GHG’s 1-month anniversary

As with any new goal, hitting the 1-month mark is a good feeling. It makes getting to future milestones — 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, even 5 years — that much more achievable. When I set out to create this blog, I made a promise to myself that I would write for it every day, unless something absolutely prevented me from doing so. Even if nobody saw it, even if a post could be read out loud in one breath, at least I would know that I did what I set out to do.

Although I mentioned the other day that I was not a fan of statistics in college, I do like numbers and the stories they can tell. Via Word Stats, seeing the “14,139” total words written over the past month is cool. Several more months of this, and I’ll have enough words for a book or a few screenplays. Sometimes I think I should be putting my time into that sort of writing, but the way I see it, keeping at this blog could evolve into something bigger. Who knows? Whatever the future may hold, games are at the core of who I am and what I’ve done throughout most of my career, so it’s exciting to be putting my energy into something I love again.

The top 5 keywords for GHG are: game(s), like, time, overall, and great. It comes as no surprise that I use the words “game” and “games” too much in my posts, and I do struggle with that! It seems redundant since this is a gaming blog, but it tends to get typed a lot, so I’ll have to keep a closer eye there. Same goes for the others. I read everything out loud before publishing to help with clarity, flow, and readability, and some days are more successful than others. Coffee and sleep do make a big difference. Looking back on some of my posts makes me cringe, but I see those as valuable lessons on what to avoid for future updates.

In closing, thanks for visiting and reading GHG, as well as for the support you’ve shown on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. You can find and follow me on any of those by clicking on the icons in the upper-right corner of the site.

Here’s to month 2!


I’m getting too old for this…

Warning: Mild spoilers ahead.

Shadow MitsuoSo I’ve been playing Persona 4 Portable (P4G) this week, and am in the Void Quest dungeon. Up to this point, the game hasn’t been all that difficult, and actually, most mob battles are too easy since you can gain advantage every time and Rise will tell you the weaknesses of most enemies. As a result, they rarely get a chance to take their turn.

But this guy, Shadow Mitsuo, is a different story. The difficulty spike almost seems like a mistake. I’ve now been wiped out by him 5 times using different party setups, and each of those battles has lasted approximately 30-60 minutes. Looking online yields a couple suggestions: Grind more or fuse the Black Frost Persona. Well, grinding’s out since it’s terrible here. Battles aren’t fast and painless like they are in Bravely Default or Dragon Quest. As for fusing Black Frost, I don’t have the money to buy back the 5 Personas required for this, so that brings me back to grinding, or getting lucky with Shuffle Time. Talk about a lose-lose situation.

I don’t mind difficult games, and in fact, some of the hardest games I’ve ever played rank among my favorites. I did everything in Super Meat Boy, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Rayman Origins, Super Hexagon, and others. The thing is, a game needs to be fun. This? It makes me want to throw my Vita out the window.

p4g_difficultyAs the great Bill Cosby once said about getting older, “After a while, you learn what you want to burn your energy on.” That’s so true when it comes to games. If it ceases being fun, you either have to find a way to make it enjoyable again or move on. The thing is, I’m not ready to leave. I really like the game’s story, characters, world, and music, and want to see it through to its end.

Being close to 40 hours in, do I put in the work to get my party battle-ready, or just start over on Very Easy to focus on the more personal simulation aspects of the game?

A tough decision draws near. Command?


The Backlog Blitz

A few years ago, I realized that I was buying way too many games. Actually, this has been true for at least the past two decades, and well, I’ve known it all along. I mean, it’s very easy to amass a large collection of games than you have yet to play. With so many weekly deals, holiday specials, and peer pressure from your friends, it’s not hard to give in. Even if you make a cutoff for yourself — say, nothing older than the 16-bit generation or nothing more than $20 — you still end up with dozens (if not hundreds!) of titles in your queue.

Enter the Backlog Blitz. Originally conceived on my favorite gaming forum NeoGAF¬†as a way for members to focus on playing games they own, this has become my preferred way to track what I’m buying, playing, and finishing.

How does it work? It’s simple: Each purchase counts as a -1, and each game played or completed counts as a +1. The goal is to stay in positive territory as much as possible. I don’t include gifts or freebies, and bundles count as single purchases. You also don’t have to finish a game to get a +1, especially if you’re not enjoying it.

+12 for the year so farThis is the third year tracking my progress. The first year (2012) wasn’t pretty. I ended up with an overall score of -36. Those Steam, GoG, and Humble Bundle holiday sales destroyed me! That was also the year I bought a Nexus 7, so I went a little overboard on Google Play.

In 2013, I did much better and finished the year with a +3. That’s cutting it close, but I was pretty happy with the results, and was thankful that the Steam holiday sale offerings were more or less a repeat of 2012’s.

2014 has been a good year so far, and I’m at +12 right now. I’m slipping a little bit in April, but that should be remedied soon as I wrap up Batman: Arkham Origins on PC and Persona 4 Golden on Vita.