Well, I guess I can't win 'em all. Let me break down my (failed) 2012 gaming goals and then move on to my new ones for 2013.
So I only completed 11 out of my 12 target video games to play in 2012. I fell short. Didn't make it. A number of metaphors can go here. So that's that. I blame my increased workload (y'know, at work), a few distracting game projects (Mass Effect 2, Civilization V, and Torchlight 2 are the biggest culprits), and the motherfuckin' internet. But even if I failed, I did succeed in trying new games and cutting into my backlog, even if I went over my planned budget for game buying on the year (leaving that one alone...). But I think this game-blogging has worked out for me in general, so I'm continuing with a new set of goals: (part 1) in 2013, I will complete 13 specific game projects.
So here's my 2013 goal: 13 gaming projects to be finished before the calendar changes again. At first, these might seem *more* ambitious than my "12 in '12" targets, but I'm not so sure. In general, I think this selection of games has a shorter total playtime than last year's selection (the Wii, PS2, and PC games in the list are obvious exceptions). Plus I'll be a little more motivated for these; a few of them are games I really wanted to roll through in 2012, but held off because of my "outstanding obligations." Two in particular are recent gifts from friends that are too good to ignore. Others are there to fill the list out and to complete its theme: (part 2) in 2013, I will complete at least one target game for eleven different systems.
What my 2012 plans lacked was diversity. 6 PS2, 3 PS3, 2 GameCube, 1 PC. The PC game is a PC-PS3-360 multiplatform title and both of the GameCube games were Zeldas. I own nine systems, and have means of emulating others. I won't play any NES or SNES things (goodness knows I've done plenty of that over the years), sticking to my seven relatively modern systems, two systems for which I own several unplayed games (the GBA and PS1), one system that I have on loan for a good amount of time (the XBox 360), and one system that I've criminally ignored over the years (the N64). "But Monsoon," you ask, "you said thirteen game 'projects' and are only playing eleven? What gives?" Well, I'm adding two. One extra game that... I'm still not sure which system I'm gonna play it on. And one rollover project from 2012. (part 3) in 2013, I'll finish what I started in 2012.
13 Games for Diversity
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - PlayStation 3
I easily could've picked a big RPG or something for my PS3 entry (sorry, Tales of Graces F), but ultimately decided against it. Some of the other games on this list will take up PLENTY of time, and really, the PS3 is by far my best system for 3D action/adventure games. I haven't played a new Castlevania game since 2008 and I really ought to remedy that.... Does that make me a *lapsed* Cv fan? This cannot be!
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - PC
Hoo boy. Skyrim. The biggest and probably second-scariest game on this list was a Christmas gift (thanks Amanda!) and there's no way I can avoid it. Skyrim was *the* game of 2011, but I deliberately skipped it because I've never been an Elder Scrolls fan and never saw it on sale. Welp, looks like it's time to play some Skyrim. Flying Spaghetti Monster help me.
Gods Eater: Burst - PSP
I picked this game up on a whim for $10 at a GameStop sale. My friend David (the first of my three married-in-2012 friends making a cameo in this blog post) bought this a few years ago to whet his Monster Hunter apetite (he has sunk 2,000+ hours in Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, and I'm not exaggerating that). Well, I played a tiny bit of it and it seems like a fun loot RPG that's easier in single-player than Monster Hunter is. Less of a must-play and more of a why-not, but... sure, why not?
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask - N64
I'll be playing this on a GameCube copy of the Legend of Zelda Collection, but I'll still count it as an N64 game. I have such inexperience with the N64 that it's a little embarrassing - I own only a few (legal) emulated versions of N64 games, via the Virtual Console or Zelda Collection, and never owned the system myself. I've enjoyed my recent sojourns into 3D Zelda games, so this fan-favorite is a logical new entry for these ongoing lists of mine.
Metroid Prime - GameCube
I've only beaten one Metroid game ever - Metroid Fusion for the GBA. I have multiple dropped playthroughs of Super Metroid, Zero Mission, and Metroid II from earlier in my gaming career, but the series has never grabbed me quite as much as its cohort Castlevania has. Well, Metroid Prime is one of the most popular of all the Metroid titles, and I happen to have a copy in my GameCube wallet. Should be a good time.
Persona 4 - PlayStation 2
Easiest pick of the list. Persona 3 was probably my biggest 2012 obsession, and Persona 4 has so many accolades and recommendations that I simply must play it; for one, it's my good friend Paul's favorite videogame of all time and Paul is 2012 groom #2. It's a refined, streamlined Persona with a strong cast and loads of customization, similar to Persona 3 but with better action, as-good-or-better characters, and no Tartarus. Sounds like a winner. I bought Persona 4 before I was even finished with Persona 3, and it'll be my first big game project for 2013.
Pokemon White Version 2 - DS
I received Pokemon White 2 a month ago, purchased for cheap in Charlottesville with an assist from some friends. They insisted I go with BW2 over regular Black or White, because nothing is lost story-wise and there is too much new content to ignore (B/W and BW2 cost the same amount as well). While I doubt I'll go all-out like I did in Diamond (Pokedex in the
480s), I will totally play this game like a normal RPG and see what the
Grass starter is like. Fun fact: I almost always pick the Grass starter
on the first go-round when it comes to Pokemon - the one time I didn't
I ended up regretting it. My DS could use the attention - I probably
didn't even switch it on for 9 or 10 of last year's 12 months.
Psychonauts - three systems. Seriously.
I really ought to have played Psychonauts by now. I received it as a prize in an old Gamers trivia day a long time ago, then totally forgot I owned it and bought it on the PS3 online store in the first half of 2012. If that weren't enough, I bought a Steam bundle after that PS3 purchase that contained Psychonauts along with some other games. So I totally own copies of Psychonauts for three different systems, and I haven't played any of them. And it's a super-acclaimed game! What's wrong with me!? I have a problem....
Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis - Game Boy Advance
I want at least one game to scratch that strategy RPG itch this year, and Knight of Lodis is the perfect candidate. I've never finished a Tactics-Ogre-Battle game. I put a good amount of time into Ogre Battle on the SNES, but never played Tactics Ogre or Ogre Battle 64. Intending to change that, I bought Knight of Lodis for the GBA when I was in college, I think in 2005 or 2006. Never touched it. Until now.
Tales of Vesperia - XBox 360
In a very surprising turn of events, I have access to an XBox 360 now. My good buddy David (same David as earlier in this post) is moving to Germany for at least two years, and I am now in possession of his TV and 360 until further notice. So of course I went to a game store and bought the one 360 game I wanted the most. You know, to commemorate the new 360. Or sometheeng.
Vagrant Story - PlayStation
PS1 was, perhaps surprisingly, the hardest system to pick a game for. I own several PS1 RPGs that I've barely touched, and Vagrant Story competed with my copies of Suikoden, Valkyrie Profile, Dragon Warrior VII, Wild Arms, and Persona 2: Eternal Punishment to be on this list. I haven't played an unfinished game of my PS1 collection since... Grandia in my last year of college (2009). Wow. It's been awhile. Anyhow, Vagrant Story is in the FF Tactics / FF XII universe and has a shit-ton of acclaim surrounding it, including a ringing endorsement from Jon (married man #3!). Should be worth it.
XenoBlade Chronicles - Wii
XenoBlade Chronicles is an action RPG with gorgeous visuals and a combat-exploring-questing vibe that makes me think of Final Fantasy XII or Rogue Galaxy, but bigger and prettier. This sounds splendid to me, especially if they are more open than Rogue Galaxy (probably yes) and less broken than FF XII (also probably yes). It also has a tenuous connection to Xenogears (got to the final dungeon, then sold the game) and Xenosaga (never played them). Still on board. Sounds like a summer 2013 game.
Demon's Souls - PlayStation 3
Well, I hope this doesn't become a pattern. I didn't get around to Demon's Souls in 2012, so now it has its chance in 2013. Demon's Souls is an unforgiving, entrancing action RPG of sorts that I think I will really love. You know, if I ever make it to a second boss battle. And get over my fear of everything I've encountered in the game thus far. Unforgiving isn't harsh enough language.
So that's my 2013 gaming menu, but of course I'll play more stuff too. There are at least two or three games I have my eye on with 2013 release dates, but I think I want to dive into this soon, especially Persona 4. I might even finally revisit inFamous 2, Mass Effect 2, and Disgaea 4. You know, if I can ever get through this brutal selection of titles. But that's enough talk. 13 games for my 13 in '13. Let's do this.