Unfinished Stories

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Recently, in a fit of cleaning up after the children in this family, I decided to put away and organize all of the video games for the various consoles we have to. To be clear, that currently includes a Nintendo 64, a Nintendo GameCube, a Wii, a Wii-U, an Xbox 360, and a PlayStation 3. Over the dozen or so years since we bought the GameCube, the N64 being a more recent addition, we’ve picked up quite a few games, some of them new, some of them used, and some of them gifts. We like games, and we play quite a bit. Well the kids play a lot more than I do.

But as I was going through things, and because my particular brands of mental dysfunction requires things to be alphabetical, as I sortedall of the games, I kept finding things that I haven’t actually finished. A lot of them one or more of the kids did manage to finish, or came close, but they have a lot more time than I do, and that’s normal.

For reference, the list of unfinished games, broken down by console, is as follows:

 

N64

007: Golden Eye

007: The World Is Not Enough

 

Gamecube

The Incredibles

Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Luigi’s Mansion

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door

Scooby Doo: Night of 100 Frights

Lego Star Wars II

Super Mario Sunsion

 

Wii

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Super Mario Galaxy

 

Wii U

Super Mario Brothers U

Super Luigi U

Lego City Undercover

 

Playstation 3

Rage

Resistance 2

Uncharted 2

 

Xbox 360

Army of Two: The 40th Day

Bioshock

Deadspace

Final Fantasy XIII

Gears of War 3

Ghostbusters

Kingdom Fire: Circle of Doom

Lost Planet

Oblivion

Sacred 2

Skyrim

Star Trek

Turok

 

So for those of you who also like numbers, like me, that’s 32 games that I have not finished. Or, considering how my mind works, that’s 32 stories that I haven’t gotten to the end of. Because, make no mistake, every video game tells a story, even if it’s not a good one, even if it doesn’t make sense.

So I have decided, probably stretching over several years, I’m going to try to finish all (some?) of those stories. I’m going to pick one from each brand, Nintendo, Xbox, PlayStation, and cycle through. I will, where possible, and where interest exists on the part of my children, select two player games as much as I can, at least we can. Really, that’s what one of life, our games that I can play with my kids. Taking turns will do in a pinch, but it’s not the same.

My first selections cover all three platforms.

For Nintendo, I’vepicked Super Mario Sunshine. This, yes, is a solo game. I will try to play in moments when I’m working odd hours, or as part of a social situation. I feel like I got about two thirds the way through the game when we first got it (as opposed to when it was new). It was fun, and cute, and had a low level of cartoony violence that I enjoy. The objective being to stop the bad guys from polluting the hell out of everything, and cleanup Delfino Island. Your target is to gather 100 Shine Sprites during your cleanup efforts, and there are a variety of traditional and new creatures to be dealt with while you’re at it.

On the PlayStation, I’vepicked something a little more intense. Notice the list, that we don’t have an awful lot of PlayStation games that I haven’t finished. Really, that’s because we don’t have an awful lot of PlayStation games. While we were still buying into the Xbox live membership for online play, which we have decided is not really worth the hundred dollars a year for the family membership to the amount actually been using last two years, most game purchases were for the Xbox. Even as we all acknowledged that the PlayStation, in addition to being a Blu-ray player, was a technologically superior system, we also recognized that more stuff was being done for Xbox, and some exclusive, particularly our favorite series of games, Halo.

But I’m getting sidetracked.

For the PlayStation, the first game I intend to run through his Rage. Last year when the girls were following weekend, my son and I went to a used videogames store and brought home half a dozen games to play over the weekend. We never actually got to this post asteroid impact blasting your way through the wasteland first person shooter. I’d like to remedy that.

For the Xbox, with the assistance of my youngest daughter, I have selected the Lego Batman. She tends to like the Lego games. In fact, Lego City Undercover is more or less the reason we got the Wii-U. But we have a number of the Lego titles: Star Wars II, Indiana Jones, Batman, City undercover, and a couple of the Lego Harry Potters. These are split between Xbox and Nintendo.

Did I mention that it is my intention to not buy any videogames for myself until I have worked my way through large part of this list. Must

But Lance, you crazy idiot, think about all of the awesome games that are coming out over the next year, even the ones you haven’t heard of yet!

Yeah well, the problem is that we as a culture typically allow ourselves to get distracted by shiny, new things all the time and forget about the slightly less shiny, slightly less new things. I don’t really that. I mean, I like shiny, new things, but I keep being distracted by something shiny and new and have it take me away from something I’m already enjoying. In the realm of video games, that’s long been the case. As evidenced by my list.

Thing is, there are certainly a dozen games breaking now, recently out, or coming out shortly I really want to play.

But I felt that way about each of the games the list, to some degree, when I first brought them home. I’ve robbed myself of the pay off and satisfaction of finishing each of those stories.

There will always be more games, more stories, more everything that I want to enjoy than I possibly have time or energy for. That’s part of the nature of living in the early 21st.But recognizing that nature doesn’t mean that I can’t be true to myself my own feelings.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an island full of innocent people to save from the evil polluting bad guys.

Yes, this is going to take a while.

Happy gaming, and be well, everyone.

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Lance
Lance Schonberg is an eclectic genre fiction author with more than two dozen stories published or on the way. 2019 is the year he dives into independent publishing, starting with "Thorvald's Wyrd", "Skip To My Luu", and "Turn the World Around". And he needs a more exciting short bio.

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