I have so many games, you guys. I can’t help it. Pretty much from end of middle school through end of college, I didn’t really have the money to afford all the games that ever came out. And before then when I was a kid I was so picky I missed out on a bunch of great games because I was too stupid and stubborn to play anything that wasn’t Pokemon. I maybe got one game a year. So pretty much since 2011 I’ve been trying to play catch up. Trying to catch up with three generations worth of games before they skyrocket in price and become impossible to get. So whenever I find games cheap: whether it’s online, at a store or a garage sale, I buy it.
As such, my backlog is pretty damn ugly. I’ve gotten to the point where I have games that are literally still in their original plastic because there is no point in opening them yet. I have dozens of save files from used games I tested to make sure they are functioning that are only a few minutes long.
It’s January 1st. Start of a new year and a fresh start. So my goal: shave down my backlog that I’m only 3 games behind at any given time. It’s a lofty goal to be sure, and there are a bunch of caveats I’ll discuss in a moment. But I know I can at least come close to that. Why? Because I do Gamer Diaries. Gamer Diaries are my informal reviews of games. I discuss how I got the game, what I think of the play style, the characters, the story, hell, even the packaging. Just whatever thoughts come to mind as I play. I’ve been doing them for the past few years, and last year I even was able to finish a bunch of games because of them.
So that’s what I’ll be doing again this year. Okay, now that y’all are caught up to speed on what my plan is, here’s what I’m trying to accomplish and how:
- I will finish all games I own unless a technical issue prevents me from playing. For example, I don’t own a flat screen, so some menus and text become unreadable when playing a PS3 game. I really, really wanted to play Ar Nosurge, but can’t because I’m more less playing the game blind if I can’t see what attacks and actions I’m actually selecting. Similarly, Kid Icarus has proved troublesome for my wrists and I don’t have a good place to set up the little stand for the game. So until I can address those couple of problems, I can’t actually play those kinds of games. Effectively, they don’t count.
- A game is considered finished when I reach the ending of the story if it’s an RPG or Action game, I clear all the difficulty levels of a Rhythm game or unlock all the characters of a Fighting game.
- I will only allow myself a two week hissy fit if I run into an issue of difficulty. If I get stuck against a boss or tough puzzle, I’ll give myself two weeks to fume and play something else, then I have to go back to it. If I’m still getting stuck I have to look up specifically how to defeat said obstacle. It’s not cheating at that point. Rage quitting is a big reason why lots of games have not been finished yet.
- I will continue to buy new games, but I will not play them until I finish whatever game I was playing at the moment. Splitting my attention also prevents me from finishing.
- I will try to play up to three games at any one time: one TV console and two hand helds. I own a PS2, PS3, and N64, a DS, a 3DS and a PSP. Even if the TV is being occupied I should be able to play something.
Okay, now the moment of truth, the actual backlog:
Final Fantasy V
Legend of Dragoon
Arc the Lad Collection (technically 4 games in one, yay!)
Final Fantasy Tactics
Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy IX
Spyro the Dragoon
Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy X-2
Final Fantasy XII
Persona 3 FES
Xenosaga Episode 1
Beyond Good and Evil
Mana Khemia 2
Ar Tonelico Qoga
Disney Infinity 2.0
Kingdom Hearts 1.5 Remix*
Project Diva F 2nd
Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Tales of Xillia
Ni no Kuni
Atelier Escha and Logy
Tales of Symphonia Chronicles
Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One
Star Ocean: Second Evolution
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Games I’ve put tons of hours in but haven’t actually finished yet:
Final Fantasy VI
Star Ocean: Til the End of Time director’s cut
*Technically I’ve played Kingdom Hearts before so I could probably skip this game for now, but I never did finish Chain of Memories despite owning both the GBA AND PS2 versions. I’m lame like that. Stupid freakin’ Riku...
Now, I can tell what you’re thinking, ‘Empress, those are an AWFUL lot of 50 hour+ RPGs you got up there...’ and you’re right. But I still think I can chisel through them pretty consistently.
The good news is there actually are only a few more PS3 games I actually want/need like Persona 5 and the Atelier Arland collection. I’m still hunting down a lot of PS2 games and there a bunch of stuff coming out for the PS4 that I’ll really want. But as I don’t buy games unless they are 20 dollars or less (with a few special exceptions for hard to find/out of print games) I don’t have to worry about most of these for a little bit yet.
Gamer Diary is an informal review of games I play as I more or less discuss the thoughts that pop up while I’m playing the games. They are not meant to be recommendations or strict critiques, but as a motivator to continue to play and finish games even if I get frustrated or discouraged. If you want to do a similar thing and make your own gamer diaries, please feel free to mimic the format. The Geek Empress is a comic book artist whose work can be found at bwillettcomics.com and does the regular features Craf-TAY Corner and Collecting Retro Games.