I finished more video games in 2009 than in any other year of my life, according to a big list I've been keeping since 2006. Dare I write this in public: I played too much.
Below you will find my 2009 playing history in grisly detail. This is the fourth list I've made of this type, one each for the years from 2006 until now. I list all of the video games that I played outside of trade shows, press demos and the office. In theory, these are the games I played for fun, or at least not solely for work.
As I've done in previous years, I've divided the list by platforms, listing every 2009 game I started playing and bolding any game, from 2009 or earlier, that I finished. By "finished" I mean I got to the end of the game's single-player campaign. I know that's not the best measurement for completion. For example, I've played a whole lot less of Modern Warfare 2 than those who have ranked up through the game's multiplayer modes, but my measure of completion suits me, a primarily single-player gamer. (Yes, yes, I used to run a blog called Multiplayer. What of it?)
I believe that playing all these games improves my understanding of the video game medium. I try to finish games I really like, because I'd like to think that a great game is one that's made to be wonderful from beginning to end, as is the case with a great movie or novel. Unfortunately, that's not always the case, as some very good games get pretty bad in their latter halves.
If you're wondering how I made time for this. Credit gaming as being my main hobby and, more importantly, credit the patience of my wife. You'll see I skipped most of the racing, sports and Japanese role-playing games of 2009.
One other note: I didn't pay for every game on this list. Many were sent to me by publishers, others obtained by trading in games, all with the intent to play lots of games, try lots of things and be more knowledgeable about my reporting beat because of it.
Oh, and I will include some notes here and there on this list to explain some stuff.
Stephen Totilo 2009 Gaming Playlist
DS (Played 35, finished 4) 1. Art Style Aquia 2. Art Style Base 10 3. Art Style Box Life (Played this one a lot, as is the case with many others on this list. Just didn't finish it.) 4. Art Style Digidrive 5. Art Style Pictobits 6. Art Style Precipice 7. Avalon Code 8. Away Shuffle Dungeon 9. Big Bang Mini 10. Bird and Bean 11. Crash-Course Domo 12. Dragon Quest Wars 13. Drawn To Life: The Next Chapter 14. Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon (First U.S. Fire Emblem I haven't played through. Mistake?) 15. Fossil Fighters 16. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars 17. Hard-Hat Domo 18. Henry Hatsworth In the Puzzling Adventure (The first game on this list that was too hard for me to complete!) 19. The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks 20. Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (Still playing it. Will finish in 2010) 21. Mario Vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again 22. Peggle: Dual Shot 23. Personal Trainer: Math (Yes, I'm counting this as a game) 24. Personal Trainer: Walking (This one, too) 25. Pro-Putt Domo 26. Puzzle Quest Galactrix 27. Rayman 2 (This is the DSi version, my first Rayman) 28. Rock-N-Roll Domo 29. Rhythm Heaven Gold 30. Scribblenauts 31. Star Wars: The Clone Wars 32. Style Savvy 33. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: Decepticons 34. White-Water Domo 35. Zubo
iPhone (Played 10, finished 1) 1. Canabalt 2. Earth Dragon (Fun little game by Spore Creature Editor creator Chaim Gingold, and my sole iPhone complete game) 3. Eliss 4. MinMe 5. Soosiz 6. Space Invaders Infinity Gene 7. Spider 8. Wolfentein RPG 9. Zenonia 10. Zombies & Me
PC (Played 16, finished 2) Note: My PC gaming has been dominated by the quirky games people email me links to or those which I judge for the Independent Games Festival. In 2010, I'll add Dragon Age to this list. 1. Another Small Favor 2. Continuity 3. Dawn of War II 4. Don't Shit Your Pants 5. Dyson (Eufloria) 6. Enviro-Bear 2000 7. Fading Hearts 8. Osmos 9. Plants Vs. Zombies 10. Red Remover 11. Time Fcuk 12. Windosill 13. Small Worlds 14. The Sims 3 15. Today I Die (Daniel Benmergui's marvelous, free poetry game; hard to say what constitutes "finishing" it.) 16. Zuma's Revenge
PSP (Played 9, finished 1) 1. Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines 2. Dissidia Final Fantasy 3. Half-Minute Hero 4. Holy Invasion Of Privacy, Badman! 5. Loco Roco 2 6. NBA 10: The Inside 7. PixelJunk Monsters Deluxe 8. Resistance Retribution (Played about half of this. Good, long game. Can't remember why I stopped) 9. Rock Band Unplugged
PS3 (Played 21, finished 10) 1. Assassin's Creed II 2. Batman: Arkham Asylum 3. Demon's Souls (Still playing this one. May not finish it before 2011) 4. F.E.A.R. 2 5. Fat Princess 6. Flower 7. Infamous 8. Katamari Forever 9. Killzone 2 10. Lego Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues 11. Mini Ninjas 12. Need for Speed Shift 13. PixelJunk Shooter 14. Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time 15. The Saboteur 16. Shatter 17. Sodium 18. Tom Clancy's HAWX 19. Uncharted 2 20. Valkyria Chronicles (Started this '08 game in 2009, played about a third, then stopped, hence its inclusion. Didn't like its pacing and clunky menus.) 21. Watchmen: The End is Nigh
Xbox 360 (Played 44, finished 17) 1. 50 Cent Blood on the Sand (No guilt from me about this guilty pleasure) 2. Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts (Marvelous '08 game I didn't appreciate until '09) 3. The Beatles: Rock Band 4. Bionic Commando 5. Borderlands 6. Brutal Legend 7. Cold War Commander 8. Defense Grid 9. DJ Hero 10. Dragon Age: Origins 11. Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard 12. Fallout 3 (Another '08 game played mostly in '09) 13. Far Cry 2 (And another '08 game played mostly in '09) 14. Fight Night Round 4 15. Flock 16. Forza Motorpost 3 17. The Godfather II 18. Golden Axe: Beast Rider 19. Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad Of Gay Tony (I'm counting this as a game, which I know is controversial. New lead character + 12 hours of campaign = game?) 20. Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned (See previous entry) 21. Halo Wars 22. Halo 3 ODST 23. James Cameron's Avatar: The Game 24. The Last Remnant 25. Left 4 Dead 2 26. The Maw 27. Modern Warfare 2 28. Overlord II 29. Peggle 30. Pixel Man 31. Prototype 32. Red Faction: Guerilla (Not counting this game's summer DLC, which I finished, as a game, contradicting my above standard. Ah well.) 33. Resident Evil 5 34. Shadow Complex 35. Smackdown Vs. Raw 2010 (Played a ton, but what would constitute "finishing" it?) 36. Splosion Man 37. Star Ocean: The Last Hope 38. Street Fighter IV 39. Tom Clancy's EndWar 40. Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen 41. Trials HD 42. Wet (Regret goes here) 43. Wolfenstein 44. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Wii (Played 30, finished 12) 1. Bit.Trip Beat 2. Bit Trip Core 3. Bonsai Barber 4. Cubello 5. De Blob (Started in '08, finished in '09) 6. Dead Space Extraction 7. Deadly Creatures 8. Excitebots 9. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life As A Darklord 10. Ghostbusters The Video Game (Regret goes here) 11. House of the Dead Overkill 12. James Cameron's Avatar: The Game 13. Little King's Story 14. Maboshi's Arcade 15. Madworld 16. Metroid Prime Trilogy 17. Mushroom Men (Only game I stuck with in 2009 because of its music, wound up liking the whole game.) 18. Overlord: Dark Legend 19. New Play Control Pikmin 20. New Play Control Mario Power Tennis 21. NyxQuest Kindred Spirits 22. Punch-Out! 23. Rabbids Go Home 24. Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles 25. Rune Factory Frontier 26. Sonic and the Black Knight 27. Spore Hero 28. Swords and Soldiers 29. Wii Sports Resort 30. You, Me and the Cubes
The final 2009 tally is: 165 games played; 47 finished
May my 2010 be a little more discriminating!