Hit the Lights on the Way Out - Pile of Shame Oct.-Dec 2020

Welcome to the end of the year thread. This may be a product of a bygone era, but Oct-Dec used to have a ton of new releases and the pile would take a backseat to the new hotness. This year we've got like 4-5 new games across two new console releases.

Anyway, load up the list as this one goes until the end of the year.

Some housekeeping notes.

If you're interested, m0nk3yboy, has the 12 month 2020 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!

In keeping with the theme of the year
The 2020 Honorary Dumpster Fire Award goes to Cyberpunk 2077...
I kid, i kid...

The 2020 Pick of the Pile is

Marvel's Spider-Man

"Sony Interactive Entertainment, Insomniac Games, and Marvel have teamed up to create an authentic Spider-Man adventure. This isn’t the Spider-Man you’ve met or ever seen before. This is an experienced Peter Parker who’s more masterful at fighting big crime in Marvel's New York. At the same time, he’s struggling to balance his chaotic personal life and career while the fate of millions of New Yorkers rest upon his shoulders." (Official Site)

1979 Revolution: Black Friday - AUs_TBirD
Adventure Time: Secret of the Nameless Kingdom - brokenclavicle
Alan Wake - Forlorn Hope
Assassin's Creed Liberation - bobbywatson
Assassin's Creed: Odyssey - Stele
Assassin's Creed: Origins - Forlorn Hope, jdzappa
Assassin's Creed Revelations - bobbywatson
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit - AUs_TBirD
The Banner Saga - brokenclavicle, Godzilla Blitz
Batman: Arkham Origins - Stele
Blackwell Deception - Eleima
Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling - Forlorn Hope
Dishonored - jdzappa
Far Cry 2 - AUs_TBirD
Goetia - Eleima
Hades - Stele, Eleima
Hob - bobbywatson
Last Day in June - Eleima
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - bobbywatson, brokenclavicle, Malkroth
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC - JohnKillo
The Legend of Heroes: Trails From Zero - bobbywatson
Life is Strange: Before the Storm - AUs_TBirD
Little Nightmares - Forlorn Hope
Loom - AUs_TBirD
The Mark of Kri - brokenclavicle
Mass Effect 2 - AUs_TBirD
The Messenger - brokenclavicle
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War - Eleima
Ori and the Will of the Wisps - charlemagne
Overcooked! - Forlorn Hope
Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin - AUs_TBirD
Rebel Galaxy Outlaw - Stele
Remember Me - AUs_TBirD
Resident Evil HD remaster - Forlorn Hope
The Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition - brokenclavicle, Eleima
The Sexy Brutale - Eleima
Silent Hill 2 - AUs_TBirD
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - Hemi
Tacoma - jdzappa
Vampyr - brokenclavicle
Wasteland 2 - AUs_TBirD, brokenclavicle, Godzilla Blitz
Yakuza 0 - Forlorn Hope
Ys The Oath in Felghana - bobbywatson

Endless Space 2 - jdzappa
Loom - Eleima
Reaching for Petals - Eleima
Resonance - Eleima
Sanitarium - AUs_TBirD
Small World - jdzappa
Warhammer 40K: Gladius - jdzappa
World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth - jdzappa

Horizon: Zero Dawn - brokenclavicle, Hemi
Marvel's Spider-Man - AUs_TBirD
Marvel's Spider-Man: DLC - Stele

Ring Fit Adventure - Forlorn Hope, bobbywatson

Paper Mario: Color Splash - Forlorn Hope
Star Fox Guard - Forlorn Hope
Star Fox Zero - Forlorn Hope

Handy-dandy formatted list for the OP:


1979 Revolution: Black Friday - AUs_TBirD
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit - AUs_TBirD
Far Cry 2 - AUs_TBirD
Life is Strange: Before the Storm - AUs_TBirD
Mass Effect 2 - AUs_TBirD
Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin - AUs_TBirD
Remember Me - AUs_TBirD
Silent Hill 2 - AUs_TBirD
Wasteland 2 - AUs_TBirD

Sanitarium - AUs_TBirD

Marvel's Spider-Man - AUs_TBirD

Here's my current roadmap for the end of the year:

Sanitarium (PC) - started it a few days ago. It's apparently not too long, so I'm budgeting 4 evenings.
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit (PC/multi) - a super-short gimme palate cleanser. This is the pile equivalent of that achievement you get for completing a tutorial. Budget: 1 evening
1979 Revolution: Black Friday (PC/multi) - One I've been meaning to play for a few years now. Also not very long. Budget: 2 evenings.
Remember Me (PS3/multi) - even though the podcast hosts apparently forgot about this game, I haven't yet. First declared it in 2019 if I'm not mistaken, and carried it over a few times. PS3 with the disc in the drive is all set up, ready to go. About 1/3 through on the old save. Budget: 7 evenings.
Silent Hill 2 (XBox/multi) - my eternal October pledge. I seriously want it off my bucket list. Maybe this is the one good thing that comes out of 2020. Budget: 14 evenings.

Mass Effect 2 (PC/multi) - the installed-game clearing continues. Not sure how far in I am story-wise, but Steam has me down for almost 50 hours. I'm assuming less than half of that was the game idling. Budget: 10 evenings
Far Cry 2 (PC/multi) - installed since I built this PC in 2016 and last played over 2 years ago (though it doesn't feel that long). Time for you to go buddy. Budget: 10 evenings.
Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin (PSVR/multi) - supposedly very short. Budgeting 3 evenings just in case my stomach can't handle it.

Marvel's Spider-Man (PS4) - I've really loved what I've played so far, and the game tells me I'm 30% done. That felt like it was super-fast, in spite of me doing lots of side activities. Budget: 10 evenings.
Wasteland 2 (PC/multi) - for the CRPG club. I've dabbled some so far, and am very interested in diving deep into it once I clear some of the other clutter first. Budget: 15 evenings.
Life is Strange: Before the Storm (PC/multi) - I loved the original Life is Strange. Looking forward to seeing where this takes me. Budget: 5 evenings.

A bit ambitious, but let's see what happens.

As always, thanks so very much for running this Hemidal!

The only games on my hit list at the moment are the sames ones that were there last month:

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II (multi)
Assassin's Creed Revelations (multi)

While I barely touched ACR last month, I made some significant progress in ToCS2, and I am very close to the end. I probably won't get back to ACR until this is done. After ACR is done, I will probably spend some quality time with Chrono Trigger, but that one is not on the pile as I beat it (multiple times) years ago. No sure where I'll go after that, as I want to take a break from videogames, and I just want to finish what I've started before I get to the break.

Whelp-uh, it's the end of the year thread already. Tempus Fugit and whatnot. I'm gonna go crazy as I usually do when it comes to picking from the pile this here thread. I'll do my best to actually get some of the games in the list finished.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 2 (multi)
Wasteland 2 (multi)
The Messenger (multi)
Vampyr (multi)
Adventure Time: Secret of the Nameless Kingdom (multi)
Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4)
The Mark of Kri (multi)
The Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition (multi)
The Banner Saga 1 (multi)

Gonna be a fun but busy month. Considering the fact that Cyberpunk 2077 is coming out in November, but seeing as there's crunch on it now, I think I won't dive into it immediately; experience tells me there will be patches aplenty during the first month or so, therefore I will probably delay my start on the game until late December or early January.

Oh, crap.. I'm not ready. Uhh..umm..lets see..

Ring Fit Adventure (Switch) (On World 17 of adventure mode and there's 23 worlds? Seems doable)
Overcooked! (Switch/Multi) (At the final boss but it's been hard without my sister available to co op..)
Star Fox Zero (Wii U) (Made it to Andross but failed. I just need to get gud)
Star Fox Guard (Wii U)
Yakuza 0 (PC/Multi)
Paper Mario: Color Splash (Wii U)
Resident Evil HD remaster (PS4/Multi)
Assassin's Creed: Origins (PC/Multi)
Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling (Switch/Multi)

Well, that was quick. Star Fox Zero is done. It only took me playing the mission for the third time but whatever. Not a bad game but I couldn't shake the feeling that I'd be having more fun just replaying Star Fox 64.

And Trails of Cold Steel II is done! My final time was 77 hours. My thoughts are in the JRPG Game Club thread. tl;dr: It's great!

AssCreedRev, you're next!

I'm carrying over Blackwell Deception (Multi) which I actually just wrapped up this evening.
I'm also going to declare Middle-Earth: Shadow of War (Multi), as well as Goetia (Multi), Last Day in June (Multi), Reaching for Petals (PC), The Sexy Brutale (Multi), Resonance (PC).

That ought to do it for now.

I'm all into Hades (Switch, multi), but officially just released in Sept, even though it's been in early access a while, so I guess that doesn't count. Might not hit the pile this month then.

The best laid plans never seem to work out for me, hopefully I can keep from playing endless games (looking at you Conan Exiles) and actually clear some pile games.

Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 2 (multi)

I didn't touch Wasteland 2 last month so I am not even going to think about it for now. Also playing through Chrono Trigger with the JRPG club, but I beat it back when it came out, so doesn't really count as a pile game. I am sure I will add something else soon though.

Ghostly gaming.

I will finish Trails in the Sky 2nd chapter.

Oh does Rebel Galaxy Outlaw (Switch, multi) count? Just released for Switch but officially out for pc like a year ago.

Works for me.

Hades will be eligible in December. I may throw it out there now anyway and we can pretend you didn't finish it until then.

Hemidal wrote:

Works for me.

Hades will be eligible in December. I may throw it out there now anyway and we can pretend you didn't finish it until then. ;)

That’s mighty generous if you. Sign me up, then!

Finished Sanitarium on the 5th. It tells an interesting psychological horror story via a mix of cut-scenes and adventure game mechanics in 13(?) individual, moderately sized environments. While the setting and themes are somewhat ambitious, the effort is undermined by clunky gameplay, interface issues (identifying things that could be interacted with was sometimes barely possible without a guide), bugs/crashes (which may not have been widely present on 1998 hardware and OS), and sub-par voice work, likely by the developers themselves. It's a shame because, although tropey, I liked most of the story and the character animation was at times quite impressive...when it worked. I just can't really recommend anyone else play it unless they absolutely have to play every game out there with these themes. Rating 2.75 / 5.0.

Well, that took a day longer than planned, and I played nothing the past two nights, so I'm down 3 days on my budget. Not a promising start in that regard, but at least I finished something already.

I'm not sure what prompted me to do this, but I started Assassin's Creed Liberation HD (multi) the other night. Since it seems fairly short, I will declare it.

Playing two AC games at the same time is probably a terrible idea and ensures that I will be all AC'd out by the end of October, but oh well.

(Endless) Credits just rolled on Assassin's Creed Revelations. I ended up liking it more than I thought I would, even though the gameplay, after AC II and Brotherhood, became somewhat stale by the end. I have to say the sequence in Cappadocia was a nice, if short, distraction.

I'm on vacation this week and, since everything is closed, I should have time to play some AC Liberation.

I should do this too. I've had trouble finishing games lately...

I'll declare Banner Saga (multi) to start things off. I'm about halfway done. More on deck, but let me see if I can wrap this one up first.

I want to declare another game (so much for my gaming sabbatical): Ys The Oath in Felghana (multi). This one is also fairly short (around 13 hours according to HLTB). I'm already 2 hours in, and I'm on vacation with nowhere to go because Ottawa is back in lockdown, so this one should be done in a week or two.

I forgot to declare Secret of Monkey Island (Multi) which is this month's game for the GWJ adventure game club. So you can add that and cross it off, like Blackwell Deception. Thaaaaaank youuuuuu!

bobbywatson wrote:

I want to declare another game (so much for my gaming sabbatical): Ys The Oath in Felghana (multi). This one is also fairly short (around 13 hours according to HLTB). I'm already 2 hours in, and I'm on vacation with nowhere to go because Ottawa is back in lockdown, so this one should be done in a week or two.

Welp, thanks to me not sleeping too much because I'm trying to wean off of some medication, Ys The Oath in Felghana is done! I will gather my thoughts and post a write-up in the non-Final Fantasy JRPG thread later.

I'm currently considering whether I will drop the last declared game for the quarter or keep at it. I have two months to decide, so I think I'll leave it there for now.

First game of the month and quarter that I beat: The Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition.

On we go!

Hades is complete, as in completed 10 successful runs, finished the main story, and saw the credits. But I'm not sure I'll stop playing for a while.

I just started Horizon Zero Dawn. It had been a couple of years and since I don't remember the controls, story or what I was supposed to be doing, I started over.

I haven't played any my other declared games but I finished Little Nightmares (Steam/Multi) last night. So I'm declaring and striking it off at the same time. That's something..right?

Chalk up Banner Saga. All done! Fun game.

I'm going to declare Wasteland 2 (multi) next. Trying to catch up on the CRPG Club games. Got until the end of the year to finish that one.

Far Cry 2 (Review spoilered for length)


I took 155 screenshots. Almost every one has the impressive African sun, or some weird colored light in it. Granted, I used a graphics tweak patch (Tom's Vanilla+), but WOW, FC2 does some amazing sun! It really helped immerse me in the setting and helped me ignore some or the rougher parts of the game, of which there are several.
I'm pretty sure everyone has heard of the respawning checkpoints, and they are, imo, the worst part of the game. It's not that they exist, it's that they can are often repopulated in less than 5 minutes if the player moves far enough away. This makes traversing the map - which you will be doing a lot - a real chore at times. Enemies not only are hyper-aware of you (take down someone with a knife, and immediately everyone in a 2 mile radius knows exactly where you are), making stealth not a viable option. Additionally, enemies are downright suicidal, chasing after individually, even after you've just slaughtered 15 of their compatriots with ease.
Also, they are bullet sponges.

So I downloaded Dylan's realism mod. That fixed most of the annoyances - checkpoints still respawned, but enemies only took 2-3 hits with my MP-5 to take down, didn't always chase me to their deaths, and didn't always immediately know where I was, making long range sniping (or even melee kills) a real option.

Now I was -in- for sure, and plowed through until the credits rolled! In fact, I finished 3 years to-the-day after I first played. (This did require me to stay up way too late two nights in a row though).

The story is - aside from a few rough spots - pretty interesting. You're a mercenary getting involved in an African warzone. You are not a nice person, and you're only there for your own benefit, willing to do anything for profit, regardless of who your client is. Civilians are never directly targeted, but some of your deeds will have direct influence upon them. Even when you do help them, it's only because you need something.

This setup is exactly why I had some difficulty with the path the story eventually took, as I had trouble understanding the shifting motivations.

I was, however, fascinated with the sense of place I was inhabiting. Watching sunrises and sunsets, boating through foggy jungle canyons on muddy rivers and across broad deltas, watching zebras in grasslands under a starry sky at night, fighting my way through greenhouses on a stormy night, suffering a malaria attack in the middle of a high speed car chase and running smack into a tree as a result, having my salvaged gun jam on me during an intense firefight (actually, this happened often until I bought upgraded guns), and ending my injured buddy's suffering (albeit unwillingly) with multiple doses of morphine and slowly watching their eyes go dark...
...and battling some militia that had chases me into the jungle with their vehicles, having one of the trucks explode and catching EVERYTHING on fire.

Those were some incredible and unforgettable experiences.

Far Cry 2 is a transitional game, marking an early Ubisoft foray into the open world, map-icon-fest that has become the formula of so many of their games nowadays. It is at times janky and flawed, but can be improved with mods. Yet the real star is not its gameplay but rather its setting, and I wish we could see more games in such locations (warzone optional).

The Cane and Rinse in depth Far Cry 2 podcast does a pretty decent job of summing up many of my feelings on the game.

1979 Revolution: Black Friday (Review not spoilered, because I think more people need to know about this game)
Speaking of unusual settings, how about being an aspiring photographer (Reza Shirazi) in Tehran during the 1979 Iranian revolution which led to the Islamic Republic of Iran?
The game is an adventure game in the Telltale style. It doesn't have puzzles, is a bit rough around the edges (most likely budget issues, as the scope was apparently reduced multiple times during development), and has a few quick-time events which aren't that great.
It is, however, fascinating, educational, and, at times, INTENSE (and a bit scary). There are so many things I didn't know, or was underinformed on, and I felt that the game presented a non-judgemental view on most of the factions involved, making sure there were mostly just shades of gray rather than clear good and bad characters.

It was very impressive taking photographs and then seeing how Reza's pictures compared to the actual photos of the events. What I also appreciated is that not everything you learn about is political, and that you even learn that in Iranian cinemas, popcorn, nachos and soft drinks are not the snacks of choice, but rather pistachios, salted pickles, salami sandwiches, and tea.

I honestly wish the game were longer (I took it slow and was done in 4 hours) with even more information. I've spent the past two nights researching more about the time period (Black Friday), setting (Cinema Rex, Evin Prison) and people (Googoosh, Assadollah Ladjevardi, Ayatollah Khomenei and others). The push and pull between modernizing forces and religious conservatives - who for the duration of this actually worked together - is interesting to learn about, and one wonders what the middle east would look like today if the modernizing factions had prevailed, not only in Iran, but Afghanistan and other places. One also wonders what things would look like were it not for the 1953 CIA-and British led overthrow of Iran's government, and installation of a puppet government.

1979 Revolution: Black Friday is a game more people need to play.

Rebel Galaxy Outlaw is finished!

Switch reports 50 hours. Not sure if the in-game save has hours. Anyway that's close. Might have idled in stations here and there when I got distracted by life, so possibly an hour less but not much.

Did all the main story and all the side quests for wingmen. Did was too many generic missions building up money early before progressing story, so I was in my endgame ship for a long long time.

Still, really good space pew pew combat, some of the best in years.

Not sure what to declare next. Between buying this and Hades the same week in Sept I think I've picked up another 5 or 6 Switch games on sale from the wishlist, and free Epic games every week and... well, the pile is bigger than it was in Sept. I'll try to figure out something this week.

I finished Reaching for Petals this weekend! As well as Loom which I'd forgotten to declare once it was officially elected as the GWJ adventure game for the month.

Adding to the list:

  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails From Zero (multi/PC) - Really impressed with the fan translation so far.
  • Ring Fit Adventure (Switch) - I stopped playing when I had to send my left joy-con for repair, but I want to get back to it, and I'm fairly close to the end I think.

I beat yet another game that isn't declared and made basically no progress on the ones I did. That game is Alan Wake (Steam/Multi). It seems like the ones that I stream with friends lately have a greater chance of being finished.