Everybody sing along!
Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
how do you measure, measure a game?
In quick saves, in swear words
In retries, in Achievement pop-ups
*trails off humming*
I spent so much time with a few of these games in 2014 that I literally could call them ‘Seasons of Games’. Here’s a little recap of each, and no more showtune analogies, promise.
ArcheAge (Somewhere over 300 hours)
My first real foray into an MMORPG and it was a glorious, deep diving sinkhole for something like 50 straight days. Farming, crafting, questing, exploring, boating; it just kept revealing nuances about how all the thousands of components came together. I ultimately hit the end of what I could do solo and, to a lesser degree, my tolerance for unprovoked PvP deaths.
Earth Defense Force 2027 (170 hours)
This was almost entirely split-screen co-op with Katy. We played through the game’s 85 missions at least four times on various difficulty settings with different classes. The daily regimen of hammering all the controller buttons eventually wore down my hands and we moved on but there’s still loads to do!
Watch Dogs (73 hours)
Yes, I honestly liked Watch Dogs. I played it as stealthy as possible, shooting only when it was a last resort and setting off “accidents” to keep my Aiden’s conscience clear. It didn’t impact the story but I had more fun executing elaborate plans and prying into the private lives of Chicago’s citizens. There’s some powerful, disturbing and funny stuff to find if you go hacking.
Bravely Default (63 hours – 51 in-game, 12 demo)
For a game that found its way onto my Bottom Five list I sure did play a lot of it! I enjoyed leveling up the various job classes and strategizing the way they interact and enhance each other. But by hour 40 I was bored to death with the typical Final Fantasy dialog, the unbelievable characterizations and the spike in difficulty. I couldn’t even be bothered to finish it because the story bottomed out and I’d had my fill of the gameplay.
Prison Architect (Tied for 39 hours)
How could I play this early access game that doesn’t even have a defined “win state” for nearly 40 hours? Because you get to design and lay out your own prisons! It’s like SimCity in microcosm with concerns for water pressure and the load on your electric grid. One thing SimCity never had: naked shower beatdowns! The wrinkles that a realistic prison population introduce are as compelling to handle as they are disturbing.
Dragon Age Inquisition (Tied for 39 hours)
Did it take 39 hours to confirm I still don’t like Dragon Age or did I just fall into the Hinterlands trap like a lot of other people? I will say this is the closest I’ve come to enjoying the series and I could’ve played more but the combat turned me right off. Spazzy and unreliable A.I. teammates made me feel more like a daycare teacher than the Herald of Andraste I’m supposed to be.