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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.



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The weekend is almost here, and even better it’s a long weekend.  As usual there’s a long list of reviews for this week’s comics as well as other news you might have missed while you saw The Hangover 2.

Around the Blogs:

MTV Geek – Space Invaders Chair Looks Like A Geek Throne – I want. I want. I want.

The Mary Sue – Disney Will Not Trademark “SEAL Team 6″ – Reason wins for once.

Comics Alliance – 8 of the Best Noir Comics: Crime Does Pay – I love me a good noir comic.

The Mary Sue – There Are Fully Eight Directors in the Running for The Wolverine – I could pull this off…

Around the Tubes Reviews:

IGN – Action Comics #901

IGN – Amazing Spider-Man #662

IGN – American Vampire #15

IGN – Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine #6

IGN – Captain America #618

IGN – Detective Comics #877

IGN – Ducktales #1

Comic Book Resources – FF #4

IGN – FF #4

IGN – G.I. Joe: Cobra #1

IGN – Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #3

IGN – Green Lantern #66

IGN – Green Lantern Corps. #60

IGN – Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #10

IGN – Hack/Slash #4

IGN – The Incredible Hulks #629

IGN – InFamous #6

IGN – Iron Man 2.0 #5

IGN – Kirby: Genesis #0

The Herts Advertiser 24 – Marvel Platinum: The Definite Thor

IGN – The Mighty Thor #2

IGN – Planet of the Apes #2

IGN – Secret Avengers #13

IGN – Secret Warriors #27

IGN – Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Lost Command #5

IGN – Strange Adventures #1

IGN – The Tattered Man

IGN – Uncanny X-Men #537

IGN – Venom #3

IGN – The Walking Dead #85

IGN – Wolverine #9

IGN – X-Men: Legacy #249

Comicvine – Comic Book Reviews For The Week of 5/25/11

IGN – Comic Book Reviews for 5/15/11

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New comics came out on Wednesday and the reviews are trickling in from around the net.  Find out what you should be getting when you head to the shop and all the other news you might have missed.  Priest also comes out today, who’s going?

Around the Blogs:

The Beat – Wonder Woman update: Pilot probably won’t fly after allNot sure how I feel about this.

Kotaku – Week In Comics As I’d guess the video game website focuses on Mega Man #1.

Bleeding Cool – Rob Granito Story Gets The Most Bizarre Twist PossibleI won’t be running the interview and hope other sites won’t be promoting this guy either.

The Comics Chronicles – April 2011 comics sales slip slightly, but noncomic categories surgeA great wrap up of comic sales in April.

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund – Tom Neely & Dylan Williams Speak Out On Their Customs Seizure ExperienceI’m now less likely to cross the border to go to cons up north, way to go customs!

Around the Tubes Reviews:

IGN – The Amazing Spider-Man #660

IGN – Astonishing X-Men #37

IGN – Batgirl #21

IGN – Batman: Arkham City #1

IGN – Batman, Incorporated #6

Good Comic Books – Batman Inc #6

IGN – Chew #27

Comic Book Resources – Chew #27

IGN – Cinderella: Fables Are Forever #4

IGN – Daredevil: Reborn #4

IGN – Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt #1

IGN – FF #3

Saffron Waldon Reporter – Fighting American

IGN – The Flash #12

Comic Book Resources – Flashpoint #1

IGN – G.I. Joe Vol. 2 #1

IGN – The Incredible Hulks #628

IGN – inFamous #5

IGN – Journey Into Mystery #623

IGN – Mega Man #1

IGN – Netherworld #1

IGN – The New Avengers #12

IGN – New Mutants #25

IGN – Northlanders #40

IGN – PunisherMAX #13

ICv2 – Rainy Day Recess: The Complete Steven’s Comics’ TP

IGN – Superman #711

IGN – The Unwritten #25

IGN – X-Men #11

IGN – X-Men Legacy #248

Comicvine – Comic Book Reviews For The Week of 5/11/11

IGN – Comic Book Reviews for 5/11/11

Comic Book Resources – The Buy Pile

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It’s Friday, Friday… and the reviews for this week’s comics are pouring out of other websites.  Check out what they had to say as well as the other news you might have missed.

Around the Blogs:

Arts Beat – For One Last Weekend, a Chance to See ‘Spider-Man’ 1.0Might be your last chance to see someone get injured.

Bleeding Cool – Movie Version Of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns In The WorksPlease, please, please let this not be untrue.

Con Coverage:

Comic Book Resources – Long Beach Comics Expo Announces Programming

Comic Book Resources – WC11: Friday Photo Parade

IGN – Kapow! ’11: Comic History Rewritten On The IGN Stage

Around the Tubes Reviews:

IGN – The Amazing Spider-Man #658

IGN –Batgirl #20

IGN – Batman and Robin #22

IGN – Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #517

IGN – Butcher Baker, the Righteous Maker #2

IGN – Cinderella: Fables Are Forever #3

ICv2 – The Comics: The Complete Collection HC

IGN – Deadpool #35

Comic Book Resources – The Flash #10

IGN – The Flash #10

IGN – Fraggle Rock #3

IGN – Hawkeye: Blindspot #3

IGN – The Incredible Hulks #626

IGN – inFamous #3

IGN – The Infinite Vacation #2

IGN – Iron Man 2.0 #3

IGN – Journey Into Mystery #622

IGN – Justice League: Generation Lost #23

IGN – The New Avengers #11

IGN – Secret Warriors #26

IGN – S.H.I.E.L.D.: Infinity #1

IGN – Starborn #5

IGN – Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier Annual #1

IGN – Superboy #6

IGN – Superman #710

IGN – T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #6

IGN – Ultimate Comics Avengers vs. New Ultimates #3

IGN – Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #157

IGN – Uncanny X-Force #7

IGN – Uncanny X-Men #535

IGN – X-Men Legacy #247

Comics Alliance – Digital Comics Weekly: Five Comics You Should Be Downloading

Comic Book Resources – The Buy Pile

IGN – Comic Book Reviews for 4/13/11