Diablo has always been a series I experience vicariously. Sure, I played an hour or so of a pirated copy of the first game at a friend’s house back in middle school, the same weekend I discovered Dungeons & Dragons, but I always considered it something for other people. Torchlight was billed as the successor to the series when it came out in 2009, when Diablo 3 was still just a rumor and a hope. As has been my wont, I mentally shelved it away until snapping it up for cheap on Steam, where it remained shelved until now.

That being said, Torchlight has the honor of being the first game on this list that I don’t actually beat. Perhaps I’ll come back to it later this year, but at about 10 hours in, I feel confident that I’ve experienced what it has to offer.

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Most of the games on this blog are being played by me for the first time, but a few, like Braid, are ones that I just haven’t played on PC before, or ones that I haven’t played a in a long time. I was lucky in that I got to play Braid right as it came out on Xbox Live Arcade over a decade ago but never revisited it, even when I added it to my fledgling Steam Library. As my list already has several, small indie games, I figured this would be a chance to play Braid again, and see if it still deserves all that hype from its release.

In short, yeah I think so.

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Max Payne

Kicking off the journey through the discarded wastes of my Steam Library is Max Payne, and there is no better example of what this project is attempting to accomplish! This was my third purchase, right after buying Half-Life 2 (physically, even!), and the full Orange Box a few years later. Though I don’t recall the exact decision-making process that brought Max Payne into my possession, I can deduce it easy enough—after hearing schoolmates talk up its Bullet Time mechanic and how good and serious the story was, it sat in the back of my mind, relegated to what we now call The Backlog. Up until that point, PC gaming for me was either “full price” or “pirate it,” and as I already had a number of games to play as it is, Max Payne never motivated me to dip into either end . I’m sure that when I did pick it up over a decade ago I saw both it and its sequel for cheap and figured what the hell. Pretty much the entire story of my Library. And thus the addiction unfolds…

So how does this nearly twenty-year-old game hold up? Honestly, surprising well!

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