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Mount Unplayable: the horrific pile of shame

Friday, 26 April 2013 09:40 GMT By Brenna Hillier

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.

So. Boring. Sorry.

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.

Argh. No. Please.

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?

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31 Comments

  1. Dave Cook

    Binary Domain: Do it B, I think it’s one of the most underrated games of the generation. I really enjoyed it :D

    #1 2 years ago
  2. freedoms_stain

    I have my Steam library categorised Playing, Unfinished, Unplayed, Re-play and Complete (plus categories for multiplayer and puzzle type games that you don’t really “finish”).

    Right now there are about 40 games sitting in “Unplayed” and about 18 in Playing and Unfinished combined.

    Some sitting in Unfinished I don’t know if I’ll ever play again. GTAIV, Velvet Assassin, Zombie Driver, Anomaly Warzone Earth, Dead Island – not really sure I ever want to play these again.

    Then there’s PS3, I have 3 boxed games either untouched or barely touched, several PSN games I’ve bought and never played, and I have a PS+ subscription, I’ve played a lot of games through that but there is still a lot of content there I’ve never touched.

    Right now I’m eliminating Hard Reset from the Unfinished pile and really enjoying it. I think I’ll fire that into Re-play when I’m done and do it on the harder difficulties one day.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Telepathic.Geometry

    “Eventually you END up…”
    “which OCCURRED when it came out on Wii.”
    “somebody lends OR gifts me a shooter…”

    Great read Brenna. If you ever decide that you want to see a collecting game done right, I urge you to play Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. Great story, great voice acting, great animation, and a fucking master-class in level design and helping magpie types to find and collect things. ^-^

    If you ever decide that you’re a bad girl and need to be tortured, I urge you to play through Jak II and know true agony. It’s the worst game I have ever completed, and that’s just because I’m an idiot trophy whore with OCD.

    As for me, I STILL have Red Dead Redemption, Rage and Crysis 2 staring at me with big cow eyes.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. KrazyKraut

    Got the same problems with disagea. I still need Disgaea 2…without..I will never start playing the other ones I already own.

    I ordered Dragons Dogma some days ago, because now you get the add.on + the full game for an awesome price. Same will go for the Skyrim Legendary ed.

    Binary Domains is awesome, played the game 3-4 times with all endings,
    but I am sure…because of the poor sale, there will be no sequel.

    Besides this I thought you were not allowed to keep the presents from pubs..?
    Just curious. I wouldn’t have a problem with that, because I trust you ALL that you folks keep your objectivity.

    (I may look like the asshole who criticise everytime the site here and it often sounds worse than I really mean it, but…I have a problem with double standards)

    #4 2 years ago
  5. frod

    it’s because even games that get high scores are unoriginal disposable garbage.

    don’t call it a pile of shame, call it a pile of trash. sell them if you can, otherwise throw them in the bin, and stop buying every high scoring game you see. stop reading reviews and buy on your gut, set an annual budget as low as a couple of hundred quid and stick to it. buy games with longevity.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. YoungZer0

    Oh yeah, the Steam sales. It’s christmas and you eventually buy a package of games you’d never even try. But it’s cheap and we’re greedy.

    L.A. Noire is handsdown one of the most boring games I’ve ever played. It never tries to be more than what it is and what is is not fun, or smart or engaging.

    Binary Domain wasn’t much fun to play. The voiceacting and art-direction is terrible. The gameplay is fine, but everything is so bland and been-there-done that. The story takes forever to get going. I stopped playing it half-way through. It’s always a bad sign when I play a game and forget half-way through why I’m even there and what I’m doing. Though I have to say, if you want to play a PROPER Terminator game, this is it.

    And Brenna, all those games you won’t play. All those shooters you have and don’t care about? You can send them to me. I’ll play them. Just for you. Yes, I would do that. Not for me. For you.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. foofly

    Sonic Racing was great, but I’m bias. As for LA Noire, I thought it was true to it’s references of Vertigo, North By Northwest etc. So I loved the pacing, if only there was more to do in the world.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Digital Bamboo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwyEEuJeLkY

    I have a massive backlog of 40+ games across 4 systems, and that doesn’t even include any games released since 2012 (ok, maybe 2).

    I’m planning on playing GTAIV when GTAV comes out, and I have yet to crack Assassin’s Creed II. It’s pretty ridiculous, but I have hope; I’m whittling it down.

    I’m actually finishing more games than ever before, and have more free time to do so than ever, so I’m not complaining. I’m just late to the party.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. redwood

    oh my,, MGR on a caffine high,that game is already on steroids…you poor soul…

    #9 2 years ago
  10. The Auracle

    Cracking article but I disagree on L.A. Noire. That game was anything other than boring for me but that just goes to show now subjective things like this are. ^_^

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Lengendaryboss

    @10
    But Brenna does have a point it about being boring, i mean it is very repetitive i will admit the story is interesting but after that i don’t see going back to it.

    @Brenna
    I don’t blame you for not being interested in FPS games cause the industry is flooded with them but you should really try Killzone 3 it ain’t supreme like Killzone 2 but its worth a playthrough and MGRR it is very loud, action based spin off in the MGS universe with interesting insight on Raiden but you might get pissed off with last the Boss fight.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. ShadowLinkX

    Just so you know Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed is much better than it’s predecessor I rented the original game and hated it as it was a generic kart game attempt in my opinion, but I tried the new one after hearing some of the ost via youtube and got it on steam after seeing how dedicated the devs were with patching the game and fixing the issues that came up and I love it more than mario kart as it’s doing it’s own thing and isn’t restricted by one franchise and has plenty of hidden stuff for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wO5p5EfDRWE

    #12 2 years ago
  13. ps4some

    If you ain’t played them trade em in. You could buy a new sofa (see yesterday’s article) :)

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Moonwalker1982

    I recognize a lot of this in my self. Plenty of awesome games in my backlog like Alan Wake for example, but here i am in my second playthrough of Skyrim. Well actually i’m in Dragonborn now, but still. I have yet to continue with Bioshock Infinite and i have a lot of stuff left in Tomb Raider and so on. It’s a problem, but i guess i can’t complain :)

    #14 2 years ago
  15. psxman

    Agreeing with Dave here, Binary Domain was Fantastic!
    Nice to look at, tight controls and the voice command gimmick works 85% of the time.

    Also, dat plot. Hggnnn!

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Schwarzerwind

    I bought GTA IV on Steam for $7.50.

    I’m not sure I’m ever going to play it…. Saints Row III, though, took up months of my life.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. viralshag

    I loved WH40K: Space Marine but I think you need to be a fan to fully enjoy it. Gutted I’ll probably never see a sequel.

    Binary Domain is awesome and agreed with DD: Dark Arisen.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. salarta

    Racing/car games are only fun for making them crash into each other, and even then it’s not an investment worth $60. Sometimes games in the vein of Mario Kart are good too, but usually only if you can play it with someone in person.

    There’s also that Juiced commercial where a couple guys basically use their game controllers to sexually harass and humiliate a woman.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. fearmonkey

    This article could be about me and my Steam collection as well.

    I have so many games that are unfinished and some I never tried. it’s not that I dont want to finish them, its that I have limited game time and find myself going to games I can easily jump in and out off, ones that dont have checkpoints.

    Games that I have finished are games that I find myself going to when im tired or just need a minimal game time craving. Skyrim and the Fallouts are great for this.

    I have found another great time wasting game that gives me that same fix, the free to play Path of Exile. I am really loving that game, though I find myself replaying levels because I died before getting to a zone out. The game is wierd because once you die, that level doesnt stay, you have to start over.

    Unfortunately….. Dead Space 3 sits in the xbox 360, and games that I want to play yet havent finished like Xcom, Max Payne 3, and games that I never touched because of bundles sit waiting for one day I might play them.

    and yet… Every weekend there are more deals, more sales, that tempt me and I tell myself no most of the time, unless its one I just have to have because its an amazing deal.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Cobra951

    @12: I was quite impressed by the demo. It’s on my list of games to get eventually. Thanks for the good feedback.

    Brenna, you don’t like racers, shooters or platformers? I don’t know what I’d do with my free time if I suddenly felt like you. LOL

    #20 2 years ago
  21. polygem

    well…i am not even trying anymore.
    many unfinished and unstarted games.
    there was a time i finished every single game i played and i enjoyed doing so.
    these days i have more unfinished than finished games.
    hmmmm…

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Bruno

    Does this mean you don’t want my copy of Bullet Witch? No one else will take it either…

    #22 2 years ago
  23. CaptPierce

    Not playing the Jak and Daxter series should be a damn crime hah. Great games you’re missing out on! Same with LittleBigPlanet2.

    A game I will NEVER return to, is Demon’s/Dark Souls. 15 hours in with no payoff whatsoever through the game, just made the game feel like a chore or work than anything fun. It’s hard to the point of just being boring and monotonous.

    Agree with L.A. Noire to an extent. I’m glad I got to experience the game, but it took SOOOO long to get through, I have no intention of picking it up again.

    I had all the Walking Dead episodes for 6 months on my PS3 and never played it until recently, and it became my favorite game of last year. You never know if you like a game till you play it.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Brenna Hillier

    So many different opinions! You guys are a walking advertisement for why diversity in game design is so important

    #24 2 years ago
  25. DSB

    I’m seeing signs of gamer fatigue here. First you blame the interior design, now there are just too many games.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Clupula

    I have a few unbeaten games that keep taking a backseat to newer stuff. 3D Dot Game Heroes, Enchanted Arms, Folklore, Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath, Hydrophobia Prophecy (I think that’s the name. I’ve only put about a half hour into it, but it was $3 on the Playstation Store, so I felt I should buy it), Prince of Persia: Sands of Time HD (which I keep getting to the same part, then putting the game away for a bit, coming back to it, only to have forgotten the controls and needing to start over), Beyond Good & Evil HD, Rune Factory: Tides of Time, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Red Alert 3, and Stranglehold (which I only bought because an ex of mine was a big John Woo fan and she wanted to show me “Hard Boiled,” since her dad resembles Chow Yun Fat).

    Then there’s a couple games that I’ve beaten but I either need to beat the post-game (Disgaea 3) or the DLC that I downloaded but still haven’t taken the time to play (Disgaea 4, Dark Souls).

    And then there’s games I want to play, but haven’t picked up for whatever reason: Uncharted 3, Dead Space 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Borderlands 2, Neptunia V, Atelier Ayesha, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, Tekken Tag 2, DOA 5.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. Digital Bamboo

    ^ I thought the controls of PoP: Sands of Time were quite intuiative, no? Anyway, it’s well worth playing, and not very long.

    I’ve given up on finishing Elder Scrolls IV. It was the first PS3 game I ever played & I clocked over 150 hours, but some of those random Oblivion worlds were just hell.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. Christopher Jack

    Never completed GTA III, IV or San Andreas but still loved them, just every time I got around 80-90% completion, I got to a point where I was no longer interested. Only GTA I properly completed was Vice City. I haven’t even started half the games in my Steam collection, & about half the games I did start I only played for 30~ mins. Probably be easier to name the games I have completed:

    AvP (2010), I think that game was a little underrated & the MP was quite good despite the assertion that predators were OP- which is really only true under specific circumstances.

    Borderlands 1 & 2, although I have not beaten Terramorphous yet or bought any of the DLC. I have beaten every other mission though.

    Dead Island, decent, fun game but terrible story that remains inconclusive & gets progressively worst, by the end I wanted to give up but I didn’t.

    Skyrim, completed the main story at least, if I went straight after the main story I reckon I could do it in 6 hours.

    Fable 1, 2 & 3, well I completed all of them on X360 but I bought III while on special on Steam. 3 was alright but nothing special, I also think it was too easy to become rich (being an important component towards the end). 1 was great but cbf returning to it atm. 2 was probably my fav but I acknowledge that 1 was better.

    L.A. Noire, enjoyed it but don’t plan on returning to it any time soon.

    Saints Row 2 & 3, 2 was great & loved every moment of it, 3 however felt like I was playing a terrible movie… 2 I am likely to return to but I’m not sure about 3.

    The Walking Dead (Telltale), was a great game but I dislike how little of an impact my decision really have by the end.

    Dawn of War I, Winter Assault, Dark Crusade, Soulstorm, II, Chaos Rising, Retribution, All good games & I can’t wait for a sequel, I just hope it returns more towards the original that I fell in love with.

    Space Marine, I was hoping for something more out of this game, I somewhat enjoyed it but couldn’t escape that generic feeling, MP also sucked.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. Clupula

    @28 – I put about 40-45 hours on gameplay into San Andreas when it first came out. Got up to this part where I had to steal a jet off an aircraft carrier. Played it dozens of times and then finally beat it, only to crash afterwards, so I decided to take a break from the game. Two weeks later, my apartment got robbed, and the game stolen. I replaced most of my games. Never that one, because I don’t ever want to do any of that crap again.

    @27 – It’s little things I forget, like how to rewind time and how to collect sand and stuff.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. Christopher Jack

    @29, I don’t remember which particular mission but it was around the first time I (properly) got to the final island.

    I installed it several months back & got about half way into the second main island & my save bugged & I lost all of my progress.

    Actually, I reckon I’ll install it again, I really wished they woulda continued with the route San Andreas was taking the GTA series & I think the major switch from a relaxing(by that I mean the game itself didn’t really take itself so seriously) gangsta game with so much variation into the depressing Russian themed GTA IV completely lacking the variation of SA really hurt their fan base.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. Joe_Gamer

    My steam account is an embarrassment of unplayed riches.

    #31 2 years ago

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