(1/1): My goal for the year is the same as the last two (2012, 2013): 40 completed games. I know it may be unusual and that there's another thread somewhere in here for similar purposes, but I also collect my general media consumption in some spoiler tags at the bottom of this post.
(2/25): I'm going to have to play a lot more PS3 games or install a bigger hard drive to keep up with the volume of PS+ freebies. Bummed that I signed up 1 day too late for DMC, but I'm excited to get Bioshock Infinite, Brothers, and soon Remember Me, along with other stuff I would not have tried out!
(3/4): Just wanted to say that I think it's great that more people are doing capsule reviews. Cheers to EldritchOnRye, Tossin, Rise9, and my completion tab buddy Melatonin!
(7/14): I've taken to playing INGRESS recently. I can't tell if it's a good idea. I think I'm thinking about it too much, about to crest lv. 5 in less than a week, but I guess I like that it makes me want to go walk a couple miles several times a day.
(11/11): It's possible I didn't complete any games in September and October. I've been playing some long ranging or unending games on my phone, and super employed in those two months.
(12/22): I've been starting so many more games than I'm finishing lately! I guess it's an investment on some easy points for 2015...
(1/2/15): Really went after all the discounted and free iOS offerings this year, since the Steam sale left me cold.
I'm marking this down as my third successful year of game tab in a row. 35 finished games, more than ever, even if some of them I do hope to return to and explore further. As always, more games that I played a lot of but never end, and even more games that I'm somewhere in the middle of but can't yet count for a win. I also racked up a hell of a lot of board games and TV series, a surprising decrease in movie watching, and a downright disappointing decrease in standup performances, since I seem to have tracked them all in the footer of this huge post. The story continues in 2015 here
- Broken Age (act 1) - The art and the dialogue are terrific. I had some real gripes with the puzzle-y parts early on, when I had the right idea for something on Vella's side and wasn't allowed to do it until I collected the hints first, and Shay has a super convenient object for no discernible reason, but I got on board a little more when the worlds opened up. Felt clever about having a prediction re: the act break. 4/5
- Cook Serve Delicious - A steam sale purchase. I had a good time with this, collected platinum star rating, and most of the achievements except, like, server 15,000 meals, since the whole story section only took about 7,500. Tips: You can serve a cooked item while preparing something else, and nobody ever complains when you give them extra ice cream. 4/5
- Sound Shapes - I think I grabbed this two Christmases ago, just finished it up now to make room for some PS+ stuff. It's an okay little platformer and all, but kind of a chore to play. I finished the campaign, but I don't care about trophies enough to work on the challenge levels, and the interface for the beat-maker thing is too much work to spend time on. 2/5
- Threes - I didn't find this -quite- as addictive as the popular opinion. It's nice to sit and fold numbers while watching TV, so i'll still play from time to time, but right now I have the highest score of anyone I know,
27,783 28,092 64,797, and whenever I have the best score in one of these things, that releases the hooks. I don't -have- to play it again until it turns out someone has beaten me. 4/5
- Dragon Warrior I - This title has a fixture in my childhood. I think I mainly watched my dad play, but maybe started and restarted games of my own. We played forever. Ridmular (sic) was so far away. We did beat it though, on the original NES. This was the GBC version, played on my phone, and I beat it in approximately 48 hours. Not 48 hours of play, but from the time I started. I had all the best gear, and I paced up in down in the Dragon Lord's front hallway to boost up two levels to 21 in order to take him out. Sure, I checked a world map online, but the original game came with a printed one. And Nintendo Power was full of 'em. My first issue even had a pull-out mini-book full of Dragon Warrior stuff… I can only assume they really changed the balance around on the remake. Or maybe I've got a lot of questions for my dad… 3/5
- Remember Me - Good thing: This was part of my new PS+ subscription! Bad thing: The game. It was secretly(?) a God of War clone. They really sold this on the memory remixing, and there's so little of that here. Most of the playing in memories you do is in the vein of the Mario help system: watch a ghost do something, then do that thing. It got a little better after the tutorial levels, but that's about when the reusing levels starts. Even a remix part got recycled. 2/5 Also,
- Dragon Warrior II - I was listening to some of the Indoor Kids podcast while I played this, and someone talked about how sometimes you play games to beat them and other times just to see them. I was in DWI to beat it, but I think DWII just to see it all. I brazenly turned to online help with entering the final area, when I saw no villager that happened to know the answer, I used saves to win the lotto and it didn't bother me at all. I came to see, and I did. The beginning of part 3 seems an overwhelming pile of choices, so I might not come back to the series right away. 3/5
- 10000000 - A match 3 type game. I played this last year, but I got a new iOS device since then, so my save was gone and played it again. Took about 3.5 hours of game time, but felt rather longer, since it was spread over months. 3/5
- Halcyon - Last year I described this as a kind of frenetic "match-two" game. For some idiotic reason I started playing it again and it got its claws back into me. A wasted day or two later, I've finally rebeaten the 'Stars' section. 3/5
- Thomas Was Alone - PS+ keeps on giving. I'd been interested in this one. I think it knocked off in one night, and then I started again on the commentary track. It was just… fine. 3/5
- DerivClicker - I collected all the things. I don't think there's anything else to do. It's not as fancy as cookie clicking or Candy Box or Clicking Bad from last year, which it occurs to me now I never logged. I guess I never got every last thing in cookie clicker. 2/5
- Monument Valley - Fairly fun, and I liked the one level that was a box that opens. I read reviews that promised 3-4 hours of gameplay so the sort-of high price (for an iOS game) seemed worth it. It turned out to be barely 1 hour of gaming, so I kind of wish I'd waited around for a sale. Classic CAG. 3/5
- A Dark Room - More or less in the browser based clicky genre. It was intriguing as I unlocked new things, and surprising as I kept forgetting I was playing and returned days later to find I had tons of supplies. Combat becomes a chore towards the end. Finished twice. 3/5
- Choppin' Wood
- I'm really into this kind of game lately. The balance of attending and then ignoring fits in just right with the jobs I've been working recently. There's not much to this one though. More theme but maybe less interesting than DerivClicker above. 2/5
- Dig Hard - This is a great little game jam game co-created by a schoolmate of mine. Brief, but a lot of fun while it lasted. Also, the power went out in my building just as I won, which was a little unsettling. 4/5
- Make it Rain - Maybe the worst of these incremental clicky games I've played. This one's for iPhone, and spits an awful lot of ads at the player. I did not collect all the things, but I did get to the 'YOU WIN' screen that forces you to stop playing. 1/5
- Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons - Very nicely done short story. Explores the options and mechanics of controlling two characters at once in a lot of fun ways. Would have been fun in co-op, but I get how that sort of defeats the purpose. Pleasantly twisty narrative, lots of places to sit in-game, surprising finale. 4/5
- Pixeljunk Shooter - Replay while watching some videos. Still mostly fun, still reminds me of Solar Jetman, but I think what I really wanted to (re)play was Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet. 3/5
- Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse - An unexpected gem. I've been trying a bunch of offerings from PS+ and I didn't think I'd stick with what appears to be Mickey 64, but the level design is fantastic in this. In the early levels, I was impressed with how you always end up visiting and exploring the interesting scenery in the deep background. In the later levels, I was impressed by how time is truly of the essence. I ended up nearly 100 diamonds short and don't plan to go looking for them, but the way that the levels kind of reminded me of rides at Disneyland in terms of tone, or space economy, or delight, or something, was a real treat. 5/5
- The Unfinished Swan - A neat concept that I generally found to be kind of a chore to work through. Gilliam was a nice touch. 2/5
- I'm not really counting these, but I did beat the demos of Project: Guard, Project: Giant Robot, and Splattoon at E3!
- EVOLand - I've had my eye on it for a while, bit during the Steam summer event. Generally pretty fun, but by the second half, the gimmicks have mostly faded away into actually being the kind of game they're joking about. My time was probably split evenly between getting up to the last boss, and then running around collecting everything before taking him out. Finished with 100% completion. 3/5
- Picross e4 - This is, I think, the third picross game I've played on a DS. Back to 2D. I liked that you get bonus puzzles for being a loyal franchise buyer. Blasted through this one really quick though, in about a month. 3/5
- Picross e3 - And having finished that one, I then went and wrapped up the last few puzzles from last year's installment. None of these are as much fun and addictive as Picross DS was though. Maybe because then it was a novelty. It also had the fun Nintendo themed level, which never re-appeared. 3/5
- AC-130 Air Gunship - It's like that level in that AAA shooting game, except a lot less fun! ..I still played all 15 levels.. 2/5
- Hoplite - Technically, I have won this game, but there's a lot of challenges and achievements and stuff so it doesn't feel beaten. It will live on in my iPad. I'm pretty sure this isn't "roguelike." Which is good. For me. 4/5
- Tomb Raider - My first Tomb Raider game ever, thanks to PS+. This one is basically Uncharted. Often I have joke (or not-joke) where I feel like maybe I'm not the good guy in a game where I'm slaughtering a film crew's worth of people, but Lara seemed like a total maniac in this thing. If you play it for stealth, she's killing possibly helpful people without ever talking to them, but since she appeared to me as a bloodthirsty monster, and maybe an unreliable narrator, I took no opportunity for stealth. 87% collection. 4/5
- Star Wars: Cantina - I've been cleaning out my phone, cluttered with unused and unloved apps. This was a little diner dash-type game with Star Wars-themed patrons. The whole thing's like half an hour long, and hasn't yet been updated for iOS 6. Anyway, it's been deleted now. 2/5
- Star Wars Commander - I don't know if I finished any games in the month of October, so I'll just mention a couple that I played for a while and then more or less quit. I made it to Level 6 in SWC so far, on the Rebel side, no IAP. The biggest takeaway I have from this game is how not worth playing it feels. And, since I've stopped playing, I've racked up way more points (medals) than I would have by working at it, since waves of randos throw themselves on my well defended but mostly abandoned base. 3/5
- INGRESS - Google does a great job of hitting the various facets of freemium games that make this somewhat addictive, but it's basically capture the flag with flags that dissolve even if nobody's actively destroying them, as a front for a big data mining operation. I don't regret playing, but there's no end, and I know I'm not going to get as involved as the people hacking the system to do brilliant and impossible things, so level 8 is going to have to be my victory condition. 4/5
- Hadean Lands - I backed this Text Adventure on Kickstarter 4 years ago. I'm also delighted to point out that according to the Leader Board, I'm the third person to report finishing it. The game is concerned with Alchemy, and the performing of alchemical rituals to perform the heavy lifting required to repair your damaged alchemical starship / enclosed space. The puzzles are all fun and logically reasonable and make you feel clever when you reason them out or when a flash of insight unlocks another four rooms all in a flurry, the writing is great, there're some jokes and just enough plot to keep you exploring and wandering. I took several pages of notes and drew my own map. I'm happy I backed this, happy I played it, and happy I played it early because a) there are no FAQs yet, and twitter only spoiled one puzzle for me. and b) if it had it the 'to play' backlog, I may have never gotten to it. 5/5
- Defuse Dbomb - I figured there had to be a game in the app store about bomb disposal, and after trying a bunch of demos, this was the one that seemed the most similar to fun. I thought there would be lockpicking games too, but not really. 2/5
- Smash Hit - This is a game about breaking glass things with marbles. Or ball bearings, maybe? Anyway, it's pretty satisfying to smash things, and because I didn't buy the IAP unlocks, I got good enough to play the whole game in single sittings. 4/5
- God of Light - A really well done puzzle game. I got 3 stars-or-whatever on every level and found all the fireflies. The core game is about reflecting beams of light around, but new mechanics and units are added regularly to keep things interesting. Really nice. 5/5
- Space is Key 1 and 2 - A port of a simple-as-can-be flash platformer, in which you make your square jump over the rectangles at the appropriate times. I didn't think much of it at first, but I played through all 100 levels (between the game and it's included sequel), and then the next night I did it again. 3/5
- Forbidden Island - This is a port of a board game to iOS, but that makes it a video game, and I did win several rounds of this game. I beat it playing two characters on my own, and with my girlfriend and I playing one and two characters apiece, on various difficulties. Have yet to beat the toughest modes or buy the additional island setups. A solid adaptation. 4/5
- 80 Days - I was genuinely surprised to find that I successfully navigated around the globe in only 77 days. I thought all was lost! This seems like a huge game, with so many more possible cities to visit, routes to take, or even things to do in the cities I've already been through. The sheer difficulty of seeing everything makes this seem like the kind of game that would drive me crazy, and might even somehow slow me down from playing more in the future. I have a lot of exploring to do here.. 4/5
- Example - Short review. 4/5
In Progress: (so many...)
: Final Fantasy 1, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Tiny Tower: Vegas, The Trouble With Robots, Card City Nights, Sky Force 2014, Fairway Solitaire, Step Buy Step, Bitcoin Billionaire, Puzzle to the Center of the Earth
:Batman: Arkham Asylum
: You Don't Know Jack, Lost in Shadow
: New Super Mario Bros
: Guacamelee!. XCOM: Enemy Within
Played, enjoyed, but never really ends: Left 4 Dead 2, Floating Point, INGRESS, Letterpress, Team Fortress 2, Pair Solitaire, Desert Golf, Crossy Road
Played, quit: LittleBigKart, WipeoutHD
Seasons of TELEVISION:
And BOARD GAMES:
Totals: (last year's score)
Video Games: 35 (30)
Seasons of TV: 32 (24)
New-to-me Movies: 79 (82)
Books!: 8 (7)
Board Games: ~105 (~95)
Stand-up: 48 (103)