Suffering from piles

Well, one pile: the Pile of Shame. I decided to make a stack of the games I’ve let slip past in the past few years but really need to catch up on. And it’s big! Actually, it’s bigger than this, because I’ve added the other PS2 Megaten games and a bunch of titles from older disc-based consoles as well (Saturn, PlayStation, Turbo Duo). Also those PC RPGs I posted about last week. Looks like my 2008 is set.

So that’s… BioShock, Ico, KOTOR, GTA:LCS, Orange Box, Shadow of the Colossus, Persona 3, Psychonauts, GTA:VCS, Call of Duty 4, Super Paper Mario, Tomb Raider Anniversary, KOTOR 2, Dragon Quarter, Gears of War, Yakuza, Resident Evil 4, finishing up FFXII, Oblivion aaaaand finally Dragon Quest VIII. Do you like the way I put the slow-paced RPGs slogs at the bottom?

This could also be used to deduce the general shape of Fun Clubs to come, maybe. But for now, I must brace myself for the onslaught of “oh, game x isn’t worth playing” and “omg I can’t believe you haven’t played y you scumbag” comments that inevitably follow such posts, obvious to the fact that (1) these are the things I want to play and (2) lol free time.

57 thoughts on “Suffering from piles

  1. That’s an impressive stack of games you’ve got there. Good luck getting them done. I can’t remember some of my playtimes for them, but I know it took me about 90 hours for my first playthrough of Persona 3.

    Admittedly, I wasn’t exactly rushing to finish it, but it’s still a long game.

  2. If you decide to use KotOR as a Fun Club game, I’ll actually join in. After loving the hell out of Mass Effect, I have decided that it is time for me to play the first KotOR.

  3. Ico and SotC are actually fairly short, and easily divided into short chunks.

    So did you not play Resident Evil 4 at all, and decided to with the Wii version? If so, I’m in the same boat, and wonder which version I ought to try, as I have the necessary hardware for all of them.

  4. Oh, baby, Resident Evil 4 is the best shooter game ever. It’s this generations Contra. It’s the way 3D Contra should be. It is awesome. Best reason to own a Gamecube (thank God I bought a Gamecube, I bought RE4 on release baby, it was awesome, it was fun, it was a real video game in an era of crazy boring stuff like Oblivion or KOTOR that, lets face it, feel like work). Only problem is the ending, it is quite anti climatic, I mean, it would have been fun if it played like Wave Race 64 or something, but the way it was done was boring. I liked the extra game though, with the chick in red).

  5. If you had only Oblivion in your pile, you’d still have your hands full! I’d also be up for playing KotOR again if it was on the fun club list.

  6. I’m terrible at finishing games, even games I love dearly. This post inspired me to do a backlog tally, and I’ve found that since the days of the PS1, Saturn, and N64, I’ve left 86 games in unfinished stasis. If I throw PC games, or even games I’m currently replaying into the mix, forget it.

    Some of the games I just suck at (Colony Wars, for example) but the main problem of course is time. That said, even when I was out of work for a few years I played very little; I was too worried about finishing a game and not being able to afford another for the foreseeable future. So the pile just grew and grew.

    I tried making finishing-a-game-each-month my New Year’s Resolution in ’06, but fell short by 1. So now I’m trying to clear 13 before year’s end, and I’m 3 down. Next year’s resolution is to learn to stop worrying and love the backlog.

  7. I would totally participate in Fun Club sanctioned playings of KotOR, Psychonauts, Persona 3 or DQ VIII. January’s a slow month, so let’s put it to good use!

  8. I would be gravely concerned about anyone who could play those four games in the space of a month.

  9. You should truly try a Megaten game first. For you Parish, I think you’d be able to handle Nocturne from the get-go (in that you would be able to accept its decidedly traditional trappings) especially with a Fun Club to go along with it.

  10. One question: Why do you have the PS2 version of Psychonauts? The load times in that game were unbearable.

  11. You know, thanks for this. It always helps to reaffirm that my backlog-induced guilt is blown completely out of proportion.

  12. It’s interesting to see the GTAs on there, as I just knocked Liberty City Stories off my backlog a few months ago. I can tell you, the first 90 minutes or so was all “I don’t know, it feels like I’ve done this before,” but afterward it was like “Wait, that’s because it was really fun every time.” Gameplay-wise, LCS is basically GTA3’s world with Vice City’s enhancements, which means you do lose a lot of the joy of exploration, although it does give you reason to get to know some previously-unimportant parts of the city in more depth.

    After I finished, I felt I understood better why it was originally a portable game–as another console GTA, it can feel kind of unnecessary next to GTA3/Vice City, but if you’re on the go a lot and have limited access to the originals then it makes a lot of sense. It’s still fun, though, and it’s probably best to play it now before GTA4 comes along and (presumably) raises our expectations of what a GTA should be.

  13. I started Nocturne and Digital Devil Saga a while ago. I really want to pick DDS back up again, but I just recently bought Devil Summoner and Persona 3. I was enjoying P3 until I looked at a FAQ and saw what was required to get a perfect game and how far I was from it. That’s the reason I stopped playing Nocturne too. Too Pokemonish.

    I think I’ll go back to DDS soon, it has the least of the “got to fuse them all” aspect, and the story seemed to grab me the best out of any of the above. I think a FAQ was to blame for me stopping DDS1 in the first place, because I saw what was required to unlock a character in DDS2 and I had made the wrong choice. But I think I want to play the DDS1+ (second time through) before I go to DDS2 anyway.

    On top of all of that I just resurrected my FF XI character from October of 2004. I have no idea why, just the new expansion put the game back in my head again.

  14. No advice but I’ll share my backlog:
    Adventure II
    Alien Soldier
    Chrono Trigger
    The Getaway
    Gran Turismo 4
    Halo 2
    Kingdom Hearts
    The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
    Metal Gear Solid
    Metroid Prime
    Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
    Parasite Eve
    Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
    Resident Evil: Code Veronica
    Resident Evil 4
    Shenmue 2
    Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner
    Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
    Star Wars: KOTOR
    Steambot Chronicles
    Tron 2.0 Killer App
    Vagrant Story
    Y’s Book 1+2

  15. The PS2 version of Psychonauts was FREE. So.

    This is not actually my full backlog, just the absolute essentials. Ha ha ha haaaoh god

  16. “The PS2 version of Psychonauts was FREE. So.”

    … Oh. Still, you should probably trade it in for an XBox version anyway. I found that the load times were unbearable when I played the PS2 version, but the XBox version wasn’t as bad.

  17. I can shorten your pile by one right now. Absolutely under no circumstances play KOTOR 2. It is an abysmal pile of crap. The game is literally unfinished, with jarring jumps in the narrative, piles of bugs and inconsistencies, and a patched-together, incoherent ending.

    Well, play it if you must, but you have been warned.

  18. Suggestion: If you get to Oblivion, either download the Shivering Isles expansion or pick up the GOTY edition. The Sheogroath stuff is really cool, and the prince of madness himself one of the more interesting characters in the game.

  19. My (mostly) complete backlog is stored as a 45-row spreadsheet, though a recent prioritization exercise revealed that a lot of it is cruft that won’t cause too much grief if I never get to it. Of course, that’s not counting stuff I want to play but haven’t purchased, but maybe that says something about how important those games really are to me.

    Psychonauts is also available as an Xbox Originals download now, and on Steam, but that is more money on a game you already own. I don’t know how bad the PS2 version is myself.

  20. I’m pushing about 150 games on my backlog. Some of these are games I nearly finished but didn’t quite.

  21. You know, you may want to move Yakuza up. It’s an absolute blast to play and only around 15 hours. Plus, it has Mark Hamill doing a very creepy, psychotic bad guy.

    …Wait, why does that sound familiar?

  22. I don’t think any of us should have “backlog guilt.” If anything we should be thankful that we’re affluent enough to build up a backlog of entirely useless things. Currently videogames are the only thing I’m backed up on, so… hooray! I’m behind on my video games!

  23. As a couple people already mentioned, I’d suggest going after Ico and Shadow of the Colossus first, as neither are easily done in under ten hours.

    Super Paper Mario and RE4 both take no more than 20 hours, and everything else I’ve played on your list takes upwards of 50 hours. So…hope that helps you plan your year.

  24. I hate to say this due to the risk of sounding like an average internet ass, but Yakuza isn’t as high quality as the rest… Thats the nicest way i can put it (It has a really good story. though).

  25. MarcAlan: “You know, you may want to move Yakuza up. It’s an absolute blast to play and only around 15 hours. Plus, it has Mark Hamill doing a very creepy, psychotic bad guy.

    …Wait, why does that sound familiar?”

    Because he played Ripburger in the ultra badass Full Throttle!… that’s why.

    But, Parish, please, do yourself a favor and play Resindent Evil 4. It’s awesome. You owe it to yourself to play a fun game. Probably the only 3D game where the 3D part has been put to good use.

  26. One of the many, many great things about P3 is that despite being basically 70 hours *minimum* it moves really fast. You can get a reasonable amount done in an hour, at least as much as in any other rpg, because it’s really streamlined and there’s nothing mysterious about progression, ever.

    Although it does have a few perhaps overly long boss fights. Other than that, it works really well either slowly digested or marathonned.

  27. I’m going to go out on my usual limb and say: SCREW YOUR BACKLOG, WHERE’S MY RETRONA—–


  28. Is the Classy there to represent all the VC games you want to play through but haven’t had the time to? Or did it just sneak in, hoping to make it big by appearing on a popular blog?

  29. May I advise you to start with Call of Duty 4? Not due to any personal bias I hold towards the game myself (I don’t own it yet), but because I hear it’s really, really short.

  30. It’s funny that Super Paper Mario is on that pile, because I bought game falsely remembering that you had recommended it. Still, good game.

  31. If I were you, I would arrange the games by how quick and easy they were to play. So I’d start with the 360 games (apart from Oblivion) then the wii games as they’re most likely plugged into your TV right now. I would borrow the Xbox version of Psychonauts, play that and KOTOR (putting of KOTOR 2 on very low priority) before plugging in the PS2 to finish them off. That way, you won’t get discombobulated by the jump between generations of hardware.

  32. For the Orange Box, I highly recommend playing Portal, and then putting off the rest. (If you’ve already played HL2, then the episodes are fairly short, but HL2 itself is loooooong.)
    Portal can easily be finished in one evening, and is well worth it.

  33. I just finished BioShock myself. Great stuff, of course. I’ll be very interested to hear your opinions on it (if you have any to share) since you just finished with Mass Effect. Specifically how you feel about the differences in storytelling. Both of them have received almost universal acclaim for that, and they do it very different ways.

  34. The funny thing about your backlog is how I just recently sat down and started beating most of those games. There are a couple in there I never played (and I am ashamed to admit I never beat Ico), but it’s pretty similar to my games beaten list for the past month or two.

    As is, I both feel sorry for you and envy the journey you’ve got ahead of you – of all of them, Super Paper Mario is the only one I don’t think is completely worth it. I know I’m in the minority here, but none of the Mario games have measured up after the original Super Mario RPG.

    Oh, and one other relatively short game you might want to tag on – if you haven’t already beaten it – is God Hand. It starts off a little weak, but it gets more awesome the farther you go.

  35. And so it came to pass that Parish opened the case of Dragon Quest VIII to find that, having rightfully been placed at the bottom of the Tower of Backlog, the disc had shattered into pieces under the weight of its brethren. And though Parish felt the bitter sting of loss as he committed the remains to the wastebin, he did not despair, but rejoiced! For he had come to understand that it was not carelessness, nor misfortune, but divine mercy that had rent the disc asunder. And yea, Parish was spared 60+ hours of mirthless JRPG mediocrity whose only novelty is the blurring of the line between “entertainment” and “punishment”.

    So it is written, so it shall be done.

  36. I’d start with Ico, then RE4, then Bioshock, then Portal…those are the four most glaring omissions I can see. I know how frustrating it can be to have too many games to play and not enough time, but at least the good news is you have a lot to look forward to, and you know you won’t ever be bored anytime soon if you’re at home.

    My pile of shame includes: Ocarina of Time, Mario 64, Halo 3, Prince of Persia 3, Psychonauts, Kotor 1 and 2, HL2, and worst of all Vagrant Story.

    Of your pile, I’d say you don’t need to worry about the PSP GTA ports or DQVIII (unless you’re looking forward to a soporific, traditional JRPG slog with story complexity of a baby book). And seriously, you should just go Ico and Portal now, they’re both really short.

  37. Guys, he’s already beaten Portal.

    Also, having played one post III GTA, I don’t think either of those PSP ports qualify as “essential.” Your list though.

  38. In order to bring relevance back to the last paragraph I propose we say that it is gay. It is the only way.

  39. Your stack looks like my stack. Except I refuse to play anything with the word “Dragon” in the title. Girls will think even less of me than they already do and my secret pornography closet is already bursting-full.

  40. Dragon Quarter took me about three aborted tries to get into but once I finally “got it” it was an insane and rad gem. As good as Vagrant Story gameplay/tension/depth wise… It was just too hard and had a pretty convoluted ruleset for most people. I think the Breath of Fire games are usually boring rehashes of fantasy tropes (some exceptions here n there) so that jam blew my brains out. It’s also pretty short, just read an FAQ to get a handle on the mechanics.

  41. I’m fairly certain that if I made a stack like that for myself, it would be taller than me. At some point a couple of years ago, I determined that I hadn’t finished over half of the games that I own, and I’m sure the problem has only gotten worse since then.

  42. Oh man, I envy you for being able to play Shadow of the Colossus for the first time! My personal pile of shame is about two days away from being less one Bionic Commando.

  43. Every time I read your stuff I marvel at your competency and excellence in the art of writing. Yet, at the very end you wrote “obvious” when I think you meant to write “oblivious.” You let me down, man. I don’t know if I can trust you anymore.


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