The Steely Resolve, The Lapse In Concentration, and The Terrifying Discovery

I often mention the psychological weight that my OCD heaps upon me, and I’ve been trying really hard in the last year to reduce that somewhat; frugality is utterly foreign to me, but it certainly has been fun trying to restrict my purchases somewhat. And that’s partially why I selected my most recent Gaming Resolutions; clearing the backlog, keeping the new stuff in check. So, with nigh-on three-quarters of the year gone, let’s check in to see how I’m doing with those resolutions, shall we?

…to Complete at least two Zelda games. I want to play through them all in release chronological order, and (as I indicated last week) I’m getting close to wrapping up a 100% run on Ocarina of Time. But then what – do I go on to Majora’s Mask (which I’ve never played) or follow-up with the Ocarina Master Quest? Decisions, decisions.

A robust start; not only have I knocked out Ocarina, but Master Quest, Majora’s Mask, and Wind Waker as well. “Comply and exceed,” as we say in the business.

…to Complete at least two PS2 games. This scares me a little, really – of the eight games there, three are rhythm action games (which I’m notoriously bad at), the Katamaris are O/C collection nightmares, and Bujingai is as hard as nails on the higher skill levels.

Oooooh. Ummmmm… not quite as successful here. I tried to hammer out N2O… couldn’t quite push through the skill barrier there, must return to that really. I’ve got one tricky task left in Katamari Damacy that seems to be dependent on luck more than anything, so hopefully that’ll eventually fall in my favour. But then what – We Love Katamari? The safety-net of Super Galdelic Hour?

…to Complete at least four(!) from the PC, Nuon, Dreamcast, and Jaguar groups. Holy shit!

Holy shit indeed. After a promising start – Full Throttle falling quickly way back in April – there’s been scant action since. The dream was to Complete all three renditions of Jet Set Radio on the Dreamcast, but I’ve since discovered that that task would actually require skill. Back to the Jaguar, then, and Tempest 2000, which continues to mock me. Fifteen years old, and so disrespectful to its owner. For shame.

…to keep on top of stuff obtained through the year. In 2008, I managed to Complete 11 of 18 new purchases – let’s aim for a similar target of 60%

This was looking pretty reasonable – I’d only acquired five new games this year, completing three of them… right on the money!

And so, three months out from the end of the year, I find myself in a slightly uncomfortable situation where I need to knock off a bunch of games without actually knowing whether I can conjure the skills required to do so. But that’s OK – there’s not much on the horizon, and I’m prepared to back myself in from here.

Of course, then the Australian dollar goes for a bit of a leap, and I find myself at Play-Asia buying Chrono Trigger DS, Madworld, and We Ski. And mere milliseconds after clicking the checkout button, I realise that there are a few games on the horizon after all… Halo 3 ODST. Brütal Legend. Gridrunner Revolution.

A momentary brain fart has ensured that The List is going to inflate quite a chunk by the end of this week.

But worse was yet to come.

One of my gaming rules-of-thumb over the past couple of years has been to try and Complete at least one game a month; with external forces taking their toll, I figured I was going to be struggling this September (especially after cleaning up Soul Bubbles and Sight Training in late August), but I recently had a rather frantic couple of days that saw me complete a game.

Sadly, it wasn’t a game on The List.

Yes, I managed to complete one of my real-life games: the acquisition of a new Moobaarn, a lovely apartment in the city that I’ll take ownership of in the next couple of weeks. The existing tenant still has another six months on the lease, but that hasn’t prevented me from starting to sift through my possessions, using the upcoming move as an opportunity to shed some excess stuff (fear not: I don’t get rid of games. Except for Half-Life: that was rubbish, and suffered from a massively gamebreaking bug on Windows XP. And Metroid Prime 2: Echoes; that was just plain awful).

But what I found in my burrowing… well, it was terrifying.

I found…

…forgotten games.

First there was a couple of Jaguar CD games, hidden (cunningly enough) in the JagCD box. Two of them. Then a cachet of PC games from years gone by – Quakes a-plenty, a Deus Ex and Soldier of Fortune, and the triggering of a memory that there may be a Thief II hiding somewhere. And then, worst of all, came the discovery of one of my biggest banes – the freebie. The pack-in disc. From the time when I frantically bought an Xbox 360 Arcade after my first RROD.

The Xbox Live Arcade Compilation Disc.

Five games.

And suddenly, the fanciful notion that I secretly carried – of me whittling The List down to forty by the time I hit that age – became completely confounding. It matters not that I jumped right in and knocked Uno off in a matter of hours today, because that compilation includes a rhythm-action game (Boom Boom Rocket) and a Zuma-wannabe (Luxor 2).

And that, quite frankly, has knocked a bit of wind out of my sails.

But then comes The Steely Resolve again… a biting of the bottom lip, and a determination to remain absolutely accountable for my choices. That, and the promise of more Halo hijinks later this week, followed by some nutty Minter goodness on Friday.

6 thoughts on “The Steely Resolve, The Lapse In Concentration, and The Terrifying Discovery”

  1. Boom Boom Rocket wasn’t too hard to do. Well I lie, some parts took practise and multiple attempts (finishing five laps of Endurance mode as one example), but otherwise it wasn’t too hard. Not in the same league as your surviving a million in Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved or whatever. Still, good luck with it mate.

    I’ll pretend I didn’t read anything about Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and just continue looking forward to returning to it via the incoming Metroid Prime Trilogy. (Yes, I have a Wii now, if you didn’t know.)

    I had a similar momentary brain lapse just the other week; Walked into the local EB Games and saw a table with cheap games, ended up walking out of the store with Far Cry 2: Collector’s Edition, Superstars V8 Racing (which I might add is already finished, easy game that one) and Shrek The Third for my little sister, but hey I’ll abuse it for easy points and a quick completion. Add those on top of the games my various and generous friends have lent me, plus the already large backlog of titles still awaiting completion and yeah, I share a similar position where the pile seems to be getting bigger rather than smaller. Still, least we’ve got something to do, I suppose. ;)

  2. Steven – your assurances regarding Boom Boom Rocket are hard for me to take seriously, especially when you compare them to Geommie Wars – “surviving a million”? I haven’t even survived half that yet! ;)

    As for luck… thanks. I need it :}

  3. Oh man, play Soldier Of Fortune…. I bloody loved that. One afternoon and it can come off the list.

    Oh, and I’ve subscribed to this (I think!)

    Viva la RSS!

  4. Mick – I played Soldier Of Fortunemany years ago (it was a pack-in for a video card, IIRC), but only on one of the easier difficulties. I certainly don’t recall it being that brief, and it certainly requires a harder playthrough to even consider taking it off The List.

    Much like Deus Ex, really – another video card pack-in, and another that I’ve only played through on an easier difficulty level. Oooooh – that feels like a Christmas project, that does :)

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