Sunday, 21 July 2013

Project: Create - Day 20

For Day 20 of Project: Create 2013, I decided to write another entry for my Giant Bomb blog. It's by far one of my proudest achievements as a writer, a little corner of the internet that I've cultivated for the last five years and managed to fill with over 260 individual write-ups to date. My latest blog post is just a quick recap on some of the games I've been playing recently, as I wanted to clarify (more to myself than others) which ones to drop and which ones to pursue. I've copied the blog and embedded it below, but if you'd prefer to read the original version on Giant Bomb, you can do so here. A text-only version follows.


Cleaning The Slate

The last month or so has felt pretty stagnant for me games-wise. In a move that's more reminiscent of me five years ago than me right now, I've been wanting to start a lot of games, attempting to start quite a few of them, and not finishing any of them. I've ended up with a few games that currently stand unfinished, a couple of which I've lost all desire to play. This blog is an attempt to clear my gaming slate, by drawing a line under some of those games and vowing to tackle the others with renewed vigour. I'll begin at the most obvious place...

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Readers of this blog will be aware that back in May I embarked on a quest to play through every canonical Metal Gear game as part of a Metal Gear Madness challenge. Peace Walker is the eighth and final game of the challenge, but try as I might, I just can't muster the will to keep playing it. It's not that it's a bad game - quite the opposite, I think it's one of the best games in the series. Its gameplay is an awesome evolution of the micro-management concept debuted in Portable Ops, and its position in the series' overarching narrative makes it a very interesting game to follow story-wise. I just... don't want to play it any more. I think I'm just all Metal Gear-ed out right now, having played seven other titles in the stealth-action series back-to-back. I've made it up to the point where Snake fights the third AI weapon (the Cocoon?), but just cannot bring myself to play any further. I'll probably return to it and play through the remainder of the game before the year is out, but right now I just want to put it down and forget about it for a month or two. Apologies to anybody who was awaiting the final instalment of the Metal Gear Madness blog series, but you're going to have to wait a little longer.

Pokémon LeafGreen Version
I started playing Pokémon LeafGreen back at the end of April, with a view to gradually working my way through an adventure in every region from the franchise before Pokémon X&Y are released in October. I kept up my Pokémon training alongside the first few Metal Gear games in the first half of May, but my commitment slowly began to taper off until I put the game down in mid-May, and I haven't returned to it since. Right now my team of level 50-something first-generation Pokémon are sitting on the steps of the Indigo League HQ, braced to face the Elite Four, and as yet I haven't taken the plunge and stepped through those hallowed doors. Right now I'm in two minds as to how to re-approach LeafGreen. One option, the sane option, is to turn the DS back on, pretend the two-month hiatus never happened, lay waste to the Elite Four and watch the credits roll. The other, much less sane option is to start my adventure from scratch and train a whole new bunch of critters from the Kanto region. The first option is the most likely, and it probably won't be long before I take that plunge and add LeafGreen to the list of games I've beaten this year. Then I can comfortably move on to SoulSilver and have some fun in Johto.

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
It's incredible to think that my on-again, off-again relationship with this game has been going on for around a year now. It was either late summer or early autumn that I turned to Final Fantasy Tactics Advance to scratch my strategy RPG itch, and even though I've sunk around sixty hours into it, I'm still quite a way from the end. Recently I've been feeling my desire to get back into it return, so I'm sure it won't be long before I rejoin Marche, Montblanc and the rest of Clan Gaslight on their adventures in Ivalice. I think I'm about two thirds of the way through the main story missions, with about 130 of the game's 300 missions completed. Hopefully another twenty hours or so will finally see me able to cross this off my Pile of Shame after all these years.

Saints Row 2
I won't beat around the bush here - the primary reason I'm playing this game is because of Ryan. One thing that's been nagging at me since I heard the news is the memory of his voice on pretty much every Bombcast of late 2011 saying, "You should play Saints Row The Third!". So I bought the Full Package edition for my PS3, but I've run into some problems with the console overheating and have had to put the game on hold, at least until this unbearable heatwave is over. Unable to play SR3, I've instead fallen back on Saints Row 2, which I own for the 360. It feels a lot closer to my memories of the original Saints Row than the opening hour or so of SR3 did, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I've taken over about two thirds of Stilwater at this point, having crushed the Ronin and nearly finished dealing with the Sons of Samedi. It's an exercise in silliness and mindlessness, but there's no denying that causing wanton destruction on such a large scale is damn fun. At this rate I anticipate I'll be done with SR2 within the next week or so. Hopefully by then the heatwave will have passed, and I'll be able to play my PS3 again.

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So that's where I'm at games-wise right now. My immediate plan is to drop Peace Walker for the time being and focus on Saints Row 2. In the meantime I'll probably wrap up the unfinished business in Pokémon LeafGreen and then swap it for Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, which I may even start taking to work and playing on my lunch breaks. When all that's done and dusted, I'll be able to consider my slate clean (or at least significantly less messy than it is right now). I realise this is a blog written primarily for my own benefit, but if any of you have stuck around long enough to reach this point, then you have my thanks for reading it. Take it easy, Giant Bomb, and I'll see you around.

...Oh, and while I remember, there's one more loose end to tie up:

This is coming back, very very soon.

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