March 25, 2013

Video Game Backlog: The Enemy Of Gamers Everywhere

If you've been keeping track of me here, on Twitter or Tumblr, you know that I'll be a first-time dad by the middle part of June of this year.  My wife and I are having a baby girl, and we have decided to name her Clementine.  I'm not going to sit here and type that we named her after Telltale's video game Walking Dead character, but I will say that by playing through all 5 episodes of the game, hearing it over and over throughout the course of 10+ hours, and seeing a helpless little 7 year old girl deal with the un-dead, it did rub off on us. It really is a sweet little girl name.  Read from that what you will.  I also am obligated to say "I love you" to my wife after that, because my wife is totally on board with that name.  Not only is she on board, she loves it and thinks it's sweet.  There is no word yet on the middle name just yet, but we're working out the details on a short and sweet middle name. Any ideas? Send them my way.

My name is Justin and my wife's name is Jennifer.  Two of the most common 1980's names there are.  Some people want us to do a "J" name.  Other people are glad we DIDN'T do a "J" name.  Some people we tell aren't on board with Clementine (or Clem, or Clemmy).  And to all of those people I say:  1) She is my daughter.  2) She is Jen's daughter.  3) She will know how to use her biting words and will sling phrases around with the best of them on the playground.  I fully expect her to grow up to be a stand-up comedian.  And although stand-up comedians do sometimes get picked on (it fuels their material), they do eventually grow up and have their own HBO specials and make millions of dollars.

Despite all of the excitement, fear, and anticipation that goes along with bringing a kid into this world, I still want to talk about those vidya games.  Sure sure, call me crazy and tell me I have other more important things to worry about, but I still feel like I have something to say about them; to review them, to discuss the broad range of topics they cover, and to read up on all of the insight that goes into making those fun games along the way.  I don't have as much time as I used to, but I will be on here from time to time spilling the beans and getting as much of this stuff out as I can.  It all won't be logical.  Hell, it might not even make sense.  But I'll try, and it will help me scratch this interactive media itch I have.  So please indulge me. Plus, you'll occasionally get updates on Clem's status, so there's something to look forward to if you're into the whole baby thing.

Back to video games for the moment -

It feels like it was only yesterday when I shut down the mics (not permanently) on the podcast I co-created with my friend Dalyn called Twisted Gamer Radio.  Sadly, when I actually look back it was over a year now. 

So much has happened in that year.  What happened? I have no idea, but that's how life is, isn't it? We try to look back and grasp our memories or accomplishments, only to have them slowly slip through our fingers (thank you Princess Leia for help on that quote).  I'm not done with the whole podcasting thing.  I haven't sold off all of my gear.  I haven't quit paying Amazon to host all of my .mp3 files.  You can still access the RSS feed and download the episodes that are there.  All 13 of them.  But I need somewhere to vent.  Somewhere to release these words and tire me out, so I feel like I don't have anything left on this topic anymore.  Even with a kid and being eventually sleep-deprived, I feel like I will still be interested in and wanting more video game news from the internet. 

This brings me to my current state.

With Bioshock: Infinite coming out tomorrow, I set in motion a plan to get the game for "free".

I normally buy video games months, if not years after they're released (unless they are a highly anticipated title).  Games in the Mass Effect, Bioshock, Borderlands or any other game that piques my interest will be picked up on day one.  I will find a way to get those.  Others, I mostly wait on them because by the time I'm ready to play them, they're cheaper, but also because I'm too busy playing another past game in my backlog that I need to experience.  I almost said "get rid of", and that's wrong.  I don't mean it that way.  In the coming months, I probably won't have any time to game at all, so getting rid of as much backlog games as I can will ease me into parenthood and more importantly the next console generation.  Wait, reverse that. 

If you can't read in-between the lines, that pretty much means I'll be slaving away on previous generation games for about a year before I make the move (and have enough money socked away in diapers) to buy a new Xbox or PS4 console.

I've been on a tear recently, having picked out and completed over 10 games to trade-in for Bioshock: Infinite.  Most of the games are ones I've held onto, but realized I'm probably never going to play them.  Something inside me snapped, and that set in motion a massive picking of games out of my backlog cabinet. 

Some of the games I picked have been out so long they have sequels out already, but I kept them to experience the story and see the progression from the first game in the series to the second, or second to third, etc.  I've always said that I need to pick away at my backlog (even writing a post on Loot Ninja a long ass time ago about it and my problem), but I never stuck to that code of "beat a backlog game, purchase a new game" mentality. This brings me around to my current plan.

I want to go back into my video game backlog and beat games that I started but never finished, or beat games from years ago to help get me the ultimate prize of the perfect game:  Bioshock: Infinite*  (based on current review scores of all major blogs and Metacritic rating.)

Currently I'm making my way through Gears of War 1 with a friend (who needs the co-op achievement), and on the PS3 side of things I started the Killzone 3 single-player.  After that?  I've got to finish a date I started back in March of 2012 with Nathan Drake and Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception.  Then it's on to the other 24 disc-based games I have in my catalog both on the Xbox 360 and PS3.  Thank god that this summer is upon us and the slow crawl to October is on, so I can do some catching up game-wise.

As for the blog, I plan on keeping you updated on my progress and I also plan on reviewing and sharing my thoughts on smaller, indie titles on all platforms that deserve the exposure (how little of it they do get from my blog).  This will give me the opportunity to still hack and slash away at my backlog, but keep you guys informed on all things indie games as they get picked up on my radar.  I'd love to say that I will promise to keep you guys updated on all of this, but you never know just what will happen.  I will try though, so there's that.

What about you readers?  Have you put a game so far back in your backlog, that it took you weeks, months or years to come back to it?