The Backlog: Missing Staff and The-Game-That-Never-Ends edition

Intrigue! Wonder! SCIENCE! There is no time for pre-break paraphrasing of the vast and riddle-laden mysteries nestled within this week's backlog. They are too great. Too fragile, perhaps. Inadequate minds would be at a loss if I just threw out the summarized refuse of what might possibly be our worst best backlog ever. I, a humble scribe of purely narratorial (new word) intentions, can barely contain myself during this soon-to-be historical moment; all of this feverish typing is done so with the tight, icy hand of anticipation musing its bony little fingernails into my literary jugular. It commands more words, and bigger and longer and shorter verbs; it shrieks, "More! And faster, and BETTER punctuation, FEWER dashes, that is a GERUND, now use that exclamation point here, stop with the italics because no one likes those! ADVERB!" This entire paragraph is simply devoid of any merit, but I'm still writing!

The tension is building, dear reader. Do you dare click the "Read the rest of this entry" link? Do you? Horrors never seen, never smelled or touched, wait beneath the artificially tranquil whiteness of the CRT monitor in front of you -- a beacon of glory with its Bauhaus collage of cat hair, flakes of skin and Taco Bell Fire Sauce fingerprints. You're expecting something now, something major -- possibly even satisfactory or mildly amusing. Do not. Don't. Placing trust in our ability to "journal" is foolish, and the oily gremlins of disappointment will suck you through that humming, buzzing radiation box to a world of malcontent and pointlessness. But, I ask again, are you nevertheless prepared?

No? You're not going to click it? After I birthed all of that fluffed up prose -- 13 minutes of my life to be clear -- above? Wow. Thanks. Really cool of you, man. I'll be over here kicking rocks with my hands in my pockets, and hanging my head in disappointment.

Anyway...I lied. Here's the summary: Doug's M.I.S. (missing in school), Nick's manifesto has been uncovered by baffled authorities, and I spew some less ridiculous bull and talk about what I played. Hooray! We're a bit strange this time around.


Editor's Note: We thank our readers for their unwavering support over the last week. Thankfully, after having been missing for six days, Nick was discovered by Humboldt County police huddled between two dumpsters behind the Burger King clutching a foam broadsword between his limbs. A search of his apartment yielded the following journal entries:

Hour 1 -- I just bought Dragon Age, and I'm already wondering just what I was thinking. Baldur's Gate was awfully boring, and this is practically the same thing. I mean, c'mon -- magic? Dragons? Long-winded conversations with one-dimensional characters? Puh-lease. Hour 7 -- It is now 5:20 in the morning and I haven't left my desk chair for any reason other than to relieve myself. The last two hours were spent in my party's camp trying to sweet-talk Alistair into having sex with my elf rogue. Should I have ethical qualms about seducing such an earnest person? I mean, he's so sincere and charming and...and...He's an excellent tank. I'll need to keep an eye on his strength stat, though. Yeah. Hour 19 — I've completed 23% of what the game has to offer. It occurs to me that content will probably be release faster than I can finish it. Fortunately, my aspirations died months ago and I wasn't really planning on doing much else. Hour 38 Still not sure how to parse my feelings about Alistair. Spent a long time staring at the mirror this morning. Hour 43 -- Tried to explain to my significant other why bringing Dragon Age into our household could be good for both of us. Frustrated to discover my master persuasion skill doesn't apply to reality. I don't think she'll be back. Hour 92 -- I need to know everything. All of Ferelden's secrets; every conceivable outcome; every nuance of every party member. What makes them tick? What happens if I change my behavior ever so slightly? Dell shipped another six computers today. Expensive? Maybe. But a mere pittance for the opportunity to multi-box this game. Hour 112 -- Alistair body pillow arrived from Hour 170 -- Police here. Hour 294 -- It's done. I have become the alpha-geek. My jeans lie in tatters; my muscles have atrophied; I've even grown a hint of a disreputable mustache. And I'm really, really hungry.


Unfortunately, Doug has been absorbed into the Portland State University hivemind this week. We expect he'll resurface soon with a decidedly more Borg-ish makeover.


Even after the credits had stopped, Assassin's Creed II kept me glued to my most comfy seat -- though most of that extra time was spent scratching my head in confusion. The series is taking quite the epic/weird turn according to the various plot details unveiled in the sequel. I can't imagine what other "WTF" moments the AC team will conjure up for the third game. All I know is, at this very second, I can't wait for it. Everything about AC2 was wonderful. It was lengthy without being overwhelming, and that struck me the most. Most games either go on for far too long (Metal Gear Solid 2...and perhaps 4), or they miss the important climax moments in the story and character development departments by ending abruptly (screw you, Halo 2). It's rare that a game can be perfectly paced and satisfying at the same time.

Torchlight was my second fancy this week. I'm intending to finish the game I so lavishly praised in past articles, because if I don't my credibility will find itself even more bankrupt than it currently is. Would anyone out there in cyberspace like us to review the game? It's a question I continue to raise to myself (who is frankly uninterested in what I have to say, oddly enough), and the pros and cons of the situation aren't exactly clear, or existent. Someone just tell me to do it so I'm more motivated.

Guess who finished Ghostbusters: The Video Game: me! A shocker, I know. It was a fun distraction overall. A few awkwardly off-time cutscenes, over-repeated contextual dialogue lines from Bill Murray and a couple poorly designed levels to 'bust in don't make a strong case for purchasing this title, but it's still hilarious at times and a nostalgic trip for all of us wannabe Ghostbusters out there. I do own it though, so the possibility of playing through to get more achievements is quite likely; I'm just not sure if right now is a good time to start a second playthrough. What with Mass Effect 2: Collectors' Edition (oh yes, I roll deep) destroying my existence come Tuesday.