The list… 2nd Edition

Posted: 11th December 2013 by Jeroen in New Edition

So, just after the third anniversary of our project to play through all 1001 games that we should play before we die (and are doing our best to do so), we found out that the second edition of the book has been released, and we picked up our own copy.

This has been a moment we’ve been fearing. Based on a tenth of the entire book being from 2009, several annual series being featured and the past few years having a lot of awesome games released, the second edition surely featured quite a few new games from recent years – 100 or more games replaced, lots that we have already played. Based on those numbers, we’d probably lose so many games, 30 to 40 that we’d played already, that switching would lose us a lot of games. It’s why, a year ago, if a list was released with that many changes, we’d ignore it and continue with the original list, possibly playing the new games separately afterwards. Keep things manageable.

So we were all ready to look at it and probably ignore it for now. And then we looked at the book.

Twenty new entries. Twenty out, twenty new ones in. Many of them good games we’d want to play anyway, and a lot of the usual suspects. Yes, Skyrim, Ni No Kuni and Journey are all in there. There’s a couple of interesting indies in there that we are new to, such as Year Walk. Enough fun stuff to try, in a small enough collection that it’s manageable to add in.

In the mean time, out of the 20 games that went out, we’ve already played eight. The other twelve are partially sports game with an annual release schedule, who probably deserve an entry on the list, but would be changed every year to the latest. The other are games I, at least, would love to play, such as Mega Man 9 (seriously, that series is just gone now? That just feels wrong) and The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai.

On the rest of the book, I’ll admit we weren’t wowed by the revamp. For a bit it looked like they only included 999 games. Two games were moved to their right place in chronological order (them being out of date due to, presumably, delayed western releases), but the index was never updated for them. We couldn’t find them and were ready to list them as having been removed. There’s more sloppiness later – factual information not listed consistently for the new games. With the small number of changes, it seems a low effort release – 2009 is still overrepresented, games appear to be removed as much to make it easiest to adjust the layout as to have their removal make sense, and aside from a few changed screenshots, the old games are all unchanged. Aside from the changes to the index and the two games that were moved to earlier, the first 833 pages of the book are all the same – even the per-decade in between pages are exactly the same.

And that’s really a waste because if you haven’t started now, this book is impossible to complete. City of Heroes, still listed, was taken offline a year ago (long before this second edition was published) and can no longer be played by anyone. Reset Generation is almost impossible to get – nGage version 2 phones aren’t that common and their shop was closed down ages ago. The PC version was pulled down in 2010. The only way to play it seems to be to sideload it onto a hacked nGage 2 phone, something that’s not easy to do. We are badly tempted to skip it, or write an entry based on Youtube videos, as there seems to be no alternative.

It seems like it would have been easy to replace these two – especially Reset Generation, as the two games that follow it in the book have both been removed. It feels a bit cheap and obvious, not worth it had we not already been doing our project (then again, would we have cared as much about not being able to complete it? The principle matters!)

Here’s our plan. We’re going to add the 20 new games to the list of games we will play. We want to anyway, might as well make it part of the project.

The remaining twelve uncovered games will be covered separately. Probably from about May 2014 onward (we’re that far ahead) we’ll start including them as separate posts, in between our regular ones, to make sure it doesn’t cost us too much time. We won’t spend as much time on them as we usually do (they are not, after all, must-play games anymore), but will still spend some time on it. If you want to write something for us, we’d also welcome your commentary on Trism, Mega Man 9, Gravity Crash, MLB 09, UFC 2009, WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2010, The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai, You Me & The Cubes, Army of Two: The 40th Day or Alien Zombie Death. Or any other help to make them more interesting.

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