Even though I don’t have tons of time to game, I like to keep at least two games in regular rotation at all times. That way, when I have only an hour to play, I don’t spend thirty minutes of it deciding on the game. I also prefer to only play one game per system to prevent overuse/overheating. Right now the 360 is on lockdown with Dragon Age 2, which means that the other game I choose has to be on another system. Since I don’t feel like spending money on games right now (despite all the goodness of offer, I know, I know), I guess it’s time to head to the backlog…
Oh, the backlog. That notorious shelf (or shelves or rooms or data storage devices) containing a selection of games that one intends to play. These games were purchased new or on sale,
stolen borrowed from friends, retrieved from yard sales, or rescued for other terrible fates. We hold onto these games because we want to play them but just don’t have the appropriate time. We’re too busy with life and/or the latest games. Or we’ve moved onto other systems entirely. Or we’re collectors. However you want to look at it, most gamers have backlogs of various sizes. I know mine is pretty small compared to some, and it consists of games I’ve never played or started but never finished:
Halo 4 (360)
Forza Motorsport 4 (360)
Mega Man X2 (Wii virtual console)
Little Big Planet 2 (PS3)
The Amazing Spider-Man (PS3)
Gran Turismo 5 (PS3)
Assassin’s Creed III (Ps3)
DOOM 3 (Xbox)
Resident Evil 4 (Wii)
Metroid Prime (Gamecube)
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (Gamecube)
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Wii)
Other M (Wii)
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)
Not so bad. 15 games. (Actually, there might be a couple more that I’m not remembering at the moment.) No big deal, right? Just pick one, right? You say that like it’s an easy thing to do. But I have to considered several factors:
- Do I have the time to play two of the same type of game at once?
It really depends on the game. In the case of RPGs, probably not, because it’s hard to get sucked into two immersive stories at once. In the case of puzzle games, probably, because neither requires much long-term devotion.
- Have other consoles in the house already been claimed?
I live with another gamer, so if he’s taken over the PS3, that leaves me with the Wii and 360. And again, since the 360 is in the currently depths of Kirkwall, that really only leaves me with the Wii.
- What time of day will my gaming take place?
Our consoles live in two rooms. One is somewhat dark with little sun glare on the TV. The other room gets lots of sun and the TV is almost always glared upon by that incessant sun. (Even when it’s cloudy, there’s “cloud glare” on the TV, I swear it.) It’s hard to play just about any game in sun glare, but some are worse than others. In the light room, I usually game in the early morning or late evening, and I don’t want to play a creepy, scary game in the evening. Puzzle games are much better then.
- Will my gaming time be totally distraction-free?
Again, I live with another person, and we have lots of things do to together and separately. Even the most well-intentioned “me time” must sometimes be interrupted. I also have a cat who often thinks that my gaming time is the perfect time to let loose with a hairball or two and…oh, not on the new rug!! [sigh] I tend to get pretty angry if I get interrupted during a particularly consuming game, like an RPG. (Another strike against picking an RPG.)
- Once I start a new game, when will I be able to pick it back up?
Some months I’ll have several weekends in a row when I know I’ll get to return to a game with some regularity. Other times, I don’t get back to a game for weeks (or longer). Again, going back to the RPG, I think lots of us know how hard it can be to go back to one of those after not playing for awhile. Where the heck was I? What the heck was I doing?? Am I going to have to START OVER??!
I realize this might seem like a crazy process. Gaming isn’t about questions, it’s about playing! But sometime the road to games is strewn with obstacles. As I was typing this, though, I decided on which game to call my second: Metroid Prime. I’ve been thinking a lot about Metroid of late, and I really want to get back into the series. I had a false start with Metroid Prime years ago, but I’m know ready to take on the challenge now. Metroid Prime’s more linear (sorta), first-person play will compliment my otherworldly questing in Dragon Age II. And I can take my time with it, and hopefully enjoy it more than the first time.
So what’s in your backlog? One or two games, or too many games to count? And how do you decide what to play next?