First and foremost, I hope everyone had a great Christmas!
It hurts to type it out, but it’s true. Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which I am about 25 hours involved in, is the last game purchase I’m going to make for a while.
I should have seen it coming though – like the housing bubble of yesteryear or the Bitcoin bubble of last week, eventually it would come crashing down! Since buying a 3DS, receiving a PSVita as a gift, buying a Switch, and then buying a PSP, I have simply acquired a disgusting amount of games of which I have yet to play. It happens to us all, but I usually have control over my impulses better than this.
That is why, starting in 2018, I will be officially “fasting” from buying any more video games until I finish the ones that I already own and would like to complete.
It definitely started to get out of hand with the Vita/Switch combo. Having a new console out means that games are dropping all the time, and since the physical releases are finally catching up with the eShop, it means that tons of titles have been very tempting. Heck, I almost bought DOOM the other day just to have it on a portable console, despite having a 70% complete file on my PC! I realized I wasn’t actually playing most of the games that I was obtaining, and it was getting expensive without the joy of actually even playing any of the games. And hey, that isn’t fun for anyone except Amazon.
I went ahead and culled my backlog to include only the games I own that I actually want to play, and the results were pretty surprising – with the exception of three games, there aren’t actually a whole lot of lengthy titles to catch up on. In fact, I can easily tackle my titles in a few short months, as nothing major is on the horizon for me anyway.
Let’s take a look at the list and what I’ll be playing for the months ahead:
As you can see, it’s an (embarrassingly) short list! And most of the hours are in Ys VIII and Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
I picked up Vita game Tokyo Xanadu a few months ago and really enjoyed what I saw of it throughout a 3 hour play session on my flight to Thailand. However, while being in the midst of several huge games and the pending release of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, I realized that there simply wasn’t the time I needed to complete these titles. With more boxes getting shipped to me seemingly by the week, I started to feel pretty overwhelmed which made it very difficult to get into Xenoblade Chronicles 2. I did manage to break through that wall, but as it stands, the only two games I’m playing right now are Xenoblade and Rocket League.
It does get very hard to justify all the purchases – while it’s not exactly breaking my bank buying a game every month and a half, I’m essentially buying 14 pounds of food every week when I can physically eat about 7. It’s feeling silly and it’s taking the joy out of the collecting aspect of gaming. I pride myself on having a collection of games that I love, and not having a bunch of titles still in the cellophane.
So, going into 2018, I have but one resolution – finish the meager list of games above! It’s time to kick myself for overspending on things I didn’t necessarily need and actually enjoy what I have. In addition, I implore you all to do the same in whatever way suits you – I know we all have backlogs, but before pulling the trigger on more stuff, take a look back and find something you’ve been meaning to play. Don’t play stuff you don’t want to, but if you don’t feel like playing it, take it off the backlog!
Think of it like putting things in self-storage – people rent storage units partly because they think they need more stuff than they do. Then when they revisit those things in a month, a year of time, they wonder, “why the hell did I hold on to this?” Except the storage unit is your backlog and the raggedy t-shirt that reads “TWO-STORY BEER BONG CHAMP 2007” is some old game you haven’t thought about in years. Why bother playing what doesn’t appeal to you anymore? Find something that sounds cool and play it!
And not for nothing, but if you have old physical games you don’t want to play anymore, throw those bad boys on eBay and make some cash to buy something in a few days or months you actually like. 2018 was a big year for me taking out some bucket list titles, even if I wasn’t particularly fond of them by the end, but it felt great to knock out some oldies, and I even found some incredible gems along the way.
Let’s take a closer look at the backlog with a brief blurb about each:
- Axiom Verge – incredible title that I am finally getting into on the Switch. Bought it from GameStop physically as a part of their GameTrust Collection, but just couldn’t get into it on the PC. On the Switch? Completely different, solid experience. I’m about 70% done with it and only took a break once Xenoblade Chronicles 2 arrived and was too tempting not to start.
- Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate HD – the first demo I ever played on my first 3DS was this game. It was a lot of fun, but it just wasn’t what I wanted to play at the time. I recently got a copy for dirt freaken cheap and had to pull the trigger. Dirt cheap meaning $8 shipped, brand new. Looking forward to this one! Portrait of Ruin is the last Castlevania title I had and I played it on the DS till my fingers bled.
- Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – the primary reason I bought a PSP. Relation to one of my favorite games but with a more action-oriented battle system? I needed to have this and I can’t wait to try it out.
- DOOM – played a ton of this on the PC, until I simply got pulled away by the allure of something else… the tale as old as time. Incredibly gory shooter that recaptures the original DOOM games from my childhood.
- Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir – at the top of my “to play” list since getting my Vita, but became weirdly difficult to procure some time late last year. The cost shot up to ~$50 for a used copy so I backburnered it, until seeing a bunch of mysteriously new copies at GameStop for $30. Love what Atlus did with this 2D side-scrolling, platforming, button-mashing blast of a game.
- Tokyo Xanadu – as I mentioned about, I grabbed this as I was interested in a “relationship simulator” game but didn’t want to invest an entire lifetime into one game (Persona 4 Golden). Received great reviews and the battle system is what sold me on it. Very enjoyable to play.
- Undertale – what can be said about this title that hasn’t been said about penicillin or the wheel? It plays like an acid trip and keeps you stringing along the whole time, wondering what the heck’s gonna happen next. I finally had to play this when FanGamer put out a physical copy.
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – 25 hours in and loving this title. Apparently it’s a bit shorter than the predecessor but we shall see…
- Yomawari: Midnight Shadows – pre-ordered this title impulsively from Amazon when I still thought I’d have some gaming free time during the Halloween season, and the cartridge still hasn’t seen the inside of my Vita yet. A creepy little game that looked really cool.
- Ys Origin – grabbed not one, but two physical copies of this one. In my seemingly endless journey to play every Ys game available, Origin is one of the few I have left. Still waiting on my Play-Asia order 5 months later that got lost in the mail, so this one is really backburnered.
- Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana – 15 hours into this epic game and no end in sight, although I am making progress. Tons of endless cutscenes actually turned me off to it for a bit and pushed me over to the dark side, better known as Super Mario Odyssey, which proceeded to blow my socks off.
And there you have it! 11 games that I will complete before I spend another dime on video games. There will undoubtedly be some amazing announcements in the coming months while I work on this little list, so hopefully Pokemon and Metroid 4 on the Switch are not coming out any time soon!
In the meantime, I’d love to hear about titles you intend on finally getting around to playing this year. What game do you have backlogged that you need to finally play? What’s your gaming white whale? Let’s talk about it in the comments!