Welcome to my bi-annual Recap for a full Season of Rogue’s Adventures! If you’re new, Rogue’s Adventures is what I call the organized playthrough of my never-ending backlog of games. Started back in 2012, I schedule a collection of games to be played over the course of five to six months. I live tweet my reactions and screenshots, occasionally live stream and record video, and always write a full retro-review of the title under my Final Thoughts banner.
Season Five encompassed the first half of 2015. Continuing the trend from Season Four, I mostly played more recent titles released in the last few years that had become deeply discounted. Both Shadowrun: Dragonfall and South Park: The Stick of Truth released just last year. The oldest title on Season Five’s schedule was Cthulhu Saves the World (Dec 2010).
If there was an unexpected trend in this Season’s crop, it was humor. Six of the Nine total games I played were crafted with a humorous bent, and all of them hit the mark superbly. Portal 2 lived up to its beloved hype, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon fully embraced its over-the-top 80s ridiculousness, and South Park: The Stick of Truth perfectly captured the irreverent but clever tone and jokes of the show. Humor is a very tricky thing to pull off but all of them tickled my funny bone in their own unique ways.
This Season was also about trying new things. I’d never before played a Far Cry, Call of Juarez, or Assassin’s Creed game. The first two were silly, short, and enjoyable spin-off games that let me play around with the gameplay without having to devote dozens of hours. With Assassin’s Creed I finally saw one that had a theme and setting I just couldn’t resist – pirates!
I’m also pleased that for the first time ever in a Season of Rogue’s Adventures, I really didn’t have any major disappointments. Every single one of these games was fun to play and a positive experience, though some certainly more than others. Ranking them proved to be quite difficult.
Season Five Schedule
|Game||Estimated Hours to Complete||Start Date||Total Hours/Completion Date||Goal|
|Portal 2||10hrs||1/12/2015||10.5hrs/January 21, 2015||Jan-15|
|Cthulhu Saves the World||9hrs||1/26/2015||10hrs/February 5, 2015||Feb-15|
|Call of Juarez: Gunslinger||6hrs||2/10/2015||6hrs/February 15, 2015||Feb-15|
|Risk of Rain||11hrs||2/17/2015||9hrs/February 21, 2015||Feb-15|
|Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director’s Cut||30hrs||02/25/15||35hrs/March 26, 2015||Mar-15|
|Retro City Rampage||9hrs||04/01/15||9hrs/April 11, 2015||Apr-15|
|Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon||7hrs||04/14/15||8.5hrs/April 23, 2015||Apr-15|
|South Park: The Stick of Truth||14hrs||04/29/15||15hrs/May 18, 2015||May-15|
|Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag||40hrs (w/DLC)||05/24/15||37hrs (no DLC)/June 30, 2015||Jun-15|
- Portal 2 – 10.5 hrs over 10 days = 7.35 hrs/wk
- Cthulhu Saves the World – 10 hrs over 11 days = 6.36 hrs/wk
- Call of Juarez: Gunslinger – 6 hrs over 6 days = 7 hrs/wk
- Risk of Rain – 9 hrs over 5 days = 12.6 hrs/wk
- Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director’s Cut – 35 hrs over 30 days = 8.17 hrs/wk
- Retro City Rampage – 9 hrs over 11 days = 5.72 hrs/wk
- Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon – 8.5hrs over 10 days = 5.95 hrs/wk
- South Park: The Stick of Truth – 15 hrs over 20 days = 5.25 hrs/wk
- Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag – 37 hrs over 38 days = 6.82 hrs/wk
Total Hours: 140 (Estimated 136)
Total Average Hours per Week: 7.25
My goal when I originally began Rogue’s Adventures was to dedicate at least seven hours of my gaming time to playing these backlogged games. Thus far I’ve stayed above that number, with this Season being my lowest at 7.25 hours per week. Going forward I’ll adjust my entire schedule and lower the goal to closer to five hours a week. If I do better than that, great, but I don’t want to stress out about finishing a game like I just had to do with Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag. I have less time to game in general, and less time to devote to my backlog.
Season Five Stats (with last Season’s numbers)
- Tweets by @RoguesAdventure: 501 (N/A), Total Tweets: 5,109
- Total Number of Screenshots Taken: 1984 (2670)
- Average Number of Screenshots per Game: 220 (267)
- Most Screen Captured Game: Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag 643 (Dishonored 527)
- Total Games Completed: 9 (10)
Live Streams & Gameplay Videos
None! I’ll try to find a decent balance going forward. For now if you need me in video form, check out our weekly Shadowrun Fifth Edition online role-playing sessions every Sunday evening on Twitch.TV and uploaded to my YouTube channel.
Season Five Rankings
- South Park: The Stick of Truth A perfect combination of the show’s aesthetics and humor with a fun RPG system makes South Park: The Stick of Truth one of the best licensed games ever made.
- Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director’s Cut Shadowrun: Dragonfall is the definitive Shadowrun cRPG experience with a meaty campaign and lots of crucial improvements.
- Risk of Rain A hardcore roguelike platformer that rewards persistence and skill as much as random luck. Play cooperatively for maximum fun.
- Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag An amazingly fun open world pirate adventure that would better served without the Assassin’s Creed franchise trappings.
- Portal 2 Though not quite the instant classic as the original, Portal 2 breathes more life into a fun story with the same great portal puzzles.
- Cthulhu Saves the World A cleverly written, lovingly retro-styled JRPG starring everyone’s favorite elder god.
- Retro City Rampage If you loved growing up in the 80s you’ll find a lot to like in this 8-bit GTA-style adventure.
- Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon A mini-slice of Far Cry open-world gameplay wrapped up in a glorious homage to 80s sci-fi action films.
- Call of Juarez: Gunslinger A short and sweet shooter that takes full advantage of its fantastic Western theming.
As you can see from my Final Say on each title, all of them got a thumbs up from me. South Park was the clear winner as a perfectly constructed licensed RPG of the TV show, with my only chief complaint that I wanted more of it.
Originally when I added Shadowrun: Dragonfall to the list I had the hours incorrect, as I had looked up the original expansion and not the stand-alone, and much longer, Director’s Cut. The Director’s Cut was a free upgrade and added a ton of awesome content to an already great turn-based RPG. I played and loved Shadowrun Returns back in 2013 (#6 on my Top Ten Games of 2013) and Dragonfall is better in every way.
From there things get a bit more mixed and tough to rank. Consider most of these games extremely close in ranking. I gave Risk of Rain the biggest nudge because it completely surprised me. Its unique genre and aesthetics made it imminently memorable, and the cooperative experience was icing on its deliciously difficult but rewarding cake.
Blood Dragon and Gunslinger dropped to the bottom pretty quick. I still enjoyed them but they definitely felt like short spin-offs, and their biggest hooks were that they were silly and light-hearted.
The biggest change this Season is my own dwindling time to dedicated to gaming. As my part-time freelance writing takes off and my daughter gets older, I have less time to spend just playing games. Don’t weep for me though, it’s a wonderful life! As I mentioned earlier, I’ll need to adjust the amount of time I can devote to Rogue’s Adventures going forward.
I’m also much more keen on tackling shorter game experiences. Indie games that are 10-15 hours long are much more attractive to me these days versus the big AAA games that boast over fifty hours of content. Massive RPGs like Dragon Age: Inquisition and Pillars of Eternity are still among my favorite games to play but they take me several months to complete. Meanwhile I can finish several smaller games and enjoy a multitude of experiences.
Thanks as always for reading, tweeting, watching, and chatting with me about games!