Introduction to Beating my Gaming Backlog
Over the last weekend, I was able to continue making progress towards beating my gaming backlog.
I didn’t expect to be going back to this so soon. With that said, I found myself with some free time this weekend so I decided to continue on my quest to beat my gaming backlog.
The process of doing this was still fresh in my mind so I was pretty motivated to keep going.
Beating my Gaming Backlog Last Time
For those of you that don’t know, I recently started the process of trying to beat my gaming backlog.
This experiment turned out pretty well and I came away really enjoying the process.
if you’re interested in learning more about this first attempt check out the first post here.
Basically, I picked the number of games in my backlog that I had never played before and played them for 1 hour each to see if I enjoyed them.
This helped me to get around the problem of lack of motivation. By setting a time for myself to just one hour of game play it seemed like less of a commitment mentally so this was something I could do do really easily.
Beating my Gaming Backlog This Time
This time around I knew a lot more of what to expect from the process.
I was actually quite looking forward to it.
Most of the games that I played last time I actually quite enjoyed and only one or two are games I will likely never go back to again.
Dante’s inferno was definitely one such game so the less said about that the better.
For this round, I spent about 5 minutes looking through my backlog and picking out some games that I had not played before.
I had bought these games at various points over the last year or so and I just hadn’t gotten around to playing them yet.
With all of that out of the way I set about playing some video games.
X-Men Origins Wolverine
- Released in May 2009
- Developed & Published by: Griptonite Games, Raven Software & Activision respectively
- Genre: Hack and slash adventure
1 Hour of gaming
The first game on my list was X-Men Origins Wolverine. I genuinely can’t remember where I got this game so it’s basically been gathering dust on my gaming shelf all this time.
Having never played this game before, I didn’t really know what to expect from this game as before now I’ve never even read the back cover of the box.
I have also never even seen the movie which this game is likely based on. So basically I’m pretty under prepared. Perfect.
First impressions of this game looked pretty good upon starting a new game. The introductory cinematic looked amazing graphically.
Design aesthetic of the actual game play looked to me initially to be something like Far Cry 3, an excellent game, so this pretty much sold me from the outset.
So, once I got into the actual game play I came to realize that this was a hack and slash, platform type game with RPG elements.
I was actually surprised at how comprehensive it was for a game based on a movie. This game honestly seemed like it could be a lot of fun.
I did notice the frame rate was a bit choppy in places. I don’t think I would have even noticed this a few years ago but now in an age of high quality games this is kind of something I’m more a aware of.
As I progressed, I became totally engrossed in the game play and really started enjoying myself.
The hour of game play really did fly by and I enjoyed my initial time with this game.
This is definitely one I will be going back to to try and complete.
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
- Released in September 2011
- Developed & Published by Relic Entertainment & THQ respectively
- Genre: RPG Shooter
1 Hour of gaming
Yet another game that I had never played before was Space Marine. This game was given to me with my PlayStation 3 console a few years ago but I never even took the disc out of the box.
Now seemed like as good a time as any to give it a try.
After the initial cinematic I was thrown into a raging battle and made my way through hoards of orcs to the first checkpoint.
In a complete twist, it looked like this game was also a hack and slash type game.
The difference with this game compared to Wolverine was that there was also a shooter element which was a little bit different at least.
The controls seemed a fair bit harder to get used to for me for some reason I’m not sure why.
I’ll be honest here, I only played the game on easy difficulty to try and get into it without dying too much.
Even with that difficulty decreased I still found the combat challenging, maybe this was due to the controls as well who knows.
Following the initial tutorial I was able to catch my breath, sort of, and get a better handle on the control scheme.
Even on easy mode this game seemed like it was pretty punishing, it actually reminded me a little bit of The Surge on PlayStation 4 which comparable to a Dark Souls type mech game.
Not sure how much I understood the whole plot but it seemed relatively interesting, maybe.
Maybe it was just not my cup of tea personally. I felt like the hour of gaming went by much slower this time.
After the hour of gaming I took a quick look on PSN profiles to see how this game fared trophy wise.
Well, it turned out this game is pretty difficult as far as trophy hunting goes. The completion rate alone was pretty low at about 12% and the Platinum rate was minuscule.
Definitely not realistic Platinum trophy for me to attain. Ah well.
Looking back on it I don’t even think I earned a single trophy during my hour of game play. Not a good sign.
After my hour of gaming with Space Marine, I would say this game falls into the category of games I would be reluctant to play again but maybe didn’t give enough of a chance.
Perhaps with another few hours of gaming I would become more familiar with the controls and enjoy the game more.
Saints Row IV
- Released in August 2013
- Developed & Published byHigh Voltage Software, Volition Inc & Deep Silver respectively
- Genre: Adventure shooter
1 Hour of gaming
Wow I was not prepared for this game I can tell you that.
The introduction to the game was definitely something different.
Unlike most of the games on this list, I found myself actually paying attention to the opening cut scene for clues about the game.
Upon starting to actually play the game, it quickly became apparent that there was little to no real indication of control scheme. I guess I’m more aware of this being difficult for me as part of this process requires me to jump from game to game, each with different controls.
The controls for this game in particular likely don’t bother most gamers, but for me I found it to slow me down initially.
I also found that I needed to turn down the control sensitivity to be able to more accurately target enemies. After doing that though, I found the game play OK.
By the time I’d finished the first mission I definitely felt like I understood what this game was about. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and it’s goal is to just have fun.
Then came the character customization.
Ooh boy I spent most of my time exploring all of the options and making a character. Some of the fun items of note were the ability to choose the voice of Nolan North for your character as the wealth of funny hairdos and taunts you could choose from.
Wow this game took a sharp turn after I’d chosen my character and I was not prepared.
I won’t go into too much of a spoiler here but if you’ve played this game before I’m sure you’ll appreciate that my jaw pretty much fell to the floor. The whole established plot and setting essentially goes down the toilet.
I won’t harp on about the story much more but suffice it to say, I enjoyed it.
The graphics while not super high in fidelity, do have that type of charm that I’d compare to Destroy All Humans on PS2. The graphics do enough to get the job done but the characters and plot are what keep you engaged.
From the wild characters to the outrageous plot and hilarious dialog this game was definitely a much needed treat to play.
Oh yes, I will be continuing this game.
I’ll also be looking more into this game series in general to learn more about it.
- Released in July 2012
- Developed & Published byPiranha Bytes & Deep Silver, Uber Entertainment respectively
- Genre: RPG
1 Hour of gaming
The pirate theme of the game intrigued me right off the bat.
I had never played anything even relatively similar before, I don’t count Pirates of the Caribbean.
I quickly found that again there wasn’t much in the way of a tutorial or instructions. Apart from minimal this is how you attack sort of stuff. Again, this likely isn’t an issue for most gamers, but jumping from game to game can have disadvantages such as these.
Character models seemed OK at first glance. almost fairly decent for the time of the game.
However, during dialog and cut scenes you definitely do notice the face movements are less than great and don’t even try to match the speech.
The scenery was quite atmospheric with thundering downpours set against the backdrop of a castle which I really enjoyed and appreciated. Unfortunately though, I did notice some stuttering and glitching every so often with the sound which was pretty off-putting once I noticed it.
Moving right along then to another interesting.. and I say interesting lightly, point.
Wow the jumping mechanics were a total joke. The guy looks like a constipated goose jumping around the place. I can tell you that when I stumbled across the jump button I let out an audible laugh at the awfulness of it.
Incidentally fall damage is a thing. I learned that the hard way..
Something that can be pretty challenging to achieve in RPGs is creating an interface that is easy to understand and looks beautiful. I’m not sure if this was something that was achieved in this case.
The choice of a serif font, to evoke a nautical theme (god knows) or similar made the text difficult to read. There were times were it was impossible for me to know what my quest was because I couldn’t read the text. Uh oh..
OK, so reading this part back, it sounds as if I actually hated the game. Which is surprising because despite the game’s many many many shortcomings I found it quite fun to play overall.
This game gave me something I didn’t even know I needed, and that is a pirate themed RPG. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more games like this one.
I’ve got to say though, the voice actors were the best thing about my play through. Even with that the dialog sequences were pretty jittery.
I think this game would do well as a remaster or even rebuilding from the ground up.
I’ll be looking up other games from this developer, maybe the sequel is worth looking at. I’ll also be looking for other pirate themed games.
Wow, that was an interesting few sessions of gaming.
Overall, this session of beating my gaming backlog was a success. There are definitely some games here that I will continue to play.
I’d love to know what you think of these games? Have you played any of them yourself or has this post inspired to try some of them out for yourself?
Are any of these games in your gaming backlog?
Let me know what your thoughts and comments!
Also, don’t forget to check out the first part of this series to stay up to date: Beating my Gaming Backlog – Part 1