Backlog to the Future

It’s that time of year again when your belly is stuffed with food, the bank account is empty, and all you have to show is the amazing list of games that have increased your ever-growing backlog.  Now I’m not saying it’s a bad thing.  As gamers, we always want to play as many great games as we can.  But, when faced with many choices and limited time, it seems our intimidating mountain of entertainment feels almost impossible to climb.  Here I’ll show you a few suggestions to help you (myself included) tackle the games we spent our hard earned cash on while not making it feel like such a chore.

This year has been incredible in the gaming world!  We got games such as Titanfall 2, Gears of War 4, Final Fantasy XV, Battlefield 1, Overwatch, Doom, and Forza Horizon 3 just to name a few.  Where do we get time to play all of these!?  If you’re like me, you only have a few hours a week to pick at each one.  Currently I have 73 games ready to install and 69 games already installed on my Xbox. Out of all of them, I’ve only completed 27.  Of course many of them can’t even be finished because they are multiplayer only.  It’s still a huge backlog and I know many of you have more games than I do.  To finish your journey, I find it’s usually best to start with a more recent game that you really enjoy.  As gamers, we love to talk about games.  So If it’s a newer title that others are playing, it’ll be easier to join in on the conversation.  If all my friends are playing Titanfall 2, it would be a good idea to play it first instead of working on an older title in my backlog.  

What does it mean to complete a backlog?  We all want to feel a sense of accomplishment when it comes down to it.  Some of us are completionists and want to do every single side quest, find every collectible, and unlock anything we can.  That also goes with achievement hunters.  Some might want to get every single achievement because a game grabs them that much.  I would say for the most of us, to complete a game, is to finish the campaign/story.  To see the credits roll up the screen gives us the feeling of closure the developers intended.  The stories can be short and sweet like Firewatch and Inside.  Or they may be upwards of 40 plus hours such as Final Fantasy XV or Metal Gear Solid V just to finish the main story.  It's important when facing your backlog, not to aim for 100% completion on each game.  Then you'll never get to play all the amazing games you have. Fallout 4 is one of my favorites that I've put in over 100 hours. It would take me hundreds more to do everything that world has to offer. If I stuck with it, I would've missed out on all the great titles this year.  I still want to go back and play it some more, but it's not on my priority list.

It's always good to set goals for yourself and your backlog is no exception.  I've made a plan to finish the shorter games first, then hit the meatier ones last. The more you get out of the way now, the closer you'll feel at accomplishing your goal.  Rank your list from what you want to play the most to the least.  Also factor in how long it will take to finish the main story.  The internet has many places that will give you a good estimate on completion time.  Remember to keep the shorter ones first, but if you're dying to play Final Fantasy XV, then go for it!  Games are supposed to be fun, so if you know that's what you'll have the best time with, then do it!  Finish the story, then move on to the next game.  You'll always be able to come back and do all the side quests later.  

Once you've chosen what game to play, stick with it till the end.  You wouldn't go to an amusement park and get off a roller coaster halfway just to get on a different ride. Or better yet, turn off an awesome movie right before the climax just to watch something else.  You'll get the best experience if you enjoy a game and put all your focus towards it till the end.  That being said, multiplayer games don't count.  What I mean is there isn't any way to finish a multiplayer game.  They are always there for you and your buddies to hop on and have a blast!  So with that, I’d say have one single player game that you plan to beat, then play whichever multiplayer games you want when the bros are on.

That comes to my next point...relationships.  Why does that matter when it comes to completing my backlog you ask?  Well, even though we enjoy playing games, that doesn't mean we shut off the world and the people we care about.  If you have a spouse, like me, you know that they want to spend quality time with you.  I mean, they didn't marry you just for your good looks, right?  So it wouldn't be wise for me to come home every night and play video games all the time.  Our marriage wouldn't grow and we could possibly lose that spark we had when we first met.  We both need each other.  The same goes for those who have kids.  But if you don't have a spouse or kids and you have all the time in the world, then spend time with your friends and family.  Most of my friends play online which has always been a great way for us to bond.  Don’t let the backlog consume you.  There needs to be a balance or you could potentially lose the things you love.  Remember games will come and go, but the ones close to us will always stay.  

Now I know these techniques are not for everyone.  Some of you like to dive into every game you can get your hands on, which is just fine and dandy!  Although, if you’re like me, you want to complete your backlog in the fastest way possible.  With a new year ahead of us, it means more games are going to start piling up.  So make your list with the shortest game first or the one you really want to play.  Focus on it till completion of the story, then you can move on to the next one.  I’ve been doing this technique for a month now and I’m almost done with my fourth game.  Make sure to have fun when playing your backlog or what’s the point?  With this first quarter drought of releases, it should give us gamers a lot of time to catch up on all the great deals we received over the holidays.  With that being said, game on Bros!    

 

Ryan Sterling

Is an avid gamer, writer, director, and artist.  Living his whole life in the great Midwest of America, Ryan strives to be a positive influence for others throughout the world.  Faith in Jesus Christ is the most valuable asset in his life.  He is also married to a beautiful wife and is still learning how to better himself as a person, husband, and friend.  Sometimes he may seem serious, but he can be as goofy as they come.  Ready to make people laugh and join in meaningful conversation, Ryan is glad to be part of such a great community.

Xbox Gamertag: xSaint of Godx
PSN ID: xSladex

Instagram: ryanscottsterling

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Ryan Sterling

Ryan Sterling is an avid gamer, writer, director, and artist.  Living his whole life in the great Midwest of America, Ryan strives to be a positive influence for others throughout the world.  Faith in Jesus Christ is the most valuable asset in his life.  He is also married to a beautiful wife and is still learning how to better himself as a person, husband, and friend.  Sometimes he may seem serious, but he can be as goofy as they come.  Ready to make people laugh and join in meaningful conversation, Ryan is glad to be part of such a great community.

Xbox Gamertag: xSaint of Godx
PSN ID: xSladex

Instagram: ryanscottsterling