2017 - 12 Month Pile Program

To indulge Clocky, here's my progress forecast for the month of May:

Child of Light will be beaten, barely.
Super Paper Mario will get a little love but not enough to reach a clear game state.
INSERT ANY OTHER GAME HERE will not get any real play time as I have been hired as a script writer for a local animation company (I had to post it somewhere; I feel pretty good about this!), am co-writing a pilot for a show (can't give out deets at this point, but it isn't that big of a deal), and I rather fell into an emotional puzzle of the (potentially) good kind that will likely have my non-training time tied up.

So, at best, 1 game gets taken off the pile.

I picked Chrono Trigger back up this evening and I'm determined to finish it no matter what. If I walk away for a third time I doubt I'll ever return; completing it has been on my gaming aspiration list for about a decade, so failure's not a feel-good option. Besides, it's such a thoroughly charming game when it's not making me sit through the slow combat. I must help my fellow amphibian succeed in his heroic quest. More games need Frog. Frog is the best.

I'm in the tyranno lair with a bit over 9 hours on the clock. Not sure how much of the game I have left, but I'm hoping to finish it this month despite other gaming commitments. It's supposed to be a short game. The first time I played I made it to the ocean palace, and IIRC that was one dungeon further on from where I am now.

There's a significant portion of game between you and the Ocean Palace. But it's my favorite part of the game so push ahead!

frogbeastegg wrote:

It's supposed to be a short game.

Compared to most modern JRPGs? Yes it is. Compared to the contemporaries it's kinda average. You're probably looking at around 20-30 hours for a playthrough depending on how completionist you are.

Also, if you're finding the combat slow don't forget you can speed up the battle system in the options menu.

I have Persona 5 on my shelf. It pulls evil faces at me whenever I mention time. I'm quite completionist so I'm probably looking at closer to the 30 hours, in which case I'm 1/3 done.

Yes, I've got combat speed turned up to max and that's ok. It's mostly the animation which bogs it all down. I feel mean for saying it because I can see how much love and artistry has gone into the sprite-work in this game, but I wish there were a double-speed mode for regular battles. Normal fights are so easy that the lengthier animations only serve to drag out a foregone conclusion which I've already sat through in the area's previous fights.

The boss battles are much better. I enjoy each and every one. There's always enough going on to require some strategy on my part. The animation comes into its own during these battles as it gives me time to decide what moves to make next without needing to pause the time-flow. Battle music is good too, boss and regular.

So, I had an interesting realization the other day: I need to train myself out of looking at the trophies before/during playing the game for the first time, because it lessens my enjoyment overall, at least for some games.

I realized this playing Prey. Some of the trophies hint at spoilers, but whatever, that's common. Some describe particular ways to play, and those can be really interesting, but if I know them ahead of time, then I'm playing with that in mind, watching for the artifice of the game, vs being immersed and playing naturally.

Now, to be fair one of these did lead some interest play in the beginning, and I like the idea of trophies pushing you to replay in different ways. But I need to learn to save that for replays.

Garden Ninja wrote:

Now, to be fair one of these did lead some interest play in the beginning, and I like the idea of trophies pushing you to replay in different ways. But I need to learn to save that for replays.

Yeah, and designers can sometimes do a better job of putting in meaningful trophies that help you enjoy the game more, instead of just tedious ones. I've had some great moments chasing well-designed trophies, but I've also done a lot of NOPE at tedious ones... and agreed, they will often ruin that first playthrough.

beeporama wrote:
Garden Ninja wrote:

Now, to be fair one of these did lead some interest play in the beginning, and I like the idea of trophies pushing you to replay in different ways. But I need to learn to save that for replays.

Yeah, and designers can sometimes do a better job of putting in meaningful trophies that help you enjoy the game more, instead of just tedious ones. I've had some great moments chasing well-designed trophies, but I've also done a lot of NOPE at tedious ones... and agreed, they will often ruin that first playthrough.

I have at least mostly learned to just chase trophies for games I'm really enjoying and want an "excuse" to play more. Mostly.

Garden Ninja wrote:

So, I had an interesting realization the other day: I need to train myself out of looking at the trophies before/during playing the game for the first time, because it lessens my enjoyment overall, at least for some games.

I highly recommend doing this. I stopped paying attention to achievements last year and I don't regret the decision.

On the other hand, I'm chasing all achievements in the special edition of Skyrim and I'm infinitely pleased with myself.

I really don't recommend doing this with every game though (and I certainly don't myself).

I love achievement hunting. When done right it is a great way for devs to gently lead you around the 'full experience'. But yeah, reading up before playing could be bad. I generally check if a game where I might care about achievements have missable achievements, and if so, maybe check what they are. Or check if it has multiplayer achievements so I can turn away disgusted

Unless it's a multiplayer-only game, I just pretend multiplayer and related achievements don't exist, so if I 100% all the single-player achievements, then I've gotten them 100%. Whether or not other people agree with me makes no difference to me since I'm doing it for me and my entertainment and not for them.

True. It usually just tells me they did a bad job with the achievements overall.
Another turnoff is having a bunch of "Kill 100 enemies with weapon X, kill 100 enemies with weapon Y" and so on. Aka. Uncharted achievements.

Shadout wrote:

True. It usually just tells me they did a bad job with the achievements overall.
Another turnoff is having a bunch of "Kill 100 enemies with weapon X, kill 100 enemies with weapon Y" and so on. Aka. Uncharted achievements.

That style of achievement can work with some games, in modest amounts, and if it is based on very different weapon styles rather than every. darn. weapon. Like, when I was playing Dead Space, I was kind of sticking with my favorite weapons... the achievements encouraged me to come back in a new game and try the very different ones. Sometimes that even got me over a hump and once I learned the weapon, I liked it more.

But when you have to kill 100 people with Assault Rifle 1 then kill another 100 with Assault Rifle 2 (Uncharted is indeed the best example), it's just a tedious PITA.

In the case of Dead Space, my favorite was combining the "Plasma Cutter Only" achievement run with either the Hard or Insane Difficulty achievement. Such a versatile gun!

I use trophy lists and guides to get a quick overview of a game. Does it have MP? If so, does it look like a major part of the game? Does it look too grindy? Multiple endings? Decision points in the plot? Awards highlighting content which makes me go nope? Does it have difficulty settings? Annoying online gimmicks like that Mass Effect 3 datapad thingy? Is the list generic and lacking inspiration, or does it have a sense of personality? Guides usually give an estimated completion time which is handy. I've passed on games purely due to their run-time being in excess of what I was interested in spending on them.

I've got a bunch of 100%s. Mainly because I'm fairly methodical, so playing a game which I like will leave me with most of a good list. If I like a game I'll make the effort to snag the remaining few provided they're not MP or stupid.

My favourite thing about trophies is the scrapbook effect. I can look back at when I played games, what kinds of things I did. It's a prompt for fond memories. Ditto the activity log on my 3DS. Without a date stamp it can be hard to recall when I played certain titles or PC strategy campaigns.

It can be a double-edged sword though. Having a game visible on my profile acts as a reminder to go and play it. Makes me more likely to stick with games and finish them, which is how I do prefer to play. So far so good. It also becomes a guilt-nag. If I genuinely have had enough of a game then it's no bother, I see the entry and think "Ugh!". Otherwise I get a little voice going, "You should go back to this rather than starting anything else" each and every time I see it, no matter how many years have passed.

I started a new game this weekend (shadow warrior) and have not looked at the trophy list at all. it's kind of liberating in a way.

Garden Ninja wrote:

I started a new game this weekend (shadow warrior) and have not looked at the trophy list at all. it's kind of liberating in a way.

Sometimes you have to let it all go....

The only platinum I've ever achieved has been TT Walking Dead S1. You get that just for finishing the game... The easiest ever?

Closest recently was Horizon at about 80% but that was through natural gameplay enjoyment rather than trophy chasing. The remaining collectable tasks just seemed like a chore and felt would spoil the final experience.

Same with all games, not something ever really been bothered by. I'll sometimes check to see if have snagged a particularly rare achievement but that's about it.

Actually finishing a game is my own personal equivalent of a platinum

Bubblefuzz wrote:

The only platinum I've ever achieved has been TT Walking Dead S1. You get that just for finishing the game... The easiest ever?)

That's true for all their games as far as I know: season 2, the Michonne spin off, Tales from the Borderlands, Game of Thrones. I'm so grateful they didn't do a "achievement A for decision A" and "achievement B for decision B". That would've been super annoying.
I have a handful of games I 100%'d and have tagged as "Perfect games" in my Steam library, maybe 12-15. A couple of Amanita games qualified and the special editions for the Monkey Islandganes.

Eleima wrote:
Bubblefuzz wrote:

The only platinum I've ever achieved has been TT Walking Dead S1. You get that just for finishing the game... The easiest ever?)

That's true for all their games as far as I know: season 2, the Michonne spin off, Tales from the Borderlands, Game of Thrones. I'm so grateful they didn't do a "achievement A for decision A" and "achievement B for decision B". That would've been super annoying.

The Wolf Among Us didn't give me a Platinum for just finishing taking a look would have needed to obtain all the trophies in all 5 episodes to earn that one.

so, uh, the past couple years was me realizing that there are too many Amazing games to play even Very Good games. Well, now I'm thinking I need to cut it down further: there are too many f*cking Amazing games to play even Merely Amazing games.

also I have this thing lately (whether it's a problem or not is a matter of perspective I suppose) where I get a good bit into game I'm really enjoying, then get distracted by another game, and don't get back to the first game for a long time (sometimes months). Then of course I repeat that with the second game, and the cycle continues.

Garden Ninja wrote:

also I have this thing lately (whether it's a problem or not is a matter of perspective I suppose) where I get a good bit into game I'm really enjoying, then get distracted by another game, and don't get back to the first game for a long time (sometimes months). Then of course I repeat that with the second game, and the cycle continues.

This is me all the time. I'm 12 hours into World of Final Fantasy, halfway through Gravity Rush 2, and hit the first real major story beat/reveal in Nier: Automata, am now dedicating my gaming time to Fire Emblem: Echoes pretty exclusively and I just downloaded Saint's Row IV because it seemed like a good idea when it was on sale for $5.

I'm in the same boat as both of you. This is why I started making an honest effort late last year to just stick with a game until I complete it or it breaks me. Worked pretty well for Final Fantasy XV where I hit ~70 hours with it before switching to Breath of the Wild which is now at around 40-50 hours (although I'm having a much harder time staying focused and committed to it, but that's for another thread).

Garden Ninja wrote:

so, uh, the past couple years was me realizing that there are too many Amazing games to play even Very Good games. Well, now I'm thinking I need to cut it down further: there are too many f*cking Amazing games to play even Merely Amazing games.

I don't have the same problems with focus (I usually finish anything I start, or consciously quit) but 100% on this.

Tying into both, I put a fair amount of thought into the decision to start a game.

On another subject: I have not been too busy to play games for I think five or six weeks now, other than slipping Firewatch in one weekend. It's killing me.

Asda my local supermarket are running some decent ps4 game discounts...

Bloodborne - £7.
Dishonoured 2 - £10.
For Honor - Has hit that sweet spot of half launch price at £25.

Was shopping for a few bits last night, but I managed to resist, just!

Weekly shop tomorrow though... If anyone has any words to strengthen my resolve in not adding to the pile... now would be a good time

I post not to strengthen your resolve, but instead to weaken it.

Those are outrageously good deals on Bloodborne and Dishonored 2. Bloodborne is worth £25 all day long. And didn't Dishonored 2 come out only two minutes ago?

I have no idea where my local Asda is, but I'm going there tonight to pick up D2. And I didn't even like Dishonored 1 that much!

EDIT - My pile of unopened games currently consists of:

Metal Gear Acid (1 week)
Metal Gear Acid 2 (1 week)
Vanquish (2 weeks)
Nier (3 weeks)
Metal Gear Solid Collection (4 months)
Borderlands 2 (2 years)

So, since I got back into gaming a couple of weeks ago my pile has started growing again. I had this under control at the end of last year, largely ignoring steam sales and the like, but for some reason I've slipped. Well, at least here I am recognising that!

I'd been playing a fair bit of euro truck simulator, so I thought what the heck I'll get the France expansion and American Truck simulator. Total outlay of about £20, then within 24 hours I was bored of truck simulator. Then the recent rumours of a new assassins creed game gave me a hankering for assassins creed action. Hey look, brotherhood is on sale for a fiver. That's meant to be good. Into the library it goes, and it seems fine for a couple of hours but then I get the feeling it's not new and shiny enough so..... Tell you what is new and shiny- that cities Skylines expansion. Gotta collect em all right? Sold! But wait a sec I was irritated by stupid AI traffic last time I played it. Guess what, it's still the same game. I'll just start a second play through of Nier: Automata instead.

Before I know it that's 3 games on the pile and I've barely given it a thought. Send help!

What were you doing instead of gaming, Kergguz?

But your pattern sounds a lot like mine. I buy nothing except for the odd new FPS or discounted AAA action game, then I find myself buying games almost out of spite! Amazon and GwJ are terrible enablers of rash
purchases.

I mean, Borderlands 2 has been in its wrapper for two years, FFS! I don't even have even a vague intention of actually playing it, never mind a firm commitment to do so.

And the less said about my guitar and Rocksmith the better...

detroit20 wrote:

I post not to strengthen your resolve, but instead to weaken it.

Those are outrageously good deals on Bloodborne and Dishonored 2. Bloodborne is worth £25 all day long. And didn't Dishonored 2 come out only two minutes ago?

I have no idea where my local Asda is, but I'm going there tonight to pick up D2. And I didn't even like Dishonored 1 that much!

You're not helping

I have owned an unopened copy of Bloodborne for £20 fairly recently, but returned it after some overspending guilt. Right now I'm thinking at £7 I can pick up almost guilt free!

I'm the same on Dishonoured, I kind of liked it but fell off after about 10 hours. Again though, at a tenner it almost seems rude not to give the series another chance.

I've cooled on the idea of For Honor, just fancied a bit of multi-player... but looks like will be able to dip back into Overwatch over the free anniversary weekend to get a quick mp fix and just downloaded the Gwent PS4 beta too.

Not to mention re-installing Hearthstone on mac and android after 9 months of being free of the most diabolical enemy of the pile. Nooooo....