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Topic: Your Backlog

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LtSarge

How large is your backlog and how do you tackle it?

Personally, my backlog spans across PS4, PS3, PS1, Vita, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Switch, DS, 3DS, Wii and Wii U in terms of consoles but also games from other systems on those consoles, e.g. PSP games on Vita or N64 titles on Wii U. Combining both my physical and digital games, I probably have 400-500 games that I haven't finished yet. And that's besides services like Game Pass.

In the past I used to tackle my backlog by going through a lot of games quickly in order to finish up as many as possible, which was a common thing I'd do during my summer break. However, it ended up for some poor experiences because I wasn't taking my time with the games and so I've stopped doing that. Now I pretty much play whatever I feel like out of my backlog and the fact that I have so many different systems means that there's a lot of variety for me. I could be playing something on my Xbox One one day, then something on my PS3 and then something on my Wii. I find this approach to be quite satisfying.

I've also been contemplating on different ways of choosing games from my backlog. For starters, I think it's important for me to choose the games that have been in my backlog for a long time rather than the most recent ones. For example, I bought Control on PS4 a while ago and instead of playing it, I'd rather choose e.g. Wario Land: The Shake Dimension on Wii that I've owned for over a decade now and still haven't played. It's a greater achievement for me whenever I finish a game that's been in my backlog for a long time. Second, I think it's more important to choose games that are more highly-regarded rather than short ones just for the sake of completing as many as possible. During the past month, I've finished Trails of Cold Steel IV and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, which I spent 20-30 hours playing each (since I've already spent 80 hours with Trails from before). I probably could've completed 4-5 shorter games during that time but I think it's important to prioritise highly-regarded titles. Looking at the games I've finished this year so far, such as Luigi's Mansion 2, Horizon Zero Dawn, Far Cry 3 and more, I'm extremely proud of myself for finishing games that are really good that I haven't experienced until now. So that's how I'm going to tackle my backlog from here on out.

Right now I'm playing through Psychonauts, Walking Dead A New Frontier and DOOM 64 on Xbox One, as well as BioShock on PS4. Granted the first two are from Game Pass, but I would've gotten those games sooner or later so I would count them as part of my backlog. All these games are highly-regarded and I would be very proud of myself if I manage to finish all of them, especially BioShock. I've tried to play that game three times now, I got halfway through the game on PS4 last year before taking a break from it and now I've resumed it. Hopefully I'll manage to finish it this time around!

LtSarge

ralphdibny

For some reason, I mentally cut off my back log at the following consoles: Wii U, PS3 and 3DS. Anything GameCube/DS or earlier, most of my Wii games, I don't really consider to be backlog. I'm not sure why, maybe it's because from PS3 onwards, I've bought the games with hard earned cash from going to work so I feel more inclined to actually play them. Even if I don't 😅. Maybe it's just because I've played most of the games I own for the previous generations so I feel like I'm "done" with them, for the most part anyway.

I do play older games if I'm going through a series, or have a fancy for something, nostalgically speaking but I have such a plethora of modern games to work through from the PS3 onwards that I rarely have time to go back any more.

God knows how many actual games I have in my backlog. I do wonder if it's worth it sometimes as I probably have more games than I have life left to play them in. That's a depressing thought really.

But yeah, I just keep plugging away with it. I've said before that the pandemic has got me back into gaming in a massive way due to the extra free time afforded by it.

Generally I just play whatever I want now or whatever is in game club. Sometimes I feel like if I've spent a long time on one game (up to 100 hours) then I want to play something much shorter (less than 5 hours) so I feel like I'm making more progress.

I've posted the first half of my list that I've been writing since march last year and hopefully I'll fill up page 2 in the next few months and be able to post a pic of that too. I don't really see it is a backlog anymore. More just an accomplishment I suppose.

LtSarge

@ralphdibny I find it interesting that you have a cut-off point in terms of consoles for your backlog because that's honestly not something I've even thought of until now. I grew up with the Wii so my experience with previous generations isn't as nuanced as with the PS3/360/Wii era. I've played lots of games on PS2/Xbox/GameCube though, and a good amount on N64/PS1. It's the 2D era that I'm the least familiar with, i.e. NES/Master System and SNES/Mega Drive. The primary reason why I don't pay much mind to those two generations is because of how difficult games were back then. Like I bought the recent Mega Drive collection on my Switch some time ago and decided to fire up Phantasy Star II after having loved the AGES version of the first Phantasy Star (which came with a lot of features that made for a better experience for a beginner like me). PS2 was just an awful experience for me. Besides the lack of extra features, the game's level design is just straight up confusing. I simply lost all interest after a while and that's the issue with these older games in my backlog. I own now 50 Mega Drive titles through this collection and I doubt I'll even play 10 of them. Same with the Castlevania Anniversary collection. I got it for €5 on sale on my Switch and the two games that I mostly wanted from the collection were Castlevania IV and Bloodlines. Castlevania II and III just look so annoying to play. Simply put, I think the cut-off point for me in terms of my backlog is mostly anything SNES/Mega Drive and before. I have no issues playing PS1 games like Final Fantasy VII or Resident Evil 2 on my Vita. These are just fantastic games! And I guess there are some great SNES games that I still haven't played yet, such as Kirby's Dreamland 3 and Super Mario RPG. But NES/Master System is absolutely a big no for me. I don't think I'll ever bother with those games, especially when there are so many other better games I could be playing instead.

It's also interesting that you mention if all the games you own will take longer time than you have. I've often considered if I'll be able to finish all the games that I own and I think going at this pace, I just might. However, I don't think it's a good idea because the way I see it, I want to have a smorgasbord of games to choose from. Imagine ten years from now, I've played pretty much most of the games I'm interested in playing. So what am I going to play then? I think it's better that I have more options to choose from, even if it means that I might not experience all of the games.

LtSarge

ralphdibny

@LtSarge it's not really a deliberate cut off. It's just that if I consider my backlog, then PS3 games are the earliest releases in it.

In terms of GameCube, PS1, SNES, Game Boy (and it's iterations), DS and Mega Drive games that I actually own, I think I've played (if not completed) the majority of them. I would have been a child or teenager when those were about so I would have thought less about backlogs and getting my moneys worth etc. So if I want to play one, then it will be a replay or a game that's part of a series or something.

I think some options have opened up for me from like NSO and Rare Replay etc. I'd like to give the Donkey Kong Country sequels a crack now they are available to me. Obviously I played Battletoads NES last year. I also played the PS3 ports of the original two Metal Gear games for MSX last year as well as Snakes Revenge for NES (via emulation) and Metal Gear Solid for game boy colour (via cartridge and GameCube's game boy player). So I guess I do mix it up a bit, certainly.

I think rereleases and remasters do help to add these older games to a tenuous backlog. I played the 3D versions of Streets of Rage 1&2 on 3DS and SoR 3 on the switch collection earlier this year. Naturally Rare Replay added a bunch of N64 games to my backlog and I've made it through the majority of N64 ports on Switch.

I definitely agree that NES and Master System games are a bit of a chore. The first consoles I played were the 16 bit generation so that's kind of my cut off for nostalgia but I also think it's the peak of 2D gaming in general so I'm more than happy to go back to games of that generation anyway. Normally if I play a NES game then I will use a guide and I have no qualms about doing so really. Very occasionally would use cheats and/or QoL improvements from a rerelease.

Super Mario RPG is wicked btw!! I think it first got released in the UK on the Wii VC which is where I played it. Unfortunately I saved myself into a point of no return before the final boss so I never finished it. Make lots of save files toward the end whenever you do play it 😅.

I duno, I guess I like to finish things. Even if that means finishing my entire hobby lol. I think if I had achieved more noteworthy stuff in my life then I would worry less about the time I have left and how I choose to spend it. But I wouldn't worry about running out of games. There is a constant stream of new releases and as you play games, you discover more games. If that makes sense?

So I played Day of The Tentacle and Full Throttle and through that I discovered Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, Stacking etc. which are now on my list of games to either play or try out. I was obviously aware of those games before but had no real desire to play them.

LtSarge

@ralphdibny Thanks for the tip about SMRPG! I'm actually fortunate enough that I never decided to play through it on Wii because on Wii U there's restoration points so I can have an extra level of comfort in that regard.

Yeah it's true that new games will still come out but you also have to consider the fact that games will take longer and longer to develop so we won't get as many games as we used to in the past. Trilogies on one system is a thing of the past now. Not to mention that a lot of companies are drifting towards live services and online games where the focus is on updating the same ones instead of releasing new games (Rockstar and GTA Online being the perfect example). So even though new games will come out, I think there will be vastly less of them compared to before.

That's why though I think services like Game Pass is going to fill in as our backlog in the future. When we're done playing most of the games that we want to play, there will be tons of indie games to check out on Game Pass that would otherwise cost a fortune if purchased individually. I also think the fact that Microsoft keeps acquiring more studios and adding more first-party titles on Game Pass that that will give us another reason to consider Game Pass as our future backlog.

Which actually brings up an interesting question. Do you think you'll be drifting more towards a digital rental backlog rather than a physical owned one in the future?

LtSarge

ralphdibny

@LtSarge I thought Wii VC had save states tbh! I don't typically play RPGs and certainly not dated ones so I had no idea that points of no return were a thing back then. I must have played it whenever it came out on the Wii though so probably like 10-11 years ago.

Maybe your right that less games will come out but I do think people are still making plenty, however they do plug the gaps with remasters and remakes so I may have a distorted perception of it. Sega, Square Enix, Warner Bros, Nintendo, Sony make a lot of normal games (as well as GaaS) so I don't think normal games are going away. I think studios are just getting bigger and hiring more staff to cope with the extra work levels so release frequency shouldn't be too far off what it is now. GTA is a notable exception and perhaps even Elder Scrolls 6 but God knows what planet Rockstar are on. They clearly make their money off the whales from GTA online so I am sure GTA 6 has been an afterthought for them. That's if the rumours about it's extended development time are even true.

In terms of your last question, I think it will continue to be a mix of both really. I have at various times referred to the PS Plus games as a PS Plus backlog so I do consider it as such. Gamepass less so, but maybe because it's better value (at the reduced price at least). Game pass has been wicked for discovering new games, playing Xbox exclusives, the odd indie here and there. Stuff I wouldn't consider to be part of my backlog as such but have obviously gone out of my way to play. Maybe if I ever finish my owned back log then I will be more inclined to think of game pass as a backlog! Normally the only games that get added and immediately shifted to the front of the queue are ones that look noteworthy in the Leaving Soon section.

What about you? Owned digital/physical games for the backlog or digital rentals/subscriptions in future?

Edited on by ralphdibny

LtSarge

@ralphdibny Right now I'm in the same situation as you with a mix of both. But in the future, I'm definitely leaning more towards services like Game Pass simply because I can't be bothered buying games all the time anymore. It's just a waste of space because I never revisit games that I've already finished since there are so many new ones that I've yet to play. That's why game rentals work better for me because a) I don't want games taking up physical space and b) it's much cheaper this way.

Same with consoles, I can't be bothered buying all three of them every generation. I'm honestly considering skipping PS5 because most of the exclusives are just going to be the same kind of narrative-driven adventure experiences that I've already had on PS4. Not to mention that I'm not that fond of PlayStation as a brand anymore. Back when I bought my PS3 as my first PS system in 2012, I was so excited to play all these franchises that I've never even heard of such as Ratchet & Clank and God of War. When I got my PS4 two years later, I was still very excited to play all upcoming games, including PS exclusives. By the time 2018 rolled in and I bought Marvel's Spider-Man on release, I thought that this game was very average for me. It didn't feel like anything special and that's when I realised that I'm starting to lose interest in PlayStation. The reason why I initially fell in love with PlayStation was because everything was new to me but also because they offered so much variety with their games. That's not the case anymore.

I'm a huge variety gamer and I'll play literally anything from the most obscure JRPG to the most recent entry in the CoD franchise. In other words, I need a lot of variety to keep my interest up and that variety now exists at Xbox. That's why I want Microsoft to keep acquiring more studios so that we can see more variety on Game Pass. Game Pass is literally everything that I could want from a subscription service. So if I'll ever buy another console, it will definitely have to be an Xbox with Game Pass as my backlog.

LtSarge

Ryall

I have eight games in my backlog seven physical and one digital . I don’t consider anything not bought in the current generation to be part of my backlog.

Largely because between April 2020 and November 2020 I spent more time gaming than I did during the rest of the last generation put together. I except that anything that didn’t get played in that time is never going to get played.

I now have less time and more money so the backlog is starting to build up again.

Ryall

LtSarge

@Ryall It's impressive that you have such a small backlog! I'm guessing you didn't buy many games during previous generations?

LtSarge

ThanosReXXX

@LtSarge My backlog is literally INSANE, and to tell you the truth, I have no idea whatsoever on how to tackle it, seeing as I have little time to play games as is. I have hundreds of titles in my backlog across a range of systems, going all the way back to the Sega Dreamcast and up to the current generation, albeit only with the Nintendo Switch. Far as Xbox is concerned, I'm still stuck in last gen.

Either way, my standard modus operandi is to buy titles for systems that I feel you SHOULD have, so obviously all or most console or handheld-exclusive titles, and then add to that with what I feel are the other, secondary must-haves. And along the way, if I come across other stuff that either piques my interest or that is recommended to me, and so more and more gets added over time.

Oh, well. At least I'll always have MORE than enough to choose from, whenever I stop collecting consoles, which might happen in the coming generation, once it either becomes more and more online focused or when the "console" becomes just a generic set top box for streaming, instead of having a unique appearance and offering some platform-exclusive features.

If that all still happens within my lifetime (I'm 51 now), then I'll probably become a full-on retro gamer. Maybe then I'll finally be able to do some damage to that insane backlog of mine...

Edited on by ThanosReXXX

'The console wars are like boobs: Sony and Microsoft fight over which ones look the nicest and Nintendo's are the most fun to play with.'

Xbox Gamertag: ThanosReXXX

LtSarge

@ThanosReXXX That's actually one aspect of backlogs that I forgot to bring up in my post and that's which games do I choose to buy and add to my backlog. And just like you, I only choose games that I feel are worth owning. The reason why I mention this is because when I was younger, I used to buy most games even if they didn't seem that good. Not to mention that I also used to buy games just because they were cheap. Even if I find games for €5 or €10, if I'm not interested in them then I'm obviously not going to buy them. I have enough games as there is and it would be just a waste of space. Moreover, if I want to try out games this way, I'd just subscribe to Game Pass as there are plenty of games like that there.

But yeah, I do agree with you that it's nice knowing that we who have large backlogs will always have traditional games to play even if the gaming market starts focusing more on online titles. That's absolutely true.

LtSarge

ralphdibny

@ThanosReXXX @LtSarge oh yeah, I forgot about the "should have" aspect of it. I've done that moreso recently with the PS4 and PS3 as the cost of generations further back may be too prohibitive.

When the PS3 store was supposed to close down, my criteria for buying games that I knew very little about was they should be the "should/must haves" of the console, as well of course as being unavailable on any other modern console.

ThanosReXXX

@LtSarge Yep, pretty much that, I'm no collector or completionist by any stretch of the imagination, but I do buy far more games than I have time to play for. I always buy stuff that belongs to a system, as per the "can't go to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower" rule, and other than that, it's mostly personal interest, which I will pick up at bargain prices wherever possible, if I can. Some exceptions will be made, obviously.

I own a couple collectibles. In no particular order, I own the limited editions of Zelda Skyward Sword (came with gold-colored Wii remote Plus and concert CD), Xenoblade Chronicles Wii (came with a red Classic Controller Pro), and steelbook editions of Doom 3 for the OG Xbox and Quantum of Solace for the Xbox 360. Other than that, I do own quite a few more limited editions in digital form, but obviously, these don't have any physical extras.

One mea culpa: even do I do agree with the not gonna buy games if I'm not interested in them, even if they are cheap sentiment, I did once buy Dead Or Alive Extreme 2 for the Xbox 360 for a couple of bucks, mainly just as a novelty, because I was never able to play the OG Xbox DOA volleyball game, seeing as the Xbox 360 was my first Xbox, and that title wasn't backwards compatible, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

Played it a couple of times, then I lost interest, and now it's collecting dust somewhere...
The fighting games are pretty good, though. I own all of them, and luckily, all of them are backwards compatible, so I also have the OG Xbox ones. I actually own quite a few OG Xbox titles.

That's another thing that added to my backlog: since I never owned the OG Xbox, I never knew much about the games, but once I owned my Xbox 360, and got to know more and learned of the wonderful thing that is backwards compatibility, I decided I also needed to get me a decent OG Xbox library, and by now, it's around 60 to 70 games. Haven't checked recently, so I kinda lost count, and every once in a while I still come across an old title that I don't own yet.

'The console wars are like boobs: Sony and Microsoft fight over which ones look the nicest and Nintendo's are the most fun to play with.'

Xbox Gamertag: ThanosReXXX

ThanosReXXX

@ralphdibny Yeah, pretty much my sentiments exactly. See my comment above this one...

'The console wars are like boobs: Sony and Microsoft fight over which ones look the nicest and Nintendo's are the most fun to play with.'

Xbox Gamertag: ThanosReXXX

Ryall

@LtSarge With digital games I generally take the attitude but it will always be there and I will always be able to buy it so there’s no point buying it until I’m ready to play it.

I did make an exception with the Vita store closing which is why I have one PSP game sat on my Vita downloaded and not played. I’ll probably get round to it next time I’m able to travel.

Physical games are a little different because you never know when the shop will run out so if I see one I want and it’s cheaper than digital I will usually buy it. I usually get around to them in less than a year which is why I don’t have a huge backlog.

Ryall

LtSarge

@Ryall That's a very rational way of looking at things. I tend to adapt that approach from time to time but I just don't have the patience if I see something on sale. Not to mention that sometimes I wait too long and the game becomes out of stock in all online stores and I don't want to buy a digital copy at full price. So sometimes I have to buy the game just so that I don't have to worry about its availability in the future. That's especially the case whenever we enter a new generation and all stores want to just discount older titles in order to make room for the new ones since people stop buying games for older systems.

LtSarge

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