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My Gaming Challenge

In June 2019 I returned home. For the previous five years I had worked in London. During my time there, my gaming collection ballooned. Games in England, especially retro games, were significantly cheaper than in Ireland. I picked up systems such as the Sega Master System, Sega Mega Drive, Sega Saturn, Sega Dreamcast, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. A lot of these I had owned previously (Sega Master System and Mega Drive), others were replacements for my machines (PlayStation 2) and then there were ones I’d never owned (Sega Saturn). Along with the consoles, I built up a massive collection of games but as anyone who’s ever lived in London can attest to, space was limited. I sent the majority of them home and could only play them whenever I visited my parents (normally around Christmas).

When I got back in June 2019, I promised myself I would play and finish every game I owned. I have over 1,000 games spread across multiple systems so this was going to be quite a challenge. Even if I had previously completed it, I was going to restart it again. I also set out some little rules for myself and defined for me what completion was. I set myself the challenge of trying to avoid cheating (using codes and Action Replay) but if I ever felt a game was too challenging or too time consuming, I could “bend” my rules a little. I did break this rule completely for Rise of the Robots but that game was a mess. I allowed myself to use strategy guides. This was incredibly helpful during Mass Effect and Yakuza. I did give myself some leeway though. For games I’d already completed, I used the “New Game Plus” mode if it was available. The only time I’ve used it so far was with Mass Effect but I intend to use it with Persona 5 and Lost Odyssey.

My rules of completion are a bit ropey. For story driven games, its means completing the main story but there are times I have gone beyond that. For both Mass Effect and Yakuza, I included side-missions. For the Lego series, it’s completing the game to 100% because the main story is so short. For sports games, it gets a bit trickier. In soccer games, the goal is the win the largest trophy (World Cup, European Championship, Champions League). For example, in FIFA 20, my goal was to win the Champions League with any teams while in Three Lions it was to win the World Cup once. Three Lions has multiple teams to unlock by winning the World Cup with different teams. In the Formula One games, its to win the Driver’s Championship. In some cases, I’ve won it on the first attempt (Formula One 05) and in others it has taken me multiple seasons (Formula One 04). It might seem odd when you consider some of these games have long career modes (FIFA has a fifteen-year career mode) but it just keeps me going through them.

You’ve also probably noticed by the Rocky’s Reviews section, I tend to play through games in a series one after another. This has been the case with the Legends/Ultimate Alliance series, Mass Effect, Yakuza and Mafia. There have been some breaks in between but nothing too long. I’m currently playing through all my Formula One games that have a career mode. At the moment I’m on F1 2014 but there are some gaps. I don’t have F1 2013, F1 2015-2016 or F1 2018-2019. I do try to play different genres too. Instead of diving from one narrative driven game to another, I will try to break it up by playing shorter games in between, such as TMNT Hyperstone Heist or Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. I also don’t play all of these games alone. I’ve played multiplayer mode with my wife in any of the Lego games I’ve played so far, Streets of Rage, TMNT Hyperstone and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. In terms of difficulty setting, I mainly play on Normal or Standard. There are cases where I’ve played on easier modes. It just varies from game to game. Difficulty also brings me to another issue. The majority of the games I’ve “completed” tend to be newer. These tend to be easier and require less time sunk into them to master compared to NES games for example. I am hoping to tackle some older games in the near future. At the moment I am looking at ways to improve my display as I’m still using Composite Video.

I started my journey with QuackShot Starring Donald Duck. It’s not the first game in Rocky’s Reviews as when I was entering them, I was trying to remember what games I’d completed before setting up the blog. It’s also why the earlier reviews are shorter. QuackShot was a game I’d never played before and several people I follow on Twitter had raved about it in the past. It was a nice game to start with as it’s not too challenging or long. Since then, I’ve gone through 85 games across several different consoles. The hardest game I’ve played is probably Rise of the Robots because its not a great game but I’m sure Ninja Gaiden will trump that. As I mentioned above, I’m currently working my way through Codemasters F1 series. I’m on F1 2014 and have F1 2017 to go (and maybe F1 2020 because I like it so much). I’m also playing Lego Batman on the Xbox 360 with Sharon. When I finish with the F1 series, I think I may try another JRPG. I’m currently considering Chrono Trigger, Persona 5 or Wild Arms. I will in the future do a Tales of, Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel season, like I did with Yakuza. I just need time to set myself up…

It might not seem like much of a challenge to some people but it has kept me going, especially during lockdown and it gives my wife and I something to do together. What gaming challenges have you undertaken? Have you ever played a series back-to-back? What are you currently on and what do you plan to start next?

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