Aha, finally a Think Piece for the masses! I know that you know that I know all about my backlog. Video games come out too often. Time doesn’t stop. *Sob*.
Backlog management has become a fairly large deal, especially to gamers who, like my old ass, have been around and missed some series growing up. Hell, I just got around to playing the first Metal Gear games a few years ago and those puppies are older than me in a series I’d kill to protect.
While I pride myself on completing what I start in all walks of life, I must admit that there are a handful of games I’ve sat down fully intending to finish but never have. I can blame life or whatever but the buck stops on my stoop: I bailed before the end. No excuses. This doesn’t mean I’ve beaten every other game I’ve ever touched. These are just the ones that got away that certainly should not have given my engagement with them.
To help rectify this, I wanted to put together my backlog of notorious Unbeatens and present them to you, whoever the hell you are. You’re now going to ride me into the dirt until I play and beat every single one of these titles. Never let me forget, nor look away. This is my Clockwork Orange theater scene.
Without anymore bluster, I present to you, the Unbeatens.
No other game has seen me try and fail more to finish it in my entire backlog. This is a shooter born of bullet-hell blood inside of a weird space odyssey crust, creating Dracula or something. It sucks – well, it sucks once you get to Jupiter, which is the second or third to last mission. Until then, the game is both challenging and tense with weapons you can attach to one of three places and these grand, mechanical-and-yet-somehow-alive boss fights.
In theory, I should be able to take on a 2D side-scrolling space shooter no problem. The issue is that the difficulty spike that hits in Jupiter is too much for even the game to handle. Enemies and projectiles overload the engine and disappear at will, quickly eating up any bank of lives. I’ve seen the last boss and level in their appropriately creepy, dark approximations of a human-hating machine, so I know there’s a way beyond.
Rest assured, I’ll find it and conquer this debt.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Yep, the guy who has an entire month based on this stealer of time and love doesn’t have a victory in the first game under his belt. My excuse here is that the damn game is boring, frankly. None of the stages grab me, very little of the music fills me with enough vigor to take Sonic on a date; this was the stale period of our marriage. Even Robotnik seems to phone it in compared to Sonic 2 and 3. All that is to say it’s probably a good thing I didn’t start my Sonic journey here.
Still, this is by far the closest of my backlog to completion as i’ve touched the ending. Matter of fact, ol’ Robo and I died at the exact same time on the last boss in my last run, frustrating that game into a 10-year hiatus. Time heals all wounds, you say?
I’ll never forget or forgive. I will, however, endure…
Toy Story (Genesis)
Look, don’t judge me and my list. Back when Mammoth Video (and my allowance) allowed for one Genesis game to come home for a few days a month, I’d take all comers. I beat that entire store’s worth of Genesis games – save for you, Toy Story.
You remember, don’t you? The playful way you’d tease me with victory only to shove Sid’s diabolical creations in my face and send me back to the start screen? I don’t recall it, no, why do you ask? Laces out, Woody. Laces out…
And I’m back. As far as slow, licensed platformers go, this one wasn’t too bad. I recall getting to the third act of the movie, which is a few levels after the Buzz boss fight and Pizza Planet. In any sense, I’ll take it on again and take down that bastard doll crab thing.
Splinter Cell (PS2/Gamecube)
So, I played Twin Snakes for the Gamecube, which was my first full swing at the Metal Gear Solid series, and fell in love. It was my all-night affair and I wanted more. Splinter Cell seemed like more thanks to that cover and a few reviews.
Unfortunately, I got it in my head that I absolutely had to finish it, so here I am, talking about a game I find lethargic and uninteresting. My hindsight glasses have shown me the core of the problem as a lack of interesting…anything surrounding Sam Fisher. Those stealth sequences absolutely demand perfection later on too.
The problem here just always felt like too heavy an emphasis on sound. If you made anything above a whisper, you were toast without many real recovery options. I suppose that makes Splinter Cell more realistic than Metal Gear Solid, but that did not equal more fun to me at the time.
As you can tell, I can’t…*sigh*…wait to dive into this one and give it a little CQC love.
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (Gamecube (F*ck the Wii one))
This is probably the saddest story I have behind a gaming misadventure. This was a Christmas request that I was beyond excited to finally receive. A day or two before the big day, I saw a purple bubble package beneath the tree with my name on it that looked exactly the size to contain a copy of Echoes. My Christmas morning plans were set, then and there.
Come Santa’s off day, I find that it was just a bunch of smaller gifts crammed into there. Christmas hopes, deleted.
It was fine, I had Christmas money! So I just bought the damn game and brought it home, finally bringing us together despite the shifting political climate of Christmas. I played it a lot. It was everything I was ready to have in my life again from the first Metroid Prime. Bliss on Earth to us all.
Until about 20 hours in when I ran into a game-breaking glitch with my single-save-file-having ass. That ripped the spirit right out of me.
Obviously God has something against me beating this one, but that’s fine. I’m a redhead. I’m used to not being in God’s good graces. I’ll just God proof my windows and ceiling, curl up tight in a satanic corner (am I the only one that has one of those?), and carry on!
These are the five left standing at the moment (although this is always in danger of changing). While you may think this a pretty short Think Piece this time around, I assure you, it will be the longest. My plan is to showcase my pain to you whenever I have time to play them with the rage in my heart through Youtube. I’m going to update this main article with video footage of death and hatred that is digital so everything’s fine, right?
Either way, come, tune in for the pain, won’t you?