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I haven't written anything in a while. I recently started writing a crazy long blog about theoretical physics and Metroid Prime, which I still hope to finish. But, for now, I wanted to do something easy to jog my creativity. So, for today I'm just going to tell you about my video game collecting habits and show y'all what games I have.
I take a "controlled burn" approach to video game collecting. Generally speaking, at the end of each generation (or whenever I feel like upgrading), I sell all of my old games and hardware and update to the new models. I adopted this practice when I was younger and didn't have nearly as much disposable income. Selling off old stuff was a good way to make money for new stuff. Also, when I was younger, I played almost exclusively on Nintendo consoles, so I was operating on the (sometimes false) assumption that there would inevitably be a new Mario, Mario Kart, Zelda, Donkey Kong, etc. to replace the one I'd sold.
Although I'm bringing home enough bacon these days that I don't need to sell my old games to get cash for new ones, there's something in the experience of letting go of all my old things every so often that I find valuable. It's hard to explain, maybe it'll merit it's own blog post someday. Practically speaking, I've found that I rarely (if ever) go back and play games from previous generations; even beloved rerelases on the Virtual Console or PSN that I've downloaded just sort of sit there waiting to be played. If I am ever feeling nostalgic about a particular game, I find that I'm often satisfied by looking it up on YouTube.
But, enough about the old stuff. We're a little over the year into the 8th generation and I'm starting to build my collection up. Looking through my games has also made me realize how big my backlog is already getting, so along with each console, I'll be listing what I consider to be my biggest backlog crime.
Wii U & Wii
The Wii U was my first 8th Gen console, and thus far, houses my largest collection. I started getting overwhelmed with new releases toward the end of last year and so I haven't picked up Smash Bros. or Captain Toad yet--those are the only two physical releases that I'm really looking for to complete my collection (I don't know when that'll be though, since I'm trying to pace myself with new releases right now). I'm (flameshield) not a huge fan of the Wind Waker, so I don't consider the HD Remake an essential part of my collection. I own it digitally because--Whoa! Wait a minute! Looking at that photo right now, I just realized that my friend never returned Pikmin 3 to me, which I also own, but is obviously not featured (will have to get that back)--Nintendo gave it to me for free when I got Mario Kart. Similarly, I love that green case that New Super Luigi U comes in, but bought it digitally because it was cheaper. For both of them, I'd be willing to pick up a physical copy for a couple bucks though, just to make things look nice. I used to own Zombi U and Monster Hunter 3, but I couldn't get into them, so I sold them. I might sell Darksiders 2 next, since I also couldn't get into that.
You'll also notice a number of Wii games in my collection. I bought most of these in early 2013 when the Wii U was my only video game console due to circumstances outside my control. At this point, I'm not quite sure what to do with them. I only played through Metroid Prime 3 and Donkey Kong completely. I'd feel bad selling the rest, having barely touched most of them. But, as the 8th gen has started picking up, I just haven't found myself motivated to go back to these guys. Some of them are getting pretty rare (I think), so maybe I'll hold onto them just a bit a longer and see if I can't get something nice for them.
Favorite Game: Super Mario 3D World--it's brilliant, I can't rave enough about this game. Nintendo has perfected the platformer, and this game is proof. I also highly recommend Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze because it's another really solid platformer that is grossly undersold and underappreciated.
Biggest Backlog Crime: Only playing The Wonderful 101 for an hour... when I first bought it... I feel really bad. On the other hand, I did beat Bayonetta 2 last night.
Next Addition: Likely going to be Splatoon. I'm trying to scale back for a bit and only pick up one new game per month, which means that Smash and the Toad are probably going to get pushed back until Summer absent some awesome sale... along with Kirby... and Mario Party... and all the other great stuff Nintendo is putting out, dammit.
3DS & DS
My 3DS collection looks weaker than it is. I had this crazy idea that I'd try going all digital on a console and see how much I liked it. Well, as you can see, I've started picking up physical copies of games. Seeing as how the 3DS has been out for a while, there's a good number of oldies that I've still got to pick up (like the apparently discontinued Ocarina of Time 3D). There's also a number of games I bought digitally that I wouldn't mind paying a decent amount for physical copies of, like Shin Megami Tensei IV or Bravely Default. I picked up a couple old Pokemon DS games, since I was really getting that itch to catch 'em all before X and Y came out. Having played X and Alpha Sapphire (and expecting Z or something to be announced for this Fall), I have two half-finished Pokemon games chilling on my shelf with no real desire to finish them. Will I catch 'em all? Perhaps, some day.
Favorite Game: Shin Megami Tensei IV
Biggest Backlog Crime: Not having finished Shin Megami Tensei IV. I am making good progress in Persona Q though.
Next Addition: Counting the days until Majora's Mask 3D comes out.
I bought the X1 before the PS4 because I thought it would have better exclusives in 2014. Turns out that it didn't matter because I spent more time on multi-plat games anyway. The only console exclusive that I'm still missing is the Master Chief Collection, which I'm kinda glad I waited on because it sounds like it's a mess. Other than that, there are a few multi-plat games I still need to get--GTA V, Advanced Warfare (when it's cheap enough to justify buying just for the single player)--that I'll probably get for X1 because I like the controller better and I can add more hard drive space (which is quickly filling up on both X1 and PS4). Probably going to sell Titanfall and Destiny in the near future. I took a chance on both of them, since they're not my usual thing. I even bought the X1 exclusively with Titanfall so that I would be forced to play it (but, then promptly ended up spending more time playing Guacamelee!, which they gave me for free). But, I honestly don't see myself ever going back to either.
Favorite Game: Shadow of Morder--playing other open-world games after this one makes me realize how much of an advancement it really was.
Biggest Backlog Crime: Playing Sunset Overdrive for only a couple hours one afternoon, when I had bought the damn console for Microsoft exclusives. I did like what I played of it though.
Next Addition: Not sure yet, I plan to use my X1 primarily for multi-plats at least until Sony lets me add more hard drive space, so probably Batman: Arkham Knight (if it sticks to its June release date).
The last 8th gen console I purchased (and primarily because my friend who works at a pawn shop hooked me up with one for cheap). My first game for the console was Alien Isolation, and I'm glad I got it on PS4 because the controller lights up and makes all sorts of cool noises. I got Dragon Age and Far Cry 4 it on the same day in November--I've spent quite a bit of time in Dragon Age, not so much in Far Cry. The three exclusives--Infamous, Killzone, and The Last of Us--I picked up for cheap on sale a couple weeks ago (all three for $75). I haven't been wow'ed yet by the PS4, but I'm optimistic about it's future (Peeeeerrrrssoooonnnaaaa).
Favorite Game: Infamous--for lack of anything else really, it's easily my least favorite of the series, but I haven't give a fair chance to half of my PS4 games yet.
Biggest Backlog Crime: Not having played The Last of Us yet. It came in the mail a week a half ago, I'm getting to it.
Next Addition: Bloodborne! Bloodborne! Bloodborne!
The classic underachiever. So much wasted potential. I gave this sad pup a chance even after it'd been knocked out of the ring by the 3DS and support was seriously dropping, so I can't blame anyone but myself for owning it. Some nights, I make a stiff drink, play Persona 4, and imagine what could've been.
Favorite Game: Persona 4, d'uh. But, a game that's not featured and I feel deserves mentioning is Ys: Memories of Celceta. I borrowed that from a friend and played all the way through it. I totally enjoyed it, and if you're looking for something to play on Vita, it's an Action RPG worth your attention.
Biggest Backlog Crime: Probably should've finished Soul Sacrifice by now, since it was my first game and I really liked it. Also, probably should've finished Persona 4 before picking up Persona Q. Really, just dropping this handheld altogether due to it's lack of a future is my biggest crime.
Next Addition: Ummmmmmmmmmm................... Is Persona: Dancing All Night coming out this year? Shit, do I even want that or do I just want to listen to the music? Oh, isn't there some DLC for Deception IV coming out? I guess I still need to buy Gravity Rush...
Oh, wow, you've made it to the end! I didn't think anyone would do that. One day, maybe months or even years from now, I'll post another update on my collection. Hopefully, I'll post a blog about something else between now and then. Thanks for reading!
Basically, Destiny came out this week. It got mixed reviews for a number of valid reasons and a lot of people are really disappointed in it. I am not one of those people. While I'm not going to give a complete review because I have not finished the game, I do feel that I've played enough of it to give my thoughts.
First off, some disclosures that may be affecting my opinion of the game. Primarily, I had very little interest in this game prior to its release. Over the years, I've developed a tendency to avoid previews of big AAA games, since I don't like to be let down. So, from what little I'd heard about Destiny, it sounded like something that could be cool, but that probably wouldn't line up with my interests. I downloaded the Beta, since everyone was doing it and I was pretty underwhelmed. On the Beta you were pretty much confined to Earth (its all I played), but really "Old Russia," which is a rather boring environment. Also, I don't have a PS4 yet, so I was playing on Xbox One and since I didn't preorder, I only had the Beta for a day. To sum it up, all I really had going into Destiny this weekend was a beta experience that I wasn't all that thrilled with. I didn't spend years tracking updates on the game and building up my own expectations about what it should be.
Additionally, the two games Destiny is getting compared to the most are Borderlands and Halo. I've never played a Borderlands game and the last Halo I played was "Halo 2" on the original Xbox (PS3 was my console of choice last gen). So, I really don't have a lot of experience with either of these similar games to set any expectations for me.
I picked up Destiny Friday despite mixed reviews in reliance on the encouragement of some friends who bought it day one. I repeated the Earth missions and, again, wasn't too captivated. My interest really started picking up when I got to the Moon. I'm not one to make a big deal of graphics. Two of my favorite games this summer were Shovel Knight and 1001 Spikes. But, holy shit chilling on the moon and looking up at the Earth and the space junk is fucking beautiful. I'm playing as a Hunter or Ranger or whatever its called and so I've got a sniper rifle handy. I've spent quite a bit of time using the scope of that rifle just to an up-close view of some far off environments. While I'm sure a high-end PC would make it look like PC in comparison, I was impressed.
Pretty much everyone has agreed that the shooting is good, so I'm not going to go into that. But, a lot of people have said that the game is repetitive. While you do tread through the same territory on each mission on each respective planet, I have to say that I have not been bothered by it at all. I'm actually enjoying finishing a mission, powering up a bit, then blasting through that same area like its nothing on the way to the next challenge. I'm actually finding that it adds to the sense of character-building and progression to retread the same areas a few times.
And yes, each mission plays out almost exactly the same way: go somewhere, scan something, shoot a few waves of enemies. But, that hasn't diminished my enjoyment of the game thus far. I love platformers. Every level in a platformer boils down to: go right, jump on/over some stuff, reach the finish. As long as the difficulty scales appropriately and I get the occasional change in environment, I don't mind doing the same thing over and over again. In Destiny, it appears that the difficulty is scaling fairly well. I've rarely had to "grind" and I feel that most missions are difficult enough to keep me on my toes, but not unfairly tough either. Likewise, I didn't find Earth all that interesting, so the Moon was a nice change of pace. Tonight, I got to Venus and, thus far, its my favorite planet. It's completely different from either of the two previous environments and it looks like its got some pretty cool lore to it, which brings me to my next point...
Everyone has slammed the story. Granted, it is stupid to refer to everything as "The Awoken" or "The Traveller" or "The Fallen" or "The Hive." But, (and I feel like a very basic, simple person for admitting this) I am genuinely interested in Destiny's story. I understand that this is the kind of story that, when I'm finished playing the game, I'm going to have to go online and read some articles to figure out exactly what happened. But, most importantly, I feel like the game is feeding me just enough information to get me interested in the lore of the universe that I want to go back and learn more about these different races and the history of each planet when I'm finished with the game. When it comes to story, I'm more of a Dark Souls/Metroid kinda guy than a Walking Dead/Uncharted guy, so I'm pretty satisfied with the way that Destiny has presented its universe.
Finally, a number of reviewers have implied that Destiny is really only decent if you play with friends. I disagree. Most of my friends have a PS4, so I've been playing Destiny solo and it's been quite a satisfying experience. Story missions are fun by myself. But, I've also had a few Journey-esque experiences where I've been travelling on my own and happened to be going in the same direction as another player and we sort of teamed up for a bit. Likewise, I did my first Strike mission this afternoon and the game matched me up with two randoms and it was still a fun experience. Without saying a word to these other players, I felt like we were able to establish a pattern of conduct that got us through the mission. In fact, my least favorite part of the game thus far has been the PvP in the Crucible. Maybe, its because I was a lower level and didn't have a lot of powers yet, but I felt like it was basically the same thing I could get from Titanfall, which I've been bored of for a while now.
As someone whose been enjoying Destiny way more than I personally expected that I would, I hope these random thoughts are of help to some people still on the fence about the game. Thus far, most of my enjoyment has come from building a character and seeing all of the worlds. So, I don't know if I'll have much reason to go back to Destiny after I've reached the max level (or close to it) and unlocked all of the planets. But, I can say that I've been addicted to this game all weekend and that it's been awhile since I've been this invested in a game.