Thursday, March 05, 2020

10 unfinished games I want to return to in 2020

Although I've gotten better in recent years at not only playing, but finishing, the games I buy, a few still fall through the cracks. By which I mean I walk away from some titles before I reach their end credits.

I'm OK with that now and then. For example, I failed to beat both Penny-Punching Princess and Umihara Kawase Fresh! in 2019, but I have no interest in returning to either of them.

I also failed to beat Dandy Dungeon, Dragon Quest XI S, and World of Final Fantasy Maxima after starting them last year, but I desperately want to rectify matters in 2020.

Here's why, plus similar info on seven other unfinished games I hope to get back to and wrap up between now and the end of December.

Contact for the Nintendo DS

Contact (DS)--I explored a good chunk of this Grasshopper Manufacture-made game back in 2015. Sadly, I don't remember much about my previous Contact experience other than I mostly liked it. Mostly. (If memory serves, a difficulty spike, or at least a tougher-than-usual boss, irritated me rather severely near the end of my 11-hour playthrough.) That's enough for me to want to give it a second chance, though--especially since I do remember loving its looks.

Dandy Dungeon (Switch)--While coming up with the list of titles that serve as the backbone of this post, it struck me that I rarely walk away from games because I hate them. In most cases, I leave them behind when I go on vacation, when I become obsessed with a book, or when work briefly takes over my life. That first reason is what caused me to drop Dandy Dungeon after putting more than 20 hours into it last year. I've been struggling to go back to it ever since, and I'm honestly not sure why. The only answer I can come up with is that maybe I got all I wanted or needed from the game in the time I spent with it in 2019. Hopefully that's not the case, but I'll find out one way or the other should I manage to boot up my save file again in the next few months.

Dillon's Dead-Heat Breakers for the Nintendo 3DS

Dillon’s Dead-Heat Breakers (3DS)--I devoted a good seven or so hours to this bizarre Dillon's Rolling Western follow-up in late 2018, and though I enjoyed what I encountered then, I only played the game for another hour in 2019. Typically, I don't recall why I walked away from it at that point, but I'm pretty sure another game was to blame. Something I do recall is that I was finding Dead-Heat Breakers a bit repetitive around the time I dropped it. Still, I want to know how its curiously post-apocalyptic tale ends, so I'm going to do my best to slip back in the saddle as soon as possible.

Dragon Quest XI S (Switch)--I have a real hit-or-miss history with the Dragon Quest series, which probably goes a long way toward explaining my ho-hum reaction to the initial eight-ish hours of Dragon Quest XI S. For the record, I adored both the first and the ninth game in the series, but found the seventh too long by at least half. Why am I currently leaning toward the latter with XI S? The lone culprit that comes to mind right now is that it's too just sleepy for me. In a way, I appreciate and respect that it's not as peppy as, say, Pokémon Sword and Shield, but I also wouldn't complain if it were a smidge more energetic. Regardless, that shouldn't keep me from Dragon Quest XI S' finish line forever.

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance for the GameBoy Advance

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (GameBoy Advance)--Against my better judgment, I started this Final Fantasy Tactics spinoff shortly after I started its sequel. Only one game could survive such an endeavor, and in this case, the one left standing was the DS follow-up. I don't expect to leave my aborted playthrough of the original hanging for long, though. I loved Tactics A2 so much that I spent more time with it than any other game last year, so I'm expecting to feel similarly moony about this precursor.

Great Greed (GameBoy)--I've started this Namco-made RPG numerous times since first becoming aware of it many years ago. None of those playthroughs ended with me watching Great Greed's credit roll, however--despite the fact that I adore pretty much every aspect of it. I especially like its snappy, one-on-one battles and its eclectic soundtrack. So, I'm going to take another stab at it sometime this year. Hopefully this time I'll make it far enough to marry either the king or the chief of bodyguards.

Great Greed for the GameBoy

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)--I put more than 10 hours into Breath of the Wild back in 2017 and 2018, and both stints absolutely thrilled me. Sadly, both stints were rudely interrupted by vacations. As I've already made painfully clear, that's often all it takes the break the spell a game has on me. I always--or almost always--intend to return to these discarded adventures, but only rarely do. I have no idea when or how I'm going to buck that trend with Breath of the Wild, but I promise to try my hardest to make it happen in 2020.

My World, My Way (DS)--I gave over 10 hours of my life to this Global A-made RPG in early 2015. At the time, I was knee-deep into #ADecadeofDS, a blog series I started to celebrate the existence and impressive game catalog of Nintendo's first dual-screened handheld system. As part of that series, I played a DS title for a week--and only a week--and then reported how long I spent with it, what I thought of it, and more. I was so taken with My World, My Way that I ignored my self-imposed "week only" rule and played it for seven more days. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough for me to reach the game's climax. The question is: when (not if) I circle back to it this year, will I start fresh or return to my woefully unfinished save file?

My World, My Way for the Nintendo DS

VA-11 HALL-A (Vita)--I own way too many copies of this cyberbunk-tinged visual novel to have never completed it, but that's the embarrassing truth of the matter. The only way to save face, I guess, is to force myself to finish it sometime this year. The thing I'm most looking forward to re-experiencing during my latest run at VA-11 HALL-A: its sublime OST. I'm pretty sure I could listen to some of its tracks for hours on end without tiring of them.

World of Final Fantasy Maxima (Switch)--Given how long I hemmed and hawed over buying a copy of World of Final Fantasy Maxima, it's amazing I ended up adoring the 26 or so hours I spent with it in 2019. It has its share of flaws, but none of them have bothered me much. In fact, the only thing that's bothered me about this odd Final Fantasy offshoot is the sinking feeling that I'll be completely lost when I jump back into the fray after so many months away. Fingers crossed those fears are proven unwarranted.

See also: Five 3DS games and 10 Switch games I want to play in 2020

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