One thing you should never worry about is your leftover games that have yet to be played. We see something we like and we buy it. Whether or not it gets touched is a different conversation. What I’m saying is, let your backlog be and don’t stress yourself into gaming, because that’s not why we play. Folks have stated that we “owe” something to developers for what they have done for us, and that is simply incorrect.
I recently started playing games from my backlog. How did I get one in the first place and why is it so massive? We have a couple things going on here. For one, I review games for Two Beard Gaming and there is a range of reasons to stop playing a game for review. The most common reason people think you should stop is that you beat the game, but I don’t always play to completion. Another is a game-breaking encounter such as a mechanic no longer working that impedes or withholds progression. The last worth mentioning is that the game is so goddamn bad that you can’t stand to waste your time with it. For all these reasons the space on your hard drive, wherever that may be, will inch closer and closer to capacity.
From that last paragraph, I can already hear that trolls backlash on my take with completing games for review. No. No one should need to complete a game to review it. For one, you don’t make up the rules for anyone else. As long as the reviewer lays out their guidelines for reviews for their particular style, you cannot criticize their approach. For example, if their name implies the review is a first impression or a quick judge? Take that for face value and understand their review will reflect that fast judgement. There is a target audience they will appeal to and obviously it’s not you if your “stink face” shows while reading their thoughts. Get off their backs.
I purchase games outside of receiving codes for review and that grows my backlog. I see an awesome game on sale and make the purchase. Meanwhile, a game for review pops up and takes my interest. Putting my team first is the priority of playing games on the side for leisure. This happens plenty often but I don’t feel bad for allowing my backlog to grow. As always, my free time is always a factor to keep in mind.
Placing a game on the beat pile is the most forward reason I’ve seen people talk about for guidelines on reviewing a video game. I don’t see this to be the case at all. Maybe this makes sense for those of the profession that can dedicate many hours to an individual title, but that is not me nor many of you reading now. First impressions are a genre of reviews that simply show a taste of what the game will offer and often times that is enough to spark interest in potential buyers. Isn’t that enough to guide people when buying the game?
Game breaking bugs will deter me from continuing to review a game. I recall the first game that stopped my review, Spheroids. It introduced a new mechanic that allowed the player to use anti-gravity for a bit of time, but it kept halting the allotted time prior to the extent to which it offered. I know that sounded a bit high brow so here is the translation: you can chill on the ceiling for five seconds but it stopped working after three. It kept happening and I hit my frustration ceiling then decided I was good on playing that anymore. To add fuel to the fire, I did not enjoy the game. Why force yourself to play a game that brings no fun or joy? It’s not worth it.
I’ve had this in my drafts for some time and it feels good to get this writing off my ‘backlog’. Maybe you’re the type of gamer that will challenge a friend to see who can beat as many games from their backlog? That is a reason I started to, but slowly drifted from it. I find my hours spent outside of my job are meant to have fun and enjoy myself rather than punish my free time. What do you think of the backlog in general, and how do you play or avoid it?