kornnut43's Blog

Posted on May 6th 2020 at 01:10:34 PM by (kornnut43)
Posted under collection

Six years ago, I had this "grand dream" of building my own YouTube channel.

I had my blog over at http://ControlPadBlues.com where I'd recollect various parts of my childhood as they related to games - like the My Retro Life YouTube channel, but less related to *getting* the games and more related to the other memories tied to them - and I thought "hey, I think people would watch if my blog entries were turned into videos".  My wife and I had been having a tough time with trying to have a child, and I needed as many distractions away from that as I could get... so I started recording footage.

Footage from around the yard where my grandparents used to live.  Footage from around the neighborhood where I grew up.  Footage from stores and restaurants and other places I'd go as a kid that reminded me of my childhood with games.  And finally, I recorded gameplay footage.

All I had at the time was an old VHS-to-digital recording device with composite video input, and it worked just fine...  until the old desktop PC I was using kicked the bucket.

Not to be deterred, I finally bought a decent laptop and an elgato Game Capture HD for Christmas in 2014.  It worked great, and I immediately set out to gather enough footage for a whole "season's" worth of potential videos.  I had 10 games recorded... and then the craziest thing happened.

We became parents!

After four and a half years of trying unsuccessfully, and being told it probably wouldn't happen, we got pregnant (well, my wife did) at around the same time we had just accepted that life would be just the two of us.  To say that from fall 2015 until summer 2016 was a whirlwind would be an understatement.  Games were the last thing on my mind, and I didn't really get back into them until a month or so after our son was born.

I was still recording - life was now 250% more insane and I didn't expect to ever get around to doing the YouTube stuff, but I did enjoy the idea of documenting my progress... besides, maybe if I had footage of it, I'd be less likely to play something I had already played through 20 times.

I mean, I love Super Mario Bros. and Mega Man 3, but my other games need love too, right?

My son would come to love Mario as well, and he'd come see me in my "Mario Room" whenever I was in there doing stuff - that's what he came to call my game room, and he still calls it that now.  One day in 2018, as I'm sitting there with him on my lap, both of us admiring my collection, I thought, "there are too many of these that I've only played half-way through, or that I've never played at all.  That needs to end."

That was that, but how would I decide what order I'd play them in?  One "problem" (if you can call it that) about having a collection this size is that I could never make up my mind as to what I wanted to play next.  I'd stand in front of my shelves and be completely overwhelmed with the "responsibility" of choosing my next game.  Too much pressure!  Decidophobia is apparently a very real thing, and I have it when it comes to choosing what game to play next!

Having kept tabs on my collection here at RF Generation, I was able to export the whole shebang into an Excel file.  I then color-coded it by console (because why not), split up the compilation games into individual entries (i.e. the "Orange Box" entry became individual Half-Life 2, Episode 1, Episode 2, and Portal entries) and then tried to ensure that every game I owned was in the Excel file.

I cut out the 32 games I had played since starting the recording process in late 2014, because I already had the footage and it was time to move onto other things.

Then, there were a handful of JRPG's I owned as part of compilations that I removed (or, "set aside"), simply because I'm terrible at those games and have no interest in playing them - although I did keep Final Fantasy I and III, as well as Earthbound on my Classic Consoles as a way to see if I'd end up having fun with them after all.  If I enjoyed those, I could always add the Phantasy Stars and whatever else I had later.

Speaking of compilations, I took the older arcade games where the goal is just to gather points, and grouped them as best as I could.  For example, Atari Anthology on Xbox is comprised of very simple games where there is no end goal other than gathering points, or quick and dirty sports games.  For these, I would tackle *all* of the games on the disc at once.  That way, I didn't need to bust out my Xbox for a few minutes of playing Asteroids, then put it away to bring out and hook up whatever console I needed next.

I did the same with similar points-focused games on Capcom, Namco, Midway, and other compilation discs, and gave the games with a more hearty campaign their own spot on my list (i.e. Mortal Kombat II became its own entry, whereas A.P.B., Timber and others went under a single entry under Midway Arcade Classics 2).

If you're still reading through this, I commend you for sitting through how nitpicky and OCD I am.

In the end, my number was around 950.  Once I had the number, I could go about spreading all the Mario, Star Wars, Zelda, Grand Theft Auto, and all other series of games evenly throughout the list.  My hope in doing that was to not get sick of one genre or the other.

I would also make an effort to not look at the next game on my list.  Whenever I would complete a game, it would be a complete surprise as to what I played next.  That also meant that I wouldn't have to decide what to play - the somewhat randomized list I threw together did it for me!  Smiley

So, that was almost two years ago.

I'm now on my 82nd game in the list, which is Assassin's Creed on Xbox 360.  I've written the dates of each game's playthrough on the spreadsheet, just for fun.  20 years from now, I'll hopefully be able to look at it and say "I remember playing through Super Mario RPG and Excitebike 64 during the COVID-19 lockdown.  Weird times, man."

I've added a few newly acquired titles to the collection, and my grand total is now at 960.  I've also taken the liberty of adding new games I really want to play as the next game in my list if I choose to do so - as an example, my Mom got my son Super Mario Maker 2 last summer, and really not wanting to wait to experience it, I plunked it down on my list as game #56 (I was on game #54 at the time).

This project is filling me with a weird sense of pride as I go through and actually beat everything - even the games I've already beaten before, but am simply recording for the first time.  Depending on how much fun I have with each one, I'll either decide to speed through it (like I did with Injustice: Gods Among Us) or accomplish/collect everything (like I did with Super Mario Galaxy).  I'm quite interested to see how long it takes me to finish everything, and as time progresses, I certainly hope my soon-to-be 4 year old son will start helping me with this endeavor.

Here's the first chunk of games I played through a while back, and what my spreadsheet kinda looks like now...

If I had to guess, this will take me about 20 years to complete.  I'll be in my mid-50's by then.  Whoa.

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