2016 - The 12 Month Pile Plan

shoptroll wrote:

I placed a pre-order on Overwatch earlier this week, and I keep thinking lately about how much I want to light my pile on fire :D

I understand this. I was hoping to shove a lot of time into Twilight Princess HD this weekend, and then my friend informed me there was a Splatfest this weekend and now I'm teetering between an excuse to get back to a favorite game and the urge to make progress in Zelda before Homefront: The Revolution comes out.

When Overwatch hits, I imagine that's what a lot of nights will be since my friends will be playing.

I might be done with Darksiders II, or at the least I'm taking a break.

There's just too much content and too little evolution in the play mechanics. As with the first Darksiders, Darksiders II is structurally very similar to a Zelda game in that you alternate between exploring an overworld and venturing into self-contained dungeons or temples.

The dungeons in Darksiders II are large, and individually they're fun to play through. Collectively, however, they are so similar in visual design and pacing that the game's final third has turned into an almost undifferentiated slog.

There are two world maps so far, and all of the temples on each map use the same assets. So where the temples in a newer Zelda game or the first Darksiders might be uniquely themed or visually differentiated, the temples in Darksiders II are almost all identical. There are some architectural features that are unique to each dungeon, but even there the similarities are too strong. More than half of the temples involve working outward from some kind of hub arena with a big statue in the middle of it.

Progressing through each temple is also very similar. Nearly every room in every dungeon locks behind you until you kill a few waves of enemies. Early on, the game's combat kept up an interesting rhythm of dodging enemy attacks and looking for openings against small numbers of opponents, but as the game has worn on, those individual encounters have largely been tossed aside in favor of large groups of trash enemies with a handful of bigger monsters mixed in. It long ago stopped being fun and started being tedious.

And this is where the decision to mostly ditch the item-based progression of the previous game becomes a real issue. Where the first game gave you new toys in each dungeon and a fresh set of puzzles and encounters that used those toys, Darksiders II can really only offer you more of what you've already done: more loot, more enemies, and more chambers to climb. There are a small number of traversal upgrades and new items, but they're few and far between.

I'm just bored at this point and literally falling asleep while playing. I had thought to push on to the end, but peeking at a walkthrough, it looks like I have three or four more dungeons to get through. I just can't do that right now, so I'm going to find something else to play for awhile.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I might be done with Darksiders II ...

[scrubs a line through Darksiders II on her speculative sale shopping list] Thanks. Another victory in the battle of time & money versus the pile.

Part of me wants to say "stick with it!", but I felt relief and a bit of frustration when I finally beat it. I cannot clearly remember what, but something happened towards the end that didn't feel earned.

And y'know what? I hadn't thought about it before, but one of the things I loved about the first Darksiders was, after playing two or so Zelda-esque levels, you suddenly have that desert area that plays very differently from the other dungeons. For a while the game stopped completely imitating Zelda, and then you get back into it later on. The game felt much more varied in its activities, not just its progression.

Perhaps the reason the strict adherence to the Rule of Threes in Darksiders 2 stood out to me so much is because that was all there was to notice.

The game's combat and exploration mechanics see such a huge improvement, but everything else just fails the game in comparison. If they ever get around to making a Darksiders 3, I'm curious how it'll shake out as the goal was to have a four-player co-op experience.

ccesarano wrote:

The game felt much more varied in its activities, not just its progression.

Absolutely. One of the things I loved about Darksiders was how it was this blizzard of ideas that rarely lingered too long on one thing. I wasn't a huge fan of the desert area, but it was a nice change of pace from the rest of the game up to that point. There was also that Space Harrier segment on the griffin, the Portal dungeon, and so on. It was a really ambitious and really varied game.

Darksiders II, on the other hand, feels like a single idea sustained unnecessarily in order to hit a target running time. Thinking about it more, it just feels like an ambitious budget title that had bigger plans than it had funding for. The overworld is big but mostly empty. Every asset gets reused extensively. The leveling and gear systems are a really poorly-tuned treadmill.

It does have its moments, though, and the art is neat. That's why I'm inclined to maybe just take a break and come back to it later. But would I recommend it to anyone? No.

I think I'm going to at least adjust how I use gamefly and maaaaaybe cancel. Haven't decided yet.

I'm not feeling the stress of needing to play stuff quick to get my money's worth from the service which has been my issue before. Instead it's feeling like a constant stream of games is tired, especially when a bunch are just okay and when I'm wanting to make time for my other hobbies.

Not sure exactly what that adjustment looks like yet.

Probably at least using it less as game tourism and keeping my queue small with just stuff I'm psyched for. Maybe also be less strict about only shorter games.

Anyone planning a sprint ahead of the upcoming Steam summer sale? I'm hoping to be done with DAI and Pillars at a minimum, if not also done with Fallout 4.

I bought a(nother) Vita, which didn't so much expand my pile as give me a way to play the 30-odd Vita compatible games I already had. It's another platform, yes, but I've had good luck lately with breaking my pile down into smaller, more manageable pieces that makes having multiple platforms less of a strain on me psychologically.

I also took the advice from this thread and permanently deleted a significant number of games from Steam. I trimmed out things I knew I wouldn't play, things I know won't run on my machine, and things I know I have no interest in going back to. I now have a reasonable PC games collection that I'm actually interested in instead of an unwieldy behemoth that I mostly bought a few years ago because Steam sales were shiny and everyone was doing it.

I also traded in a small pile of console games. The most notable of which is Dark Souls 3 which I bought at launch and stopped playing not because I didn't like it but because the community surrounding it is frequently unwelcoming and unpleasant. I didn't like playing a game that I never wanted to talk about.

So for the rest of the year, I'm aiming for buying just one or two games and instead focusing on burning down my pile one little bit at a time.

I realized something the other day: I find open world games engaging enough as a genre that I will play the hell out of even just okay ones.

I got Just Cause 3 from gamefly last weekend, and sunk a bunch of hours into saturday and sunday, but it never quite clicked. It never managed to be what I expected/wanted it to be. (Mostly it's that it felt slower than I expect, and I die more often, and there isn't a huge amount to do.) Maybe I'm misremembering Just Cause 2; maybe open world game design has moved on in the last 6 years and JC3 hasn't caught up. I'm not sure. But either way, it didn't really gel, and I realized I was only kind of enjoying it and I should jump back to MGSV (which I freaking LOVE).

So monday I put it back in the mail. Tuesday morning though I realized I was thinking about it a lot. Not sure what to make of that exactly, but interesting to realize. And if I see JC3 cheap, I'll probably pick it up again if I don't have another open world game I'm playing.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I also took the advice from this thread and permanently deleted a significant number of games from Steam.

I really ought to do this as well. I'm hesitant to nix stuff I've finished and enjoyed, even if I'm unlikely to play it again, but I know I have a bunch of stuff I will never play, or doesn't work and could get rid of.

So it's a three-day weekend here in America and I happen to be getting out of work 2.5 hours early. Hurray! Seeing as I'm a single fellow with few obligations aside from hanging with friends on Sunday, I'll be trying to spend the weekend in Gaming Crunch. That way I have at least one game marked as beaten for May.

That game is going to be Twilight Princess HD. I have one more dungeon left (though I gotta do a side staff-recharge mission before that, which is where my progress is currently saved) so I should be able to beat that. Secondary gaming consideration goes to Overwatch (because friends!) and the replaying of Mirror's Edge (probably as I start frarkin my frogohs tonight and Saturday night).

Tertiary, as it is less likely to be gotten to (I'm going to assume that it'll take me most of Saturday and Monday to complete Twilight Princess HD just to be on the safe side), is Homefront: The Revolution. It's an open world game so it could be huge, but based on what I've read about the different zones I... might be halfway through already? If I am, that'd be a surprise, but we'll see. I'm looking to tick that one off in June.

In fact, June is going to be rough, as at some point I'd like to play through Deus Ex: Human Revolution so I can be prepped for Mankind Divided. I have to be at a proper place by July, at least, in order to hit that goal.

So I guess this weekend is more like the start of gaming crunch, with the goal being to be ready for Mankind Divided.

Anyone else got similar holiday plans? Or is everyone else going to be busy having a life.

I'm going to try to push through to the end of either Elliot Quest or Darksiders II. Normally, my Friday and Saturday evenings would be taken up watching Marvel movies, but I'm in the middle of a huge chunk of Agents of SHIELD which I'm a little bit less motivated to spend 4.5 hours watching in a weekend. Or I could swerve off in an unexpected direction and dive into something like The Secret of Mana or Shadowrun: Dragonfall.

My overall goal is to slowly get my pile to 2/3rds completion. The good news is that by finishing up Boxboy and Quantum Conundrum this past week, I've ever so slightly managed to tip my overall pile completion above 50%.

ccesarano wrote:

In fact, June is going to be rough, as at some point I'd like to play through Deus Ex: Human Revolution so I can be prepped for Mankind Divided. I have to be at a proper place by July, at least, in order to hit that goal.

So I guess this weekend is more like the start of gaming crunch, with the goal being to be ready for Mankind Divided.

Anyone else got similar holiday plans? Or is everyone else going to be busy having a life. ;)

Similar summer plans, in that they revolve around Deus Ex: HR. I have a very tentative plan-

May/June - Overwatch, Witcher 3 DLC
July - Deus Ex: Human Revolution
***next step depends if I like Human Revolution***
August/September - Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
October - XCOM 2
November/December - Total War: Warhammer, Dishonored 2

I don't want to post this in the game's thread because everyone there seems so enthusiastic about it, but I'm not enjoying the PS4 Ratchet and Clank at all. I had hoped to finish it as my next pile game and if I didn't love it, at least experience it. But every time I play it, I end up in a state of being both very frustrated and very bored. Time to find something else and let this one hang out indefinitely in my digital pile.

Well it is NOT a three day weekend here, and thank goodness for that. I won't have much time for gaming because the days will be filled with toddler chasing and spectrum taming. And despite it being Mothers Day tomorrow, I have absolutely zero expectations of having any time whatsoever to myself.

On the bright side, I've managed to finish Witcher 3, so maybe I'll be able to get things moving Pile-wise.

Just in time for the expansion on Tuesday, Eleima!

Clock, I was actually wondering how you'd do as you progressed. I warmed to Ratchet & Clank later on, but it's not really a great game to me. I like the combat well enough, but it's largely about knowing which weapons to use in what circumstances, which is the sort of thing that makes Halo and Wonderful 101 my bread and butter. I wouldn't mind hearing more of your thoughts, and might encourage you to discuss them in the R&C thread since there honestly should be more dissenting opinion there (again, I enjoyed it well enough, but I don't see the love others have for it).

I'm not in a hurry to jump into the new DLC considering the bad taste in my mouth the first one left...

ccesarano wrote:

I wouldn't mind hearing more of your thoughts, and might encourage you to discuss them in the R&C thread since there honestly should be more dissenting opinion there (again, I enjoyed it well enough, but I don't see the love others have for it).

I don't think I will. Other than praising the graphics, I have nothing nice to say about any of the rest of the game, and I'm trying to make sure that before I jump into a conversation with a contrary opinion that I can at least bring not to the table than simple opposition.

But hey, I've moved on to Dragon Age Inquisition. Now to remember what I was doing when I stopped.

Well, if you are ever willing feel free to PM your thoughts. I'm curious to see why you bounced off.

Eleima wrote:

I'm not in a hurry to jump into the new DLC considering the bad taste in my mouth the first one left...

What was wrong with it? I ask as someone about to play the base game despite being really put off on the series from some of what I saw in the first game.

ccesarano wrote:

Well, if you are ever willing feel free to PM your thoughts. I'm curious to see why you bounced off.

I don't mind posting them. I'm just not going to do it in that thread.

Basically, I just didn't like anything about it other than the visuals. In the thread for The Last Guardian, someone mentioned that they were afraid that that game would look like a PS4 game but play like a PS2 game, and that's exactly how Ratchet and Clank felt. It's a gorgeous game, but it feels older and lacking in some of the polish and refinement I'd expect from a newer game.

I had trouble with the platforming. There are inexplicably two jump buttons that behave slightly differently, and I was terrible at picking the right jump button for the right situation. I had consistent problems reading the length and height of a jump, so I was constantly undershooting them. Ratchet also had the ability to grab onto ledges but which ledges he would grab were completely arbitrary.

I had trouble with the shooting. It took me awhile to find the control scheme I liked, but even after I did, I didn't like the power level of any of the weapons. I dumped as many upgrades into damage as I could, but it still felt like everything took about twice as many shots as I would have liked before it died. Conversely, enemies hit like trucks. It would take them two or three good hits to kill me while I plinked away at them. (It didn't help that I couldn't really tell when I was getting hit or from which direction. I'd just suddenly find my life depleted when I thought I was doing well.)

The characters weren't interesting, funny, or charming, and the story was at best boring and at worst a poorly-edited montage of shots from the movie. The music (presumably from the film) was dropped into the game without concern for how it fit the setting or action. The presentation in general reminded me of other movie tie-in games where the characters don't get established, the cutscenes are just slapped together clips from the movie, and the music is pieces of the film score playing on repeat.

I just never had fun. I never had fun with the platforming, with the shooting, or with the characters. I did get frustrated having to play sections multiple times (even on easy) because I was terrible at dodging shots from the heavy guys or because I'd run out of ammo for the guns I liked so I'd end up having to try to kill a helicopter with a flamethrower.

I wanted to like it, but I never did.

I think it was the shoulder jump button whose functionality felt off and thus I abandoned its use. I didn't really feel like I was missing anything in the end, but I can definitely see that being a pain. I think that was just a plain bad decision on their part.

It's funny that your thoughts are very, very close to my own, but while my early impressions of combat were the same as yours, I eventually grew into it. It's weird to say, but the first thing to do is stop playing like it's a shooter. I tried to keep strafing while shooting at enemies (something that, thinking on it, I find much easier in third-person shooters than first), but even then the enemy weapon fire was too accurate and quick. I started doing a lot better when I instead focused on jumping and dodging fire, then firing back when they took a break. All of a sudden I was dying a lot less!

But this manner of play is largely counter-intuitive and nothing really trains you to think in that manner. If you've never played games before I'm not sure how you'd think to play in such a fashion. Even then, once you begin unlocking certain weapons it becomes some tertiary tactic. What I liked about the game was how different weapons were ideal for different scenarios, and boy did I make liberal use of the discoball, but the game just doesn't seem balanced well enough or intuitive enough in teaching how "it is meant to be played"

For example, if you have weapons that increase the chance of boosting upgrade crystals, those really ought to be priority. Also, I did the same as you by upgrading damage on what weapons allowed it, but it's really less useful than simply using the weapon and leveling it up. Unfortunately, there's just not enough combat to level every weapon decently, and your starting gun is honestly a total piece of trash. It's the fallback weapon. All the other weapons are insanely better, and here the "default" is a worthless piece of crap.

I'm not going to say it might be worth taking another trip. Even if you change your approach to the combat, it's not going to change everything else, and most of all there are still going to be irritating fights where you die because everything else goes from hitting like a truck to hitting like a f*ckin' Yacht thrown by the Hulk. And ultimately, the "fail until you figure it out" method is how the whole game functions, including the final boss.

So honestly, I'd say you'd be better off selling your copy. I happened to have a good time despite its flaws, but I don't think you would.

In terms of progress, I did manage to beat Twilight Princess HD, and Overwatch isn't really going to count because there are no end credits to see. So this largely means progress continued in Bravely Second, and I started Homefront: The Revolution and cracked the case for TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan last night. I think Homefront is reaching the "we're going to increase difficulty by increasing volume of enemies", and my prediction is that I'm roughly halfway through. I'll prioritize TMNT for week nights, but while there's a lot of interesting ideas found in the Tutorial and first-level, I ultimately think this is going to be a more interesting experiment than a game itself (which is weird because it puts me in a place where I want to convince people to get it so we can co-op but I am unable to convince them it's worth $50). However, given the nature of the first level, I imagine TMNT will be the shorter game and thus easier to scratch off the list.

The only game that I ended up buying or finishing in May was Uncharted 4. I might end up playing through the HD collection in June since I don't see anything on the release list that is a must have.

I made some progress but didn't finish other games:
- Valkyria Chronicles - just finished Chapter 13 of 18 so getting close
- Geometry Wars 3 - I'm on the final boss of the "story" missions; I have never played one of these games before but I think it was free on PS+ so I gave it a try. It has been fun and hasn't gotten frustrating until this final boss
- Bastion - I started Bastion on the Vita and am probably 1/3 of the way through it. So far, I really don't see the appeal. Maybe I need to play it on a bigger screen and I might be doing it wrong but it feels like a button mash fighting game was some minor RPG elements layered on top. It is hard to tell what is going on and what I am supposed to be doing. The narrator is a nice touch but so far, I am very underwhelmed.

Summary: no major pile damage or progress for May. I can live with that.

The only things I managed to finish this month is Gravity Rush and Table Top Racing both on ps4, next month looks worse with Odin Sphere, Atelier Sophie and Grand Kingdom coming out.

Time for the May report!


  • Seduce Me 2: the Demon War (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/new.gif)IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif) - Which I Kickstarted a while back.


  • The Witcher 3 (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif) - The main game and the Heart of Stone DLC.


Also played:

  • Guild Wars 2 (PC) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/mastered.gif) - Logging in for the daily rewards.
  • Seduce Me 2: the Demon War (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/new.gif)

Remaining games: 47 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif) (46 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unplayed.gif))
Progress (Games): 11 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/beaten.gif) + 2 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/null.gif) - 20 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/new.gif) = -7
Est. remaining hours: 412 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif) (408 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unplayed.gif))
Progress (Est. total hours): 101 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/beaten.gif) + 10 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/null.gif) + 0 played IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif) - 127 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/new.gif) = -16

Backloggery says +5 for 2016, a slight bump from last month.

Geralt was lots of fun for the past few months, but it might be time for a change now. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Eleima wrote:

I'm not in a hurry to jump into the new DLC considering the bad taste in my mouth the first one left...

What was wrong with it? I ask as someone about to play the base game despite being really put off on the series from some of what I saw in the first game.

Well... Not to spoil anything, but I'm not a fan of the DLC. The main game was okay, it had strong female characters, but it still had boobs everywhere, a few damsels. If you want to hear more and spoilers and stuff, I can PM you. I'd still recommend the main game, for sure.

At the start of the year I posted a 'sinister 6'....

kergguz wrote:

Fallout 4
Game of Thrones
Dragon Age: Inquisition
BioShock: Infinite
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
State of Decay

I can cross off Fallout 4, and I'm about halfway through Bioshock: Infinite, but I haven't made any progress in the others. I'm still interested in playing them, I'm just more interested in playing other things. Hopefully Infinite will fall in June.

Things slowed waaaay down for gaming in May. Weather has gotten nice and I've been doing other things. Didn't finish anything.

Continued: Final Fantasy XIII, Majora's Mask 3D, Fire Emblem Fates Revelation.
Dropped: Digimon Cyber Sleuth
Started: Danganronpa 2

Reporting in for the month of May Blizzard!

Overwatch (PC)

Diablo III - Season 6 (PC)

Diablo III - Season 6 (PC)


Added to the Pile:
War for the Overworld: Heart of Gold (PC) (DLC)

Thoughts on last month: I did nothing but play Blizzard games! I feel like I'm back in high school staying up until dawn playing Starcraft. Except I'm not actually staying up that late because I'm an adult and have to do responsible things like going to bed on time or something.

Plan for this month: MOAR OVERWATCH Also, picking up Tokyo Mirage Session #FE and probably Kirby: Planet Robobot and not playing them because MOAR OVERWATCH. Also maybe dipping back into the digital CCG waters a bit with Solforge or Faeria now that they've gone "all-in" on chasing the Hearthstone dragon with shiny new Unity-based clients.

On the horizon: July brings I Am Setsuna which is going straight to the pile because this year is already shot as far as I'm concerned. However, I'll probably make time for VA-11 HALL-A (aka that cyberpunk bartending visual novel) which I think is supposed to launch sometime this summer.

May report...

Started: Nothing
Finished: Persona 4 Dancing All Night
Played: Final Fantasy XIV (Make It Rain event), Borderlands 2, Final Fantasy VII, The Binding of Isaac

Persona 4 Dancing All Night became my first platinum trophy. Usually I don't chase these things but by the time I had played my fill I had all but a few very simple trophies finished so why not?

This month, I'm probably playing Final Fantasy VII until the FFXIV patch drops June 7. After that, I'm planning to start on Persona 3 FES (baby baby baby etc.)

I'm also playing Kingdom Hearts UX whenever my AP recharges.

Small-ish updates since my last post. I'm up to eight games finished now, and a ninth one put on the "I've played it enough and am just not interested in finishing it so it's 'done'" stack. Copy/pasting from earlier in the thread with updates, new additions to lists bolded:

Backlog planned to tackle this year (in roughly this order, so some may be pushed back to 2017):

  • Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition - Around 55 hours played, I reached the final "chapter" of the game and, faced with yet another round of uninteresting errands and puzzles, I just lost the desire to play more. I kept my save, maybe I'll return to it sometime in the future, but the momentum-killing errands and puzzles mixed with dialogue and story that just aren't clicking with me was too much.
  • Final Fantasy X-2 - Just finished last night.
  • Persona 4 Golden - With Persona 3 picked for the 3rd quarter "jrpg club" pick, since I've finished Persona 3 in the past but have P4 on my backlog, I've added it to my list and will be tackling this now that I've finished FFX-2.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X
  • Devil Survivor Overclocked
  • Witcher 3
  • Pillars of Eternity - When I put Divinity on my backlog, I pulled this one forward to be my current PC "long-play" game.

New purchases planned to tackle this year:

  • Stellaris - Purchased and started, having a lot of fun putzing around in this game.
  • Uncharted 4
  • Bravely Second - Purchased, unsure when I'll start it (possibly 2017).
  • Dragon Quest VII 3DS
  • Persona 5
  • Dragon Quest VIII 3DS (releasing so late this year it'll almost certainly be one I play in 2017 instead)

Obviously I won't finish everything listed here, but that's roughly the order I expect to jump into each title in those two lists.

Quote is not edit. I am a dumb.


PS3 so, so noisy... finally put it out of it's misery and traded in.

The PS3 pile is dead. Oh hello PS4, long live the pile...

Shed load of PS+ titles, yet to sort through.
(though my son is enjoying co-op Shutshimi and also Tabletop Racing).

Overwatch. Playing.
Firewatch. Playing.
Uncharted 4.
Lego Avengers. father / son game of the moment.

Zero games completed, Blizzard saw to that, with plenty of Hearthstone on Mac, pre-ps4 and Overwatch.

The aim was to try and get Uncharted 4 done before NMS released in June, but with that being delayed a few months I'll probably just continue with my Blizzard binge for little longer... Or as I have trade-in credit still at CEX I may well get tempted to get Witcher 3, as for some reason am just not feeling the urge to dive into Uncharted 4 right now. Also up for consideration on the download front... Rocket League and Life is Strange.

No movement on the 3ds pile, though charmed by Yo-kai Watch for a while, must get back to it.