofo in what turned out to be the very last fight of the game (literally the last group of half dozen dudes). That last area is a son of a bitch to get through. Had I realised that was the last group I probably would have persevered but I couldn't stomach another half hour of beating my head against a wall trying to get past them.

I think I got the good ending. Hard to tell.

Spoiler:

I made the zone disappear and my eyes went all spooky

Looking forward to finally trying out Pripyat at some point. Should I bother with Clear Sky? - I heard it was a bit crap but maybe it's been modded to perfection by now.

...

Also can you mark off Prof Layton as being beaten as well Heimdal, ta.

Apparently, I opened the thread and didn't read it. No new posts, but plenty of stuff I hadn't gotten around to updating... whoops!

I made it to Nova Prospekt on HL2 and I think I've discovered what my problem is. I think the levels are all at least 15 minutes too long (some more like 30). The airboat, the dune buggy, Ravenholm, etc... They all would have been better if they'd been shortened just a bit. What feels like a natural ending, winds up opening to another 10-15 minutes of the same level. Some of them do this a couple of times.

Just my $.02

I hope to finish it this week.

I've finished Recettear. Paid off the store twice in two playthroughs.

Hemidal wrote:

Apparently, I opened the thread and didn't read it. No new posts, but plenty of stuff I hadn't gotten around to updating... whoops!

I made it to Nova Prospekt on HL2 and I think I've discovered what my problem is. I think the levels are all at least 15 minutes too long (some more like 30). The airboat, the dune buggy, Ravenholm, etc... They all would have been better if they'd been shortened just a bit. What feels like a natural ending, winds up opening to another 10-15 minutes of the same level. Some of them do this a couple of times.

Just my $.02

I hope to finish it this week.

That's definitely something they learned to improve on with the 'episodes' later, the pacing is nigh on perfect for them compared to the original game. Shorter but much, much sweeter.

I'm going to throw Shatter onto the pile. I just want to finish the story mode, and I think I can do that this month.