Feb 1, 2018

Gaming So Far: January 2018

My gaming resolution heading into 2018 was to finally give up on my achievement obsession. Well, not specifically. It was more that I needed to stop limiting what I was playing based off of arbitrary numbers I had become obsessed with over the years. Needing to hit certain achievement totals and minestones were one thing, but the worst of it was my completion percentage. To clarify, mine isn't even great. It hovers just under 80% (this means I unlock roughly 80% of all achievements in all my games played on average), which I have been trying to get back to that number for the better of two years. It's importance to me has altered the way I play games to the point that I won't play a game that has a lot of achievements, out of fear it will lower my overall number. I stopped playing games that were more than 15-20 hours long, so I wouldn't feel overwhelmed trying to complete them with working full time. Hell, I even prevented myself from playing co-op games with my brother just in case we didn't have enough time for me to hit my numbers. It was killing gaming for me, slowly but surely. My gaming resolution was to stop this behavior.

I've always been someone that has played every game I could get my hands on, regardless of genre or reviews. I remember first getting a job at Gamestop, and checking out (merching) every single game I could back during the Gamecube and into the 360 days (for those that don't know, you're allowed to merch a game and play it for a couple days to build knowledge, and bring it back to check out a new one). I may have played the entire Gamecube catalogue by the time I was done. This continued early on in the 360 days as well. A couple years ago is when everything shifted, and I stopped playing games that seemed "risky" or not completable. I went strictly for completions for awhile. I'd spend endless hours getting the final achievements in games I didn't really like. my quality of life dipped significantly over it, and long story short - change was needed.

I closed out 2017 by hitting 500,000 Gamerscore. This was the milestone I was using as my "exit" from negative achievement hunting. January 2018 was the beginning of that, and it was met with both failure and success.

I started and played these games that were released in January (On Xbox One):
  • Albert & Otto
  • The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human

I bought and did not play these games released in January (On Xbox One):
  • Celeste
  • Monster Hunter World

I started and played through the following games that were in my backlog:
  • What Remains of Edith Finch
  • NBA Playgrounds
  • Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax
  • Tower of Guns
  • Livelock
  • Songbringer
  • Race Arcade
  • Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour

Also continued playing/finished:
  • Minecraft Story Mode Season 1
  • Rainbow Six: Siege
  • NBA Live 18
  • NHL 18

One of my goals was to make sure I was not only clearing out my backlog, but constantly starting new games to not fall back into the trap. Looking at what I played in January, I still fell into some old habits as far as playing too much of something I didn't particularly like, but I also experienced some games I may not have otherwise that were good. 

My three biggest takeaways were:
  1. I started a handful of new games, which was rare for me. I'd normally only start games if I knew I could mostly complete them in a fair amount of time. Not even for fun, or what I was in the mood for. In January, I played all of these because I wanted to! That was the real positive progress. Not to mention, playing what I wanted actually resulted in more achievements and Gamerscore overall for the month than I was averaging to begin with. 
  2. The negative is that I still played almost all of these to completion, or something close. What Remains of Edith Finch, NBA Playgrounds, Tower of Guns, Duke Nukem 3D, and Albert & Otto were all completed. Race Arcade and Livelock are close. The rest I made significant progress towards 80%. To keep a positive spin, I did stop myself from the "grindy" achievements in Race Arcade and Livelock, which I normally would not have done. Even if I revisit and complete them, it'll be on my terms. 
  3. I bought Monster Hunter World and didn't start it because I was playing the other games mentioned. I'd really like to play new games as they come out if I'm paying full price for them, and we will see how this goes throughout the year.

I'll do little mini reviews of everything I played in a separate post, as this is more for noting my gaming habits, and if I am actually working towards just playing what I want. I no longer want to feel tied down by numbers that ultimately should be growing as part of the "fun" process. Gaming shouldn't feel like work.

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