Monday Gaming Diary: It’s Stack of Shame Time!

stackofshameAs I’m sure you all have noticed, we’re in a bit of a gaming lull right now. I don’t know about you, but I’m extremely thankful for the break. I have until about mid-February to catch up on my stack of shame. Something tells me I should be excited about DmC, but I’m having trouble getting motivated this early in the year. If I’m going to be serious about clearing some of my stack of shame, I know I need to get over that in a hurry.

I posted my stack of shame over on Game Revolution and asked for what I should start first, since a part of me wants to finish what I started, another part of me wants to finish all 2012 releases before I go on to other things, and another part of me wants to play the older games first. As you can imagine, the readership over there had a bit to say about it.

What surprised me the most was how great of a consensus the opinions were. I was expecting suggestions to be all over the place, but they were pretty solid. Basically, in case you don’t feel like reading through the 100+ comments, it was strongly suggested that I play the Arkham games and Dragon Age: Origins. I was then ordered to throw out everything else, which kind of made me laugh.

I’m going to take some of that advice, I think. As much as I really want to finish Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, every time I play it, all I can think of is how padded it is. It makes JRPGs look exciting and innovative in comparison. Hell, it makes Paper Mario: Sticker Star seem non-repetitive. I don’t mind devoting 60+ hours to a game (FFXIII-2, anyone?) but give me a story, real side quests that aren’t all fetch-quests, a real purpose to doing something, anything like that to keep me going for that long. Amalur has tons of side quests to the point that there are too many, and they all follow the same formula. In addition, they all take longer than they should for fetch-quests. God how it breaks my heart to quit a game I really wanted to like, but here it is.

I think Assassin’s Creed III is also getting the boot. I wanted to like this game too, but two things really hurt it: 1) the insane bugs I initially experienced and 2) Dishonored. Playing Dishonored before AC3 really hurt AC3 more than I thought it would. I didn’t realize how scripted AC3 forces you to be in your gameplay until I played Dishonored, which really lets you handle things however the hell you want. AC3 gives you some leeway with the optional points for full synchronization, but it’s still scripted. You’re still really forced to kill a target or infiltrate an area the way the devs want you to do so. There’s no discussion with friends later, asking how you took care of this target or that; there’s one way to do it. And after experiencing the openness of Dishonored, it’s just not enjoyable.

Know what’s not leaving my stack of shame? The following will not leave, no matter how much I’m begged:

  • Halo 3: ODST (it was a gift)
  • the Resistance games (I’m determined)
  • LEGO: The Lord of the Rings (I love LEGO games);
  • God of War (it was a gift); and
  • Inversion (it’s unusual and fun).

Guess that means there’s nothing left for me to do but actually play something, right? Just need to get over this sinus infection that has been plaguing me since the start of the year…

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