Although it may be trite, I enjoy the spirit behind New Year's resolutions. While they may not always be successful, the intent to pick up new habits and improve on the old year is a noble one. Seeing as how I am both a sucker for New Year's resolutions and a giant video game geek, is it really a surprise that I have a special sub-set of gaming-related New Year's resolution? We'll see how long these last:
The Must-Plays of 2010
I try to avoid pre-release hype, as it usually just reinforces the fact that I'll never get around to all the games I want to play. However, try as I might, I can't help but be excited about some of 2010's huge releases. Although I'm not convinced that it will make it out in 2010, Team Ico's The Last Guardian, promises to elicit awe (and possibly tears). I think that Super Mario Galaxy was one of the best games of the decade, so I am ecstatic about the prospect of Super Mario Galaxy 2. Finally: A playable 3D Yoshi! On the opposite end of the cuteness spectrum stands God of War III. The series brings me back to the golden days of brawling games and its fluid, brutally efficient combo system does a great job of modernizing the genre. Additionally, I enjoy the story and its characters far more than I probably should. Ever since God of War II's (literal) cliffhanger ending, I've been looking forward to part III.
Until I figure out a way to become independently wealthy or to get paid for keeping up with new releases, I will continue to amass a backlog of games that deserve to be played. As 2009 slips away, there are a handful of games that I skipped over. Batman: Arkham Asylum is probably the top priority; I am a big fan of the Dark Knight and, from what I've heard, the game succeeds as both as an excellent video game and a worthy entry into Batman lore. Following closely behind the caped crusader is Demon's Souls, whose promise of cruelty appeals to my sadistic tendencies.
Delving deeper into the still-recent past reveals still more games I was forced to leave on the shelf. Next year, I hope to squeeze in time for Deadspace, Braid, and Muramasa : The Demon Blade. I am also interested in Assassin's Creed 2, although my personal quirk (or affliction, as Jorge would argue) of feeling compelled to play the first game in a series before playing the sequel might hamper this goal.
Lastly, there is still a long list of games residing on my "list of shame." These are the games I haven't played even though they are considered some of the medium's seminal works. Like my perpetual intention to read Moby Dick, I still fully intend to complete Half Life or a Baldur's Gate game at some point. Maybe this will be the year?
Last year, Sean Sands from Gamers With Jobs embarked on a noble attempt to explore game genres he usually avoided. Unfortunately, the project proved too taxing on his patience and sanity, and was ended prematurely. While I won't aspire to the "one game each month" formula that Sean tried, I am going to try to dabble in genres I have either forgotten or neglected.
For example, I haven't played an RPG since Final Fantasy X scarred my psyche with its insipid dialogue and horrendous voice acting. Perhaps thirteen will be my lucky number? I cannot remember the last Western RPG I played, but the prospect of Mass Effect's rich sci-fi universe is tempting.
My absence from RPGs is comparatively short in relation to other, even more neglected genres. I haven't seriously played a sports game since the N64-era, so I might try to fire up the latest edition of Madden. Although the world of military simulations is strange and scary to me, my affinity for Civil War-era history might convince me to seek out some strategy game action. Are there any games out there where you can customize your soldiers' facial hair? I'm looking for authenticity folks!
So there it is: Three broad resolutions to work towards during 2010. If April rolls and I still haven't finished Super Mario Galaxy 2, Batman is still gathering dust, and I continue to live in my platformer-centric rut, try not to be too harsh on me.
In order to deflect some of the attention away from me, I'll turn it over to you folks: Have you made any gaming resolutions for 2010? What are you looking forward to in the new year, and what are you glad we are leaving behind? Any tips on overlooked games or under-appreciated genres?