The Gaming Backlog
We’ve all been there, staring at the screen thinking ‘Do I really need this game? I do have Game X, Y & Z already.’. It’s usually at that precise moment when you click purchase and are greeted with the usual PayPal screen.
Yet another 20+ Hour game to fit into the schedule somehow I guess! This has become even more of a problem since we do not even have to leave our homes anymore. The games are just there, waiting. How am I going to deal with this backlog?
I get a great sense of accomplishment upon completing a game, I wonder if this is because I am getting a little older now and the games I remember from my childhood where all played to death. I grew up with the NES, MegaDrive and SNES, Games were simpler, they didn’t take as long to complete & they were not on a steam sale for £1.79! Games used to cost £40 – £50 and after convincing my parents to part with their hard-earned £50 I was playing it whether I liked it or not.
One birthday, in particular, I got The Lion King for the MegaDrive, I was very excited and I had heard good things in the gaming magazines at the time about the game. I’m not sure if it was because I was young (I was 8 or 9 at the time!) or just bad at games but, The Lion King I found so profoundly difficult that I stopped playing it completely. I felt immense guilt of not playing it to completion. Promising myself that I would finish it one day and put it back into its case and on the shelve just above the TV where it remained for some years. I never did finish it!
Thankfully, most other games didn’t give me as much of a hard time. I would regularly complete games at a young age and be extremely proud of myself. A lot of games I would play over and over looking for secrets and just more to do. Becoming an adult has caused an awful lot of problems for me as a gamer, I now have commitments and instead of having all day to play games I have to do mundane stuff like go to the supermarket or work. On the flip side however I have an income now and games, in general, don’t all cost £40 – £50 anymore.
Will I ever finish all these games?
Well… the sad thing is you probably won’t. Don’t be upset about it, or cry. Well, try not to cry. Games have become cheaper over time, they no longer hold their full retail value for very long (Unless it’s a Nintendo game!). This is great but, also makes it easier to pick up something and add an additional 10 – 60 hours on to the backlog. Over the years there have been some great games that I either never had the time for or was bust doing something else. I only just recently got around to playing Skyrim despite owning the special edition for years. It was cheap and I added it to my library. I did install Skyrim but, I didn’t play it much until recently!
I like to go to howlongtobeat.com to get a rough idea it will take to clear a game of the list. Let me give you a small example of some of the games in my current backlog, These are games I want to complete before January if possible: –
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep (30 hours)
Fatal Frame II (12 hours)
Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition (12 hours)
Resident Evil 4 (16 hours)
Resident Evil Code Veronica (14 hours)
Monster Hunter World (55 hours)
Silent Hill 2 (10 hours)
So approximately 149 hours right there. That is not including recent purchases such as RE7, Valkyria Chronicles or Disgaea 1 Complete that I am current deep into, Very deep in fact!
Make a Plan!
Everything in life is better with a plan and dealing with a gaming backlog is no exception. Howlongtobeat.com has an option to list out and track your backlog! You should be making good use of this tool to work out how to prioritise your time. Having a good list helps.
For example, If I want to complete these games before January I would have to prioritise. I would have 60 days left (at time of writing) to complete them with no distraction from other games.
149 hours of gaming divided by 60 = 2.48 hours of gaming per day.
It is doable! Sure I won’t be able to game every day but, it’s a start!
How Best to Tackle a Gaming Backlog?
I would try to stick to 2 – 3 games at a time. Playing the same game endlessly can drive you a little mad sometimes and it’s nice to have a break. A good trick for this is to only install the two games you want to finish and make sure you finish them. I have a checklist of each of these games stored on my phone and I will get great satisfaction at ticking them off as I finish a game! Having a list is a great way of holding yourself accountable. If there are no ticks then that is your own fault!
It would be a good idea to mix it up, I will probably play Kingdom Hearts alongside something different like Devil May Cry. There would be nothing worse than playing two massive RPGs side by side. Personally, I would definitely burn out.
I would set yourself a timed deadline. It’s nice to have a goal to reach, even if you don’t make it. The reason I choose January is that I wanted to be up to date for the new games releasing. Kingdom Hearts 3 & Resident Evil 2 Remake are both releasing in January & Devil May Cry 5 releases shortly after.
Do not put it off, these games aren’t going to play themselves! There will be more games added to your list quicker than you can finish games and that’s a matter of fact! A single Nintendo Direct could come along and decimate your plans.
Things to Avoid with a Gaming Backlog
Besides family and friends, the main thing I will be avoiding is my crippling addiction to Guild Wars 2. By avoid I mean I will still log in and collect my daily log in bonus, on all three accounts. I have problems. Clearly, I will not be able to completely cut my addiction especially with the current Halloween event and upcoming Winters day event. The trick I found is to limit myself. I see playing Guild Wars 2 as stealing time from my other games. I mean after all, GW2 is an MMO therefore endless!
Try to avoid looking in the online stores. I have a habit of checking the Nintendo Switch Eshop and Steam specials pages far too often. It’s very easy when you see a 10/10 game going to cheap to have yet another title fall into backlog purgatory.
You will not complete every game. Hell, you might not even play some of them. It’s OK! If you try to go through your backlog you will at least make a dent in it! You may also be playing a game from your backlog and not be enjoying it, it’s OK to stop playing it. Acceptance is key, we live in a world where gaming is an unstoppable force. Indie developers are making fantastic games every day and triple-A games coming out more frequently. It’s OK to miss a few.
The main thing to do is to make sure you are having fun!