Gamer Motivation Profile

I was tagged for this wonderful survey by MagiWasTaken over at Indiecator. I always find these types of things interesting even if they end up telling me things I already know. This particular one made me think less about why I play games (spoiler: they’re fun) and more about how I play games.

What are the Results? Share the link, headline and two motivation model graphs you received.

Without further ado, I present to you the Action-Oriented, Spontaneous, Relaxed, Social, and Creative gamer. Now say that ten times fast…

Primary Motivations

Motivation 1

 

Secondary Motivations

Motivation 2

 

How do you feel about your survey results?

Nothing surprises me from the primary motivations. If you would have given me a list of those motivations and told me to rank them you’d get the same result. Reading a little deeper into those motivations it seems like a list of answers to “How would your friends describe you?”

The secondary motivations were more interesting for me. Note the 72% in destruction. I don’t consider myself a destructive person. My immediate gut reaction was ” That’s weird I don’t go out of my way to destroy things in games.” But then I thought about it some more and I do tend to blow things up when I play with friends but not so much on my own. Which leaves me to wonder if how these motivations change when we’re talking about single player and multiplayer. There’s a blog post just waiting to happen…

Which Category is the Most and which one is the least accurate?

And the award for most accurate category goes to…Social (76%)!

Probably not much of a surprise there if you’ve been reading this blog lately. Most posts are revolve around some multiplayer experience. And that’s because the majority of my gaming time is spent with other people. Don’t get me wrong, I like single-player games and just finished a long one. But given the choice between playing a game by myself or with a friend nine times out of ten, I’ll opt to play with a friend.

The least accurate is going to be the Story sub category under Immersion. I would have expected to score higher. The story is one of those things that will keep me playing even if I don’t like the gameplay as much. Sometimes an interesting story is one thing I’ll go outside of my usual gaming comfort zones for. The Last Door for example.

Are there any major exceptions to your typical gaming motivations?

The way this survey defines achievement leads me to get a very low score. A) I’m not a completionist because that would drive me insane. B) I’m not a min maxer because that takes away some of my personal fun. But I feel like 16% for Achievement is low. I’d expect more of a score around 50%. I’m task-oriented so checking off boxes bring s me great joy.  I always have some sort of goal in mind when I’m playing a game. I’ll spend large chunks of my free time grinding for cosmetics.

Hey, wait a minute…

For gamers who score high on Design, this may mean collecting costumes and mounts in games like World of Warcraft.

I rest my case, Achievement should be higher than 18%.

Do any of these motivations carry over to your non-gaming life?

This is weird for me as I don’t really think of myself as a social person but I’d say the Social motivation as it’s described here motivates me in life as well. I love being part of a team, helping others to achieve goals, and doing stuff with friends. I get no enjoyment interacting with large groups of people in my free time but I’d rather hang out with a few of my good friends than be by myself most of the time

Which games in your experience best satisfy your gaming motivations and how do they compare to the suggested games list from the questionnaire’s follow up page?

I’ve played most of the games on the first page of the recommendations so I take that as a good sign. Warframe, FFXIV, Guild Wars 2, Elder Scrolls Online, Overwatch, Destiny. The one oddball there is Ark: Survival Evolved. I understand why it’s there, I have high creativity and action, so a base building game with dinosaurs and guns is a natural conclusion…The thing is, my creativity doesn’t go much farther than how my character looks and maybe some house decorating. The whole “let’s build a structure out of blocks/pieces” has never appealed to me.

If I take this as 100% accurate, this is what motivates me as a gamer, it would finally explain why I have 700 hours in Trove. It’s flashy and fast(Action), it’s multiplayer (Social), it’s got plenty of character customization (Creativity), and it’s not very hard (Mastery)!

 

Tag, You’re It

I don’t often do a lot of self-reflection so this ended up taking way longer to fill out than I thought.  If you see this and you’re like “Hey that looks like fun!” Consider yourself tagged. I’ll warn you though, I had this nagging feeling that I was doing a homework assignment filling out these questions.

Hero Siege Season 9

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Hero Siege is a game constantly in flux. Every season/ major update seems to change the way the game is played drastically. It happens often enough that I find my self coming back to a completely different game each time I come back. Sometimes those changes are good so times not so much.  You can find the patch notes here.

Now I will admit that I didn’t enjoy season 8 that much. I got into climbing the wormhole ladders in season 6, season 7 had a new class to play around with, but when season 8 launched there were changes that made the game feel too different so I put it down. It’s been. Looking back through the patches, season 8 was only last September so it’s about 6 months since I played. We took last night to get through all 7 acts on normal difficulty to see some of the changes. This time around I’m playing the Shaman which is a class I’ve tried to play before but didn’t end up sticking with it for the long term.

Let’s start with the best and most notable change. The enemy sprites and the redone maps look fantastic. It’s nice to see that the visuals in the game are still being worked on and updated. Along with this there has been improvements to enemy AI and behavior. I haven’t noticed much of a change but I’ve only spent time on normal difficulty so far.

One of the major changes in this season is the addition of Ring, belt, and potion slots. More gear for those stats is always better right? They’ve done away with the random potion pickups that either gave a positive or negative stat boost until you died. Now, potions are an equitable item that provides utility on a cool down. So far I’ve seen potions that heal, replenish mana, give a shield, and give a speed boost. It’ll be interesting to see if there are potions that provid more than one type of utility.

You can save up to 3 load-outs now. Helpful not having to remember which piece of gear went with what build. I can’t say I’d use this option too often but I might find a use for it.

XP bonuses on items have been reduced. Maybe now I won’t out level the people I’m playing with by 20 levels in the same session.

There are elemental resistances as well as physical resistance stats now. I’ve never liked resistances and don’t usually pay attention to them unless it’s necessary to do damage or stay alive.

An herbalism profession has been added. I know there was mining before but I didn’t play enough when it was added to understand what it was for. I’ve tried some mining, it’s a mini-game where you time attacks to mine an ore vein. I haven’t run into the herbalism nodes yet.

My least favorite change after returning this time is there are no longer mini-bosses that spawn at the end of each zone. The gameplay loop used to kill the enemy spawns until a bar filled up to spawn the mini-boss. Kill the mini boss, get some relics, and move on to the next zone. Playing last night, it looks like that’s been replaced with just finding the portal to the next zone. I’m not even sure you have to kill any enemies at all. There are now Grim Reaper statues that appear on some maps that will spawn the mini-bosses now.

Now, Like I said earlier I haven’t played Hero Seige in 6 months so I have no idea when this changed. But it’s a big enough change that the game feels off for me. There have always been these mini-bosses. Most of the time you’d kill them fast enough that they wouldn’t matter but sometimes they’d get the jump on you and add a little variety to the combat. Now that they aren’t there, it’s mostly killing little enemies as fast as possible for loot and finding the exit as fast as possible to get to the act boss. Maybe I’ll get used to it but maybe I won’t it’s hard to say right now. I think I’ll definitely need another play session or two before I make my decision to stick with the game this time around.

 

Backlogged: Tales of Berseria

Time to Finish: 49 hours

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This is the second 40+ hour RPG I’ve beaten this year. I can’t tell you the last time I put 2 of these away so quickly, relatively speaking. I think the last long RPG I played before Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning earlier this year was Tales of Zesteria in 2018.

Tales of Berseria is the prequel to Tales of Zesteria. Besides being set in the same world, a few character cameos, and one re-occurring character, you wouldn’t know it. Tales of Berseria is it’s own game even if you didn’t play Zestiria. That said, I’m glad I played Zestiria first because the little references here and there were fantastic.

Things I Liked:

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The Story: The story is long. It involves a lot of characters. It has so many moving parts. It’s engaging but it’s not overly complex. The main thread is that Velvet’s brother was sacrificed to a god by her sister’s husband, Arthur, to “save” the world. Velvet got turned into a demon and Arthur became the Sheperd, the savior of the world.  Velvet’s single motivation throughout the game is to kill Arthur to avenge her brother. Along the way she meets a cast of characters with their own goals that line up in a way that helps her reach her goal.

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The Skits: Everything in Tales of Berseria is voice acted and its voice acted well. There are optional “skits” that pop up everywhere. The skits are usually banter between the party or an event that serves nothing more than a bit of fluff. But these skits are what I like most about Berseria.  I get to know the characters better through these inane conversations and it never feels like a waste of time. There’s also voiced NPC conversations that do nothing more than provide a little flavor to the world. I stopped to listen to each one and I never regretted it.

The Characters: In the beginning, I liked the characters but I didn’t think they were as good as the cast of Tales of Zestiria. As I got further into the game I started to like them more. By the end of the game, I genuinely will miss spending time with these characters. Which is exactly how I felt at the end of Zestiria.

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The Combat: In Zestiria, the attacks were on the face buttons of the controller and on the D-Pad meaning you could have 16 attacks on each face button depending on which directional button you pressed. Tales of Berseria has attacks mapped to the face buttons which leaves you with 4 per button. It’s simpler and some might say that’s a bad thing. I found it easier to remember combos and which attacks were coming next. I enjoyed it more because I had a better grasp of what I was doing and I wasn’t just mashing buttons and hoping I was hitting the right attacks.

 

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Things That Could Have Been Better:

The Mastery System: The first time I tried to start this game I completely missed how this system worked. This second time around I actually read the tutorial and its not your typical RPG armor system. Each piece of equipment has a mastery bar. When filled it gives a permanent stat to that character. If multiple characters can wear that piece of armor then each character has to master it. This leads to a ton of swapping armor around characters for the stats and also leaves you equipping much lower level gear for the stats. I felt like I was constantly having to equip weaker items and that just didn’t make sense to me. Even at the end of the game, I was picking up items that were worse than what I was wearing. The final dungeon I equipped everything with the highest stats and disregarded the mastery system.

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Some Interesting Statistics:

There are these titles you can unlock when certain requirements are met and some of the requirements provide some interesting stats I’ve never seen before.

Skits Viewed: 361 – I watched as many of these as I could I knew there were a lot but that was a much higher number than I would have guessed.

Total Encounters: 750 – This is the number of times I was in combat. First of all, how great is it that it’s a nice even number. Second, that’s a much lower number than I would have guessed.

Battle Time: 405 minutes – Out of 49 hours I was in combat for 7 of them. Each battle lasting around 1.5 minutes

Menu Time: 265 minutes – This is the one stat I’ve never seen before nor gave much thought to. Out of 49 hours of gameplay, I was in the menu for 4 and a half hours. I wonder how much of the time I spend in the menus of other games…

Here’s the kicker if you add up the battle time and menu time you see just how much of this game is watching cutscenes and running around. 11 hours of the 49 hours were spent in battle and making decisions in the menu. That leaves 38 hours of cutscenes and world exploration. I can tell you I definitely spent far more time in cutscenes than running around. And I’m ok with that. It gave this game feel very much like binging a good TV show.

 

I Should Have Known Better…

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I had every intention of finishing up Tales of Berseria yesterday. I was 38 hours in and I felt like I was getting close to the end. All the plot points were wrapping up, I was doing a lot of backtracking through areas I’d been to before, and the cut scenes were getting more dramatic.

About an hour and a half in I was getting “end game boss soon” vibes. I must have forgotten I was playing JRPG…2 hours of playtime after that, I was tasked with hunting down a bunch of stuff, awakening some gods, fighting some more characters, and running all over the world again to do it. The more I tried to push the story the more stuff there was to do.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed my time with Tales of Berseria, but I wanted to see how the story ends. A lot of what I was doing in the final act wasn’t mere padding, it was touching more on the side characters backstories some more which I like about this game. I just didn’t expect it to take so long to do.I pushed on, determined to beat the game.

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Right around the 46 hour mark I had actually wrapped all of the character’s story arcs except our main character Velvet. I had summoned 4 gods so I could fight a fifth god for the fate of humanity. I was ready for the final battle. I stepped into the final area and was met with a multi-floor puzzle dungeon. I decided to put the controller down and do something else with the rest of my Saturday.

I came back to it fresh this morning to complete the final dungeon. When I played Tales of Zesteria, I rushed the final dungeon dodging all the encounters between me and the final boss.  That wasn’t such a great plan. The final boss rocked my under-leveled world so hard I had to drop the difficulty to do any damage. So I took my time leveling up. I may have gone a bit overboard but it was worth. I felt like the final fight had a good level of difficulty. In all, it took 3 hours to see the credits roll. Leaving my total playtime at 49 hours.

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When it was all over I had mixed feelings. The story was great and I wanted to see it’s conclusion but part of me didn’t want the game to end. After spending almost 50 hours with these characters I’m going to kind of miss them. I felt the same way after Zestiria. There is a little part of me that wants to start up a new game plus but the rational part of me knows it’s time to move on to a different and much shorter game.

Dungeons and Dragons in Quarantine

I’ve been a part of a weekly D &D group for a year and a half now. Friday nights are reserved for our campaign and we’ve more or less kept that schedule since I’ve joined. I met this particular group through an old workplace. At one point or another, everyone in the group was or still is working there. It used to be a great outlet for discussing frustrations at work but now it’s much more a way to keep in touch with friends I otherwise wouldn’t have.

Before the pandemic, we were in the middle of one of our longest Pathfinder campaigns since I’ve joined. It’s been going strong since last summer. Now that we’re in quarantine, we’ve decided to bring in a few more players and start a D & D 5e campaign.

It turns out, the online tools out there are much better suited for 5e than Pathfinder. Sure, you can make Pathfinder work within tools like Roll20 but there are much better tools and support for 5e.

Case in point, for Pathfinder we’ve been using open-source software called PCGen to create and keep track of our characters. PCGen works for what it’s intended for but there’s a lot of set up and finagling to get it to do what you want. When I first installed it, I had to hunt down an unstable beta version to be able to use the sources I wanted for my character.

For 5e we’re using D&D Beyondwhich is a more streamlined and polished tool. Unlike PCGen, source access is limited to the books you’ve bought. Luckily, only one person needs to own the books and host a campaign for everyone in the campaign to have access to it. Creating a character is a much more straight forward process. It also helps that the set up for a 5e character is simpler than a Pathfinder character as well.

Since our character sheets are on D&D Beyond were able to use the Beyond 20 chrome extension to integrate with Roll20. This allows you to click on a skill, spell, save, and attack and will automatically roll with the correct modifiers in Roll20. It makes rolling painless and way more efficient which speeds up play. And let’s face it, rolling virtual dice is no substitute for rolling real dice.

There’s Roll 20 itself, which is a fantastic tool. I’ve used it for other online sessions in the past. My DM has been working very hard to create the same level of detail and maps he has for our in-person games. It’s working out very well. One of the features we’ve been using that’s a real game-changer is Dynamic Lighting on the maps. For one, you can only see what your character can see. So if you’re in a dark cave and don’t have Darkvision or a torch you don’t see anything. What makes it really interesting is depending on your position you can see enemies you party members otherwise can’t. It’s definitely a feature that can only be used online but it’s a game-changer.

All that said, I miss our in-person sessions. Online sessions just don’t have the same vibe when you’re used to having six people around a table playing around with miniatures. But it is better than nothing and just different enough that it’s an interesting experience all on its own.

Five Favorite Game Series

This topic has been traveling around the various blogs I follow this week. Krikket, Naithin, Paeroka,  and Roger have all shared their favorite series.

When thinking about series there are two that jumped out immediately to me: Pokemon and Monster Hunter. But for the reamiaing three, I really had to think about it. Games in a series were not coming to my mind mostly because I was thinking in terms of 1,2,3, ect. I haven’t played many games with that kind of numbering other than Borderlands. Borderlands is far from my favorite game let alone series. Then I realized, a lot of game series don’t have a numbering scheme. You might say this should have dawned on me when I identified Pokemon and Monster Hunter as a favorite series…..

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Pokemon

I have nothing but good memories associated with Pokemon. Growing up it was THE game to play an THE show to watch. Friends, family, neighbor kids, we all came together to trade, battle, and brag to each other about our pokemon. Years later I still enjoy the series. I’ve picked up every mainline game and have beaten each one at least once. Except for Pokemon Sun, I own it but have yet to play through it. I’m not one to grind much post game but I love running through the campaign and beating all the gym leaders.

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Pokemon Mystery Dungeon

I like the way Pokemon Mysetery dungeon takes a familiar IP and does something completely different with it. Instead of being about humans collecting pokemon and battling them, it’s about pokemon collecting pokemon and battling them!

Actually, it’s more of a rouge-lite dungeon crawler where pokemon aren’t nameless wildlife but actual characters. The writing has always been super questionable…more so than the mainline games but the gameplay is something I find very unique. I still have to finish the newly remastered version I own on the switch.

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Monster Hunter

In 2018 Monster Hunter: World released and took the gaming world by storm. But let me tell you, I’ve been hunting monsters since the PSP was a popular handheld. And yes, the control scheme was horrible with only one joystick!

Since then I’ve played all the Monster Hunter games I can get my hands on. I have never finished on in its entirety but I’ve put hundreds of hours into these things with friends over the years.

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Tales Of Series

I’ve played one and a half games in this series but I can tell you that I’ll be playing at least 2 more. That’s because there’s only 4 currently available on Steam. I love the mix of a flashy combat system and fantastic characters. What I enjoy most, at least in the games I’ve played, has their own goals and fairly deep backstory. Plus, each one plays completely different in combat which spices things up on grindy parts. I probably have an extreme bias as well because I’m currently in the middle of one of these games.

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Guild Wars

The original Guild Wars was the one. It took up all of my time for 4 years of high school. It was the only thing I played. I roped all of my friends into it which only made it more enjoyable. Skip ahead to 2012 when Guild Wars 2 released. I was in college and had only a laptop with an integrated graphics card. I ran Guild Wars 2 on the absolute lowest settings and got a solid 15 fps. But I stilled played the hell out of it. I’ve tried to revisit it multiple times but it never really struck me the same way the original did. I still love the world, the characters, and the lore and I’ll gladly play the next thing that comes out for this IP if it ever does.

 

 

Easily Swayed

 

WoWScrnShot_090719_103411.jpgIt’s that time of year again where I’m seeing lots of talk of World of Warcraft. Every time this comes around I end up logging in and playing through the 20 level trial and it’s usually enough to sate my interest. There was that time last year when I actually subbed to play around on WoW Classic. Which didn’t last very long

But generally, I hear about it, I have this intense desire to play. I play it and then I move on. I never get too deep into it and I never stick with it for very long. But here I am again, thinking about updating the launcher and run through the first 20 levels again.

This isn’t the only game I do this with. It happens all the time, especially with games that I already own but haven’t played in a while. This morning, I was listening to the Massively OP Podcast, and Guild Wars 2 was a big topic of discussion. I uninstalled Guild Wars 2 last year because it was eating up a lot of space and I hadn’t logged in in over a year. But all o a sudden, hearing good things about it made me want to download it and jump back in.

Part of the reason I’m playing Starbound again is that I have a friend who’s super excited about it. Part of the reason I even considered purchasing Hunt: Showdown or GTFO was because the people around me were so excited about it. I started playing Black Desert after talking to a co-worker who was gushing about it for weeks.

I don’t get hyped up from trailers or gameplay videos. I get excited hearing about other people being excited. That’s why I’ll read blogs about games I’ve never played and have no personal interest in playing. It’s why I tend to continue writing the “here’s what happened” blog posts.  It’s why I prefer blogs over all the other gaming media out there.

Morning Games

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I learned in high school that waking up at 5am to play Guild Wars before school was not a good idea. Getting up early left me tired and I found all I would think about throughout the day was playing the game. I also never had enough time to do the things I wanted to do. By the time I got settled into the game, it was time to get ready and catch the bus. Since then I’ve avoided playing games in the morning.

My wife started a new job at the beginning of the year and her schedule has her waking up at 5am on days she works. Sometimes I get up with her and that leaves me a lot of time between when she leaves for work and when I start work at 8am.

I was experimenting with what to do with this time in between. Obviously, one of the best uses of this time would be to write a blog post. Reading has also proven to be a good option. I’m actually on track to hit my goal of reading 15 books this year because of this. The thing is, when I get up so much earlier than my usual routine, I start to feel like it’s a day off. Then the cold reality of having to go to work sets in. Sometimes I find it hard to get motivated to go…

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Over the last few months, I’ve found that the sweet spot is waking up around 6 every day. It gives me enough time to do things in the morning but not so much time that I feel like it’s the weekend. I’m sure having a consistent schedule has also helped as well as I get used to having the time and needing to go to work. I’ve been trying to keep this schedule consistent while working from home. I’ll admit the first few days I totally woke up at 7:30 for my 8am start time. But without a commute, I have even more time in the morning.

Lately, I’ve been firing up Tales of Berseria and playing for an hour or so in the morning before switching my set up over to work mode. Since it’s linear and largely story-driven I always feel like I’m moving forward even if it’s just getting to the next set of cutscenes or skits. On normal, the combat system isn’t overly complex which makes combat flashy and enjoyable but not to difficult for my sleepy self.

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I find it strange that it’s easier to switch my mind over to work mode from my home desk than when I have to go into the office. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep this habit of playing a game before work after we’re able to go back to our offices. Who knows though, it may just be Tales of Berseria is the kind of game that lends itself well to being played for very little or a lot of time.

Of course, it would be more productive to use that time for blogging…

Now We’re Getting Somewhere

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Our adventures in Starbound continue. Most of our last session was spent in a mining facility looking for a special crystal to fix our ship. Much to my surprise, this mining facility looked like a designed level rather than procedurally generation.

It’s a good thing we found a few weapon caches on our first planet with some decent weapons. The enemies in the mining facility were fast and hit hard if you got too close. There was a much higher enemy density too making me wish I had found some more Molotov cocktails along the way.

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Much less of a surprise was the boss waiting for us at the bottom. It just felt like the kind of place a boss would be.  The fight involved pulling 4 switches and firing a gun at the bottom while dodging rays of death and spawning enemies. Typical boss things. I was rewarded with a very nice space spear that now two shots enemies on the planet we’re on.

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With the ship fixed we can now travel to different planets. I distinctly remember having to fuel my ship to move around the system in Early access. That usually meant cutting down a lot of trees because we all know spaceships are wood burning! It looks like that has since been removed and we are free to move around the system. It doesn’t look like we can leave the system as the FTL drive needs fuel which is found on moons. The problem with moons is they have no atmosphere so we can’t mine them until we craft something that lets us breathe in space.

The next quest is to scan Floran objects until we find enough clues to track down a Floran artifact. What’s a floran? Glad you asked: they’re Plant People! It looks like we have to scan enough objects to trigger the next part of the quest. The problem is finding them. I assume they’re on the only other planet in the system.

 

Lining up the Next 5

I’m still making an effort to play games from my Steam backlog. Back in February, I mapped out the next 5 games that I wanted to play from my Steam Library. I found this more useful than I intended it to be. Not only does it break up the big goal, clear out the Steam backlog, it also helped me pick games that I was interested in at the moment.

My original idea when I started this blog was to play games based on their average playtime: shortest to longest.  I knocked a bunch of sub-3-hour games out rather quickly. But I ran into an issue where the next game on the list just didn’t interest me at the time. With the shortlist of 5, I found that I was still interested in playing these games even when I got to the end of the list.

As of this morning, I’m 22 hours into Tales of Berseria. If this is anything like the previous game I’m about halfway through. With my current pace, I assume I’ll see the credits right around May. So I thought it’s about time for another list to work through.

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World to The West

I got this one back when I still subscribed to Humble Bundle monthly. I was 2 hours in apparently and even wrote a post about it. The last time I booted it up was April 2019. My, how things have changed since then. I’ve been on a bit of a colorful, cartoony, game kick lately and this will fit right in. Though you wouldn’t know it from my posts lately.

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Observer

I could have sworn I bought this last October but according to Steam, I bought it last July. I played about an hour and a half which I remember enjoying but never returned to play more. It’s been sitting on my desktop ever since and I think I’m about ready for a mystery/horror walking simulator type game.

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Outlast

This one I actually bought last October intending to play it right away. I never did get around to it. From what I’ve been told this is more of a horror game than Observer and it’s a pretty good one too.

Legend of Grimrock

I’ve started and stopped this game so many times I’ve lost count. Maybe that’s a sign I should just retire it…However, when I do play I always enjoy it. I’ve just not set aside enough time to learn the systems before getting distracted by something else. So I’m when it comes time to play this one, it’ll be the only single-player game I’ll have going.

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Pillars of Eternity

This is another game I have to put the time in to learn. I’ve played the first 2 hours a few times. The story is great but the combat is a bit intimidating and weird for me. Again, I’m putting this long RPG last on the list because I know I’ll need a break from the genre after Tales of Berseria.