Grills, Fireworks and Clearing the Pile?!?


We're past the midpoint of the year, how's that pile coming? We've only got three more threads after this for 2013. I'm reasonably certain if I were to complete 3 games a month and not buy anything else, I'd still have entries for these threads until 2020.

It's ridiculously hot in a lot of parts of the US, stay cool, hydrated and keep on playing those games.

If you're interested, m0nk3yboy, has the 12 month 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, Pick's 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

[size=30]Infamous 2[/size]


"The BEAST is coming.
A being of pure power and destruction is annihilating the East Coast. To stop this menace, Cole must find the key to unlocking his undiscovered powers hidden deep within New Marais. Standing in the way is a power-hungry dictator that will stop at nothing to rid him from the city. Gain enough power to defeat The Beast or witness the destruction of the world.
Save the world or destroy it." (

Bastion - jdzappa
Bit.Trip Runner - [color=gray]Eleima[/color]
Bone: The Great Cow Race - shoptroll
Call of Duty Black Ops 2 - CptDomano
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - CptDomano
Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood - AUs_TBirD
Cave Story+ - Schmutzli
Eragon - honeycut1
Game of Thrones - SallyNasty
Just Cause 2 - Quintin_Stone
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - Stele
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - CptDomano
Lego: Lord of the Rings - honeycut1
Mega Man 4 - ClockworkHouse
Metro 2033 - Schmutzli
Saints Row the Third - jdzappa
Shatter - kstress71
Sleeping Dogs - brokenclavicle, MadGav
Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People 3: Baddest of the Bands - brokenclavicle
Trine 2 - honeycut1, nel e nel
The Walking Dead - Hemi
Zeno Clash - kstress71

Company of Heroes - stevenmack
Deus Ex - shoptroll
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams - AUs_TBirD
Guild Wars 2 - jdzappa
Magicka - kstress71, Stele
StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm - Eleima

[u]Xbox 360[/u]
Blue Dragon - brokenclavicle

Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory - Mantid
Infamous 2 - Shadout, brokenclavicle
Twisted Metal - CptGlanton
Uncharted 2 - honeycut1
Valkyria Chronicles - stevenmack

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon - ClockworkHouse
Mario Kart 7 - Mantid
Paper Mario: Sticker Star - ClockworkHouse

Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth - AUs_TBirD
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey - ClockworkHouse

Last Story - CptDomano

Well, on the 21st of last month, the game I was playing most of the month slipped over the three month mark. So, I'll be finished up Hyperdimention Neptunia Victory (PS3) this month.

I may or may not play another pile game this month. I don't know yet.

Put me down for Deus Ex (PC) and Bone: The Great Cow Race (PC/Multi). I think I can clear one of those before SMT IV arrives.

I am going to go for Game of Thrones on 360!

I want to complete Eragon (multi/360), Trine 2 (multi/360), and Uncharted 2 (PS3),

I'd like to carry over Mega Man 4 (Multi). Thanks!

List for July:

Last Story (Wii)
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (Multi)
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Multi)

We'll see how on track I can stay with SMT IV and Time & Eternity releasing mid month

Pile progress has been exceedingly slow in the last month. I'm just working on the Borderlands 2 DLC still, so I don't think I have a declaration yet.

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (PC/multi) - I'll get to it this month, I swear!
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams (PC) - I'm close. All that swearing you faintly hear in the distance - as if someone with Tourette's were a few hundred feet away - that's me playing this game.
Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth (NDS) - Two chapters left.

Ideally I'll knock these out within a week. Realistically, I might manage the last one at 23:59:59 on July 31st.

Going to declare Bit.Trip Runner (multi). About halfway through. That game drives me insane, but I'm gonna finish it, whatever it takes.

Carrying forward Valkyria Chronicles (ps3). I'm in Chapter 11 so should be past the halfway mark I think. Also before I start on Company of Heroes 2 I should really finish the first one, so also put me down for Company of Heroes (New Steam Version) (PC)

Please put me down for Twisted Metal (PS3). Thanks.

Well hell. I guess I'm carrying over Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning(PC, multi) from last month.

Put me down for Blue Dragon (360), Sleeping Dogs (Multi) and Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People 3: Baddest of the Bands (Multi) for July as my initial picks. Feeling good about these!

Also put me down for Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey (DS). Considering that I'm literally outside the final boss' chamber, I'd say I realistically only have about ten or so more hours and should be able to do that this month.

Infamous 2 (PS3).
And lots more hopefully. Vacation starting tomorrow!
Let the rain keep coming.

Please put me down for Magicka (PC). I'm about halfway through the main campaign, so it seems pretty safe. I'm not committing to any of the huge library of DLC, in case I'm burned out by the time I finish.

kstress71 wrote:

Please put me down for Magicka (PC). I'm about halfway through the main campaign, so it seems pretty safe. I'm not committing to any of the huge library of DLC, in case I'm burned out by the time I finish.

Oh yeah, me too. I forgot I started that up recently as well. 5 chapters in, surely I can finish.

And I just sent you a friend request, so maybe we can coop.

On my wall this month, from most to least likely to finish:

Cave Story+ (Multi)
Metro 2033 (Multi)

I'm about halfway through the second, and while it has a lot of heart, I'm not sure my interest will carry me all the way through. Ah well. And maybe with Cave Story I'll finally see what all the fuss is about.

Well, COH 2 is still taking a lot of my time, but here are my pile picks:

Xcom - I'm inspired to name all my characters after OSI characters from Venture Bros

Guild Wars 2


Saints Row 3 - might as well try to finish this before 4

Maybe Magica? Depends if I can join the group already forming.

Putting me down for reinstalling my PC from scratch, yippee. This was supposed to be my "take time off from work and game all week" week. Instead, it's turning out to be "do laundry while Windows and assorted programs reinstall" week. Pile progress is suffering from it.

Stele wrote:

And I just sent you a friend request, so maybe we can coop.

Feel free to invite me as well. I'm at Chapter 6 and would like to complete that game at some point this year.

Just Cause 2 (multi?)

jdzappa wrote:

Xcom - I'm inspired to name all my characters after OSI characters from Venture Bros

Original or Enemy Unknown?

Well, I did finish a Call of Duty game already this month, but not the one I declared. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 can be declared and marked off. Not sure what happened, but the single player campaigns of these games have finally clicked with me and I'm having a lot of fun with them. I always end up hitting a wall with these games where I just can't find the right cover, kill enemies fast enough, or just generally can't make any progress without dying over and over. The last couple days have been like seeing the Matrix for the first time--just burning through levels without much trouble. It's been surprising and fun

Sleepy Dogs - put me down for this, really enjoying it so far.

Mega Man 4 is done. It was a game I played a lot of as a kid but never managed to beat. Through the power of save scumming on the 3DS, I was finally able to get the job done.

It's probably a game I love more in theory than in practice. The production values on it are insane; it's impressive how much content they packed into the game and how good they made it look. The music is great, and the character and environmental designs are really memorable. The Mega Man games are surely some of the most attractive games made for the NES.

However, the game has some serious design issues. There's a secret order to the bosses such that one robot boss gives you the best weapon to take on the next, but there are no hints to what that order might be. The boss' themes don't suggest a hierarchy (why would Bright Man give you power over Pharaoh Man?), there are no hints in terms of their layout on the menu screen, and the difficulty of the levels themselves don't suggest any sort of order. A new player might experiment with different levels and settle on attempting to tackle the robot boss with the easiest level, but the easiest level (Skull Man) is one of the last in the pattern, and the first (Toad Man) has one of the more difficult and immediately intimidating levels.

Beyond being the arbitrary weakness of another robot master, the weapons you get from bosses are mostly useless. As with many first-person shooters with a large variety of weapons, you'll find yourself returning to a default weapon (in this case, the Mega Buster) rather than experimenting with anything else because it works well enough in most situations. Because the levels can be played in any order, you're never required to have a specific boss' weapon in order to advance, but neither is it often advantageous to have one or the other at any given point.

The game is charming enough, but I can't help but feel that the designers made a poor compromise between allowing players the freedom to choose any level in any order and expecting the robot masters to be conquered in a specific pattern. If the levels had altered in some way or otherwise responded to the robot masters you had already encountered, or if the robot masters had developed different attack patterns or weaknesses based on when you got to them, the whole thing might have been more enjoyable and made more intuitive sense. As it is, the game comes across as punishing and arbitrary.

It's weird to nitpick an NES game, but I think it has such a good template for a great idea that it's a shame to see it squandered. I've heard Mega Man 4 is where the series went off the rails, so I might try an earlier one or the universally lauded Mega Man X to see if either works a bit better for me.

And Sleeping Dogs is down. What a ride it was! Great game... considerably better than the series it spawned from. Now, onto finish my other two picks... and adding another... Infamous 2

After 1 year, 2 months, and 10 days of playing on and off, I've finally beaten Strange Journey with the neutral ending. I absolutely loved it.

Sleeping Dogs done

Enjoyed the combat + main story. You can safely skip everything on the side.

Worth a sequel.

I'm going to declare StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm (Mutli): I started the game, completed 2 missions, and although I groaned a bit at the story, the gameplay's solid and I'll see it through.

About Bit.Trip Runner... I like the game, I enjoyed it a bit, but... It's just so horribly frustrating. I keep failing the 11th level in zone 1 over and over and over. Tried toning it down to easy, and the game kicks me back to the first level. I cringed then figured "oh well, the courses must be different, right?" NO! No they're not, they're the exact same courses, except you don't have the little gold piles to grab as you run along. For my own sanity, I'm declaring it "beaten", because I went as far as I could, as long as I could.
Even though I guess it's technically "dropped".