Thursday, January 2, 2014

Gaming Goals of 2014

Wow, and I thought my 2012 goals were a failure?  Last year I completed 91% of the games on my list of targets, and in 2013 I might get to finish a whopping 53%.  Yikes.  Well, it's almost 2014, so let's do the dumb thing and get MORE ambitious instead of less. 

By the numbers, 2013 was a major failure for my gaming goals.  I still have one game to go to get to 7 out of 13 (putting an extension on it).  But 2014 is a new year, and over the past few months I compiled a list of my backlogged games (including more than a couple 2013 purchases) that I really wanted to get to.  At first glance, I think I'll feel a little more hype for this list than my 2013 list, but hopefully I'll also won't be badly derailed by Persona or Ys.  I went with the same theme from the past two years: in 2014, I will complete 14 target video games

And 13 in '13 gives way to 14 in '14.  But as I mentioned in the last paragraph, I think I'll be a little more excited to get to these games than my 2013 choices.  I "forced" a few games onto the list to complete that silly theme of beating games on 12 different systems, and as a result my hype level was never very high after the first few months.  But more importantly, I was badly distracted by Persona, Ys, bullshit card games (expect an article on those in January), and other 2013 distractions like family and (briefly) a girlfriend.  But enough of that shit; here's part 2 of my new quest: in 2014, I will beat seven pairs of games with connected themes.

OK, that probably sounds a little strange, but hear me out here (heh, hear-here....).  I didn't want to diversify these fourteen games by system again, but when I was compiling a list of games in my backlog that I might want to play, I noticed that a few of them fit together.  Two games by the same publisher; two games with similar names; two games of the same genre for the same system.  I was intrigued by the idea of pairing games together.  So I decided to go with seven mini-themes instead of one giant theme, and the last pair should be familiar if you read last year's version of this article: in 2014, I will complete at least two missed games from my 2013 list.

So, without further ado, The List:

14 Games, Or Seven Pairs of Games
(hooray, comma splices!)

2013 Obsessions, Continued
Ys Seven   &  Persona 2: Innocent Sin

Persona was my biggest gaming obsession in the first half of 2013 and Ys was my biggest gaming obsession of the second half of 2013.  Persona more so than Ys, but that's probably because Persona games typically take eight times as long to finish.  So anyhow, I own physical copies of these two PSP titles, which should drag me into the modern style of Ys and the weird, dated past of Persona.  Looking forward to both.

Adventures with Ubisoft
Assassin's Creed 2  Rayman Origins

Dammit.  Too bad that my blog's margins are too narrow for a side-by-side of these two images without making them tiny.  Here we have two Ubisoft games on PS3 that I've owned for around a year, both with plenty of acclaim and inhabiting genres I enjoy (open-world character action and cartoony platformer, respectively).  I'm a big fan of Ubisoft's Prince of Persia games and I've heard that AC2 is MUCH better than the first.  Rayman is a platformer that I haven't really given a chance, and the origin game seems like a good starting point. 

The Sagas Begin
Digital Devil Saga  Xenosaga Episode 1

Ha.  They both have "Saga" in the title but aren't in the SaGa series.  Get it?  Right.  Well, I haven't touched either of these mini-series, but I've heard good things about both.  Xenosaga's a nice little 35-hour movie with about 5 hours worth of boss battles and DDS is a Megami Tensei spinoff with twisted, post-apocalyptic demons and a ton of fans.  Both are also all kinds of fucked up and longtime members of my PS2 RPG backlog.  Gotta whittle that down a bit. 

Starring a Smash Brother
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance   &  Kirby's Return to Dreamland

Holy shit; when was the last time I played a Fire Emblem or Kirby game?  Well, late 2012 for Fire Emblem, and I have no fucking idea for Kirby.  Path of Radiance is the popular, medium-difficulty FE game for the GameCube, and Return to Dreamland is the flashy, low-difficulty Kirby for Wii.  I've owned PoR for at least five years and Kirby for at least five months.  Hey, at least it's not Radiant Dawn (way too fucking hard) or Epic Yarn (way too fucking stupid). 

Steam Storytelling
Bioshock: Infinite   &  The Walking Dead

(Sorry for the watermark - it was the best picture I could find) Now, these are both outrageously popular games that I bought via Steam in ridiculous sales earlier this year (Bioshock Infinite for $15 and TWD in part of a Humble Bundle for $8), and both of them praised to high heaven for their storytelling.  I enjoyed the first Bioshock and I love adventure games with good dialogue.  Both of these are as good as their predecessors or better.  These two are for you, Bobby and J. 

Gritty Warner Brothers Joints
Batman: Arkham City   &  Mortal Kombat

Well, apparently PS3 covers are too wide for the margins of this blog template, and WB Games makes HIDEOUS box art for the updated versions of its big titles.  I bought both of these earlier this year on impulse, because I'm a game-buying whore and they were on sale.  They're also a sequel to one of my favorite open world games and a fighting game with a deep, involved story mode, respectively.  Well all right. 


13 in '13 Leftovers
Xenoblade Chronicles   &  Vagrant Story

Here we go, the two games of my 13 in '13 quest that I am most regretful not to have started.  Xenoblade was perhaps the most-acclaimed JRPG of 2012, and I bought it at launch thinking it was going to become rare quickly (I was right - its price broke $80 due to late demand).  Vagrant Story I've owned for about a decade, but it's been buried in my PS1 backlog for that whole time.  It's from the Ivalice team in pre-merger Square, after FF Tactics but before FF XII.  Two games I should fucking love by all rights, but haven't played more than 20 minutes of either.  Time to fix that. 


OK, so this is technically more ambitious than my 2013 list, as 14 is a larger integer than 13, but I think I'll be slightly more motivated for these.  It has more recent titles, it fits in a little better with my tastes and preferences, and there is a total lack of Demon's Souls.  And I still have to finish Metroid Prime next week.  Anyhow, keep your fingers crossed for my new gaming quest, and I wish any readers of this blog in this dark corner of the internet a wonderful 2014. 

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