Backlog Blitz: August 2017

BacklogWell here we are, finally getting round to putting out the first real post of the month (bloody hell); I know that we have been awful with our posts these last two months but we are putting things into place that will keep us (and of course you guys) right for the rest of the year! I have begun writing quality posts for our annual ‘Frightfest’ celebration and I know that Sherry is also looking forward to getting back to his weekly post!

Anyway, let’s get down to business. August was a month in which I didn’t play very many games but those I did play were of an extremely high quality! I even did something I haven’t done in years, I completed a game and instantly replayed it through to completion a second time!

So, new readers are probably thinking “what the hell is this backlog blitz?” Well it’s a series of posts in which I try to stop myself from buying new games and play the ones I’ve already spent my hard earned cash on.

Here’s the rules:

  • 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
  • Everytime I complete a game I score +1
  • Everytime I buy a game I score -2
  • By the end of the year I must finish with a positive score or I have failed the Backlog Blitz

Year Score (so far) = -16

Games bought: The Crew: Calling All Units, Stardew Valley, The Escapists and Volume

Games Completed: Volume (twice)

stardew valleyAugust was a month that I had pinned my hopes on, all year I knew that I’d have more time to play games and that it would greatly boost my yearly score considerably! Unfortunately, I forgot about a million different things; summer sales, family commitments, and other unavoidable things all combined to rob me of my game playing time and left me staring defeat squarely in the face.

PSN has been unbelievable this year, Sony has finally realised the benefit of actually reducing  the prices of the games on their platform and I’m sure it has reaped dividends for them. I’ve tried to remain strong this year and I have been much more frugal with my money – unfortunately in my hubris, I looked at their summer sale…

…dozens of titles that I would have loved to buy there and then. However I remained strong and as I had £20 in my wallet, I limited myself to that and bought three great games! Two I’ve had my eye on for quite some time; Stardew Valley, The Escapists and Calling All Units, and one that was a complete a punt because it was a great price; Volume.

While this is undoubtedly a great deal it has meant that my yearly score has taken an absolute kicking this month…

Volume…all’s not lost though! Volume is an incredibly short, incredibly addictive and incredible game that got me to replay it instantly and means that I broke even with that purchase. It is truly a brilliant game and undoubtedly it’s the best game I’ve played this year; it’s a simple title with a handful of mechanics, but it proves that, that is all you need, straight-forward mechanics that build upon the skills you have utilised to that point in a logical manner. Never does the game overwhelm you nor does it treat you like an idiot – by the end of the game (and in the fiendish user made levels) you will have to use everything the game has taught you (organically) in order to succeed. It’s a fantastic game – Mike Bithell you have outdone yourself – thank you for this masterpiece!

Stardew Valley has also been given a thorough playing but it seems to be absolutely massive; and ridiculously deep, I have spent most of my time planting potatoes and stringbeans and trying to make ends meet whilst boosting my social links with the other residents of Pelican Town. It’s another excellent game that has channelled Harvest Moon and Terraria – well worth a little purchase if you enjoyed either of those titles.

I haven’t played The Escapists yet – I got the full collection for less than £6, I think I’ll be starting with The Walking Dead version of it (well, it is getting awfully close to Frightfest) before sinking my teeth into the original game.

CAUThe Crew: Calling All Units has been played though, it is excellent fun too – roaming the USA as a cop and giving chase to criminals (other players) never gets old! There is also a mountain of content and it’ll take a while to fully complete – it will be completed though because the whole concept is so brilliantly thought out and executed. It’s orchestrated, emergent gameplay that is unpredictable and tests your skills, improvisation and tactical nous at every opportunity. It is a truly brilliant expansion for my favourite racing game this generation and one that I recommend wholeheartedly, especially now UBIsoft have made vehicles for The Crew Unlockable through the original game!

Overall, August has been a bit of a disaster for my score but it’s been brilliant as a gamer!

Yearly score (so far) = -22

Are you going through your own backlog?

Having better joy with it than I am?

Tell me your story in the comments!

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