Monday, 12 November 2012

So Many Games That I Still Want to Play

Fighting a big, scary monster
I think the next game I'll try and finish is Dungeon Siege III. I'm already
seven hours in, and the game isn't that long, so I might as well.  It's pretty fun too.
For the longest time now I've seen my backlog of RPGs build and build. It's feeling like quite the daunting task to actually get around to finishing them, but I've finally decided to buckle down and put at least a dent in that backlog. A big reason it even exists is from all the years I pretty much just played nothing but World of Warcraft, and ignored everything else. When I finally pried myself away from that game I realized, "Hey! There are a bunch of really fun RPGs out there that I haven't played yet!" and from there I started loading up on them. I guess the nice thing about that was that these games were getting older by then, so they were really cheap. Mountains of games were picked up at Steam sales for $5-$10, then I got to thinking that I should collect all of the DS RPGs, and most of the worthwhile current gen JRPGs. That's when my backlog ballooned. Now I've probably got a good 40-50 RPGs I need to get through, and these things are pretty meaty, so I suspect it's going to take a while to complete them.

This has actually gotten me thinking about my consumption of games. For the longest time, I would watch release schedules and just get games as they came out. I think that this is a pretty normal thing for quite a lot of people, but now I'm more inclined to wait. It's not just because I have a mountain of games before me that really should get around to completing, but also because I'm just so much more aware of how quickly game prices drop if I wait. This is especially true on the PC where Steam has lead the charge in aggressive price points, but even on consoles it's much more worthwhile to wait. Why should I fork out $60 for a game at launch when I can wait six months, and more that likely get it for half that? Heck, some games can be had even cheaper if one is patient. I got both Tales of Vesperia and Lost Odyssey for about $10 each, and that was a great deal.

Most of the characters from Phantasy Star Zero
Phantasy Star Zero is another one
on the to-do list. I'm a sucker for
space cowboys.
Granted with some games, if I wait too long, they'll disappear, and be really tough to find later on. Thankfully these are easy to spot because it's mostly games from Atlus, XSEED, NIS America, and I guess Aksys that tend to have more limited print runs. So, if they're putting out a game that I'm interested in, and it's physical release only, then I know to give it a lot more thought about buying the thing quickly lest I have to pay a premium for it down the road because of scarcity.

Collecting and payment strategies aside, I've also realized that simply looking at all of the RPGs that have come out over the years up to this point that there are a massive, massive number of amazing games out there that I haven't played. I could pretty much stop buying new games now, focus on older ones, and be very well served for at least a decade, perhaps longer as I try and play through all of these games. There are still plenty of 8 and 16-bit games I haven't played, several on the PS1, the PS2 has an absolutely massive number of RPGs I still have yet to play, and just browsing through the stuff available at, there are countless DOS RPGs that I know I would like to spend time with as well.

Rush Sykes can be really annoying.
Last Remnant is
another game in my
backlog. If only Rush
wasn't so annoying.
I'm not really swayed much by graphics, so I'm okay with visiting older games as well as newer ones, so I could see myself making an effort to play a lot more of these older RPGs going forward. I think the industry, thanks in no small part to marketing, has conditioned gamers to always move forward and consume the next big thing, ignoring older stuff, and leaving it in the past. I guess that sort of behavior is good for business, as it keeps people putting down money on recent projects, but I want to take time to enjoy my favorite genre in all of its eras to this point.

There are just so many RPGs out there, and only a limited amount of time that I can put towards them. Now I want to take the time to check out all of the games that I missed during my time with WoW. It looks like I'm going to have a busy five or so years ahead of me getting through them all, but I'm up for the challenge. Thankfully we're heading into a relatively quiet period of RPG releases, so I do have some time to actually play these games without being interrupted by other releases. How about you all? Do you have a backlog of games that you want to get through, or do you actually complete each game before getting a new one?

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