You may notice that most of those blogs are somehow related to pro wrestling. Why? Because I spent 10 years as a professional wrestler before retiring in October 2013 due to back injuries. I actually wasn't too bad.
A bit about me? Well, obviously I love to write. It's not a paying gig yet, but I'm certainly trying to make that happen.
I'm a happily married man, and my wife is smokin' hot.
Hey DToiders, so at the beginning of the year, my friends Chris and Luke (you may know him as BygJuce if you spend any time on ScrewAttack) and I started a podcast. For a while, I didn't want to post them on DToid, mostly because I thought no one would care because there's about infinity gaming podcasts. But I just decided to say screw it, someone might want to listen to it, so here's the info.
Anyway, the reason I wanted to make this post is not only to get the thing out there, but because we're recording a new episode tomorrow night. Every week for our middle section (the meat, if you will), we choose a topic to discuss that somehow pertains to current gaming news, and with the recent announcement of the Last of Us movie, we figured we would talk about game-to-movie adaptations. I wanted to make this post asking for comments/questions from you guys so we could mention them on the show.
So which game movies do you love? Which ones do you hate? Why? Which one would you banish from the Earth if you could? Which ones do you think had a good idea but poor execution? Leave comments below.
I'm at a weird age. I'm 28, meaning that I'm getting to the point where I'm becoming much more cynical about the media I consume. I'm old enough to remember original versions of films that are now getting reboots. I'm sure the new RoboCop will be a decent movie, but I've already made up my mind that I hate it and it should die. I'm also too old to be the "cool older guy" to my nieces and nephews. This past weekend, I was with some family and we were discussing Wayne's World, when one of the children asked what we were talking about, we told them we were talking about a movie from the 90s, to which she asked "So it was in black and white?" It was then that I realized that kids these days probably look at me the way that I looked at my parents at that age. They assume I grew up in the stone age.
Even though I'm still at the forefront of gaming, my heart will always be with the original NES. That's not an uncommon thing for a gamer around my age to say, it was likely the first system they played, as it was mine. Playing the NES is the one system I can go back to and still play games that make me feel like a kid again. It's not like that with any other system for me. When I think of the NES, the one game that I find to be synonymous with the system is Super Mario Bros. 3. That may seem like a pretty generic statement to make, and it is, I'm not denying that, but I also can't think about SMB3 without immediately thinking of the cinematic masterpiece that is The Wizard.
I'm being completely un-ironic when I say that The Wizard is one of my all-time favorite movies, and I've legitimately seen that movie more times than I've seen any other. When I'm writing and I want something playing in the background, I put on The Wizard. When I'm cleaning the house and I just want something on the TV, I put on The Wizard. And when I'm bored and just want to watch a movie that I know I like, I put on The Wizard. I probably wind up watching that movie about 15 times a year without even trying. Why do I love this movie so much?
Mora Grissom may have something to do with it...
Well, one reason is because it's a very much a product of its time, and will never be given a Hollywood reboot, so that's good. But think about it, you'll never see another movie like The Wizard again. They don't make entire movies as marketing vehicles for videogames, they didn't do it before The Wizard and they haven't done it since. Sure, we have plenty of documentaries about videogames like Indie Game: The Movie and The King of Kong, and we have the countless films based on game franchises, but The Wizard is in a class all its own. When I watch that movie, I'm instantly whisked away back to 1990.
I remember taping the movie on network television, and as was to be expected with old VHS tapes, it would wear out, causing subsequent viewings to be less than ideal. Certain sections of the film would cut out or be warped, but I still watched that tape incessantly. As a matter of fact, when I watch the DVD version of the film, I still remember exactly where the VHS would mess up, and I point that out to the people that aren't watching it with me. I still remember every part that was edited for television, it actually wasn't until I watched it on DVD for the first time that I saw the scene with Nick (Christian Slater) playing SMB2 at the mechanics garage. I consider that to be the "deleted scene" on the DVD. And don't get me started on the incredible montages this film has. If it weren't for this film, I never would have heard "I Live by the Groove," and my life would be incomplete. Let us watch it together...
This film has 4 montages, the same amount as Rocky IV.
That montage reminds me of everything that was great about my childhood. Granted, I never saw a Play Choice 10 machine in my life, and I never went to a glamorous Reno arcade, but looking at footage of Metroid, Mega Man 2 and TMNT, combined with that infectious 80s groove and Rick showing us all how awesome our dream job as Nintendo Hotline receptionists is, I can't think of any combination of images that better encapsulates what the year of 1990 was for me.
Then, after an hour of Nintendo footage, surveying the bitter rivalry that pits Sam and Nick versus Putnam, and feeling uncomfortable about the sexual tension between Cory and Haley, we get to the main attraction: The reveal of Super Mario Bros. 3!
HOLY (SWEAR WORDS)!
That. That, right there. That's the most awesome thing that's ever happened. I don't even know why anyone decided to keep trying. Movies should have just stopped at that point, because The Wizard achieved perfection with that one shot alone.
I'm sure Super Mario Bros. 3 still would have sold ridiculously well even without the film, in fact, I know it would have, it's one of the best games ever made, and it had the word 'Mario' on the box. But for someone like me, who was 4-years-old when he first saw this movie, and wasn't privy to things like Nintendo Power or game release dates, this was the first time that I had heard or seen anything about the game. My brother and I begged our parents nonstop until we finally received the game as a joint birthday gift (our birthdays are only 15 days apart).
Everyone my age loves Mario 3, and most gamers love The Wizard, at least as a weird, campy part of Nintendo's history. But for me, Super Mario Bros. 3 and The Wizard go hand-in-hand. One simply does not exist without the other, and every time I play the game or watch the movie, I'm a kid again.
Naturally, writing anything about The Wizard makes me legally obligated to post this picture at least once.
Before I begin, let there be full disclosure that I'm going to be spoiling Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons towards the end (I'll let you know when the spoilers begin). I know a lot of people are probably just now playing it or planning to play it thanks to PlayStation Plus, so you can't say I didn't warn you.
After I finished The Last of Us, I figured it would be years before another game would come along with that amount of emotional impact on me. I was wrong, it only took about a month. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons turned out to be one of the most heart-wrenching experiences I've ever had in any medium. My wife watched me play the entirety of the game, and, as she so eloquently put it at the conclusion: "This game just ripped my heart out of my butt." Finishing School did her well.
I think the reason this game resonated with me so much is that fact that I'm the younger of two brothers. We didn't have any other siblings, and even though he had his friends and very easily could have ignored me, he always included me with whatever he was doing whenever he could. My brother is three years older than me, which is roughly the same amount of years between the brothers in the game, give or take a year or two.
I had heard a lot of great things about the game, but I have a hard time paying $15 for a downloadable game, so I was waiting on a sale, and I feel like the price of 'free' was a sale price worth waiting for, although now that I've played it, I would have been happy with a full-price purchase.
The game has a very unique control scheme. You only use the two analog sticks and two of the shoulder buttons. That's it. The elder brother is mapped to the left stick and button, and the younger to the right (keep that in mind, it becomes important later). You control both brothers simultaneously, and I never truly got used to it. Not to say that it's bad, I just found myself getting confused every so often. If I was moving the brothers to the right, I always had to make sure the younger brother was leading the way because he was mapped to the right stick, and vice versa when moving left. The only real problem I had that arose out of the controls is accidentally letting go of the action button for the wrong brother and having him fall to his death. That was my indication that I needed to focus more next time.
Brothers isn't a hard game, it's actually (and I hate to say it this way) more of an experience than it is a game. There's no direct combat outside of one instance, and the puzzles aren't difficult, in fact, you'll never need more than about thirty seconds to figure out what you have to do. It's all about the journey instead of the destination, although the destination is pretty incredible, too. What's even better is that the story is basically told with no language (at least not one that I can understand). It's all conveyed through body language, which I thought was great.
Pictured: Body language.
Even though I'm a younger brother, I found myself playing with the mentality of a big bro. Any time I came to a point where one brother had to go ahead of the other, I always had the older brother go first. I never wanted to put the little brother in any sort of danger whatsoever. I really grew attached to that little guy, perhaps because I looked at him and saw myself, and even though it only takes one brother dying to see the game over screen, I did my best to keep the little brother out of harm's way at all times.
>>GUYS, THE SPOILERS BEGIN HERE. SO STOP READING IF YOU WISH.<<
I'll let a classic scene from The Simpsons explain exactly what Starbreeze Studios did with my heart in the last 20 minutes of Brothers.
Seriously, that's how I felt when this game was over. The entire plot of the game is that the brothers need to get water from the Tree of Life to save the life of their ailing father, and really, that's all you need. It works perfectly. My brother and I would go to the ends of the earth if this was our father, so I understand. There's also some great subplots scattered throughout the game, like reuniting the giants and returning the baby turtles to their mother.
Anyway, about an hour removed from the end, you come across a girl being bound to a giant rock who about to be sacrificed. You rescue her, and she helps you traverse an icy mountain village. When you defeat the invisible giant destroying this small town, she leads you to a hole in the mountains, where she then reveals herself to be a giant spider (because of course she is) and betrays you. This is the one area with actual combat, and upon finishing the battle, she impales the older brother. I'm not kidding when I say that I audibly shouted "OH NO!" once this happened.
Then, instead of just having the older brother pass away, they give you hope as you've just reached the Tree of Life. The younger brother climbs the tree, gets the water, and gives his brother a drink, only to discover that it's too late. But then they take it one step further, as they actually make you drag your brother over to his grave and then push the dirt onto his body. At this point I put my hand on my chest and screamed "OW, MY HEART!"
When you reach your home shores to save your father, the game does one of the most incredible pieces of story-telling ever, and it's not done through a cutscene, it's done through the controller. There are certain things that only the older brother can do throughout the adventure--like swim and pull heavy levers--and when you get back to the shores, you come to a body of water that the brother refuses to cross. I exhausted all possibilities before discovering that I had to use the button mapped to the older brother to swim across.
Something as simple as switching which button you use carried huge emotional weight, and it's immediately followed by using the same tactic to pull down a lever, with my heartstrings again being tugged. You reach your father and save him just in the nick of time. We flash forward a short time to find the little brother at the shoreline, and we make our way to the top of the small mountain to find the father standing before his son's grave and grieving. In a great and subtle piece of story, the father breaks down in tears and falls to his knees, the younger brother lays his hand on his father to console him, and then looks off into the distance without shedding a single tear, showing just how much strength he had gained on his quest.
Again, maybe it's because, in my mind, I copy-pasted mine and my brother's faces onto these characters, but I had never had that kind of emotional response to a game before. It was a truly beautiful experience.
The future, however far away it may be, has always been an easy time frame to tackle in games. Since we can't see into the future, developers have all the leeway to make a game as crazy as they want. I imagine the entire synopsis that Platinum Games had when they created Vanquish consisted of one line: "Giant robots, and you can do a Pete Townsend knee-slide with rockets in your boots." When questioned about the premise, their response was "Because, the future, man!" Then it got the green light. And thank God, because that game is awesome.
But as time goes on, it seems like more and more games take place not just in the future, but a post-apocalyptic future. I mean, just take a look at this Wikipedia page for post-apocalyptic games, and I'm sure that's nowhere near a complete list. Even games that take place in the past sometimes have an altered history that takes place after some catastrophic event, the Resistance series being a prime example. Remember the two-part episode of South Park titled "The Cartoon Wars?" If not, you probably know it by the name everyone actually calls it: "The episode where they ripped on Family Guy." There's the scene where the manatees choose random balls for Family Guy's non sequiturs. It almost seems like some games are concocted from that same idea, except one of the balls is always 'post-apocalyptic'.
History class would have been way more interesting if we learned about this.
Not to say that I don't love a lot of the games that fit into that category. Gears of War is one of my favorite series, and not just in this past generation, but in general. Even though that series doesn't take place on Earth, it is set in a very depressing world after an event called "Emergence Day." The Last of Us was easily my favorite game of 2013, but again, you're playing in a bleak, sad world following the events of a fungi outbreak that claims most of humanity. All those games about zombie outbreaks? I would put those in the same class, even though some of them aren't technically in the future.
Then we have the games that caused me to write this blog in the first place: Fallout 3 and Rage. Now, before I get started, I'll preface the rest of this blog by saying that I didn't play very much of either game. Fallout 3 wasn't my cup of tea, and while I didn't hate Rage, I didn't feel compelled to continue after my initial time with the game. But this is not a discussion about either game's quality, I simply want to take a look at their settings and premises.
First, let's compare what happened in each game to give the world its current state.
Rage's world is the result of an asteroid impacting Earth in the year 2029, and the game takes place in 2135. In Fallout 3, there was (duh) a nuclear fallout in 2077, and the game itself begins 200 years later in 2277. So, both had a cataclysmic event take place in the not-too-distant future, and both games start in a future that no one living today is likely to see.
Now, let's compare the player characters.
In neither game is your character given a name. It's not that surprising, they're both RPGs, where not naming the character is commonplace. But both characters do have nicknames given to them by other survivors. In Rage, you control the "Ark Survivor." In Fallout 3, you're referred to as the "Lone Wanderer."
What about the antagonists?
Both games have their various types of mutant enemies, and their various types of human enemies, but the comparisons are greater than that. Both worlds are controlled by oppressive, dictatorial regimes. Rage has "The Authority" and Fallout 3 has "The Enclave."
You can tell he's a heel because he doesn't smile.
I don't have anything against either one of these games, but it's hard to argue that they aren't very similar in tone. If you were actually in either one of these worlds, it would just be...depressing. That's the only word that comes to mind. You ever see the film adaptation of The Road? That's the level of depression I'm talking about. It goes well beyond the "I'm 14 and my girlfriend of three weeks dumped me" kind of bummer, and more like the "Oh, there's no food, no water, no freedom, and no hope" kind of bummer.
But my question is who decided that the future has to be such a terrible time? Why does the world have to be a barren wasteland? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that all current games that take place in the future do this, but a lot of them do. Just because the world is being taken over and you face seemingly impossible odds doesn't mean you have to smear your guyliner and cry about it. Take Jimbo and Sully from Contra III: Alien Wars for instance, or "Bill" and "Lance" as we all refer to them as, because continuity means jack in the Contra universe.
Contra III takes place in the year 2636, and earth is overrun with aliens (again), but do Sully and Jimbo run and hide in the corner when Red Falcon comes to town? F no! They grab their machine guns and do manly poses underneath circling pillars of fire. There's none of this "Oh, woe is me. What is I gonna do?" bullcrap. They put their iPods on Slayer and go to town, kicking alien arse until the world is safe once again.
"RAINING BLOOD! FROM A LACERATED SKY!"
Alright, let's get away from topics like totalitarianism and alien invasions. Let's start talking about how fun the future can be.
I'm a huge fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger. You give me a movie he starred in during the 80s and 90s and I'll fight you if you tell me it's anything short of a masterpiece. He's a master thespian even when he's not acting. Observe.
Simply brilliant. Anyway, one of his films that's been lost in the shuffle over the years is The Running Man. If you've never seen it, you really should. It's about a wrongfully imprisoned police pilot between the years of 2017 and 2019. The United States has become a police-state, and criminals participate in a television game show called "The Running Man" to try and win their freedom. In the show, the contestant fights what they call "Stalkers" to the death in various environments (imagine them to be like American Gladiators). The Running Man is kind of like The Hunger Games, but with less whiny teenage boys and more Jesse Ventura mustache.
This premise was later recreated by Midway in the form of Smash TV. I'm not sure if games like it existed before, but to my knowledge, Smash TV was the original twin-stick shooter. The game takes place in the unknown future of 1999, and has the player(s) taking out goons room by room, occasionally encountering a boss (like Stalkers), all while collecting futuristic prizes like VCRs and listening to the host's (Richard Dawson) little quips, before eventually defeating the host and winning the love of his beautiful, mulleted twins. At least, that's how it should have ended.
See? Just because you live in a dystopian future doesn't mean you can't have nice things.
Moving on to one final game, let's discuss why sports in the future will be so much better than they are now. If there's one thing that I know about the future, it's that there will be robots freaking everywhere! That's the one thing that everyone seems to be in agreement on, you can't get away from robots. They'll be used for everything from helping us with household tasks to taking of the world to playing baseball. Thus, we have Base Wars.
Did you see that? The pitcher shot the ball out of his arm cannon! I would watch every game of the season if pitchers could do that. Let's also take into consideration that robots have no use for monetary rewards, meaning we will no longer have to listen to multi-million dollar athletes cry about how they can't feed their family.
Also, in Base Wars, fighting is not only allowed, but encouraged, just like minor league hockey. And we're not talking about your average baseball skirmishes that usually result in a bunch of pushing, pointing, and name-calling, and no actual violence. We're talking about fights any time there is a close play, and they get to use weapons! How much better would actual baseball be if you could carry your bat with you around the bases and take out the second baseman? Also, guns...
Again, I'm not trying to take anything away from current games, I would just prefer it if developers started making the future seem like something to look forward to, and not something to dread. Think positive, folks.
In my last blog, I talked about clearing off some of my backlog in 2013. With how quickly game collections grow, and how many sales you get these days, backlogs grow at an astronomical rate. For instance, just within the past two weeks, I picked up Far Cry 2 and Puppeteer on sale, borrowed The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds from a friend, then I have all the free games from Games With Gold and PlayStation Plus, and finally there's all the games I received for Christmas, so needless to say, I have a lot of games on my table right now. It's a good problem to have.
Despite this, I found that I've been going back and playing games that I've already played. For instance, I'm pretty much always playing Super Mario World in some capacity, and then there's Castlevania: Symphony of the Night that I go back to every year or so. In SotN, I always find something new that I had never noticed before, and I could have sworn that wasn't possible.
The God of War series and Resident Evil 4 are other examples of games I wind up playing consistently. Then there are those days where I'm just sitting around and can't figure out what to play. I've acquired an impressive XBL downloadable games collection over the years, and I'll just scan through them and pick one out of boredom. I've had multiple playthroughs of Limbo, the Splosion Man games, Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes, Peggle, etc.
I'm not trying to make any points with this blog, I'm actually just trying to start up some conversation and find out what games it is that you guys wind up returning to every so often, whether they be newer or retro.
Thanks for reading.
P.S. Yes, this is a cheap plug, but my buddies and I started a podcast. We're still in the learning process, but if you wanna check it out, we have it up on the YouTubes.
Backlogs are things that I see written about quite a bit, and I always feel compelled to at least skim through those particular blogs to see what games it was that people had missed out on. For the most part, I manage to get to most games I want to play within a year, so when something like Far Cry 3 comes out in 2012, and I play it during the summer of 2013, I don't consider that a backlog game, more of "I'll get to it when it's cheap and I have the time" kind of game.
2013 wasn't the most productive year for me in terms of the amount of games I was able to get off the backlog, however, productivity when it comes to backlogs is subjective. I feel it's more about the quality of the games you're able to take off that list. The following are some games (and a couple movies) that I finally managed to get off of my own personal backlog, and also some goals that I had that I did or didn't meet.
The Ratchet and Clank Collection
Jak & Daxter, Sly Cooper, and Ratchet & Clank are all synonymous with each other in my head. During the PS2 era, I chose the Jak series. Not for any particular reason, I just went shopping for a new game one day and saw the original Jak for fairly cheap, so I picked it up. When the Sly collection came out on PS3, I played those games as well. But I didn't begin the Ratchet series until Tools of Destruction, which I loved, and A Crack In Time I enjoyed even more. After playing those, I knew I wanted to play the original PS2 trilogy. So, during a PS Plus sale this year, I snagged the HD Collection for a cool $7.50. I finished Up Your Arsenal just prior to the new year, and I wish I would have chosen Ratchet over Jak all those years ago. Out of the three series mentioned at the beginning, I think Ratchet is the clear winner.
Streets of Rage 2
This game isn't really on my backlog, per se. I played it a ton on the Sega Channel as a kid, but for some reason, my buddy and I were never good enough to beat the final boss before losing all of our continues. In most cases, when I go back to retro games, I find that I'm not nearly as good at them as I was as a child (Mario titles notwithstanding). For example, in my youth I could get to Dracula's second form in the original Castlevania, these days I can't even make it to Death.
So around Thanksgiving, my wife and I were in the mood to play some classic games, but our old consoles are in storage as we're in the midst of moving, so we instead fired up Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection. We first went to Bonanza Bros., then Golden Axe, and finally Streets of Rage 2. I'm not sure if they made the game easier for the collection, but we breezed through it. It was just as great as I remember, although the one complaint I had is that the characters move incredibly slow, other than that, I still find that the game holds up.
Kirby's Dream Land
I'm 6'6", I have a huge beard, and listen to heavy metal. I don't look like the type of person who would experience extreme joy simply at the sight of a smiling pink blob. But I do, I adore Kirby. Strangely enough, I haven't played very many Kirby games, and since I never owned a GameBoy growing up, I certainly never got to experience his original adventure. But that changed when I picked it up for free on my 3DS with the use of my Club Nintendo coins. It's not a hard game, it's not a long game, and the franchise has certainly evolved, but Kirby's Dream Land is a fun little platformer game that had me smiling with delight the whole way through.
If there is one thing I love, it's a good Metroid-style game. I actually had this game about 75% completed before I got confused about where to go. I couldn't figure it out after hours of trying, and it sat on my shelf for over a year before I finally sat down and said "Dustin, stop sucking!" I decided that I would just look up a walkthrough on YouTube, and when I saw what I had to do, I wanted to punch myself in the face repeatedly. I had been in the room I needed to be in to progress several times, I'm just an idiot and forgot I could use the power loader to move obstacles.
After that, the game was a breeze, and is a standout title on the Nintendo DS. I wouldn't consider it a horror game, but it definitely does a great job of keeping things tense, and is a great addition to the Alien franchise. If you haven't played this game, I would recommend it, as you can find it pretty cheap.
Speaking of Aliens...
I finally watched Alien and Aliens
This has always been one of my cinema shames. Up until a couple of months ago, the only Alien film I had seen was Alien: Resurrection...yeah, I know. I bought the first two films about a year ago, and after finishing Aliens: Infestation, I knew I had to finally watch them. I watched them on consecutive days, and loved every moment of both. I've always been a big fan of the sci-fi/action genre, in fact, my all-time favorite movie is Terminator 2, and that fact alone may explain why I preferred the sequel to the original. It's definitely more action-oriented, and both T2 and Aliens are directed by James Cameron. Since playing/watching these games/movies, I've had Alien fever, so the announcement of Alien: Isolation definitely perked my ears a bit, and don't worry, I won't make the mistake of playing Colonial Marines.
(On a side note, I've heard mixed things about Alien 3. If you've seen it, let me know if it's worth my time.)
Goal that I didn't complete: I still haven't completed a Legend of Zelda game
Sad Zelda is sad.
A few months back, I wrote a blog explaining my biggest gaming shame: I've never finished a Zelda game. I said in that blog that I was planning to finish at least one before the end of the year. Well, it didn't happen. The thing with me and Zelda games is that I never make them a top priority. I play them for a while, enjoy them, but then I get sidetracked, and by the time I'm ready to return, I forget everything, and don't feel like restarting. I even got Link's Awakening on my 3DS, started it, and never finished. Now, with the recent release of A Link Between Worlds, I again tell myself that I'm going to buy it and finish it, hopefully I can keep that promise for 2014.
Goal that I did complete: I finally got all the achievements in Borderlands
When it comes to achievements/trophies, I don't go into games with the mindset that I'm going to get all of them. I do look at achievement lists when I start a game and keep them in mind while I play. I'll pick up any that don't require too much effort, and if I ever get a multiplayer achievement, it's almost always by sheer luck. With Borderlands, I just happened to play the game so much that I managed to get almost all of them.
The ones I didn't get just required collecting a certain number of rare items, and I let those achievements just sit there for about three years. What convinced me to go back and get them was that I managed to get all the achievements in Borderlands 2. For some reason, having all of the achievements in one and not the other really bothered me. So I did a silly thing: loaded up a level 69 character on the easy playthrough, went to the area where I can get the rare items, hid where enemies couldn't get me, put a rubber band on my analog stick so my system wouldn't shut down, went and had Thanksgiving dinner, then returned and collected the items. What do I have to show for it? A few more worthless points and this section of the blog.
Ico & Shadow of the Colossus
These games are two of the oldest on my backlog. I've been meaning to play them for almost a decade. When they became free downloads on PS Plus, I no longer had the excuse of not owning them. Even though I had more interest in SotC, I decided to begin with Ico since it was released first. Guys, I'm just going to come right out with it...(deep breath)...I didn't like Ico. I played it for a couple of hours and found myself extremely bored and frustrated with how stupid that girl is. Ico is a product of its time, and I'm not saying it's a bad game, it just wasn't up my alley.
On the other hand, I loved SotC every bit as much as I didn't love Ico, and then some. By the end I was kicking myself for not playing it sooner. My only nitpicks were that you had to be lined up perfectly just to get on the horse, and that I got lost a few times when trying to find the next Colossi. That second nitpick isn't that big of one, though, as getting lost just meant that I got to spend more time exploring this beautiful world. I never had problems with the combat controls or stamina gauge that some people had gripes with. The best word I could use to describe it is "magical." Shadow of the Colossus wins my personal award for "Best game released in 2005 that was re-released in 2011 that I played in 2013."
And there we have it. I didn't get a ton of stuff off the backlog, but all the games that i did eliminate were quality titles, and I consider that to be the bigger accomplishment.
Thanks for reading.
Backlog agenda for 2014:
Far Cry 2 Alan Wake DLCs "The Writer" and "The Signal."
Haunting Ground Beyond Good and Evil Spec Ops: The Line And again, finish at least one Legend of Zelda game.