That feeling of Dread Formidolosus’ profile
Oh my gosh, you’re here! I can’t believe it’s really you. Please take a seat, and make yourself comfortable. Tea? Crumpets? I made them fresh this morning. So what brings you here today? You’re just browsing. By all means, we all do it. Oh… what can I tell you about myself? Well, let’s see… I like finishing games. I mean really finishing them. Not just ‘hooray we saw the end credits, the games is over’, but really sinking my teeth into those things until they are bled of content. Of course there’s some games that want me to play them for the rest of my life and I just can’t make that kind of commitment, so I resolve myself to just doing what I can for them. For the others I will keep them installed on my hard drives until they are done. So far the longest has been around 6 years from start to finish. 6 years sitting eating up space on my computer while I play everything else. But we get there eventually. And it feels good, so we keep doing it.
I’ve arranged all my games into lists, as one does. Over here, in the folders labelled ‘Beaten in’ are records of all the games I’ve beaten in any one year. I sometimes go back to those lists and think about all the good games I’ve played and enjoyed. And of course as each year progresses, I add the games as I’m beating them, so it’s nice to watch that list grow.
As we continue, you’ll also see the ‘Playing in XXXX’ list. Which I set up at the beginning of a year, with games I would like to at least try in a year. I probably won’t beat most of them, but the list serves as a reminder of some cool games I’ve got waiting, in the hopes I don’t let them slip through the cracks.
Then on our left, we have the “Big Game hunting” list, which is a list of mostly “AAA” games that I’ve beaten or am trying to beat. I guess the best way to describe this would be games that everyone should know. Of course the irony is that these are not usually the biggest games in terms of ‘time to beat’, ‘difficulty’ or much of anything apart from ‘popularity’ I guess. But it’s a fun list for me to track and make sure I’m getting my money’s worth on my ‘big’ games.
Up ahead, is a list entitled ‘the Almosts’. These are games I’ve started a while back and got quite far, but never quite finished. So I guess this list is just a way of reminding myself to give them another try one day. And so far it’s worked quite well. All the games I added were incomplete, but I’ve done half of them already. And I’ll continue to add to it as I finish more and more games lapse into ‘abandoned’ territory.
And over there is the ‘Long game’ list, which keeps track of all the games that I’m taking my time to beat. Usually games I got ages ago, played for a bit and then abandoned and now it’s been years and they are still on my hard drive, waiting to be beaten. The list is arranged by more or less length taken so far, and it’s helped add motivation. When the list was created, most were incomplete, but we’re now over halfway complete. Feels good to uninstall a game after that length of time.
So that’s the end of the tour. Oh of course, I also have my ‘won on steamgifts’ list, which shows my rather sad efforts at leeching, but at least shows that I have also played the games I won, so that’s something. And the almost ‘obligatory’ abc list, showcases my attempt at having a full alphabet set of completed games. Nearly there.
I generally only post once a month just to make my progress and comment on the games I played. I don’t expect any one to read an comment, but it’s always welcome.
Why would July to me?
But the truth hurts
Beaten in July 6 Games
Wow this is certainly a bit later then I would have liked but sometimes life gets a bit busy? So July we obviously had the tail end of the great steam sale, and I certainly got a lot of little games. So most of the games I beat this month came from those and all of these completions were done in the first third of the month. Which means, at the time of writing this, it's been nearly a month since I beat a game to completion. Which is probably the longest I've gone without a completion in a long time. And the reasons for that come down predominantly to two games, both sharing the word 'Odyssey' in their title.
First of all, in the steam sale I bought Assassin's creed odyssey, and have been loving it. The richly detailed world and mechanics have sucked me in, just at a time I was feeling a bit tired of 'big' games. I know not everyone loves the AC series, but I personally think this is the best one since black flag, and may even be better than black flag in my opinion. Origins was nice, but the setting and the increased player agency just elevate this above that. So yes I have now lost nearly 100 hours in this world, and with it a large portion of game beating time.
And secondly, we finally got a Nintendo switch this month and with it the one game I'd been longing to play since it was announced. Super Mario Odyssey of course. And this is absolutely deserving of the praise it received. I loved the Galaxy games on the Wii, but always had a soft spot for Super Mario Sunshine and it's more open ended exploration. And odyssey takes that and ramps it up to crazy levels. Just about everywhere you look in a world there is a moon to be found and pulling off moves you think will 'break' the level, instead reward you with coins or something, like the devs knew you'd be trying that. All in all it just cements for me that I will always be a PC and Nintendo gamer. The other consoles have some great exclusives sure, but those games often have third party equivalents on PC. I've yet to find any other game series that does a 3d platformer like Mario.
So yeah a lot of time has been going into chasing moons and conquering the ancient greek world for the glory of Sparta, but honestly I've been enjoying myself more than I have in a long time. I'm sure you all know how gaming burnout goes sometimes, where you have all these games to play but the spark is just not there, and it becomes a chore. Until you find a game that reminds you why you enjoy gaming so much. Lucky me, I guess, finding two at the same time. I might sink into a bit of depression once I beat these two
June-o what time it is?
Time for an update
Beaten in June 6 Games
So June was a bit of a quieter month, winter hit here with a bang and we spent much time trying to stay warm in our 'south-facing' ice box. So less games were beaten this month, but funnily enough thanks to the power of slightly spammy games such as reventure and the spy who shot me, this was the most achievements I've got in a month for over a year. Apart from these that I played, I also spent a lot of time playing Super Meat boy. I actually managed to beat all the levels, which is an achievement in itself, haha. So there's still the, frankly insane, no death runs for all worlds. I'll come back and try get a few more of them, but for now my wrists and controller needed a break.
June also means summer sale and the chance for me to get some of the 'big' games I want, so I got AC odyssey, Just cause 4, Starbound, Wargroove, Knights and bikes, various DLC for games I needed and a whole bunch of little cheap puzzle games to fill up those coffee breaks. I know people complain about the steam sale like it's a religion, but this is exactly why I still love it. I get to go through my wishlist and sit and weigh up all the options for the money I have. And just the sheer number of little games that are there for less a dollar is amazing. Not AAA games, which is what some people seem to expect, but plenty of decent little games that I will get to enjoy with the wife or kids, that cost way less than any other form of entertainment if you take hours per dollar spent. So I added to the backlog a bit much, but a lot of them won't stay there too long, being short little games.
And that was the month that was. My goals for the year are still on track, and I will hopefully be able to finish another 6 or 7 games this month to keep it going. See you next month
MayDay! MayDay! *bzzttt* We are Sinking! *crackle**
This is the coast guard, what are you sinking about?
Beaten in May 8 Games
Wow, here we are and it's already 5 months of the year gone. I think a lot of people wish this year would just end already. And honestly, after a few months with movement restrictions and arbitrary laws by politicians who are letting the power go to their head a little, I'm also wishing the whole thing could just end. But hey at least my favourite things to do are at home, unlike a lot of other people.
So this was a relatively productive gaming month. I revisited a bunch of games I'd abandoned, the idea being that I want to boost my average completion up to 80%, and one of the best ways of doing that is by returning to games that have been forgotten. So it was a fairly eclectic list of games. Asides from these, I also carried on with stealth bastard, which now moves to the top of the list as the game I've taken the longest to beat, with nearly 7 years on the clock. I might actually get around to finally finishing it this year. I also made the mistake of starting Super meat boy. I've danced around it for years, knowing that I love a good hard as nails platformer and knowing that SMB is the godfather of this genre. Anyway, now that I am playing it, I realise I will probably never finish it, but it is worthy of its accolades, well crafted levels and smooth controls, and yes, some stupidly hard challenges. I don't know why I hate myself like this, but as with a lot of these kind of games, the more I play the easier the levels get, so who knows, maybe one day I'll add this to the list?
And that wraps up the month, June is usually an exciting month, because it's the one month of the year I get to spend a bit extra on games and get some bigger games I've got my eye on. Convenient that the steam sale is always just around the corner as well. So here is hoping for some good deals on some of those bigger games
It's not the end of the world, but you can see it from here
Beaten in April 13 Games
Well that was a 'bumper' month by all appearances. Not really in the sense that it was mostly shorter games I played, but I think like a lot of people, being forced to stay at home with out being allowed to see any friends and family has put me in a bit of a 'funk'. I'm fortunate to be unaffected as far as work goes, but my family is at risk of losing their business, and my gran broke her leg and we aren't allowed to go and see her, my wifes family were supposed to have come here from overseas and we were going to go on a beach holiday, so it all just adds up to make for not the best frame of mind. Anyway short distractions do help and once again I'm glad that my hobby doesn't require leaving the house and I'm also glad to have a lovely wife and great kids for company. I just wish this stupid virus, and the hype surrounding it would go away so people I care about won't have their lives permanently ruined.
So with that rant out of the way, asides from the games I did beat, I've also been playing a hat in time and the excellent Celeste. Also spent more time in insurgency sandstorm hardcore co-op which is always a good stress reliever. I have now beaten a total of 34 games this year, with one third done, so I'm ahead of my goals a bit, and hopefully can focus on some longer games. My own attempt at building a game took a bit of a back seat, but I now have 40 puzzles made out of hopefully 60 total, and I've got the core mechanic programmed in Unity. So It's making progress. I have a list of about 200 sprites I'll need to make and that's probably the biggest job ahead of me. But I think once the puzzles are done and I start getting people to test them it will motivate me more to carry on and finish it.
In other news, my achievement streak hit 4 years on April 28. I don't know if that's good or just sad, but there it is. Every day for the last 4 years I have earned at least one achievement. The fight against the backlog hydra is a marathon, and I've taken at least one step every single day for the last 4 years, so I think that is something.
Here's hoping May is a better month for all of us, and that the year takes a turn for the better. Stay safe!
March into a world gone mad
At least there's games at home
Beaten in March 8 Games
Wow, what a month, the world suddenly seemed to go from normal to mad, and it was a real eye-opener to how tenuous the lives we lead often are, and disruptions can throw thing out very quickly. We are in a lockdown here, and my wife and I always joked that we are perfect candidates to never leave the home, as I work from home and our kids are home-schooled so we normally only need to leave the home a few times a week, but this feels different. We are introverts through and through and very happy with each others company, but it's highlighted for us how important those times we leave the house are. We will usually go for a meal with my parents and siblings a few times a week, and we're realising that even this limited interaction is important. Even worse, 3 of my family have their birthdays in this time, and we just can't go there to give them a gift and share a meal. Anyway, we will be fine, and my work carries on uninterrupted, I just worry about those who have no income at this time. I think even once this is over the impact it's had will be felt for a long time and things might never quite go back to the way they were for a lot of people.
Enough of that though, I'm certainly grateful for games at a time like this, and I played a fair number this month. Asides from that I've also been finally learning Unity, and making puzzles and I think I am on track to finally realise my dream of releasing my own game. I'd started in gamemaker a few years ago but was getting frustrated by the limitations in the gamemaker engine. Unity is at least a full programming language, so the only limitation is my lack of knowledge. The game is not particularly complex, but the idea is just to have logic problems that you solve by moving things into boxes. Think of the classic 'zebra problem' and that's the type of puzzles they would be. The goal is to have about 60 puzzles starting out pretty basic and hopefully growing to a real challenge. I'm not sure anyone will even play it or enjoy it, but it's the type of game I would love to play, so maybe others will get some enjoyment from it. And it's also a learning experience in many ways to adapt the programming skills I use in my day job and applying them to something like a game, where there's a lot more moving parts and things to consider. I've set up a website to test the puzzles and create them, and once I've got the full quota I'll be looking for some testers to go over the puzzles and make sure I'm not missing anything, whilst I work on all the sprites I'll need to make. When that times comes I'd love it if some of you could try them out and help me balance them.
Quick February Update
Better later than never
Beaten in February 6 Games
Well this update is now a month late, so I won't talk too much now, but save it for the next post. A bit of a quieter month all round, but no harm in that.
A late ode to January
AKA Where did the first month of the year go???
Beaten in January 7 games
Wow January certainly came and went before I could even catch my breath. It started out with the last week of my holiday, which was great. I can't remember the last time I actually took 3 weeks off and just spending time with my family and doing things around the house really refreshed the old body and mind. And then of course work started again and everyone was keen to get things going, so I got loaded up with more work. As such, I spent less time gaming than I would have normally. I also spent a lot of time working on Hitman 2 and to a lesser degree 'Rise of the tomb raider', so there wasn't a lot of game completing action happening, but I have been enjoying the games I played, which is what we all want after all.
7 games done then for the month, although 3 of them were so quick, I don't really know if I should count them on my goal towards 90 for the year, but we'll see how desperate I get as the year winds down. So I guess we'll see how February pans out, but things may well get worse before I get ahead on my various projects and find myself with more free time again.
A farewell to 2019
So as expected 2019 was a quieter year for me on the gaming front. It was a fairly big year for me and my family personally, between having a new baby and buying a house, which meant less free time. And it has been fantastic watching my daughter grow in her first year, and putting in the hours working on my house. So yes, on the games side of things I always knew there'd be less time, which is why I set my goal for 90 games completed in the year, and I finished up on 93. So still not too bad, but it's the first year I finished less than the previous year, and I also earned 800 less achievements. I also had a list of 25 games I wanted to play this year and only got to 15 of them. Which is probably the biggest failure of the year for me.
In order to keep the BLAEO home page free of clutter, I shall hide the rest of my ramblings, behind this big button, press it at your own risk
The full list of games I beat in the year is here but here's a list of my top 10 of the year
- Assassin's Creed Origins
- Sniper Elite 4
- Saints Row: The Third
- Mount & Blade: Warband
- LEGO® City Undercover
- Borderlands 2
- West of Loathing
- Tropico 5
Assassin's creed reborn
Just when the AC series was getting pretty stale, this game came along to revitalise the whole thing. I think it redefines what is possible with an open world in many ways, and I loved every minute spent in the game. Looking forward to playing odyssey on day as well
Possibly the best one yet
With this entry to the Sniper Elite series, I think they are finally reaching the potential the series always had. Big open maps and open objectives which encourage experimentation, and allow you to perform some insane shots. The hardest mode is just insane, and finishing that was possibly one of the hardest achievements I did this year
Wow, this took a while
SRIII was one of the first games I bought when I started playing games on steam, so it felt amazing to finally beat it. I still think this is the best one in the series, leaning hard into the inherent silliness of the premise, and I honestly think it’s a better game than the grand theft series. GTA is like the ‘jock’ of the open world crime series, fuelled by testosterone and machismo, littered with enough sex jokes to make it ‘fun’, whilst SR is more like the class clown.
Can't wait for bannerlord
When I started playing M&B I will admit I was a bit lost as to what to do next. It’s such a sandbox experience that it can be confusing to know what you should be doing. But that freedom quickly became a reason to love the game as it really leaves so much of your experience up to you. Do you become a rebel leader, hell bent on conquering the world? Do you lead a small band of mercenaries performing jobs for whoever is hiring? A merchant making money through cunning trade? Of course it would all be meaningless if the combat wasn’t so comfortable to ‘get’. Here’s hoping bannerlord can keep the core of what makes this game great.
Take me down to lego city
I play the lego games for the kids allegedly, but I will admit a certain appreciation for them myself. They may all play very similarly, but it’s still fun, and they are one of the best co-op games to play with a kid. This particular one, is one of the best in my opinion. Completely original characters and story, nice big map and plenty to do. My eldest still insists on playing it, but now it’s with his own characters and made up storylines, which I guess is another reason why open world games can be great fun
Ok I get it now
When people were raving on about the Borderlands game back in the day, I didn’t get the appeal. I still didn’t get the appeal when I played Borderlands 1 years later. But after playing through most of Borderlands 2 and it’s various DLC with my brother, I now get the acclaim. Whereas the first game lacked character, and the pre-sequel tries a bit too hard, BL2 gets it just right. Fun quests, interesting enemies and epic boss fights. Just a fun ride all in all.
A quirky little puzzler
I enjoy the quirky and unusual games a lot of the time. I think they break up the monotony of games the follow the same formulas and showcase a different way of making games. I enjoyed this developers previous game, Back to bed, and was pleased to see the figment upped the ante with better characterisation, a deeper story, and quirky soundtrack, complete with villain monologue songs. The puzzles were also pretty well thought out.
Fun times in the wild wild wild wild west
I have a love hate relationship with RPGs. Some of my favourite games ever are RPGs, and a lot of the other games I really enjoy have borrowed RPG elements, but I just find a lot of them are too grindy and stats driven to just enjoy in small bursts. So this game was perfect for me. I never felt like I was getting outmatched because I didn’t have the perfect gear, and the humour is just perfect. There’s also tons of little secrets and sub-plots to unravel, and it took me a couple of playthroughs to get a lot of it. ( I did 100% the game, but then they added DLC. Thanks devs)
This is probably the shortest time I’ve taken from release date to beaten, especially for a game this long. I have a deep love for Nintendo and this game feels like a perfect mix of Metroid, Zelda and some Portal level puzzling to boot, so once I started playing I just got hooked into it, and before I knew, it was finished. Looking forward to getting the DLC and sequel some time. GOTY 2019 for me definitely. (Missed the deadline to nominate it here unfortunately)
Your kingdom awaits, El-presidente
I love city building simulation games, even though I’m rubbish at micromanagement, so I’ve always loved the Tropico series for being kinder in that regard. You still have a lot of stats and things to pay attention to, but it’s more forgiving and with just a bit of common sense it’s not hard to succeed. I also love the quirky scenarios and random events that pop up. I don’t know why I took so long to finish this game, but once I started playing it again, it quickly sucked me in again and I’m glad to add this one to the list.
Most disappointing game
- Flat Kingdom Paper's Cut Edition
A great game and concept which I enjoyed playing… up until the point there was a randomly occurring bug which meant the one boss fight became a fight against pretty tough odds to beat. I wasted far too much time restarting that fight just to hope I could get lucky on all 15 of the attack selections and that honestly has a way of ruining a game a bit.
Plans for 2020
I suspect the amount of real life busi-ness will still be pretty high this year, so I'm setting my goal for completed games in the year to 90 again, or to reach 540 completed games total. I'd also like to increase the average completion from 76 to 80, but that might not happen, if I start too many new games.
I have put together a new list of the 25 games I'd like to beat this year, but as we know, that may turn out to be completely irrelevant.List is here
9 in 11
Beaten in November 9 games
And just like that we are staring down the barrel of another year. November was a bit of a strange month for me. Started out in a burst of activity but then I had to go to hospital for a couple of tests and some minor surgery and things really slowed down towards the end of the month. The upshot is that I only need to beat 4 game in December to get my 90 for the year, which should be easy enough. Getting to 77% completion might be a little harder as I've recently started a lot of new games that brought me down again, but we'll see. I will take leave over the last couple of weeks, so maybe I'll find inspiration to play a lot during that time.
Asides from what I beat, I also started a few new games, the biggest of which was Hitman 2. Wow, it's really a great game. The level of detail and thought that went into every level is outstanding. The series always seemed like it had the potential to become a murder sandbox and I'm glad technology finally got to the point where a game like this is possible. So many approaches to every problem. I'll be playing this a while as it's got a lot of content, and I also don't want to burn out on it, but it was definitely worth the purchase.
I succumbed to a few purchases on the sales, mostly smaller games, but I will probably get a 'big' game in the winter sale later this month. I really want to try Just cause 4, and maybe AC odyssey, but I'll need to do a deeper cost/benefit analysis... haha
Lucky number 7
Beaten in October 7 games
Well just like that we are staring down the end of another year. It always seems like the last 3 months of the year hit the gas in a big way and next thing you know it's Christmas and another year. This month I made a concerted effort to revisit some games I'd started years ago and abandoned with a completion percentage of 20% or less. It resulted in a few completions and also a few upgrades to a higher completion percentage. I figure even if I can't beat them all, just moving them up a few notches will help fix my graph break down on completionist, where there's a big number of games stuck in that zone. Asides from that I didn't really play any 'big' games this month. I've been a bit tired in the evenings and so loading up something that requires my full attention is not always an appealing option. So thank goodness for the smaller games doing their part to keep me entertained.
And so with 2 months to go, my average completion is up to 76 percent and my total for the year is 77 games done. So I think the goal of 77% AGC and 90 games total is still very much on track. In terms of adding to the backlog however, this month was terrible. Fanatical had a couple of decent bundles and then the humble monthly had good games, and the hydra grew far more heads than I wanted. But when I take leave at the end of this year I will get brutal with the library and remove anything I'm probably never going to play, and see if I can't shave the library back down to less than 2500.