So, 2014 is in the books, and with it, my writing about Games I Beat In That Year draws to a close. This is a look back at that year and the series. Part of it will be a simple statistical analysis. Other parts will delve into more subjective aspects–entries I liked, entries I didn’t, games that beat me even as I beat them, and so on.
Total Games Beaten in 2014: 76
Games Beaten For the First Time in 2014: 40
Total Words In the Series: 61788, which doesn’t count the hub pages.
Average Words Per Entry: 813
Shortest Entry: Lawn Mower is a svelte 420 (insert drug joke here) word entry. As an NES homebrew game that lasts about an hour your first time through it, there wasn’t much to say about it. It’s the shortest entry in the series by almost 100 words.
Longest Entry: Funnily enough, the shortest entry was immediately followed by the longest. Golden Sun is the 800-pound gorilla entry, clocking in at 1476 words, nearly two hundred more than the runner-up. This time, I had a lot to discuss, not all of it good. And I even left some stuff out of this entry, like how pretty much everyone in the world is a colossal idiot.
Games I Was Happy To Beat For The First Time: Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! is certainly on the list. Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse is a notoriously difficult game I was glad to finally put away. The Legend of the Mystical Ninja doesn’t have that reputation, but it did irritate me that I only got 2/3 of the way through it when I was younger, so I was happy to beat that one as well.
Games That Beat Me Even As I Beat Them: 3-D Worldrunner and Rad Racer were two games I needed to use a continue code, included in their respective manuals (And thus fair game to use), to beat. The runaway winner here, though, is Ecco the Dolphin. The Welcome to the Machine/The Last Fight gauntlet is legendary for being unfairly hard, and it didn’t disappoint. I actually had to save state using the Sega Genesis Collection before The Last Fight to finish the game for the first time, which was the closest I came to outright cheating. I will note that I did go back and do the Welcome to the Machine/The Last Fight sequence “legit”–which still took me an additional hour or two–before calling the game “beaten” for purposes of this series.
Developer With the Most Games Represented: Konami, with 10. Nintendo, with 9, was second (And depending on how far you extend the Nintendo umbrella, may actually have more games than Konami–Super Metroid was credited to “Intelligent Systems”, and an additional three games were done by HAL Laboratories.).
Publisher With the Most Games Represented: Reflecting the fact that I was a Nintendo kid, Nintendo were the runaway winner here, with 18 out of 76, nearly a full quarter of the games. Konami, with 9, were second, though their total increases to 12 if you include the games they released under the Ultra Games imprint. Shoutouts to independent developers as well–8 games had no published; I counted these as “Indie”.
Notable Omissions: Some big series were under-represented–Mario only got a single entry–or not in the list at all–there is zero Zelda or Sonic in the list. Other “modern day” series also struck out–Halo, Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, etc.–though that has more to do with my taste in gaming/inability to keep up with them.
Articles That Were Challenging To Write: Trio the Punch, as a game that defies logic, likewise resisted my attempt to write about it in a logical manner. Super Mario Bros. has pretty much no new ground to tread in terms of writing about it. Cat Planet was another “There just isn’t a lot of game to write about here” entry in the vein of Lawn Mower.
My Favorite Articles In the Series (Or “The Games I Beat In 2014 Sampler”): Metroid was the very first entry in the series, so it has a special place in my heart. This is true even though, like the game itself, it hasn’t aged well (It’s amazing how much my writing improved as a result of doing this exercise). Final Fantasy II was the first entry where my writing found its footing. B. O. B. was a fun attempt to write sarcasm into my opinion of the game, though it’s arguable how well I did. Dragon Ball Z: Buu’s Fury was a nice comeback after the Trio the Punch entry (And in riffing on the “Next time on Dragon Ball Z!” outros for its beginning, is probably the best intro in the entire series). Finally, Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars was a ton of fun to write about. I’m not sure what it says about me that I pulled it off, but finding a 100% work-safe way to link the words “bondage lasers” in that entry is one of my crowning achievements in the series.
So what’s next? I may write about/review games in 2015, but I don’t think it’ll be a formal series like this was. As for the series itself, it seems like a shame to waste 60000+ word of writing. I’ll probably learn how to do e-books, polish up the writing a bit, and from there, try to release it on Amazon. If I do this, I’ll also try to make some kind of value-add for it, like interviews with some of the indie game developers, second opinions on some of the games from my speedrunning friends, pictures of handwritten first drafts of some of the entries, and so on.
Either way, though, the writing was a lot of fun, and I hope to do more of it this year.