Shameless Gaming: Final Week

My attempt at Shameless Gaming - it has been shameful. The month of July is over and after all the blood, sweat and Pepsi Max, all I have to show for my pitiful efforts is two games competed. A pathetic two games removed from my pile of shame. Where did it all go wrong?

That's a story that would take a hundred posts to regale... but first my progress.

Coming into the last weekend, things looked grim. I hadn't completed a single game. The closest I'd come to finishing was Bulletstorm, a short first person shooter I should have knocked over in a couple of days. My planning had come undone - I wanted to use the month to blast through short FPSs I had ignored as a result of overwhelming shooter fatigue - Homefront, Bulletstorm and Crysis 2 were at the forefront of that list. I passed on Crysis 2 initially, because I worried it may have been too long; I ignored Homefront because it was probably too mediocre to bother with.

Bulletstorm seemed like a happy medium.

It took me far longer than I expected, mainly because, while Bulletstorm was frantic, innovative fun in short bursts, it was tedious to marathon. This feeling was amplified towards the end, when enemies became bullet sponges and interesting encounters were replaced with buggy scripted sequences. It was a struggle to finish, but I managed it.

Child of Eden, I thought, would be the perfect antidote to my re-occurring shooter fatigue. I was excited - I loved Child of Eden, and only had a couple of levels to finish. This was the kind of Shameless Gaming I could enjoy, instead of force - if I could find my copy of the game.

Yes. Someone had borrowed my copy of Child of Eden.

Because I have a decent sized game collection, I've gotten into the habit of lending games out to friends/family/any old random who visits my apartment. I realised this after roughly 30 minutes of frantic searching - rustling through game drawers, DVD drawers, Blu-ray drawers, pants drawers...

To no avail - I had to move on. I had to look for another game to finish. This turned out to be a difficult task.

Because it was at this point that I realised that at the dark marrow of Shameless Gaming lies a heartbreaking fact of life - games get tossed into the pile of shame for good reason. I picked up Batman: Arkham Asylum - an incredible game by most accounts - but tossed it back. It had been almost a year since I last played it, the context was lost, it was too difficult to hop back into, the difficulty spikes were too frustrating. I picked up Split/Second - did racing games count? Who cares - I didn't want to play a racing game. WWE All Stars - tossed it. Crysis 2 - I didn't have the time.

It was then that I found it, buried undernearth a pile of other games - half-finished efforts squawking like X-factor rejects.

"Pick me! Pick me!"

The temptation to blast up Bastion or From Dust was almost overwhelming, but I stopped - took a deep breath.

L.A. Noire. Fine. I'll pick you.

So yes, the second and only game I finished for Shameless Gaming was L.A. Noire. So shameful.

Now that the month is over, and everything is back to normal, I have mixed feelings about Shameless Gaming. On the one hand it was a beautiful experiment - a chance to cast aside the pressure I often feel - to be on top of the latest games, to be familiar with the cutting edge of gaming. But Shameless Gaming almost made me realise why gaming often winds me up mercilessly - it just seems to be populated with so much mediocrity to the point where everything feels the same, everything plays the same and fresh experiences are difficult to find.

So many of my unfinished games were shooters. So many. I found that quite depressing. Others were third person games that were too long to even consider. I guess Shameless Gaming really made me realise how little free time I actually have as an adult person with responsibilities - and it made me realise that I don't always want to spend that free time gaming. My spare time is precious, and if I'm going to play a video game, it had better be extra-ordinary, otherwise I'd probably rather go and watch an episode of Mad Men.

But regardless - I'm glad I took part. I'm even more glad the whole thing is over.

Now I can finally go and play Bastion!

I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who supported Shameless Gaming and took part. It's been great fun talking to you guys and sharing the experience. I want to give particular thanks to Trjn for coming up with the idea. He has written his own wrap up post, which you can read here.

WATCH MORE: Gaming News


Comments

    I think Shameless Gaming worked well for me because I was coming from the other side, I am an adult person with limited responsibilities. So I have plenty of free time to make use of and my problem was that I hadn't been making use of it in the past.

      Also, I need to stop hitting "Submit Comment" so damned quickly.

      Thanks Mark for getting involved in this madness. It's been great to see so many people participate and I doubt that even a fraction of them would have considered doing so without your weekly posts.

      I have way too many responsibilities and not enough time, yet still managed to make progress on my pile of shame. Thanks for the motivation (and the excuses to work on the pile!) Trjn and Mark.

      I finished 6 games this month:
      - LA Noire: This was a technicality, as I did all the heavy lifting in June and finished it about 2am on the first of July...
      - Zack and Wiki: Was on the end boss, and had been for a couple of years. I now had the motivation to spend the hour required to finally finish it.
      - Halo 3: This TAY post sums up my experiences with the game. I don't really get why the campaigns for Halo games are so cherished, but it's done now.
      - De Blob 2: This was a game that Shameless Gaming was made for. I was finding it quite samey around half way through, but forced myself through to the end. Took a week or so of solid effort too. The final level was surprisingly cool, so I'm glad they made it, but I wish there had been less filler.
      - Magic the Gathering Duels of the Planeswalkers: My goal here was to unlock 100% of the cards (including expansions). Done, pwned some n00bs online along the way.
      - Perfect Dark: Probably my proudest SG achievement. I played this game to death on N64 back in 2000 and loved it, but I was stuck near the end because perfect agent difficulty is just too damn hard. So I played through the XBLA version from scratch on the medium difficulty and really enjoyed myself. Turns out I was on the second last level back then. This time I was able to go further, and 11 years after starting, it's now finished. BAM!

      PS: I found this site on the 31st of July: http://howlongtobeat.com/ . We should probably refer to it next year Trjn!

        There was another site that I stumbled across that is great for keeping track of your pile of shame, but after I found it the first time, I couldn't find it again.

        Hopefully when this goes down next year, I'll take note of some resources like these sites to make things more interesting.

        Glad to be able to provide an excuse :)

          http://www.backloggery.com might be what you were on, if not might be what you were looking for ;)

          All in all I think my performance was fairly average. My pile grew but I did manage to complete a few games
          Trine: Finished but still will want to go back and complete it, still around 5 XP to find
          Musica box: Nice short little puzzle game, only around 6 hrs total
          Ghostbusters: Spend 30-45 minutes trying to beat the final boss. Unsuccessful but think it might have kicked my stubborn streak into gear to finish it
          Just cause 2: Got back into this, still just enjoying the game and didn't feel rushed to complete missions for the sake of 'finishing' the game
          Mount and blade: The reason less games were completed this month

          Like mark I think the biggest achievement of the month was playing games I had previously played rather than starting on anything new

            That's the exact site I was after. Thanks a lot for that.

    I think it was an odd month for me. Started off with the Steam sale where I added approximately 100 titles to my pile of shame .. and subsequently played a lot of Minecraft. However my savior turned out to be moving. Bereft of Internet for a week or so, I blasted through AC1, Crysis 2 and Medal of Honor, as well as progressing in Mirrors Edge, Enslaved and Far Cry 2.

    It's definitely inspired me to hit up those older titles, one which will help me save some cash over the next month. I did use our brand spanking new collection to pick up Bastion and From Dust though this morning.

    It's been good, and I'm going to extend mine through August for a while. Frustrating times, but rewarding when completed. :D

      100 titles? Seriously?

        Some of the pack deals were absolutely brutal. $50USD could easily be 20-40 games. The PopCap pack is something like $60 for -80- games. Not to mention the huge array of <$5 games...

        Indie games on sale are indistinguishable from crack.

        I picked up about 40 games, and I thought I was being discerning!

        Yeah, it was the packs that did it for me. Deals where you can get not one, but six AAA games plus others for less than the price of a retail 360 game .. I definitely won't run out of stuff to play for a long while.

        A lot of them are PC staples that are pretty much a must play, but then there are other memory titles (hello Jedi Knight 2!) and games I own but want to play the mods for (GTA IV especially).

        It was my first real Steam sale. I can see why PC gamers never want to pay full price for a title now.

    I finished 4 games in July - the FEAR trilogy and Shadows of the Damned. Technically F3AR was not on my pile of shame because it was new, but I'm counting it anyway.

    There were a number of factors here, starting with an illness that kept me from using my free time to game - instead I chose to do nothing. Once I was on top of that, I found myself with a faulty Xbox which I have since replaced, only to proceed to play Fable 3 instead of the half dozen games I could be completing instead.

    WhileI consider my attempt at Shameless Gaming a failure, it has however driven me to become interested in my older games, reminding me that they still have something to offer even though they're not the latest and greatest.

    I think I am now more likely to revisit my pile of shame in the future. I really do want to finish The Darkness and Arkham Asylum. I want to see where Crysis 2 was headed. Those... other games I can't even recall the name of. These games are well worth playing and possibly replaying - just letting them sit there when I played good money for them in tantamount to wasting food by eating takeout every night while my fridge begins making noises that indicate the bacterial civilzation growing on my uneaten food has become advanced enough to invent the internal combustion engine.

    Don't feel bad Mark, i also didnt finish Arkham Asylum and i consider it a great game :P. In fact, i am yet to finish Castlevania: Lords of Shadow even though it is my favourite single player game so far in this generation. I got it for christmas and am still working through it, at the land of the dead :D. The goal is to finish it by the end of the year.

    Too busy playing Street Fighter and studying, you know?

    Why do you have a pants drawer? That implies you wear pants.

      I bet he just put that in there to see if we were paying attention.

        Gotta keep them somewhere so you don't have to wear them. Can't just leave them on the floor. Not when you're married.

    Well, at least you picked an okay game and a great game. It could have been worse!

    Receiving a cripling back injury that left in bed for over a week seemed to a blessing in disguise. A whole week without work allowed me to conquer the following:
    Half Life 2
    Half Life 2 eps 1 and 2
    Red Dead Redemption
    Pokemon White (although only through the story)
    Physconaughts (I forgot how to spell it, you get the picture)
    Banjo Kazooie 1
    LA Noire (had few cases left)
    Fallout New Vegas
    Portal 2
    Eragorn the Game (so very terrible but someone got it for me, someone who clearly hates me)
    Super Paper Mario

    As a prize for being so diligent in clearing my pile I bought the excellent Bastion. Remind me to time my injuries next year for the same reason.

      Wow - I can't even comprehend what it would be like to finish all that WIN in the space of one month!

        Yeah, I was numb from the waste down. Not sure if it was the high level of gaming perfomred or the back injury. I would like to think it was the games.

        Eragon hastened my recovery.

    I will not stop attacking my shame until it is finished! Gusman shall NOT purchase a new game until his shame is no more!

      Gusman is so hungover and is totally NEVER drinking again

    All the Pepsi Max prolly didnt help, should of gone coke.

    I downloaded Bastion last night and played it for a few hours, cool little game IMO.

    I managed to finish 4. Agarest: Generations of war for PS3, Batman: Arkham Asylum - Xbox360, Quantum Of Solace - Xbox360, Lost: Via Domus - Xbox360. I made good progress with Smash Tennis 3 and Flatout: Ultimate Carnage. I consider it a semi-success :)

    In the entire month, I finished From Dust. Oh, damn, that wasn't in my pile.

    I spent way too much time on Patrician IV and making LBP2 levels instead of finishing games.

    Ignoring Steam sales (they totally don't count!), 4!
    Hotel Dusk: Room 215
    Alice: Madness Returns
    Heavenly Sword
    Last Window: The Mystery of Cape West

    I'm probably glad to have finished Hotel Dusk and Cape West the most. I really dig adventure games on the DS, and Hotel Dusk always got marks for being one of the first on the DS, and I had never just gotten around to dedicating time to it. And Cape West was pretty rad. Shame Cing, the devs, closed down though. Decent swansong.

    Finished Outland, Uncharted 1 & 2 and Alice: The Madness Returns.

    The gem was Uncharted 2. If it wasn't for Shameless Gaming month I wouldn't be ready for Uncharted 3 or worst case scenario, would've bought Uncharted 3 and threw it on my shaming pile which it doesn't deserve.

    Similar story here Mark. Managed to finish GOW III, Killzone 2, BioShock 2 and Batman: Arkham Asylum. Happy with that.
    But with everything else, I remembered why I hadn't finished them in the first place. And it became a chore.
    My pile of shame is now my pile of games I must sell/trade/donate.

    I'm utterly ashamed - I didn't manage to finish a single game. I blame The Witcher 2, which was my top priority and is just so damn long!

    Managed to complete to 100% only two, but felt great after finishing ME2 & AC2 with all the DLC as well. AC2 I'd stopped ages ago because I missed a feather somewhere and it did my head in - finally tracked it down and cracked on to finish the campaign :) Made me want to buy (and I did) AC Brotherhood.

    ME2 was a given, loved the series so far, can't wait for the "final" installment!!

    Don't feel bad Mark,
    This month I was all set to conquer some games, then I ended up playing SSFIV, TF2 and Reach all online. Yup all multiplayer games with NO ENDINGS.

    The only game I actually beat was Bastion, and that wasn't even a backlog title.

    Oh well, better luck next year.

    I think it was a pretty good idea, and it didn't turn out too bad for me. I managed to platinum Castlevania: Lords of Shadow during the month. I really didn't start on it until midway through so I probably could have done 2 games, but oh well.

    CLoS was an interesting game in many ways. But I thought flawed in so many others. Would I play through it again? Maybe. By the end of my second run through (on Paladin difficulty) I was pretty sick of it.

    I consider shameless gaming a mild success for me despite only finishing 2 games. When you're married with a mini LuNat1k finishing 2 games is pretty good!

    Clocked:
    1. House Of The Dead Overkill(Wii)- not bad but it is fairly short.

    2. 007 Blood Stone (360)- not bad either. Very polished but has some repetitive shooting elements. Driving sections were good. Not a bad effort for Bizarre Creations swansong.

    A lot of my time was taken up playing Raiden Project (PS1) that I recently picked up on Ebay. Man I love that game!

    Also made progress on (maybe about half way through) Alan Wake, Flower, Crackdown 2 (getting boring now) and Blur.

    I think I'll continue with my pile of shame, until I get Dead Island anyway.

    In the month of July I finished off The Saboteur (an absolutely middle-of-the-road experience, doesn't further any of the genres it represented, though the visual-style is nice, listening to Nina Simone's cover of Feelin' Good while ploughing through Nazi checkpoints in a car called the Altair is quite a pleasure and the restoring colour to monochrome areas gimmick is an effective motivator to do stuff, in so far as it's easier to see after you've done it). I also completed a small handful of missions in Red Dead Redemption, **spoilers**, captured Javier Escuella and Bill Williamson and came into contact with Dutch Van der Lind. I also 100%'d AC: Bro'hood. That was it, pretty shameful really.

    Since knocking off The Saboteur, I've started on a new shamefully neglected game though. *Deep breathe* I started on...

    Bioshock.

    I know! I know! It's seminal, it's incredible! Ground-breaking, land-mark for the medium, blah blah blah de blah, but Goddamn it! I DO NOT LIKE FIRST PERSON SHOOTERS! No matter how nice the aesthetic direction, how effectively spooky the atmosphere, and informative its take on Randian Objectivist morality. I still feel odd playing the thing, and I'm not having fun*!

    I'll keep trying to power through it, heaven knows I've played further through less thoughtful FPSs (Halo 1, 3, ODST) abandoning them for similar gripes endemic to the genre. Maybe I should internalise the experience and view the game's narrative as parallel to my own, instead of actively viewing it as a way to spend my leisure time.

    I'm thrust into this unfamiliar and hostile situation, really not thrilled about being here, and just trying to get through it and get out without it destroying who I am.

    *Except for the hacking mini-game, that's pretty neat, but hell, I could find a Pipe Dream clone in 2 seconds through the magic of Google.

    I used the month to do exactly what I set out to - finish some games that will shame my played list forver. Truth or Lies is the biggest one but at only about 2 hours it's kind of worth the time and provides some laughs - at the game's expense.

    Fear 2, F3ar, Jamestown, Super Mario Land (GB) and Double Dragon (GB) were all completed. I know Bastion and From Dust are new, but I completed them too. Congrats to all of those who showed the discipline to stick solely to their piles of shame. Until next year!

      Double Dragon on Gameboy... that takes me back. If I recall correctly, it probably only took an hour or so to play through, but it was so easy to lose all your lives in the blink of an eye and have to start over again. In particular, there were a couple of key sections towards the end where you'd lose them either fighting those muscley guys or getting pushed onto spikes. How many goes did it take you to finish?

        I'll be entirely honest, Batguy: I had help.

        Thanks to the 3DS Virtual Console's "Restore Point" function I knocked it over in 1 go; but, I had to load my game about 1000 times to do it.

        It is so relentlessly cheap, but I love the midi soundtrack. So worth $4.50.

    Yeah, I didn't finish any games this month. :P

    I don't really have a huge pile of shame anyway. On average I usually only buy maybe... one game a month or so (and even then, it's always a game I'm guaranteed to like. Don't like to waste money on a risk. Excellent bargains excluded :P).

    Anyway, My one goal was to 100% LA Noire, but I didn't get there in the end. Too many distractions. I only need to get 5-stars on about 6 more cases though.

    Finished 3 games all up
    Mirror's Edge (1 yr3 mnths since purchase)
    Transformers: WFC (11 months since purchase)
    Splinter Cell Conviction (3 months since purchase)

    Splinter Cell was the most fun as a game, but Transformers had the best ending.

    Given I only have about 2hrs a night to game I made significant progress with a lot of other games, but so man of them have such LOOOOOOOONG campaigns (I'm looking at you Half Life 2) while others (Halo 3) have brutal difficulty spikes

    I added 4 new games during the month (3 on the last day the other was Gay Tony DLC on special) so the pile only gets bigger - but hey - there's a lot to play!

Join the discussion!