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Tag: backlog

The State of the Backlog

Sure, I didn’t finish many games in 2021, though this year should be different. My backlog is, as usual, jam-packed, and end-of-year sales and gifts added quite a bit to it these past few months. My backlog is so large now that I have mini backlogs for individual series, never mind platforms. I’ve managed to whittle down the unplayed MegaTens to three (six if Persona spinoffs are included), and Dragon Quest games are at four now that I’ve slogged through Dragon Quest VII on 3DS. Disgaea is also at four, including a remake of the first game, which is one of my favorite RPGs of all time, and a co-op centric replay of most of the Halo series, this time via The Master Chief Collection, is in the cards.

Most of my Switch backlog, which has grown by leaps and bounds the past few years
The mini backlog which has concerned me the most these past few years has been for Ys. Ys games tend to be shorter than other JRPGs, with fast-paced action to match, so it’s a wonder why, at the start of the year, I had five of them sitting around. One of these is the PC version of Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim, which was one of the very first games I wrote about for this blog, but aside from that, I haven’t played any of the others before. With DQVII done, and wanting a break from that style of gameplay, Ys: Memories of Celceta was one of two JRPGs I started last week. It’s good so far, with a lot of the Ys series hallmarks—driving music, huge bosses, interesting dungeons, and slightly clunky graphics—mixed in with some new touches. It’s pretty much what I expect out of an Ys, which is definitely a good thing.

The other JRPG, stared a couple of days before Celceta, is Touhou Gensou Wanderer Reloaded, a Mystery Dungeon clone set in the Touhou world of Gensokyo. It’s a solid rougelike with some nice tweaks to the formula, such as the ability to keep all of your items, including enhanced weapons, after being wiped out in a dungeon. This makes future runs a bit less painful, provided you don’t lose (or accidentally sell) your best gear. TGWR does assume familiarity with Gensokyo and its residents. (Despite the title, it’s the third in the Touhou Gensou Wanderer series, so it’s possible that some of the past events alluded to are from those previous two games.) I actually started Touhou Fuujinroku: Mountain of Faith, the last mainline Touhou game in my backlog, shortly after starting TGWR because I was curious about certain new-to-me characters. Both games are fun, though Mountain of Faith is harder than I expected, so I don’t know if I’ll ever beat it. As for TGWR, I’ve already finished the main campaign, but haven’t marked it as “beaten” since there’s so much left to do.

I want to start another game soon, preferably something short I can get through in one or two days. There’s a lot of those types of games in my backlog, but I tend to put off the narrative-heavy ones depending on how I’m feeling at the time. Seeing as how I was suffering regular bouts of insomnia for awhile, and still do on occasion, some of these games have gone unplayed for years. For the first one, perhaps I’ll finally finish my run through the Tale of Tales catalog and play Sunset.

Hopefully I can get through many of those shorter games before the year’s out. JRPGs as well; I have a lot of them sitting around unopened, and am aiming to finish at least five of them this year, and ideally, more like twelve. Anyway, that’s the plan. Good luck to everyone else tackling their backlogs in 2022!

Drought? What Drought?

I’ve been back for awhile now, but have been either too lazy, busy, or tired to update this place. I did, however, post at my CAG blog; there, I shared a whole set of photos from the Dragon Quest IX launch event that took place a little over a week ago at Manhattan’s Nintendo World Store. There were lots of people, demo stations, freebies, and frozen treats from a Dragon Quest-themed Mister Softee truck.

This slime is almost as big as my backlog!

Funnily enough, although I got DQIX a day early, I didn’t actually start playing the damned thing until the following Monday. I’ve played quite a bit of it since then, though. It’s an unusual game for the franchise, in terms of how it breaks with tradition, though I don’t have anything bad to say about it so far. I do wish the dungeon designs were more puzzle-intensive, along the lines of certain ones in earlier Dragon Quest games, but that sort of thing doesn’t seem to be Level-5’s strong suit. This game also seems to have eased the difficulty in certain subtle ways, which I feel ambivalent about. On the other hand, a feature that I really like reminds me of one of Earthbound‘s best: enemies—which are all now visible on the field—are likely to run away from your party if you’re too strong.

I’ve also made a lot of progress in Pokemon Platinum. Actually, that was the only game I played on the trip, which means Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes has been relegated to the backlog for the time being. Later, I put Platinum down upon starting DQIX, then picked it up again this weekend. I’m currently up to five gym badges and am beefing up my team before taking on Pokemon Gym #6 (not its real name).

Along with the DS RPGs, I’ve been plugging away at Kirby Super Star, but I don’t know when I’ll beat it, though I’m very close to being done with everything, save the minigames, which I’ve mostly ignored. And then there’s StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty, which will arrive here in less than ten days in all its Collector’s Edition glory. Right now the plan is to beat DQIX before SC2 gets here, which will leave my August free for a super-long, and super-shiny, Terran campaign, plus some possible multiplayer and/or modding.

Oh, and my birthday happened. One of the presents I received was an Amazon gift card, which was spent in part on a used copy of Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja, an Atlus-published roguelike I’ve had my eye on. It’s now in the backlog pile, along with Clash of Heroes. Plus, I preordered Etrian Odyssey III, which is due out in September, since I had to have that artbook.

Every year, gamers complain about the “drought” that happens in the summer. Pssh. Even without Dragon Quest IX and StarCraft 2, I would be overwhelmed; there’s just so much in my backlog, and so much more I haven’t even picked up yet, like late-winter and spring releases Bayonetta, Nier, and Super Mario Galaxy 2. Come the fall, while my husband is consumed by Civilization V and World of WarCraft: Cataclysm, there will be the aforementioned Etrian Odyssey III, along with Rune Factory 3 and, if it turns out to be any good, Front Mission Evolved. Then there’s the “epic” games that I will not get right away but will likely pick up sometime, namely Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Disney Epic Mickey.

I want more “drought” time, dammit!