Gotta Play' Em All! Lengray’s profile

My backlog-killing strategy

• Be extremely selective about the games I add to my library.
• Play newly added games as soon as possible.
• Choose the lowest difficulty setting on the first playthrough.
• Ignore achievements on the first playthrough.
• Drop a game if playing has become a chore.
• Keep up-to-date stats about the games I own.

Q4 2021

Temporary post. Do not comment.

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Other games played

Steam Pinball FX3
PC Chaos;Head
3DS BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II

September 2021

This month was another good one! I played quite a few differerent games and the hightlight is definitely Eastward, though it's not quite the masterpiece I thought it would be. But it's my own fault for expecting too much from it. I also played through a very nice VN and started another, Chaos;Head, the first game in the Science Adventure series which I intend to beat in order since I bought another few games from that series this month.
I also wasted spent quite a few hours improving my update layout. All reviews are now hidden by default and can be revealed by clicking anywhere in the box except on the game art. There's a "plus" sign to show there's more to read but you don't actually have to click on it. Having collapsible reviews is something I had wanted to add for a while but it took me some time to figure out how. Hope you enjoy this change!

Other games played

Steam The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition - Pinball FX3 - Potion Craft
PC Chaos;Head
Switch Ring Fit Adventure
3DS Mario Golf: World Tour

August 2021

Well, for the first time since I joined BLAEO, I haven't beaten any games in a month! That's what I get for only playing long games and getting sucked (again) into Skyrim. I ended up spending over 110 hours with it in August and loved every minute! For September, my objectives are to keep playing the games I've already started, beat at least one game for the monthly theme and discover Eastward, which I'm super excited to play.
I hope you had more success with your backlog and wish you all a very good September.

Games played

Steam The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition - Pinball FX3 - Sabbat of the Witch - X3: Reunion
Switch Astral Chain - Ring Fit Adventure
3DS Mario Golf: World Tour - Mario Kart 7

July 2021

How has everyone been this month? Despite being busy with various things, I managed to finally reach the end of Xenoblade Chronicles, which I had started during last year's lockdown. It's such a great game that I deliberately made it last, just like good food. I also started a new playthrough of modded Skyrim and it's going to be a time-sinker for the next few months. Finally, I reserved a Steam Deck which I'm pretty excited about since I love handhelds and my gaming computer is now 7 years old. According to Steam I should have it for Christmas and I'll report whether it's worth the purchase or not. Finding out it runs on Linux got me interested (again) in this OS so I installed Linux Mint on a laptop and I'm slowly discovering how it works. So far, I really like it.

Other games played

Steam The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition - Pinball FX3 - Sabbat of the Witch
Switch Astral Chain - Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - Ring Fit Adventure
3DS Mario Golf: World Tour - Mario Kart 7 - Super Mario Maker

June 2021

Once again, June was a good month though I don't have much more to report than what's shown below. I decided to play on the Switch differently and picked up Ring Fit Adventure which is a great way to exercise. It's surprisingly engaging and well thought-out. I've also been quite reasonable during the sales and only picked up 6 games, half of which are long VNs I'm looking forward to read over the next few months. How about you, fellow assassins? What gems did you add to your backlog?

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

25 hours 2004
★★★★
Action-Adventure Game Boy Advance

A great installment! The design of the overworld and the dungeons is excellent and thankfully straightforward so I didn't need a guide to beat the game. The only downside was the endboss which is a massive difficulty wall compared to the rest of the game.

Cloudpunk - City of Ghosts

11 hours 2021
★★★★
Adventure

An excellent addition to an excellent game. It picks up where the main game concluded and is nearly as beefy. Lots of new deliveries to make, people to meet and I really liked how the narrative slowly comes together. I just didn't enjoy the (optional) races.

Synergia

6 hours 2020
★★★★
Visual Novel

A very interesting VN mostly featuring female characters and androids. The plot and writing are very good and the central themes, while not unusual for the genre, are tackled with care and measure. I also really enjoyed the comic-like art style.

Family Mysteries 2: Echoes of Tomorrow

6 hours 2020
★★★★★
Hidden Object

This could have been a great HOG if only the story hadn't been so far-fetched and the time travel so poorly executed. On the bright side, the graphics are beautiful, the puzzles are mostly original and the collectables easy to find.

Other games played

Steam Pinball FX3 - The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante
Switch Ring Fit Adventure
Wii Xenoblade Chronicles
3DS BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II - Super Mario Maker

Do we need a 6th category to sort out our games?

Something has been bugging me lately and that’s how to sort out games that I’ve liked but didn’t see to the end because of difficulty or endless games I’ve enjoyed a lot but want to stop playing (and mark off the backlog).
I don’t like sorting them into the “unfinished” category because I reckon I won’t start these games again and the “won’t play” category seems too harsh. (I only use that one for games I dropped and didn’t like or games I have no interest in playing).
In the Excel sheet where I track my game stats, I’ve sorted those games into a “sufficient playtime” category which fits my needs but can’t translate on BLAEO.
Do you think a new category for those games is something we need or is it me being too particular about sorting out my games? Thanks for your input.

May 2021

For me, May was filled with Nintendo goodness and a lot of excess. I spent the vast majority of my time on Nintendo games and added quite a few to the backlog. I got all the remaining Yo-Kai Watch titles I didn't already have (all versions) to finish my physical 3DS collection and also purchased another two 3DS consoles (a second New 3DS and a New 2DS XL) as I love this system so much. Also, because I played a pinball game on Game Boy Advance (more about that below), I got the itch to start up Pinball FX3 and ... bought all the tables I didn't own. Yes, I was a weak but boy did that feel good to get all that! I also found it difficult to stick to one or two games at a time so that's something I need to improve in June. I hope you were more reasonable and focused that I was.

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D

20 hours 2013
★★★★★
Platformer 3DS

A superb platformer. The new 3DS mode is a bit easier than the original one but it was still quite challenging to beat all the regular levels. I really enjoyed how fair the game is. The levels are great and they are even better in 3D which is nicely implemented.

Eidolon

35 hours 2014
★★★★
Exploration

Definitely not for everyone, Eidolon is a mesmerizing game. It's slow and deliberate, its world is massive (and pretty much empty) but collecting memory fragments, depite costing hours of walking, is addictive. Full review

WarioWare Gold

10 hours 2018
★★★★
Minigames 3DS

It's such a fun and silly game! The main "story" mode is quite short but the variety and quality of the minigames and the post-game challenges largely make up for it. It fully exploits the 3DS gyroscope and mic which felt refreshing.

The Pinball of the Dead

4 hours 2002
★★★★★
Pinball Game Boy Advance

A pretty good House of the Dead spinoff. The three tables are varied enough to maintain the player's interest for a while with many ramps, bumpers, extra "layers" and bosses. However, the physics are rudimentary and the ball has little weight.

Other games played

Steam Cloudpunk - The Elder Scrolls Online - Pinball FX3
Wii Xenoblade Chronicles
3DS BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II - Super Mario Maker - Yo-Kai Watch
Game Boy Advance The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

April 2021

What a crazy month it was! Since many places are still shut and I had to work remotely, I spent a lot of time at home and played. In fact, I played so much that earlier this week, I buggered my right thumb and wrist after 4 hours straight using a controller. They were very painful and started to swell a bit but fortunately, my hand is fine now.
I played lots of different games and on different systems but most of my time was spent on Xenoblade Chronicles and The Elder Scrolls Online, which I modded to make it as close to an immersive single player experience as possible as I'm not at all into the multiplayer side of it.
My bet of not buying any games except for Humble Choice was called off by my kids as they wanted me to get more Switch games. And just like I did for the 3DS 2 years ago, finding good deals became a game in itself. I ended up getting Kirby Star Allies for my kids and Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore and Diablo III Eternal Collection for myself.

The Walking Dead: The Final Season

10 hours 2018
★★★★★
Story Rich

What a great conclusion! I love everything about this game but what shine the most are the phenomenal story and the great NPCs. The tension build-up is excellent and I'm amazed at how this game made me feel truly happy, sad or angry. Full review

Story of Seasons

35 hours 2014
★★★★
Farming Simulation 3DS

A cute and simple game to play. The graphics are very nice despite framerate drops in certain areas. There is a lot to do and customize but things tend to be very slow and a tad repetitive. The social components are okay but I expected a little more variety.

Simulacra

6 hours 2017
★★★★
Immersive Sim

An excellent game! The small screen size and the limitations of the simulation don't stand in the way of a very pleasant experience. However, some conversations and story decisions are quite awkward. Full review

Sea of Solitude

3 hours 2019
★★★★
Adventure Origin - EA Play

A simple and beautiful game. I adore the art style and how water is manipulated. It may seem short but was the perfect length for a game like this. The platforming provides enough challenge to make your feel how the protagonist struggles.

Family Mysteries: Poisonous Promises

6 hours 2020
★★★★★
Hidden Object

I enjoyed this HOG for the most part as the story is above average and some production elements, like the splitscreen transitions, are surprisingly nice. However, a stupid sliding puzzle which took me over an hour to solve and stalled the game.

The Myth Seekers: The Legacy of Vulcan

4 hours 2017
★★★★★
Hidden Object

The beginning was promising but things quickly became ridiculous, just like most HOGs. The mini games are easy and the hidden objects scenes require too many actions to uncover the actual objects.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages

18 hours 2001
★★★★★
Action-Adventure Game Boy Color

It pains me to drop this game but the puzzles were becoming so convoluted and unintuitive that I just wasn’t enjoying it anymore.. The adventure is not compelling and revolves too much around puzzle-solving. I'll just move on to The Minish Cap on GBA.

FreezeME

7 hours 2015
★★★★★
3D Platformer

I really tried to like this game but the controls are terrible. It's cute and some of the puzzles are interesting but movement is very imprecise! Take my word and ignore this one. There are much better 3D platformers to play.

Other games played

Steam Eastshade - Eidolon - The Elder Scrolls Online
Ubisoft Connect Steep
Switch Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Wii Xenoblade Chronicles
3DS Super Mario Maker

March 2021

In March, I mostly stuck to my objective to only play with a controller; the only exception was the second DLC for The Outer Worlds which is great! The result is a mix of genres and a few great games off my backlog. The most surprising one was definitely Eastshade. It's such a lovely title! Along with it, I managed to cross out another two games off my Tag Challenge list and for the first time in ages, my backlog has shrunk!
For April, I'm going to continue playing Xenoblade Chronicles, probably a few more unfinished games and whatever else I feel like playing.

BlazBlue: Chronophantasma Extend

52 hours 2016
★★★★★
2D Fightger #1

This game is a superb fighter brimming with content! 28 beautifully animated characters, an extensive fully-dubbed VN-style story mode (which took me over 25 hours to complete), an in-game encyclopedia and much much more. Full review

Wanderlust: Transsiberian

1 hour 2020
★★★★★
Interactive Fiction

Perfect companion to the main Wanderlust game, this story is shorter but a little less linear. It plays exactly the same but I felt my choices had more weight this time around. The writing is still great and so are the music and photos. Full review

Eastshade

22 hours 2019
★★★★
Exploration #1

A phenomenal experience in so many ways, I adore the core mechanic of getting inspiration from discoveries or relaxing experiences like tea-drinking and exploration is wonderfully done. However, Eastshade is resource-intensive. Full review

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

17 hours 2017
★★★★
Racing Switch

A great evolution but the rubber-banding sometimes spoils the fun. The high track count and their great design make it the meatiest version so far. I also really like the new items as you can finally defend yourself against the homing blue shells.

Call of Cthulhu

10 hours 2018
★★★★
Lovecraftian Horror #1

This game if very good for anyone interested in the occult, the Cthulhu mythos as well as dark and mysterious places. It does a good job of translating H.P. Lovecraft's cosmic horror but lacks the sense of loneliness in keeping insanity away. Full review

Blazing Chrome

4 hours 2019
★★★★
Side Scroller

A very nice throwback to 90s gaming. There's much to love about this game and the easy difficulty setting (not so easy though) for those, like me, who only enjoy dying over and over for a little while. Full review

Prototype

16 hours 2009
★★★★★
Action

A game which starts off very well but eventually tries too hard to be badass. I enjoyed running up walls and jumping from building to building but the game is very uneven in many ways. The difficulty is all over the place and the story felt uninspired. Full review

Super Punch-Out!!

3 hours 1994
★★★★★
Boxing Super Nintendo

A nice evolution from Punch-Out!! on the NES but still very limited in terms of possibilities and the game is too unfair to be fun for me. The gameplay ends up being a memory game to avoid opponents' special moves.

Other games played

Steam Eidolon - The Elder Scrolls Online - FreezeME - The Outer Worlds
Wii Xenoblade Chronicles
3DS Story of Seasons
Game Boy Color The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages

February 2021

Well, February was a good month but my plans got disrupted pretty quickly. My first intention was to continue playing Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii but I didn't. The reason is that after catching up with The Expanse, I really wanted to play a space game. I picked The Outer Worlds, the last game I bought in 2020, and it sucked me in for 53 hours. My second objective was to knock at least one game off my Tag Challenge list. I did try but after 41 hours, I'm still not done with BlazBlue: Chronophantasma Extent!
You may be aware of my personal challenge to refrain from buying any game except for Humble Choice and looking at the 14 games I added this month, you may think I've failed. I came quite close but there is a twist to the story. The day the new Artifex Mundi bundle came out, I was really tempted to get it. I told my kids about it (my daughter loves HOGs) and my son said to me: "Look Daddy, I'll give you 5 euros out of my pocket money to get the bundle and I'll trade it to you. I offered him 4 TF2 keys so he could sell them on Steam and make a little profit. He agreed and I activated 8 new games into my account :) The rest are just trades I've made on Steamtrades.
For March, I don't have a definite list of games I want to play but I'm going to make it "Couch March" and exclusively play from my couch. My computer is hooked to my TV so I'll only play Steam games with controller support, my Nintendo consoles (SNES Mini, Wii, Switch, DS, 3DS) and my emulation handheld (Pocket Go).
Stay safe and keep playing. Lengray out :)

Games off the backlog[click on the titles to read my reviews, if available]
Batman: The Enemy Within Endless Fables 2: Frozen Path Star Fox 2 The Outer Worlds + Peril On Gorgon DLC The Secret Order 8: Return to the Buried Kingdom
Additions: 14 Backlog: +9