Current Backlog Of Games, 2012

I’m slowly working my way through my backlog of video- and computer games. Just recently I finished Tex Murphy: Under A Killing Moon. It was interesting, but a bit underwhelming, perhaps in part due to my high expectations; it’s supposed to be one of the pinnacles of FMV adventure games. It felt like they had maybe wanted to make a bigger game than they ended up doing (you only use the amazing crime computer once!), and the controls were frustrating (especially in the few places where you can actually die), and some of the acting was really bad (even for a FMV game). That said, moving around, looking for clues, trying to unravel a mystery, that was sort of fun, and it had a certain air of innovation about it.

The game was also surprisingly goofier than I had expected; there’s actually a scene where a thief runs through a brick wall, and leaves a silhouette-shaped hole. That’s not something I’d expect to see in a grim noir dystopian sci-fi setting. Also, I had expected werewolves, due to the game’s title, but there were alas none to be found.

So that’s one game down, and about… 50+ more to go. Doesn’t help that I recently acquired a PlayStation 2 console either, as a gift from a friend (hi Jørgen!), giving me a whole new library of games to explore. That is, if I can successfully track them down.

One game I did manage to track down (for a reasonable price, and still sealed!) and have already played through, is Michigan: Report From Hell, a somewhat obscure horror game from the renowned Japanese video game developer Grasshopper.

It was most definitely… a game. Except, not quite. But sort of. Not really sure where to start with this one.

You take on the role of a camera man, and together with your anchor lady and sound / boom operator guy try unraveling the mysterious mystery while both trying to survive monster attacks and trying to make film for the viewers. You only view the world through the camera’s lens, you never talk, and you can often only interact with objects through the reporter – like having her pick up keys and open doors.

The game scores you on “scoop”, “immoral”, and “erotic”. By picking up clues, relevant data, and getting goodies for the viewers you get a high scoop score, while filming females from risque angles and focusing on pornographic material gives you scores in erotic. Occasionally you can choose whether or not to help a character, which means you have to put down the camera. Or you can refrain from helping and instead keep on filming, increasing your scoop score but also your immoral score. Your final score in these decide what epilogue you get, and how the game judges you as a person.

Yup, that seems about right.

Your reporters can also die, in which case you’ll find yourself with a replacement reporter, but often skipping over a few levels. From what I have read about the game, all the reporters have unique dialogue. In addition, there are a lot of clues and scenes that are easy to miss out in, some of which are time based. So you’ll have to play the game several times and be thorough if you want to absorb all the content.

This was both an amazing and an awful game. The ideas above are pretty great, reminding me of Heavy Rain – there are time-based events, some different endings (but not nearly as many ad as substantial), and characters can die without you as a player getting a game over. Also bonus points for being a horror game that doesn’t focus on fighting. But…  the graphics and animations are awful (occasionally hilariously so, as you feel like you have to fill in the blanks of the poor animation with the power of your imagination). The game’s story seems both convoluted and cliché, and your trusty sound guy just won’t shut up. The game isn’t terribly scary or suspenseful, either.

The voice acting is just horrendous. And not in a consistently funny, over-the-top sort of way, but mostly in a grating, monotonous sort of way. Your sound guy just won’t shut up, and will keep going on and on about fairly trivial things, and the reports the anchor lady will do through the levels (which you will have to film) are often dull and redundant. “This is the counter. This is where people go to check out books. As you can see, there’s no one here right now. Let’s see what’s in the basement, shall we?” Not exactly breaking news material, and probably not what you would focus on when there are monsters everywhere.

They also messed up the European port of the game so that the movie theater isn’t viewable, where you can view various cut scenes from the game. It’s also where you can view secret video tapes you can stumble across through the game, which I believe would’ve shed more light on the story and maybe made the overall experience with the game a better one. They also removed all content relating to Yinling, a Japanese swimsuit model who did promotional work for the game, but I’m not sure if any story content was lost because of that.

And the list goes on.

But even so, the game’s thoroughly fascinating, and I’ve never quite played something like it before. It might also be a decent game to play with a group of friends, as you can make fun of the bad voice acting, animation, the news reports – and more! – together. Suda51 (one of those involved with the making of the game) has also expressed an interest in getting to remake, or re-imagine, the game some day. I’d definitely be interested in seeing that happening, as the game does have some genuinely interesting ideas.

Now, with my recent gaming experiences sufficiently covered, here’s my current backlog.


  • Beyond Good And Evil
  • Clive Barker’s Undying
  • Cold Fear
  • Dead Space
  • Enemy Zero
  • F.E.A.R. Extraction Point
  • Gray Matter
  • Mass Effect 2
  • Nocturne
  • Obscure
  • Penumbra Collection
  • Sam & Max Hit The Road
  • Shadow Of Destiny

PlayStation 2

  • Haunting Ground


  • Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
  • The Legend Of Zelda: Collector’s Edition – The Legend Of Zelda, Majora’s Mask
  • Need For Speed: Most Wanted
  • Odama
  • Resident Evil: Code Veronica X
  • Super Mario Sunshine
  • Viewtiful Joe 2


  • Catz
  • The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess
  • No More Heroes
  • Okami
  • Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles
  • Super Mario All-Stars
  • Zack & Wiki: Quest For Barbaros’ Treasure

Wii Ware

  • Bit. Trip Beat
  • Bit. Trip Core

Good Old Games

  • Alone In The Dark
  • Alone In The Dark 2
  • Alone In The Dark 3
  • Beneath A Steel Sky
  • Broken Sword
  • Broken Sword 2
  • Broken Sword 3
  • Constructor
  • Dark Fall: The Journal
  • Dark Fall 2: Lights Out
  • Giants: Citizen Kabuto
  • Kingdom: The Far Reaches
  • The Last Express
  • Litil Divil
  • Sanitarium
  • Still Life
  • Syberia
  • Syberia 2
  • Tex Murphy 1+2
  • Tex Murphy: Overseer
  • Tex Murphy: The Pandora Directive


  • Bully: Scholarship Edition
  • Cave Story+
  • Cogs
  • Crayon Physics Deluxe
  • Crazy Taxi
  • Dead Rising 2
  • The Dig
  • Dungeons Of Dredmor
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  • Gish
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
  • Grand Theft Auto IV
  • Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City
  • Hammerfight
  • Hitman: Blood Money
  • Hitman: Codename 47
  • Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
  • Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis
  • Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade
  • Jamestown
  • Loom
  • Lost Planet: Extreme Condition
  • Lugaru HD
  • Machinarium
  • The Misadventures Of P.B. Winterbottom
  • Monkey Island 2: Special Edition
  • NightSky
  • Nikopol: Secrets Of The Immortals
  • Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus
  • Oddworld: Abe’s Oddyssee
  • Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath
  • Osmos
  • Overlord
  • Penumbra: Overture
  • Portal 2 co-op
  • Psychonauts
  • Puzzle Quest
  • Saints Row 2
  • Samorost 2
  • The Secret Of Monkey Island: Special Edition
  • Shank
  • Sonic Adventure DX
  • Space Channel 5: Part 2
  • Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic
  • Steel Storm: Burning Retribution
  • Super Meat Boy
  • Trine

Again, my backlog seems to be growing more than it’s shrinking, but I’m still naïvely trudging onwards, hoping to one day clear it completely! But as mentioned, with the recent aquirement of a PlayStation 2, I have a new game library to wade through.  However, finding some of the titles I’m interested in might be difficult (or at least expensive), but I know a few titles I can borrow from local friends. So as an exciting bonus (at least more exciting than the unlockable “erotic” dance show in Michigan: Report From Hell), here’s a list of PlayStation 2 titles I’m currently hoping to experience, one way or the other.

  • Clock Tower 3
  • Dog’s Life
  • Echo Night Beyond
  • Forbidden Siren
  • Forbidden Siren 2
  • Glass Rose
  • God Hand
  • Killer 7 Also released for the GameCube, but it seems to be less expensive and more easily available for the PlayStation 2.
  • Kuon
  • Metal Gear Solid 2
  • Metal Gear Solid 3
  • Project Zero
  • Project Zero 2
  • Project Zero 3
  • Rule Of Rose
  • Silent Hill 2
  • Silent Hill 3


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