Four in February: Let’s Roll!

Every February, members of the gaming community participate in an annual event aptly named Four in February (or #4iF). The concept is simple: choose four games from your existing backlog and try to complete them before the end of the month.

I typically approach #4iF by picking out four smaller games. That way I still have time for new releases (Shadow of the Colossus!) and don’t feel overwhelmed trying to cram in a massive RPG — last year I made the mistake of choosing Dragon Age: Inquisition, which won’t be repeated in the year of our Dark Lord 2018.

This year I’m working with:

1: Life is Strange: Before the Storm

A three-episode prequel to one of my favorite games of 2015, Dontnod’s adventure series Life is Strange. Shifting focus from the original protagonist to her BFF, and her accompanied friendship with the now-missing Rachel Amber, Before the Storm aims to flesh out an already strong cast of characters.

The gameplay is similar to the various Telltale adventure series, like The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead. You control a character who converses with various people, choose their replies, and live with the consequences of their actions. Unlike Max, who had the ability to rewind time, Chloe uses her silver tongue to argue, persuade, or talk her way out of dangerous situations.

2: Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut

A blocky looking horror puzzle game that’s as self-aware as it is campy and over the top. Each world acts as a film, with the next being its annualized sequel (anyone who grew up watching horror in the 80’s is all too familiar with this concept).

It’s an easy game to pick up and play, but a bit difficult to explain coherently. Basically, you play as the killer and the objective is to murder everyone before escaping through a portal. The direction you press on the d-pad is the direction the killer walks (more like slides) until they hit something, so it requires a lot of pre-planning and experimenting until you figure out how to dismantle everyone and make your escape.

3: Life is Strange

After finishing Before the Storm, my plan is to replay the original game’s five episodes. I haven’t experienced it since 2015 and I’d like to revisit Life is Strange while the events of Before the Storm are fresh in my mind.

For those of you unfamiliar, it’s an episodic adventure series that focuses on the life of a young photography student named Max. After her family moved from Arcadia Bay, Oregon to Seattle, Washington five years ago, she’s decided to return to her hometown to finish out her senior year at the prestigious Blackwell Academy, where one of her favorite photographers is now an instructor. It’s normal, everyday high school stuff until she starts having vivid dreams of a massive tornado wiping out Arcadia Bay. She also obtains the ability to rewind time after preventing the murder of her former best-friend Chloe Price (the star of the aforementioned Before the Storm) and the two embark on an adventure to solve a missing person case (Before the Storm’s Rachel Amber, Chloe’s replacement best-friend after Max moved away).

4: Moon Hunters

This one is a fairly short action RPG, but uses a genre term that typically turns me away immediately: roguelike. It’s built around co-op action (with a single-player option) and has the player exploring an occult world over the course of five days. The world is different every time you play the game, which not only plays well with the one-hour runtime but increases the replay value by encouraging repeat visits.

The developer describes it as a personality test RPG, which intrigues me, but I’m not sure if I’ll like the roguelike aspects enough to stick around. If I finish, I finish; if I don’t, I’ll pick something else.

*UPDATE* — Since I didn’t publish this article until today, it’s worth noting that I’ve already completed the first two games on the list. Oops.

Will you be taking part in Four in February? If so, what four games are on the menu?

If anyone you know is working toward their four-game goal, give them some words of encouragement! The backlog is a tricky beast to slay, so a little congratulatory statement can go a long way.

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38 thoughts on “Four in February: Let’s Roll!

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  1. I had no idea this was a thing! I’ll have to figure a few out to push through before March!

    Slayaway Camp is such a good time for a puzzler! I mean- being a Friday the 13th fan, it’s tough to turn down but the other movie homages are cute, too.

    Good luck on your four!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well colored me impressed. I had no idea this was a thing! I would join, but knowing my rap record, it probably isn’t the best idea. I’m not consistent enough to play 4 at once while keeping the blog up to date. haha. I’ll just stick to my FFXV immersion! Looking forward to see your progress tho :)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Does “SlayAway Camp” play similar to “Hitman Go”? Latter’s super frustrating but addictive, particularly since I like playing 47 as Mr. Magoo~ And BTS is definitely more about characterization that plot development. Would love to hear your perspective on Deck Nine’s take. I was impressed that they made some concrete decisions in line with their own head canon, an endearing and fascinating salute to the franchise’s fandom for the most part; but, not everyone felt that way, even among some rather passionate fans, which was a bit surprising.

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    1. Yeah, it’s very similar to the Go games.

      I would have liked a 4th episode that went more into Amber’s disappearance more and her relationship with Frank that’s brought up in the core game. Otherwise, I thought they did a great job cramming a lot of character development into a shorter experience.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Two already? You’re on a roll :) I’ll be lucky if I beat 4 games in 2018, haha. I’ll try to finish Inquisition this month though. 60+hours in so far! :D

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  5. This is a cool idea! I’m not sure I really have any backlogged games that are of a shorter length to try and succeed at this, though – the games in my backlog are titles like Dragon Quest VIII 3DS, Bravely Second, Dishonored 2, inFamous: Second Son…I guess the latter two wouldn’t be that bad but I am definitely not going to be able to sink into those big RPGs. I may still see if I can give it a go – perhaps I am overlooking some titles that would be more appropriate for it!

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      1. Oh goodness, those are definitely some lengthy titles. The two I have played (Fire Emblem and DQ7) easily took me between 80-100 hours. Of course, in the case of Fire Emblem that’s counting Birthright, Conquest, Revelations, and the Hidden Truths DLC to finish out the story. I guess you could technically count each version of Fates as a separate game, but that’s probably not in the spirit of the event, haha.

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        1. I had DQ7 on PS1 and enjoyed what I played, but I was definitely not prepared for an 80+ hour RPG lol. I picked it up at launch thinking the 3DS’s portability would make it a bit more tolerable. We’ll see, whenever I get around to it.

          How are you liking the DQ8 3DS remaster? I’ve had my eye on it, but I haven’t even started DQ7 yet.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It’s pretty solid. They changed less about DQ8 than they changed about DQ7 (they cut a lot of hours out of the latter to make it a more reasonable length), but having a couple of new playable characters and the ability to quick save is definitely nice on a portable console. If you’ve not played DQ8 before I definitely recommend it – it’s one of my favorites in the series. The addition of different skills you can invest in adds some interesting customization, and the characters and villains are pretty memorable.

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            1. Dragon Quest games can be tough to finish just based on sheer length. Most of them take at least 50 hours if not a little more, and since they are more episodic than serial they are really easy to put down after a small story arc resolves and then forget to go back to for awhile.

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  6. Dammit! I completely forgot about this, so of course I didn’t prep. You’re always pro at finishing all the games, dude. I might give it a go. I just started RiME, which I have to finish by next Tuesday since it has to go back to the library. I think I can finish OPUS: The Day We Found Earth. I wish I’d waited until this month to finish up Mario Odyssey. That could’ve given me one already. Curse my RPG love!

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            1. If you sub before the end of the month you can actually grab Rime, Knack, and a decent strategy RPG (think Final Fantasy Tactics or Fire Emblem) called Grand Kingdom. Grand Kingdom is cross-buy, so you get it on Vita as well. Since you have a Vita now and a Plus subscription works across the whole family of PlayStation consoles, you can grab Grand Kingdom on PS4 & Vita and a JRPG called Mugen Souls Z on PS3.

              https://store.playstation.com/en-us/grid/STORE-MSF77008-PSPLUSFREEGAMES/1

              Liked by 1 person

            2. I usually find a deal on a whole year of PS Plus since the free games are always pretty decent and you get an extra 10% off during digital sales. I paid $40 for my recent year instead of the usual $60, but even $60 is good for twelve months of “free” games.

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  7. I’m attempting my first 4 in February so wish me luck! I haven’t decided on 4 games yet so I’ll list what I’m considering.

    Xenoblade 2 (done)
    Dragon Age: Inquisition
    Subnautica
    Batman The Telltale Series

    I’ll most likely end up swapping out Dragon Age for Dynasty Warriors 9 when it releases :).

    Liked by 1 person

          1. It’s fun to swim around and do random crap without worrying about starving to death. And I really love the crafting system too. I do plan on returning to survival mode so I can experience the way the game was meant to be played :). The funny thing is I didn’t think I would enjoy Subnautica at all.

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