Sidenote: Backlog Woes

I own a lot of games.

I mean, A LOT of games.

Here is the storage situation on my new machine as of this very moment, with all of my games except those on Good Ol’ Games installed:

Now some of the files on these drives are actual files – 3D models, writing, various other projects, recordings, etc, but I can grab some details…

With the stuff on my main drive, it’s almost 6 terabytes of game data. Six terabytes?!\

Something I think about a lot – like literally every new year – is how I’m going to chip away at the backlog. The last few years, as I’ve documented here, I’ve had a holiday MMO break to play other stuff and generally knocked a title or two off the list each time, but with the late-year launch of Shadowlands and the new raid tier, I didn’t really get that chance. Coupled with the new GPU and the preparation for my new system build, and I ended up spending most of the winter in a holding pattern, playing WoW, FFXIV patch 5.4, and a small amount of Yakuza: Like a Dragon before just going to daily MMO play while waiting on my new system.

This year, with more time on my hands and a goal to document more of the journey, I’ve been thinking a lot about removing some titles from my backlog. In no particular order:

Control

I really like this one, played it on my old system once I knew I would get the new one, and then decided to wait for it. It is one of the first games with a full marquee RTX implementation (raytraced global illumination, raytraced reflections, raytraced shadows), and it looks technically stunning. The themes in play are interesting, a sort of paranormal weirdness that is pretty cool and manifests in gameplay and visuals in a pretty cool way.

I’m actually almost done with the game altogether, so I expect I’ll have more to say about it soon!

Final Fantasy XV

I bought it at launch on PS4. One problem – the PS4 version has absurd loading times, like just uniformly awful. It also looks good enough, but once you see it maxed out on PC, there’s just no contest. Having said that, I’ve rarely progressed much past the first few hours of gameplay in any version of the title, and I own it twice! I do like it, sort of – it is definitely a dumbed-down, simple version of a real-time combat system, but it made kind of getting into the story and characters easier. What makes that harder is, well, the characters and story itself…but I feel like I want to see it all for myself before I get too judgmental. I do, after all, own it twice, and that means if I don’t like it, I’m a sucker for that if nothing else!

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

Spoiler alert – I loved the FFXIII trilogy for the most part. XIII-2 is, unironically, a game I really enjoyed and spent hours upon hours in. FFXIII is one of the last retail midnight launches I attended, partially because I had a moment of “I’m too old for this shit” but also because some of the fans in line had overbearingly unfounded opinions about why the game they hadn’t yet played was going to be iffy, mostly based on it also being on Xbox 360 (ah, console wars). I damn near almost bought this game early for PS3 on my first trip to Tokyo, but decided against it, got it when it came out stateside, and was unimpressed with the low res background visuals and the sort of loose gameplay and narrative. The PC version only slightly improves the visuals, and it still has the core gameplay that abandons the cool teamwork of prior entries in that trilogy for a sort of mind-numbing style swap, but I really want to see the games through to the end. I might end up replaying XIII and XIII-2 first, however!

Yakuza Aplenty

No, Yakuza Aplenty is not a new title in the series, but currently, I have a myriad of Yakuza titles on Steam on my backlog. Namely: Yakuza Kiwami, Yakuza Kiwami 2, Yakuza 3 Remastered, Yakuza 4 Remastered, Yakuza 5 Remastered, and the back half of Yakuza: Like a Dragon, plus side quests and minigames still unexplored in Yakuza Zero. Yikes(uza)!

I really love this series, but I have to be in a certain zone to sink time into it, and as of late, Control has just grabbed me more. Undoubtedly, though, Like a Dragon is next after Control and then I’ll either take a bad Final Fantasy break or dive right back in with Kiwami – just have to see how I feel!

Cyberpunk 2077

I picked this up on a sale and tried it very briefly. My first impression was less than flattering – it just feels flat and sort of uninspired for what I would want from a cyberpunk title (and there have been 2076 of them before this one /dadjoke). It visually has some interesting things going on, and the underlying technology is interesting to me, but the game so far feels pretty dull and not worth the hype. Further, it sort of feels like even had the developer vision been held all the way through, it would have just felt like a miss for me. That’s just my personal take, however. Obviously, this title has been mired in controversies large and small, but at least the PC version is the one really decently functional version of the game, unless you’re playing the console versions using backward compatibility on a new-gen platform. I tried running it maxed out with raytracing features and no DLSS and it ran…okay, sort of, but 3440×1440 with RT in the game can cause some dips and even the peaks are around a “cinematic” 30 FPS on my RTX 3080. Interestingly, this title brought a lot of memory-holed recollections forward about how similar the launch of The Witcher III was to Cyberpunk – broken console ports, PC-crushing settings, years that had to pass before patches and advances in technology brought the title up to a playable standard on consoles or a higher quality playability on PC. Maybe the truth is that CD Projekt Red just isn’t that great of a development house, with management that pushes titles out the door regardless of their state of readiness. Maybe!

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Okay, this one is almost cheating, but I bought it…two days ago.

I’ve never really had a chance to be bitten by the Soulsborne bug, but I haven’t played a title to any great lengths, and my attempts with Dark Souls 1 were met with weird bugs on the PC version on my last and current system. Sekiro is one that seems to get a lot of hype, with a theme I really like, and so all I can say is that I want to dive into it soonish and see how I adapt to that genre!

Overall, I’m pretty stoked to dive in on these titles and knock out some of my backlog now that there is no new system looming on the horizon (unless you count the upgrade to the Ryzen 9 5950X, which I thankfully am not holding out on games for). Once all of these titles get knocked out, I’ll have…around 800 titles remaining.

Ouch.

3 thoughts on “Sidenote: Backlog Woes

    1. I have a very weird obsession with the idea that I might want to play any title in my library at any time, and so for almost a decade now, I’ve kept every game I own installed just in case! There’s no actually good reason for it (I rarely play more than 3-4 titles a week, two of which are my normal MMOs!) but hey, just in case I want to fire up a title that’s been on my backlog for years, it’s there!

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