Twenty-Shamin'-Teen

Hello, this is my list of shame for 2017. The title's a pun; please don't actually go out and humiliate teenagers, for theirs is already a hard lot. An unexpectedly hard lot, even, often while they're having to stand in front of a whole room of people. You know what? This list is about 2017, not whatever may or may not have happened to somebody, somewhere in the late 90s in Ms. Holland's history class, and then inexplicably again during a 2012 presentation meeting on office supply budgets. So let's focus on 2017.

As with any backlog list worth its salt, the goal here is to complete as many of the following in the twelve months to come. I managed half the 2016 list (many of its survivors have thus passed onto this list, naturally) so here's hoping I do a little better this year. Probably won't though, because there's at least five enormous JRPGs below, but a guy can dream at least.

As with last year's remorse assortment, or remorstment (?!), I've separated this list into three groups:

  • [B]acklog games are those I own but have yet to play, which take top priority in the year ahead. I buy a lot of games I don't play. I have the brain problems.
  • [W]ishlist games are those I don't yet own, but have been sufficiently coerced into buying. A lot of GOTY contenders for 2016 will be here. I've not included (mostly) confirmed 2017 releases, but there's a few of those I intend to play also.
  • [C]ompleted games are those on this list that I've since started playing and finished since 2017 began. The date of completion is included. If I fill the whole list with these, then I've won. Won somethin', anyway.

For the sake of... I dunno, "fun", here are my Lists of Shame for 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. A few familiar faces seem to reappear every year. Strange, that.

List items

  • [B] This one... I'm probably going to put off until 2018. One Yakuza game a year's usually enough for me, given how long they take me to complete.

  • [B] This one... has to have one of the biggest box art image/title mismatches in a long while. Oh you will taste my trail of cold steel, senpai, if that's what it takes for you to notice me. Anyhoo, can't have enough Falcom RPGs.

  • [B] This one... is a trippy time-travelling visual novel that I've been meaning to try out for a while. This recently localized console version popped up in a sale recently, so here we are. Or here we will be? Or were? Whoa, I'd better save all this temporal confusion for the playthrough.

  • [B] This one... is now at the top of the 3DS queue. It's been a hot minute since I last gesticulated at some fancypants flamboyant prosecutor. I'd better remember how the Japanese legal system works. I know there was a law about cross-examining parrots...

  • [B] This one... is the only PS4 game from my backlog at the start of last year to emerge unscathed to the beginning of this one. It's an impressive feat of me not wanting to play a thing, but I suspect I might still get around to it eventually regardless. I mean, it did come free with the system. Maybe I want to see what this iconic hat business is about before trying the sequel.

  • [B] This one... let me ask you this, reader: have you ever had a Luigi dream that you, um, you had, your, you, you could, you’ll do, you, you once, you, you could do so, you, you’ll do, you could, you, you want, you want them to do you so much you could do anything?

  • [B] This one... this damn game, even. No More Heroes 2 has been on my List of Shame for probably a decade now, even though it came out in 2010. Enough's enough. Boy, that really sounded convincing, huh? See you next year, No More Heroes 2. Tell Let It Die I said hi.

  • [B] This one... I'm less serious about completing this year. Don't get me wrong, I like Metal Gear and Platinum and Nanomachines, Son, but I felt like I left the franchi... oh hell, I was supposed to go back to MGSV and write that all-tapes blog. Well, then, I guess I'll continue to disappoint fans of this series for another year.

  • [B] This one... is an RPG from InXile, to whom I not-so-recently gave money for a Kickstarter project. The incentive for my donor level was to get a digital copy of Wasteland 2 for free, and I've yet to take advantage. There's going to be hella RPGs to play next year, but maybe I'll find a quiet moment to pick my way across the post-apocalypse.

  • [B] This one... will become the sad funeral dirge for my PSP. Once I've played through this trailblazing SRPG, my PSP might well be retired forever because I've got nothing else for it and nothing else I'm inclined to buy for it that I can't get on Steam or PSN. That little black box has been on death row long enough, it's time to put it out of its misery.

  • [B] This one... is another Tales game. That's right, I've been sitting on multiple of these Bamco Japanimation RPGs. Just call me Miles Prower, because I've got two Tales and a burning desire to kiss Shadow on the mouth, or whoever the OTP is in the Sonic slash community this week.

  • [B] This one... I just noticed was sitting in my PS3 library after adding Trails of Cold Steel, Yakuza 5 and Steins;Gate to it. I loved the first two Vandal Hearts games. I bought this one. What's holding me back? Expectations? Where were expectations when I decided to sign up for that shady "Raw Unrefridgerated Meat of the Month" club? At least I know what sushi is and definitively is not, now.

  • [B] This one... well, talking of falling to your death a lot. I feel I owe it to the ambivalence I had for the original to give its sequel a shot. Folk seemed to prefer how direct and to the point the elaborate parkour obstacle courses of the original were, but I also like the idea of an open-world parkour game where you'd start to learn the best courses to take as you got familiar with the layout over time.

  • [B] This one... is a no-brainer. I've yet to miss a single mainline Final Fantasy, besides the bullshit MMOs, and folk actually seem to like this one. That's a welcome change.

  • [B] This one... is a Final Fantasy spin-off, which means it was automatically entered into the rare category of "games Mento will probably buy himself even if the universe tries to talk him out of it." It's a game where you raise monsters and then use them as headwear without the messy middle step that often requires a skinning knife and a sewing needle.

  • [B] This one... is a case where I'm willing to give XCOM another try, despite burning out spectacularly on the tedious late-game of the first. These XCOM games are supposed to be built on multiple playthroughs, often with the grim understanding that you'll flub the first few tries, but I dunno how anyone could sit through those hour-long giant crashed spaceship missions multiple times. Maybe XCOM 2 will be different? Or different enough, at least? That's what I'm banking on.

  • [B] This one... I was fortunate enough to find cheap, since it seemed too niche to see a huge distribution. What's perhaps weird about this purchase is that I'm not the biggest fan of either Fire Emblem or core SMT, but the premise of this game was too good to pass up.

  • [B] This one... could be a pretender to the throne of Pillars of Eternity, my 2015 GOTY. It might instead be a lesser but still excellent isometric CRPG from Obsidian, which is more in line with my current expectations. Either way, I'm not going to say no to a modern CRPG made in a mostly unmodern style.

  • [B] This one... is the unexpected sequel to 999 and Virtue's Last Reward and you'd better believe I want to jump back into the world of Anime SAW and uncover another batshit insane conspiracy mystery pieced together from multiple fatal bad endings and at least one where my avatar survives unscathed. I've heard it doesn't quite stack up to its predecessors, but all the same they had me at "Dilemma". Or maybe even "Time". Not "Zero" though; I'm not that easy a sell.

  • [B] This one... is a game I've been anticipating for over a decade. Ueda's picturesque worlds of sadness often require me to be in the right sort of mood, but it's been too long since I leapt to my death because I was too enthralled with the natural beauty of my surroundings to notice that wall wasn't something I could hold onto just because it happened to have a different white/gray coloration. When did it last auto-save? Aw fu- oh, actually that's not too bad.

  • [W] This one... is the next Ace Attorney after the one I haven't played yet, above. In an unusually responsible move for me, I don't intend to buy it until I've seen the credits roll on the one I have already.

  • [W] This one... is a Square-Enix JRPG with a glowing reputation that even managed to reach Square-Enix executives and convince them to churn out more throwback RPGs like it. Sounds like it's right up my Finalley Fantasy, even with the horror stories I've heard about its second half.

  • [W] This one... got a passionate defense from one Vincent "Sheikh Zanzibar" Caravella. If I wanted to have a loud argument with a computer, I'd try defragging this thing again and watch it get stuck halfway through, but he made it sound like there's a brilliant story and puzzles to be found beneath the slightly gimmicky exterior.

  • [W] This one... well, you can read up a little further to the blurb about Bravely Default. Square's momentarily invested in older style JRPGs again, in this brief window between determining how to botch the next Final Fantasy PC port and figuring out which franchise to turn episodic next ("Lara Croft visits, like, *multiple* countries in those games, right?"). Former mod and present JRPG comrade Sparky Buzzsaw seemed to be into it, so here it is.

  • [W] This one... is the best Space Terraria we're likely to get since No Man's Sky fell through a black hole's event horizon and was stretched out into so much disappointment spaghetti, like the type of spaghetti you'd eat after your school lost the local sports ball game championship and it was mostly your fault. I really like Terraria, and I especially like the idea of visiting another planet if the current one had sucky treasure on it. Ideally, I'd use those worlds' resources to build a rad-ass Galaxy-class starship and go cruising. Game's not there yet, but maybe it will be this year.

  • [W] This one... did unexpectedly well with the Giant Bomb crew, to the extent that I have to believe there's more to the game than doing cool action movie stunts in front of red mannequins for several hours. Though maybe that's all you really need?

  • [W] This one... I need to buy because I gotta find out what happened to my girl Estelle. Her boyfriend/brother (long story) just decided to return to his shady old life and flew the coop and she's going to go find him and it's true love goddammit, sniff. I want to see how that arc continues, but I'm torn between the PSP version - I played the first on PSP, so there's some unlocks waiting for me - or the Steam version, which would be a lot cheaper. Decisions, decisions.

  • [W] This one... might have to wait until after I've beaten the first, or maybe not. Maybe I won't even be able to get through five hours of the first and decide I don't want to see any radical hacktivism ever again. Some serious Schroedinger shenanigans with this game, only instead of a cat being alive or dead it's my interest in the series that's on the line.

  • [W] This one... shit's cute, y'all.

  • [C] Completed 07/01.

  • [C] Completed 22/01.

  • [C] Completed 29/01.

  • [C] Completed 02/02.

  • [C] Completed 07/02.

  • [C] Completed 27/02.

  • [C] Completed 08/03.

  • [C] Completed 17/03.

  • [C] Completed 22/03.

  • [C] Completed 27/03.

  • [C] Completed 30/04. (Well, one of the playthroughs.)

  • [C] Completed 11/05.

  • [C] Completed 04/06.

  • [C] Completed 15/07.

  • [C] Completed 20/07.

  • [C] Completed 21/07.

  • [C] Completed 27/07.

  • [C] Completed 27/08.

  • [C] Completed (mostly) 28/08.

  • [C] Completed Danganronpa 1 on 12/06. Completed Danganronpa 2 on 04/10.

  • [C] Completed 21/12.