Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Gaming Goals of 2015

Well, my gaming quest in 2014 went better than 2013, but it wasn't perfect.  I had a major lull in July and August, and only completed 71% of my goal.  Not great. And that's on the condition that I finish XenoBlade soon.  It's a new year, which means a new set of targets. 

It didn't take long for my 2014 gaming goals to improve upon my 2013 ones.  I had 8 out of 14 targets completed by August, and then limped to finish 9 on the year.  It will very soon be 10 on the year, though, as I'm giving myself a 2-day extension to finish XenoBlade Chronicles.  Just like my Valkyria Chronicles playthrough in late 2012.  Something about those Chronicles games, huh. 

Overall, I'll call it a success because I *FINALLY* knocked out a few game experiences that I wanted to wrap up for a few years now (looking at you, Persona 2) and also exposed myself to some relatively more recent series that are currently Big Deals (mostly talking about Assassin's Creed and The Walking Dead here).  I'm quite pleased with myself.  There was hardly (mostly) a dud on my 2014 list, and I knocked out ten out of fourteen.  Baller. 

So now in 2015, I'm going to try another version of this ongoing quest.  I've thought about stopping doing these lists of target games and just recording stuff on the blog like normal (similar to my 2011 list, or how I used to record completed games on the old UVA Gamers forums), but I'm going to do it for at least one more year.  I came up with a list gimmick pretty easily and my backlog is still completely fucking insane, so hopefully this list will help me move through that backlog and motivate me to play a greater variety of game experiences while keeping my gaming time roughly the same and my gaming spending down.  In 2015, I will complete 15 target games on 5 game systems

That's right!  This theme is similar to that of my 2013 list, but instead of stretching out across a bunch of systems, I will focus on my five "main" game delivery mechanisms that I currently use regularly: the PS2, the PS3, the Wii, the 3DS, and Steam.  Yeah, I'm technically ignoring my PSP, which is in a state of near-retirement.  And yeah, I'm counting downloaded N64 games as being played on my Wii because, well, they are.  So that's the plan.  In 2015, I will play three backlogged games each on the PS2, PS3, PC, Wii, and 3DS. 

So, without further ado, and in alphabetical order, THE LIST:

Five Systems, Fifteen Targets

Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies (3DS)

I've missed Phoenix Wright.  I haven't played a courtroom drama visual novel since the Miles Edgeworth DS game landed in 2010, so I'm overdue.  I picked up Dual Destinies on a Capcom 3DS sale, so it'll be a digital dance probably in early 2015.  I jump into handheld games pretty easily. 

BioShock Infinite (PC)

The only also-ran from my 2014 list of targets is a game that I'm still quite keen to play.  BioShock Infinite was one of the most well-reviewed games of 2013 and also one of its most controversial.  It has some incredible gameplay moments, but its world concept and some of its story ideas were very divisive.  That sounds like something I should at least try so I can have a real opinion on it.  Plus, I played the original BioShock a few years ago and liked it.  Interested to see how this one goes. 

Digital Devil Saga 2 (PS2)

I was a little surprised at how much I enjoyed the first Digital Devil Saga earlier this year.  So much so that I might try and do a New Game Plus of it before popping in the sequel.  Anyhow, I'm content to wander backwards into Atlus's library with this title (Persona 3 was the first Atlus game I really liked).  I've heard it's better than the first one, which was awesome.
Far Cry 3 (PC)

This is a similar situation to BioShock Infinite: super popular shooter that generates some mixed feelings from the video game internet audience.  I bought it cheaply during a Steam sale, of course.  I lack any history with the Far Cry series in general, but this blend of shooting, crafting, and exploration will get me caught up to 2012, just in time to be a year late on Far Cry 4.  Well huh.  That sentence didn't make any sense. 

Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS)

I had my own little Fire Emblem reawakening earlier this year, when I played (and really liked) Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance on the GameCube.  I've been a Fire Emblem fan for nine or ten years, but I haven't yet played my copy of Awakening, which both Fire Emblem newcomers and veterans alike cannot get enough of.  I bought it with help from some GameStop points a few months ago.  FE: Awakening might be the most popular game in FE series history, which is incredible.  This is probably the first 2015 target game I'm gonna tackle; it's next on my list once I finish XenoBlade. 

Gone Home (PC)

My third PC game on this list is the one that isn't a AAA big-budget shooter.  In Gone Home, your character walks through her family's abandoned house, trying to reason exactly why there's no one to be found.  Or maybe it isn't.  I'm not really sure.  But I've heard such effusive praise for it that I was intrigued all year, and eventually bit on a Steam sale around Thanksgiving.  Should be an interesting weekend sometime this year.

Heavenly Sword (PS3)
I think this is the oldest PS3 game I own, with a release date two years earlier than when I bought a PS3.  It's described as a very pretty game with decent action, but a short runtime south of eight hours.  OK, sure.  I've owned it for at least three years and I ought to knock it out.  Heavenly Sword will be a reprieve from all the big-ass RPGs on this list.  Plus, dat hair.  Wow. 

 The Last Story (Wii)

A super-stylish Japanese RPG from the creator of Final Fantasy, with some really interesting tactical action gameplay?  Sure.  I'm game.  I absolutely adored XenoBlade Chronicles, and this is the second game that was brought to the United States by XSeed following the Project Rainfall campaign; I bought it right when it landed in 2012.  The Last Story is probably going to be in the second half of the year, so hopefully I don't keep pushing it away into unfinished territory.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (Wii)

I didn't love all the N64 border stuff in most of the images I found for Majora's Mask, so I went with this cleaner image instead.  Right.  So anyhow, I beat three modern 3D Zelda games in 2011 and 2012, and enjoyed all three.  I finished A Link Between Worlds earlier this year and fuckin' loved it.  Now it's time to go into the weirdest Zelda, which I've owned for at least five years now as part of my Zelda Collection GameCube disk.  Kevin, my roommate, has been bugging me to try this for about as long as I've known him.  I'm doing this for me, but I'm also doing this for Kevin, I guess. 

Paper Mario (Wii)

Again, I'm using some promotional art of the Japanese N64 cover, because I don't like the layout of N64 game covers.  My history with Paper Mario is sort of tragic.  I tried playing it many years ago on an emulator (I think it was a summer between college years, probably 2005 or 2006).  I was having a blast.  Then, the emulator glitched and the game was unplayable.  It was a known issue, but with no fix available.  I had collected six out of the seven star thingies.  I gave up on it.  Then a few years later I played Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door and really, REALLY enjoyed it.  Real talk: Thousand-Year Door is my favorite GameCube game.

So now I'm revisiting the first Paper Mario.  Gonna replay it from scratch, using an emulated version I bought on the Wii Shop a few years ago.  This time I'll see it through to the end. 

Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask (3DS)

A situation extremely similar to that of the Ace Attorney game above.  I'm a big fan of the Professor Layton games, but it's been a minute since I played one.  The first three Laytons are brilliant and the fourth one was a little subpar.  Time to check on the series' first 3DS outing, bought on sale a few weeks after I bought my 3DS. 

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (PS3)

I have a weakness / unapologetic love for animal mascot platformers, and playing the Sly Cooper trilogy in early 2011 was a great time.  The fourth game received middling reviews, but that won't stop me.  I miss the antics of Sly and his partners in crime, and I picked up Thieves in Time on a whim sometime in 2013.  Nothing else to say here.  Now it's on the list. 

Tales of Xillia (PS3)

The Tales Of series is uneven.  Phantasia is one of my favorite Super Famicom games.  Eternia, Symphonia, and Abyss are all really good.  Vesperia is fantastic and probably tied with Phantasia as my personal favorite.  Innocence and Legendia were disappointments.  The PS1 version of Tales of Destiny is hot garbage.  I don't really know where I stand on the Tales Of games, because the last one I really liked came out in 2006.

So here's a new one.  I played five or six hours of Tales of Xillia in co-op with my buddy Paul-Derek right when it landed, and enjoyed it a lot.  I've barely touched it since.  I know this game has great combat, but I'm not sure how the single-player experience shakes out or if there's a tipping point where the game becomes boring.  Could go a number of ways, and I'm putting it on my 2015 list. 

We <3 Katamari (PS2)

Here's something unexpected.  The original Katamari Damacy is one of the weirdest, coolest PS2 games.  I bought it pretty soon after it came out, and it occupies a special place in my heart.  The consensus is that the second one, We <3 Katamari, is a fun follow-up game that has the spirit of the original ("We Love" and "We Heart" are both acceptable pronunciations); the other Katamari games that came after, not so much.  Well, I honestly have no fucking idea when I bought We <3 Katamari, but if I'm ever going to play it it'll have to go on one of these lists.  Boom. 

Ys: The Ark of Napishtim (PS2)

After blazing through six Ys games in six months as an introduction to the series, I took a break from playing through the adventures of Adol to concentrate on the rest of my 2014 gaming (Persona, Dragon Age, shitty card games, etc.) and I'm ready to go back.  I don't have a Vita to play Memories of Celceta and I'm unwilling to do some fancy PC emulation to play Dawn of Ys or Lost Kefin, so Ark of Napishtim it is.  This is officially my 2015 "most likely to watch a YouTube video to figure out how the fuck to beat this boss" winner. 


Huh.  The three Wii games ended up all in a row.  Funny coincidence.  Here are some near-inclusions for this list: Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, South Park: The Stick of Truth, DmC: Devil May Cry, Trine 2, Baldur's Gate, Klonoa (Wii), Vagrant Story (again), Super Mario Galaxy 2, Suikoden II, Heavy Rain, Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers, Kirby's Return to Dreamland (again), Kirby: Triple Deluxe (I like Kirby okay?), Mega Man X: Command Mission, and Bully.  Maybe in 2016.  Or never.  Or maybe 2015 if one of those seems more enticing than this list on some weekend.  Couldn't tell ya. 


  1. Be warned that Majora's Mask has been known to be kind of glitch on the Zelda Collector's Edition.

    1. I was aware of this already and decided to chance it. If the disc version is unplayable or has some kind of save-deleting glitch, then I'll borrow Kevin's copy of Majora's Mask for 3DS to replace that entry. MM is his favorite Zelda game, and he already has it preordered. I won't be getting to it until the second half of the year anyway.