Illustration for article titled Gamer Diary: New Year, New Goalsem/em

It’s the new year and Gamer Diary rolls on. I started doing Gamer Diaries last year to deal with my somewhat overwhelming backlog. I’d play a game until completion, then do an article with my thoughts and feelings on it. They weren’t reviews in the traditional sense, but more like running commentaries to motivate me to keep playing even if I got frustrated or discouraged. And by doing them, I finished fourteen games last year—not a huge chunk out of my backlog, but a good start. Rather than the older games that I had for a long time, I managed to take out a lot of the games I got as I got them. So not a whole lot of forward momentum, but not a lot of backsliding either, so I’m not further from where I started.


Also, instead of focusing so hard on JUST GETTING GAMES DONE, I am going to have a more stop-and-smell-the-flowers approach to the games I have left. There are two reasons for this. A while ago I realized playing games isn’t supposed to be a chore and games aren’t wasted if I don’t play them right away. The other reason was because a lot of the games I bought were me playing catch-up with trying to track down all the games I wanted the past few generations, and for the most part I’ve done that. In fact, I’ve gotten to the point where I pretty much own all the games for this current generation that I wanted to. With the exception of Persona 5, the PS3 is pretty much done in terms of exciting new titles. Everything good is going to the PS4: Final Fantasy XV came out in November, the FFVII remake is later this year (I imagine—this year is the 20th anniversary of the game, and the 30th of the franchise, after all), the Kingdom Hearts franchise and all the other classic JRPG franchises have already moved on or are moving onto the next gen of consoles. It’s not even next gen anymore, it’s more accurate to say current gen and my systems are simply obsolete (my poor boyfriend got a little sad when he saw a PS3 game in the ‘retro’ section of a used game store.) My 3DS is getting ready to go out to pasture as well. Pokemon Sun and Moon was the last big release I had any interest in, and I haven’t heard anything about any other titles to look out for for 2017. The Switch is coming. And it’s going to replace both systems: the Wii U and the portable market. The fact is I can’t afford either new system, at least not for a good long while. And my PC, even if I used it to play games, is also rather old and clunky. There are only a handful of current titles I don’t yet own, and aside from Lego Dimensions expansions, I’m probably not going to be sending all that much on games this year.

So until I can afford one of the new systems and start investing in next-gen games, I’ll be focusing on the games I have now. I’ll keep a running tally on the games coming out that I want to play and work on clearing out as much time as I can so when I do get one of the new systems, I’ll be able to start playing playing them right away (and have a whole new, exciting, current-gen backlog. Yay!) I’m not worried about running out of things to play. Now I’m thinking of my backlog as a countdown until I can get a new system.


The same rules apply:

  1. Any game I play must be played to completion. A game is considered completed if I reach the end of the story in an RPG, unlock and clear all the tracks in a rhythm game or unlock all the characters in a fighting game. 100% completion or getting all achievements is not a requirement for me to write up a Gamer Diary.
  2. I cannot play a new game I buy unless I finished the game I was currently playing. I have a bad habit of starting a game I bought right away and then moving on from it as soon as I buy yet another new game.
  3. I will try to play at least two games at once: one portable (DS, 3DS, PSP) and one console game (PS/2/3) at any given time.
  4. If I get stuck or frustrated I will give myself two weeks to figure it out, switch to another game to cool off and then look up the solution. Unless I’m genuinely not enjoying a game to the point I don’t have a desire to keep it, I will not quit playing it (this rule is new. I ended up getting Skylanders last year, but didn’t really like how shallow the game play and stories were, so I gave up on them)
  5. A game doesn’t count for the list if a technical or health problem prevents me from playing it. For example, because I have a CRT screen instead of an LCD TV, some menus are unreadable or the game gives me a headache.


Pokemon Moon

Bravely Second

Moco Moco Friends

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire

Conception II


Elite Beat Agents

Pokemon Conquest

Kingdom Hearts RE:Coded


Final Fantasy XIII

Final Fantasy XIII-2

Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns

Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Project Diva F

Atelier Escha and Logy


Ni No Kuni

Valkyria Chronicles

Tales of Symphonia Chronicles

Tales of Xillia

Cross Edge


Persona 3

Persona 4

Suikoden III

Suikoden IV

Xenosaga Episode I

Beyond Good and Evil

Mad Maestro

Final Fantasy XII

Final Fantasy X-2

Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy


Final Fantasy VI

Final Fantasy V

Legend of Dragoon

Final Fantasy IX

Arc the Lad Collection

Chrono Cross

It’s unlikely that I’ll finish all these games this year, but that’s not the point. The point is to go through as many as I can to completion. I want to get past my bad habit of not finishing games, and to feel a sense of accomplishment and finality. The ability to check things off a list and let everyone know what I felt about what I played. That way when I eventually am able to join the current gen, I’ll be able to feel like I’ll have a fresher start. And in the meantime, be able to enjoy games many people already consider classics and have my own opinions about them.

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