Anyone who describes themselves as a gamer, or even those who read a lot of books, collect DVDs (remember them?) or are avid fans of various other arts, know about The Backlog. It is, as a gamer at least, a list of games that have been bought (or acquired – most games are “free” these days) under the full intent to play, but for whatever reason are Pushed on the stack and have not yet reached Pop. Why these games accumulate rather than reduce in quantity is one of life’s mysteries. If I spend so much time playing games, why do they build up? If I have a pile, why do I add more to the pile? If the pile has gotten so tall that there’s not a hope in hell of making a noticeable dent, why don’t I just write it all off and start anew?
Nobody knows the answers to these questions.
Let me tell you about my current backlog and how those games came to be on it. Firstly, what I’m currently playing, as these games are technically blockers for the rest of the pile.
Golden Sun: Many years ago, so long ago it predates my blog, Golden Sun was one of my favourite RPGs. A Game Boy Advance exclusive, I endured the lack of backlight of the original model GBA to complete it. This month, it appeared on the Switch Online GBA service. So why not?
Picross e4: A recent eShop sale saw the Picross games by Jupiter reduced in price. So, as I normally do in this situation, I picked up the most recent one not yet purchased. A new Picross game is a challenge to start because I know there’s 20-30 hours of puzzles to get through and it’s a bit daunting. But I have Made A Start.
And the Pile. Oh what a Pile.
Ion Fury: A while back I was informed of the term “boomer shooter”, which seems to be “a first person shooter which although modern in design has a retro look or feel”. So it’s a bit like the original Doom or Quake or something, but with the quality of life and super-smooth movement associated with more polished new games. Anyhoo, I was told Ion Fury was a good example of such a thing and it appealed to me so when it was cheap on the eShop, I got it. Still unplayed. Then there’s the similar-ish Prodeus which is “free” on PS+…
Judgment: A present a few years back. I love the Yakuza games, but they’re a bit Adult and so playing them during Daylight Hours isn’t really practical in my house, and I don’t tend to play anything after 9pm any more. So it’s just sat there. Waiting. See also Like A Dragon. And Judgment 2: Judge Harder.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps: I actually started this, a few months back, but got to a bit where you get chased by something and it was Too Hard so I put it down to play something else then forgot to go return to it. Now I have the extra issue that I’ll have forgotten all the controls and moves, so it’ll be Impossible rather than just Too Hard.
Goodboy Galaxy: I really love this game, but the battery in my Evercade ran out and a charging cable wasn’t immediately available so it got put to one side for a while and then I realised, while writing this post, that I’d not attempted to continue the game since. Oops.
My Time At Portia: A game I have wanted for a long time as I do like a good chop chop, dig dig adventure, with each eShop sale it got cheaper and cheaper so I didn’t see any need to get it until it was the cheapest it was going to get. And that time came a while back when it was about £2 so I bit, and (expectedly) there it sits on my Switch, totally undisturbed.
Disco Elysium: I remember Sean Bell raving about this a long time ago, and although it took a couple of years to hit my preferred platform (the Switch), I didn’t pounce immediately as, like most eShop games, it’d be cheaper eventually. Which it was. And I bought it. Thing is, it has the same problem Judgment does, so it gets no love.
And they’re the main ones. Second tier (if we’re doing “priority tiers”) includes the likes of Asteborg, River City Girls Zero, Atari 50, Atari Mania, Puzzle & Dragons, Art of Rally, Duke Nukem: A Time to Kill, and a number of other Evercade titles. Then there’s all the interesting free things that Amazon, Epic and GOG have given away. Plus anything I’ve picked up in various Humble or charity bundles. The itch.io ones in particular are impenetrable and I tend to only go there if I’ve seen a game that looks interesting and I might already own it and not realised. And PS+, PS++ and PS+++. There are a handful of games on there I really want to get round to playing. Eventually.
And! They keep making more games! That Mario vs Donkey Kong remake is out soon, and the Princess Peach Showtime game isn’t far behind. Then, as if to put a timer on these games, the successor to the Switch is strongly rumoured to be getting a release before Christmas. Just make it stop!