Shameless Gaming Month, 2013!

This weekend past I made my way from New England to Egypt. The longest bit of the journey was the “Loading” screen. You want context for that? Tough – I’m busy. I’m In Egypt.

Oh okay. As any gamer with a few seasons to their name can attest, a game collection will invariably result in titles that have not been “completed”. This differs from having a pile of books that are not “completed”, as books don’t really work for you if you stop midway. Games can, and that is because. due to breakthroughs like “achievements”, and “online multiplayer”, the concept of “completion” is a very grey area. And so these incomplete games gather, like the lonely skeletons of long-dead elephants, into a conglomerate that gamers refer to with hushed tones as their Pile of Shame.

You call this a mess - I CALL THIS JULY!!!!

You call this a mess – I CALL THIS A JULY!!!!

THE PILE OF SHAME. Oh, it’s not that dramatic. It’s simply a bunch of games that we’ve been enamoured with, and due to rampant difficulty curves, or (as is most common) a newer, shinier title, we’ve moved on from prematurely. And so a bright spark by the username of “TRJN” came up with the concept of Shameless Gaming Month, a month in the middle of the year where we eschew the new and exciting releases, to focus on getting some more value out of those we already have. But can they be completed? That question is one not of time, but rather definition.

Also, why is it that this guy has a name that sounds like a number plate? Is he an Autobot? Should I begin pitching a story to Marvel about a transformer who lives amongst us humans and shares our love for video games?* Think of the demographics I could connect with that! It’d be-…A digression. Okay.

So completion has become a many-edged word. You could fling that word into a many-paneled conversation of gaming ideas, and it’ll stick to any of the various wooden surfaces present. Completed can mean that you saved the princess, and the story is told. It can also mean that you have reached the abstract “Maximum Level” and can not improve your gaming avatar any further. It can also mean that the esoteric Achievements have all been collected and placed on your virtual shelf. Just how OCD are you?

Me? I’m a tad OCD. so I’m a tad involving myself in Shameless Gaming Month. Depending on the game, I’m drawing a different abstract line in the sand, enough is enough! Or at least, with these lines, I’m telling what is enough. Here, have a look at my self-imposed goals.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown  – I’m in the closing parts of this game, all research has been conducted, I have a team of troops levelled and equipped with the best weapons and armour science fiction can provide. It’s time to just knuckle down and defeat those unknown enemies once and for all! Can I do it? Well, it’s proven to be quite the stumbling block, but I will complete the story!
Dead Space 2 – Very much like XCOM, I’m in the final throes of this game. Unlike XCOM, I’m in the literal, final part of the game. If this was an Arnold Schwarznegger film, I’d be one quip and a pull of the trigger away from completion. Sadly, unlike an Arnie film, the enemy is viciously difficult to best. Time to finish! (I’m thinking up good one-liners, constantly, just in case…) Again, story completion!
Borderlands 2 – I’ve actually completed this one a few times over, but there are some insidiously MASSIVE enemies I’ve yet to best in one-on-one-where-one-may-have-exotic-automatic-weaponry combat, so I intend to tick those checkboxes on my “List of things to do in Borderlands 2”. Maybe then my tortured soul can rest easy. Well, maybe I can kill one. (This one is all about the achievements)
Warhammer Quest – A tricky prospect. I finished the main campaign, and have four well-armed heroes to prove the point. But…there is another campaign. Do I dare tempt fate and start it? DO I!? (I have no idea…)
Injustice Gods Among Us –  I’ve done quite a number on the Xbox variant of this title, but the iPad version is proving a more difficult beast, mostly because it limits how much playing you can do per day. Was this a pay-to-play ploy? Or did my mother bend the ear of the industry and found a clever way to prevent me sitting on the game all day? We’ll never know. Needless to say, my heroes are getting stronger, and there are battles to be fought. (Achievements – Achievements unlock stuff. I MUST HAVE STUFF.)
The Secret World – This entry explains the odd New England – Egypt reference from the start. Set in a very-similar-to-our-world world, The Secret World has multiple maps in each region. I’ve finally worked my way through everything offered in the New England areas, and I’m now looking to incorporate copious amounts of sand into my combat style. Or something.

On top of all this, Steam went and had their annual sale, which reminded me I had a copy of Magicka just waiting for me to get through. Between these seven games and, you know, a life, I think I’ve written off every waking hour July may be offering me.

It’s for a good cause. I’m sure…


I’ll keep you posted.

*He’s a good guy, he posts on forums and sites including Kotaku. Thank you for coming up with this month’s theme, TRJN!

~ by nick on July 15, 2013.

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