2021 - 12 Month Pile Program

LastSurprise wrote:

What, we aren't in the 20th month of 2020?

Although I've been copying that all year, and no one else has noticed -- or, at least, said anything -- before now. We're all in the 20th month of 2020.

I'll be honest, I'd never noticed because I'm always more interested in clicking that spoiler. Speaking of spoilers, but the "future pile contenders", you should really play Eastshade. It's super good.

Added:

  • Alba: A Wildlife Adventure(PC)

Completed:

  • Sable (PC)
  • New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (Switch)
  • Alba: A Wildlife Adventure (PC)
  • Tomb Raider (1996) (PC - Replay)

Dropped:

  • Splinter Cell (OG Xbox)
  • Tales of Phantasia (PS1)

Played:

  • Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag (PC)
  • Xenogears (PS1)
  • Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom (360, will probably restart)
  • Tomb Raider III (PC)

2021 priority list progress so far:

Spoiler:
  • Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero (PC) - Completed 2021-01-30
  • Assassin’s Creed III (PC) - Completed 2021-02-14
  • Final Fantasy Legend II (GB) - Dropped
  • Final Fantasy Legend III (GB) - Dropped
  • Dragon Quest XI (PC) - Credits rolled on 2021-03-28
  • Ring Fit Adventure (SW) - Credits rolled on 2021-03-30
  • Legend of Zelda Oracle of Ages, The (GBC) Completed on 2021-05-17
  • Panzer Dragoon Orta (Xbox) - Dropped, not my kind of game
  • Elders Scrolls III Morrowind (PC) - Moved to next year, I've reached this year's quota of long RPGs
  • Tales of Phantasia (SNES) - Dropped on 2021-11-20, boring as f*ck
  • Jet Set Radio Future (Xbox)
  • Mega Man X5 (PS1)
  • Legend of Zelda Oracle of Seasons, The (GBC)
  • Ogre Battle (SNES)
  • Sakura Taisen 1 (Saturn)

Planned purchases for the year:

Spoiler:
  • Super Mario 3D World (Switch) - Purchased
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure (PC) - Purchased
  • Monster Hunter Rise (PC) - PC version confirmed for 2022, so moved to next year
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky 3rd (PC) - Will wait for Spring of next year before I buy this one

Fairly good month, I managed to knock a few games out of the backlog. I started Assassin's Creed IV on a whim and, while I like the game very much, Ubisoft Connect takes a lot of my enjoyment out of that game. I still plan to play it to completion (I think I'm a bit past the halfway mark), but still, f*ck Ubisoft Connect. If there ever was a good reason to pirate a game, this is it.

Not sure I will play anything else on my priority list for this year. I might start something short once I finish ACIV.

I was watching a series on YouTube where the host of podcast Raidercast was watching his husband play Tomb Raider I for the first time, and that prompted me to replay it. Since I know the game so well at this point, it only took me about 7 hours.

November IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/120/apple/285/fallen-leaf_1f342.png)

IMAGE(https://media3.giphy.com/media/PJfbtgUPLOHLXoOO4b/giphy.gif)

Beaten IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.amazonaws.com/source/skype/289/chequered-flag_1f3c1.png)

  1. Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon (360) IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/120/apple/285/smiling-face-with-hearts_1f970.png)
  2. Wandersong (NS) IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.amazonaws.com/source/skype/289/musical-notes_1f3b6.png)

New IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/120/google/313/t-rex_1f996.png)

  1. The Banner Saga (NS)
  2. The Banner Saga 2 (NS)
  3. The Banner Saga 3 (NS)
  4. Forza Horizon 5 (XSX) IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/120/facebook/65/green-heart_1f49a.png)
  5. Immortals Fenyx Rising (XSX)
  6. Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy (XSX)
  7. Exo One (XSX) IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/120/facebook/65/green-heart_1f49a.png)
  8. Persona 5 Strikers (NS)
  9. Tales of Arise (XSX)
  10. Vader Immortal: Episode II (VR)

Jettisoned IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.amazonaws.com/source/skype/289/fire_1f525.png)

  1. Exo One (XSX) IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/120/facebook/65/green-heart_1f49a.png)
  2. Need For Speed Heat (XB1) IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/120/facebook/65/green-heart_1f49a.png)

Learned IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/120/apple/285/face-with-monocle_1f9d0.png)

  • Short games (10 hours or less) that I can complete in one to two sittings are wonderful. IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/120/apple/285/hourglass-done_231b.png)

Legend IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/120/facebook/304/information_2139-fe0f.png)

IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/120/facebook/65/green-heart_1f49a.png) = Xbox Game Pass

IMAGE(https://media2.giphy.com/media/s1Veo1ErMRTTha9ktc/giphy.gif)

Put GotG at the top of your pile. It's so good

November was a good month.

Finished/Beaten/Completed:

Shadow of the Beast (PS4)
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (3DS)
Darkside Detective (PC)
The Hex (PC)
Pony Island (PC)
Pony Island (PC)

Added to the Pile:

Immortals: Fenyx Rising (PS4)
The LEGO Movie 2 (PS4)
Metro Exodus (PS4)
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout (PS4)
A Plague Tale: Innocence (PS4)
Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark (PS4)
Arietta of Spirits (PS4)
Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption (PS4)
Digimon World: Next Order (PS4)
CrisTales (PS4)
Gleamlight (PS4)
Earthnight (PS4)
Lego The Incredibles (PS4)
Code Name Steam (3DS)
Yokai Watch (3DS)
Doctor Lautrec and the Forgotten Knights (3DS)

Got a little crazy with some of the sales, but I did make a fair bit of progress in beating games. Some short, some not so much. Really happy I was able to get three 3DS games, two of which are considered true hidden gems. A good month, considering I traveled for a little over half of it.

Stele wrote:

Put GotG at the top of your pile. It's so good

That's a spot reserved for whatever tickles my fancy at the time. My whims can't be controlled!

IMAGE(https://media0.giphy.com/media/9gCrEGbMtBGJuHAmo5/giphy.gif?cid=790b761111739db161503efb59d2fb1257fdf4e89821d66d&rid=giphy.gif&ct=g)

November Report~

Added:
Resident Evil 4 VR (Oculus)
Dragon Age: Inquisition (Origin)
Amnesia: Rebirth (Steam)
Never Alone (Epic)
Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise (Switch)

Beat:
Yakuza Kiwami (Steam)
NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139... (PS4)

Made Progress In:
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (Switch)
Eastshade (Steam)
Half Life: Alyx (Steam)
The House in Fata Morgana (Steam)
Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise (Switch)

Planned Games To Beat In 2021

Spoiler:

Call of the Sea (Xbox Game Pass)
Ring Fit Adventure (Switch)
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age (Xbox Game Pass)
Yakuza 0 (Xbox Game Pass)
Black Mesa (Steam)
Half Life 2 (Steam) (Replaying)
Half Life 2: Episode 1 (Steam) (Replaying)
Half Life 2: Episode 2 (Steam) (Replaying)
Outer Wilds (Epic)
Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling (Switch)
Overcooked! (Switch)
Overcooked! 2 (Switch)
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4)
Kingdom Hearts 3 (PS4)
Assassin's Creed Origins (Uplay)
Paper Mario: Color Splash (Wii U)
Star Fox Guard (Wii U)
Hyrule Warriors (Switch)
God of War (2018) (PS4)
Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4)

Started adding some structure to my game time which I think helped. Same time every night with alternating games. A lot of the time it was an hour or less but at least I was making more progress. I should be able to finish Eastshade, Half Life: Alyx and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity this month unless I get too caught up in holiday shenanigans.

All the stuff added to the pile this month are freebies except Resident Evil 4 VR since Oculus sent a coupon that I couldn't resist using.

Ending November with a covid test though and self isolating since someone brought covid to Thanksgiving so we'll see how that goes. I just recently got my booster so I probably won't get that sick even if I have the plague. Just goes to show you that people are the worst..

Wow. We're really in that last stretch, aren't we? Yikes. Time for the November report.

Added:
None!

Finished:

  • Memoria (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/beaten.gif) - Still as wonderful as I remembered.
  • Outer Wilds - Echoes of the Eye (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/new.gif)IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/beaten.gif) - Would be on my GOTY list if it hadn't already been last year.

Dropped:
None.

Played:

  • Touken Ranbu (Browser/Android) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif) - The sweet, sweet comfort of a managing sim where swords are handsome men.
  • Mass Effect Legendary Edition (Origin) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/new.gif)IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif) - I started Mass Effect 3. My heart already aches.
  • Two Point Hospital (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif) - I've been having a LOT of fun with this one. Gets me in a zen state.

Remaining games: 51 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif) (48 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unplayed.gif))
Progress (Games): 20 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/beaten.gif) + 6 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/null.gif) - 22 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/new.gif) = 4
Est. remaining hours: 649.5 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif) (594 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unplayed.gif))
Progress (Est. total hours): 160 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/beaten.gif) + 121 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/null.gif) + 101.5 played IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif) - 280 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/new.gif) = 102.5

Backloggery is now at 13. Small progress is still progress. I didn't make as much as I'd hoped, though I did have a blast with the Echoes of the Eye DLC, and it was an absolute treat to replay Memoria. I've been in a bit of a game slump these past two weeks though, mostly because it's been hard doing anything that's not kid or work related, I've been spending weekends at the hospital again, and my mood has noticeably flagged. I'm aiming to wrap up NaNoWriMo tonight, and hopefully get back into gaming in a couple of days. Lighthearted Two Point Hospital should hit the spot nicely. I have no precise idea of what December is going to look like, and I have concerns about my GOTY list, but... it is what it is.

Guess it's time for the penultimate tally of progress.

GAMES COMPLETED:

  • Resident Evil Village
  • Metroid Dread
  • Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
  • Halo 2

GAMES PLAYED:

  • Scarlet Nexus
  • Dark Souls Remastered
  • Kena: Bridge of Spirits
  • Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Mario Party Superstars

GAMES ABANDONED:

  • Probably Dark Souls Remastered
Spoiler: PRIORITY PILE PROGRESS
  • Daemon X Machina (PC)
  • Salt & Sanctuary (PC)
  • Gears Tactics (Xbox, PC)
  • Tales of Vesperia (Xbox, PC)
  • Sakura Wars (PS4)
  • AI: The Somnium Files (PS4)
  • Crystar (PS4)
  • Code Vein (PS4, Xbox Game Pass, PC)
  • Okami HD (PS4)
  • The Witcher 3
  • Touhou Luna Nights (Xbox, PC)
  • Resident Evil VII (Xbox, PC)
  • Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition
  • Grandia HD Collection (Switch)
  • Tokyo Dark: Remembrance (Switch)
  • Valkyria Chronicles (Switch)
  • SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech (Switch)
  • Pokemon Shield (Switch)
Spoiler: 2021 Gaming Goals
  1. Complete half of my priority-pile by year's end.
  2. Don't buy a game unless I'm itching to play it.
  3. If rule above is true, don't buy the game until you have the time to play it.
  4. Get back to having fun writing about games, even if it's on the blog no one reads.
  5. Keep a consistent Twitch schedule.
  6. Stop feeling pressured to update YouTube, and only work on updating it when you really feel into it.
Spoiler: NAVEL-GAZING AND SCATTERED THOUGHTS ON WHAT I'VE PLAYED:

My feelings towards November are everyone else's melodramatic feelings towards 2020. I got Covid at the very end of October, but only had one bad day with a fever, and that was just a bunch of drowsiness. The "worst" of it is the incredibly long recovery period of being at 95-99% for the whole dang month, but otherwise I was operating as normal. No, it was the rest of my family getting it, my dad getting double pneumonia at the same time, and then my mom getting a light case of it and an infusion. In the middle of having to take care of my mom while my Dad was in the hospital I was informed that my contract was concluding. Which, admittedly, wasn't a surprise, but was certainly still crappy timing.

Just about all my gaming and streaming was disrupted in this time. I needed to be able to get up at any moment to help my parents, and I was just too mentally distracted for most things. So Scarlet Nexus got put aside due to the difficulty I had focusing on long dialogues and text, as well as the game's sudden shift to a lot of grinding to keep weapons up-to-date and unlock all the character interactions. Kena: Bridge of Spirits was also difficult to really get into, as it is certainly an interesting and delightful world to explore with a decent combat system, but it also just seems somewhat "off" in its execution. My theory is that it has to do with the nature of the animation emphasizing how it looks over how it feels and functions, and as such some of the strikes and the invincibility frames for dodging sometimes feel slightly off. There's also something to be said about "encounter design", like what sorts of enemies appear where and in what quantity. Death's Door really is the highlight in terms of encounter design this year, but it's also one of those subtle things that most people won't ever understand when it's working just right and when it's not, so that game is probably not going to get the appreciation it deserves in end-of-year discussions.

I also retried Dark Souls Remastered after seeing the Elden Ring gameplay footage, because all I want to do after looking that stuff up is play Elden Ring. I got further this time, beating the gargoyles in the Bell Tower and therefore completing the first major task/chapter of a much larger experience. If I were to hazard a guess, this is the Bloodborne equivalent of reaching Cathedral Ward. It was a nice single-session play, but I'm not exactly sure I feel like going in to discover what torment awaits in the swampy looking subterranean depths.

This, ultimately, led me to take comfort in Resident Evil Village and Metroid Dread again. Before I took my father to the hospital I took some comfort in a weekend of the former game on its hardest difficulty. Despite disliking some of the adjustments for the higher difficulty mode, I still found myself freshly addicted and playing longer than intended each time I sat down, clearing it in a couple days. I then sat down not long after and tackled a speedrun of Dread, which was a success. Each of these games are perfect "comfort food" in that their designs appeal so perfectly to what I want out of games, with Dread in particular being so smoothly polished in control and combat that it's just easy to want to start over again once credits roll.

And I needed just such a comfort food after those games as that's about when my old man was in the hospital and my mom was home but sick and being uncooperative. So, I opened up Castlevania Advance Collection and started Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, which is now the first Castlevania game I've ever completed. Looking online, it's also evidently one of the most difficult. It helped me better understand some of the reasons I prefer Metroid over Castlevania, with the top one being maneuverability. Even in Suepr Metroid, Samus is a far more acrobatic and evasive character, which means it feels like the game is better responding to my own reaction time and input. Super Metroid also had a more elegant map design in how it directed the player and looped them back around. Circle of the Moon, just as Symphony of the Night always felt to me, is just kind of "wander around a while and stuff might happen". Are you going the right direction? Well, if you can keep going, probably. But wait, did I leave something like a save room behind? Possibly, but this tunnel might also eventually dead end with an upgrade. Who knows? Of course, it's been so long since I played Super Metroid the first time that I could have easily had the same issue. Nonetheless, it explains why I preferred Touhou Luna Nights and Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth over never having gotten far in Symphony of the Night: far more responsive characters in fast-paced combat, and less time-to-blocker, to put it succinctly, meaning most of your time spent wandering isn't with that weird feeling that you're doing something wrong or might have missed an important path.

While things continued to be a bit hectic and tiresome after bringing my dad home, his recovery has been going very well, as has my mother's, and as a result things aren't so tiresome for me these days. This led to getting back into streaming with Halo 2, seeing as I haven't played through that campaign in a long time and I'm wanting to get hyped up for Infinite's campaign release. It's a fascinating specimen of a game, probably the only time the story in a Halo game was as good as its potential (the writing certainly is, if you're into D&D style Orc talk especially), and it certainly pushed the original Xbox to its limits, but at the same time, those limitations clearly had an impact on how maps and encounters were designed. A lot more focus on holding a position while waves of enemies would come down on your position, and vertically focused locations where enemies would gradually spawn the further forward you pushed. The first few levels are certainly the strongest, as the further on you get the more you can tell Bungie was trying to finish their game after having to effectively scrap everything following the E3 2003 gameplay reveal. What perhaps hurts the most, however, is how incredibly nerfed so many of the weapons are, particularly Covenant ones. With the focus on dual-wielding, many guns were made less powerful since you could pair them together with other guns. In execution, however, this means the Needles are far slower and have far worse tracking than in the original game, and charged plasma shots have barely any tracking at all. Dual plasma rifles are additionally not capable of bringing down an Elite's shields nearly as fast as a rifle could in the original Halo (note this is comparing Heroic to Heroic, though in some cases these adjustments are even relevant compared to the original game's Legendary difficulty). The end result is that dual-wielding is a new mechanic with too many draw-backs (no grenades, immediately drop second weapon once swapping to other gear or meleeing) and nerfed half of the weapon roster.

Still, I'd take it over Halo 3, and definitely over Halo 4 or 5. We'll see how Infinite fares, though the campaign footage feels like a big ol' pile of "Man, 343 does not get Halo narratively" (though, to be fair, neither did Bungie given the direction 3 went).

Last game on the list, since there's not much to say about Mario Party Superstars other than it is fun to play with friends, is that Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is the biggest surprise I've experienced from a full-blown Western AAA in a long time. Like, the way I feel about this game seems to be in line with how folks feel about Control or Jedi: Fallen Order. It's this fascinating amalgamation of genres that don't feel like a mish-mash of genres. One moment you're going through flashbacks in a Life is Strange type of manner, the next you're exploring Knowhere almost like it were a Mass Effect location, and in between you have these alien worlds and environments filled with collectibles and combat. Most of all, and this will probably seem like an odd observation, but the writing doesn't feel like this typical Gen-X/Millennial wannabe-Joss Whedon clap-ourselves-on-the-back-for-our-clever-wit forum-roleplay fan-fiction.net style writing. Heck, perhaps not an "odd observation" so much as a bunch of different words put together in a way to make a whole lot of people feel called out. I really dunno how else to explain it, though. Once upon a time I'd have called it "web comic writing", but there's just this style of writing with a stench of the writer's own grandiose sense of over-inflated wit and intelligence (pot-kettle-black moment considering the critic in question?). Destiny is drowning in this type of writing these days, and I can see it in some of the Halo: Infinite footage I see. It's unable to write an interesting character that isn't a self-insert, a forum roleplay archetype, or some sort of wish-fulfillment fantasy, and villains are especially bland and without personality despite a whole lot of grandiose monologuing.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy could have easily been these things and filled with these issues, but instead it... well, it feels like writing. Characters are characters, and I daresay they may even be better than their Hollywood counter-parts. Drax most certainly is. We'll have to see how long it keeps going because the writing is not perfect – I mean, no one shuts up for one – but I feel like this game is actually as well written as the supposed "best narratives" of the past few years in the Western AAA industry have been labeled, regardless of whether they're deserving or not.

But what of the gameplay? Well, I have a feeling I'm warmer to it than most, though I need a bit more time with it. The greatest issue is that Star Lord/Peter draws the most aggro despite being a game about teamwork. Perhaps the developers felt like it'd be too easy if the AI drew more aggro, but I feel like there at least ought to be moves where your pals can draw attention and lighten the load for you a bit. There are abilities that can help out, but still, it's a bit hectic trying to make sure you're targeting the right enemy for the right move, and there's an awful lot going on with the buttons and number of commands at your disposal. It kind of reminds me of Brutal Legend, only far more on-the-ground and hectic.

For sure, this is the surprise of the year for me. Don't know where it'll rank in the end, but it could be a major upset in regards to what I would have ranked where.

Spoiler: LOOKING AHEAD TO DECEMBER

It's a combination of finishing up what I've started and trying to squeeze in what I can fit. Scarlet Nexus, Kena: Bridge of Spirits, and Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy are the priority right now, with Halo Infinite being my streaming game starting next Wednesday. I'll also have Shamus Young joining me every Tuesday for a Batman: Arkham Origins stream series. However, Image & Form's The Gunk is also hitting Game Pass, but I also made the (dumb?) move to purchase Smelter and Dreamscaper on Steam for Twitch purposes. Would either one make a GotY candidate? I don't know, but in a shocking twist I feel like I'll be trying to squeeze in as much gaming time into my December as possible while job hunting.

No more purchases for me, though. That's for sure. Regardless, I already began tallying all the games I've played and beaten this year, and doing a preliminary ranking, and... there's going to have to be a lot of games left off the list that I feel deserve to be on there. It's been a long time since I've felt that way.

2021, at the very least, was a solid year of game releases for me.

Just got reminded by a game that I can’t stand the classic adventure gameplay style. I love everything about Darkside Detective: A Fumble in the Dark except playing it. Noted for future games.

IMAGE(https://media.giphy.com/media/W2iB7gkhT9Z91DzRuH/giphy.gif)

Oh noooooo, I LOVE Darkside Detective. ^^

Eleima wrote:

Oh noooooo, I LOVE Darkside Detective. ^^

I do, too. I just don't like classic adventure games, it seems. Not like I don't have other games to play.

IMAGE(https://media2.giphy.com/media/NoHe3HpB1Mg8w/giphy.gif?cid=ecf05e47ldtpsbx1ppq0re2vlh4ejhqntgq37u3eznjxovkg&rid=giphy.gif&ct=g)

For sure… and I too know the feeling of wanting to love a game but not … “meshing” with it. It happens. Back to Pile talk, we’re a week into this last month of the year, and it feels like I barely got any gaming in. Sometimes feels like a lost cause. Very much an uphill battle. Might undergo a purge, we’ll see.

Eleima wrote:

...and it feels like I barely got any gaming in. Sometimes feels like a lost cause. Very much an uphill battle. Might undergo a purge, we’ll see.

It's ... not a job... ? Your word choice makes it sound like you are under pressure to make video games happen in your life. I think in some way that's why I've not been super active in the pile threads as I was putting a lot of time and effort into thinking I had to get through stuff. I still track progress, but not all the time.

Life and work have gotten crazy busy, and kind of stressful, and it feels a little bit like a dash to the holidays. I would say "Welcome to December," but I'm late to the party.

Added: 1
IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif)Dungeon Encounters (Switch) - I'm still early, on floor 6 or so

Finished: 1
IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/beaten.gif)Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana (PS4) - Still chipping away to get Platinum. In the very final, optional dungeon, on the 4th floor (of 6)

Also Played: 3
IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif)King's Bounty: Armored Princes (PC) - I've mostly cleared Verona, and am chugging through Montero
IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/beaten.gif)Pikmin 3 Deluxe (Switch) - Got all the fruit! Might go back and play on Extra Spicy, or finish the challenges
IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif)Endless Space 2 (PC) - Have gone back and started a new game after playing last year with the Strategy Club. I'm really enjoying it now. Feels like this is a game that rewards playing multiple times and understanding its systems.

Dropped: 0

2020 Progress: 31 [17 finished + 30 dropped - 16 added]

Current backlog state: IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif)61/ IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unplayed.gif)13

Goals for Q4 2021: Play Ys VIII, Play Metroid Dread when it reaches me, clear a few other games off my backlog before the end of the year, and have fun doing it! - And who knows if I'll finish anything else.

2021 GotY Eligible:

Spoiler:

The Alliance Alive
Bowser's Fury
Disco Elysium
Dungeon Encounters
Haven
Into the Breach
Metroid: Dread
Monster Hunter Stories
Persona 5 Strikers
Pikmin 3 Deluxe
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Super Mario 3D World
Super Galaxy Squadron
The Witness
Tyranny
Untitled Goose Game
Ys VIII

Future Pile Contenders: I'm going to redo this list for 2022 after looking at the GOTY thread. There are a bunch of new games that I'm drooling over.

Spoiler:

Bravely Default 2 (Switch) - It is more of the same, but let's be honest, I liked the others a lot.
Eastshade - Clock's Recommendation
Haven
Into the Breach (Multi) - 2018 Community GOTY #7
Metroid: Dread - It's been pre-ordered!
Monster Hunter Stories (3DS)
Outer Wilds - 2019 Community GOTY #10
The Outer Worlds (PS4)
Persona 5 Strikers (PS4)
Psychonauts 2 (PS4)
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (PS4) 2019 Community GOTY #5
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury (Switch)
Shin Megami Tensei V (Switch)
Untitled Goose Game (Multi)

mrtomaytohead wrote:
Eleima wrote:

...and it feels like I barely got any gaming in. Sometimes feels like a lost cause. Very much an uphill battle. Might undergo a purge, we’ll see.

It's ... not a job... ? Your word choice makes it sound like you are under pressure to make video games happen in your life. I think in some way that's why I've not been super active in the pile threads as I was putting a lot of time and effort into thinking I had to get through stuff. I still track progress, but not all the time.

Oh no, I think you misunderstand me. I love gaming. I love tracking pile progress. Gaming and data are basically ARE my special interests. The stuff that helps me recharge. I love doing it. And you know I'm not doing super great when I'm not doing it. The uphill battle I speak of is the one I'm leading against my actual job. Which love (since a good chunk of it does revolve around data). But like many hospitals in 2021, we're badly understaffed. I'm pulling crazy hours of underpaid (and uninsured) overtime just to keep my service afloat and my people marginally less freaked out about how far behind we are. Believe me, I would love nothing more than to take those 10 weeks of vacation I've racked up and do nothing else but game, read, write and listen to music. But that's not happening anytime soon.

How’s everyone doing as we push into the second half of December? I think I’ll finish Guardians of the Galaxy and maybe a few smaller titles, but I’ll be prepping a fresh list for next year quote soon.

Nothing will budge my top 3 from this year, though: Haven, The Artful Escape, and Chicory: A Colorful Tale.

IMAGE(https://media.giphy.com/media/W4opKS2N7pIAI69ehc/giphy.gif)

I started Golf Story and it's fantastic. Since I'm taking Switch to visit family should be able to finish it next week still.

That might be it for the year though. Even though I'm off from work that usually means spend more time with the kids, not play more games hehe

I beat Kena today which was one of the last GotY contenders I needed to cross off the list. I'm streaming Halo: Infinite though I am uncertain if there's enough time to beat it given schedules. I still need to finish Scarlet Nexus, and I was going to try and complete The Gunk, but I both doubt I'll have the time or that it will be a contender compared to the rest of the list. So Infinite and Scarlet Nexus get priority (y'know... after I beat Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth again... Need those Xbox Achievements now that it's on Game Pass). I also started Great Ace Attorney 2 but I'll probably just vote the whole Chronicles even if I only beat the first.

So, decent progress, if not somewhat panicking at the fact we only have two weeks left.

EDIT: Decided to do some prep work for 2022 documents, including a new pile list, and this included updating my spreadsheet of releases for 2022 and... man, it's not just February. March is a beast, too. I... might want to be careful with my pile list for next year.

Yikes.

Things I didn’t expect to be playing today: Dragon Age Origins. Man this game holds up. It’s even uprez’d, 60fps, and has Auto HDR on the Series X.

I saw it was on Game Pass and thought, “I wonder how that holds up?” A minuscule 7GB download later, and it’s still so good. This was one of the first console games I sank literally hundreds of hours into across 5+ playthroughs on the 360.

I’m honestly more excited to keep playing Dragon Age from 2009 than I am to go play more Guardians of the Galaxy… I’m not generally a nostalgia person, either, but I genuinely feel like another playthrough of Dragon Age.

Which brings me to my issue with Guardians of the Galaxy. I like it, I just don’t love it.

One thing I’ve learned about games is, if they don’t live rent free in my brain, they are harder for me to make myself go back to. Then that feels more like pressure to do it than enjoyment, even though it may be a good/great game.

I love being enthralled by a game or getting something that I can knock out in 1-2 sittings

As someone who has been more limited in the recent years, time-wise, I need a game to clear a certain bar. Guardians is teetering, at best. I’m honestly more interested in the visuals than any of its story. I have absolutely zero character buy-in. Cool characters, for sure, but not a ton of substance for me, and I’m definitely craving that lately.

IMAGE(https://media1.giphy.com/media/fwSG6VLnAg0g0/giphy.gif?cid=5e214886skq0aza01osu0ucyxzoccenhognlpwqo92havvhc&rid=giphy.gif&ct=g)

Added:

  • Gris (PC)
  • Retired Men's Nude Beach Volleyball League (PC)
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd (PC)
  • Lost Planet: Extreme Condition (PC)

Completed:

  • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (PC)
  • Gris (PC)
  • Retired Men's Nude Beach Volleyball League (PC)
  • Super Mario Galaxy (Switch)

Dropped:
None

Played:

  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd (PC)
  • Xenogears (PS1)

2021 priority list progress final:

Spoiler:
  • Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero (PC) - Completed 2021-01-30
  • Assassin’s Creed III (PC) - Completed 2021-02-14
  • Final Fantasy Legend II (GB) - Dropped
  • Final Fantasy Legend III (GB) - Dropped
  • Dragon Quest XI (PC) - Credits rolled on 2021-03-28
  • Ring Fit Adventure (SW) - Credits rolled on 2021-03-30
  • Legend of Zelda Oracle of Ages, The (GBC) Completed on 2021-05-17
  • Panzer Dragoon Orta (Xbox) - Dropped, not my kind of game
  • Elders Scrolls III Morrowind (PC) - Moved to next year, I've reached this year's quota of long RPGs
  • Tales of Phantasia (SNES) - Dropped on 2021-11-20, boring as f*ck
  • Jet Set Radio Future (Xbox)
  • Mega Man X5 (PS1)
  • Legend of Zelda Oracle of Seasons, The (GBC)
  • Ogre Battle (SNES)
  • Sakura Taisen 1 (Saturn)

Planned purchases for the year:

Spoiler:
  • Super Mario 3D World (Switch) - Purchased and completed
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure (PC) - Purchased and completed
  • Monster Hunter Rise (PC) - PC version confirmed for 2022, so moved to next year
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky 3rd (PC) - Purchased and in progress

Not exactly a shopping spree, but I did add a few things to the backlog this month.

I made absolutely no progress on my priority list in December, and that's perfectly fine. I have started a priority list for 2022, but I might drop the idea entirely.

I was thinking of starting Trails in the Sky the 3rd in the Spring, but since I'm not playing the JRPG Game Club's pick for the next quarter, I decided to play it now, and I expect to be done at some point in January (although that might change due to the PC release of Monster Hunter Rise).

And with that, 2021 (or, as I like to call it, 2020-2), marked by a pandemic, unemployment, and a breakup, is done. Here's to a less sh*tty 2022.

December Report~

Added:
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (Epic)
Moving Out (Epic)
Prey (Epic)
Pathfinder: Kingmaker (Epic)
Loop Hero (Epic)
Chicory: A Colorful Tale (Switch)
The Room VR: A Dark Matter (Oculus)
Moss (Oculus)
Laid-Back Camp - Virtual - Fumoto Campsite (Steam)
Yakuza Kiwami 2 (Steam)
Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales (Steam)
Little Nightmares II (Steam)

Beat:
Half-Life: Alyx (Steam)
Eastshade (Steam)
Unpacking (Game Pass)
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (Switch)

Made Progress In:
NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139... (PS4) (going for all the endings)

Planned Games To Beat In 2021

Spoiler:

Call of the Sea (Xbox Game Pass)
Ring Fit Adventure (Switch)
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age (Xbox Game Pass)
Yakuza 0 (Xbox Game Pass)
Black Mesa (Steam)
Half Life 2 (Steam) (Replaying)
Half Life 2: Episode 1 (Steam) (Replaying)
Half Life 2: Episode 2 (Steam) (Replaying)
Outer Wilds (Epic)
Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling (Switch)
Overcooked! (Switch)
Overcooked! 2 (Switch)
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4)
Kingdom Hearts 3 (PS4)
Assassin's Creed Origins (Uplay)
Paper Mario: Color Splash (Wii U)
Star Fox Guard (Wii U)
Hyrule Warriors (Switch)
God of War (2018) (PS4)
Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4)

Update from last month's post. No covid despite being in close contact with someone that had it. Thanks booster shot! Other than that, I beat a bunch of games but gained even more thanks to Epic freebies and gifts from friends/family. I did buy a couple Oculus games on sale so those ones are on me.

December IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.amazonaws.com/source/skype/289/snowflake_2744-fe0f.png)

IMAGE(https://media.giphy.com/media/xT0CyCCvfKKDMUJU5i/giphy.gif)

Beaten IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.amazonaws.com/source/skype/289/chequered-flag_1f3c1.png)

  1. None

New IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/120/google/313/t-rex_1f996.png)

  1. The Gunk (XSX)

Jettisoned IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.amazonaws.com/source/skype/289/fire_1f525.png)

News: I've packed away my PS4.

  1. Darkside Detective: A Fumble in the Dark (NS)
  2. Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy (XSX)
  3. Tales of Berseria (PS4)
  4. Valkyria Chronicles Remastered (PS4)
  5. Valkyria Chronicles 4 (PS4)
  6. Unsighted (XSX) IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/120/facebook/65/green-heart_1f49a.png)

Learned IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/120/apple/285/face-with-monocle_1f9d0.png)

  • I do not like traditional adventure games. I'm not a fan of trying every option or attempting to solve illogical puzzles as the primary form of gameplay. Also, all the “get an item and then go 5+ screens away to use item and repeat” is frustrating in multiple ways.
  • I am not always the intended audience.
  • I should stop buying games just because they are on sale. I should buy a game when I'm ready to play it. Who knows? It might even be on Game Pass by then. IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/240/apple/285/woman-shrugging-medium-skin-tone_1f937-1f3fd-200d-2640-fe0f.png)

Legend IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/120/facebook/304/information_2139-fe0f.png)

IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/120/facebook/65/green-heart_1f49a.png) = Xbox Game Pass

IMAGE(https://media.giphy.com/media/3o6gg8PX6S7KxklbCE/giphy.gif)

My PS4 is packed up too. Probably need to sell to a goodjer. They seem to be going for a lot on eBay and even GameStop. No more being made I guess but games still in demand? Hm

So I'm already in 2022, and it's past time for the December report.

Added:

  • Haven (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unplayed.gif) - Birthday gift from Bonus!
  • 100 Hidden Cats (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unplayed.gif) - Christmas gift from my sister!
  • Shigatari (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unplayed.gif) - Christmas gift from my sister!
  • Escape Simulator (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unplayed.gif) - Christmas gift from my Stanta, Gorilla!
  • Life Is Strange: True Colors (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unplayed.gif) - Christmas gift from my Stanta, Gorilla!
  • Spiritfarer (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unplayed.gif) - Christmas gift from my sister!
  • The Walking Dead: The Final Season (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unplayed.gif) - Me splurging, because I want to see this journey to the end.

Finished:

  • Two Point Hospital (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/beaten.gif) - Had a lovely time with it.

Dropped:

  • Remember Me (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/null.gif)
  • Puzzle Agent (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/null.gif)
  • Puzzle Agent 2 (Steam) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/null.gif)

This purge is long overdue and probably not as important as it should be.

Played:

  • Touken Ranbu (Browser/Android) IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif) - The sweet, sweet comfort of a managing sim where swords are handsome men.

Remaining games: 54 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif) (52 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unplayed.gif))
Progress (Games): 21 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/beaten.gif) + 9 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/null.gif) - 0 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/new.gif) = 30
Est. remaining hours: 671 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif) (642 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unplayed.gif))
Progress (Est. total hours): 195 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/beaten.gif) + 137 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/null.gif) + 93 played IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/unfinished.gif) - 0 IMAGE(http://backloggery.com/images/new.gif) = 425

Backloggery is now at 6. A couple of steps back, but oh well. Got a bunch of shiny new games I'm looking forward to and hoping to get to soon. See you in 2022.

The final tally of the year! December was surprisingly productive.

GAMES COMPLETED:

  • Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Metroid Dread
  • Flynn: Son of Crimson
  • Kena: Bridge of Spirits
  • Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth
  • Scarlet Nexus

GAMES PLAYED:

  • Halo Infinite
  • The Great Ace Attorney 2
  • Batman: Arkham Origins
  • Aliens: Fireteam Elite

GAMES ABANDONED:

  • Possibly Halo Infinite
Spoiler: PRIORITY PILE PROGRESS
  • Daemon X Machina (PC)
  • Salt & Sanctuary (PC)
  • Gears Tactics (Xbox, PC)
  • Tales of Vesperia (Xbox, PC)
  • Sakura Wars (PS4)
  • AI: The Somnium Files (PS4)
  • Crystar (PS4)
  • Code Vein (PS4, Xbox Game Pass, PC)
  • Okami HD (PS4)
  • The Witcher 3
  • Touhou Luna Nights (Xbox, PC)
  • Resident Evil VII (Xbox, PC)
  • Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition
  • Grandia HD Collection (Switch)
  • Tokyo Dark: Remembrance (Switch)
  • Valkyria Chronicles (Switch)
  • SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech (Switch)
  • Pokemon Shield (Switch)
Spoiler: 2021 Gaming Goals
  1. Complete half of my priority-pile by year's end.
  2. Don't buy a game unless I'm itching to play it.
  3. If rule above is true, don't buy the game until you have the time to play it.
  4. Get back to having fun writing about games, even if it's on the blog no one reads.
  5. Keep a consistent Twitch schedule.
  6. Stop feeling pressured to update YouTube, and only work on updating it when you really feel into it.
Spoiler: NAVEL-GAZING AND SCATTERED THOUGHTS ON WHAT I'VE PLAYED:

Holy crap having your save corrupted in Halo: Infinite is annoying and stupid. I had been experiencing a weird issue while playing with a controller on PC where it would just stop firing my weapon, or only fire single-shot bursts. To try and correct this, I first experimented with another game, then with controller drivers, and finally booted Infinite back up. Long story short: if you disconnect and reconnect a controller, it leads to a "login" prompt for Xbox network. Just close that window. Don't bother. Close the whole game and restart if you must. Otherwise, it tries to do a save sync, your file gets corrupted, and you lose all progress.

I'd blame that on why I never beat the game in time, but I got a sinus infection and wouldn't have been able to continue my stream anyway. Still, it was annoying having to lose my progress by trying to fix a problem. What a weird issue.

Anyway, as for games I actually finished: Flynn: Son of Crimson was an interesting little indie platformer nugget that goes right on the pile with The Messenger and Cyber Shadow. It's not bad, pretty good at parts even, but otherwise is bound to be forgotten. I'd say The Messenger is likely the least forgettable of these games due to its more interesting exploration of mechanics, but altogether they were fine games – and I mean that in a fancy top hat wearing "Yes, yes, a fine game, ol' chap!" manner – they just don't have any staying power. Granted, there's something special an indie game needs to be so memorable for me. Iconoclasts, I think, had it in writing more than gameplay, though I enjoyed most of those boss fights quite a bit. Not everything can be Iconoclasts, though, sadly.

Guardians of the Galaxy, Metroid Dread, Scarlet Nexus, and Kena: Bridge of Spirits all feature on my GotY write-up in some fashion, so I'll just drop the link and let you peruse, should you wish. Also some other games like Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth that just got a replay for the heck of it. So what about Batman: Arkham Origins? Well, it has been in the works since the summer, but Shamus Young and I finally got around to doing a weekly stream where I play Arkham Origins and he joins for additional commentary. It works out phenomenally and we plan to do more streams of that nature in the future. The game is fine, it's the first time I've played since... well, since it was brand new, and while it's not an awful game and I don't hate the story as much as I originally had, it is just... weird. It's weird, and things are always on fire. And yet I still chose for us to stream this because I didn't feel like dealing with the Batmobile in Arkham Knight instead.

I guess I don't really have anything else new to report on. I barely started The Great Ace Attorney 2 and Aliens: Fireteam Elite has merely confirmed itself as a fun game to return to anytime... also another one that is on my Game of the Year list. So, perhaps my shortest navel-gazing ever. Unless you go read my Game of the Year list. Then it's black hole gazing. Nevertheless, that was December, and that was my final gaming month of 2021.


Looking back on last year's concluding post for 2020, I... had a really crappy year for games, man. This year is a massive contrast, as I look back and just think "Dang, I played some really solid bangers this year". Across the board. So, let's get to that tally.

Spoiler: NEW RELEASES OF 2021 PLAYED:

The Medium
Blue Fire
Persona 5 Strikers
Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth
Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King
Monster Hunter Rise
Outriders
Cyber Shadow
Nier: Replicant
Resident Evil Village
Necromunda: Hired Gun
Death's Door
The Great Ace Attorney Adventures
The Great Ace Attorney 2
Narita Boy
Aliens: Fireteam Elite
No More Heroes 3
Lost Judgment
Knockout Home Fitness
Mighty Goose
Metroid Dread
Flynn Son of Crimson
Scarlet Nexus
Mario Party Superstars
Kena: Bridge of Spirits
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy
Halo Infinite

Beaten: 18
Total: 27

Spoiler: NEW-TO-ME GAMES OF PRIOR YEARS:

The Witcher 3
Remnant: From the Ashes
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition
Salt & Sanctuary
Tokyo Dark: Remembrance
Nioh
Prey (2017)
A.I. The Somnium Files
Resident Evil VII
Touhou Luna Nights
Crystar
Final Fantasy (Pixel Remaster)
Valkyria Chronicles
Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair
The Messenger
Daemon X Machina
Disco Elysium
Dark Souls Remastered
Gears of War 5
Star Wars Squadrons
Ninja Gaiden Sigma
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon

Beaten: 11
Total: 22

Spoiler: REPEATS:

Resident Evil 4
Ghost of Tsushima
No More Heroes
No More Heroes II: Desperate Struggle
Dead Space 3
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Bloodborne
Hollow Knight
Final Fantasy IV (Pixel Remaster)
Metroid Fusion
Super Metroid
Destiny 2
Batman: Arkham City
Marvel's Spider-Man
Resident Evil
Halo 2
Batman: Arkham Origins

Beaten: 11
Total: 17

OVERALL BEATEN: 40
Total: 66

Spoiler: VERBOSE DISCUSSION ON NUMBERS AND GAMING HABITS

So, 40 games beaten out of 66. That's more than 50% of total games played, and is nearly 75%. Compare this to 2020, where I beat 36 of 77 games, leading to less than 50% completion. However, if we remove repeats (since beating them doesn't matter so much anyway), what do the stats look like? For 2020, 23/50, so less than 50%. In 2021, 29/49, so more than 50%.

Now, if I really wanted to number crunch, I'd start counting number of times a game has been beaten as well. I played through Resident Evil 4 at least twice, for example, and Resident Evil Village was completed five times while I went through Metroid: Dread four times. One could easily conclude that I might have gamed more in 2021 than any other single year in my life, and you could easily be correct.

Nevertheless, I'd like to try and further streamline my gaming time for greater completion rates. In 2021, there were games purchased and dropped that had me fooled by the trailer. Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King and Necromunda: Hired Gun are both perfect examples of games whose trailers seemed right up my alley, but then actually playing those games were just... meh. I think these purchases were partially the result of a dreadful desire for something new, in part spurned on by marketing or other cravings. I wanted action games of a Souls-like nature, so I grabbed several like Shattered in hopes of scratching that itch. "But kiss, why not just play through Dark Souls?" Well, I actually did go back to Dark Souls a second time, and as I said before, I think I finally figured out some of my issues. Oddly enough, Nioh was helping scratch the itch for a while, but it became overall too frustrating.

Which leads me to part of my issue right now: I've discovered that I like aspects of Souls-like gameplay and therefore I like a percentage of Souls-like games, but as I'm trying to navigate this new "genre" I'm stumbling into things I do and don't like and need to be more discerning. Yet when trailers for Elden Ring show up and I salivate over that which I cannot have, my immediate response is to reach for the wallet and find something that might at least help ease the wait (when in reality I should just play Blasphemous in my Steam Library or start up a new game in Bloodborne or something).

I think it is worst in the end of Spring and start of Summer. So, come 2022, I should try and be careful around that timeframe because the winter months are terrible with release partitioning. Have you looked at February and March? Oof. So, instead of irresponsible purchases, careful tending to the pile and careful monitoring of "must play" games on the wishlists is required.

Speaking of the pile and goals...

Spoiler: PILE PROGRESSION AND GOALS

Last year I decided to do a "priority pile" since simply listing all owned games wasn't really doing much. Now, if we look at the current list, I'll add some italics to emphasize titles I've chosen to jettison.

  • Daemon X Machina (PC)
  • Salt & Sanctuary (PC)
  • Gears Tactics (Xbox, PC)
  • Tales of Vesperia (Xbox, PC)
  • Sakura Wars (PS4)
  • AI: The Somnium Files (PS4)
  • Crystar (PS4)
  • Code Vein (PS4, Xbox Game Pass, PC)
  • Okami HD (PS4)
  • The Witcher 3
  • Touhou Luna Nights (Xbox, PC)
  • Resident Evil VII (Xbox, PC)
  • Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition
  • Grandia HD Collection (Switch)
  • Tokyo Dark: Remembrance (Switch)
  • Valkyria Chronicles (Switch)
  • SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech (Switch)
  • Pokemon Shield (Switch)

Looks like I already jettisoned Monster Hunter World from this list in the wake of Rise. Regardless, if we take what's not been jettisoned or completed, we have:

  • Gears Tactics (Xbox, PC)
  • Sakura Wars (PS4)
  • Crystar (PS4)
  • Code Vein (PS4, Xbox Game Pass, PC)
  • Okami HD (PS4)
  • Grandia HD Collection (Switch)
  • Valkyria Chronicles (Switch)
  • SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech (Switch)

That's 8 remaining of 19 I started with in January of 2021. Not too shabby, and falls under one of my gaming goals that I'll discuss further below. However, considering the 40 games beaten, and that three of the 19 games were jettisoned, that means I only actually played 8 of 40 games on my pile list. That could be better! So I plan to construct a pile list that will still include some of these items on it, but will also more carefully add other titles. Most notably, games I own that I would like to stream. That is likely the easiest way to handle the pile.

However, the real concern here is a lot of the games that end up on the pile are mostly RPG's of a minimum of forty hours, on average of 60-80, and the stack certainly keeps growing. I missed Monster Hunter Stories 2, NEO:TWEWY, Caligula Effect 2, Bravely Default 2, Tales of Arise, and others this year. There were tons of new and excellent looking JRPGs in 2021, and I'd like to get to each of them at some point. So... what happens? Do I wait until I've cleared more JRPGs off the pile? RPGs don't make for the best streaming games, so I can't work on them as easily as other titles.

Basically, I'm going to create a secondary "priority list" of games I missed in 2021 that I want to keep track of. If I can wishlist them on Steam, I shall, but a Google Doc is just so much more cleanly organized. Nonetheless, I need to be a bit more proactive in tackling these titles... even though... what's that? Yakuza? 3-6? Oof... dang it... Need... more... 8-12 hour games!

Anywho, as for the goals:

  1. Complete half of my priority-pile by year's end.
  2. Don't buy a game unless I'm itching to play it.
  3. If rule above is true, don't buy the game until you have the time to play it.
  4. Get back to having fun writing about games, even if it's on the blog no one reads.
  5. Keep a consistent Twitch schedule.
  6. Stop feeling pressured to update YouTube, and only work on updating it when you really feel into it.

So, numbers 1, 5, and 6 are technically the only successful ones. I did clear over half of the priority pile. Goal 5 was mostly kept, with illness being the only thing preventing me from streaming multiple days a week. It really has been a pleasure to stream, allowing me to socialize with friends and even start making some new ones, and my friends and I have even moved the podcast to streaming format. It's been a good time and I've been glad for it.

I also sort of "gave up" YouTube this year, though... the itch remains. I want to make videos. The problem is the format I was going for was too demanding of time and mental energy, and simultaneously in conflict with my self-esteem issues. I want to make videos again, but I want to figure out how to break concepts up into smaller, more focused videos that discuss specific aspects of a game, while being unashamed to lean into my subjective perspective despite my whole interest in games analysis being to figure out what makes games work objectively (and boy let's not get into a debate on subjectivity vs. objectivity (or, heck, why not make that a video? Heh)). Regardless, early days.

That feeds a bit into goal 4, however. In some ways, I did have fun writing about games at times, but those self-esteem issues kept clouding my mind and made it all the more difficult to write things. In the end, goals 4 and 6 rely heavily on mental health, and when I look back at my history of posts on GWJ on the whole, my absolute lack of mental health is too on display and too on record.

As for goals 2 and 3, whelp, failed both completely. I don't think I'll be doing too much more goals wrapped around money. Fortunately, I must be improving somehow, as I was able to save more money on unreliable income than I've ever managed in my life. So, hurray!

That's enough verbose navel-gazing from me. New goals and pile lists in the 2022 Pile Thread when it's made.

Thanks for overseeing the thread this year, Trueheart. I still miss Monkeyboy and hope he's doing alright, but you've stepped in and filled his shoes like a true champion. Thank you.

2022 - 12 Month Pile Program thread is now live!

IMAGE(https://media.giphy.com/media/xUPN3oiLhjl7M4FXVe/giphy.gif)

Edit: whoops, wrong thread!

Finished:
Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Added:
The Forgotten City
Spiritfarer
Inscryption
Wildermyth
Noita
Loop Hero
Druidstone
Assassins Creed Valhalla

Whoops.

As for the year overall, this as been my least 'productive' one in years. Here is to a better 2022, in many different ways