Monday, 4 January 2016

Hello, 2016!

So, here we are again, Happy New Year! Things have been absolutely manic here at work over the last couple of months, as evidenced by the number of posts here. As such, I can't really remember much of the games I've been playing, but I'm looking forward to getting back into them. I think I was about half way through Turok, but I've no idea really how long it is. In TR3 I'd made a start on the first of the three 'world' areas, so still quite a way to go there.

Last year was a bit of an odd one in many ways, and this year is starting similarly. In blog related news, there's been one change that means I'll have a bit more regular time to try and get through some more of the backlist. In other news, the backlist has grown something rotten. About half way through the year I decided to just sod it and buy a bunch of bundles...and got a bit carried away. So...I haven't looked at the numbers yet, but I'm expecting it to be a bit crazy - as in, really crazy. This year, as always, the plan is to buy less and play more!

Last year was also the year of the new computer - it seems like ages ago now that all that happened. Touch wood - so far, it's been brilliant, no complaints at all. Windows 10 was a bit of a gamble over 7, but it seems to be okay so far. I hope I'm still saying that when I've had a few Win 95 games to try - though Turok worked straight off, which surprised me. It hasn't struggled to play anything yet - but then, I've hardly been throwing the most demanding games its way. Saying that, also on the hardware front I got my Steam controller and streaming box this year. I've only really been using it to play Lego games with my son on weekends, but it's had no problems playing those and streaming them downstairs. In fact, with the new PC and ability to stream to the living room, the poor PS3 barely got a look in last year. I played the new(ish) Tomb Raider on it, but other than that, it's pretty much only been used for iPlayer - how the mighty have fallen! That is one thing that I'd like to try and pick up a bit more on this year and get through some PS3 games, as I have a horrible feeling Sony will switch off the PS3 Plus servers before too long, taking all of my games with it! On that note, it's time to look at the numbers...

This time last year we started out with:
   Done: 396
   Total: 3727
   Completed: 10.6%

Here's where we stand at the start of 2016:
   Done: 462
   Total: 4070
   Completed: 11.3%

Which means, for all you maths fans out there, my totals for the year were:
   Done: 66
   Total: 343
   Completed: 0.7%

So, not quite what I was expecting. That means I actually finished around 20 games less last year than the year before, and bought about 60 games more. About 30 of those new games are from bundles and Steam sales in the past week, so that hasn't increased as much as I thought. In reality check terms, 66 games done is still a lot - and, as always, many of those are games that didn't work, or games that I only scratched the surface of before moving on. Also, 343 new games is an absolutely ridiculous number, especially as the vast majority of it is things that I probably didn't even want that were part of bundles. Case in point - I bought a bundle this morning because it included one game that was in my wishlist, and received another 12 games that I'd never even heard of, let alone wanted. Ah, I'm an idiot (NB: yes, I'm counting those into my 2015 purchases, so 2016 hasn't been sullied yet!).

Of the games I played last year, there were a few notables. The original Tomb Raider was great to go back to. It still holds up remarkably well, and I thought it compared favourably with the new Tomb Raider, which I played at the same time. I also played through the Marathon games, which I was looking forward to after hearing a lot about them. They were fun, but definitely began to drag on towards the end. In terms of surprises, Die by the Sword was really enjoyable. Looking back on it, that's maybe more because it was just fun rather than being a particularly brilliant game, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I also played through a couple of real indie gems from the first wave of the indie explosion - Limbo and World of Goo, and both were fantastic. They really illustrate why Indie was such a big thing back then when these games burst out, even though the term has since become a bit diluted by all of the tripe appearing on Steam every 5 seconds. In terms of disappointments, I think the biggest ones were the Tintin games. Man, I love Tintin, but the games were such an exercise in frustration. Ugh, it makes me come over all peculiar just thinking about them. Other moments of keyboard-flinging frustration came with The Lost Vikings - may they remain lost for many more years to come; and Codename Iceman, of which the less said the better. So, a few stars and a few turkeys - all very Christmassy. I look forward to playing through a few more games this year and, who knows, maybe even sticking to a few new year's resolutions! Happy New Year to one and all, and I hope 2016 brings more happiness and free time!

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