Shameless Gaming Week Two: We Are Experiencing Slight Difficulties

What is Shameless Gaming? Well, I’m glad you asked! Shameless Gaming is Kotaku’s version of Dry July, a month where we ignore new releases and play through our video gaming pile of shame together. We take all those unfinished, ignored games, the ones we cast aside, and we give them the attention they deserve! Join in!

I’ve stumbled across a slight problem. Despite having picked out a handful of games to play this month, I don’t know what to play.

There are a couple of reasons for this.

The first is that I cannot play StarCraft for extended periods of time. StarCraft 2 has taught me several useful habits for playing StarCraft. While it’s generally a good idea to constantly build workers and amass an army, it’s often unnecessary in a game that has missions where your goal is to take one character and some drop ships to a certain point on the map.

More than a few missions have ended with me feeling like a complete idiot for taking thirty minutes to do something that could have been done in five.

Compared to other games, StarCraft requires a considerable amount of concentration. When I come home from work, that’s not always the most appealing prospect.

The other problem is that I have finished two of the four games and the last game on my list, Dead Space, just doesn’t look very enticing right now.

It was time to start playing anything that seemed like a good idea.

First came Limbo. While very different from Shadow of the Colossus, Limbo felt oddly reminiscent of it at times. Seeing a rather simple game capture such a sense of loneliness was intriguing. It didn’t take long for me to complete this game and have to start searching for something new to play.

Just Cause 2, Machinarium and Crysis 2 were all tried. None of them managed to capture my attention for very long. Just Cause 2 isn’t a game made for completion, it’s there for grappling hook focused chaos. Point and click adventure games have never really appealed to me, so Machinarium didn’t win me over despite its charm. Crysis 2 just wasn’t fun.

I knew what I wanted to play. I wanted to play Half Life 2: Episode One.

There was a reason that I didn’t jump straight into Episode One after finishing Half Life 2, I don’t own it on PC. Somehow I have ended up with a copy of The Orange Box on Xbox 360 and Half Life 2 on PC. I played Half Life 2 on PC so it just feels right to continue the series on the same platform.

The only solution? Buy Episode One again through Steam. That’s what I did two days ago.

Now I’ve finished it and I face the problem of what to play again. It’s a good problem, I look forward to solving it.


    Bring back Trijin. :P Often I spend an entire weekend deciding what game to play and I never end up playing any thing. I feel your pain.

      Spoiled by choice.

      There's a great example of it in Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett. Tiffany's brother had been kidnapped by the fairy queen and was given everything that he had ever wanted. A giant pile of sweeties.

      He sat in the middle of them. Not eating any and bawling his eyes out, becoming an increasingly stickier toddlery mess. If he started to eat any of the sweets, he wouldn't be eating any of the others!

      It's pretty much the same thing. Except we're adults, so we tend to be less sticky when this happens to us.

    Episode 2 for $4 since you happily dropped $8 on Episode 1 :P

    But Trjn what does finishing a game actually mean? You didn't explain it AT ALL (/sarcasm)

      I wrote this before the Steam sales started. Now that they have, I'm going to play Episode Two pretty much straight away.

      Then I go back to decision making and whatnot :p

        My plan for the two eps is to just play them before 3 comes out :P (never).

        If you have a short list we can help recommend your next game and whatnot :)

          Here's the complete pile of shame on Darkadia.

          Right now, I'm thinking possibly Ico, Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare or Assassin's Creed: Revelations.

            Costume Quest. It's not all that long and is insanely fun. (I guess it all comes down to if it agrees with your sense of humour or not.) Dead Space was pretty great, as close to a System Shock game this side of BioShock.

              Dead Space is one that I really do plan on playing this month. Just not right now.

              Horror games aren't really my thing, so I want to be in the mood to play it. Not just going to start it willy-nilly. That won't work. I won't enjoy it and will just abandon it like Crysis 2 or Machinarium.

                Yeah, that makes sense. I agree with you on Machinarium, though. I wanted to love it so bad, but just couldn't get into it. I'm not sure I liked the puzzle design either.

            I loved Braid and it's fairly short too. Awesome, awesome game! As for others you already know Dark Souls is good so that also gets my vote.

            As for the ones you mentioned above I've only played Ico but that was pretty okay for me, nothing too special since I did come out quite some time ago. It feels really dated at times.

    I've had this same issue - I'm putting it down to Seasonal Affective Disorder - as it was worst right around the Solstice. I took a break and did something different for a few night and came back with a vengence.

    Point and Click adventure hate?!

    I have the same problem, and I always just end up saying "stuff it", and play one of the ol' faithfuls.

    Its good you went with Half Life. Shameless gaming should be about completing the games you enjoy, not just completing a game for the sake of least those are my rules.
    As for me, I'm thoroughly enjoying finishing Superbrothers, as well as my second playthrough of Tactics Ogre (finishing a game like that only once doesn't really feel like 100% complete)

    I know your pain. The reason my pile o' shame is so large is because I had a few periods where for a month or so I just couldn't bring myself to play anything.

    Taste is an interesting thing. I would list Machinarium and Crysis 2 as two of my favourite games of late. I powered through Crysis 2 in only a couple of sittings because I enjoyed the mechanics duo much, and I loved the opportunity Machinarium offered me and my wife to puzzle through it together.

    I have spent the last 2 nights downloading a game and then making a video.. neither of these completed any games.. tonight we will fix that !! RAGE!

    I've decided to finish GTAIV - I've only got a handful of missions to go but I'm trying to get all these people to like Niko which is a real chore!

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