Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Gamer To-Do List

I'm inspired by Izlain's post on the first day of this Blaugust event.  He has created a gamer to-do list.  I'm constantly doing this in my own head as I'm working through my backlog, but I never formally write it down.

But since I loved his idea so much, I think I will write it down this time just to try it out.  It might be nice to have a gaming to-do list formally written out.  Izlain did a top 10, but I think mine will be slightly less:
  • Persona 4 Golden - Continue playing until I either beat the game or grow bored of it and decide to retire the game.
  • Hearthstone - Get to at least rank 20 by the end of the month.  Do the Tavern Brawl's every week for card packs.
  • FFXIV Heavensward - Do the daily trial roulette as long as I keep having fun with it. (I'm already bored of the other roulette options)
  • KOTOR II - Finally try the PC version since it got a major official update and has a community content fix patch on Steam.
  • Valkyria Chronicles - Get back to this game and keep playing it.  It was a lot of fun and I haven't beaten it.
  • Dirty Bomb - Try out this game because it's a recommended Blaugust F2P game that a lot of the community is trying.
  • Fire Emblem Awakening - I loved this game and want to go back to play a new game + if available.  Otherwise I want to just play the game again because I'm excited for the new Fire Emblem games.
  • Lightning Returns - I bought this game on super sale for PS3 right before I moved the system to another room and stopped playing it.  I need to get around to trying it
There we go, 8 items.  It's kinda nice to have some immediate goals written down.

I'm sure this list will change and morph as time goes on.  It always works that way in my head when I'm juggling games anyway.  For example, you may have noticed Arkham Knight is off this list.  Since I last wrote about it I've beaten all the side missions and activated the Knightfall protocol at the end of the game.  It was a great game, but I'm basically done with it now.

And I also have a couple games on the backburner that I only play when my friends want to.  Games like Rocket League and Heroes of the Storm.  They're fun with friends and they're good games, but they aren't games I'm inspired to sit down and play single player.

How about all of you, how are your gaming to-do lists looking?

Monday, August 3, 2015

That Didn't Last Long

Last week I mentioned that I've finally gotten around to some of the visual novel games I've been meaning to play.  My final thoughts were about how the pacing of Danganronpa seemed to be better than the other games I had tried.

I was very wrong.

The pace of the narrative slowed way down and I got extremely frustrated with it.  The game has murders and trials and I saw the obvious conclusion of the cases almost immediately.  It took forever for the characters to draw the same conclusions.  It was infuriating.

So I stopped playing it.  I'm officially walking away from Danganronpa.  It quickly became too frustrating slow for me.

I tried going back and playing a little bit of Dual Destinies but that has some pacing issues of it's own.

The one game in this vein that I'm still slowly picking away at is Professor Layton vs Pheonix Wright.  The Professor Layton portions of the game are redeeming it enough that I keep coming back for short bursts of play.

I'm starting to think that the visual novel genre just doesn't have enough gameplay for me.  When a game has this much text based narrative I feel like I would rather be reading a book instead.

Sunday, August 2, 2015


Prune is a simple concept that is a ton of fun!

Your goal is to grow a sapling out of the darkness and into the light where it can flower.  If you manage to get enough flowers on it you complete the level.

The way you grow the sapling is the crux of the game.  You have to prune branches that aren't going the way you want them too.  The plant grows organically and you're only control over it is pruning the plant.

It's a simple mechanic but it's an amazing amount of fun.  This has been my go-to phone game lately and I would encourage all of you to check it out.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Blaugust Kickoff!

Blaugust is here!

What is Blaugust you might ask?  Well dear reader, it's a time to try your hand at producing content every day.

I've mostly fallen into a 5 day per week posting schedule, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to do this event with the blogging and gaming community that I love.

There are a ton of participating blogs, most are written but some are vlogs too.  We're all posting every day in August.

Thanks to the amazing Belghast for organizing this event.  Make sure to take a look at his site over at Tales of the Aggronaut.

He even gave us a writing prompt to kick off the event: What are you hoping to get out of Blaugust this year?

Personally, I'm taking Blaugust as a challenge.  I'm right near the end of my video gaming backlog and I know I'm going to need to branch out and talk about other things more often very soon.  This is going to push me there faster.  I always end up touching on movies, books, shows, tabletop games, and life occasionally with this blog but you can expect to see even more of those after I truly hit the end of my backlog.

Thanks Blaugust for propelling me forward into some new content areas!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Nearing the End of my Backlog

This is really weird.  I'm almost at the end of my game backlog.

Since I got my first job at age 15 (and got my first real buying power) this has never ever ever happened.  I'm 28 and I've had a gaming backlog for 13 years at this point.

What do I do when I finish all the games I intended to play!?

This doesn't mean I'm about to stop playing videogames.  It just means that I've always had games I own that I intend to play but haven't.  That list is dwindling fast.

I've noticed that I'm going through games faster these days.  Since I've been playing videogames for as long as I can remember I'm now really good at analyzing a new game.  I figure out it's systems and what it has to offer, usually within the first 30-60 minutes of play, and then I decide if it's offering enough newness that I want to keep playing.  Usually I don't.  I have enough experience with games that I don't need to retread old ground most of the time.

It doesn't help that we're in the middle of the summer slump.  New game releases will pick up toward the end of September, like they always do.  But it's weird to think I might finally have my backlog cleared out by then.

I may finally get to do a deep dive into one of my evergreen games.  These are games that I'm always playing a bit and always have fun coming back to.  Things like Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, Team Fortress 2, Destiny, Civ V, Left 4 Dead 2, FTL, Mini Metro, Rocket League, and a bunch of iOS games I own.

We'll see what happens, but don't be surprised to see more thoughts on books, movies, TV, and other stuff on here in the next few months.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Visual Novel Gameplay and Pacing

I've really been working through my backlog this year and I've finally made it to a few visual novels that I've been meaning to play.  Namely:

  • Phoenix Wright Dual Destinies
  • Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright
  • Danganronpa
I utterly failed to get into Dual Destinies.  The pacing was so unbelievably slow.  I was led to believe that these games had a lot of gameplay mixed into their narratives, but it turns out that Dual Destinies is mostly narrative.  It's much more like reading a book than playing a game.

I moved on to Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright.  I've enjoyed a bunch of the Layton game in the past.  Typically they have a bit of narrative followed by a puzzle followed by a bit of narrative.  And this one is structured similarly.  When I'm in the Layton sections of the game I have a lot of fun and make a lot of progress.  Unfortunately, the Phoenix Wright sections suffer from the same slow pacing as Dual Destinies does.  I really want to like it but it becomes a wall of text with little gameplay input at all.

At which point I booted up Danganronpa.  This game seems to have the most gameplay out of these visual novels that I've tried.  The characters are pulling me into the game and keeping me interested.  I still haven't played enough to know if I like it or not, but the pacing hasn't put me off in the way the other two games have.  I'm hoping this one will be a hit for me.

What have your experiences been with visual novel games?  Do you have any recommendations of games that are narrative driven but paced well?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Arkham Side Missions


... um... so... batman.  He's still cool.

That is to say, I'm still having fun with Arkham Knight even though I beat the game.  I basically did a critical path run through of the game and didn't touch any of the side missions.

Now that the game is complete I've moved on to all the various side missions and I'm finding them really fun.

There's a great variety of activities to experience and it feels like there's always something different to jump to if I get bored of an activity.  This has turned into the perfect game to play while I'm exercising on my stationary bike.  I can put on a podcast and just work through side missions while exercising.

Chances are high that I'll beat all the side missions this way.  Well, except for the 100+ Riddler puzzles.  Those are kinda bullshit filler.