Love Your Backlog Week – 2020

Today’s post is my meager contribution to the 2020 edition of Love Your Backlog Week. Kim at Later Levels has done a great job in promoting a week of sharing your love of gaming and showing that having a backlog full of video games isn’t something that one should be ashamed of. Far too often, the thought of buying a game we are interested in is rationalized away by self-shaming as we tell ourselves, similarly to our parents growing up, “You don’t need a new game, you haven’t even finished the last one you bought!”. As with lovers of music and film, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the astounding range of choices and financial considerations aside, there’s nothing wrong with having a backlog full of games. In the past, I struggled with a sort of anxiety in knowing that I have all these games that I have hanging over my head that I need to finish, if nothing else, to justify purchasing them in the first place. As I’ve gotten older leveled up, I realize that there will ALWAYS be games that I haven’t played and realistically won’t be able to relentlessly devour games, as much as I’d like to anyways. I shouldn’t feel some sort of disappointment in not finishing a game, as if I’d get some sort of existential crisis in thinking I’ve accomplished nothing in life.

My backlog of games wasn’t actually as massive as I was initially thinking. I took a quick(well, kinda) inventory of games that I have never finished or have yet to begin. A decent amount of my backlog are RPGs, which typically range upwards of 40+ hours. It was about this point last year that I had just finished up Assassin’s Creed: Origins and was deciding between three different games: Final Fantasy XV, The Witcher 3, and Personal 5. So, not surprisingly, I started playing Persona 5 and after about 14 hours in felt like playing The Witcher 3. I then played The Witcher 3 for about 4 hours and haven’t gotten much farther on any of them since. I thoroughly enjoy playing RPGs, but due to a hamster-like attention span get intimidated by something like Persona 5, which takes an average of 90+ hours to complete. I’m currently chipping away at Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, which due to its epic scale and enormous list of things to do and places to explore, may take me a considerable amount of time.

Where was I ? that’s right…my final backlog count shows 274 games either unfinished or not started.

A game you’re eager to play, but have yet to start

There’s a few of them, I’ve been wrapping up some of my PS4 games I bought back on Black Friday. I’m interested to try out Days Gone; I always enjoy zombie games, as well as open-world games so I’m reasonably confident I’ll enjoy the game. I’ve heard others describe it as essentially “an Ubisoft open-world game, but with zombies”.

Speaking of open-world Ubisoft games, I also intend to set sail in Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag after I complete my journey through Ancient Greece in AC: Odyssey.

A game you’ve started several times, but haven’t finished

The first game that comes to mind is Final Fantasy VII. I think my first attempt at beating the game was 2000-01 and I got past the beginning level with Cloud and Barrett but got stuck shortly after meeting Aerith. This combined with the annoyance of random enemy encounters made it difficult to progress further at a younger age. I remember some of the hype around its release in 1997, but was never able to complete it. In my New Year’s Resolutions post a month ago, I shared how I had downloaded FFVII on my Switch and had begun yet another attempt to FINALLY see this through. As I stated above, my backlog of games isn’t as intimidating in number, but rather the number of hours required to complete all of the RPGs contained within.

The most recent addition to your library

I believe that would be the HD Remaster of Final Fantasy X/X-2, another game that I’ve started a couple times and never finished. Unless pre-orders count, then it would be DOOM: Eternal…my god, the game looks glorious!

The game that’s spent the longest time in your backlog

This would have to be Dynamite Headdy, an old Sega Genesis game I’ve had since I was a kid. I’ve played the game countless times, but could never beat it. Anyone familiar with any of Treasure’s other games knows exactly the level of challenge typically found in their games(Sin and Punishment, Gunstar Heroes, Ikaruga). Another would have to be X-Men, also for the Sega Genesis. I was somehow able to get to the final level as a kid, but was never able to beat this frustrating game.

The person most responsible for adding entries to your backlog

Ultimately, I can’t “blame” anyone other than myself for adding more games to the backlog pile. I learn of all sorts of new and interesting games between gaming publications online, as well as platforms like Youtube and Twitch for games that I may have heard of, but knew little about. Another place I’ll hold responsible for my game hoarding would be right here on WordPress, where I get to read some really wonderful reviews on upcoming games or simply read someone’s unique approach to a game. As with movies and music, my interests can be varied enough that it almost reaches the point of overwhelming when I have so many different things that I love, but a finite number of time to enjoy it.

#MaybeinMarch

My backlog challenge for #MaybeinMarch will be, along with making my way through Final Fantasy VII, I want to blast my way through DOOM 64 – which I picked up this past summer but have only played a couple levels. In addition to these games, I am going to finally play through Chrono Trigger. I wrote a list of some games that I regrettably had never played and Chrono Trigger was at the top of the list. I purchased a copy of the Nintendo DS version and plan to document my first time through the game to coincide with the 25th anniversary of its release on March 11, a perfect time to play through what is considered one of the greatest games of all-time. Complete Final Fantasy VII, DOOM 64, and begin Chrono Trigger for #MaybeinMarch – sounds simple enough right? Thanks for reading!

Twenty-Four Seven

A new challenger approaches! I’ve been tagged by the fine folks over at Normal Happenings for the Daily Inklings #7 topic – Twenty-Four Seven in which the daily topic is twenty-four talking points you would have in conversation with yourself from seven years ago or teaching yourself something you have learned since then. Of course, a #realgamer like myself is never one to turn down a challenge so let’s do this! I have decided to deviate slightly from listing the main talking points of the hypothetical conversation and my final offering is a rundown of what an interaction of my past and present selves would probably be like….I’m sorry in advance.

2020 Me: <burst through doorway> Dude, we gotta talk….

2013 Me: Who the hell are you? I’m trying to play PS3 here!

2020: Who does it look like? I’m YOU from the year 2020. I’ve come back in time to give you some pearls of advice for a blog post I’m working on.

2013: Wait, what?!? <laughs> a blog site? But you…erm…I…we suck at writing.

2020: Spoiler – you STILL suck at writing, I’m just here to impart some knowledge I’ve gathered along the w-

2013: Yeah, yeah….hang on….I’m trying to save my game quick. Stupid internet…is service any better in seven years?

2020: Meh, it’s about the same…anyways about my advice. You’ve made it this far and have learned a few things that I wish I would have practiced a little earlier in life, the fir-

2013: <interrupting> why didn’t you go back further than seven years then?

2020: …the first advice: Try to keep track of your spending and manage money a little better, you and I…WE both know balancing a bank account isn’t exacly our strength.

2013: <nods> never heard THAT one before but, sure

2020: Just a few minor steps can go a long way in keeping on top of bills and with some better money management you’ll see there’s even MORE money left for buying games $$$

2013: <nods> I can pre-order GTA 5, it looks like it’s going to be awesome…

2020: It’s gonna be huge!

2013: k…

2020: Number 2 – Drink More Water.

2013: <rolls eyes>

2020: Number 3 – Try to eat better. You will find out just how easy it is to lose a significant amount of weight just by cutting out all those bottles of Coke and by not eating out at fast food places all the ti-

2013: I DON’T EAT FAST FOOD ALL THE TIME!

2020: The Wendy’s drive-thru guy knows your name!

2013: …….

2020: Yeah. Number 4 – Make the effort to stay more active during the day. Combine this with eating better is gonna go a LONG way in improving how good you feel during the day

2013: But I…YOU’RE still fat…how did you you travel back in time anyway? Did you show up in a DeLorean?<laughs>

2020: No, it’s actually a CyberTruck

2013: <looking out window> it’s weird looking…

2020: It’s a Tesla, Elon Musk’s company

2013: Who’s that??

2020: That’s right….you haven’t seen him in that Simpsons yet. He launched a car into space and now mostly posts memes on Twitter.

2013: So….he’s like Grumpy Cat?

2020: Sure…..

2013: Can I go back to Borderlands now?

2020: One more thing…don’t do what comes naturally to you and get complacent with things. You’re 27 and have a comfortable online customer service job, but don’t think nothing can happen and screw it up!

2013: pffft….I won’t! They just bought Twitch, how does that work out?

2020: Freaking huge! It’s one of the biggest platforms on the internet; there was over a million people watching the last Game Awards and the Fortnite World Cup.

2013: What’s Fortnite?

2020: …..gotta run!