The Fragcake challenge (named for it’s creator) is a challenge set up a few years ago, in which participants were challenged to play every game in their Steam library. For a lot of people Steam is a collection game. You buy or acquire a lot of games, but actually getting around to playing them can be a bit tricky. People tend to stick with the same game, or sit spoiled for choice, unable to pick one. Some people have libraries of thousands of games, but nothing to play.
The idea was that you would set up a completion point. The end of the story, or 10 hours, or whatever you wanted and then move on.
I tried it and ended up putting over 1000 hours into various versions of football manager instead. Whoops.
But I have some free time now, so I will go through some of the games I have managed to finish, how far I got, what I think, etc. I will not be trying to play all 350 games in my library. My computer is not good enough to play all of them, but I will try to play SOME of them.
So, firstly Football Manager – I will talk about the series as a whole. I have all of them, I put most of my time into 2012 with around 600 hours played according to Steam. I think they are wonderful. Frustrating, time-consuming, wonderful pieces of art. The magic lies in the fact that you are writing your own story, building relationships with people that do not exist. My favourite real life player is my favourite real life player because I brought him up from the youth team in football manager to captain the side. He has now captained his side in real life. I feel like I know him and care about him, even though I have never met him. And the game is so accessible. You can play it at the most casual level, throwing tactics and training together, or even getting an AI assistant to do it and just playing the matches, or you can dive in and change every tiny little aspect of the game. It really is magical.
Bastion – I have an unpopular opinion on Bastion. I played it through once to the end and by that point I really felt like I was forcing myself to keep playing just to finish it. The art style is not really hugely to my taste and the combat was, honestly, boring. The story was okay and the narrator’s voice is cool but it didn’t touch me in a way it has many others. It’s worth a play, because it might just click with you, but it didn’t with me.
Hitman: Blood Money – This game is fantastic. It’s the stand-out game in the franchise and seemed to do everything right. I’ve finished it twice – once on PS2 and once on PC. The level design is perfect. The gear upgrading stuff is nothing special, but a nice addition. The end of mission reports in the style of newspaper clippings was clever. It is so easy to drop into any level in the game and just play through once, or until you get Silent Assassin as your ranking. The game is FUN. Everyone should play this game, even if they do not like the other Hitman games.
Street Fighter X Tekken – I like fighting games. I had such high hopes for this one. I put in a fair few hours, mostly into the trials mode and online. The trials are fun and it’s cool to have all of these characters together in one place. While it’s fun to tag Heihachi into Paul Phoenix (who hilariously screams his name A LOT) and to be able to play with a friend, I think the game suffers for being a tag game. It also had serious problems with the gems system, the horrible colour schemes and there’s something a little off about the art direction too. It looks weird. It’s fun, but it wasn’t a great fighting game. Although, I have heard that it’s a lot better now, even if there is no one still playing it.
This could take a while. There’s a lot more to go so a part 2 will be coming!