2019 - 12 Month Pile Program

It's time for my usual early year pile freak out, I suppose.

But specifically, Resident Evil 2 has really come out of nowhere for me. I wasn't expecting to be interested in it, but it looks phenomenal. At the same time, co-op dungeon diving in Ashen reminded me of how much I like co-op multiplayer, so I've started taking serious looks at Anthem or The Division 2 or restarting Final Fantasy XIV.

I've also run aground in a couple games I thought I'd finish: Stella Glow and The Witcher 3. Both for different reasons, and I felt like I learned something from playing each of them, but I don't really think I care to play more of either. Nonetheless, I feel committed to them somehow.

At the same time, I've found myself mostly playing games on my Xbox lately, which leaves me feeling like I'm neglecting my plans with other platforms.

All of which is a long way to say that my current habits and interests don't feel compatible with the goals I've set for myself, and I still haven't learned how to handle that. Like, the secret really seems to be to stop caring and go with the flow, but I literally don't know how to do that.

Yeah, I can’t seem to just go with the flow, so I try to figure out compromises that have some rules but also some “wiggle-room.”

ClockworkHouse wrote:

But specifically, Resident Evil 2 has really come out of nowhere for me. I wasn't expecting to be interested in it, but it looks phenomenal. At the same time, co-op dungeon diving in Ashen reminded me of how much I like co-op multiplayer, so I've started taking serious looks at Anthem or The Division 2 or restarting Final Fantasy XIV.

Well, Resident Evil 2 continues to tempt me away from what I'm currently playing, so I can't really try to dissuade you from that. However, if you're considering Anthem or The Division 2 but didn't like Destiny, I think you'd be up for the same kind of disappointment. I've heard mixed responses from Anthem, but even my friend, who is a complete Destiny addict, played the Beta and has basically decided he doesn't really want EA's latest entry in the franchise. Similarly, The Division 2 is evidently shaping up well, but it's closer to the CoD/Rainbow Six type of shooting mechanics. So, depending on whether or not that's your thing would determine that.

I'd say you'd probably be better off with the devil you know and go Final Fantasy XIV. That, or try something Free-to-Play like Warframe. That way there's nothing lost but time.

That's how I'd approach it, at least.

Well, that's not true. I'd just replay Resi2.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

All of which is a long way to say that my current habits and interests don't feel compatible with the goals I've set for myself, and I still haven't learned how to handle that. Like, the secret really seems to be to stop caring and go with the flow, but I literally don't know how to do that.

I've been feeling this a little bit too. My desire to finish what I'm playing, and play down my backlog, along with the CRPG Club and JRPG Club picks, has led me to feel like I'm just replaying things I've already tried. I really enjoy P5, for instance, but I spent a lot of time with it last year. P5 + Dragon Age has felt like too much "stuff I've done already," so I've all but abandoned Dragon Age at this point; P5 + Dragon Quest XI feels like too much JRPG. I've just been feeling like I want to play something new, and in a different genre. Tried to start Spider-Man this past weekend, and have loved it so far, so I may keep going with that for now.

So I think I figured something out about myself.

I don't like the idea of interrupting a game in progress that I'm enjoying. Which may sound odd, but basically, I was originally planning a break from Yakuza 0 to dip into the Resident Evil 2 Ghost Survivors DLC. I certainly enjoyed RE2 more than I'm enjoying Yakuza 0. However, that doesn't mean I'm sick of the game or having a bad time. As such, I just can't bring myself to swap out. I played Yakuza 0 more today and will probably resume tonight.

World of Final Fantasy, on the other hand, I had no problem switching away from to try the demos for Daemon X Machina and Yoshi's Crafted World. In fact, I swapped back to World of Final Fantasy a bit last night, realized the optional boss I was on had a lot of hit points, no vulnerabilities, did a lot of damage, and was just going to take too long to be worth it. So I tried Yoshi's Crafted World instead. And now I'm just... feeling done with World of Final Fantasy.

I'm going to play it to the end seeing as it's going to be a podcast episode with my buddy, but basically, I can't hop between games like Clock can. I can basically only do one primary game per platform, and as long as I'm enjoying that game I can't swap back and forth between 'em. If I can, then it means I'm effectively done with a game.

I'll try to keep this in mind as I plot game purchases for the rest of the year.

The happy medium for me is one game per console and a max of 3-4 at a time. I have a few options to alternate, but not too many.

I'm in a real weird spot, I just started a new job (first week done with.. wooo!) but due to the switch I'm working close to 55 hours a week now vs 45 hours a week before. Coupled with an earlier start time and longer commute, I effectively cut out my two hours of game time during the weekdays. At the moment I am fine with that as I have been feeling burnt out a bit in the past couple months, but moving foward I will need to focus on spending my what little time I have bit wiser.

I always say that I won't finish anything else in a month, post one of these lists, and then have to come back and say that I finished something, but this time I really don't think I'll finish anything else!


  • Ashen
  • Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
  • Crackdown 3


  • Persona 5
  • Persona Q (I just can't even with this franchise anymore)

It was a surprising month for me. After blitzing through a bunch of 3DS games last month and most of last year, I seem to have hit a bit of a wall with that system this month. I haven't gotten sucked into it to quite the same extent, but that's okay! Instead, I've been spending a lot of time with my Xbox.

I've also accepted that I'm having a bit of a grazing period right now. In the last few weeks, I've played the first hour or two of a dozen or more games. Not much has stuck (aside from Crackdown) but I've gotten a much better picture of what I want to put more time into and what I'm going to shelve for the time being.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I always say that I won't finish anything else in a month, post one of these lists, and then have to come back and say that I finished something, but this time I really don't think I'll finish anything else!
I've also accepted that I'm having a bit of a grazing period right now. In the last few weeks, I've played the first hour or two of a dozen or more games. Not much has stuck (aside from Crackdown) but I've gotten a much better picture of what I want to put more time into and what I'm going to shelve for the time being.

I'm with you there; beat 4 already this month, haven't any plans to beat anymore before March rolls in. This could happen, though, and I may also add to the pile - it happens... a lot -, so I'll abstain from tallying anything yet.

Grazing is something wonderful... but it can make it harder to stick to anything, in my case. I end up wanting to go deep into many of the things I try, then feel a bit frustrated about lacking the time to actually do so.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I always say that I won't finish anything else in a month, post one of these lists, and then have to come back and say that I finished something, but this time I really don't think I'll finish anything else!

I was wrong. I just finished Celeste.

February is pretty much over so time to report (little) progress.



Kingdom Hearts 3--looks like I'm getting pretty close to the end of the story so should finish in March
Rainbow Skies--I just hit another point that will require some grinding or finding a stash of gold to upgrade all of my weapons again
Dragon Quest Builders--still playing with my two younger boys

March Plans:
Finish Kingdom Hearts 3, keep chipping away at Rainbow Skies as Vita time allows, maybe pick up Hollow Knight again (although probably not). No purchases on the horizon unless there is a crazy sale on something. My birthday is in March but I don't see any games to put on my wish list for now.

Here's my February breakdown, since I'm for sure not finishing anything else between tonight and tomorrow.


Tooth and Tail (PS4)
The Count Lucanor (PS4)
Parasite Eve II (PS One)
Burnout Legends (PSP/Vita)
The 3rd Birthday (PSP/Vita)


Lego Marvel Superheroes (PS3) - Platinum forthcoming.
Iconoclasts (PS4)
Timespinner (PS4) - Platinum'd.
Dead Island (PS3)
Soma (PS4)
What Remains of Edith Finch (PS4)


Persona 5 (PS4), wherein I haven't really done enough (stuck after the second palace and have yet to dive back in).
Persona 4 Golden (Vita), where I'm going slowly but steadily.
Hollow Knight (PS4). Another one that I play here and there, but always think about pretty intensely.

In summation, I ended up with a -1 tally in favor of pile depletion. Not too shabby; progress is progress. So far, it seems to be a good year for pile depletion and addition at a somewhat slower rate.

February Report~~



Made Progress In:
Banjo Tooie (X360)
Persona 5 (PS4)
Kingdom Hearts 3 (PS4)

Planned Games To Beat In 2019


Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4)
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (3DS)
Banjo Tooie (X360)
Persona 5 (PS4)
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth (PS4)
The Witness (Steam)
God of War 2018 (PS4)
Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4)
The Witcher 3 - Blood and Wine DLC (PS4)
Resident Evil HD remaster (PS4)
Black Mesa (Steam)
Firewatch (Steam)
Paper Mario: Color Splash (Wii U)
Star Fox Zero (Wii U)
Star Fox Guard (Wii U)
Subnautica (Steam)

It may look like I didn't do anything this month but I spent a good chunk of time playing Persona 5. Slowly but surely I'll get through this game. Banjo Tooie is kind of a drag which is why progress has been a bit slow. Bigger is not always better I'm determined to finish it though so hoping to do so in the next month or two.

Also, I'm wondering if I still want to play the original Link's Awakening now or if I should just wait for the switch remake that's coming out this year. Or should I play both?

Very busy month

"Finished" (well, some of these are not the most finishable games ever):
Slay the Spire
Xenoblade Chronicles: Torna the Golden Country
Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth
Civilization VI: Gathering Storms

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales

Got SOMA and Subsurface Circular off the backlog this month. Short games, but still good to see the list go down. Came close to adding a few games to the backlog, but managed to resist.

Otherwise still bouncing between Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2. Made solid progress in both, and have been focusing on the latter in particular lately. Both stand out in the fact that the majority of their side quests are just as good or better than the main story missions. Any narrative progress I make feels meaningful. Odyssey has more of what I'd call typical open world fluff, though it feeds into the various systems better than previous games in the series. RDR2 has lots of optional stuff to do, but it's more content to let you tackle that stuff on your own. I saw a Waypoint article a little while ago saying RDR2's systems feel pointless. If you're blasting through the story, I can see how it would feel that way. But if you're in the game to inhabit the world and live that fantasy, those "pointless" activities add a lot to your immersion and sense of place while playing.

Current backlog:

  • American Truck Simulator
  • Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition
  • Else Heart.Break()
  • King's Bounty: Crossworlds
  • King's Bounty: The Legend
  • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
  • Observer
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition
  • Quarantine Circular
  • Tyranny
  • Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War II: Retribution
  • Warhammer 40K: Space Marine
  • Watch Dogs 2
  • Yakuza 0


  • Assassin's Creed Odyssey
  • God of War
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Yakuza Kiwami


  • Devil May Cry 4
  • Yakuza 0
  • World of Final Fantasy


  • Yakuza Kiwami

So I didn't do any of the secondary stuff I had originally planned on. Instead, I actually dug into the pile to start clearing some stuff, meaning 2019 has managed to be the first time I've actually worked on clearing out my backlog since... I don't know when. In the end, though, February was largely about gaming as escapism as I struggled with issues with my taxes, issues with my healthcare, issues with my health, and issues with my car. I managed to finally get progress on my next video, but as of now I haven't even begun cutting it together. It's... been... an interesting time.

Nevertheless, while DMC4 was certainly a bit disappointing after the surprising delight of 3, I look forward to continuing the series next Friday with DMC5. The demo wasn't much, but it was enough to get me suitably excited. World of Final Fantasy turned into a slight slog for a while there, but I finished it today and have thus cleared my Switch slate for Caligula Effect: Overdose in a week-and-a-half.

As I mentioned in my prior post, I did learn that I prefer to have a primary game I work on per platform. The exception is when I'm recording footage for a new video, in which case I am limited as to when I can play it and for how long in a day. That makes it easier to bounce between games, particularly on Switch. What this means is that the first week of March, I will be working on Yakuza Kiwami in order to finish it before DMC5, but otherwise the Switch is up for grabs. Do I work on unlocking characters in Smash Bros. Ultimate? Do I dip back into Splatoon 2, especially to see if I can get Second Splaturdays going with some other GWJers? Do I jam on some Mega Man X Collection from Christmas? I'll see, though for now I need to grind out some work on my video.

Speaking of Yakuza, yeah, I've become a fanboy now. Yakuza 0 had its issues, but otherwise it was an awful lot of fun and managed to be a really engaging story. Once I beat Yakuza Kiwami I'll be tempted to snag Kiwami 2, but that will likely have to wait until April, which thus far has 0 new PS4 games coming that I'm interested in. Regardless, I was glad to jump into that and find something wonderful. I still want to return to RE2, but hearing how the Ghost Survivors DLC was less narrative content and more challenge mode, it kind of turned me off from giving it extra time.

Gonna enjoy the next week of no pressure gaming, and hope I can manage the three titles of March without much stress (DMC5, Caligula Effect, and Sekiro).

Well, I didn't get as much done as I would've hoped, but here goes. February report.


  • Project Highrise (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/new.gif)IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/null.gif)
  • The First Tree (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/new.gif)IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unplayed.gif)
  • The Journey Down: Chapter Three (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/new.gif)IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unplayed.gif)
  • The Sexy Brutale (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/new.gif)IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unplayed.gif)
  • Syberia 3 (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/new.gif)IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unplayed.gif)

There was a sale, so I grabbed a bunch of adventure games for the club.


  • CHUCHEL (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/beaten.gif) - Played the whole thing live for the Gamers With Hope charity stream! What a fun, completely bonkers romp that was.
  • The Shrouded Isle (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/beaten.gif) - I'm marking it as beaten, but maybe I should actually mark it as dropped. I did a few runs, and wasn't all that interested.
  • Pyre (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/beaten.gif) - Fully deserving of a spot on my GOTY list. I kinda regret not ranking it second, maybe even first. It's spectacular. I cried.


  • Project Highrise (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/new.gif)IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/null.gif) - We need to talk about this. What a huge disappointment. This was heralded as the successor to Sim Tower, a game I played to death and beyond back in the day. One of the most annoying things in Sim Tower was that you had to set rents manually for each and every office and condo. Which is annoying when you've got hundreds and hundreds of them. Project Highrise took micromanagement an extra step further, and has you pulling cables and pipes for electricity, water and a bunch of other stuff. You can't just build, you need to build the floor, construction in the floor and then you can place the room, but they have to do more construction and furnish it. It was excruciating. I rage quit that thing. Oh wait. Maybe I can ask for a refund.


  • Guild Wars 2 (PC) IMAGE(https://backloggery.com/images/mastered.gif) - Yeah. I know. Getting close to 2k hours now.
  • Dragon Age: Origins (Origin) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif) - Played a bit, but haven't had the time to really have it take off.
  • Yorkshire Gubbins (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif) - Fun times, should be pretty short and wrapped up this weekend.
  • Prey (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif) - This is soooo good. Arkane is so talented in what they do. It was such a treat to play the first hours with the Gamers With Hope charity stream, and have a whole bunch of people hold my hand through the first bits. I'm putting it on the list of GOTY candidates for sure.

Remaining games: 58 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif) (55 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unplayed.gif))
Progress (Games): 6 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/beaten.gif) + 1 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/null.gif) - 8 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/new.gif) = -1
Est. remaining hours: 744 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif) (684 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unplayed.gif))
Progress (Est. total hours): 34 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/beaten.gif) + 10 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/null.gif) + 10 played IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif) - 78 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/new.gif) = -24

Backloggery is at 5. Not great, but still progress. February started off well, but I had two funerals in the month, and though it's a part of life, it took a chunk of energy out of me, and I barely had the strength for anything else but zoning out in front of GW2. I still need to play Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth for the GWJ adventure club, I'm so bummed I've fallen behind on that score. The good news is that I'm not replaying Thimbleweed Park, though, but I still have Dragon Age: Origins for the cRPG club and Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice on the docket, so.........
Can I just have a week long staycation? That'd be nice right now.

Spyro Re-Ignited Trilogy
Assassin's Creed Odyssey (x2)
Final Fantasy XIV

Absolutely nothing

Made Progress in:
Absolutely nothing

Played a bit:
Rocket League
Final Fantasy XIV
A Story About My Uncle
Spyro 1

February ended up pretty much a waste for gaming, coupled with longer work hours, earlier bed time majority of gaming time has evaporated. When I do have a sliver of time to play during weekday I just want to play something where I can be on auto pilot, so casual Rocket League fits that bill perfectly.

Picked up Spyro Trilogy on sale, been eyeing that for a while, great game, as a bonus I can play with my daughter.
After getting my free copy from project Stream I realized my PC cpu is not good enough to run AC Odyssey at anywhere stable, conveniently it was on sale for 20 dollars so I grabbed it for ps4.
Final Fantasy 14 starter edition was free on twitch prime, so I said what the heck. Ended up having a fun filled weekend.

March is not looking bright in terms of game time ether, but I'm hoping to settle in a more healthy schedule to allow some de-stresses into my time.

Quarantine Circular (Switch)

Agatha Christie's ABC Murders (PS4)
Sexy Brutale (PS4)
Year Walk (Wii U)

On Hold:
Octopath Traveler (Switch)

Dropped: Appreciated:
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice (PS4)

Also Played:
ActRaiser (SNES, Emulation, replay?)
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (PS4)
Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl (3DS)
Final Fantasy IV (SNES, Emulation, replay)
I Am Setsuna (Switch)
Phantasy Star II (iOS)
Super Mario 3D World (Wii U, replay)


Wow, that looks like a lot when I type it all out.

Goal: Reduce PS4 and Switch backlog (give each game a "significant" try (I've got it worked out in my head what this means, but I'll spare you the details)).
Progress: PS4 (-3): 18 / Switch (+1/-1): 5

Comments: Usually I try to finish or drop a game, but in a rare case, I'm setting aside Octopath Traveler for now after about 20 hours. I like it, and I think I'll play some more of it, but I don't feel like playing more of it right now. I think it might potentially be nice to break it up into about three periods of play.

Hellblade... I highly anticipated this game due to the subject matter. I really appreciate the sound design and motion capture that went into making the game. I like that it exists, but I didn't enjoy playing it. The puzzles left me cold and so did the combat. If it was a walking sim, I would have gladly continued, but I eventually had to admit I wasn't enjoying the experience.

We'll see how next month goes. Right now I see more content to replay old 16-bit games than play new stuff.

Here we go! February report

Added: None!

Finished: 4
IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/beaten.gif)flOw (multi)
IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/beaten.gif)Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken (multi)
IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/beaten.gif)VVVVVV (multi)
IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/beaten.gif)Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (DS)

Also Played: 7
IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/beaten.gif)Persona 5 (PS4)
IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif)Dragon Quest XI (multi)
IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif)Spider-Man (PS4)
IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif)FF XIII (multi)
IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif)Unravel (multi)
IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif)Dragon Quest XI
IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/null.gif)Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble!

Last month it was the government shutdown and snow days; this month, it was a cold that just wouldn't quit. But extra time at home meant extra games.

Dropped: 11
IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/null.gif)Sonic Mega Collection (7 games) - I bought this used for GameCue a long time ago, and I'm not sure why. I was never a Sega kid. Barely ever played this. It's just taking up space in my backlog
IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/null.gif)Viewtiful Joe (Wii) - Tried several times to get into this, but it's never stuck. Next!
IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/null.gif)Retro Game Crunch - Interesting concept, but I just didn't find it made me want to press on.
IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/null.gif)Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble! - The neither the concept nor mini-games click with me.

2019 Progress: 20 (9 finished + 17 dropped - 6 added)

Current backlog state:
114 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif) / 44IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unplayed.gif)

Last Month's Goals: Mostly accomplished; though I failed at one.


Persona 5 - Finish the fourth palace
Dragon Age: Origins - Finish Brecilian Forest and Redcliffe
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story - Finish
Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken - Finish
flOw or Flower - Finish

March Goals:


Persona 5 (PS4): Through Palace 6
Spider-Man: campaign 50% done, all backpacks collected, all landmarks photographed, all crime stopped, all Fisk hideouts cleared
Finish two short games -- not sure yet what they'll be
Null two more games

GWJ GOTY Eligible [Purely for the purposes of keeping track, come December!]:


Algobot (PC)
flOw (multi)
Journey (multi)
Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken (multi)
Spider-Man (PS4)
Song of the Deep (multi)
Unravel (multi)
VVVVVV (multi)

Quarter 1

Destiny 2 + Exp + Forsaken -Purchased + WIP-
Apex Legends -Bitten + hooked-
God of War -on hold-
Persona 5 (jrpg club)
Rime (adventure club) -DROPPED-
Tacoma (adventure club)

Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns. -WIP-
Pocket Card Jockey.
Rhythm Paradise Megamix -WIP-
Fire Emblem Awakening -ON HOLD-

The Pillars of the Earth (adventure club)-DROPPED-
I have sold my entry level gaming laptop, I can't do Windows!
Instead I have partitioned my iMac and updated that small section to the latest Mac OS (I have to continue to use an older Mac OS for work) which means I can play a good chunk of the Steam games I own on there.

Also side note. Steam no longer supports the older Mac OS so from January I couldn't play any Steam games at all on the iMac, even those that only require older OS to play the games themselves. Which was a pain.

Game of the Month
January - Tacoma
February - Apex Legends

I'm not completing anything else this weekend, so may as well put together my report.


  • Yakuza Kiwami
  • Devil May Cry 5


  • Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion
  • Donkey Kong Country 2
  • Final Fantasy IX
  • Caligula Effect: Overdose
  • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
  • Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy: Curtain Call


  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

So this post is going to get a bit deep and probably the sort of thing I shouldn't discuss openly, but oh well. It's gonna be over a week before I can visit my therapist and some of this stuff is the sort that festers if it's not shared. So I'm going to try and discuss it openly but healthily.

Spoiler: First, the simple game log type stuff

This was an interesting month of dabbling in different things between releases, and sometimes even just to fill a mood. Donkey Kong Country 2 was one such game, and the past few nights I've been unable to clear my head and get some sleep and thus played Theatrhythm for a while. I really, really need a Switch version of that game. I've spoken about it plenty before, but having a tablet mount connected to my bed post was a revelation. I can lay down on my back and game comfortably. It's perfect for just a few hours of relaxation, or that final half-hour to hour before bed. Playing the 3DS the past few nights has, in the meantime, reminded me why gaming in bed used to be such a rare thing: it's uncomfortable to lay down on the belly and play. Very quickly my arms feel like trash. When I look back and see that a lot of my records in Theatrhythm were made in 2014, I recall just how old this game is and get worried we won't see a follow up on Switch. Hopefully they're just experimenting with new control methods or something, but I don't think they'd want to make a version fully reliant on button controls. It was a game first designed with the stylus in mind. Nonetheless, every time I pick up this game I have a good time, and I'd love a version on the Switch.

Speaking of the Switch, I'm no longer seeking to rush and complete the Octo Expansion for Splatoon 2. It actually works as a great "between releases" game, where I have a few sessions completing challenges and inching closer to 100%. Unfortunately, as much as I'd love to make Second Splaturdays a thing – especially seeing as I put the idea forth – I don't think I can manage it. While Saturdays can be a great chance for me to get a lot of gaming done, more often than not I'm out of the house and may never even power a game system on. Perhaps once I'm done Octo Expansion I'll be able to do spontaneous multiplayer, but for now it's single player all the way. I'm disheartened that they'll be doing their last SplatFest this summer, as that likely means a Splatoon 3 is going to be released and I'd rather they keep updating with expansions like Octo. That, or Splatoon has waned enough in the public consciousness that it costs too much to keep putting together SplatFests so as not to be worth the investment. I don't know. Just that Splatoon 1's final SplatFest was quite obviously done in preparation for the sequel's release.

Otherwise, Devil May Cry 5 and Caligula Effect: Overdose were my primary games of the month. After I threw in the towel for Sekiro I swapped over to Devil May Cry 5 on Son of Sparda difficulty, and... yeah, there's a good chance that's gonna be in the top three come Game of the Year season. Don't know if I'll finish Son of Sparda – I'm better at DMC than I am at Bayonetta, it turns out – but I can see myself returning to this game repeatedly. Hell, I can see myself playing DMC3 and DMC5 back-to-back since, together, they're actually pretty solid in the story department.

Spoiler: So The Thing About Sekiro is that It's Not About Sekiro

This is going to be stuff that belongs in another thread or another place, and if you have no interest in stuff that should probably be discussed – and in some cases has been discussed – with my therapist, then move on.

I want to be the sort of person that can look at their past actions and can admit when they've done wrong. My bad habit of over-thinking can co-mingle with my low self-esteem and take this into awful areas, but sometimes... other things happen.

The past several years of my life – ever since I graduated College, really – have been dedicated to trying to find a space where I feel I belong and understood. My personal sense of identity and attempts at growing have been tossed about back-and-forth as a result of all the arguments this past decade regarding what gamers are, whether they're dead or not, what is "good" or "smart" games writing, and how often it feels like my identity as a Christian is clashing with this identity of being a gamer. When I first came to GWJ, I was unabashedly myself. While on GWJ, I've certainly grown to understand other perspectives better and even question my own preconceived notions. At the same time, the longer I've been here the more I've become convinced to just keep my mouth shut. It doesn't always work, but there's an awful lot these past few years I haven't said.

The honest truth is I'm only on GWJ because there's no other forum I can find that discusses games like I wish to. This isn't a "keep politics out of games" thing, either. I don't really know how to explain it without giving off the wrong impression, but what it comes down to is what my identity as a "Gamer" truly means. Why is it even an identity? At the age of 33, it feels somewhat absurd to address myself as such. And yet I don't know what else would encapsulate it. Nevertheless, my perception of what "gamer" means is clearly different than that of the world's. Just about any heavily populated social function will result in "Oh, you're a gamer? So is my friend/sibling/partner!" and upon introduction I find this other gamer does nothing but play the latest PvP fad.

This has been hitting me harder than usual in March. I'm a broken person trying their best to fix themselves in a broken family content to be broken. I work from home, which means five days of the week I'm feeling completely isolated from the world. I'm desperate to find others that can understand me. Others that I can sit down and just get what I'm saying, even if we disagree. Others that can help me be better without feeling like there's a permanent rift or chasm in between. What two friends I have like this are either living over an hour away or has a family and thus limited time.

So as I stepped into that Sekiro thread, I was bringing with me an awful lot of baggage unrelated to the game. Baggage I should not have brought in. I should not have brought in my frustration for "everything is Dark Souls". I should not have brought in my frustration for the short-term memory of From's gameography or whatever you'd call it. I may not have been having the discussion I wanted, but I was ruining the discussion for others.

I should have seen it coming. The night I gave up on Sekiro I recalled why I gave up on the first Dark Souls. That stupid Minotaur boss, the first real one in the game. I'd drop down from the tower, stab him in the head, and upon dropping to the ground... get tangled in his legs. No matter what I did, I would get tangled in those legs of his. That's where the damage came in. Was there some other secret to defeating that boss? Maybe, but given how narrow the walkway was on those battlements I couldn't conceive of a way to defeat him without getting tangled in those legs. There was certainly no room on top of the tower.

But I was able to drop Dark Souls with a shrug. "Not for me," I said. That should have been my response to Sekiro. I liked a lot of the level design for the stealth sections. It made me think of the environment, my options, and how to best deal with the enemies. But once I was forced into a one-on-one confrontation, no matter what strategy I tried, I just couldn't do it. Button timing felt inconsistent, or maybe that was just my own timing. Doesn't matter. Granted, seeing other players experienced both with action games and the Soulsborne library on my Twitter feed make similar observations... yeah, I felt somewhat vindicated. But at its very basic, my approach and preference for action games are ones that are far more aggressive. Sekiro may emphasize stealth, but like Demon's and Dark Souls, it's still about being more defensive and less aggressive.

Because of the nature of discussion in that thread, though... it became a matter of pride. It became personal. While on one hand I did want to give Sekiro its fair chance – to approach the game on its own terms instead of my preconceived notions or hopes – the truth is I primarily just wanted to prove... something.

Giving up the game felt like failure, or proving other people right. It didn't feel like just giving up on a game I wasn't enjoying, though that wasn't entirely right either. I liked aspects of it. I just felt like every aspect of the game is done better – or more to my liking – elsewhere. Y'know, like how everyone else feels about Darksiders (hi my name is Greg and let me tell you about how you're all wrong about Duke Nukem Forever).

And maybe that's why I'm writing this. Because my ego is so fragile and tied to these things I value about myself as a gamer that I feel the need to justify it. To provide a defense for my actions and attitude. Will that help heal anything? Not at all. If anything it would probably just open up in another argument. My life is a never-ending pattern of being honest and open about something and being told by the other party how wrong I am. It's amazing how consistently wrong I am.

And then that fuels into those feelings of isolation. Of belonging nowhere.

I joke about being a contrarian, but as self-deprecating humor tends to go, it's often a mask to conceal feelings of frustration or self-loathing. I don't like being a contrarian. It speaks to my fear of thinking myself better than others, or tries to make a joke out of the fact that I feel like I have no one that understands me. But when you get right down to it, at this point, the best thing for me to do is to take no part in a conversation surrounding a game that would be considered "popular" or have some level of mainstream appeal. But then why be on the forum? I felt like I was wasting my time talking to myself in the DMC5 thread. No one here cares about that. I'm sure it's offensive in some way. Both USGamer and Unwinnable somehow published articles on the narrative that completely missed the point. And I suppose that's where that silly, stupid "gamer pride" comes in. People are going to call that game "directionless button-mashing" and yet I fail to grasp Sekiro. To watch people one by one in the Game Club thread knock Darksiders down to easy – a game that barely scratches the surface of actually being hard! – and yet they can manage in Sekiro and I cannot.

At some point it's not about the game and is instead about something deeper. I was sincerely interested in Sekiro. My perception of the gameplay based on trailers was inaccurate, but I was interested. And no doubt there's ingredients for a game I'd love in there. But it wasn't the game that was the problem. It was the discussion and all my baggage that ruined it. My attitude going into that thread ruined it.

So what's the point of this whole write-up, other than to make yet another gargantuan mistake in my long, overblown list of mistakes? I suppose to acknowledge that there are some games that are worth trying, but I should probably not engage with the community on. I take too much personally for all the wrong reasons, and the last thing I need is to have a game ruined for reasons that have nothing to do with the game itself. Simultaneously, it means none of my baggage will be spilled onto the table to ruin anyone else's experience of the discussion.

Maybe this is the wrong thing to take away from it. Maybe, for everyone else, the answer is simple: don't be a dick. Don't take it personally. Etc., etc. But as I said, all month the issue has been needing that place, that community, that home, where I can just... feel understood. It's not like the Internet is the first place I'm looking, either. It's one part of a far larger whole. That Sekiro thread, I think, was a worst case scenario when I let those frustrations I'm feeling build and unleash on people that don't deserve to be unleashed upon.

Spoiler: Looking Ahead to April

I don't have a Primary PS4 game for April, so I've begun my adventure into Final Fantasy XIV. After my first session, I'm curious to see if I'll find it worth playing beyond the 30 day "trial" (I mean, I bought the game, so to call it a "trial" is a bit silly). So much of the game's presentation feels single player right up until it drops you into a public instance. Then, suddenly, names and characters of all types. At that point I wonder if "Massively Multiplayer" is the correct term. It feels less like playing together with others and more like going to the mall. It's a public space filled with people, but it is not inherently social. Everyone is doing their own thing in that same space.

"Crowd Game" doesn't really have the same appealing ring to it, though, does it?

My only prior experiences with such a game are the Ragnarok Online beta waaaaaaay way back at the turn of the millennium, PlanetSide 1 and 2 where you did play together with everyone else on the server, and Destiny, where crowds are far, far more limited. Despite wandering a setting where everyone is doing their own thing, I never got that "mall" feeling in Destiny like I did wandering the basic starting zone of FFXIV. Ironically, that felt more like a bunch of guardians all doing their own thing. By limiting the crowds, it kept the immersion of the setting in tact. Too bad the story fails at that. On the other hand, to have more adventurers in town than citizens in FFXIV just seems absurd.

And it's not even one of the more populated servers!

Perhaps these are old observations, but for me it's interesting. Regardless, on topic, I'm looking forward to seeing where vanilla FFXIV takes me. I'd love for my pals Steve and Nolan to join me as Destiny's annual pass offerings have been lackluster, but I have a feeling it won't be the replacement as the nature of gameplay is different. So it'll mostly be a solo experience, but while I like being able to do solo play in a game like this I'd also like to see the multiplayer content. We'll see if there's anyone I can join up with later in the month.

Other than that, it's all about the Switch. That's where things might get complicated or busy. Work has been slow as of late, but I have another interim video I wanted to put together. I'll also be working on recording Final Fantasy IX, which has been going far slower than I'd like. This is in part due to Sekiro, but it is also due to trying to make more time for the gym. I'm trying to keep my mortality in mind as I finally fight this life-long battle with my health, and that means not only dietary choices, but workout choices. That takes roughly an hour-and-a-half on week nights, the best nights to get gaming done. I also sort of burned myself out on constant gaming the past few months and am trying to keep a better balance of passive media. So we're right back to "scheduling" game time, which is always a weird thing.

In fact, the weekend I got Sekiro, I had this weird guilty feeling when spending time with friends. Instead of playing my brand new game I was out with other people, and by time I was home I was too exhausted for the daunting task that was dying repeatedly in Sekiro. I began to wonder if this is part of that whole "introvert" thing, where spending time with friends is desired and needed, but those solitary tasks are highly valued to a point that social time is a cost.

Regardless, if April was nothing but FFIX and Caligula Effect on Switch, it'd be easy. But man, I really, really want to replay Phoenix Wright. I'm way more hyped for the Ace Attorney Trilogy release than I ought to be. I've played those games at least twice each already, and even relived the first one (two?) via the anime. But those games are such a delight that I can't help but look forward to them. I'm hoping they'll release ...the "Apollo Trilogy"...? as well, and especially hope for a seventh.

I'll be getting Darksiders, but will not be playing it immediately. Not unless I feel the need for some hacking and slashing. As for all the other re-releases that month, I think I can hold off for a while. In fact, FFX I'm hoping to get a report from Clock, assuming she still plans to import a copy of the Japanese version (was it two game cards or both games on one?). If I can play the game with Japanese voice but English subtitles that way, then I'll import it. The American release of FFX HD Remaster on PS4/Vita only had English language support that I could find. So that's not an immediate purchase. I'm also in no rush to purchase FFXII, which I already own for PS4. I'm tempted to purchase Dragon's Dogma just to indicate that, yes, I want more of this franchise, dag nabbit Capcom give me a flippin' sequel already, but... yeah, April is absurd with the re-releases. As I'm trying to be better with my finances, after Phoenix Wright it's going to be a matter of "will I be able to get to this next?" My thought is: not until Caligula Effect and Phoenix Wright are completed.

You'd think SteamWorld Quest would be a day one purchase from me. I've loved everything I've played by Image & Form thus far. Thanks to Children of Zodiarcs I know that card-based mechanics aren't always an instant turn-off for me. Yet... I can't get fired up for Quest. I dunno what it is, but I just... it's not lighting my fire. We'll have to see where I am regarding everything else.

So my April goals: finish Caligula Effect, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy, and complete recording for Final Fantasy IX. Enjoy what I can of Final Fantasy XIV. Prioritize everything else based on the completion of these.

Alright. That's enough pointless typing from me for the day. I could have done something actually productive with all of that.

Oh, and to anyone not in the Sekiro thread: I'm selling my copy of the game (PS4) for ...what did I say? $45? So anyone interested, DM me. If no takers I'll drop it in the Trading Post.

This past month not much has happened. I've been a little bit in a bad mood so not much progress. I've been chugging along with my vita in hand at work and Sekiro at home. I love FROM SOFT stuff but not super in the mood to grind to get good.

Lets talk games a bit more.

Trails in Cold Steel 2. Rean and the gang are back for more anime shanigans. Will he stumble in an akward situation or gain super anime powers? Who knows?

I don't think that I am going to finish anything else tonight and tomorrow so time to report.

Nothing! (I had several things in my cart from the big PSN sale last week...but I forgot about them and the prices went back to normal so my game purchase drought moves into month 2)

Kingdom Hearts 3

Hollow Knight -- the game is pretty but I just didn't find it all that fun and the controls never felt right. Also, I set it down for a month and a half for Kingdom Hearts 3 so I have no idea where I am supposed to go anymore. I wasn't having enough fun to start over again so off to the digital trash heap.

Rainbow Skies -- So. Much. Grinding. Why so stingy with the gold?
Onrush -- quick time 15 minute time waster

April Plans:
I am reaching the point of Rainbow Skies where I just want it to be done, especially with Trails of Cold Steel as the quarterly JRPG (we are finally playing one that I own!!). Beyond that, finishing off a few Vita PS+ games that I have started and looking at either God of War or Tomb Raider as a PS4 game. Looking at the release list for the rest of the year, I see Trine 4 and Life is Strange 2. Otherwise, pretty blah year for new stuff so a great year for the pile!

JohnKillo wrote:

Trails in Cold Steel 2. Rean and the gang are back for more anime shanigans. Will he stumble in an akward situation or gain super anime powers? Who knows?

Probably both, these are not mutually exclusive.

JohnKillo wrote:

Trails in Cold Steel 2. Rean and the gang are back for more anime shanigans. Will he stumble in an akward situation or gain super anime powers? Who knows?

He's stumble into super anime powers after knocking into a girl running with toast in her mouth and falling face first into her panties. Stan Lee will narrate, true believers.

walterqchocobo wrote:

Hollow Knight -- the game is pretty but I just didn't find it all that fun and the controls never felt right. Also, I set it down for a month and a half for Kingdom Hearts 3 so I have no idea where I am supposed to go anymore.

Yeah I definitely get that. I had a lot more fun with that game's combat and mechanics, and I've been pondering going back to it at some point. However, after I had taken a lengthy break during my first run I had found myself completely lost. Started it on Switch, but it just seemed a bit daunting having to do so much again.

That and I got lost again, forgetting what I had done on my first run through.

One day I'll return. Just not yet.

Hollow Knight makes it hard to jump back in. Partly because it doesn't want to tell you where to go and it's map system.

Blackwell Legacy (iOS)
Dragon Quest Builders (PS4)
Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (PSVita)
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle (Switch)
Path of Exile (PS4)

Final Fantasy IV (SFC Version, replay)
Quarantine Circular (Switch)
Super Mario 3D World (Wii U, replay)

Dropped/Set Aside:
Darkest Dungeon (Switch)
I Am Setsuna (Switch)
Thimbleweed Park (PC)

Also Played:
Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura (PC)
Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl (3DS)
Octopath Traveller (Switch)
Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES Classic, replay)
World of Warcraft (To my surprise...)


Well, didn't do too well with my PS4/Switch backlog progress. I added 3 and finished/dropped 2.

I played about half of I Am Setsuna and that was enough. Darkest Dungeon I enjoy and might play more of at some point, but enough for now. I actually dipped back into Octopath sooner than I thought, but for only one session.

I honestly thought I was done with WoW this time since I had zero interest in the new expansion but the free weekend pulled me back in. Maybe it's just the comfort of the familiar at this point, 15 years on...

Speaking of familiar, I just love FFIV. It was the first game of that style I ever played as a young lad and it blew my mind. I've played the SNES version, the PSP Complete Version and now the Japanese version (with translation).

Into the Breach
Surviving Mars

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales - might finish it this month. Need to kill those cards faster.
The House in Fata Morgana
Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura

Anno 1800

Into the Breach was quite interesting, but not sure I'll ever go back to it. Still a bit tired of rogue-like no-saving gameplay.
Surviving Mars was a bit disappointing. Fun to see my colony progressing the first time, but outside the "end-game event" thing, replayability felt low right now. Will likely take a look when the second expansion hits.
Sekiro is quite amazing, albeit very frustrating from time to time - as one would expect.

Physical Copies:
Need For Speed: Payback (PS4)
Far Cry New Dawn (PS4)
Metal Max Xeno (PS4)
Monster Hunter World (PS4)

Frostpunk (PC)
Trillion: God of Destruction (Vita)
SteamWorld Heist (Vita)
V-Rally 4 (PS4)
Cosmic Star Heroine (Vita)
MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death
Mary Skelter: Nightmares

Nothing again

Assassin's Creed Odyssey
Far Cry Primal
Far Cry New Dawn
V-Rally 4
Need For Speed Payback

March was pretty rough on the pile, despite the massive size the actual damage to the wallet was pretty light. I got suckered into couple of the sales. Progress wise not much happened, my lack of time and gaming ADD kept me from staying focused on one thing. I did put a whole lot of time into Assassin's Creed but thats a massive game so in terms of getting closer to finishing it, I'm no where close. I played so much of it, I kinda burnt myself out. This past week I've been mainly bouncing around Need For Speed (its really not that good) and the two Far Cry games (they are actually pretty good).

Looking ahead, I really would like to finish a game in April. I'm going to start small and declare Minit as my game to finish, Howlongtobeat shows it should only take couple of hours to finish and I should be receiving that game next week from Humble Monthly.

I really need to find a way to focus my gaming time better.