Thursday, August 31, 2006

And Then There Were 10...

The title refers to the number of uncompleted console-oriented games I have sitting on my shelf. For any gamer, having the console backlog down to just 10 is nothing short of amazing. I'm not trying to blow my own horn here, just saying that a combination of perserverance and budgetary limitations can result in good things. When I lived in my old condo, I bought some shelves from Target for my DVD library. The bottom shelf was for my game collection (the difference between "collection" and "library" will be discussed at a later date) and that is where it's remained despite both continuing to grow.

My DVD library in particular has overwhelmed my shelves so I'm planting the new arrivals and the "Now Playing" titles in front of the others. This hardly masks the problem that I have a very real addiction to the format. If anything, it reinforces it with every new addition. My game collection though I figured out how to separate what I've played from what I need to burn through.

I divide the games by console then alphabetize accordingly. On the left are the PS2 games and on the right are the Xbox games. In front of that one row are two stacks of games, both for their respective consoles. The two stacks are my "on deck" stacks and those are the ones I have not finished. There are a few in the "completed" row that I haven't finished either, but in the case of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds I'd rather not waste another second on them. This week I've already yanked and traded in several titles I knew I'd never spend another second on, and Chaos Bleeds needs to go away as well. But the Buffy fan in me insists on hanging onto it despite it being little more than awful fan-fiction in digital form.

Focusing on the front stacks gives me 10 titles to power through, and that could be down to nine as soon as tomorrow evening. My Fair Lady didn't get home until 10:30 p.m. last night due to insanity at work being reinforced by people who don't know how to communicate worth a flip.

Ironic considering these are attorneys.

What that has meant for me this week is lots of alone time at Casa de Skim which lets me focus on burning off these remaining titles. This won't be completed by next week though because two of them are Jade Empire and Dark Cloud 2, neither of which are considered short RPGs. Fortunately, none of the Final Fantasy series is in there because that by itself would be a 50+ hour timesink and that I just can't do anymore. I tried it with Dragon Quest VIII and while the game was certainly charming for a while, it just dragged on to the point where I would have to power level all four party members by another five levels at least.

All for the sake of beating a single boss not quite halfway through the game. This is when I realized I can't devote 100+ continuous hours of my life to gaming anymore, which is why the goal of completing my backlog is so dear to my heart. If I can absolutely finish off the fabled backlog completely then I might actually be able to enjoy gaming again. As it stands, I've been in a funk lately because Titan Quest is the only good game I've played in months and even that was nothing more than Diablo III in Ancient Greece/Egypt/Babylon.

Oh, and September I'm essentially taking a break from gaming and the internet for the most part. I've been playing around with one particular screenplay for a while now and I'm actually ready to sit down and grind it out. The trouble is I keep distracting myself so for all of next month I'm removing said distractions. No games, no extraneous activities. Only movies and writing about them are allowed as distractions. I'll still be around on the web, and hopefully blogging away in the meantime, but for the most part I'm going to be focused on the 120 pages I want completed by the end of the month.

Finally, I have a goal worth completing. After that, October is Casa Repair Month with every weekend devoted to replacing tile and carpet and finishing off the backyard so My Fair Lady and I can sell the place in the spring. This leads up to the biggest gaming months of the year in November and December when literally everything that can be pushed out the door will hit store shelves. At which point the backlog will swell up again.

It's a vicious cycle, but someone's gotta do it.


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