Saturday, December 29, 2018

The Queue

Due to the largesse of my brother (thanks, Andrew!), I have received three brand-spankin'-new games. In addition to being fun new things for me to play, these also push me above a milestone: I now own over 100 games on Steam. (A not-insignificant number of which hail from the same dedicated gift-giver.)

People who play a lot of games often bemoan the state of their queue: the number of unplayed games they have accumulated, potentially forming a source of dread rather than joy. Those of who grew up in an era when games invariably cost $50 apiece are predisposed to reckless acquisition when the notorious Steam Sales offer a panoply of desirable games for single-digit prices.

That said, in recent years I've attempted to tamp back on the habit somewhat: putting off buying new games until I've finished ones I want to play, periodically reviewing my queue of unplayed games, and, perhaps most crucially, avoiding my favorite genre, epic role-playing games that can demand hundreds of hours to complete. "In the time it would take me to complete Dragon Star XIV: The Endarkening, I could complete ten non-RPG games!" I whisper quietly to myself as a single tear rolls down my cheek.

Anyways: For no particular reason other than this snazzy new Steam badge, here is the current state of my Steam queue at the end of 2018, after 12 years on the platform.

Games I Have Completed

Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition
Doki Doki Literature Club
Pillars of Eternity
80 Days
2064: Read Only Memories*
Analogue: A Hate Story
Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear
Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition
BioShock Infinite [incl. various DLC]
Cultist Simulator
Dragon Age: Origins - Ultimate Edition
Dreamfall Chapters
Europa Universalis III
Fallout 3 - Game of the Year Edition
Fallout: New Vegas**
Half-Life 2**
Hate Plus
Her Story
Highway Blossoms
Ladykiller in a Bind
Life is Strange: Before the Storm
Life is Strange
Mass Effect
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Princess Remedy in a World of Hurt
Remember Me
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Sam & Max 104: Abe Lincoln Must Die!
Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut
Shadowrun: Hong Kong - Extended Edition
Shadowrun Returns
Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth
Sid Meier's Civilization IV**
Sid Meier's Civilization V
South Park: The Stick of Truth
Sunless Sea
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit
The Binding of Isaac
The Cat Lady
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The Longest Journey
The Red Strings Club
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt**
Torment: Tides of Numenara
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines

Games I Have Started And Expect To Complete

The Lord of the Rings Online

Games I Have Started And May Not Complete

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Dishonored 2
Divinity: Original Sin
Jagged Alliance 2 Gold [I think this is my oldest unfinished game, at about 11 years since my last attempt.]
Lone Survivor: The Director's Cut
Mirror's Edge
On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode One
Saints Row 2
Sorcery! Parts 1 & 2
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
The Witcher: Enhanced Edition
Wasteland 2: Director's Cut

Games I Have Not Started But Plan To

Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
FTL: Faster Than Light
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
Night in the Woods
Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition***
The Next BIG Thing
VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action

Games I Have Not Started And Do Not Plan To

Bully: Scholarship Edition
Disciples II: Gallean's Return
Disciples II: Rise of the Elves
Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga
Divinity II: Developer's Cut
Left 4 Dead 2****
On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode Two
Super Meat Boy
Team Fortress 2
Wasteland 1 - The Original Classic

*: Played the original release version, no plans to replay the expanded version.
**: Includes various DLC, which I think may contribute towards the 100 total? I have played most of the DLC for these games.
***: I finished a pre-Steam version of this, but have not played since purchasing here.
****: Why do I own this???

I'll try and clean up this list and maybe add a bunch more links later. Looking this over, a few random thoughts:

I may be overly optimistic on the games I intend to play. Then again, looking over that section, each individual item in it should be pretty reasonable.

This probably goes without saying, but there are a couple of games that I've completed which I enjoy less than games I haven't. I hate-played through much of Shadow of Mordor; on the other hand, I was very gripped by Divinity: Original Sin and Wasteland 2 before I got derailed in my playthroughs (by life in the former case, by a game-breaking bug in the latter). Likewise, I'm genuinely interested by several of the games I don't plan to start. It's just a brutally honest self-assessment of what I'm likely to accomplish.

Indie games seem overrepresented in the "started but will not finish" section. I generally enjoyed these games a lot, but when I reach a platforming puzzle or 2D fight that's overly difficult for me, I tend to put them aside, move on to other things, and never come back.

On the whole, I'm pretty happy with the breakdown. I've completed more games than not. And for all my earlier bellyaching about long RPGs, that genre is very well represented in the "finished" column.

Edit: I only have a couple of multiplayer games on here, which are hard to fit into these categories. Or would be, if I actually played them at all! I've moved LOTRO to the "Games I Have Started And Expect To Complete" category. I haven't posted about it lately, but I'm currently at Edoras, with a level in the high 70s, and am vaguely thinking I'll eventually make it to the endgame. In the action-multiplayer category, I have some hours logged in both Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead 2, but upon further reflection this was probably just to get their trading cards, I don't remember actually playing any matches, so I've moved them to "Do Not Plan To Play".

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