Video games are my main hobby and probably one of the defining parts of me. To many of my friends, I'm "the nerdy friend that likes video games" or "the guy that knows everything about games" or even "the video game guy that surprisingly is into a lot of other stuff too." Now, most of those are fair descriptions, but my video game knowledge base is far from complete. In fact, there are several major pieces of video game history that I've totally skipped. So of course I made a list of them.
Gonna keep this list simple - All of these are full video game series for which I have never finished a game. Sure, maybe I've sunk in an hour or two to try it out and I know a fair amount of all of them through secondary sources, but I cannot claim any complete knowledge of a single game in any of these game franchises. They're roughly sorted in how surprising / embarrassing it is for me not to have played any of them. Let's do this.
I almost put Call of Duty or Gears of War instead of Halo in the five-spot. I haven't played more than thirty minutes of any of them, and I sort of rope them into the same category of "FPS games favored by young boys and dude-bros," probably unfairly. Of the three, I figured that Halo had the most acclaim and reach (heh) despite Gears averaging slightly higher on review aggregates and Call of Duty being the biggest-selling series in existence. So yeah, haven't played any Halo games. I might remedy that in the next year or two while I have access to my buddy David's 360, but it isn't in the cards for 2013.
Other than Portal or Portal 2, I've never beaten any game made by Valve. Discounting those two games, 4 hours of the first Half-Life, and a few multiplayer matches of Counter-Strike, I haven't played any Valve games at all. Which is too bad, because I've given hundreds of dollars to Steam over the past few years and the Half-Life games exude great design sensibilities. I'd like to get up-to-date with the adventures of Gordon Freeman before Half-Life 3 comes out, so that gives me at least six or seven more years, right? (har har.)
3. Metal Gear
I don't favor shooter games, I don't favor stealth games, and I don't favor military-themed games, so I guess it makes sense that I've never played a Metal Gear game. I feel like I know the entire plot of the main games, since I've heard people talk about them and analyze them so damn much. Metal Gear is so popular that it's essentially a gaming event whenever a new one comes out. Still, I haven't played more than an hour of Metal Gear Solid or more than 15 minutes of any other game in the series. I dunno if I want to start it up, either, because, well... I'm guessing I'd find them alternately too frustrating and too ridiculous. Not sure it's happening.
2. Grand Theft Auto
I've watched friends play GTA games for probably dozens of hours, and have messed around with GTA III and GTA: Vice City on my own a little bit. I'm quite fond of both of those two, especially Vice City, but I haven't even touched any other game in the series and it's only one of the most influential blockbuster franchises of all time. I might change my tune shortly, though: I own GTA III, IV, and Vice City on various systems and any of those is a candidate for a future planned gaming project. Still, the fact remains I haven't finished any, and that's a shame.
1. Sonic the Hedgehog
And here's where I break from saying I haven't played a particular shooting / action franchise and bring up my most embarrassing lack of gaming cred: Sonic the Hedgehog. I have never owned a Sega system other than the 3 years I had a used Dreamcast, and that thing was basically a Soul Calibur and Skies of Arcadia machine. My lack of Sonic over the years has a lot to do with my lack of Sega nostalgia, but now that he's on every system and ports of the older games are easy to come by I have fewer excuses than ever. I even own a Sega anthology or two, but I still have managed to avoid the Blue Blur. Maybe it's my deteriorated platforming skills, maybe it's my distaste for the worst of the internet's Sonic faithful, or maybe it's just stubbornness; I have never played a Sonic the Hedgehog game and I'm not sure I ever will. Too bad. People seem to like the guy.
So that's my list! Also-rans for the fourth or fifth spot include Gears of War, Call of Duty, Phantasy Star, Shining Force, Ys, Contra, Command & Conquer, Megami Tensei (discounting Persona), Baldur's Gate, Fallout, pretty much any series of driving games other than Mario Kart, and any LucasArts or Sierra adventure game (even though I love Full Throttle dearly). Ultimately I decided that Halo and Half-Life were bigger phenomena, and went for series relevance over diversity or personal preferences. Before I started writing this list I had already known what the top three entries would be.
Since my last posting, I've already beaten Persona 4 a second time and should get to rolling on other 13 in '13 projects that I abandoned in February. Looking at Psychonauts, Skyrim, and Vesperia. I want all three of those done by the end of May at the very latest. Let's start April off with a winner.