Things To See And Do In 2010

Crystal may well be the best Pok émon game I've ever played  
In my last proper blog, I presented my Official 2009 To-Do List - a list of five games that I want to finish before the year comes to a close. First off, I'm happy to report that I took the first game off this list yesterday, when I beat the Elite Four in Pokémon Crystal. I'll be sure to put out a more meaningful blog on this one over the weekend. For now, suffice it to say I've had a brilliant time with the game over the last month and a half, but it's also nice to finally be able to put that game down. After playing through Yellow and Crystal in quick succession, I'm beginning to feel pretty burned out on Pokémon right now. With Crystal out of the way, I'm moving on to another game on my To-Do List, namely The Secret of Monkey Island. I've never played a point 'n' click adventure game before, so I'm really looking forward to getting to grips with this one. I have the Special Edition on Steam, and I'm not sure whether I should play through the original version of the game or experience the souped-up, hand-drawn, voice-acted version.
 
However, there's also another list loitering around at the back of my head. Namely, a list of things I'm hoping to get around to doing in 2010. With nothing to on this chilly Thursday morning but wait for my lecture, I figured (largely through boredom) that I'd share that list with the rest of you guys here on Giant Bomb. Naturally, this list isn't completely video game oriented, so I've spared you the boring 'do-well-in-my-exams, find-a-decent-part-time-job, finally-finish-reading-The-Lord-Of-The-Rings' aspects in favour of all the juicy video gamey goodness. So, while you're all playing BioShock 2 and Mass Effect 2, here's what I'll be doing next year: 
 

Clear More Of My Pile Of Shame

This looks awesome. Why haven't I played it yet? 
My Pile of Shame continues to serve its purpose, insofar as every time I look at it I start to feel terribly guilty for buying so many games and finishing so few of them. Ever since I joined Giant Bomb way back at launch last July, I've been endeavouring to get through some of these titles, and to a certain degree I've been pretty successful. I've also drastically cut down my spending on games, which has resulted in me actually being able to reduce the number of games on the list overall. There's still lots to be done, though, with a massive sixty-one games still on the pile. A quick glance at the list shows off a few titles in particular that I'm dying to get to grips with - Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, Okami, Primal, and Persona 4 are all games that I'm absolutely dying to play through, yet they all remain largely unplayed. 2010 will hopefully see me continue to reduce the size of my Pile of Shame, while also providing me with plenty of stuff to blog about.
 

Play More PC Games

I need to start treating my PC like a gaming machine 
This is something that I'd resolved to do last year, but ultimately didn't really get around to, only managing to play through the first two Oddworld games back in August. While my laptop isn't exactly a gaming beast, it's proven itself to be more than capable of running quite a few titles I've purchased off Steam. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that the little fella has outright surprised me with regards to its power as a gaming machine. This also ties into the previous item on the list in that a lot of the games on my Pile of Shame are PC games - Braid, Fallout and Fallout 2, Half-Life spin-offs Opposing Force and Blue Shift, and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl are the most obvious examples. I'm attempting to start this trend early by playing through The Secret of Monkey Island this year to get me in the swing of things. I'm just hoping that this is one New Year's Resolution that I'll be able to stick to. I'd hate to miss out on some of these games for yet another year. 
 

Return To Unexplored Post-Game Content

Snowier climes await in Solstheim 2010
To the uninitiated, this probably looks like pseudo-English for "go back and get some Achievements I missed first time round". While I will probably be returning to a couple of Xbox 360 games next year (Dead Space and Grand Theft Auto IV being the prime candidates), this is more targeted at games without any Achievements at all. The main one that springs to mind is The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. This year I picked up the Game of the Year Edition of Morrowind for Xbox and played through the main quest, spending probably around one hundred hours with the game and seeing a pretty large portion of the subsidiary content. After spending so long with one game, I felt pretty burned out on it, and elected to leave it be for a while before I returned to tackle the expansions, Tribunal and Bloodmoon. 2010 would be a great time to return to Morrowind and get to grips with all this unexplored additional content. The other obvious example is the just-finished Pokémon Crystal. I have the whole of Kanto to explore now, but I'm all Pokémon'd out at the moment and couldn't stand to play through all that post-game content right now. In a few months down the line, I'll be more willing to return to Kanto, and more likely to appreciate the experience.
 

Play Through Final Fantasy VII Again

Tifa's boobs had no bearing on this decision whatsoever 
Here's one that's more than likely to ruffle a few feathers. If everyone can set aside their own personal love/hatred of Final Fantasy VII for a moment, I'd like to explain why this is on my list. I think everybody has at least one game that they'll always come back to, even years later, and still be able to appreciate it as they did the first time. For some, it's Ocarina of Time. For others, it's Half-Life. For me, it's Final Fantasy VII. I haven't picked it up in over two years, and I feel like I'd be doing myself a disservice if I didn't play through it again at some point next year. My plan is to play through most of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII this year, starting with Crisis Core (which is still on my Pile of Shame), moving on to Final Fantasy VII proper, and finishing off with Dirge of Cerberus. After neglecting it for so long, I feel like I owe it to myself to get reacquainted with the game that made me serious about games.

Pick Up A Few 'Must-Have's

I am so excited for this game. And I don't even really like Westerns 
2010 isn't going to be all about old games, though. There are a couple of new releases that I'm really looking forward to picking up. Being a student, I've had to be pretty selective about what my money's going to be spent on over the next twelve months, but I've managed to narrow it down to three games that I absolutely must own. The first of these is Red Dead Redemption. I'm super-psyched for this, and I'm surprised to see that I seem to be in the minority, at least here on Giant Bomb. The screenshots and trailers that have been released look incredible, for a start. After Grand Theft Auto IV, the thought of what Rockstar could do story-wise in a Wild West scenario has me almost wet with excitement. Second, there's Final Fantasy XIII. Why am I excited for this? Simple, really - I'm a sucker for JRPGs. The return to the Active Time Battle system looks to be a good decision based on the footage I've seen, and it seems to be spinning a pretty good yarn from what I've read so far. Finally, I'm majorly looking forward to Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. I'm a big fan of the Metal Gear games, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was far and away my favourite in the series, so any further exploration of the Big Boss story arc is fine by me. I loved Portable Ops, which I played through earlier this year, and if Peace Walker turns out to be anything like that, it'll be well worth picking up.
 
So, there you have it. That's what my 2010 is probably going to look like. Pretty much the same as my 2009, now that I think about it. Should be a pretty good year. Now that's all typed up, I'd better think about getting ready for my 11am lecture. A look out of the window reveals the weather isn't particularly inviting. Gotta love being in Britain. Take it easy, guys. I'll see you around. 
 
 
Dan
 
--- 
 
Currently playing - Fallout 3 (X360)
7 Comments
8 Comments
Posted by dankempster
Crystal may well be the best Pok émon game I've ever played  
In my last proper blog, I presented my Official 2009 To-Do List - a list of five games that I want to finish before the year comes to a close. First off, I'm happy to report that I took the first game off this list yesterday, when I beat the Elite Four in Pokémon Crystal. I'll be sure to put out a more meaningful blog on this one over the weekend. For now, suffice it to say I've had a brilliant time with the game over the last month and a half, but it's also nice to finally be able to put that game down. After playing through Yellow and Crystal in quick succession, I'm beginning to feel pretty burned out on Pokémon right now. With Crystal out of the way, I'm moving on to another game on my To-Do List, namely The Secret of Monkey Island. I've never played a point 'n' click adventure game before, so I'm really looking forward to getting to grips with this one. I have the Special Edition on Steam, and I'm not sure whether I should play through the original version of the game or experience the souped-up, hand-drawn, voice-acted version.
 
However, there's also another list loitering around at the back of my head. Namely, a list of things I'm hoping to get around to doing in 2010. With nothing to on this chilly Thursday morning but wait for my lecture, I figured (largely through boredom) that I'd share that list with the rest of you guys here on Giant Bomb. Naturally, this list isn't completely video game oriented, so I've spared you the boring 'do-well-in-my-exams, find-a-decent-part-time-job, finally-finish-reading-The-Lord-Of-The-Rings' aspects in favour of all the juicy video gamey goodness. So, while you're all playing BioShock 2 and Mass Effect 2, here's what I'll be doing next year: 
 

Clear More Of My Pile Of Shame

This looks awesome. Why haven't I played it yet? 
My Pile of Shame continues to serve its purpose, insofar as every time I look at it I start to feel terribly guilty for buying so many games and finishing so few of them. Ever since I joined Giant Bomb way back at launch last July, I've been endeavouring to get through some of these titles, and to a certain degree I've been pretty successful. I've also drastically cut down my spending on games, which has resulted in me actually being able to reduce the number of games on the list overall. There's still lots to be done, though, with a massive sixty-one games still on the pile. A quick glance at the list shows off a few titles in particular that I'm dying to get to grips with - Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, Okami, Primal, and Persona 4 are all games that I'm absolutely dying to play through, yet they all remain largely unplayed. 2010 will hopefully see me continue to reduce the size of my Pile of Shame, while also providing me with plenty of stuff to blog about.
 

Play More PC Games

I need to start treating my PC like a gaming machine 
This is something that I'd resolved to do last year, but ultimately didn't really get around to, only managing to play through the first two Oddworld games back in August. While my laptop isn't exactly a gaming beast, it's proven itself to be more than capable of running quite a few titles I've purchased off Steam. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that the little fella has outright surprised me with regards to its power as a gaming machine. This also ties into the previous item on the list in that a lot of the games on my Pile of Shame are PC games - Braid, Fallout and Fallout 2, Half-Life spin-offs Opposing Force and Blue Shift, and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl are the most obvious examples. I'm attempting to start this trend early by playing through The Secret of Monkey Island this year to get me in the swing of things. I'm just hoping that this is one New Year's Resolution that I'll be able to stick to. I'd hate to miss out on some of these games for yet another year. 
 

Return To Unexplored Post-Game Content

Snowier climes await in Solstheim 2010
To the uninitiated, this probably looks like pseudo-English for "go back and get some Achievements I missed first time round". While I will probably be returning to a couple of Xbox 360 games next year (Dead Space and Grand Theft Auto IV being the prime candidates), this is more targeted at games without any Achievements at all. The main one that springs to mind is The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. This year I picked up the Game of the Year Edition of Morrowind for Xbox and played through the main quest, spending probably around one hundred hours with the game and seeing a pretty large portion of the subsidiary content. After spending so long with one game, I felt pretty burned out on it, and elected to leave it be for a while before I returned to tackle the expansions, Tribunal and Bloodmoon. 2010 would be a great time to return to Morrowind and get to grips with all this unexplored additional content. The other obvious example is the just-finished Pokémon Crystal. I have the whole of Kanto to explore now, but I'm all Pokémon'd out at the moment and couldn't stand to play through all that post-game content right now. In a few months down the line, I'll be more willing to return to Kanto, and more likely to appreciate the experience.
 

Play Through Final Fantasy VII Again

Tifa's boobs had no bearing on this decision whatsoever 
Here's one that's more than likely to ruffle a few feathers. If everyone can set aside their own personal love/hatred of Final Fantasy VII for a moment, I'd like to explain why this is on my list. I think everybody has at least one game that they'll always come back to, even years later, and still be able to appreciate it as they did the first time. For some, it's Ocarina of Time. For others, it's Half-Life. For me, it's Final Fantasy VII. I haven't picked it up in over two years, and I feel like I'd be doing myself a disservice if I didn't play through it again at some point next year. My plan is to play through most of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII this year, starting with Crisis Core (which is still on my Pile of Shame), moving on to Final Fantasy VII proper, and finishing off with Dirge of Cerberus. After neglecting it for so long, I feel like I owe it to myself to get reacquainted with the game that made me serious about games.

Pick Up A Few 'Must-Have's

I am so excited for this game. And I don't even really like Westerns 
2010 isn't going to be all about old games, though. There are a couple of new releases that I'm really looking forward to picking up. Being a student, I've had to be pretty selective about what my money's going to be spent on over the next twelve months, but I've managed to narrow it down to three games that I absolutely must own. The first of these is Red Dead Redemption. I'm super-psyched for this, and I'm surprised to see that I seem to be in the minority, at least here on Giant Bomb. The screenshots and trailers that have been released look incredible, for a start. After Grand Theft Auto IV, the thought of what Rockstar could do story-wise in a Wild West scenario has me almost wet with excitement. Second, there's Final Fantasy XIII. Why am I excited for this? Simple, really - I'm a sucker for JRPGs. The return to the Active Time Battle system looks to be a good decision based on the footage I've seen, and it seems to be spinning a pretty good yarn from what I've read so far. Finally, I'm majorly looking forward to Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. I'm a big fan of the Metal Gear games, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was far and away my favourite in the series, so any further exploration of the Big Boss story arc is fine by me. I loved Portable Ops, which I played through earlier this year, and if Peace Walker turns out to be anything like that, it'll be well worth picking up.
 
So, there you have it. That's what my 2010 is probably going to look like. Pretty much the same as my 2009, now that I think about it. Should be a pretty good year. Now that's all typed up, I'd better think about getting ready for my 11am lecture. A look out of the window reveals the weather isn't particularly inviting. Gotta love being in Britain. Take it easy, guys. I'll see you around. 
 
 
Dan
 
--- 
 
Currently playing - Fallout 3 (X360)
Edited by xyzygy

You won't be playing Mass Effect 2? For shame! 
 
But I agree, Red Dead Redemption looks amazing, and Solstheim is one of my favorite areas in Vvardenfell, besides Balmora and Khuul. My god that game is good.

Posted by dankempster
@xyzygy: I haven't played the first Mass Effect. Although I do plan to rectify that next year after having it recommended to me pretty much unanimously in a previous blog I posted. I'll definitely be looking to pick up a cheap copy of the original game next year. Maybe I should have mentioned that in the blog :P
Posted by Alex_V

Nice post. If you get through 25% of the stuff you've planned, you will have done well. I totally agree with you on Nuts & Bolts - I love Rare's output, bought it on Brad's recommendation, played it a bit and it looks brilliant, yet I haven't scratched the surface on it yet. I don't know why.

Posted by xyzygy
@dankempster: Yeah, that would be a good idea. My favorite game of all time right there. You will probbaly find it really cheap, I know it's already around 20 bucks Canadian at EB and Gamestop.
Posted by RagingLion

I just played through The Secret of Monkey Island for the first time over the past 2 weeks.  I really enjoyed it and there were a few genuine laugh out loud moments over the course as well as lost of smiles.  There's also a fair bit that pokes fun at point-and-click adventure tropes in general but you might still be able to get some of that anyway.  I was also interested and pleasantly surprised how it adds in some quite innovative gameplay elements that aren't just pure point-and-click stuff.  It keeps things fresh over the course of the game.
 
I played the special edition having bought it on Steam and would generally recommend playing the redone version since I really appreciated the updated graphics and clean style it gave everything as well as the voice-work.  But I pressed F10 in most scenes to see what the old version looked like in terms of art style and occasionally to see what objects stood out of the background to help see what I should be interacting with.  Also, I probably used the hint system 4 or 5 times which I was grateful for, as there were just a couple of things that weren't greatly clear in the game, but it's generally not bad in that respect.

Posted by KillerRabbit

Hey.
 
Very good read. I might actually join you on that FFVII thing. I have Crisis core in my personal pile of shame as well, and it's been a long time since i've played FFVII. 
 
I've yet to complete Persona 3 AND 4 as well.. sigh.. too little time.

Posted by ElectricHaggis

You're reminding me of all the games I've missed recently.  Okami sticks out as the most shameful.