52n365 - 2017 Edition

Now for the fourth year running, my own way of tracking the games I beat.

While I continue to move the goalposts on myself and the results objectively have been diminishing, I have enjoyed the effort to catalog my gameplay this way. It's been a fun way to manage this hobby. I think my lifestyle changes are more responsible for the outcome than the method.

As usual I plan to make some tweaks to scoring based on patterns I noticed.

The goal of this list is to make backlog blasting fun while still allowing myself to play more current things. Encourage positive thinking in myself and to discourage game hopping (I always like to finish things), overspending and "paralysis by analysis".

Thoughts on 2016's results.-

52 feels like the right number of credit rolls. I think based on what I played 75-100 points is a good corresponding sweet-spot for points.

It's very achievable & aggressive without be overtaxing to the point that I feel I can't play extremely long games. Awarding extra points on game length definitely made me more receptive to tackling larger AAA games than I had been in previous years as well as probably being more fair. However extreme personal adversity in 2016 prevented me from going at more normal pace in the first half, and joining a group of friends on a discord who have a strong preference for multiplayer games commanded the majority of my gaming time in the second half ( a very welcome surprise). While I'm doubtful I will hit 52 credit rolls in 2017 as both conditions persist, 52 points is definitely feasible.

While each year has seen diminishing results, the least three years have easily been the most productive period in my gaming time in terms of beating games. Eventhough it would be well short of the goal of 52, I'll personally be satisfied if I manage to beat 2016's results given what I expect to face in my like in 2017. Especially with long games like Mass Effect, Persona and Zelda all dropping this year.

Inspired by Neogaf's- 52 games/1 year annual thread http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1164662

2017 Scoring System (italics indicates changes)

  • 1 point for any game completion over an hour in length. Game completion is considered what causes a win condition that achieves a credit roll. Use your own discretion, this is an Honor system.
  • 1 point for an expansion (most games don't have one these days but I have some on my backlog like Starcraft). Any DlC over 5 hours in campaign length will be considered an expansion
  • *NEW* 2 points for games over 20 hours played- I noticed in 2016 that several games I played seemed to fall in the gaps between what I thought was standard and what I considered big.
  • 3 points for an Open World or RPG game that has 40hr+main quest. Why three instead of 2? because I never just mainline those things so in practice it's more like 80+.
  • *Revised* 0.25 points for story campaign style DLC that is longer than one hour
  • *Revised* 0.25 points per episode of an Episodic game (assuming 5 episodes otherwise 1.25 divided by number of episodes. ) if the entire season isn't completed. If Season is completed, score according to time played using previously stated rules.
  • *NEW* +1 point Backlog bonus of beating any game I've personally owned longer than one year. +2 for anything on systems no longer considered current generation (PS3, DS, Wii, PC games originally released before 2012 and older. WiiU and Vita are considered current for 2017). Old games that are "new to me" Such as GoG.com DOSbox games do not qualify for bonus points.
  • *NEW* +0.5 point for any games where either 100% collectibles acquired or 100% single player achievements unlocked. If by some miracle I actually get multiplayer cheevos I'll think of a scoring system for that.
  • *being debated* 0.3 points for unfinished games I put 20 hours into or more. This one if implemented would against the core objective of the list in a fundamental way and yet I don't feel cheated by games like Spelunky which I'll likely never beat or games like Darkest Dungeon which I got good fun out of for a while but ultimately decided it wasn't worth it to see it through. While the goal of this list to encourage credit rolls, I don't want to punish myself to finish games I decide I don't like either. Logistically this seems tough to track, unlikely to include this.
  • *being debated* 0.5 Points for Multiplayer only games like Overwatch. I don't want to discourage myself from playing these and yet I don't feel they really qualify. Unlikely to include this.

Previous Years Results - as of 1/20/17

YearCredit RollsPoints 2016 rules
2012 11 21
2013 26 38
2014 63 67
2015 40 47.25
2016 31 37
2017 40 59.5 (2017 rules)
Totals through 2016 171 210.25
Averages 34.2 42.05

Any feedback is welcome ( I know. :) I'd need change the name to something the forum would more palpable ), I am considering making a communal thread for Giant Bomb like the Neogaf one since it seems like many of us here struggle with backlog guilt and this may help others .

Let me know If there is any interest if you read this.

List items

  • cleared 1/3/17- 1.5 pt. Wasn't terribly impressed this one. I bet it's neat on mobile though. 100% achievements

  • cleared 1/7/17- 3 points- I've got 120+hours into this and likely to do a lot more with friends, so definitely earned my 3 points here.

  • cleared 1/28/17- 1.5 pt. A little better than the first since it has more variety, though more of the same basically. I didn't like that the devs begged for a steam review in teh final credits. 100% achievements

  • cleared 2/4/17 - 1 pt- This is a really satisfying NES style action platformer, the story is really awful even by NES standards and the final boss was rough stuff (took me 20+ tries) but man this plays and feels great.

  • Cleared 2/4/17- 1.5 pt- I thought this game was overhyped but it actually lived up to what I hoped.Short but feels deep and the natural scenery was fun to hike through despite being a little tough at times to wayfind given the intentionally muddy textures. This is probably handsdown better than Oxenfree which I included in my GotY. It isn't perfect, there's a real lack of fauna and animal sunds in the game which is disturbing for the national forest and the while the VA work is decent they aren't written and don't sound period or location appropriate to me. I found the backstory to be deeply upsetting, but it's nice to see a game address that topic with some care. 100% achievements

  • cleared 2/9/17- 1 point -I knew this game had problems, but I couldn't help myself when it was 3 bucks. Unfortunately 3 bucks is basically the right price. The game has a lot of heart, a great steampunk cartoony aesthetic and a potentially interesting take on the Grimm Fairytales universe (where an industrialist using toy soliders creates the 19th century version of the Automation crisis) and some pretty neat ambitions. However It's far too short, many mechanics are only introduced at the very end of the game and used far too sparingly. The Collision detection is absolutely awful, Hitboxes are wildly inconsistent. I've had platforming deaths in mid air over platforms while a good several feet from touching anything. I've had Red insta-die in boss fights when the boss isn't even attacking. The VA work leaves a lot to be desired, not to mention it seems as though they cut all villain dialogue to probably get this thing to ship. Red sometimes rhymes, sometimes doesn't in a way that's strange. There's a good game buried here under the jank and crap, they just probably needed a lot more money to make it right.

  • cleared 2/12/17- 2 points - I'm considering 100k population as the win condition as that's the last achievement for population size. Really though this game has no endgame unless you count scenarios. I don't think the UI and the onboarding is as good as SimCity of yore, but I'd play this over those anyday given how much better the Sims and population size potential is. Already got 22 hours or so in, probably going to do more, therefore 2 points.

  • Cleared 2/17/17 -1 point - This was a very slow starter for me and to be honest even by the end I didn't feel confident how the Drifter would move vs what I wanted him to. But I think that may have been just issues with my cheap controller and the operator (me). There's a lot to love about this game, the combat conceit is awesome. Dashing sword based melee to charge gun attacks makes it like harder fast paced Zelda. The exploration and collectibles are numerous, the sound is and atmosphere and colors are very eerie in an 80's Balderunner way.I could have used a more clearly depicted story even if it remained wordless and vague, but the pixel art in the "dialogue" was really hard to parse in too many places. If the game was going to rely on symbolism, I need to be at least able to recognize the symbols. All in all though, this and Ittle Dew are proof that we need a lot more games to make their own take on the classic zelda formula.

  • Cleared 2/18/17 - 1 point- Absurdist Visual Novel at it's best. No reason not to play it for anyone.

  • cleared 2/23/17 - 2 points (backlog bonus)- Boy is this one neat. Branching Paths, goofy wacky enemies, screen filling massive bosses and wonderful sprite work. The Difficulty, like most arcade game ports, is really whacked out coming to PC though. If you treat as it's meant to be played, it's way too hard. If you take advantage of the infinite continues it becomes a cakewalk. Good one to get off the ole backlog

  • cleared 2/25/17 -1 point - I enjoyed this one, in spite of itself at times. On the downside The game heavily encourages you to play it in the least fun way it has to offer (sneaking no violence), it has a ton of mechanics you basically have no reason to use that it dripfeeds you all the way to the end (and some in postgame) and some of the controls are wonky because it's 2d. On the plus side the water painting backdrops are gorgeous, when the game flows it really works, the checkpointing is extremelu generous and Shao Jun is a neat character even if they don't really flesh her out.

  • cleared 2/28/17 - 1 point- This kinda reminds me of Never Alone crossed with Hyper Light Drifter. While the core design is good and the scenes fantastic (and especially the hand drawn artstyle), the pacing is off. There are long periods of just walking and Thora feels very slow and sluggish given her very small size on screen. Interesting game though

  • cleared 4/1/17 -1.5 points-100% items. What a fun little and inventive game. Drinkbox's signature style knocked it out of the park yet again, really excited to see what they do next.

  • cleared 5/18/17 - 3 points - The best laid plans of mice and men... My goal may be nearly unattainable now thanks to Zelda( been playing for two months and counting). But it's totally worth it to play an all time classic.

  • cleared 7/4/17 - 1 point - Given that Zelda got me perhaps hopelessly off track, I decided to just tackle Fire Emblem: Shadow of Valentia next which given the way I play it is another huge game. But while I was mid way through that, Metroid Prime 4 ws announced and I figured now was as good of a time as any to right a gaming wrong of mine. Super Metroid is a wonderful game, maybe the most timeless game I've ever played.

  • cleared 7/18/17- 1.5 points- What an awesome little game this is! Boy I hope they make a sequel to it.

  • cleared 7/23/17- 2.5 points - What a great visual novel this is! The QOL enhancements for PC definitely make this pretty easy to replay the necessary times to find out the whole story

  • cleared 7/26/17- 2.5 points - I've heard from friends that this was the better game at release due to the QoL features 999 didn't have. Well both have them now and VLR is definitely an inferior game, the plot is all over the place and has maybe 15 hours worth of story spread out over 40.

  • cleared 8/2/17 - 1 point - Finally got around to beating the closest thing to a story mode. Gotta say definitely not nearly as enamored with this as the GB staff was. It's fun don't get me wrong, but it's very aimless and worse Nintendo gates the best creation tools behind arbitrary time limits. I just don't play games that way. I tend to binge on them, so having to play for short bursts every day is not how I want to unlock things.

  • cleared 8/9/17 - 1 point - Debated whether to include this. Crushed the cups at a buddy's house. Typically when I play Mario Kart I don't consider it done till i beat all the cups on 150cc, but I suppose you really have beaten the game if you do it on 50cc.

  • cleared 8/17/17- 1 point - I'm scared to see how many hours I've quickly put into this. Definitely got its f2p hooks deep into me. While the single player campaign doesn't feel over narratively at all, I have cleared everything that's currently available.

  • cleared 8/20/17- 1 point - Played at a buddy's house and glad I did. Ambitious in premise, rote in execution. The plot is basically one giant side fetch quest that is at best tangentially related to the plot, which makes the whole thing very unsatisfying.

  • cleared 8/26/17 - 1 point - Better visuals than Journey but without the multiplayer aspect it really loses most of what made Journey special.

  • cleared 8/28/17 - 2 points (backlog bonus) -An example of how poor storytelling is in games when a run of the mill cover shooter can basically rip Heart of Darkness's plot and it feels like the freshest thing ever. Still that being said, very good game.

  • cleared 8/30/2017 - 1.5 points (chhevos) -One of the rare games where the game itself got in the way. The story was pretty good and I like the whole idea of deep Sea horror. I did feel the plot maybe revealed too much too quickly so the last bits of the game lacked a lot of weight I felt it should. Kinda nice to have a protagonist who has some emotional common sense though.

  • cleared 8/31/2017- 1.5 points-

  • cleared 9/2/2017 - 2 points (backlog bonus) - Boy is this fun, genius concept, looks great even today and controls really well. The humor was striking in dated it already feels. What's acceptable behavior towards female characters in gaming has really changed since 2011. I could see why the devs though OMD was destined for better things. Too bad they went the MOBA route.

  • cleared 9/6/2017 - 1.5 points -100% cheevos. Finally Zeboyd made a game I honestly like. And now it doesn't sell. As usual the battle system is their forte with ever escalating stakes as the battle carries on. The atmosphere and backgrounds of the game is great. However the story telling and characterization is still terrible. I may have rose colored glassses when it comes to 16 bit RPGs, but Zeboyd really needs to improve still there.

  • cleared 9/6/2017 - 1 point - I honestly don't know if this game is ok or not. the Translation is god awful, really ruined my enjoyment of a game that's basically all reading.

  • cleared 9/9/2017 - 2 points (backlog Bonus)- Boy indie games from 2011 was a different era. A lot of this game feels cheap and frankly wouldn't fly today. At least the music was good.

  • cleared 9/17/2017 - 2 points- While I'm tempted to give myself credit for 100% achievements since there are some broken on Steam there is one cheevo I'm not sure I would have unlocked.

  • cleared 9/18/2017 - 1.5 points (100% achievements) - I'm not crazy about how many themes of Limbo it rehashes but Inside is such a nice refinement I can forgive it that. Gorgeous production

  • cleared 9/20/2017 - 1 point

  • cleared 10/01/2017 - 1.5 points

  • cleared 10/09/2017 -1 point

  • cleared 10/10/2017 - 1.5 points

  • cleared 10/14/2017 - 2 points (backlog bonus)

  • cleared 12/1/2017 - 1 point

  • cleared 12/28/2017 - 1 point

  • cleared 12/31/2017- 1 point

    Can you even really beat SFV? I beat Story mode so I guess I'll count it.