Having too many games to play sounds like the best kind of problem, doesn’t it? “It never ends,” he says, swimming through piles of dusty game cases like Scrooge fucking McDuck.

Glancing over at my shelf, and knowing what’s on my console hard-drives, it’s a mix of games I purchased with an intent to play immediately and others I picked up during a sale. If the price is right, I usually don’t mind waiting for a rainy day.

However, it occurred to me during my recent attempt at stomaching the mondern day monstrosity known as Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, that giving up and moving on is just fine and dandy. I wish I would have considered this before wasting ten hours of my life, though.

Someone recently replied to a comment I left on a Kotaku article, empathizing with my backlog issue, and what they recommended made perfect sense — if what I’m playing isn’t really gelling with me, consider a similar game in my backlog that could potentially offer a more engaging experience and play that instead. Well duh, right?

It’s silly to think I’d even struggle with something like this, having played video games for 30 years of my life. I think I just have an issue saying goodbye, holding out in hopes that whatever turd I’m suffering through gets its proverbial shit together and eventually becomes something palatable.

Maybe it gets better,” I tell myself. Usually it doesn’t.

So what I’ve done is narrow everything down to a core list of games that I’d like to get to (or continue playing) sooner rather than later. Sure, there are others I’d like to check out at some point, but it’s not like they’re going anywhere. Rainy day, etc.

p4g

PlayStation Vita

  • Persona 4 Golden
  • Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward
  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
  • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Dispair

Persona 4 Golden has been my primary RPG project on the lovely Vita since the beginning of the year, but I keep getting sidetracked by reviews (or other games entirely). The original version on PS2 is fantastic, with some of the best writing and turn-based combat basically ever, and I absolutely love the Golden update on Vita. It’s RPG royalty, really.

I’ve already played the first ten or so hours of Danganronpa, adoring its Battle Royale meets Phoenix Wright approach. Monokuma is also a really, really rad villain.

ninokuni

PlayStation 3

  • Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
  • ICO & Shadow of the Colossus HD remasters
  • Final Fantasy XIII
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2
  • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
  • Demon’s Souls
  • Dark Souls
  • Deadly Premonition: Director’s Cut

I know the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy catches a lot of shit, but I’d still like to go through it on my own before whipping out the pitchfork. ICO is one of my favorite games of all time, and I’d really like to go through Shadow of the Colossus again. Both games are fantastic.

My girlfriend and I started Ni no Kuni when we picked it up, but it just wasn’t what we were in the mood for at the time. We never went back, and I’ve been dying to give it a second chance. I hear it’s one of the best RPGs of the last console generation.

I loved Dark Souls. Like, really, really loved Dark Souls. But I got so frustrated at Demon’s Souls that I couldn’t bare to finish it. I like watching others play through it, though I’d like to go back at some point and go through it on my own as well. Dark Souls I just want to play again because it’s incredible.

bloodborne

PlayStation 4

  • Grand Kingdom
  • World of Final Fantasy
  • Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster
  • Bloodborne
  • Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin
  • Dark Souls 3
  • Uncharted 3 (from the Drake Collection)
  • Valkyria Chronicles: Remastered
  • Divinity: Original Sin
  • Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment
  • Sword Art Online: Lost Song
  • God Eater 2: Rage Burst
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt DLC
  • Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate
  • Resident Evil HD Remaster
  • Resident Evil 0 HD Remaster

The PS4 list is the biggest, which comes as no surprise since RPGs are my primary genre. I love everything about Bloodborne, but I finally need to buckle down and finish the damn thing. I’d also like to give its DLC, The Old Hunters, a shot afterwards. I’ve already played Dark Souls 2 on PS3, but haven’t jumped in to the Scholar of the First Sin remaster (or the accompanied DLC).

I picked up Dark Souls 3 a couple of days after my dad passed away, but I just wasn’t in the mood to play it (or anything else, obviously). I’ve watched someone play through it in its entirety and it looks incredible, especially the boss fights and level design, so it’s near the top of my list.

The Witcher 3 is another game that I loved, but never got around to the DLC. However, I played through the game on Xbox One and grabbed the Game of the Year Edition on PS4. I’ll need to set aside 150 hours to replay the main story, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

xenoblade

Wii U

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X
  • Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
  • The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
  • Earthbound (via Wii U Virtual Console)

My Wii U doesn’t get a whole lot of love, mostly due in part to my TV only having two HDMI ports. Since my girlfriend and I regularly play our Xbox One and PS4, it’s usually pushed aside or stored on a shelf until I’m ready to use it.

Xenoblade Chronicles X and Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE are both great JRPGs that I just got side-tracked by with other games (or the Wii U not being plugged in for extended periods of time), and I’d really like to get back to them.

My mom bought me Twilight Princess HD for my birthday back in August and I haven’t even opened the box to ensure Wolf Link isn’t smashed to pieces. Actually, I should probably do that right now. Yeah, he’s okay. Thank Christ.

feawakening

3DS

  • Fire Emblem: Awakening
  • Fire Emblem: Fates (Birthright and Conquest)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D

Like many other games on this list, Fire Emblem: Awakening is a really special RPG that I’ve just yet to finish. I don’t even have a reasonable excuse. I’m bad at prioritizing.

With that in mind, I knew I’d eventually grab both of the Fates games so I picked them up during a buy-2-get-1 sale at Best Buy (my girlfriend grabbed Pokemon Alpha Sapphire as the freebie). I did the same for both Zelda remasters as well, now that I think about it.

reddead

Xbox 360

  • Red Dead Redemption (via Xbox One BC)

Since the Xbox 360 was my primary console during the first half of the last console generation, my backlog over there is relatively small.

Red Dead Redemption is one of those games that have a significant following and received a ton of fanfare, but I just never seemed to give it a chance. Now I’m ready.

technomancer

Xbox One

  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Bioshock: The Collection
  • Technomancer

My Xbox One list is rather small as well, since I’ve find myself falling out of love with their line of multi-player focused exclusives. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the console, since it’s where I play most of my sports games and my primary home for Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube Let’s Plays. I also fully believe the Xbox One has the absolute best controller, hands down.

For whatever reason though, when it comes to buying cross-platform games I usually grab them on PS4 instead. The PS4 just seems to update less frequently, installs faster, and I like their share features a lot more than I do on Xbox. There are a few exceptions, of course.

I picked up the BioShock collection on Xbox One since BioShock Infinite runs better over there than it does on PS4. I ended up with Technomancer on Xbox One since it was the only version they had in stock. And I have Grand Theft Auto V on Xbox One since I didn’t actually own a PS4 at the time.

Looking over my so-called narrowed down list, it’s still around 1,000 hours of video games. Yikes. But I’m going to spent 1,000+ hours playing different things as it is, so it might as well be with games I really want to experience, right?

Play anything on this list? Thoughts? Any games in particular you’ve been putting off that you’d really like to get to? Am I alone in my backlog anxiety? Is this enough question marks? Cool?

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17 thoughts on “Buried Under the Backlog: Trimming the Fat

  1. That’s one hell of a list of games you have there. The Witcher 3, Xenoblade X, The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time/Majora’s Mask, Dark Souls III, and Fire Emblem Awakening are all amazing games. I’m pretty sure I left some out, those games are at the top of my list for you to play. If you’ve already played through some games don’t play them again so you can save on time.

    I’m pretty sure you’ve played through both Zelda titles you’ve mentioned, and the Bioshock trilogy. Put those off for last and focus on games that are truly new to you. Or just play the shortest games first and work your way up to the longest ones. My first playthrough of Xenoblade X was 135 hours, but keep in mind I didn’t even discover 75% of the map then. You could easily get 200+ hours on your first playthrough in that game. Same with the Witcher 3.

    You already know I think you should play Dark Souls III :) asap.

    Like

    • I’ve played through Ocarina, Majora, and Wind Waker, but it’s been so long that it’d probably feel new anyway. Twilight Princess I never got around to playing, ever.

      My plan was to tackle whatever sounds the most interesting first (haha, great plan…) and use smaller games like BioShock in between.

      Xenoblade is near the top of my list and I just found the collector’s edition guide for $20 on eBay, since I want to be as thorough as possible to avoid a 2nd run.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good plan! I need to learn that I DON”T need every achievement point or shiny trophy. I also need to learn that it’s okay to walk away from an unbeaten game. Otherwise my backlog is going to win..

    My opinion falls in the tiny minority, but the FFXIII trilogy is amazing in my eyes! I spent over 300 hours with those three games, and really enjoyed my experiences. *flees from pitchfork weilding mob*

    Like

    • I’ve put 20 hours in to FFXIII on two different occasions and really loved the combat system, but I was borrowing a friend’s copy the first time and the second go was interrupted by a move. When I went back I just had no idea what was going on or how to play, and it’s right when Snow learns Paladin… which is a tad confusing as it is.

      I used to go for every trophy and achievement, but eventually slowed down a few years back. I just don’t have the willpower to be a completionist anymore, at least not for things that require multiple playthroughs.

      I think part of why it’s so hard for me to walk away is that “what if I missed something cool?” thought that lingers after I’ve given up. But I’m sure I *could* experience something equally (or more) entertaining playing something else.

      RPGs have notoriously slow starts too, and sometimes it takes a few hours for the characters to grow on me or the story to get interesting. I guess that’s the point where reviews come in handy, so I can at least get a glimpse of the game’s particulars, like combat, environments, etc., to see if it’s even something I’d be interested in AFTER things pickup.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I try not to worry about a backlog too much. I just play whatever I happen to be in the mood for. Since I play retro in addition to the new stuff, I find my backlog is probably bigger than some others. But gaming supposed to be fun, so I just focus on playing what looks interesting. Be it something older or current. I also tend to like a lot of esoteric stuff. So there’s that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Seriously, I’ve had to do this with my to read list and let’s face it RPGs are essentially like interactive books. You are putting a LOT of time into a playable story. I had to whittle down my to read list, though now my to play list has grown (thanks to all your bloggers!) AND World of Final Fantasy just came into the mail today so there’s that.

    I look at it like this. You’ll never want for games to play, though I say this to myself and continue to purchase more games (and books) when my backlog is a mile long. I’m also a “perfectionist” player except in cases where it’s just too time consuming (re: FFIV and the pink tail quest or FFX and the lightning dodging. Huh, almost wrote Lightning dodging lol. That would probably be more difficult. She’s not someone I’d want to fight), so I’ll spend even more than the typical 40-50 hours to find it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Meaty RPGs like Dragon Age, The Witcher, or Final Fantasy, I always try to be as thorough as possible since I know I rarely go back to play through RPGs a second time. I’m just no longer a completionist when it comes to trophies or achievements on Xbox and PlayStation. I go for trophies if they’re something I can grab along the way, but I won’t go out of my way to spend 10 or 15 more hours getting Star Ocean battle trophies or grinding out every title in Tales to max.

      I’m trying to finish up Arkham Asylum before starting World of Final Fantasy. Can’t wait! Just don’t want to abandon Asylum AGAIN and never, ever finish it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I used to replay when I was in college and had more time, but it’s hard to dedicate 40+ hours to something again when my to play list just keeps going. I’m only doing it with the Final Fantasies because, well, they’re Final Fantasies, and it’s a long term project, soooo it is like being back in college.

        That’s how I felt about the Pink Tales in FFIV. The Adamantine armor would be nice, but it wasn’t worth it for something dropped at random. I used to get so frustrated at VIII with hunting for raw materials for weapon upgrades if you needed it from a rare enemy AND needed it to be dropped. If you could steal it or make it from a card that made life so much easier.

        WOFF will be right there when you finish Arkham Asylum! No rush on that (which is what I tell myself because I want to play all the games).

        Like

      • Two long term projects I’d really like to do at some point are to do what you’re doing, playing through each of the Final Fantasy games (excluding the MMOs, of course), and doing the same for The Legend of Zelda, going in order of release. I own every Final Fantasy, but would rather play the upcoming FFXII remaster on PS4… not like I’d ever finish 1 thru X-2 before then anyway, haha. Wishful thinking.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I realized I started IV Is January, freaking January. I’m such a slouch hehe.

        I would love to see someone tackle/do a LP of FFXI. I don’t play well with others so I wouldn’t be good at that. I love some of the music it has, though I’d never have known if not for the Distant Worlds concert I went to a few years back. So definitely do it! I love seeing other gamers’ takes on things. I thoroughly enjoyed the Well-Red Mage’s review of FFIX, which is his favorite, and even though I loved it and he wasn’t so keen, I still enjoyed Mr. Panda’s review of Dear Esther.

        I heartily approve of this Legend of Zelda review project. That’s one series I’ve played a bit of, but not all because I’m not that great at dungeon crawling as I am at turn based. Zelda is hands down my favorite game to watch.

        I still haven’t played X-2! I was offput by the critics, but I feel the same way about their pov of that as I do FFXIII. There are so many mixed reviews I’m going to see for myself. I liked FFXII, too, and that was kind of panned because of the gambit system, which I thought was fine. I have my critiques of the story, but I found the game thoroughly enjoyable, especially the hunt quests.

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      • I actually watched a video recently that discussed various fan theories on different Final Fantasy games, and I wanted to share the link with you since it seems up your alley.

        youtu.be/e186STu9IW8?a

        I’m particularly curious about the Final Fantasy 8 theory that Squall, in fact, dies at the end of disc one and the rest of the game is nothing but a fever dream. Everyone growing up in an orphanage is symbolizing his life flashing before his eyes, and this theory is supposed to explain why many aspects of the game just don’t make sense at all.

        I also really liked the one about Final Fantasy XIII’s linearity, and how it was supposed to mimic the characters themselves being confined to do their fateful task. It’s supposed to make the player empathize with the characters since they too are confined to these linear hallways until the game opens up in the EXACT SAME MOMENT the characters once again have free will.

        Interesting stuff! Let me know what you think.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I know about the Squall is Dead theory! I was talking with someone about it about a week ago. It was one of our fellow bloggers, but I can’t remember who it was. I think it was Hungrygoriya. I showed her this website: http://squallsdead.com/ It would actually make so much sense tbh and the end of the game is Squall finding heaven after Rinoa finds him. It would explain how Seifer went from being a sort of Malfoy-like rival to his bitter enemy and then happy-go-lucky, though…that’s kind of what Malfoy did, too haha.

        That video was fantastic. I’ve heard numerous theories about FFVII, one of which being that it’s all Aeris’s dream since she’s the first and last person you see (and a few other things), and I’ve got quite a few of my own, but I never thought of the Rufus is a good guy one and he was working to undermine his father the entire time. It…makes a sort of sense, and the Shinra is a huge company. There are probably loads of conspiracies you could dredge up with that.

        The FFVI Divine Comedy is a great one. Kefka and Sephiroth have always been compared with who can be the better Satan hehe. Kefka succeeded with his apotheosis before being cast down, Sephiroth was prior to it, and very much looks the part. White/silver hair is considered both divine and not so. There’s a Bible verse about Satan looking like “an angel of light.” Ah I can’t wait to replay VI so I can do a compare/contrast.

        I have a theory about the timelines, too, but it’s more of a time loop hypothesis since that’s what the first Final Fantasy is, and you see it again with VIII. All of the games have particular archetypes in their characters. I was going to wait until I played and reviewed them all, but even as I’m writing the IV review, I keep finding myself talking about it.

        The XIII thing is fascinating and is making me want to play that game sooner rather than later (Lighting Ellen will be happy her plan is working lol). I think that you can put something in a story subconsciously and not even realize it’s there. Lord knows I do it all the time hehe.

        Great stuff, thanks for sharing that with me! I’m also shocked and delighted by how many new insights there are about these games.

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  5. The problem I tend to have with just dropping games I’m not enjoying is that I’m a hobbyist reviewer and get enjoyment out of critiquing these games even if I don’t enjoy playing them (and sometimes specifically BECAUSE I don’t enjoy playing them) and it does not feel right to review a game without having completed at leas most of it.

    And yeah, my own backlog issue might be worse considering that my backlog is 500+ games and at least 1/3rd of it may be RPGs. As for the stuff listed that I played, Shadow of the Colossus I played and thought was alright but kinda overrated. Demon’s Souls I found to be a fun game. It was definitely hard but it’s not the hardest I played, and a lot of the difficult just seems to stem from a lack of checkpoints. The Final Fantasy XIII trilogy is alright. I only experienced the first through a let’s Play. The second was really fun Gameplay wise but the story was a complete mess, while Lightning Returns was the reverse. It had a much more compelling atmosphere, but it’s one of the most unfairly frustrating RPGs I’ve ever played. All four of the Zelda games mentioned are great, Earthbound is my favorite game of all time, and that’s about it for what I played.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think my main issue with enduring bad-to-mediocre games for the sake of reviewing them as a hobbyist is that there are plenty of games out there I’d rather play and enjoy instead. I’ve played my fair share of unenjoyable slogs as a freelancer, so I can’t fathom choosing to do so with my own free time. I get that others are fine with that and that’s the beauty of games and writing.

      Thanks for the input!

      Liked by 1 person

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