Backlog Blitz: June 2017

BacklogNo I haven’t mistitled this article, nor have you read it wrong; this is actually my JUNE update on my backlog blitz challenge I nicked (though slightly changed) from NeoGAF.Throughout 2017 I’m on a mission to stop overbuying and start overplaying! So I’m challenging myself to compete as many games as possible and finish the year with a positive score – so far it’s not gone great!

Regular sales on PSN has made this a proper challenge and I’ve uncharacteristically missed some smashing deals that I would usually have snapped up. So I guess the experiment is, somewhat, working for me.

Regular readers know exactly what’s going on here but for the benefit of new readers, here is a recap of the rules for my backlog blitz:

•I must complete 52 games in 2017

•The games can be ones that I have previously started or have previously completed and they can be on any platform

•Episodic games count as one game per episode

•Lengthy DLC (ie Blood and Wine) count as a game

•Every time I complete a game I give myself a score of +1

•Every time I buy a game I give myself a score of -2

•By the end of the year I must finish with a positive score or I have failed in the Backlog Blitz!

Year Score (So Far) = -14

June 2017

Games Bought: Wipeout Omega Collection, Headmaster & Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy

Games Completed: Ratchet & Clank

June was not a great month; not only did I buy three new games (and played very little of them) but I only completed one game as well!

This was not the way I envisaged June going – but I blame a combination of last-minute work and family life getting in the way of my games playing.  Work was a giant pain in the ass this month, every week seemed to have some last-minute “this has got to be done by Friday” disaster and this is on top of the traditional “now we have to write 150 individual reports; remember to make everyone unique”. God, I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see July 1st in my life.

R&CIn the context of this challenge however I have had only a tiny amount of time to play video games and 90% of that time has been with my handhelds – mostly the VITA – which means that completing games was incredibly difficult. I also am torn as to how to count my purchases as points but because neither Crash nor WipEout have the individual games available separately I’m counting each one as only one game.

I played one game for most of the month which was Ratchet & Clank (PS VITA ‘remaster’ of the PS2 game) and it was pretty god damn excellent!

The game was challenging (but rarely intimidatingly so) and the story, while nonsense, was good fun and it kept me guessing to the very end – I genuinely didn’t see that ending coming and I’m glad of that because it was heart-warming. There were a few sections of the game that dragged the experience down, specifically the hoverboard races and the final boss – both these sections seemed to be a giant “F you” to the players and were little to no fun to play at all. I actually got extremely lucky with the final boss; I got hit into a place where he couldn’t hit me and I unashamedly cheesed that son of a bitch – no regrets here at all!

I know what you’re asking right now; I read your ‘Sly Cooper’ piece is Ratchet and Clank better in your opinion?

No, no it is not. In many ways R&C is a much more polished experience, Sucker Punch really got the best out of the hardware and it is damn good fun to play. However there are several noticeable flaws with R&C too, we have the aforementioned difficulty spikes, but we also have really loose controls that make navigating thin walkways an absolute chore – Ratchet either turns too tight or not tight enough and it cost me many lives on my play-though. Although the game has been designed to negate this issue, when it raises its head it is a giant pain in the ass. I also hated the Clank missions, they killed the pace and they were very boring and easy. Overall though it is a very good game, but not as good as my boy Sly.

Although I am extremely disappointed in my June performance; July is summer holiday time though and I’m sure that I’ll smash a good few games during my time off (joys of being a teacher).

Year Score: -19

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