At the start of the new year, it’s traditional to make a resolution that you hold yourself to for as long as you possibly can. It could be to exercise more, give up a certain habit or something more personal – and it’s often forgotten and dismissed after a few weeks . When 2015 was rung in I found myself without a resolution.
Actually, I was actually at the pub and rather inebriated, so if I did make a resolution I really can’t remember it. The next day I decided to do a bit of gaming in that rare instance where free time was there to be taken, and downloaded Octodad to see what it was all about. A few hours later I had completed the game and I remember thinking, “That is the first game I’ve completed in 2015.”
Then an idea came to me and next thing I knew I had logged that completion into a spreadsheet, along with the date and which platform it was played on. I can’t say what possessed me to do so at the time, but now I’m a bit thankful for it. You see I’m privileged in the sense that I get to play a lot of different games each year, but by the time the end of December rolls around I won’t always remember what I’ve played in the 12 months prior. It’s not always because some games are forgettable experiences but due to the sheer volume they just won’t be retained in my mind. This year is different, and it will also be a challenge to myself.
You see this has already grown to be more than keeping a log of games I’ve completed, and I’ve challenged myself to finish as many games as possible. I mean this in the sense of completing a story mode of a game, rather than 100% completion of a trophy list, because I don’t really go in for that side of games unless that game is something that is truly special to me. I reckon on average I may complete around 20 games a year, with many more joining the backlog that so many of us have.
Every year I tell myself I will eventually get a clean slate in my gaming library, where each new game I play isn’t at the expense of me ignoring one sitting on the shelf unfinished. This time I will do it, and I also recommend the idea to you. If you were to look at your game collection now, how many of those can you say you finished? If you notice quite a large number of unfinished titles it may be wise to play them, and return to experiences abandoned halfway because something newer came along. You might find something you hated before but like now, or vice versa. Keeping a log will also make your personal gaming habits more apparent to you too, which could help to a degree in narrowing down exactly what future releases you want.
Within the first week of January I’ve already managed to complete the stories of Valiant Hearts, Contrast, Octodad, and Escape Plan. Out of the four Valiant Hearts was definitely my favourite due to the nature of the story, but Octodad was surprisingly enjoyable for me once I had got used to the controls. I must admit that Escape Plan is exactly the type of game I would have forgotten by the end of the year, and when I do remember it now, it may not be too fondly due to a couple of the levels. The same could be said of Contrast, but this too has been logged on my completion list.
2015 is the year where I will look back to the games that I played but didn’t finish, and the ones that I bought but never even took out of the shrink wrap. That’s a lot of untapped gameplay hours, as well as money wasted, and it is time to tackle that mountain. It might also prove to be a nice little money saver to due to how limited my free gaming time really is, and if I’m trying to complete games bought previously I can enjoy the price drops when eventually picking up newer titles. I think a part of me also wants to complete the backlog as a final hurrah to the last gen, before fully committing to the new gen. I’m unlikely to buy a PS3 or Xbox 360 game again unless they’re exclusive to those platforms, so what better way to close that generation than to finish every game I ever got for them. This journey is all about creating new gaming memories from past titles.