Fri, Apr 26, 2013 | 09:40 BST
Mount Unplayable: the horrific pile of shame
Brenna just hit hour six of her ninth Skyrim playthrough attempt. Meanwhile, a pile of unfinished and even unopened games sits staring accusingly from a dusty shelf.
There’ll always be an increasingly less humble bundle or a Steam sale or some other spectacular offer just when you happen to have a few coins clinking around in your pocket, and bam! There you are with a new game (or nine) when you still haven’t finished the last one.
It’s the ultimate first-world problem: you have too many video games. This is a quandary almost all of us have at some time or another, because no matter how broke you are, there’ll always be an increasingly less humble bundle or a Steam sale or some other spectacular offer just when you happen to have a few coins clinking around in your pocket, and bam! There you are with a new game (or nine) when you still haven’t finished the last one.
This issue is especially egregious for games writers because we’re supposed to play everything if we can, in order to be fully informed and informative on The State of Modern Video Games in 2013. We try and get our grubby hands on everything, and companies send a pile of it along for free.
Eventually you send up in the kind of situation I’m in. I could build a fort out of the unplayed games I’ve got lying around – in fact I did once, and waged war on an unwelcome vistor from behind my ramparts. That was a great night. Anyway, here’s what I have littering my living room right now; let’s not even start on anything I’ve bought via digital distribution, for consoles or PC.
Games I want to play:
I really am keen to try Binary Domain. Even the critique of it as a somewhat mediocre shooter with a broken voice command system doesn’t put me off. I hounded Sega for this one for weeks and when it arrived I promptly forgot about it.
No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise: I really like everything else Grasshopper Manufacture has ever done but I believe my total accumulated play time for No More Heroes is about 45 minutes. I think I missed the window on this one – which occured when it came out on Wii.
I sunk at least 90 minutes into Dead Rising 2: Off The Record, I’m sure of it, then I realised I was playing Dead Rising 2, again, and thought I’d come back to it later. It has a layer of dust on it which forms bunnies if you rub your finger across it.
My housemate used to work at THQ and the poor reception De Blob and its sequel received still haunt him. Whenever I skip over this one he gives me a look of such pain that I’m inspired to do something nice, like empty the dishwasher. Instead I’ll probably get around to playing De Blob 2, which by all accounts is pretty special.
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen arrived this week, and I must say, I am going to play the shit out of it. Just as soon as I am not horrifically busy. So about 2047, then.
Games I never want to play again
Sometimes I review games for magazines. Usually you get code which can only run on a debug console, a few weeks earlier than promos go out. Having finished the game in full working for one publication, I usually then get a proper copy. Unfortunately, if I’m reviewing for a magazine it means the poor publishers have run out of other options at deadline and I probably only have a few days to put into the damn thing, and having played it non-stop on a caffiene high for a whole weekend, I never want to see it again. Prime offenders include Yakuza: Dead Souls and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
I really feel like I ought to finish LA Noire because it’s quite important in the broader narrative of game design, but gosh, it’s super boring, isn’t it? I managed about three hours and then I had pressing matters to attend to elsewhere. Somehow the disc never made it back into the console.
I have a copy of SSX which makes me feel depressed every time I look at it. I was really excited about it because I loved Cool Boarders so much circa 1997. It turns out I’m rubbish at it, so all the super awesome multiplayer features are completely lost on me.
Games I’ll probably never choose to play.
Every time somebody lends od gifts me a shooter I just sort of stare at it, puzzled. What do they think I’m going to do with it? Have they forgotten that time I came to a Goldeneye party and embarrassed everybody horribly? A sampling of my extensive unopened shooter collection: Starhawk; Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine; SOCOM: Special Forces; Killzone 3; Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel.
Ditto: cars. I can’t drive cars. If I could drive cars, I’d become a race driver (no, really; I would). What am I going to do with Twisted Metal and Need for Speed: The Run? And as for Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed, I actually told Sega not to send it to me. I didn’t have a Nintendo console growing up and I never learned kart racing. Whenerver someone fires up a kart racer at a party my immediate reaction is to explode in wrath and leave – stealing all the beer. Fuck kart racing. I might microwave this one.
When I was growing up it sometimes felt like we didn’t have anything but cute platformers and now every time I see one I actually start to twitch under one eye. A quick survey of the pile turns up Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time; Ratchet & Clank: QForce; LittleBigPlanet 2; The Jak & Daxter Collection; and The Ratchet & Clank Trilogy. If I ever put these in my console it will be because somebody has turned up with children and I’m desperate to escape their fixed, disturbing stares.
I also have over 20 PlayStation Move games, all sent by Sony. I don’t own a Move. It’s not working out very well.
What’s lying around the debris of your living room, or haunting the far corners of your Steam library? Will you ever actually get around to it, or just spend another evening playing Black Ops 2 multiplayer with your mates?