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Four in February Pile of Shame Challenge

SteamLibMany gamers run into a problem with their hobby, me included. Namely, there are more games that we want to play than we have time to play. For many of us, this has introduced us to the concept of the Pile of Shame – our growing catalog of titles we have acquired but have not finished and in some instances have not even started to play.

There are many reasons for the Pile of Shame: Steam sales, Humble Bundles, PlayStation Plus (PS+), Games with Gold, other obligations taking gaming time, not being able to put down Destiny, etc. Personally, my Pile of Shame is stacked high with impulse purchases, Club Nintendo rewards, and good gaming intentions. Today, being the first Tuesday of the month, means my pile just got 6 games deeper; thanks Sony. (No really, thanks. I love the PS+ games program.) New games keep coming out, and our collections and our piles grow.

Luckily, game journalist Mike Suszek introduced the idea of Four in February a couple of years ago through Joystiq. The plan is simple: pick four games from your Pile of Shame and commit to finishing them in the month of February. There is not much more to it than that, though there is a Facebook group for the community to share its triumphs.

After a decade of pushing game journalism in a positive direction, Joystiq is closing today. It is consolidating with Engadget, and hopefully the spirit of Joystiq will continue there- time will tell. In honor of Joystiq, I will be taking the Four in February challenge as an homage to all the great things Joystiq has given gamers over the years. I invite you to come with me on this journey as I chronicle my attempt to make a dent in my Pile of Shame.

I had a few requirements for choosing which four games to use in the challenge. First, I wanted to use several different platforms. I am primarily a console gamer, but have plenty of PC and handheld games on my Pile as well. I figured the challenge can help push me to game on devices I sometimes neglect. Second, I wanted to choose games so that I actually have a chance of finishing all four without drastically increasing my playing time. I want the challenge to be achievable, not just another source of shame. Gaming is supposed to be enjoyable, not a chore. Third, all the games on my list are games I have not started. I hope that getting into these games for the first time will be easier than trying to go back to a game I am midway through but have not played in months or years. Finally, I wanted to choose games that epitomize my Pile of Shame in some form. Here is my list, in no particular order:


Uncharted_Golden_Abyss_boxartUncharted: Golden Abyss – PS Vita

Developer: SCE Bend Studio; Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment


This game holds a special spot on my Pile of Shame. I got it as part of the original PS+ Instant Game Collection for Vita, before I actually owned a Vita. In fact, the PS+ free games are a major reason I finally purchased a Vita. I really enjoy the Uncharted series, but even after getting a Vita, I have not gotten around to playing this installment.




FTL_boxartFTL: Faster than Light – PC

Developer & Publisher: Subset Games


Besides being my PC entry for the challenge, FTL holds the distinction of being a game I have purchased twice and played zero times. I purchased it on Good Old Games during one of their sales, and again as a part of a Humble Bundle. Many of my friends have played and praised the game. It is time I join that club. Besides, spaceships are cool.



InfSecSon_boxartInfamous: Second Son – PlayStation 4

Developer: Sucker Punch Productions; Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

 All of the Infamous titles are actually on my Pile of Shame, but I’ve played solid chunks of Infamous and Infamous 2. This game is still unopened on my shelf- mocking me from inside its cellophane cocoon. On top of that, Infamous: First Light was free for PS+ members last month and is sitting on my dashboard reminding me I should probably give the game a shot.





COVERPS3OnlyOn10-1_DarkShadow of the Colossus – PlayStation 3

Developer: Team Ico; Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

 This is one of my biggest shames on my Pile of Shame. Critically acclaimed and I really liked ICO but never got around to Shadow of the Colossus. I have two copies of this game, too: both for the PS2 and PS3. Unlike FTL though, I only paid for one as the PS3 version is from the PS+ program. Every time I see a screenshot of the game on the Internet, I think what an amazing looking game, I should really play that. This month, I will.




There you have my line-up. Yes, it is Sony heavy but that is an unintentional side-effect of my criteria. I will update my progress each of the next 4 Sundays, and I hope you will come back to see how I do with this challenge. See you on Sunday.