Friday, June 17, 2011

One Through Twenty

Woo, second post! And (SURPRISE) it's about video games. Beating them, in fact. Now I love video games, but my internet-forged short attention span means that I rarely conquer them. Typically I'll play a game for awhile, and then get distracted by real life, a different game, other pursuits, or what have you. Bottom line: I've probably finished barely half of the games I own, which is downright embarrassing.

But then I found out a way to motivate myself into actually beating these games: writing it down. At my second-favorite forum in the world,, back in 2009 a thread got started for the forum's posters to record and reflect on the game's they beat that year. I took part in that thread in part, but not seriously. In the 2010 version, I got on board early and found that listing and recording the games I've beaten gave me more motivation to finish them, and that silly forum list did more for my backlog than many a day off or planning ahead had done in the past.

Last year my list ended up being 35 games exactly. Some of these were finishing bygone play-throughs, but most of them were 2010 started and 2010 finished. The last game on my 2010 list was memorable, as it was my first time playing the cult hit Portal. I completed that game on New Year's Eve, and was already excited to begin my next year of gaming. One of my New Year's Resolutions was to beat fifty games in the upcoming calendar year; now 2011 is nearly half-finished, and my current list stands at twenty.

So, right now, I'm going to officially turn this blog into a Games Beaten blog. Every time I finish a video game, I will add it to the list and blog about it. For now, I'll (as briefly as I can) talk about the twenty I've cleared ths far, and hopefully this blog will motivate me to pick up the pace a little bit. Without further ado, the list:

1. Mario vs. Donkey Kong (GBA)

This game was a continued playthrough from very late in 2010. Very solid sequel to one of my favorite Game Boy games: 1994's Donkey Kong. Good, and probably easy to find and cheap.

2. Primal Rage (arcade)

This is a cop-out. At this year's MAGFest I realized I was about to go through the entire show without beating any new games. I wanted to clear Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, which I had played for many hours over the course of the show, but its owner had taken the game away by the time I was looking for it Sunday morning. I settled for an old, not very good arcade game about giant apes and dinosaurs.

3. Torchlight Hat Trick (PC)

I had beaten Torchlight for the first time in early 2010, but only with the Vanquisher class. I finished older playthroughs of the Alchemist and Destroyer classes to earn the Hat Trick achievement, which I figured was worth a mention on my list. Torchlight's awesome, for the record.

4. Ghost Trick (DS)

A contender for my favorite game of 2011. From the Phoenix Wright team, you're a poltergeist who tries to solve his own murder and uncover a bizarre conspiracy. Every DS owner needs to at least give this one a shot.

5. Flower (PS3)

A very brief, but gorgeous and thought-provoking poem of a game. Gorgeous visuals, relaxing-but-entertaining gameplay. Definitely qualifies as "artsy" with the positive and negative connotations of that word.

6. Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3)

Finishing the last 80% or so of a playthrough started in 2010. Most critics hailed it as "the Batman game everyone wanted" and they were right. Very good action game.

7. Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus (PS3)

8. Sly 2: Band of Thieves (PS3)

9. Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves (PS3)

Took out all three games as part of the recent Sly Collection on PS3. Very solid stealth/platformers with multiple gameplay theatres; Sly 2 was my favorite.

10. Tales of Eternia (PSP)

Another cop-out. I was very near the final dungeon on this game when I put it down over a year earlier, stymied by one of the end bosses. Knocked it out in under two days. Pretty solid RPG, though.

11. Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (PS3)

I could go on and on about what I love and what I don't love in MvC3. I'll just say that it's very action-packed and intense for a fighting game, and I beat it with all 36 characters.

12. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII (PSP)

A game I started YEARS ago until I got stuck at one spot about halfway in. Used a Youtube video to navigate through that one segment and then beat the rest of the game in a week or so. Very, very good if you're an FF VII fan. If not, play FF VII first.

13. 999: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors (DS)

Stunning psychological thriller game on the DS. Plot has twists and turns, multiple endings. Puzzles are superb. Minor spoiler: final, final boss is literally "SOLVE THIS SUDOKU OR THE LITTLE GIRL BURNS."

14. Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation (DS)

Not my favorite DQ game, but it wasn't bad. Challenge level is pretty good if you don't powerlevel and abuse the class system. A little long and drawn-out, though.

15. Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime (DS)

Goofy, silly, easy, accessible DQ adventure game; top-down action like Zelda. Fun, but kinda simplistic. Only recommended if you're a DQ fan.

16. Dragon Age: Origins (PS3)

My new favorite western-style RPG of all time. Stunning. Already working on a second playthrough - once I finish that, I'll kick off DA: Awakening and DA2. Cannot wait.

17. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky (PSP)

Very, very good Japanese RPG. Reminds me of Lunar, Grandia, or possibly Chrono Trigger - from me this is high praise. If you like RPGs and own a PSP then GET IT.

18. inFamous (PS3)

Second playthrough, this time Evil Hard instead of Good Normal. The Evil path adds some entertaining storyline wrinkles but mostly lets you work out some catharsis by being a dick. Love the game, all the same.


Entertaining, colorful, minimalist platformer that I beat in a little under an hour. Totally worth $5-$10, but not more. Challenge level is high, but extremely frequent checkpoints make it more forgiving.

20. inFamous 2 (PS3)

Another game I could go on and on about. New Marais is an amazing sandbox environment to jump around in, and the plot and characters for the first 95% of the game are compelling. It ends on a dark, strange note, but getting there is something else.


Well, that's it. I had originally intended for this blog to be rambles and rants, but it was not to be, obviously. I have maybe five unfinished drafts of posts that died in the early to middle stages. Instead, I'm going to post exclusively about gaming, specifically adding to this list. Next up... I'm not sure. I have ongoing playthroughs of several games, and we'll see which one makes it here first. Gotta try and go for fifty!

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