It's That Time Again - Pile of Shame Oct-Dec 2019

The year-end extravaganza is here. Welcome to your 3 month long Pile of Shame thread. For those of you new to this, due to release season and holidays a lot of us (ok, it's me) get preoccupied with the new and shiny. This helps to restock the next year's pile, but it doesn't do a whole lot to reduce the existing backlog. So, we go with a 3 month long thread to give folks a chance to at least beat one (except me, I'm averaging about .25 games) game during the end of the year rush.

If you're interested, m0nk3yboy, has the 12 month 2019 pile plan thread over here.

A quick reminder, in order to be considered "Pile of Shame" the game needs to be at least three months old. Otherwise, it's just a new game you haven't gotten to playing yet.

Also, if you are curious about some of the previous threads, Picks of the Pile, etc... Please go here and check out the spreadsheet I setup.

Let's get on to the games!



Multi-Platform

Anthem - jdzappa
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood - bobbywatson
Assassins Creed Odyssey - jdzappa
Assassin's Creed: Origins - Forlorn Hope
Banner Saga 2 - jdzappa
Batman Arkham Asylum - jdzappa
Civilization 6 - jdzappa
The Darkness II - AUs_TBirD
Darksiders II - brokenclavicle
Dead Cells - brokenclavicle
Dead Space 2 - AUs_TBirD
Divinity Original Sin 2 - jdzappa
Dragon's Crown - bobbywatson
Gato Roboto - Stele
Guacamelee 2 - brokenclavicle
Halo 4 - virtualdev
Inside - Forlorn Hope
Kingdom Hearts III - Forlorn Hope
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - Forlorn Hope
Life is Strange - AUs_TBirD
Lollipop Chainsaw - AUs_TBirD
Mirror's Edge: Catalyst - AUs_TBirD
Nier Automata - Forlorn Hope, AUs_TBirD
Prey - virtualdev
Red Dead Redemption 2 - Higgledy
Remember Me - AUs_TBirD
Resident Evil - brokenclavicle
Resident Evil 4 - brokenclavicle
Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams - AUs_TBirD
Torment: ToN - brokenclavicle
Vampyr - brokenclavicle
The Witcher 3 - brokenclavicle, jdzappa
X Com 2 War of the Chosen - jdzappa

PC
Europa Universalis 4 - jdzappa
Star Wars Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire Expansion - jdzappa

PS4
God of War (2018) - brokenclavicle

Xbox One

NES
Shatterhand - AUs_TBirD

Ok so.. I'm going to declare..

Nier Automata (PS4/Multi)
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (3DS/Multi)
Kingdom Hearts III (PS4/Multi)
Inside (Epic/Multi)
Assassin's Creed: Origins (Uplay/Multi)

Fingers crossed I have a better track record in the remaining months. Nier Automata, I technically have got endings A/B but I'm not counting it as beat until I get ending C.

I just picked up Gato Roboto (Switch, Multi) on sale. Dove right in, so maybe I'll actually finish it soon.

Going ambitious here... time will tell how I fare with what I've chosen!

Darksiders II (Multi)
The Witcher 3 (Multi)
Guacamelee 2 (Multi)
Torment: ToN (Multi)
Dead Cells (Multi)
Vampyr (Multi)
Resident Evil (Multi)
Resident Evil 4 (Multi)
God of War 2018 (PS4)

That's a mean task I've set for myself, but I'm faily confident I can whittle down about half of these by year's end, at least. I've got most of these partway through a playthrough, so there's that in my favor... unless I end up feeling lost and figure it's best to begin anew, that is!

Declaring the following, split by month in which I hope to have them done by:

October:
The Darkness II (PC/multi) - 3/4 done. Really enjoying it.
Mirror's Edge: Catalyst (PS4/multi) - one of the first two games I bought for my PS4 (the other being Last Guardian). Played through the opening and have liked what I've seen.
Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams (Xbox/multi) - this is the year, I'm sure! ...or next one. Maybe.
Shatterhand (NES) - Not sure why this has languished unbeaten for so many decades. I've always enjoyed it when I played it.

November:
Remember Me (PS3/multi) - my eternal pile pledge.
Dead Space 2 (PS3/multi) - really enjoyed the first and have been looking forward to trying its sequel.
Life is Strange (PC/multi) - Hoping to see what the hype is about.

December:
Nier: Automata (PS4/multi) - For the JRPG club. Several hours in already but last played it about 2 months ago.
Lollipop Chainsaw (360/multi) - stupid, but fun, with some pretty fluid combat.

I'll add to the list as I (hopefully) clear pledges.

As I watch the pile, ever-increasing, grow in front of my eyes, I reach into the pile and withdraw the next items to conquer:

Halo 4 (Xbox One/360) - never played it before, wanted to see how the story runs through
Prey (Xbox One/Multi) - just picked it up on a sale, why must there always be sales! But...$5!

That's likely all I'm going to get to consume before the end of the calendar year.

That new Star Wars Fallen Order game looks real shiny too....

And some of my buddies just started playing Breakpoint....

No, back to the pile game dog!

Hopefully, these will be done by the end of the year:

  • Grandia III (multi)
  • Dragon's Crown (multi)
  • Assassin's Creed Brotherhood (multi)

Of those three, Grandia III is the most likely to get the axe, as it's not great, and not holding my interest.

brokenclavicle wrote:

Going ambitious here...

Mate, ambitious is an understatement here, even if most of those are in progress! Best of luck

charlemagne wrote:
brokenclavicle wrote:

Going ambitious here...

Mate, ambitious is an understatement here, even if most of those are in progress! Best of luck :o

What can I say? I like painting myself into impossible situations! hahahaha

Thanks for running (and updating) the thread Hemi!

Seeing my name up there so many times is kind of intimidating, but I have to remind myself that it's for three months, not just one.

...unless, rather than brokenclavicle, I really did somehow declare Witcher 3 like it says; then I'm hosed.

I’m going to try and finish Red Dead Redemption 2. I got off to a odd start with it. With the criticism over the mechanics, etc (which work for me adding to the worlds solidity) and the deserved criticism over working practices. I didn’t really know how I felt about it. I wasn’t sure if I was truly enjoying the game or if wasn’t really but was determined to press on regardless.

I’m glad to report that, having gone back into the game, it’s all still working for me and I’m still getting a ludicrous amount of enjoyment from just riding around on my horse and camping.

Wrapped up The Darkness II last night.

In spite of its shortcomings, I really enjoyed the original Darkness (by Starbreeze Studios) on 360 earlier this year, so I was looking forward to trying out the sequel (by Digital Extremes) now.

Mechanically, it's a much better game, and the story is no slouch, leaving me questioning what was reality even after the credits rolled. The game picks up a few years after the original with the same cast of characters (those that survived at least), and adding some new ones as well. It goes to some very unexpected places and finds radically different roles for friends and enemies alike. If I had a hat I would tip it in respect.

Visually, The Darkness II departs from the realistic art style of the original and goes for a comic book aesthetic that really works. The game introduces a new upgrade mechanic in which you purchase powers based on points earned in game for specific actions or finding collectibles. I believe it's impossible to get all upgrades in one playthrough, so there is certainly some replayability here. The one power I do miss from the original is The Creeping Dark, in which you take control of a darkness tentacle, maneuvering through cracks in the walls, into air ducts, up walls and across ceilings in order to chomp on unsuspecting adversaries (and open gates). The original also had an interesting open world structure in which the player navigated environments that felt more or less alive (especially the subway stations), talking to people, and accepting subquests. In the sequel, this is gone, but in exchange we get a much tighter story.

I also miss being able to watch several different channels of TV, including two full movies, but that was just a sweet little bonus. The Darkness II gives us up to 4-player co-op custom missions with characters not seen in the main game - I'm sure these would be pretty fun, but I doubt I'll ever get a chance to play them with anybody; the game is now approaching 8 years old and apparently sold poorly enough that planned DLC was cancelled and so were any plans for a Darkness III.

A shame really. While the two games in the series were very different in some ways, I have a hard time picking a favorite. Both are definitely worth playing.

AUs_TBirD wrote:

Thanks for running (and updating) the thread Hemi!

Seeing my name up there so many times is kind of intimidating, but I have to remind myself that it's for three months, not just one.

...unless, rather than brokenclavicle, I really did somehow declare Witcher 3 like it says; then I'm hosed.

I hang my head in shame. Copy and paste has failed me for the last time!

I will mimeograph all posts, then hand write my updates, scan with OCR and the re-type into thread.

I've updated it. This thread can be a bit of a beast to make. Some of the things I do to speed up updates don't always work. Reminds me of when I missed a close tag on a strikethrough and most of the original post was marked off. Also done that with italics.

Ok here goes - I’m going to play all these games and hopefully will beat 1, maybe 2. All PC:


Anthem
Assassins Creed Odyssey
Banner Saga 2
Batman Arkham Asylum
Civilization 6
Divinity Original Sin 2
Europa Universalis 4
Star Wars Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire Expansion
Witcher 3
X Com 2 War of the Chosen

I've come to the realization this week that I have absolutely no desire to go back to Grandia III. This one is now off of the backlog (and my copy is already on eBay). I might see if I can find a story summary on YouTube or something. I don't really care about it, but I still want to know how it ends.

bobbywatson wrote:

I've come to the realization this week that I have absolutely no desire to go back to Grandia III. This one is now off of the backlog (and my copy is already on eBay). I might see if I can find a story summary on YouTube or something. I don't really care about it, but I still want to know how it ends.

I haven't played or bought this, but it's always been on my radar, hence I'm curious about why you chose to drop it.

brokenclavicle wrote:

I haven't played or bought this, but it's always been on my radar, hence I'm curious about why you chose to drop it.

It's just kinda tedious, really.

Battles are probably fairly strategic if you want to spend the time to play them properly (I didn't), but there's so many of them, and they're all the same. I know the Grandia battle system is highly regarded, but somehow this time it just didn't click with me. (FWIW, I did like the first two games.) Going through an area takes forever because there's so many battles. The story itself is not very interesting either and, contrary to the first two games, the music is super boring.

The game looks pretty good for a PS2 game, but that's not enough to keep me interested, and the best character actually leaves fairly early in the game. The other characters are super uninteresting.

bobbywatson wrote:
brokenclavicle wrote:

I haven't played or bought this, but it's always been on my radar, hence I'm curious about why you chose to drop it.

It's just kinda tedious, really.

Battles are probably fairly strategic if you want to spend the time to play them properly (I didn't), but there's so many of them, and they're all the same. I know the Grandia battle system is highly regarded, but somehow this time it just didn't click with me. (FWIW, I did like the first two games.) Going through an area takes forever because there's so many battles. The story itself is not very interesting either and, contrary to the first two games, the music is super boring.

The game looks pretty good for a PS2 game, but that's not enough to keep me interested, and the best character actually leaves fairly early in the game. The other characters are super uninteresting.

Thank you! I'll keep that in mind, then. I'll check out some Youtube vids and make a decision at some point hehehe.

I had to take one and a half days off this week due to a stupid cold, and that gave me enough time to beat Assassin's Creed Brotherhood. For the most part, I really enjoyed it, despite a fairly high number of bullsh*t missions. Will definitely continue the series with Revelations, but that will wait for a while. Two AC games in a year is enough (I played the second game in January). (I will need to buy Revelations, but I can wait for a Steam sale).

Controversial opinion: The tomb raiding sequences in ACII and Brotherhood were better at tomb raiding than Tomb Raider 2013 and Rise of the Tomb Raider. TR and RotTR are very good games, maybe even great games, but I didn't think they were good Tomb Raider games.

Cross off Nier Automata (PS4/Multi) for me. Got endings A-E. Next up is probably Inside. Seems appropriate for this spooky month of October.

I will need to find more from my backlog to clear up this quarter. For now the only thing I have going that's not new is Dragon's Crown (multi). And that should be a relatively short game. Hopefully I can think of something when I finally finish Fire Emblem.

I will add The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild (multi) for this quarter. I restarted this weekend, and will play this concurrently with Dragon's Crown.

I finished off Halo 4. It was an interesting romp, but certainly not the best in the series. I felt like it was trying to be Call Of Duty sometimes. I believe it's the first one non-Bungie and I think it shows.

Started up Prey (2017) this morning. Wow, that's quite a shift in technology and storytelling from Halo. It's quickly reminding me of Half-Life/Portal from way back in the day.