Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Games of 2010: The Ones that Weren't My Games

For several reasons, my games of 2010 list lacked quite a few games that appeared on plenty of other lists. For some, it was not a case of not wanting, simply not able to list it, and of course others for less-nice reasons.  I figured now was the best time to get this one out while the "Of 2010" ideal hasn't worn out its welcome.  While I won't go into every game I wanted to play this year but couldn't, I'll try to put out the most notable examples.

No Time


Now, I'll admit, I wasn't always hyped in any sort of way for Bayonetta, especially early on, but from the time that the marketing really started injecting the crazy into what we saw, I become more and more interested in the concept and the product that I expected to come from it.  Though I didn't have the money to buy it right out of the gate, I kept an eye on it for a long while, only to be a bit disappointed in one fact that I learned.

In a way beyond long load times (as is described, or at least touched on, in that article) and less impressive visual (as is shown off in the video the article links to), but numerous reports of general choppy framerate and the like were abound.  So much so that a patch (by Sony, not even Sega or Platinum Games) eventually was put out there, and even that couldn't fix everything.

Now, if there's one thing that tears at me, it's Lazy Ports.  And that's just what this was; there was no real attempt pre-release to get it at least a little closer to the 360 version.  And what's worse, it wasn't even supported after the fact.  

Still, after all the praise it received and my admitted interest in the game, it became hard to pass up on when I saw it on the shelf of a Movie Gallery that was going out of business, and thus, marked all of their games down increasingly on the way to shutting their doors.  Several games were picked up this way, and most of them were put directly into the ol' backlog that still hasn't budged much.  As such, I own Bayonetta, but I simply haven't played it yet.  I think my grudge with it has mostly passed; after all, it was Sega that put it out, and, well, if you're not used to their nonsense by now, then there's no way to get around disliking them and the games they put out.


This right here, this was never a game that I had any qualms in saying, "I will own this game".  The only thing that held any qualms with it was my wallet.  My financial situation wasn't that great in 2010 (not that it looks too much better in 2011) and it was only through gift cards, careful sale-purchasing and the odd gain in funds here and there for part-time things that I was able to get anything game-wise.  And as much as I hate to be that guy I knew Darksiders wouldn't hold its price for long, so it was simply a matter of waiting for it to enter a price I could afford.

Between waiting and playing what I managed to get my hands on last year, it did manage to slip my radar until, well, December.  While out running errands, I stopped by a Blockbuster because, well, why not, and checked out what few things they had for sale.  (Truth-told, I went in half-expecting to see a similar situation to the Movie Gallery that had shut down months prior.  I was not expecting to see a line of customers, certainly.)  After a bit of perusing, I passed on Final Fantasy XIII for $30 and a few other things on similar sales when I noticed Darksiders.  "Oh yeah," I thought, "I really meant to buy that.  And it's only Fifteen Bucks.  I think I can swing that."

I did leave, intending on looking elsewhere for Christmassy things while the line thinned down and came back when my shopping was done.  Sure enough, only a few other people milling about in the place, and the line was completely clear.  I grabbed it, placed it on the counter, produced the payment in card form and was bewildered to see $9.99 show up after the scan.  While I knew the cashier could sense my confusion, I rolled with it; certainly a game costing less than I thought it would was not a thing to look in the mouth, even if the voice in my head was going, "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!~".

Of course, as I said, that was in December, when all my non-gaming time was spent running errands and spreading Christmas cheer (also other things) and my gaming time was spent frantically trying to finish a couple games so my backlog would have room for the Season's haul.  As such, I haven't managed to get into it, though I anxiously await a time when I can give it the try I've wanted to since last year started.

No Ability

Deadly Premonition

To deny that this game has a cult following would be lunacy; it has one of the more prominent "Seriously, you think it's bad, but it's sooo goood" vocal groups working for it that I've seen in quite a while.  And, having seen a good majority of the game in a livestream done by the broest of bros, Kaseius, I can't very well argue with them.

While the game did in fact look painful to play (at least, the fighting parts, which there were quite a number of) the story and the characters were by and large interesting at the very least, and all the twists and turns it took were rather nicely done...except, in my opinion, the ending.  Which admittedly, is a definite YMMV deal, so by no means should that be a condemnation of it.  Even if you don't like the ending, the journey there is a fantastic one (if you haven't noticed by now, I'm more of a "It's not the destination that matters" type of guy) that I could definitely recommend to people who can tolerate the gameplay.

At $20, the only reason I didn't pick this game up and play it was the fact that, at this point in the States, it's 360-exclusive and I, without said console, can't very well buy it and play it to draw a verdict on it, now can I?  While there have been rumblings of a PS3 version over here, nothing made it out in time and, in fact, there's still no confirmation on it one-way or another.


There isn't a lot to say about Minecraft that isn't known to the general population of the internet by this point.  The game thrusts you into one of the most literal definitions of a sandbox, makes it clear in short order the pattern of things (Monsters come out at night, you'll need to make shelter to survive) and inevitably presses down on your Create button and never lets go.  And that's all it needs.

The game, as of this posting, in the Beta phase, doesn't have an end-game goal.  Instead, it's focusing on the actual mechanics of building and giving you things to build.  New crafting formulas, new blocks to put down in whatever fashion you please, new items to craft -with- and new mobs to drop said items.  While some may speculate that the game will, in fact, never see an actual release outside of what it currently is, time will only tell if there's truth to that.  But, in the eyes of many, it doesn't need a goal just yet, as there is simply too many things left to build.

The reason for me not getting this game, despite it's similarly cheap pricetag is because, again, it is on a viable gaming platform that I do not possess; the PC.  While it is true that I have a PC and, in fact, am typing this -from- it, it's not exactly what you would consider game-worthy.  It's most certainly not what -I- would consider game-worthy, either and I've given up that idea long ago.  Always on the horizon is the idea that I will, someday, get a computer that will actually allow me to play games, crazy as that may seem, but that day doesn't draw nearer in any way that I can see.

Alan Wake

At no real point did my interest in Alan Wake rise above "Meh" during it's development (Well, the latter stages of it, when it was clear that it was, in fact, not a dead project) until after it was released.  Not only did I not really have much faith in it, from what little information I saw prior to its release, but I knew from day one that I simply wouldn't be able to play it for a long while, given that it was originally a 360/PC title.  (I say originally, as the PC version was canceled.)

And in all honesty, everything I've seen now, from a livestream of a good portion of the game to reviews leads me to believe that, while it wouldn't underwhelm me, it wouldn't amaze me either, leaving it to fall, at the very most, into the "Good" category.  Which, of course, is not bad at all, what with the category being called "Good" and all.

But of course, being in that category means that I do still want to play it at some point, perhaps to flesh out the story that I missed, perhaps to see if some of the sections were as difficult as I saw them to be, or maybe perhaps just to experience it for that very slight chance of surprise.  I can't lie, thinking about possibly playing the game someday, does stir a slight of excitement in all the right gaming areas, but it's a subdued excitement, more for being able to play it, rather than the hope for something more.

No Reason

Dark Void

Another of the games I bought from Movie Gallery, I went into this game with the mindset of, "It can't be -that- bad, right?  Right?" and let me tell you something.

It is.  It is that bad.

Now, I will say, when I first picked it up, it left a good impression.  Decent third-person shooter, Nolan North voicing the main character, the promise of a jetpack in the future, everything was just peachy.  And then, well, I kept playing the game.

And kept playing it.

And kept playing it.

Over time, the reason I kept playing it changed, at first it was, "Well, it's not all that bad, I'll just go ahead and beat it and file it under mediocre." next it was, "oh, well, now, this isn't very good at all.  But not unplayable, I suppose.  I can finish it so I can be done with it" to, eventually, "ARRGH, GAME.  I WILL SHOW YOU WHO'S BOSS."

Yes, that's right, over time, the over-arching reason for beating this game (Not only beating it, I felt I had to truly dominate it by getting the Platinum trophy for it) was spite.  Never before has this happened, and I hope, truly hope, that it never happens again.  But in the end, I had a few laughs (at its expense) and an accomplishment that I feel oddly alright with (absolute domination over it, minus the DLC) so I guess I still won by playing it.

But seriously, just steer clear of it.

No Hurry

 Final Fantasy XIII

I would like to preface this one with the fact that no, I am not trying to flash my Internet Cool Kid Card with this one, even though it seems to be the thing to do.  The truth of the matter is, I haven't truly enjoyed a Final Fantasy game since Tactics, or if you merely count the Main-line, 8.  9 felt too slow and too boring to me; I simply couldn't establish any sort of connection with the characters that made me want to go on, and when nothing had been done to alleviate my boredom by the end of the first disk, well, I simply knew it wasn't for me.  10, well, I did beat it, and I did get a lot of the extra things, which must have indicated that I, at the very least, did not mind playing it, but with the ol' hind-sight going, I simply don't see any reason why I need to return there.

I never did play 10-2, and I don't really see a reason to; I accidentally, (Read: Purposefully) got spoiled on the ending possibilities and, well, somehow I'm not sure I'd be too keen with the adventure to get there.  And 12.....well, 12 is a whole other matter that I will probably talk about in a separate post.  (That will likely launch another one of the series of posts like the ones I already have started.)

So that right there dampens my enthusiasm quite a bit, and, make no mistake, the internet has not made it easy to care about the game either.  While I generally do take popular internet thinking and put it separate to how I look at things, I simply cannot help but take some of the things provided and say, "Why no, I don't believe I will enjoy that."  Of course, the battle system, of which nearly everyone agrees upon as the high-point is enticing, but overall, I'm not too fussed at waiting out on this game.  And in fact, I'll likely continue to for a time.  Down the road, if I'm looking for something to play and I spot it at $20 or so, feh, I might pick it up and see where it falls on my scale.

But until then, Meh.

Red Dead Redemption

This game and the following one are probably the two big reasons I decided to make a section titled "No Hurry" rather than putting them in the "No Reason" category as I was almost ready to do with FFXIII.  (Well, that and the fact that I decided nothing should be included in with the crapheap that was Dark Void.  Aside from Brütal Legend, which I played last year as well, but that was from 2009.)  Because, honestly, I can't say with a straight face that there is in fact no reason to play Red Dead Redemption; It seems like a swell game to people who are prepared to like it and once you get past the tutorials.

While I'm sure I make it seem like I constantly spoil myself on everything by this point, I don't, in fact.  You'll just have to trust me on that.  But, again, I have seen the way this game starts; the riding missions, the, uh....riding missions.....the missions where you keep pace with somebody for five minutes....riding a horse, and, having experienced something similar in Grand Theft Auto:  The Lost and Damned (Riding in formation, yeuch), I can't say I'm too prepared to tackle things like that again.  Of course, I'm sure it gets much better after that.

But the honest fact is, at the time of its release and, hell even now, I had and still have entirely too many other great games to play through, and, after the whole deal that was the Episodes of Liberty City, the individual packs, the combo disk and eventually, the collection, well, I'm keeping my eyes peeled for a similar situation on this one.  It'd be nice to be able to pick up the entire RDR experience at once, rather than the semi-fragmented state it's in currently.

Fallout:  New Vegas

I do so hate to be blunt, as I come off sounding rude, but honestly to me, there's absolutely no reason to buy a Bethesda and/or Obsidian Game on release.  Are they fantastic games?  Yes, usually.  Are they laden with bugs?  Yes, I daresay always.  Will there always inevitably be DLC that will eventually be packaged into a Game of the Year version, meaning you get all of it cheaper even if you buy -that- day one?  Believe it.

By no means am I saying that there's no reason for you to not buy an Elder Scrolls or Fallout game on release day if you're excited for them.  In fact, I would encourage anyone who had the desire to do so, provided they can deal with the game pre-patch, as most people can.  But for myself, while I do enjoy the Elder Scrolls games, (Fallout 3's GotY will be my first real dip into that world) having bought Oblivion's GotY for full price and then buying Morrowind's GotY for PC for a song, I can say that the level of enjoyment is the same regardless of how much I spent.  (Well, not so much for Oblivion as I did get cheaped out of some of the DLC.  PS3 version, you see, but the point remains.)

So while I've seen practically all positives around for New Vegas, I can't do anything more than sit back and bide my time for that inevitable One Disk to Rule Them All version; one that will hopefully include all the DLC, even the ones marked "exclusive" for now.

Right then.  That seems to be the bulk of the games I've passed on for one reason or another (or simply couldn't play), so I do believe that's good.  One of your games not mentioned at all?  Feel free to ask me about it!


  1. "Yes, that's right, over time, the over-arching reason for beating this game (Not only beating it, I felt I had to truly dominate it by getting the Platinum trophy for it) was spite."

    Ahem. Final Fantasy XII? It certainly sounded as though you were beating that game purely from spite from all the bitchan you threw my way :|

  2. Yeah, but eventually, I ran out of that too. :|

  3. You have got to get to Bayonetta and Darksiders. They're both awesome in totally different ways - and while Bayonetta is technically inferior on the PS3, it's still a blast to play (even on the harder difficulties), and infinitely better than not playing it at all. Just remember that you will dislike whichever or the two you play second.

  4. ...of course, with Dead Space 2 dropping next week, who could blame you for putting it off?

  5. Oh, I know, both games are moving very high up my list rather quickly.

    ....but of course, LittleBigPlanet 2 does come out Tuesday. (I won't be able to pick mine up until Wednesday, but still.)

    And Dead Space 2 is a game that hopefully, hopefully won't end up in next year's "Games that weren't my Games" post, as I simply won't be able to swing it Day one. Hopefully soon after, depending on if I get a little more cash. But I definitely do hope to play it before the year's end so I can put it in a slot come GotY votes next year.