It feels as though the backlog is a unavoidable part of being a gamer – however well-intentioned, sometimes buying a game doesn’t end with ticking it off your personal to-play list. Even if you are enjoying the game, sometimes stuff just gets in the way, whether it be other games, different media, or other responsibilities of your life. Sometimes, I am sad to say that I don’t even start the games I buy (yeah, I know… ). So, when Ace Asunder and Later Levels teamed to do the 2021 edition of #LoveYourBacklog, it seemed a great opportunity to not only get a clearer view on where my backlog stands, but also to think about it in new ways. I am aware this is quite late in the month now, but it is still February, so I figure that it counts?
For starters, we display one of a choice of pre-designed badges on our site, depending on how many games are in our backlog. With less than 100 games on my backlog, I can put the lowest number badge, which makes me feel slightly better about it! For reference, I count approximately 15 games on each of Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4, plus another 10-ish across Wii U, Wii, 3DS, and DS. So all in all, around 40 (plus, y’know, the whole of Game Pass I now have access to on Xbox Series S, but let’s not think about that). So in that way, 40 does not seem too bad… However, do bear in mind that lots of these are quite long games that I have not even begun!
Next, there is a set of backlog-related questions that have been set that I shall go through and answer! They cover a variety of topics and it has actually been quite cathartic for me. Right, let’s get into it, then!
The effect that the 2020 apocalypse had on your backlog
Well, before the pandemic hit, I was saying it’d be nice to have a year off just for catching up on my backlog… Then, in a way I did not expect and definitely was not hoping for, it sort of happened – following becoming temporarily unemployed, I suddenly had a lot more free time. Yet, somehow, I still did not get through much of my backlog, and part of that was due to being preoccupied with new releases such as Resident Evil 3, The Last of Us Part II, and Hades – whilst the world was in lockdown, games were one part of the world that was still constantly delivering new experiences to our homes. Actually, speaking of the former of those three games, I will say that I did find the time to fill my Resident Evil gaming knowledge gap by playing through all of the numbered entries as well as the Revelations spin-offs (you can read various accounts of this around my site) – and I would likely not have had the same amount of time to do that otherwise. So, in a way, the overall effect was that it kind of evened out; I put a significant amount of time into new games and therefore stopped them being added to my backlog, but I did not necessarily cut much from my previous list.
The oldest game in terms of release date
In this case, it depends on how far back I cast my backlog net, and I tend to decide depending on whether or not I still realistically picture myself getting to the game. For this article, as aforementioned, I went back as far as the Wii/DS era. Subsequently, Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (released February 6th 2009 in EU) is the the game from longest ago. If you’re about to question the viability of me actually returning to it, well, this post has actually inspired me to start it from scratch! Also, the Metroid-like vibes help to help tide me over until, you know, a Metroid game… There is a reason they are called Metroidvanias!
A game you bought on day one, only to not play it
Yeah, erm… Quite a few… Perhaps some of the most egregious are games I bought on PS4 at or around launch, and haven’t even started yet. Look, I am aware of my bad financial decisions, okay. Two instances of this are God of War (2018) and Ghost of Tsushima (2020). I am going to play them! One day! Do I sound convincing?
The game which has spent the most time on your backlog
You could say that this answer would be the same as for the release date question: Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia. But. saying the same answer isn’t as fun, so let’s mix this up slightly by mentioning some other games that have been on my backlog for quite an extensive period of time. On DS there is Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, a compelling RPG I got partway into; and Sonic Colours, one of the few Sonic games I have played, back on the Wii – I recall having an enjoyable experience with Colours but not getting very far in (great soundtrack, too!). Furthermore, on 3DS I am still working on a few Fire Emblem games: after finishing the Birthright route in Fates, I am partway into Conquest with plans to do the Revelations path afterwards. In addition, I have also bought and started Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. So. Many. Games.
The most recent addition to your library
OK, yeah, maybe this is an indication of why there are so many games on my backlog, because I literally just added several to my list with some early-morning purchases, including Bravely Default, Bravely Second: End Layer, and Octopath Traveler, in order to be caught up for the new entries out this year (so many JRPGs!). I am aware of how susceptible I am to impulse purchases, aha! Part of it is due to the collector in me seeking to build out my game collections.
The person responsible for adding the most titles to your backlog, due to their good recommendations
Hmm… This is tough, as really the one responsible for adding the most unplayed games is me, haha! I do find it tough to pinpoint just one person who contributed to my backlog… Ashley Harrison, Stephen Brown, and Jed Harling from the co-operative Let’s Chat posts on this site are probably around equal; Ashley for substantial, standout JRPGs (e.g. Octopath Traveler), Stephen for undiscovered independent gems (e.g. Indivisible), and Jed for encouraging me into well-known games I had previously not played (e.g. Bloodborne). To each of you – and everyone else who offers good recommendations – I say thank you!
As a follow-up to #LoveYourBacklog, the #MaybeInMarch event directly connects and follows on from it. This is how it works: you select one game from your backlog, and then decide to play through it in March, documenting your experience as you go. For me, the choice is God of War; I have owned it for around 3 years now, and not even started it despite constantly saying I plan to. Now is the time to amend this, and an event will help urge me on. Indeed, then, I am declaring it here: March 2021 is when I am going to play through God of War, and you are all going to be hearing about it!
Hopefully that supplied some insight into my backlog, as well as my immediate plans to tackle it! Thanks again to Ace Asunder and Later Levels for setting this up; this may be just the push I needed to finally play games such as God of War. Hopefully you look forward to hearing my thoughts in the upcoming days and weeks! Further to this, feel free to put any thoughts on my backlog – or yours! – in the comments.
Below are some other fantastic #LoveYourBacklog entries that have been written on other sites this month! Perhaps have a read…