The Non-Fiction Gaming crew could no doubt make a very impressive gaming library out of their piles of shame.
A Pile of Shame is made up of games you want to finish but just never got around to it. We all have games that we got in a Steam Sale or a Humble Bundle that were just extras fattening up the game library.
Every gamer has one. Their dreaded Pile of Shame, sitting somewhere in their house gathering dust and breeding guilt in the back of their minds.
Whether a fan of Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo or the PC, we all have at least 2 or 3 games (perhaps 45… or 102 if you use Steam).
And we all say that we’ll get around to them some day so that it wasn’t a wasted purchase… But then we buy a new game like Transistor and feel a sense of shame and dread as we fork over the money for yet another title.
This week the Non-Fiction Gaming crew shares some of their guilt with you.
Alone in the Dark
During the holiday period, when there are massive pre-owned sales, I’ve certainly picked up a few games I’m yet to play. But there is one game that takes the cake as far as my games of shame go: Alone in the Dark (Wii).
As a remake of a reasonably successful horror game, Alone in the Dark seemed like a fun sort of game to play – until you actually play it. The opening sequence forces you to blink (down d-pad) every so often or it blurs the screen in such a way it made me feel physically nauseous. From then on it’s a series of decidedly “meh” controls and almost painfully obvious happenstances.
I’ve tried to play Alone in the Dark twice. Once when I purchased it and that playthrough lasted all of 30 minutes. Then, a few years later, I gave it another go. Stuck with it a little longer before giving up entirely.
Now it sits on my shelf, taunting me with the knowledge I actually paid money for it.
The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind
There are quite a few games on my pile of shame, but I’ll get to a few of the more specific ones.
Despite being a huge Elder Scrolls fan I have, yet to finish Morrowind. Yes I know it’s considered the best in the series, but for some reason or another I could never keep myself in it to continue playing.
Part of it was the layers of complexity it offers compared to Oblivion and Skyrim. Things like the way your movement decides which way your weapon swings and the extra slow walking pace didn’t really encourage me to keep playing. I may need to practice some patience and just slog through the slow parts to get to the good stuff.
As far as more recent games go it’s been difficult to keep up with Transistor. It has a great story and gameplay, as well as an intricate upgrade system to use, but for some reason it’s landed on the back burner.
This is mostly because I’ve been playing the new Thief. I recently played more of it last night and starting to get some of the ways to combine powers and attacking, so hopefully this one won’t land on my pile of shame. Hopefully.
Final Fantasy XIII
Ah my pile of shame is quite extensive and spans multiple generations, all the way back to the Nintendo 64. But I suppose we should only touch on some of the things in my pile.
I started Final Fantasy XIII about 3 years ago I think? I was actually enjoying the game, probably because I was drowning in nothing but shooting games and anything felt like a breath of fresh air.
However, the game was incredibly linear and for 30 hours I was basically walking down a long path. Then the second I was given the ability to actually explore the world, I basically freaked out and stopped playing because I had gotten so used to having so little choice in navigation.
I almost screamed at the phrase “side-quest” and ran out of the room having been trained to walk a one way path for so long.
And the Rest…
Then there is the truckload of games I’ve bought and plan to play but just haven’t gotten around to yet.
Just to name a few I have: Skyrim, because I loved Fallout 3 but I’m terrified to start it in case I lose another 200 hours to Bethesda; Super Mario Galaxy, because it seems to be the best Mario game made in the last decade and it really deserves to be played; Journey, since it’s supposed to be beautiful and I loved Flower and FlOw; Mass Effect 2 & 3, because I played through the first one and enjoyed it (even if the graphics are horribly dated and all the character look likes corpses converted into horrifying marionettes).
There is more but all you really need to know is that I could write a novel about games I either plan to play, or games I abandoned while swearing “I’ll get back to it!”
I just want to go on record and say I’ve been trying really hard to make this list smaller. I look at a game I’ve made a solid effort on in the past and try and get back in the saddle. It’s a busy life trying to keep up with the latest games. Some little buggers get left behind.
There are two I’m most ashamed of sitting in my Steam library judging me. I played what feels like a lot of Borderlands 2. Steam tells me it was 10 hours…
I had a great time running around with friends, getting loot and shooting Face McShooty in the face. I loved Handsome Jack and all the other colourful characters Pandora had to offer.
Something happened and Borderlands 2 was no longer on rotation. It’s a game I still want to revisit, especially because Senior Stiv has been writing an awesome Borderlands 2 quest guide here on Non-Fiction Gaming.
The Vault will probably be waiting a long time though. As ashamed as I am that this game remains unfinished in my pile, it’s going to have to wait a little longer.
There are only a few games that have brought friends of mine close to tears. The Walking Dead, To The Moon and Bastion have all come highly recommended to me as games that pull on the heart strings. I’ve knocked out the first two and enjoyed every emotionally charged moment they brought.
Bastion has much to recommend it like great music, narrative and art style. For some reason it also just drifted away. Writing this makes me want me to pick up where I left off with “The Kid” and see through the story to its end.
With a game like this, you need to be in the right mood. Unless approached in the right headspace I feel like I might waste Bastion’s storytelling potential.
What games sit on your shelves unfinished and unloved? Let us know in the comments!
There must be a few unfinished games that give you pangs of guilt whenever you see them or they come up in conversation. If you’re anything like us, there are a few games you’ve started with all the intention of finishing…