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Numbers!

August 8, 2014

After finishing Lollipop Chainsaw, I was updating my Backlog Progress page and realized that I was staring at seven years worth of data that was just begging for analysis.

So I analysized, and I will just say that I am going to defend that particular abomination of a word to the bitter end.

It turns out that I’ve finished – which generally means “getting to the end credits of story mode” or “playing through every character’s story mode”, if the individual stories are very short – two-hundred-and-fifty games in the last seven years, which would be awesome if I wasn’t sitting on a five-hundred game backlog.

Granted, a substantial portion of that backlog is the result of buying game bundles, but even if we take that into account it’s pretty obvious that I’m overreaching myself just a tad.

But let’s set that aside, because numbers!

Unsurprisingly, I got the most games played during my first couple years of college.  I was attending classes part-time in 2007 and managed to clock 36 games, which increased to 48 and then 57 games during my first full two years.  Junior year?  Down from 57 to 29, and it just gets lower from there.  Last year I only played through 17 games.

Year-to-date I’m at 14, which puts me on a pace for the low 20s.  Not too bad for having a real job and bills to pay and such.  It’d be higher if I could stay off the MMOs.

75 of those 250 games were played on PC and 51 on various flavors of mobile device.  There are some weird trends in the systems I’ve been playing – for example, I played through 16 Nintendo DS games between 2007 and 2009 and haven’t played a single one since – my DS has literally been a kanji dictionary and nothing else for the last five years.  The PSP has gotten a little more consistent love, but it got completely ignored during 2012 and 2013 in favor of iOS games and a newly-purchased Vita.

After the PC, the Xbox 360 and original Xbox have gotten most of the love, with 36 Xbox 360 titles and 18 original Xbox titles.  It shows when I look at the shelf – I have a few that I haven’t played yet, but mostly import titles and stuff that I’m hesitant to start because I know it’s going to take ages.

The PS3 has been getting about two games a year, generally an Assassin’s Creed game and one other.  It had a spike (six games!) back in 2009 but that was the year I was apparently doing nothing but playing video games 24/7.

I haven’t touched the PS2 much other than to play mascot-based games, Ratchet and Clank for the most part.

The Wii and GameCube were my least-played consoles and honestly it’s a bit embarrassing to think of all the money I’ve sunk into them to play a handful of games.  I’ve played nearly as many Saturn games in the last seven years as Wii and GameCube put together.

Genre-wise, I play a LOT of 3rd-person actiony games, your Tomb Raiders and Assassin’s Creeds and such, and a ton of FPS titles.  Those two genres make up a good 40% of what I’ve played and rather put the lie to any claims of video game hipsterism I might try to get away with.

After that, I seem to play a bunch of RPGs, about five a year on average.  Almost none of those are traditional turn-based affairs – I simply don’t have the patience any more.  I also seem to be a bit of a sucker for puzzle games, at about three a year.

Between those and the single-digit genres, I’ve got 2D shooters (13), Mahjong (12) and Rhythm games (11).  That last is three Ouendan / EBA games, four Miku-centric games, and a few entries from the plastic-instruments category.

What I was most surprised by was the genres that didn’t even break 10 games.  I mean, I will swear up and down that I love me some horror games and some tower defense games, but the actual numbers say that I’ve only played 7 and 4, respectively, since I started keeping track.  Likewise, I feel a bit of fanboy shame at only having played through three visual novels.

It’s no real surprise that there aren’t any sports games on the list, unless you’re going to count Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball 2.  (I filed it under “Mini-game collections” as the least offensive category it could fit into.)  It’s a little more surprising that I haven’t played any fighting games in the last seven years, or at least I haven’t played any to the point where I’d consider them finished.  It’s just a genre that I’ve moved away from, I guess.

Finally, despite how often I include some version of “you probably wouldn’t want your mum to see you playing this” in my comments after finishing a game, only about 12% of the games I’ve played fall into this sort of questionable category.  I’m less of a terrible person than I thought!

Conclusions?  Well, when I buy a game, I should probably focus on actiony sorts of things, because they’ll get played.  I may secretly WANT to play cerebral indie darlings but they just don’t have a track record.  Also I appear to have quite the soft spot for the Xbox 360 controller.

And, yeah, I should just stop buying Nintendo consoles.  Fortunately the WiiU makes THAT particular decision easy enough, at least until Bayo2 comes out to tempt me.

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