Shameless Gaming: Week One

As you may be aware, July is Shameless Gaming month here at Kotaku. Since there seems to be a dearth of new, interesting releases we're inviting you to join us as we attempt to make our own personal pile of shame a more manageable heap. I will be documenting my progress here, every Tuesday, but think of this as a place to discuss your own progress...

Shameless Gaming: Week One Friday was a write-off. I had something I had to go to. Something I couldn't avoid.

But I woke up on Saturday with a sense of poise and purpose. When you combine those two words together you get porpoise.

I was a purposeful porpoise.

I opened my drawer, bursting at the seams. I've always had more games that I legitimately have space for, meaning that I tend to loan my games out constantly to friends and family - plenty of my games were missing. Still, regardless, I had a tonne to get through. Metroid Prime Trilogy, Metroid: Other M, Punch Out!!, InFamous 2, Crysis 2, Bulletstorm, Dead Space 2, LA Noire, LittleBigPlanet 2, Homefront... etc - more than I could realistically get through in a month. It was clear that, in this case, priorities must be made.

I decided to focus my time on games I had come close to finishing. I call them the InBetweeners - titles that filled the gaps between the games I truly wanted to play; titles that got tossed when the games I was truly salivating after were released. Alan Wake got tossed for Red Dead Redemption, Batman: Arkham Asylum got tossed for Uncharted 2 - Castlevania: Lords of Shadow got tossed for... any game that wasn't a frustrating mess of shit.

But I digress. I made, as my first target, Batman: Arkham Asylum. A game I got close to finishing, but stupidly abandoned in the latter stages.

Sliding in the game disc, slipping my buttcheeks into the increasingly comfortable grooves in my couch, I began to realise that Shameless Gaming would be more difficult than I anticipated. It would be a grind. It would be difficult. I had abandoned these games (mostly) with good reason. I hated them, they were frustrating, I had better games to play or - in Batman: Arkham Asylum's case - I had gotten utterly, stupidly stuck.

I won't go into details, but jumping headlong into a game, a good couple of years after you last touched it, requires a certain grace period. You've completely forgotten the basic controls for a start. With Batman: Arkham Asylum I couldn't remember what button was counter, which was attack, let alone all the combat modifiers required for Batman to really start bouncing some criminal booty all up in this bitch.

And then there was the context required to play through such a game. In short - there was none. Where was I going? Where had I come from? Being perfect honest, I had no real idea what my next objective was, I had a vague understanding of what the weapons in my artillery did, but couldn't remember what tool I had acquired last, and couldn't quite grasp what situation required which ability, etc, etc, etc.

Etc into oblivion.

Being stuck was one of the reasons I stopped playing Batman: Arkham Asylum to begin with. Jumping straight to the end of the game amplifed the situation by, conservatively speaking, roughly 1 billion percent.

In short - I was boned. So I did what any reasonable man would do in this situation. I googled the shit out of it.

So yeah, for the first time since Goldeneye on the N64, I had to hit up the internet for the solution to a problem. I was ashamed. And so I should have been. This is Shameless Gaming after all.

But yes, thank you internet. After a solid hour of re-enacting Groundhog Day: Batman Edition, a quick Google search had me on my way.

And it was precisely at that moment that my wife returned with an entourage of our friends and family.

"Turn off the TV," she said, "stop being so anti-social!"

Yep. Shameless Gaming had gotten off to a ripsnorter of a start...

How are you guys going with your pile of shame? Let us know in the comments below. We're also discussing Shameless Gaming on Twitter under the hashtag #shamelessgaming. You can follow me @Serrels.


    I tried to start my shameless gaming but got sucked into TF2 again. Damn my accursed love for hats!

      Same boat my friend.
      ..and all those damn sales aren't helping! I've spent like $20 and have 10000000 new stupid games i want to play.

      Steam sale in general is hurting the progress big time..

      Yeah, I got back into it too after it became free. Lots more people playing now which is NICE. Hell, I even bought a few hats. God I love this game. Even more now its got a bigger community.

      am I a bad person for devoting all of my time to World of Tanks in Shameless Gaming Month?

    My own start to Shameless Gaming month was a little more successful. Although I had a few problems of my own, namely my PS3 freezing at the dying stages of Uncharted 2.

    Still, that's one game successfully removed from the pile of shame and I made a little bit of progress in Darksiders, Trauma Center: Second Opinion and the Starcraft 2 campaign.

    Luckily for me, these are all games that I have just started (instead of abandoning near the end) so there were tutorials to help me through my bewilderment.

    I've finished Borderlands and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, thanks to all the free time this uni break has given me.

    Think I've hit a wall though.. bought The Witcher 2 on Steam because of the sale. Don't think I'm going to be able to get through much more this month..

    I managed to finish Beyond Good and Evil HD on the weekend, despite having to repair and wash my car (long story, not for now) and made some progress on Alice: Madness Returns.
    I'm starting from this end of things and working back, in the hopes I will recover lost gaming skills as I regress.

    I started early, but I can cross Batman Arkham Asylum and The Saboteur off my list. They've been hanging around for a while! I actually enjoyed them both, the Saboteur more than Batman.

      The Saboteur was one of those under appreciated gems of 2009.

        +1. Only game where I've actually gone out of my way to take care of all the optional side diversions. Took nearly 40 hours, but so worth it. :)

          I hope you guys read my review that's been posted today. I really really liked it, but had a few really frustrating bugs I had to work around :( One of those I wish had been given the extra 3 months or something to really put the spit polish on. If that had happened, it'd be a stellar game.

    I'm back in to Rift.
    I started playing at launch, but only got to level 18 as I started playing a heap of other new games.
    I know it's hard to "finish" an MMO but I at least want level cap.
    Only other game I have I need to finish is Hunted. It just bored me. Anyone wants to co-op it XBox liv

    I had a similar experience with Red dead redeption. I jumped back in and had no idea what i was meant to be doing so i did what any person does, I got on a horse and started shooting at people. Everyone

    So you kept playing right? Right?

    Stupid fat fingers. *grumble*
    anyone wants to co-op it on XBL, hit me up here.

    "for the first time since Goldeneye on the N64, I had to hit up the internet for the solution to a problem"... hhhmmmm

    I can think of at least one other time that the internet helped you out mate?

      You are not the internet!

        He's not?!? Someone's been lying to us, then...

          The Internet it a wireless black box kept in big ben

            You get the best reception there.

            HA! Its a black box with a red blinking light and if it goes out, everything crashes!, man that ep of IT Crowd was pure gold. My mum still thinks that is how the internet works.

    Steam sale has decimated my Shameless Gaming start. I've just been playing little new games and such, and haven't even begun to start touching my pile.

    I hear you with the anti-social wife jibe. It always happens at a crucial moment or in the middle of some crazy action oh my god gotta pull this off moment.

      It reduced your Shameless Gaming start by 10%?

    That ground hog day (?) picture is great

    Mine went like this.

    Boot PS3
    Insert HomeFront
    Look at icon on XMB
    Eject HomeFront
    Play with Sausage Dog

    So, it's going well.

      Having recently played Homefront, I can safely say that was the correct decision to make.

        I find myself yelling

        "Why aren't you better?"

        everytime I play it.

          I think the game is so average it's terrible.

          I had more fun cursing out an NPC that I had named "Steve" because he wasn't pulling his weight and killing bad guys than I had from actually killing bad guys.

      Spend three hours with the dog rather than that heap of shit

      I really like the Homefront Multi...
      The BattleCommander is an inspired piece of kit.

    My Mortal Kombat 9 arrived yesterday and put a pin in my shameless gaming period... the next few days are dedicated to ripping throats and Fatality-ing fools.

    I finished LA Noire and Zack and Wiki on the first of July, then zero progress since. Mainly due to the mainstays of Magic the Gathering and Trials HD.

    I spent the entire time between dinner and bed last night trying to catch FatShady and Qumulys on a track last night. Took me forever to get back in the groove, but by then exhaustion overpowered the skillz and I got nowhere near them. I did remember why I stopped playing this stupid game though... Good thing my wife is much more tolerant of such things than yours!

    In short, started strongly, now floundering. Might get back on track by finishing the final level of Halo 3 tonight.

      Did you end up getting 2012? is it worth it?

        It's a tough call.

        If you are happy to play what is effectively the same game with some slightly different modes and different decks (and even then, some of them are very similar to the previous version), then go for it. That's enough for me personally.

        Load times are improved, which is a big plus, but they haven't really changed anything else. It feels like they've just thrown a new skin over the same game. So if there was anything about the old game that bugged you (e.g. controls, minimal desk customisation, gameplay speed, etc), it's probably still exactly the same and therefore I'd recommend that you skip it.

        The demo is very indicative of the final product. So give it a try, see which of the above categories applies to you, then buy accordingly!

          Maybe after I've cleared my pile of shame. I haven't even unlocked all the cards in the original. I just end up going on line and using the same couple of decks to try an win. As long as there are still plenty of people online for the original then I will hold off.

    I filed miserably too. Finished Chapter 1 and 2 of Back to the Future and Bioshock. But added Bionic Commando Collection, Fallout:NV DLC, Assassins Creed 2 and Brotherhood, Lara Croft GOL and Hydrophobia to the list.

    Damn you Steam sales!

    I never realised how terribly I did in most of the LA Noire cases until I aimed to go through and get 5 stars on each...

    Other than that, I've played Pilotwings 3DS which I was enjoying, but put down and didn't get back into for some reason.

    Managed to finish Two Worlds 2. By the last stages of the game, I didnt give a shit about the story and just blasted through. Final boss was a bitch though and really makes any degree of boosting pointless.

    Currently playing through DA:O (so I can move on to DA2) and Pokemon Black. Also still practising my Dee Jay on SSFIV AE on XBL.

    I bought 4 new games on Steam, pile of shame fail!

    My weekend was a busy one. Drinking, helping my mate build his roof over the decking, followed by more drinking, and then an incredibly shocking hangover on Sunday. So I didn't manage to play anything. Hopefully I knock over Darksiders tonight, because State of Origin has me busy tomorrow.

    Ha! This is good initiative.. I'm going to try and finish Infamous and Fallout NV on ps3..

    My PC pile of shame is on a Steam powered ride to Everest height at the moment.. damn them.. sending me broke US $4.99 at a time..

      That would be 'This is a* good initiative'.. I blame the keyboard's Russian accent feature!

        In soviet russia... Where GAME FINISHES YOU!!!!!!

    Forgetting controls for a game that you haven't played in a long time is a b***h.

    I try to play only 2-3 games at any given period of time, and only moving on once I've completed a game (to my liking). In very rare instances where I've abandoned a game and wanted to come back to it a few months/years later, I'd just start a new game, no use continuing a saved file that you have no attachments to.

    There was a post somewhere that sent me back to, and so began my Shameless Gaming Endeavour. On my PS3 I havent really got much of a pile of shame - only really Alone in the Dark: Inferno Edition and Demon's Souls (one game kind of broken, the other brutally hard).

    I bought Arcanum back in the day when it was released, but never finished it. I found it too hard, and a little broken. Thankfully, over the years, fans have patched the game to make it quite an enjoyable experience. I may have shot myself in the foot though by starting my shameless gaming off with a massive RPG, but it's always been one of those games for me that I regretted not finishing, and it always seemed to have so much potential.

    And now, one weekend into my endeavour, I think I'm 10% into the main quest, and having a great time!

    I sat down on Firday night and finsihed FEAR 2 - I was only about an hour and a half away from the end and not only did I finish the game, I finished a bunch of nearly-complete weapon-related achievements. My wife grew increasingly (mock, I hope) irritated with me because barely five minutes went by without another bleep-bloop.
    She'd waited almsot a year to discuss the game's ending with me, and I can understand her anxiousness. How often does... that happen in an action game, and in the first person perspective to boot?

    On Saturday, I finished FEAR - once again, I was only a couple of ohurs out from the end. My wife hasn't finished this one either but in her case she's in a bad place - no medkits, no ammo, no armor - she's just kind of stuck.
    My last save was in almost the same place as hers, except I had plenty of resources to carry me through. I don't know why I stopped playing. I guess the FEAR games have always been my in-betweeners.

    Anyway, I got through it - two days, two games! Great progress!

    Then on Sunday I fell ill. Too ill to play games, which is how you know I'm really sick and not just skiving off with a dose of man-flu. I tried feebly to play some F3AR, but I just couldn't focus. I considered going back to try and five star some more cases or hunt for film reels in LA Noire, but it seemed like too gargantuan a task.

    I palyed some Geomtry Wars 2, setting myself the challenge of outstripping my friends on each leaderboard - not really too hard, I was still at the top of 3 of the 6. I racked up a score of 9.8 million in evolved mode, beating out my closest competitor by over 2 million. I raged at King mode as each successive effort seemed to yield me lower scores despite me living longer and racking up more kills. I was baffled. I went to Pacifism mode and more than doubled my previous best but still lagged a million points behind my friendslist leaderboard #1.

    I gave up and looked for a game I hadn't gotten any achievements in - Fancy Pants Adventures. I won a code over a Twitter contest from @XboxAustralia. I was so chuffed, but I'd only played it to 'test it out' right after downloading it. I hadn't really played it. Hey, let's give it a go!

    Oh god. I don't know if it was the fever induced nausea and chills, the entirety of my skin itching as my body waged a silent war against itself, or the mild water poisoning I probably gave myself while senselessly rehydrating by sculling a 1.5L Mount Franklin bottle, but playing Fancy Pants Adventures was one of the worst gaming experiences of my life.

    Maybe the game really is that bad - floaty controls, illogical level design, generally frustrating gameplay and irritating background music. Some of the achievements are bizarre. Collect all 140 wardrobe items? that's a great achievement, assuming you made a game people actually want to paly! BUGGER THAT!

    I powered off the xbox and curled up on the floor in front of the heater, much to the consternation of my cat who had to settle for curling up atop me.

    My wife has already finished F3AR twice and FEAR was her only shame game - she is now satisfied there is no point in her struggling to finish it now that she has watched me finish it. She spent Sunday rewatching Sanctuary.

    I have a number of games left on my unfinished pile, but I only consider them pile of shame items if I promised myself I would finish them but never have - as opposed to games I have no intention of finishing (most of which I have traded in by now, e.g.: Too Human, Stranglehold, Saints Row 1).

    My pile of shame therefore remains as follows:
    - Batman: Arkham Asylum (finish story mode)
    - Beyond Good & Evil HD (finish story mode/get all achievements)
    - Crysis 2 (finish story mode)
    - F3AR (finish story mode as Point Man AND Fettel)
    - Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (100% completion)

    There are other games but I'm at work and can't see them in front of me, and my memory is still a little fuzzy. Maybe I'll update the list tonight.

      Holy freakin typos! I need to learn to proofread.

      Anyway, I just remembered some more:

      - Fallout New Vegas (finish main quest and currently available DLC)
      - Fallout 3 (finish DLC - I'm currently in... is it Point Lookout? The swamp one? I'm halfway through that, I have done The Pitt and Operation Anchorage - still need to do Broken Steel and Mothership Zeta).

      Depending on where you are up to, BG&E:HD shouldn't take too long, if you have the pearl detector and animal detector for acheivements.
      Also, animal detector pays for itself very easily.

        I think it shows just how unfmiliar I am with the game that I barely understood what you just wrote. I think I have explored like, two caves since fixing my hovercraft and had my first boss battle.

        I still have aways to go, methinks.

          "She’d waited almsot a year to discuss the game’s ending with me, and I can understand her anxiousness. How often does… that happen in an action game, and in the first person perspective to boot?"

          I'm curious... Do you talk to your wife in 3rd person perspective often? O_o

      Batman AA isn't too hard on the achievements if you're looking to 100% it. I think all of them can be done post-ending (no missable achievements) and the only difficulty comes from the Challenge Rooms

    I spent my weekend trying to grind out Overlord... Finally finished it last night, but need to spend time in the Raising Hell expansion.

    Also, I don't care what anyone says, googling for a solution (As long as you don't overdo it) is perfectly acceptable... The alternative is abandoning a good game because you're stumped, which is pointless.

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