Kicked to the Curb - Pile of Shame Oct.-Dec. 2022

A new thread on the first, who'd have thunk it? Wild, right? Here's the end of the year thread. This one goes from October through December. It's a carryover from a bygone era where there would be a ton of releases around the holidays, and no one would play the old stuff. It also gave me a bit of a break. So, while the release schedules have changed up a bit over the years, I still like to have a long running thread to wrap up the year. I'm also a terrible tyrant of a thread runner, so here we are.

Some housekeeping notes.

If you're interested, trueheart78, has the 12 month 2022 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.



Multi-Platform
Adventures of Chris - brokenclavicle
Assassin's Creed Odyssey - AUs_TBirD
Baldur's Gate 1 - jdzappa
Battletoads - brokenclavicle
Blue Reflection - Malkroth
Chicory: A Colorful Tale - Forlorn Hope
CLEO: A Pirate's Tale - brokenclavicle
Control - Stele
Crash Badicoot 4 - brokenclavicle
Dark Cloud 2 - brokenclavicle
Digimon Story - brokenclavicle
Divinity Original Sin 2 - jdzappa
Final Fantasy VII Remake - Hemi
Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn - jdzappa
Garden Story - brokenclavicle
Immortals Fenyx Rising - mrtomaytohead
Little Nightmares II - Forlorn Hope
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales - LastSurprise
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance - Hemi
Northgard - jdzappa
Spiritfarer - Stele
Stray - bobbywatson
Xenoblade Chronicles - brokenclavicle
Yakuza Kiwami 2 - Forlorn Hope
Ys IX: Monstrum Nox - bobbywatson, Malkroth

PC
Endless Space 2 - LastSurprise
Europa Universalis 4 - jdzappa
King's Bounty: Armored Princess / Crossworlds - LastSurprise
Norco - AUs_TBirD
Troubleshooter: Abandoned Children - Stele
Warhammer Total War 3 - jdzappa

Switch
Live-A-Live - bobbywatson
Pokemon Legends: Arceus - Forlorn Hope, Malkroth

3DS
Metroid: Samus Returns - Forlorn Hope

Super Famicom
Tengai Makyou Zero - brokenclavicle

Sega Saturn
Shining Force III Ep 1 - brokenclavicle

Spiritfarer (Switch, multi)
Troubleshoot Abandoned Children (PC)
Control (PS5, multi)

This is what I'm starting with, one on each system.

Yakuza Kiwami 2 (Steam/Multi)
Chicory: A Colorful Tale (Switch/Multi)
Little Nightmares II (Steam/Multi)
Pokemon Legends: Arceus (Switch)
Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS)

Probably won't get to all of them but let's see how it goes..

Four things for me at the moment:

  • Stray (multi)
  • Gravity Rush 2 (PS4)
  • Ys IX: Monstrum Nox (multi) - GWJ JRPG club
  • Live-A-Live (Switch)

Oh, boy! Back to that point of the year where I get unreasonably ambitious with my pile picks and inevitably fail to complete the majority of them hehehe

Here goes nothing!

Tengai Makyou Zero (Super Famicom)
Shining Force III Ep 1 (Sega Saturn)
Battletoads (Multi)
Adventures of Chris (Multi)
Crash Badicoot 4 (Multi)
CLEO: A Pirate's Tale (Multi)
Dark Cloud 2 (Multi)
Xenoblade Chronicles (Multi)
Digimon Story (Multi)
Garden Story (Multi)

Now, what's my strategy? Heck if I know! I'll be playing with 2-3 games in rotation until one gets finished and another gets tagged in, starting with Tengai Makyou Zero (started last year, dropped, now itching to get back to it), Crash 4 (just started it a couple of days back), and Adventures of Chris (started earlier this year, should be way past the halfway point in the game). We'll see just how well I can keep to this hehehe.

I recognize this is a very aspirational list, but I may have more time to game than normal so here goes:

Baldur's Gate 1
Divinity Original Sin 2
Europa Universalis 4
Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn
Northgard
Warhammer Total War 3

I'm going to through Metal Gear Rising on the list. Saw it was great on Steam deck and that's been in the library for years with about 30 minutes played.

Stray has been beaten! I will go back to it in the coming weeks to get all the collectibles and hopefully get the platinum trophy.

I'm going to carry over King's Bounty: Armored Princess / Crossworlds (PC), declare Endless Space 2 (PC), and also declare Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales (PS5), where I'm doing a NG+ run.

After 173,5 hours and 66 levels, I received a notification that my present game of Assassin's Creed: Odyssey can be converted into a New Game+ save. I'm therefore declaring the base game completed.

Given that I could have finished 12-20 "normal" games in the same amount of time, I will feel no shame taking credit for finishing the two DLC campaigns as individual games. This was BY FAR the most time I've ever spent working on and finishing a single player story based game.

Overall, I loved my time in ancient Greece, even if the gameplay felt pretty samey during the last 50+ hours. I did almost every side mission, knocked out the majority of map icons, explored every region, took easily over 100 pictures, and generally loved most of it. Just the last few missions felt somewhat disappointing, and some things seemed to resolve too simply to be fully believable. On the other hand, the story had a few nice surprises in store as well.

Odyssey is an ambitious, impressive, borderline masterpiece that I am pretty sure I'll spend a good bit more time with in the remaining months of 2022. ...after I take a little break from it to play other things.

EDIT: I may be more generous to Odyssey than others as its my first Assassin's Creed game.

Odyssey was the first one I finished, only the 2nd one I played. I still think about going back for DLC sometimes.

Since then I played and finished Black Flag on Switch. But I had to limit myself on a lot of the side stuff to focus and finish.

Recently got Origins free from Amazon so that might be next. Or the other half of the Switch duo. Doubt I'll ever get back to AC2 sitting on my steam account from a $5 sale 15ish years ago

Well, this was a quick turnaround for me. Adventures of Chris is down for the count. It was enjoyable, though the controls are floaty when it comes to the platforming and this made the game harder than it had any right to be, but it was short and sweet (about 5 hours total, I think).

On to the next victim!

Going to start off this final stretch of the year with just three games, hopefully I will get through them and add more before the end. I've got Ys IX: Monstrum Nox (multi) lined up for the JRPG club, so that will be my first priority. Then I've been working through Blue Reflection (multi) which I started last month and has been interesting enough to keep me coming back. And finally, Pokemon Arceus (Switch) to round out the playing field.

Crash Bandicoot 4 is in the books. Gotta say, playing Crash in general isn't as fun as it felt for me back in the PSOne days. Glad this was on my PS+ library and not a personal purchase. Got through the game, not enough of a masochist to get 106% or whatnot, so I checked out the secret ending on youtube. Didn't really miss much on that front.

Gasp, I beat a game. I saw the credits roll for Little Nightmares II. If you like the original game, this is just more of that. I initially thought it was a missed opportunity to not let a friend control your companion but now I see that it would of detracted from the atmosphere. And the atmosphere is king in this game. Some really hauntingly beautiful locations and fun set pieces. The big detractor being that the controls are still a bit loosey goosey which doesn't help in the chase sequences.

I finished my NG+ run of Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales. And with that, I have the platinum, and it's done! I was surprised how quickly the game played in NG+, with all the abilities unlocked & no need to grind out tokens. And, both because I was used to the battle system, and because I was powered up, battles were way easier. I'd say I finished the game in 6-7 hours. A really nice return to a game I loved, last year!

Yeah I'm planning a NG+ run for that one someday. Hope it will be that smooth.

I just watched Into The Spider Verse again this week and it got me thinking about it

It's real good. Starting the game with camouflage, and quickly unlocking the upgrade that gives you one free revive + mega venom burst per fight, means you can roll over enemies real fast.

I will be finishing Immortals Fenyx Rising (Multi, Switch) hopefully in the next week or 2. I've recently got back into it and am ready to put this one to bed, hopefully before a couple games pop up in Game Pass next month that I've been looking forward to since I first saw them.

After redeclaring it a few times, I decided today that I was dropping Gravity Rush 2. The game's look is absolutely brilliant, I love the way it tells its story, but I find the game itself very repetitive, and not that fun to play.

On the other hand, I'm playing Ys IX, which is also very repetitive, but super fun and I can't stop playing it.

Ys IX is done! Now I need to figure out what to play next...

bobbywatson wrote:

Ys IX is done! Now I need to figure out what to play next...

Couple of other club games going right now too. Troubleshooter and Vampyr.

Stele wrote:
bobbywatson wrote:

Ys IX is done! Now I need to figure out what to play next...

Couple of other club games going right now too. Troubleshooter and Vampyr.

Think I'll go back to trying to get the Platinum in Stray. Such an amazing game...

Battletoads is done. Clocked in at about three and a half hours. Jolly good time. Got really tricky towards the end, but not unfairly so. Wonder if we'll see anymore of the toads any time soon.

I fell off on Inscryption. I kept trying, but it just doesn't grab me at all. Time to roll the dice on it's replacement.

I will declare Persona 3 Portable (PSP only for now, but soon multi).

This is my fourth of fifth attempt at beating Persona 3, and I think this is the one where I will get to the end. I think I can get it done by the end of November.

Control and Spiritfarer are done.

Control just the main game and I have the ultimate so I think I'll keep playing another few days for DLC. Pretty fun though

Spiritfarer way too long, by about 3 companions and 4 ship upgrades. But it's done and some of it was great.

I don't know if I'll get around to writing up any in depth thoughts, but here are games I've finished since my last update:

Battlefield 1 (PC/multi) - undeclared
Intense and gruesome. Because of the setting and impressive set pieces, it's still installed unlike BF4, which I finished a few months ago. Enjoyed the historical factoids, several of which, such as the Black Tom Explosion, were completely new to me.

NORCO (PC/multi)
An utterly insane experience, but I really dug it. Pretty cool to see a reasonable interpretation of place I've actually been to (Kenner Mall) appear in game.

Alan Wake Remastered (PC/multi) - undeclared
Very repetetive gameplay, but still a great experience due to fantastic atmosphere and story. Also, hearing the Max Payne "locked door" sound was pretty amusing to me.

In My Shadow (Switch/multi) - undeclared
Interesting puzzle mechanic hindered by fiddly controls. The story attempts to tug at your heartstrings, but somehow doesn't succeed, and the entire game feels very cheaply made (which it no doubt was). Could have been notably better with just a bit more effort.

Silent Hill 2 (XBox/multi) - undeclared
Yes, you read that right. 20 years after buying it, and after having declared it here at least a dozen times over the years, it's only fitting that when I finally do finish this game, it's when I haven't even declared it.
It's honestly a pretty impressive and artsy title, but for some reason I always got distracted while playing it. The oppressive atmosphere of dread that dominates the majority of the game was no doubt a major factor that made it difficult to stick with. It's a game I thought often about, even when I wasn't playing it for months on end, and the ending really tied most things together in a surprising way. Very glad I've finally achieved at least one ending, because the payoff was worth it!

Yakuza Kiwami 2 is done. Yakuza 0 is still my favorite so far but I had a really good time with Kiwami 2. I especially liked how the Majima saga and the cabaret side questline had pay offs for things that happened in 0. Also, I love how anime this series gets sometimes with things like

Spoiler:

a golden castle coming out of Osaka castle and then having to fight through hordes of samurai/ninjas with tiger bosses at the end.


Chicory
should go down next week since I will be visiting family and my sister has been my co op partner. We only have 2 more chapters left. I failed to continue Pokemon Legends: Arceus before Pokemon Violet came out so unfortunately I don't think I'll get into that anytime soon. However, I still have hopes to beat Metroid: Samus Returns before the end of the year.

Oh, and I will declare and scratch off Before Your Eyes (PC) since I beat that last month.

Tegai Makyou Zero is done. That took a while. My thoughts as they are in the Finished Any Games Lately thread:

Tengai Makyou Zero is a very interesting game from a certain standpoint. For one, there are some RPG innovations that were nowhere close to being used elsewhere and wouldn't really start making any appearances until the 32-Bit era. And yet, it seems to cling to very oldschool design ideas.

The use of the system clock for in-game events that actually make you want to see them... Until you see them and realize they aren't all that big of a deal, like a wasted opportunity.

The unique idea of a game representing a caricature of a Westerner's perception of ancient Japan, yet not really going anywhere interesting with the characters aside from very simple if sometimes clever jokes.

And the nigh-unbearable encounter rate. The freakin' encounter rate.

Thankfully, the endings (two of them), were worth the trouble, especially the credits scenes which consist of different skits and gags. The sprite work is the most expressive and impressive I have seen in any SNES/Super Famicom RPG and they are a wonder to behold.

If you have great patience - it took me a few months to get through because I could only take so much of the encounter rate at a time -, I recommend this assuming you're into JRPGs of the older persuasion.

Finished Ys IX: Monstrum Nox. Another solid title, with fun gameplay and an interesting story keeping you moving forward. It wrapped up in a decent amount of time, maybe overstayed its welcome just a tiny bit, but not as bad as other JRPGs I have played. Definitely did not hit that "slog through the last 20% to see credits" point. It wrapped up just about when I was ready to be done. Maybe cutting off one chapter would have been the perfect length.