Shameless Gaming: Week Two

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...

As you might recall the opening weekend of Shameless Gaming, for me personally, was a box office bomb. It had about as much impact Pluto Nash II: The Nashening. It was a weekend littered with irritating pre-arranged social events, episodes of Gossip Girl - and me being stuck at Batman: Arkham Asylum for an hour, tearing my nostril hairs out in abject frustration.

But that was last weekend, because - get this - this weekend was ever so marginally better. I actually got stuff done.


I've heard some criticisms of Shameless Gaming, and they've mostly been fair. 'Gaming shouldn't be a chore' is the valid point most seem to be raising - games go into the pile of shame for a reason according to some folks. Well, let me put it out there - I hear you. On day one of Shameless Gaming month I had a long hard look at my pile of shame and had to resist the urge to vomit bile all over that insidious pile of plastic.

You're right - Shameless Gaming, at first, felt like a chore. And I was dreading it.

But this week it sort of all clicked for me, it all started to make sense. I was playing Bulletstorm - a game that I had played for roughly ten minutes before, quite rightly, abandoning it for Portal 2. 'This is as dumb as an enormous barrel of dumbells,' I said to myself. 'This is complete bollocks, I'd rather be watching Man vs Wild. Or Gossip Girl.'

Still, I pushed myself through, and you know what - I'm almost at the end and I'm having a total blast. Bulletstorm is not a game without its flaws, but hidden underneath the often hilarious, but mostly terrible, dialogue is a game that dares to mess around with the shooter template and offer something quite fresh in its core mechanics. Bulletstorm has slowly turned out to be one of the most fun gaming experiences I've had this year.

If it wasn't for Shameless Gaming month, I honestly would never have even bothered.

As someone who writes about games for living, there's a certain amount of pressure - pressure to be up on the latest games, pressure to have played all the new releases, to be constantly informed. I confess that, at times, I'll go home with a new release I'd usually be frothing weird amounts of foam over only to be overcome with a weird malaise. Hilariously, I find myself procrastinating gaming - I'll do the dishes instead, I'll scroll blandly over Twitter and Facebook, post on forums - I'll do anything other than pick up a controller.

Playing my old, unwashed games has given me a certain freedom from that need to be current, and I think that's been the magic of Shameless Gaming for me so far.

And I can't wait to get started on the next game.

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.

Click here for week one of Shameless Gaming.


    Gossip Girl! \o/

    I managed to (just) get through Just Cause 2, but it felt more like a slog than anything enjoyable.

    I still have GTA IV and RDR to go (plus all their expansions), so hopefully I won't get bored of sandboxes...

      Good luck with the expansions, seriously. GTAIV hasn't aged well and I've tried (and failed) to play Lost & Damned on three separate occasions. It's simply too clunky so I've only made it a few missions in. The concept for it seems great (as does the Ballad of Gay Tony) but I just can't handle GTAIV's combat/driving system the way I did back when it first game out.

        That's an interesting comment. I wonder if I'd feel the same. Must try. Btw...did you happen to play LA Noire? To me the combat and character movement have a certain clunkiness, very reminiscent to GTA IV. Love LA Noire, but the combat system is still d-a-f-t.

          I did play LA Noire and it was much smoother and tighter than GTAIV. It still had that drunken fumbly feel to it, but not to the extent of GTAIV.

      Yeah that killed Just Cause 2 for me, mindless stunts = fun, actual game = not fun at all.

    I finished Darksiders on Sunday, which appears to be true to the zeitgeist around here at the moment. Good game, almost ruined by the main character sounding like a constipated Shakespearian.

    Next up: Crysis Warhead. I did just buy Witcher 2 in the Steam sale, luckily it's taking about 5 days to download so I might even finish CW by then, it's the last thing on my pile of shame.

      I wanted to go back to Darksiders, but I'm finding the length way too intimidating.

        "I’m finding the length way too intimidating."

        My mind may just be a tad too dirty.

        It's the girth you need to worry about...

        The stats reckon it took me about 20 hrs, I got most of the collectables but didn't really go back exploring areas too much with the new abilities. I found Wicked K twice, just by chance. He's pretty suave for a dead guy.

        I think it's worth the time, some of the final boss fights were amongst the best bits of the game for me.

        Tell me about it. I'm currently trying to bring myself to get back to Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey after finishing the last games I've been clearing off my list (Fire Emblems 9 and 10) and it's daunting to know that I was around 60 hours in when I put it down and I'm still just halfway through.

    Even though I'm rotating through Darksiders, Trauma Center: Second Opinion and Starcraft 2, I'm hitting that little bit of a hump that you found yourself in that first week.

    My main issue is that I'm at parts I don't enjoy in either Darksiders (damned water temple) and Trauma Center (damned luck based missions). Luckily, I'm really enjoying the Starcraft 2 campaign so that is helping me quite a bit as I can just keep playing that whenever one of the other games annoys me enough to want to hurl the controller through my TV.

    Anyone who was on TeamSpeak last night knows how much "fun" I was having with Trauma Center.

    I definitely would not have pushed myself to finish FEAR and FEAR 2, and these are very worthy games that deserved my attention.

    Unfortunately due to illness this last week and a half I haven't really been up for much gaming so I have sadly not made any progress beyond the accomplsihments of that first weekend. I did finish F3AR, but I still have to replay the campaign as Fettel to satisfy myself that I have played the game "to completion" - and really, palying as Fettel is great. The mechanical difference between playing as Point Man and playing as Fettel seems subtle and it doesn't change the storyline, but you do play the game very differently. Anyone who got to the end of F3AR as Point Man and thought the game ended there is wrong. Once I have finished my Fettel playthrough my wife and I plan to do co-op to see who really is the favourite son. :)

    Agreed that If gaming feels like a chore maybe it was an ill-advised hobby. There's no reason a gem like Arkham Asylum should have ever made it to the pile of shame!

    I tackled LA Noire with the help of a friend on the weekend, he took care of the driving, I did the investigations and we shared the fights and chases.
    It worked especially well because it's such a pretty game to watch and the expressions and dialogue make it just as fun to spectate as to play.
    And you see a lot more of the scenery if someone else is driving.

    well, i finished gears of war, and since i promised on the twitters, i would post a photoshop of myself on the cover of the game i just beat, so here's gears

    as i said on the post, i didn't ever say the photoshops would look good

    Well I didn't get any gaming done on the weekend and my wife has sabotaged any further attempts by purchasing a Kinect and dance central as well.

    I will have to work out a new strategy while my lounge room becomes a dance floor.

    I'm almost embarrassed to say this, but I'm finally getting through Shin Megami Tensei III (Nocturne/Lucifer's Call). It's taking me months, but I just came back from Japan and have another two weeks off of work and am a good 55 hours in. I still haven't gotten to play a current gen RPG yet because my last gen backlogue is too big. I don't know how people do it.

      I find abandoning all pretenses of having a social life does wonders for your gaming time.

    I'm really distressed at the moment by my gaming. I'm only getting about 3 hours a week. It's really jarring because I'm used to about 2-4x that. Curse my retail job leaving me out of the house for 10+ hours a day... I know others have it worse, but even so...

      Hm. I think my problem is that due to the kind of games I like (RPG, Strategy, Indie), I'm not feeling sufficiently rewarded for the short amounts of time I have to play. I'd rather watch Ao no Exorcist or Tiger & Bunny than game. What should I do in that situation? Since I'm indifferent to FPS, how should I go about pushing through the longer games when my play sessions are so restricted?

        Half Minute Hero - although playing the demo it seemed like more of a send-up of RPGs than anything.

    I spend more time buying and collecting games than I actually play nowadays.

    Played a little bit more of DA:O last night. I actually finished it back in 09 on PC but playin on Xbox 360 now so I can transfer my save to DA2. Currently a female city elf inside Haven. Good times so far.

    Also just been slogging my way through SSSFIV AE with Dee Jay online. Every match up is a bad match up when it comes to projectile users. Otherwise I don't think I'll ever stop playing this game.

    I... I... I haven't finished anything :(

    But I blame the Black Ops tourney, I've just been practicing for that... But after that! Oh you better believe Darksiders is getting finished.

    I hear you about feeling obligated to be with the times on new releases constantly. As a manager of a games retailer, I have that pressure from customers to describe in detail about that dude at the end of chapter 2 that is really hard or similar gibberish like that. I almost deny playing some of these titles in spite of these people, even though it is my job. I also delay the gaming when I get home, stupidly, because when you get into it, I wont stop for hours. Compeletly irrational. I also have the problem that if I am playing 1 game almost exclusivly all night, I fell obligated to splice up the time and spread the gaming out over the night to ensure I am making progess on several fronts. Dirt 3 and darksiders both fir into that catagory.

      I'm in a similar spot to you, but my solution is to simply watch trailers, do some reading, extrapolate from comments and snippets, and draw on my experience with games. I can sell something pretty effectively with only a small amount of knowledge about it; for example, I can sell Red Faction Armageddon based wholly on my experiences with Guerilla and the description of the Magnet Gun I got from my subordinate who took it home.

      Other than the above, if you're the manager, suggest that your staff examine some games then report. If you only have time to play, say, Duke Nukem, get someone else to do Red Faction and Fear 3. Combined with the above methods, it's super effective ^_^

      As for "How do I shot web" from customers, refer them to Seriously, best advice ever. Or tell them you YouTube the boss battle. I love the 'net.

      Best of luck, mate ^^

    I finished Saints Row 2, then went back to my partially finished Batman Arkham Asylum. After a frustrating hour or so trying to relearn the controls I finished the game. Very satisfying. I'm sure the only reason I stopped Batman before was not through lack of enjoyment but because I got enamoured with something else.

    MGS4 has been in my pile of shame for a few years now which feels odd to say for a next gen game. I discovered I hadn't got through Act 1 and really just hadn't got the game. I was waiting for trophies but then decided to suck it up. Thankfully I have progressed and I am now immersed in the story. It is the prelude to Raisen that was worth going back for. Now bring on Rising!

    Success for me so far! I've finished: Agarest: Generations of War for the PS3 and Batman: Arkhum Asylum on 360. Currently working through Quantum of Solace on the 360.

    I had a massive weekend of gaming and yet my progress on The Witcher is slow. I got stuck in act 2 looking for a low life criminal scum suspect called Ramsmeat. I was supposed to look for him in the Inn. It took me many frustrating hours to find out he hung out in a back room at the Inn! That was a chore! My wife and I did finally finish New Super Mario Brothers Wii though! No she is trying to unlock level 9 the secret world.

    Currently playing through Mass Effect 1, which I've been sitting on for around 4 months but hadn't played yet - My god that's a detailed game!

    I suffer from that very same procrastination problem - I think it's due to a combination of lengthy or unknown game length, and the expectation that as an actual adult with real-life reponsibilities, i'm gonna be interrupted at some point

    Finished Mirror's Edge and did a lot more GTAIV - I was normally doing 1 mission at a time with GTAIV but the other night did about 7 missions in quick succession and found it quite engrossing!

    I finally finished Borderlands over the weekend. Torn between Darksiders and Bully now..

      You played the Claptrap expansion? I just finished General Knoxx, which was good, only the claptrap one to do. Just wondering if it worth my time?

        The Claptrap Robolution DLC was pretty good - pretty much all the DLC for Borderlands was better than the main game.

        If you plan to go for all the achievements though, you might have noticed there's achievements like collect x number of pizza slices and oil cans and whatnot. The drops are random and it's a pain in the ass - what you want to do is have a higher level friend tank the final boss while you run around scooping up the drops.

        Or you can just ignore those achievements... I couldn't because they were the only ones I needed. Took like 3 hours.

    Personally I found Shameless gaming good for me. I finished Final Fantasy XII last week which I honestly wasn't enjoying before but when I played through to the end I began to appreciate the game for it's open world and battle system and even began to enjoy it's story.

    Currently working through Final Fantasy's I, X and XII Revenant Wings to try and abolish them from my pile of shame.

    Yesterday due to flu I finished Darksiders and AAAaaaAAAa!!!

    I began Darksiders thinking how lame it all was... but in the end it was good fun. I can't see myself playing it again but I might check out Darksiders 2 when it inevitably goes on sale.

    AAaaaAAAaaa!! was amazing, I'd definitely recommend it.

    Now I just have 18 days left to finish the Witcher 2, L. A. Noire, Spacechem, Metro 2033, Eufloria and Super Meat Boy...

    Having a supplementary exam in the coming days is killing me! Half of my problem with my (enormous) pile of shame comes from having had my hard drive corrupt and losing half completed files on Arkham Asylum, Bioshock, Mass Effect 2, Company of Heroes, Deadspace, Red Faction: Guerilla and Saints Row 2. It was brutal.
    Only now, months later am I feeling the desire to get back into them. Looking at them in Steam and seeing X hours played when I know there's no progress is really a depressing sight.

      Also I of course lost my ME1 Shepard that I had transfered into ME2 - an absolutely badass bald black guy with a thin Carlton-from-Fresh-Prince-esque moustache. Trying to recreate him in ME2, best I could get was an odd mexican looking man with the same moustache but somehow so, so, much seedier.

    Well I finished Bioshock 2 just the other day and boy I am glad that I did. I heard a lot of criticisms about that game but I really enjoyed it. Thank you shameless gaming. Well that is two down, now I have to figure out what is next.

    I too have had some success. I finally got all 1000 achievement points on Batman; Arkham Asylum. First game I've ever done this with. Those last couple of combat challenges were punishingly frustrating.

    I've started Metro 2033. I'm enjoying the graphics and atmosphere, tolerating the gunplay and stealth sections, and trying to forgive its bugs and weird checkpoints. It has a certain charm that downgrades these 'irritations' to 'quirks'.

    Also started Red Faction: Guerilla, and lord help me, Trials HD.

    Made me realise I can get so much gaming done if I stop playing Black Ops MP over and over again.

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