We all have one. We’re all ashamed of it. That’s right, I’m talking about your video game backlog, folks!
I very much hit the point of giving into the chaos of my massive backlog a long time ago, and have come to terms with the fact that there is no way I will ever play most of the things I own. There’s just too many video games out there nowadays. Once you make peace with the idea that you just like buying games and not playing them, then you will truly be set free.
If you’ve been fortunate enough to amass such a glorious hoard of games, now is the time to Scrooge McDuck-style dive into it, since we’re all encouraged to stay indoors to help stop the spread of COVID-19. So this is me writing a post on this website to keep myself accountable and say that, “I will finally get around to playing these following games!”
Now for the sake of the record, I will just say that being in the position to stay at home playing video games is a very privileged place to be in. So if you can, like I did, why not donate to an organization helping folks who aren’t as fortunate? I recommend Feeding America!
Victories! – Backlog games I’ve wrapped up since this whole thing started
Super Mario Odyssey (Borrowed from a friend in the Summer of 2019)
I first spoke about my feelings on this game on this here video game website back in my Game of the Year list for 2019. Long story short, I think the game does spectacle well and is so gosh darn charming, but I didn’t find it that engaging and I’ve been dragging my feet for about a year since I first got my Switch trying to finish it. Also, I like Super Mario 3D World better.
Now it’s done! My opinion on it has not really changed other than that the final sequence reminded me of the ending to a 3D Sonic the Hedgehog game in its animated ridiculousness.
Resident Evil 7 Biohazard: Gold Edition (Originally purchased in the Fall of 2019)
Wow. They sure did make a lot of DLC for Resident Evil 7. They made like 4 packages of the stuff, and two of them had a bunch of minigames. Some of this DLC is pretty critical in putting a nice bow on Resident Evil 7, a game I rented and completed back in the simple year of 2017. That’s why, on a grocery trip to Target, I decided to purchase the fancy Gold Edition with all of the DLC with the full intent on playing it that night. I did not do that, but I have now and I gotta say that was a good use of $20, Past Me.
Halo: Combat Evolved (Originally purchased sometime between 2008-2011, I think)
I’m pretty shocked that I decided to tackle this one. I have never played a Halo campaign. I’ve had plenty of fun multiplayer moments with the series at friend’s houses and in my 11th grade programming class, but the story of the Master Chief has always eluded me. At some point between 2008 and 2011, I purchased a copy of Halo: Combat Evolved for the original Xbox with the intention of finally correcting that and starting on my Halo journey. I never did go on that adventure with Cortana and friends, but somehow this now battered and bruised copy of Halo has stayed with me all these years. On a Saturday out of the blue this month, I decided it was time to start this journey.
From what I’ve played, I got to say it’s crazy how well this game has held up. Yes, it has shortcomings and parts of it sure do feel like a launch title where the team had to design a game that could be completed in time, but most of it is proof that developer Bungie were always some of the best in the business. Those signature Bungie skyboxes that would force you to appreciate your surroundings in Destiny can be found in this 2001 game.
I completed Halo: Combat Evolved just a few days before this was published. Once this list is cleared it’s onto Halo 2, folks. Love this Master Chief fella.
Backlog Battles to Be Fought
Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition (Originally purchased in the Summer of 2019)
I have no research or science to back this up, but I think RPGs are the most susceptible genre of game to find themselves in a backlog.
Sort of how we fantasize about, “If only I had the time then I would really commit to learning Spanish,” I think we fantasize about the idea of wrapping ourselves up in a RPG. At least I for one can admit this.
And so we buy that JRPG our friend swears by when it’s finally on sale. Maybe we see it through to the end, but it’s more likely that we start the tutorial and put it down with the promise that we will return to it. We don’t return to it.
When I purchased my Nintendo Switch in the Summer of 2019, I made the bet that if Tales of Vesperia is the only game I bought with the console, surely I would be forced to finally commit to it. Folks, I’m ashamed to say that I did not in fact commit to it during that Summer, but something amazing did happen. Not only did I come back to it, but I remembered exactly where I left off with it months after I started it. I then proceeded to drop it once again, and I still returned to it fully remembering what I was doing. Now I’m committed. I swear I will finish this game.
So far this is a solid JRPG with a great active combat system, as the Tales games are known to be. While fantastical, the game’s cast of characters are grounded, and my curiosity to see where their story goes has me invested. I am stoked to have a game where I can grind enemies while listening to podcasts in the safety of my apartment.
Astral Chain (Borrowed from a friend, recently added to the list)
I’m sad to report that I fell for the very basic cliche of baking bread as I spent my time inside, specifically some banana bread. But I did not hoard these baked goods to myself, nay, I decided to share them with my friends. When I delivered one of these loaves, my good friend remembered me talking about wanting to play Astal Chain and let me borrow it! Wow!
So now I have no excuse to play this. It was on the back burner as I made my way through some stuff I had already started, but now’s the time to enlist as an anime officer of the future law.
Concrete Genie and Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown (Both purchased at the same time in November 2019)
Black Friday is peak, “I’m buying this with the full intention of never playing it” hours. Last Black Friday I was pretty responsible and only spent $30 on these two fine video game products.
Ace Combat was on my radar because of its style and its melodramatic vibes. I just really love the fact that this series can come back and be successful in the modern market. I really don’t know much about the series and haven’t played an entry since I was a child, but the very self-seriousness of its story and the fact that it’s a modern air combat game are enough to get me in. Oh yeah, I do love that it’s somehow connected to the Dig-Dug series, that also motivated me to play it.
Concrete Genie is the closest we will get to a modern version of Marc Ecko’s Getting Up. Really, any stylish game where you’re going around putting up tags has my interest. Apparently there’s a really sweet story inside of it? I sure don’t know, but I’m excited to find out.
So that’s what’s on my backlog chopping block. This is totally doable and I promise to you dear reader I WILL play all of these games, at least four out of the five. Maybe.
What games are on your backlog? Let me know @jcruzalvarez26!
Play some games and take care out there.