If one has been hanging around gaming circles a lot recently, one may have noticed the term “backlog” thrown around a lot, a term is used to refer to the amount of games one owns but has not completed. The fact that many gamers nowadays have backlogs that consist of hundreds of games has almost become somewhat of a meme in and of itself, and is often compared to how girls will buy large amounts of clothes that greatly exceed the amount they need.
I am not going to pad things out by pretending the reader thinks all games are new AAA releases that cost $60, and the first word that likely popped into any experienced gamer’s mind is likely “Steam.” However, one would think that even Steam sales would have their limits, and they would be right. So I decide that the best way to demonstrate would be to take you throw this step by step and show you how this was done.
First game I got was Yooka-Laylee, which cost me about $30.00 or $40 when I got it. That is a fairly small amount of money for a new retail console release, but it is actually an outlier in terms of money spent. It is also the only physical game I have bought. I should also say that I have beaten this game since then and a review will be coming fairly soon, but I will say I enjoyed it immensely.
A few days later on May 11th, I got the Indiegala “Spaced Out” bundle, which consisted of twelve games, that I bought for only one of the included games; Chronicles of a Dark Lord: Tides of Fate Remastered. The reason for this being that the bundle itself, if I recall correctly, was cheaper than the cost of the game on its own at normal price. As such, I did not even count the other eleven games as part of my backlog but they do come into play later.
Next, there was a PSN sale that I took advantage of to get 7 games, or 5 if you count compilations as a single game. These games were God of War Collection (consisting of the PS3 versions of God of War 1&2), God of War Origins Collection (consisting of the PS3 versions of God of War: Chains of Olympus and God of War: Ghost of Sparta), and God of War Ascension just so I have the entire sextilogy (my brother already owns of copy of God of War 3), Twisted Metal Black, the 2012 Twisted Metal reboot, and a shmup called Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype. I believe that I payed about $16 here.
After that was the Bundle Stars: “Best of Indie Legends” bundle, which consisted of eight games and two DLC. I can’t remember how much it cost unfortunately but I know that it was cheap of course. Anyway, I kept Freedom Planet, Skullgirls, Memoria, and Viscera Cleanup Detail. Unepic I already owned and the other three I had no interest in so they aren’t counted, but once again, remember them for later.
The next I got was Critical Hit, a short eroge published by MangaGamer that I bought from their website for about $6.00 on sale, which is pretty cheap by eroge standards. It is worth noting that this is so far the only game I bought directly from their store, despite having a large amount of their games in the backlog. Everything else I either got for free or from Indiegala bundles, which I almost always feel compelled to buy because of how expensive eroge are. Also Critical Hit was the second of two games I completed this month and will have a review fairly soon. Then there was another visual novel called Celestial Crossing that I got from Steam on sale for about $2.00
Now it is time to explain where those other Indiegala and Bundle Stars games came in. In addition to having a lot of game bundles, Indiegala also allows to offer spare Steam keys to trade for another user’s Steam key. You basically enter in the Steam game you want to trade and enter in the code, and others will offer trades for their own Steam code. If you accept, you are privately given the code for your new game and they are given the code for what you traded. I naturally, put the rest of the stuff from those two bundles up as trade offers.
From them I have traded…
Unepic for Titan Souls
Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball for Angel Express [Tokkyu Tenshi]
Absoloot for Unhack
Mad Dagger for Frederic: Resurrection of Music
Amber Tail Adventure for Unforgiving Trials: The Space Crusade
iGrow Game for Legend
Glorch’s Great Escape: Walking is for Chumps for Danmaku Unlimited 2
Starship Rubicon for Still Life
and Insurgency for Syberia II
I also traded a spare code I had for Divine Slice of Life for Zenodyne R
Afterwards, I took advantage of a Steam sale (not one of THOSE Steam sales, just a few games on sale) that I came out of with the Ninjahtic trilogy (Ninjahtic, Ninjahtic Mind Tricks, and Nil-Ninjahtic: Ronin), Delicious! Pretty Girls Mahjong Solitaire (it was half a dollar, figured I might as well just for a laugh and/or fap), LiEat, Helen’s Mysterious Castle, Alicemare, The House in Fata Morgana (an outlier in terms of cost), Hell Girls, and Dragonia. In addition to that, the Steam version of Monster Monpiece was on sale through Bundle Stars for about $6.00, so I got that despite already having the Vita version, cause fuck censorship!
Later came another PSN sale where I bought Breath of Fire III and IV for a total of $6.00, which was followed by me buying both Knights of Galiveth and Stargazer Christmas on Steam for about $1.00 if I recall correctly. This was in addition to getting some the soundtrack and artbook for Negligee, and best of all, the digital Dakimakura set!
After all of that, however, there was still one more big one; The Humble Sekai Project Bundle, consisting of 19 visual novels from “Sekai project” and one DLC, for $12.00. I already owned all the Nekoparas and WORLD END ECONOMiCA episode.01 , so that means 15 new additions to the backlog. Those being Fault Milestone One & Two Side:Above, KARAKARA, Ame no Marginal -Rain Marginal-, Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru Parts 1 & 2, Narcissu 10th Anniversary Anthology Project & Sumire, Sound of Drop – fall into poison, Highway Blossoms, Japanese School Life, WORLD END ECONOMiCA episode.02 & episode.03, Memory’s Dogma CODE:01, Root Double -Before Crime * After Days- Xtend Edition, and Sunrider: Liberation Day.
So yeah,I decide I’m going to try and avoid spending money for a while, but considering that Sekai project is putting their 18+ patches on sale next week, I may need to spend even more 0_o. Not to mention I may want to get Nekopara Vol. 3 for review purposes and it doesn’t look like I’m important enough to get a review copy just yet. Good grief, I definitely need to come up with a plan for myself. But the backlog isn’t even done yet!
Those spare codes for the Nekoparas and WORLD END ECONOMiCA episode.01 are put up for trade as well. Haven’t gotten one for WORLD END ECONOMiCA yet, but it didn’t take long for the Nekoparas to get offers, so all three of them got trades.
Nekopara Vol. 0 for After Life – Story of a Father (a rare example of a walking simulator that actually looks pretty good. I hope it doesn’t disappoint)
Nekopara Vol. 1 for Alphadia Genesis
and Nekopara Vol. 2 for Club Life
Upon going to redeem my code for Club Life though, Steam gives me the message that I already had that game registered to my account. Yep, my backlog has now become so big, thought I pretty much bought a game without realizing I already had it. Yeah, I think that’s a sign that I need to stop.
So Club Life is now put up for trade as well and I am waiting on a trade for it, along with Lethal League, Star Merchant, Sphere Complex, Rhythm Rush!, Space Impact Glitch, and WORLD END ECONOMiCA episode.01, so there could be more additions to this list.
So to reflect on these things, a rough estimate of how much I spent on games would likely be about $112. Now there are two ways you can look at this. One could either look at this as me saving a shit ton of money because of how much these games would cost without discounts, or as me being careless with my money because I’m still at the point where that is a lot to me. I currently have no job or any source of income, aside from what gets put in my account by my dad from my mom’s inheritance, and from what I get as Christmas/Birthday presents (which may as well be the same thing because the two are a month apart).
While having “too many games” can sound like the absolute biggest example of a “first world problem” (and it very much is), it can still be somewhat of a double edged sword. The positive is that you now have these games and can play them whenever you feel like it. Additionally, it would mean that one can never complain about not having any games to play right?
Yeah, depression is a real bitch. Even though I am now on HRT and have been feeling better than ever before, it does not stop nervousness. The issue with my backlog isn’t the amount of games; it is that I can’t play them as much as I would like to. I seem to view playing a game as an undertaking, and now feel like I need to get out a review of everything, which is not easy when I have other content I’m working on. My “JRPG Update” series has definitely made for some more of my successful and popular posts on this site, which is understandable. Any old shmoe can review games these days, and mine don’t even feature a score so people can’t skip straight to the end and avoid any reading and critical thought. Something like JRPG Update actually offers something original; IE gathering up all news related to JRPGs in one place, both popular and obscure.
And I do ultimately enjoy doing the JRPG Updates. Hell, I enjoy doing most of what I write for this sight, but I’m only one person. I’m only one person, and I plan to keep it that way. I think the biggest innate flaw with every game journalism or review site is that different people cover each game, and different people have different standards. As such, the reviews are bound to not have consistent values and standards despite being on the same site; and I know most people do not bother to check out who the authors are. I want everything on this blog to be my own work, so that one can expect a consistent yet evolving style.
Of course, the downside is that it will be difficult to get a JRPG update up every week on Saturday because it means I am taking up a lot of time to work on them that can go towards other stuff. Hell writing this piece here means I’m putting off my upcoming reviews even longer, and I won’t be able to get to them tomorrow (I am writing this on the 8th of June) cause of JRPG Update. Furthermore, my review of Yooka-Laylee is very likely going to be one of my thoroughly detailed reviews because I both have a lot to say about it, and want to score another GameFAQs review of the month victory and thus more Amazon credit.
It often feels like I am too focused on categorizing things. I often try to schedule what the next game I will play is, and what the next one I buy will be. The problem is that I practically am already treating reviewing like it’s an actual career of mine, and I’ve been doing so pretty much ever since I started. Hell I’ve had a near obsession with this blog lately and have been thinking of multiple things I could try to do to get it more popular.
But the problem is that there is a constant sense of desire of wanting more and more, and I want things to progress quickly. But at the same time, it requires focus and time to either complete a game or write something out, and it will definitely take a long time before this blog becomes successful. As such, it grinds on me and slowly drives me absolutely bonkers, so I get discouraged, my motivation shatters, I get angry at the world AND the urge to just blow my brains just to get everything to stop. Yes, that’s a hyperbole, but it isn’t THAT much of one. I already have a lot of mental and emotional baggage to unpack and that shit is lodged in my brain deeper than Trump’s head is lodged in his small intestine. It will probably take a few years of HRT and my dad to learn to stop being a dumb ass for any progress to be made on that front.
So, what is there for me to do? I do want to play every single game I own, all 672 of them. I want to get to a lot of other games than those 672, a lot of which include games that are already free to play or stuff that can be played through emulation. I also want to revisit some games I already played, because they aren’t just there to only be played once. But I’m only one person, and I only have so much time on this planet. Hell there may be some stuff I want to do with my life other than just vidya gaemz, but my agoraphobia and extreme social fear practically keep me trapped here.
Yes, something as simple as game backlogs can become soul crushingly depressing if thought about for long enough, or maybe that’s just my problem. Thought is supposed to be the key to human intelligence, but if we think too much, we get punished by the crushing realization of our own meaninglessness. The more we try and figure everything out, the worse things get. So, does that mean we should just not think? Hell if I fucking know!
So on that basis, one must wonder whether a large backlog is really doing harm, or if one just doesn’t have enough time to play everything? Will I finish every game I want to play before I die? Hell if I know. Will I even finish every game in my current Backlog before I die? Probably not. If you ask me though, the best thing to aim for is the former, and play games because you want to, not out of some obligation to clear everything out.
So I have just now, and I mean literally just now as in I wrote everything up to this point before realizing this, that there is no solution to “Backlogs,” and there shouldn’t be. We should focus on playing what we want to play. Yes, there is probably a lot of stuff in my Steam library I won’t get to, or won’t play much of. Hell I doubt I will last long with Final Quest II that’s for sure. The point is, don’t be ashamed of your backlog. Is an unplayed game that you own really any different from an unplayed one that you don’t? The only difference is that whoever you decide to give your collection to also gets them passed down and has a lot to choose from right off the bat. Hell maybe one of their favorites will be something you never got around to yourself.
Besides, there are for worse things you can spend your money on than too many games. You could have waste it all on lottery tickets or crack. You could have donated it to Autism Speaks, contributed to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, backed Mighty No. 9 on Kickstarter, purchased horse armor DLC for Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, bought a PS3 at launch, paid for WinRAR, or even spent it trying to help the prince of Nigeria smuggle $20,000,000 out of his country.
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