The Positives of a Large Backlog

Posted: January 13, 2014 in Current Gaming
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In no less than three recent posts, I’ve bemoaned my backlog. While I do stand by the points I made in those posts, I’ve realized that having a large backlog is not entirely a bad thing. Actually, there are quite a few positives to be had from having those games setting around.

Game Variety
I don’t know if anyone else does this, but when I finish a game, I generally like to move to another game that isn’t very similar to what I’ve just completed. Let’s say I’d just finished up a Final Fantasy game. I’m not the type to move on to another RPG after that. Most likely, I’d pick up a more action oriented title. Something that isn’t turn based or narrative heavy. I’ve learned that if I stick in one genre for too long, I get into a rut and am more likely to abandon a game without finishing just because the play style is getting tiring to me.

Increasing Value
Anyone out there ever checked their games on Ebay only to find that one (or more) of them has increased dramatically in value since they purchased it? I purchased Electroplankton for the DS right after it came out. I believe it cost me around $40 via Amazon. I did play it, but after a year decided that I could live without it (and the play modes were being released via the DSi e-shop) and checked pricing on Ebay. Imagine my surprise when I found that it was going for about $70. I encountered the exact same situation with my copy of FFVII (yes, I did actually own it) and, more recently, with Xenoblade Chronicles and Metroid Prime Trilogy. I have no intentions of selling those last two, but the point is you never know when a game you purchase may suddenly jump in value due to lack of supply and/or interest.

Game Availability
Similar to my first point, you’ll always have something to play. I imagine that nearly all of us have gone through times in our life when money for gaming just wasn’t there. You may not be able to play the latest game to come out, but you’ll have access to a few that may be a couple of years old, but are still fun games. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should stock up on games for lean times the way you might stock up on food and ammunition for the inevitable zombie apocalypse, but it is still a positive spin on having  a hoard of games you’ve never taken out of the case.

An Excuse to Not Buy More Games
Again, I’m kind of extending a previous point, but if you do find that you’re like me or have the mindset of the collector, except you don’t want to collect or really can’t afford, having a sizable backlog can be a great way to dissuade yourself from buying the latest games. You may want that new GTA or Madden game (for reasons I still don’t understand) or may find yourself, like me, tempted by the latest B2G1 sale at Gamestop, but if you’re trying to save money or just avoid adding to your collection, realizing that you’re only pushing back older games you bought will give you pause in laying out the funds for the new game. Now, obviously, there are some new games that you may want to get and play immediately. For me, the upcoming “X” game on the WiiU is a good example of one of those. In those cases, it’s a bit of a different story, but generally speaking, if this is something you want to work on about yourself, use those unplayed games as a guilt trip to avoid adding yet more games to those that will most likely go unplayed themselves for at a least a while.

Discovering an Unknown Gem
When you buy games, you are generally buying them because you’ve heard good things about them or the description and screenshots on the back appeal to you (impulse buys). This happens to me quite a bit and is how I came to own Ghosthunter on the PS2. It was another casualty of a sale and sat on a shelf with other games for a good while before I finally picked it up. What I found was a game that kept me hooked for my entire playthrough. I had no idea when putting it in for the first time that I would enjoy it to the level that I did. This is the promise of every unplayed game. It may just be okay, but you always hope that it’s going to be one that rises above just good and cements itself in your memory for years to come. That’s when having those games you don’t know too much about sitting in your backlog pays off the most. Ghosthunter isn’t the only game I’ve experienced this with, but it’s still the perfect example of this point. By the way, if you haven’t played Ghosthunter, it’s an inexpensive gem for the PS2.

I truly don’t know why I’ve been so focused on backlogs recently. I believe it’s just a case of my own unplayed games beginning to weigh on me, as I talked about in my other recent posts. That said, I do think I’ve finally exhausted this subject (collective cheers from anyone that reads my blog regularly), so now we can move on to more interesting issues and topics…like games I want to buy and add to my backlog.


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