Browsing the Backlog

#1

I’ve been meaning to start this for a long time but kept tripping up over the idea that this should be a blog. Those things take upkeep though, you know? I would want it to look pretty, make it easy to find things, and have standards for my writing. A forum thread? Not feeling bad about tossing standards in the bin. My inspiration is Lawnch’s 120 Games, 1 Goal - Pile of Shame: 0 thread. They had goals and rules. I have none. I have an ever growing backlog of games that I desire to see but also want an outlet to note my thoughts and stories of my experiences. Because I’m a product of content culture or WHATEVER I can’t write these down in a Google Doc that will exist for own knowledge.

This thread I’m going to attempt to play the games I’ve amassed over my number of years on the online. I’m not going to beat every game I play, and with some that’s impossible, but I’m going to play through them until I reach an end. Maybe I’ve come to the conclusion 1/4 of the way through “This isn’t for me in any way shape or form” or maybe I play to the credits…plus a little more. WHO KNOWS?! I don’t think this will motivate me to hop into more games but will give me a more focused means to gathering my thoughts on those dang games.

First post will be Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories

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#2

BTB #1 - Keycard to my Kingdom Hearts
I started Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories on the PS3 as part of the HD 1.5 Remix but only got through Traverse Town. I still have a PS3 technically but is now in storage. This past weekend I saw the 1.5 x 2.5 pack for PS4 on sale and I happened to have some gift cards to purchase it. With Kingdom Hearts 3 fully out there I’m probably not going to get through this whole dang series before KH3 gets spoiled for me entirely. That won’t stop me from trying.

Feels like deck building games are making a comeback. Data set this is based on includes Slay the Spire, Meteorfall, and nothing else. All you need to build a narrative. That’s the gimmick for this one, the card battle system. I haven’t figured out if there is much too it since I’m only an hour in. There are certain moments where cards are played but I’m not entirely sure what happened. My character didn’t do anything…but cards were removed from my hand. Perplexing. Despite that, I’ve enjoyed the task of crafting my deck. I imagine the variety of cards will expand quite a bit so I can tailor to my playstyle. Right now I’m working off a very limited pool but there still feels like some form of choice involved. Even if when I go into combat I’m not exactly sure it matters what I’m playing or when I’m playing it.

Piecing together my journey through Traverse Town was good stuff. Instead of a fully designed world, you use a card/key to open doors that bring you to a small block of a map. I’m unsure if the design is random or completely based on the card. I didn’t stick around long enough to play multiple of the same card to see what the result was. All I know is that this approach from a 2004 game feels UNIQUE 15 years later. So used to these fully realized worlds, that having a notable franchise with a fresh, stitched together experience makes my heart full.

I know there isn’t much for me to talk about yet but excited to hop back to see where they take me next.

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#3

BTB #2 - Games to Break Up The Flow

Every year I host a top 100 wrestlers of the year poll called the WDKW100. It is a fun project involving some of my favorite things: spreadsheets, critical analysis, and the fine sport of professional wrestling. While I sort of front the whole thing, I have tremendous partners that help with the calculations and giving the project a little more life. My role is the sorter and presenter of information. It is the one constant in my calendar where I fully engulfed myself into something. It is also a lot of work and frankly takes a toll on me mentally during the time it runs. That’s where games came in this past weekend.

I’ve dove back into Hollow Knight after spending months away. I ran into a rut that has led to many breaks in the Souls games; a boss that I couldn’t beat. A blobby magician type being. It probably isn’t the ideal “escape” game but I needed to get outside the number crunching that was going on in my head. Even if I couldn’t beat the boss, surely there had to be other nooks and crannies to explore. That’s the point right? Well, 15 minutes in the boss was done and I felt like the world opened up while becoming more laborious than ever. Still trying to figure out if I’m missing something. I don’t mind the backtracking, there tends to be paths I either couldn’t explore before or never thought about. My last go around, months prior, was more about mainlining than anything. We were getting into GOTY season and I badly wanted to be able to enjoy that conversation. Seems like that moment his passed and I have no motivation to speed things up. But there has to be a faster way to get from Point A to Point B. Or maybe that is just how it is. Which is fine. Just…just takes me out of my rhythm a bit.

The other game I dabbling with this weekend was PolyBridge. I’ve 100% played a variation of this game in my middle school Tech class. I was bad then and I’m bad now but I will not be defeated by the necessary angels of the truss bridge. The quick sessions I’ve put in have let me dig into a problem that needs solving without focusing at all on the other problem I need solving.

Two different games accomplishing the same task; pull my attention towards literally anything other than the task at hand. Feels like I’m in a dumb grade school video but clearing your head? Yeah, it works*. Try it sometime.

Summary

*for super inconsequential things

#4

BTB #3 - Banner Saga Continues

Okay, I’ve been doing the opposite of what I’ve been wanting to do. I’ve simply been bouncing around from game to game, getting a taste but never experiencing anything. Which, you know, ain’t always bad. Not sure I’ve had the mental capacity losing myself in a game. Ever since finishing the first, I knew that when I dipped my toe into Banner Saga 2, there was a good chance it wasn’t going to let go. I didn’t finish the first too long ago (really should start a backloggery) and I was SHOCKED how much I enjoyed it. I suck at strategy games but frankly, the game wasn’t a robust strategy game. It was a great mish-mash of a visual novel, Oregon Trail, and light strategy battles. With someone who gets bored quickly or simply can’t focus, this series feels designed to weave you in and out of modes of operation.

Only put in an hour into BS2 but dang, it gets what I came for. I’ve watched Game of Thrones but what if I could have that but with more FANTASY! Picking up with the levels and equipment from last game, I am right back at the helm of this crew of warriors I spent a little over a dozen hours previously. There are also some new players bother in my party and starring across from me in dialogue.

There is also a challenge mode thing that I think I like? I never picked up most of the strategies in the first game and always tried forcing my way through. I understood how things worked but didn’t know how to work the things, you know? Seems like a smart choice that I’m glad is there for me to stink at.

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