Let's play through our backlogs

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Let's play through our backlogs

Postby unpronounceable » 21 Apr 2015, 19:48

I can't be the only person who's bought one, or a dozen, too many bundles and has a ton of games just sitting around, gathering electronic dust. A while back, I decided I would give 20 games a shot before I would let myself buy any new games. Right now, I've gone through 17, and have found some good games I might have put off otherwise.

Anyway, the goal was to try new games I already had, and to give them a fair shot instead of just dropping them after a couple minutes. Here are some guidelines I put for myself.
  • Don't drop the game until you've given it a fair shot. This obviously differs from game to game, but my rule of thumb was 2-3 hours.
  • If you play a game past that point, keep going until you beat it, or until it stops being enjoyable. I have the hardest time getting back into games, so it's better for me to keep playing and not lose my momentum on it.
  • For games where you're intended to have multiple successful runs to unlock stuff, like The Binding of Issac, a couple successful runs is good enough, and unlocking everything isn't close to necessary.

Let's play through our backlogs, and share our games. They might not be the new hotness like Bloodborne is, but they can still be worth playing.


The last game I beat was Papers, Please. Tons of people have said how good it is, and I agree. It's been a long time since I last played a game where I really felt like I was in the protagonist's shoes. Every time I admitted or denied entry to someone, I noticed I would let out a sigh of relief when I didn't get a citation. It does a fantastic job of demonstrating how hard it is to make a living through its clever use of mechanics, instead of saying it. Show don't tell, and all. I only got 1 end out of 20, so I'll definitely come back to it, but even if I stopped here, I already got my money's worth.

Up next, I think I want something a bit adventurey, so either Fez or La-Mulana. I'll probably go with the former since I watched Indie Game: The Movie not too long ago.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby CamelKnackRambleHort » 24 Apr 2015, 13:29

I like this idea, sounds like fun.

Recently I picked up Neo Scavenger, which I got in a humble bundle a while back.

For your information, Neo Scavenger is a game about survival first and foremost. The idea is basically that you scavenge around a post apocalyptic world trying to survive and find better stuff so you can survive better. There is an extremely extensive crafting system where you can do tons of stuff, from sharpening a stick to make a spear to crafting noise traps to alert you if a bad guy comes to close while you are sleeping. The inventory system is also very extensive, with tons of items that do tons of things within the limited framework of the game. There is also a pretty limited skill system, where you choose what talents/skills you have at the beginning of the game.

It's... ok? I put about 7 hours into it, and it never really clicked for me. There were some truly great moments, never before have I been happier to find a plastic grocery bag, but by and large these moments were undercut by the mechanics of the game. I really, really want to love this game, but I just can't because the game is constantly doing things that make me hate it. Worst of all is the permadeath, which will obliterate hours worth of play time because the RNG didn't wake you up when a dog came by. It's all the frustration of Iron man impossible X-com with a lot less of an ability to influence the outcome.

Next I am going to try to finally play Mark of the Ninja.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby TStodden » 24 Apr 2015, 22:34

I could use some motivation / support to start pushing my completion rate back up as over the years, that rate has slipped from 30% down to 24% & still sliding... as the evidence will show on Backloggery ( http://www.backloggery/TStodden ) & I still have another battery of titles to add to that list...

HOWEVER, I should probably cheat a little bit & run with the declaration of "Clear Once, Clear All" for multiple copies of a game as if I clear it on PC, it should be able to claim it on the other platforms the game is on (Android, 3DS, Wii, ect.) unless there's a major change between versions to warrant replays.

I'm also tempted to get into streaming (albeit for stuff that I can run on my PC) for the extra moral support, but my work schedule probably not the greatest for scheduling.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby unpronounceable » 26 Apr 2015, 16:53

I like that idea of streaming your backlog. Is there a thread here to announce our streams? If not, I might announce plans to stream here on occasion.

I decided to play Fez, and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the platforming/perspective puzzles quite a bit. At the start, I had trouble remembering where I was going. I actually found the perspective shifting more disorienting than anything in Portal or Antichamber. I think part of it was because of how I kept on trying to make a mental 3d map. It doesn't really help knowing platforms are actually far apart, when you can rotate the camera 90 degrees to bring them "together".

I got most of the cubes and about 7 anticubes. I don't think I'll go for everything though. Playing this, I realized I don't really enjoy collectathons anymore.

I don't know what I'll play next. I think I'll just choose something on a whim.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby ch3m1kal » 26 Apr 2015, 23:26

Well this is something I need and at the same time dread doing.

Right now there are 2 games at the top of my backlog:

One is Dark Souls, which I figured I'd finally power through, since Scholar of the First Sin seems to have fixed some of DS2's issues so I'm planning top pick that up.
Previously I've always given up on Dark Souls somewhere around Lost Izalith since by that point it just became a chore / technicality to actually finish.
Most of the challenge was gone, all the patterns were memorized, gear was optimized for the build and it was just a matter of patience.

And the other is GTA 4, which according to my save file, I haven't played since 2008. Once again, figured that before I get 5, I might at least finish 4.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby Trippzen » 28 Apr 2015, 07:32

I'm usually pretty good about my backlog which means I only have about a dozen games on my backlog to work on, and I did manage to finish Wasteland 2 after more than 50 hours. I kind of feel like it dragged on a bit after 30 hours but I was also going between it and Diablo 3 which may have hurt the story and text-reading of an otherwise great CRPG. The last 10 hours or so I was just skipping text unless it was voiced, which is only for major story bits.

That said, I started playing Cities: Skylines, so it's gonna be a while on that backlog. That game seems to have a logarithmic learning curve, complete with starting out at negative infinity.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby unpronounceable » 08 May 2015, 19:39

I started playing La Mulana. I'm enjoying it so far, but it's frustrating. The jumping works almost like in the old Castlevania games or Ghosts and Goblins; you can barely change direction in midair, and if you walk off the edge, you just drop straight down.

While exploring, there are a ton of tablets with hints that are probably related to puzzles, but I can't remember everything they say, so this is going to be the first game I play following a walkthough in a while. I think I'm going to generally explore each area a bit before looking things up, but I'm not going to hesitate to look things up to keep myself moving.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby AdmiralMemo » 08 May 2015, 20:04

I'm playing through BioShock on my stream. I was previously only able to get to Arcadia before, and now I'm well past that. :) It's actually a bit disturbing where the game takes you.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby unpronounceable » 22 May 2015, 15:57

Two weeks later, and too many deaths later, I'm done La Mulana. I enjoyed parts of it, but damn if it doesn't feature some unfriendly level design. I can't fathom playing through this without a reference of some kind. There are too many obscure things that are vaguely hinted at on tablets, and a lot of the things aren't even close to the relevant rooms.

I found the very sparse warp points particularly annoying when I got to the Chamber of Birth. In it, there are two sections that are disconnected from one another, and you have to do things in both. For one half there is no warp there, and in the other, you can't access the warp until you're more than half done the area, and even then, there's a long trek before you get to anything relevant.

I get that it's designed like that intentionally, but it is really unfriendly design, and I can't recommend it to anyone.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby Trippzen » 23 May 2015, 17:37

I finished Cities: Skylines. Finished in so far as I made it to building a space elevator and decided that was my "win condition" because the traffic in my city was at the point where I couldn't advance without fixing it, and I couldn't fix it without destroying sizable portions of my city. Also it looks all of the other monuments have at least one prerequisite that requires a poorly managed city, which is not my bag, aside from the traffic, which I was not a fan of. It was extremely well done, just not good enough, understandably so. The simulation would be a lot more complicated if it accounted for traffic in real-time in addition to distance and speed. I'll go back to it at some point to play it with mods though. This playthrough was without mods because they unfortunately (in my opinion) decided that mods and cheevos should be mutually exclusive.

I also played and finished The Talos Principle. I haven't played a game that I enjoyed that much in years, and that includes Cities: Skylines, which is fantastic. I'm still really really hoping someone plays it on stream.

Now I'm debating Skies of Arcadia (Legends) or a 2nd playthrough of Dark Souls. I never finished Skies of Arcadia so it'd be nice to do so, but it has NOT aged well either. Dark Souls I want to play again because 1) it's a great game (duh) and 2) it has cheese mints now. Trouble is, I don't think I ever moved my save from GFWL so I might have to start over.

Naturally, my backlog got bigger despite finishing 2 games as I bought Invisible, Inc. (by the Mark of the Ninja devs), Resident Evil Remastered, and DMC: Devil May Cry. I don't think I've played a DMC game since the first one on PS2.

Edit: And I still have books I need to read! Gallons of books!
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby unpronounceable » 26 May 2015, 15:56

Trippzen wrote:Now I'm debating Skies of Arcadia (Legends) or a 2nd playthrough of Dark Souls. I never finished Skies of Arcadia so it'd be nice to do so, but it has NOT aged well either. Dark Souls I want to play again because 1) it's a great game (duh) and 2) it has cheese mints now. Trouble is, I don't think I ever moved my save from GFWL so I might have to start over.


Skies of Arcadia is probably my favourite JRPG that I will never, ever play again. I'm really glad I played it years ago, because good god the random encounter rate is horrendous, even with the adjustments for the GC version. Whenever I think about wanting to play it again, I just listen to the soundtrack instead.


I started, and dropped Gratuitous Space Battles. I went in expecting a light tactical RTS, but it isn't like that at all. It's all about designing and deploying your ships, and then watching the AI fight at 4x speed. It could be good with a decent tutorial, but with such a breadth of options available at the start, and little guidance from the game itself, it was pretty impenetrable. The tutorial was one mission, where there was a ton of text that ultimately ended up with "Let's leave these values the way they are for now". I'm sure the game could be really good, hell, I wanted to like it, but I don't have the patience to learn how to play before I play it.

The game could really have done with a tutorial like in the Advance Wars games, where they start you with a very limited set of options, and show you how to use them by making you play the game. Start a mission with fighters and frigates, make you fail a battle, and introduce the different ship components to cover deficiencies in your ship. Then later introduce the cruisers, and the different hull types.

So, I dropped that, and instead started Chantelise, an action JRPG of sorts. It's a game from the same developers and localization team as Recettear. The gameplay isn't stellar; it's pretty basic, and drags on a bit, but the localization is top notch. Carpe Fulgur really did a great job with the game. I'll probably play it all the way through, but I don't think I'll be recommending it like Recettear, which I wholeheartedly recommend.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby Smeghead » 26 May 2015, 23:24

I dare not touch my backlog. If I were to do what you did I wouldn't be able to play any new games until 2020
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby ch3m1kal » 28 May 2015, 03:55

Well GTA 4 is done.
Can't say it was really worth the time spent, but at least I can cross it off the list.
It mostly reminded me why I don't particularly like the GTA series or most open world games. They have too many different mechanics and for the most part none are executed particularly well.

Anyway, now to slog through the end of Dark Souls...
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby unpronounceable » 28 May 2015, 17:33

Chantelise is done and dusted. It's not too long, pretty cute, and, like I said before, the localization is really good. Chantelise actually makes game 21 from my backlog, so I can start buying games again.

That said, I've more or less enjoyed playing all these games I already own, so I'm going to impose a 3-1 rule for myself. For each three games I play, I can buy one. I might stretch that a bit for JRPGs though, since they're so long.

Speaking of JRPGs, since I like alliterations, I think it's almost time for JRPG June and July. I think it's fitting to try and focus on JRPGs since I have so damn many of them. They just aren't all on steam.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby CamelKnackRambleHort » 29 May 2015, 14:12

Its been a while since I posted last, so I got a lot of ground to cover.

Finished my latest DS run (2/5 characters types I want to do down) and started a new one, beat MMX again for the fun, finally accomplish beating Super Mario Bros without any warps.

Tried RIP 1-3, they are ok? I guess? Not great. But they were like a quarter each so no big loss.

I tried to play saints row 4, but it crashes to desktop. Got to trouble shoot it.

100% (very nearly, except the stupid parts) Sonic Generations. This is a very good game, one that I absolutely recommend.

Currently playing:
Convoy (it is pretty fun so far)
Dabbling in GTA V. Currently making sure I stay behind graham in the main Story so I am kind of limited in how far I can play this.
Starting a play through of XCOM: Long war v15 later today (with some modifications to make it a lot more forgiving, I can post my .ini file if people want it.) I might also try to play Xenonauts along side for comparison.
Probably going to replay Yoshis Island with my wife over the next few weeks.

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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby unpronounceable » 30 May 2015, 20:13

Today, I was in the mood for a platformer, so I tried, and beat Hell Yeah. It wasn't particularly good. The game tries way too hard to be edgy cartoony, and it mostly falls flat. The dialogue, while self-aware, was pretty forgettable, and the gameplay didn't really do much to reinforce it. They tried to add over the top cartoony violence because whenever you kill an enemy, you have to perform a coup de grace to finish it off. Unfortunately, the amount to either quicktime events, or shitty versions of Warioware-esque minigames. They completely break the flow and tone of the game since they come out of nowhere, and they even change the music to some generic happy music. After that, there is a boring cutscene showing exactly how you do your coup de grace, and it is just boring. I found myself checking things on my phone while they were going on.

There were a bunch of things I didn't like about the level design either. There were timed traps that would kill you in 3 hits, while most enemies, including bosses would need at least 10. They were also grouped together in bunches, so you couldn't just run through while they were down. They didn't do anything but serve to slow the game down or frustrate me. There were a bunch of drops you had to go down with insta-death spikes hiding off screen. Even if you were paranoid, you wouldn't be able to see some of them.

The controls for the most part were serviceable, but problematic for aerial combat. To attack, you need to aim with the right thumbstick, and hit the right trigger. This works fine if you're on the ground, but in the air it's another issue altogether. To spend any time in the air, you have to hold jump, but holding jump means you can't aim. Furthermore, your bullets disappear if they go off screen, so if there are enemies above you, they're a pain in the ass to attack.

One final thing I'm going to complain about is how easy the combat was. There are two main kinds of weapons in the game each with three tiers: rockets and machine guns. The former shoots slowly, but does more damage, whereas the latter has better range and shoots faster. For any enemy, it was usually pretty easy to find a safe spot, and just shoot with your weapon of choice. I rarely changed weapons out of necessity, and the third rocket was so powerful, I could pretty much damage race any enemy, final boss included. It was pretty unfulfilling all told.

It wasn't all bad. There were two worlds in particular that stood out: one was all cartoon sunshine and rainbows, and the other was like what that world would be on drugs.

A disappointing game, and it couldn't even stand up on its aesthetic or premise.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby Robo4900 » 01 Jun 2015, 09:08

Interesting. When I played that game, I liked it.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby ch3m1kal » 04 Jun 2015, 11:36

Well because I turned on my PS3 again after many months of neglect, I may have accidentally the whole Resistance 3. (which was also on my backlog)

I quite liked it. I think the Resistance series is severely underrated despite the fact that it's probably the best FPS on the PS3.
I mean, yeah playing a shooter with a controller is still clunky at best, but it makes up for that with a great setting, awesome set pieces and some of the most fun weapons in any FPS. The weapons part made perfect sense when I remembers that Insomniac also make the Ratchet & Clank games, which are also full of awesome weapons.

All in all, a pretty good game with a decent story line, though Resistance 2's was better, with the only gripe being the ending, which I though was a bit anticlimactic and felt kind of rushed.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby Prospero101 » 04 Jun 2015, 13:38

Alright, I'll give this a shot.

First game I dug out of my backlog was Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut. This has mostly been gathering e-dust because I played the original one a while ago. But I was in the mood for a cyberpunk game after I devoured Shadowrun Dragonfall, so I installed it.

There's a number of marked differences I didn't expect. Firstly, it doesn't perform nearly as well on my laptop as the original did. Must be all those graphical "improvements." Secondly, they really did improve the boss fights. I beat Bad Texas Accent by literally dropping a turret on his head.

It's kind of still the same game, though. Let me put it this way. Deus Ex: Human Revolution was wearing a fun tuxedo T-shirt. Now it actually shelled out for a rental for its sister's wedding. A marked improvement on the same thing. I'll probably finish it, especially since I never got the Missing Link DLC for the original.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby unpronounceable » 04 Jun 2015, 13:45

Robo4900 wrote:Interesting. When I played that game, I liked it.

I enjoyed it enough to play it all the way through, it's just disappointing because it could have been so much better.

Let's take one of the things I was most disappointed by, the monster death sequences, and look at how it could be better.

First, I'd make each death unique. There is a lot of impact that's lost in seeing the deaths multiple times. They also made most, if not all, of the monster designs unique, it would be fitting for them to have unique deaths as well. The next thing would be to take the death minigames, and actually tie those in with the death scenes. Instead of putting a coin in an arcade machine and seeing rabbit space invaders shoot the thing up, let the player control them, and shoot it up. Instead of making the player watch a truck drive over a monster, let them control the truck, and drive into it.

I think just doing that would have done a lot to make the game feel a lot more cohesive, and give it better pacing.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby Trippzen » 10 Jun 2015, 08:56

Finished Dark Souls. I ended up starting over even though I was able to move my save file successfully. I started over because achievements didn't carry over so I'd have to restart to trigger some, like getting estus flasks for the first time. There's otherwise not much to say about Dark Souls at this point. I like it, it's good, someday I'll play it again to get the achievement for the other ending.

I was going to play Endless Legend afterwards but it kept crashing on startup. I tried all the usual suspects: verify cache, update drivers, reinstall, etc, as well as all the recommended fixes I could Google up but nothing helped. I may let Steam know and see if I can get a refund. I bought the game over a month ago so it wouldn't be under the new refund system. I may also tell myself that I'll get back to it and see if I can get it working then.

I ended up moving on to DMC: Devil May Cry anyways. I hadn't played a DMC game since the original so I didn't really mind the alternative universe Dante or whatever he is. I had a weird "ambiguous package" error starting up DMC though. It would go through all 1,200 files in the CookedPC folder saying file A is not file B and that's somehow an issue. I tried the usual suspects again, short of reinstallation, but ended up not bothering because, for whatever reason, the game would launch and played just fine after letting me know that the 1,200 files were, in fact, unique, so I just had to lay on the enter key for a couple of minutes whenever I went to launch it.

I didn't think DMC was anything special but it was enjoyable nonetheless. I could see it being awesome if it had come out before Metal Gear Rising, but having played MGR already I just found myself thinking I could just play that instead as they were very similar games but MGR played much faster and, I felt, smoother. I liked the story though no part of it was surprising, for better or worse, including the ending.

Moving on to Resident Evil Remastered just in time for the Steam Summer sale...
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby unpronounceable » 10 Jun 2015, 18:38

I beat Fortune Summoners. It's a cute action JRPG that was more difficult than it's appearance would let on. I quite enjoyed it, although I had trouble when I was forced to play as one of the spell casters. In far too many side-scrolling platformers, I'm used to getting up close and personal with enemies, and generally damage racing them. It was already a change of pace for me to not go all out all the time, but needing to hang back, and really zone enemies was a big change for me.

The game ended with a plot hook for a potential sequel, but I think the dev team disbanded, so nothing more will come out. I can't say I'm too disappointed by that though; the game was a bit too saccharine for my taste.

Up next in JRPG June/July is Valkyria Chronicles. I don't really know too much about the game, except that the main Skies of Arcadia trio make cameo appearances. I can't wait to see Vyse.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby Moussefilledkitten » 17 Jun 2015, 07:19

I've owned xenoblade chronicles since it came out for the wii. I'm finally getting around to playing it on my roommate's wii u.

After that is Dragon Age II followed by the games of KH 2.5. Then either directly into DA III or something else on my backlog in between.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby CamelKnackRambleHort » 17 Jun 2015, 11:04

Decided I am finished with Long War. I kind of decided it is actually bad. For all the good and interesting things it added the game just feels like a massive slog. It is as if everything about the mod is meant to just drag on and on to prevent you making any progress in any sort of timely manner. Just replaying EW is far more satisfying. !Game bad.

Xenonauts, on the other hand, is far more compelling. Searching out and combating the aliens on the battle map is tense and satisfying, and the base management is much more interesting than in X-COM:EU. It also does enough to differentiate itself from the original X-COM to make it worth playing despite how closely it tries to keep to those roots. Honestly, this game might be a great primer for someone trying to play the original X-COM. !Game good.

Convoy: I "beat" it once, but in a game like convoy that hardly is experiencing the game to its fullest. My initial impressions however are that the game has a solid base that didn't completely stick the landing. The combat is interesting and fun, I just wish the rest of the game was as well. The events that drive the game are not particularly well written, a far cry from the interesting risk assessments they should have been. I wonder if this game would have been better with a set campaign instead of a random one. But I am going to play more before I officially call it.

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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby unpronounceable » 25 Jun 2015, 16:49

Two weeks later, and I've beaten Valkyria Chronicles. It's a really good tactical JRPG. I liked how it switches between the map overview, but moves in to a over-the-shoulder view for when you're taking action with a character. It's a really solid battle system, and I really liked how they avoided a grid. It gave the designers a lot of design space to play with variation in terrain, and cover and the like. Not really anything novel, but it's not something I've seen in other tactical JRPGs. I went in knowing nothing except for the Skies of Arcadia references, and I really enjoyed it. They actually put in some nice touches for Vyse and Aika. In their character profiles, it mentions that they're from a land far away from Europa, and when Aika rescues a downed ally, she says "If you die on me, then I'm taking all your treasure!".

If anyone plays it, which you should if you like the genre, watch out for chapter 17. It's easily the hardest mission in the game. It took me lots of retries to get through.

Up next, I need to figure out a good place to stick my PS2, and finish Persona 4. I think I left off somewhere after saving Rise, but it's been 9 months or so.

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