Breaking Backlog 2018

  • Hey Allies! I am setting up a challenge for myself in 2018 to buy as few new games as possible and only play games I already own.

    You see, I have a problem with purchasing and finishing games. Oftentimes, I will leave a game with less than 2 hours played. Indie games just seemed to capture my attention much more this year, but that left behind a big backlog of AAA games I need to get to across my PS4 and PC. So, in the interest of breaking the habit of purchasing games and not finishing them, I want to set a goal for myself not to buy ANY new games in 2018.

    That's the goal, but of course, but we can't get angry at ourselves for letting hype take over -- it's bound to happen! The purpose of the challenge is to limit your purchases, and not needlessly spend when you have games that deserve love!

    I am setting a few limits for myself to make sure I meet my goals:

    1.) I MUST play each game at least 5 hours OR until I see the credits.

    2.) If I do spend money on games, I will not exceed $120 (or the price of two brand-spanking-new AAA games).

    3.) "New" means new to me. It counts even if the game came out in a previous year.

    4.) I must write a review of each game in at least 300 words. This is to teach myself what I'm truly interested in, and to make more conscious choices in the games I choose to purchase.

    5.) If I own the same game across multiple platforms and have beaten it or played at least 5 hours, I am not required to replay it.

    Now that these goals are public, I think it will help me be more accountable in my actions towards my goal. I'm hoping to get support from my fellow allies as I go through this change of habit, and I hope some of you might join me (with your own goals/adapted rules)! If there's interest, I will update this post with the games I'm playing, as well as the short reviews I promised to write.

    Being apart of this community has been very rewarding for me. I only recently started using the forums, and I'm hoping to give back to this community through this challenge. If we have enough participants, maybe we can have a pseudo-competition out of it with points per game finished or something?

    Can't wait to start next year! :)


  • I made a checklist on Evernote which I use sometimes for various tasks and I noticed that Backlogs kinda feel like a chore when you're forcing yourself to go through it.

    I have checked a few games off this year and am happy, but I realized how its never fun to check a game off a list because there are more to play. I'm fine going in slow motion 2018. New games or old ones.

    I guarantee you'll feel the same way only working from the backlog.

  • @DIPSET I totally agree, that's why I added in the $120 spending limit. It forces me to wait for new games to go on sale if I really want them. They can always wait, since I'll always have something to play!

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    For me its that Im still sooo far behind on 2017s games, so I've told myself that there are only 2 games in 2018 I really want (for now) the rest need to wait until I have finished some more stuff in my backlog! then I would be okey with buying other games, but dont think that will be until after the summer as I want to take my time and not just finish for the sake of it.

  • I didn't buy a single new in 2017 game and I only played one because it was a Birthday Present: ME: Andromeda.

    While it is really quite liberating, it's also a bit sad if you enjoy talking about games because a lot of your thoughts about current matters will be from second hand sources.

    If you want my advice, if you really want a new release or two in 2018, just get it, but organise yourself around it so that it's the only thing you'll have to play. You'll make the most of the purchase that way :)

  • Several games get drastic discounts relatively quickly after release. Also, the patches that follow often improve the base product pretty substantially, so there are very few games that I will buy on day of release. As I've gotten busier in life, it's become harder to play the games that I obtain. My new SOP is simply to finish more games than I buy/receive. It's worked out very well, keeping things from feeling like a chore and allowing me to play (relatively) new games without feeling guilty.

    Anyhow, I applaud the goals you've set for yourself. If they ever start feeling restrictive, you can always adjust them. Good luck in 2018!

    Also, Nintendo makes it hard to work with a budget like that. They take a very long time to discount their big stuff.

  • @Lotias Yes! The last thing I'd want is to make gaming a chore, but I also feel awful about the games I leave behind. I haven't even gotten around to playing Metroid Samus Returns! Hopefully this challenge actually encourages me to go back and to finish the games I pledged to play.

    I'm hoping restricting games to at least 5 hours will make it easier to pass on games I bought but simply don't enjoy.

  • @Hazz3r That's very impressive considering what an incredible year this has been! Props to you!

    My biggest fear is losing that part of the conversation. I like being able to talk from an informed position on videogames, but there comes a point where if you don't get paid to do it, it becomes a bit irresponsible.

    Currently I've been trying to only buy games that I plan to play right away, but even that gets away from me, so I'm hoping that with this challenge I'll take my habits more seriously! Good luck on your gaming for the next year!

  • @Billy said in Breaking Backlog 2018:

    Several games get drastic discounts relatively quickly after release. Also, the patches that follow often improve the base product pretty substantially, so there are very few games that I will buy on day of release. As I've gotten busier in life, it's become harder to play the games that I obtain. My new SOP is simply to finish more games than I buy/receive. It's worked out very well, keeping things from feeling like a chore and allowing me to play (relatively) new games without feeling guilty.

    Also, Nintendo makes it hard to work with a budget like that. They take a very long time to discount their big stuff.

    Couldn't have said it better myself. I hate feeling guilty about a hobby I love so much, so I want to make sure I actually love and care about the ones I choose to spend my time with.

    As well as the reasons you've mentioned, I noticed I get a lot of free games from Ubisoft, Twitch, and Humble that I never play. And some really good ones too! I think it's easier than ever to go a year without paying for games, especially with all the incredible 10 year old games that are practically given out.

    As a Nintendo fan, it will be tough not being able to say "yes, I'm buying that" immediately. But truth be told, the only game that would make me drop everything for a purchase would be Metroid Prime 3, and I don't expect that until 2019. Thanks for your kind words!

  • @MarkZone Haha, it's not been too bad. I played through some incredible games this year, like Far Cry 3, Life is Strange, Pokemon Blue, Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, and Dark Souls 2.

    I recently switched jobs and had to suddenly pay a lot of out-goings a few times (Car died on me) so it's mainly just been cutting out luxury purchases just to get financially stable again.

    Thankfully I still have my parents and a wonderful girlfriend who recognise how hard I've budgeted myself this year, so they're joining forces to get me a Switch and Mario Odyssey for Christmas as a big present. I'm really looking forward to seeing New Donk City!

    Good luck on this, I'll be checking in to this thread regularly!

  • I like that number 4. Good idea.

    I've been working my way through some shit lately too. Finally decided to bite the bullet and pick Gravity Rush back up afterva power outage made me lose 3 hours of progress. Just got the Lunar abilities. Fuck I love this game.

    Finally picking off the remaining cartel in Ghost Recon. Also excited to try the PVP they added in that when I'm done the story. Buddy of mine says it is an easy plat once you finish the main story, so thats nice.

  • Hey anyone who's watching this! I've beaten my first game since posting this, so I thought I'd update even though it's not 2018.

    Today I beat: The Evil Within

    I put in 16 hours and 32 mins into beating this game on Survival Difficulty.

    My review:

    So this game is very divisive for me. When I originally heard of this game I was coming off of playing Outlast, which I found more frustrating than horrifying. So I didn't suppose I'd like The Evil Within either. After hearing the many recommendations found amongst the Allies, I decided to give it a go. I'm not much of a Horror game fan, but not because I don't like being scared. You see, as a player, I expect to die in horror games. A lot. But a common problem I see in these games is having to repeat segments of the game over, and over again. To the point where you're not scared anymore, just annoyed. The Evil Within does not fix these issues for the genre at large, but it does do some things right.

    The Bad

    I'll start with the bad because I want to end on a good note. I absolutely DETEST how many 1HKO's there are in this game. Nothing grinds my gears more than a death that doesn't feel deserved. It's like a jump-scare. It's cheap and tacky. Why throw a mechanic in your game frustrates the player and slows down progress? I understand they want to raise the stakes of every moment, but there are ways the game does this properly already, which makes this bruise all the bigger.

    In Horror games, there is meant to be a sense of dread and fear throughout the journey. I often feel drained after just an hour of playing games like this. The survival aspects, such as managing your resources and carefully picking your shots so as not to waste ammo, help guide the player into that experience. This kind of horror is carnal. We all fear of being without what we need to survive. In real life there's food, but in videogames there're bullets. And when you run out, it's basically GAME OVER, baby. That feeling of narrowly escaping a scene with your last bullet is so gratifying.

    But where I think it succeeds it also blunders. I often found myself without any resources at all, being thrust into the next scenario without any possibility of getting more ammo. This forced me to run around a lot, and sometimes resort to punching to kill the enemies.

    Another issue I had was with telegraphing. I didn't always know what my objective was throughout my time playing, especially during boss encounters. Do I kill the boss now or are they invincible? Am I supposed to go guns blazing or do I run for it to start a cutscene? Sometimes when I felt so stuck figuring out what I was supposed to do next, I resorted to a walkthrough. Similar games within the genre (The Last of Us) have perfected their way of telling the player where to go, what to shoot, how to take down the boss.

    And those boss encounters. Hoo-doggie! I'd say the game shines in it's boss designs, but not necessarily when it comes to the fights themselves. Each boss has at least one 1HKO, and sometimes it's difficulty to tell if their vulnerable or not.

    So why put so many 1HKO's?

    My theory is that this game shows a lack of confidence. The Evil Within wants to be many kinds of games. Sometimes it's an action game. Othertimes, it's purely stealth-based. But unlike games that gave you a choice in these operations, The Evil Within seems intent of forcing the player to play each scenario in a certain way, or else face a huge disadvantage. If they had put more of a brute focus on the mechanics they do brilliantly, I'd have a better time playing.

    The Good

    The Evil Within has a sense of style so refreshing. It's cerebral, Giger-esque, and chaotic. In the early start of the game, Monsters and creepo's alike terrify the player, forcing them to act anxiously as their handgun bobs and waves just too far to the left. Running out of ammo, you duck into a duck shack, praying for just one more bullet. As you enter, a mirror cracks. A haunting player piano tune plays. A nurse with a ghastly voice waves to you. Is this the waking world or a fever dream? One minute you could be walking down a pulsating hallway, the next you wake up in a cold sweat in a hospital bed. All is strange in the world of The Evil Within.

    The opening of the game left a great impression on me. Those early moments where I didn't know what to expect, and played very carefully. There were early signs of my signposting issues, but big eyed and bushy-tailed I fought through it.

    When I found my first key I was so excited. The hint of secrets to come? YES! I went on to love opening the safes for a random prize. It matched that same feeling I mentioned of shooting out a boss with my last bullet. But here, a small game of luck can mean the difference between surviving another wave of baddies, or spilling your brain juice.

    Speaking of brain juice: YES, RPG mechanics! Building my own version of Sebastian gave me control as a player to choose how I wanted to play. Don't like how floaty and inaccurate the handgun is? Increase the accuracy! Looking for a challenge? Don't upgrade it! And tying the mechanic with something as thematically bizarre as "Green Gel," as the game calls it (I'm just gonna keep calling it brain juice), is nothing short of brilliance.

    In the end, I enjoyed my time with the game. I believe it needs more polish overall, especially in the technical department. If it did anything totally offensive, it's those darn one hit kills that force me to restart entire scenes over and over again. Otherwise, I'd say it's an experience that, while with it's own stubborn faults, uniquely tells a story and experience I can only imagine in a videogame.


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