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What Next? Call to Arms [GO]
Jul 10th, 2009 by Dan

Hey loyal readers,

I need your help in deciding what game to play next. I haven’t quite gotten my polling software down, so here’s a nifty embedded poll instead.

Basically, I want to continue to write impressions about games that I’m playing, but I don’t know which one to move on to next. A little about each of the choices:

Earthbound (Mother 2)

A fantastic, Dragon Quest-inspired RPG series by Shigesato Itoi, Earthbound is fantastic, quirky, and interesting. I played this back when I was in middle school, but I think it deserves reexamining. Ideally I would be hooking up my SNES, which I still have, to get this to work, so that would be an adventure in and of itself.

Suikoden Tierkreis

I’ve never played any of Konami’s Suikoden RPG series, but this DS gaiden-type story is said to have a pretty neat narrative.

Shadow of the Colossus

Universally hailed by nearly every human being who has played it, this game is held in such high regard that it was featured in Reign Over Me because its themes of loss and regret actually coincided with those of the movie. I can only go on without playing a game by Ueda for so much longer.

Mother 3

Held in super-high regard by the likes of Tim Rogers, among many others, the third of the Mother series is chock full of the same light irreverence of Mother 2, but coupled with a somber, deep, dark, heavy story that is sure to tug at the heartstrings.

Chrono Trigger DS

The DS remake of my favorite 16-bit game, you can’t really go wrong with CT. Developed by a dream team collaboration between Square and Enix before they were Square Enix (Squeenix!), Chrono Trigger was the swan song of the 16-bit JRPG.

Final Fantasy IV DS

The Final Fantasy whose release immediately preceded (in the US) my favorite in the series, FFIV has eluded completion from me on multiple rentals. A fine game that I just haven’t had the time to ever finish.

There’s also the obvious choice that you don’t like this feature, which I won’t take personally. If no one likes it, why do it, right?

This poll will remain open until 0000 14 July whereupon I will either narrow it down further or, if one wins outright, simply play that game next.

You can get some of these games at my Amazon aStore!

The Pile of Shame [GO]
Jun 23rd, 2009 by Dan

Just about every serious adult (and employed) gamer has one thing in common, regardless of his/her tastes: the pile of shame. It sounds a lot worse than it is, because it’s definitely not a stack of Barbie Horse Adventure games or anything, it’s a stack of games that have all received critical acclaim or come highly recommended, but that the gamer has no time to get around to playing, mainly because of other releases or just being too busy.

The perfect time for burning through this back catalog is usually the summer. Releases have slowed down in anticipation for the upcoming holiday season and developers have only just started getting over E3 preparations, limiting their ability to release in the summer anyway. Plenty of other people are taking this time to burn through their backlog, but I find myself unable to focus on the rather considerable stack of games I have in lieu of achievement hunting or just purchasing new games.

It’s a serious problem when I’m in Best Buy seriously considering buying Resident Evil 5, the latest in a series of games that I never play because I hate horror video games, instead of just going home and playing Dragon Quest V or Suikoden Tierkreis, both games I’ve never played and own, or finishing the remakes that I’d started like the DS Chrono Trigger or GBA Final Fantasy VI. I keep having to resist buying Gears of War 2, even though I’ve yet to finish Fallout 3, play the Uncharted 2 Beta at all, or milk the remaining content out of Left 4 Dead or Mass Effect. Then again, should I really be all that surprised? People love the brand new and the allure of buying a new copy of Ghostbusters, despite its middling reviews, is just a part of human nature.

The main problem with my “problem” is that I don’t really have the cash to throw around to just be buying all sorts of new games. You may have applauded my self-control in resisting RE5 and GoW2, but the real deterrent is that I just couldn’t afford to buy them. I’ve flirted with the notion of starting some kind of retro-gaming feature to motivate me to both clear my backlog and give me new, interesting (video game related) writing topics. Honestly, if I could take easy screenshots or capture video more easily, I might be more likely to try and do something like that, but it loses some of its allure to have it be text-only.

This may or may not still happen. I’m going to do some research into cheap video capture mechanics and if I can manage it, then we might see me start to clear through my backlog with accompanying screens or movies. If not, well then this winding, aimless post is just me whining about having games that I don’t want to play because I want shiny new ones.

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