Out of all the games to suck me in, I've been playing No Man's Sky for almost 30hrs the past week. Looks like third time's the charm


redknightalex's Blog (13 followers)

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the BacklogPermalink
I have a three-day weekend coming up in 1 hour and 20 minutes (at this time) and I cannot contain my excitement to get away from life, reality, and everything for three days. I've got some co-op coming my way with the wonderful UlvenFenrir, maybe some streaming shenanigans, and, most importantly, lots of time to rest. I'm exhausted. I'm sure that after five appointments in four days you would be too.

Yes, that's how my week has been. I'm pretty beat up after my chiropractor visit yesterday evening, which was painful to the point of tears, yet I'm hoping that tomorrow will be a good day, giving me a chance to recover physically, and emotionally, from all the stress and abuse I've been through this past week. I need it. Really really.

So, to start off my first blog post of 2016, I'd like to post some accomplishments over the past month and a half that need to be mentioned.

The latest one, a string of great trophies and hard work from Dynasty Warriors 8, is a gold nugget.

Dynasty Warriors 8Unwavering AmbitionredknightalexThe Unwavering Ambition trophy in Dynasty Warriors 8 worth 180 pointsFight 50 straight battles in Ambition Mode.

That also came with
Dynasty Warriors 8Animal CollectorredknightalexThe Animal Collector trophy in Dynasty Warriors 8 worth 40 pointsObtain all of the animals within the game.

and before that
Dynasty Warriors 8An Intricate TaleredknightalexThe An Intricate Tale trophy in Dynasty Warriors 8 worth 65 pointsComplete all of the stages in Story Mode.

All of these came from 70 hours of playing, both grinding out Ambition mode and playing through five story campaigns, with a real feeling of hard work paying off. The average ratio of those trophies is around 2.0 so it's also showing in my TT ratio, something I've never understood well enough to not hate it.

And, of course, there was this gem:

DRIVECLUBWelcome To The LimitredknightalexThe Welcome To The Limit trophy in DRIVECLUB worth 236 pointsReach Driver Level 50

Overall, looking at this list and how hard I worked over the months to complete these trophies I think this is a good start to the year. I've had to make sacrifices in other areas, like total trophies completed per day, yet still my trophy streak lives on. Even the day I was sent to Emergency via ambulance didn't set me back. Dedication or foolishness, I haz it. rock

Now, the real reason I'm doing this blog post is to talk about my backlog. Yes, the backlog everyone has that's bigger than everyone else's and always trying to work on it. I hate to do a post on my backlog's bad. And, if you can show me someone with a larger backlog than mine, I'll give you five points of HP.

Want to know how bad my backlog has become? Take a look here:

*** Spoiler - click to reveal ***

Most people talk of their backlogs but, today, I'm showing you only part of it. This isn't showing off the digital downloads I've picked up, like Grand Ages: Medieval or Need for Speed, or the ones I've got pre-ordered for March. Of the ones at the bottom of my bed, the newest pickups, I count 27 unique games that I've either never opened or never installed. I've also forgotten to give my Vita card case a look as that one, which holds 24 cards and one memory card, is full with maybe half the games started. Then there's the stack of games I haven't placed anywhere and are just floating. Not a month goes by, or even a week, that I don't buy a game. The rate at which I finish them? One every month...if I'm lucky.

Now, I don't think this is a bad thing. I enjoy the act of buying and collecting games, or items related to them (like my Mass Effect or Assassin's Creed statues), so I never truly regret a purchase. I got over that guilt over the past year when I realized that the joy of collecting was it's own piece of gratification for me and then, obviously, it leads to the enjoyment of playing the game. "Wasting" money or time on games I may never, ever play (let's be serious here, that's a lot of games!) is not a worry I care to have nor is it, to me, a waste. It's what I enjoy doing.

The problem I've run into is hard drive space. I have 750GB in my PS3 and 2TB on my PS4 and they are full. Completely and absolutely full. I'm maxed out in more ways than one. I can't download another game onto my PS3 or install one onto my PS4. If I want to play something new, I need to go through the teeth-pulling process of deleting a game from my XMB (which I know I can re-download again but it still sucks) and wishing for days that I could add more space. I may want to start up Until Dawn but I can't, not if I want to keep the games I already have on my PS4.

At first, I blamed Sony for my problem and their ridiculous decision of needing to install the entire game onto the hard drive for every game. Second, I got over the other ridiculous issue of having textures be so large that they need to take up 60GB of space when, three years ago, I could mod Skyrim with 2k textures and my install size wouldn't even be close to some of these PS4 games. What I was left with was the decision to either play or delete. Would I play the games I already had, upping my TT ratio and even completing a game that I may truly enjoy, or delete it from my system to get back to sometime "later"?

To be honest, I haven't decided. I've picked out a few games I can easily complete with a few hours of play, giving me room to install another game (or, as it happens to be with my PS3, give it space to NOT crash), and I hope to get rid of some of those easier games soon. If I can knock off another 100% with 15 minutes of play, like what I did with Toren this week, then why not? I've got a day to play so why not spend some time getting the plat for Everybody's Gone to the Rapture? If I do that, I tell myself, I can install a new game. I'm getting close to the point that, if there even is a game I don't own on sale, I tell myself to hold off because I just can't download it. It is, perhaps, one of the most unusual and wonderful of dilemmas to be in. I do not suffer for lack of choice, that thing is obvious.

Is this how one clear's out a backlog? The inability to play new games? Or should I clean out my backlog because I want to play the games in it? Will the enjoyment come regardless of why I'm playing it as long as I'm playing the game and having fun? Or, maybe, I really should be mad at Sony for not allowing me an external hard drive for outrageous hard drive installs?

I'm not sure if there's any right answer, nor am I sure I'm doing any of this the way I would like to the most, so the only thing I know for certain is that I either need to play more and finish or I need to give up on ever going after them and accept their place in my life.

Well, I do have a big backlog, don't I? laugh

I'm starting a list of quick and easy games that I own and can complete so I don't need to take 30 minutes deciding on what to play. I'm also taking suggestions for games I should just bite the bullet and mop up the remaining trophies, *cough*Unity*cough*. If anything, working on a backlog should never be a solitary event. Nor should trophies, for that matter, but that's why we're all here, to play games and enjoy trophies.

Yes, the backlog is bad, the hard drive space is low, and I'm sure there will be another game bought before Monday. Time to hold my head high, grab the controller, bury myself in blankets for the cold (-10F) weather this weekend, and play.

As always, thanks for reading and happy hunting! cn_guide

...Seriously, I'm taking game recommendations. I'm lost.
Posted by redknightalex on 12 February 16 at 20:59
MonkeyBrad91 I find cleaning up any TellTale games lying around (or other episodic like Life is Strange) is satisfying. The ~2 hour episodes are nice and short enough that you get the satisfaction of a completed part, without having to commit to a large daunting amount of time all at once. Plus, you can complete them all. ^_^
Posted by MonkeyBrad91 on 12 Feb 16 at 21:24
UlvenFenrir really enjoyed reading your blogpost! smile they're always fun to read. have read some of your older ones too.

right now i'm clearing out games in my backlog.

i finished ff13 and 13-2 ages ago, finally got around to ff13:lightning returns and that will wrap up the trilogy for me. also only have two ratchet and clank games left to do before the new one comes out and then i'll have all of those finished as well. next up is all the other franchies i've started on that i want to finally finish.

going to take awhile but will be fun doing so!
Posted by UlvenFenrir on 12 Feb 16 at 21:26
Ojotango Hey! Just found your blog wandering the site - you gave this post a very cool name!

All I can say is I sympathise with your situation. Unfortunately when I switched from Xbox back to Playstation I had to leave a huge backlog behind - and not only full games - I have countless DLC that I've forgotten about, so don't leave it too long. While there is certainly joy to be had from gathering games and the hunt thereof, does it compare to the feeling of finishing a game and letting go?

My advice would be to finish Everybody's Gone to the Rapture at somepoint over the weekend (I found it a great Sunday game) - it is especially relaxing, and the soundtrack is sublime.

Whatever you choose, though - best of luck to you!
Posted by Ojotango on 12 Feb 16 at 23:54
biff_beefcake Wow, that is quite the backlog! I wish you the best in reclaiming some of your hard drive space!!

I made a resolution last new year to try to cut my backlog in half, and even though I didn't get it down to half, I still made some decisions about games I had sitting around that I realised I was never going to get around to and just pulled them from my list (sold or deleted). In addition to this, the bean dive here in July was great in getting me to actually start some of the games I had lying around, which I found very refreshing! This year, I'm just focusing on not buying any games for the first part of the year (picked up tons of deals at the end of last year) and trying to complete some more of my dive games: focusing on the retail discs so I can finally get rid of them lol.

I don't think I could play them back-to-back, but any of the LEGO games you have might be the right kind of predictable, mindless relaxation for a very cold long weekend. :) Congrats on all your trophy successes so far in 2016!
Posted by biff_beefcake on 13 Feb 16 at 08:31
Prem-aka-Prince I'm going to try and stick purely the the positive, and try and be brief on my responses. Well, at least one of those is realistic.
Your opening section highlights a few of your proudest trophies over the past month. I think that's good. I imagine we all know the feeling of putting a lot into some of the tougher trophies, but not getting much back for it, whether that be a bronze trophy or a really low ratio. But still, you're not the only one who appreciates how much that was really worth. So bravo. I try to comment on these things when I see them on the friend feed, but I think it's a good idea to continue to highlight a few of your personal choices in your blog.

On the hard drive issue, good job upgrading both HDDs! If I was looking for a short term solution to your problem that doesn't jar with your principles, then on PS4 at least I would probably recommend deleting some of the installs from games you have on disc, as they are often tens of Gigs (more than most downloads) but are effortless to replace: no clicking required, just put the disc in a little bit in advance. They install quite quickly and a lot of them let you start to play even with partial install.

Your own idea of playing and completing games is a great solution for the medium-term problem, especially on PS3 where installs generally take longer and hog the whole system. Everybody's Gone to the Rapture is on my own to-do list, in fact I might get to it today as I have to do a lot of idling in New Little King's Story on Vita, and a simple walking game is ideal for multitasking.
On a similar note, big-install story based games (especially ones with no DLC) are great choices for playing-to-finish and delete after you exhaust all your quicker options. You asked for suggestions, so I'm going to write a few at the end.

As for long-term solution, there are two ways to reduce a backlog. One is by aggressively increasing your consumption, either by putting more time in or playing more snappily, I've even seen people switch to 'end of story only' instead of wasting time with sidequests, grindy trophies, and all that time-consuming fluff. The other side of the equation is to reduce the size of the problem, either by (like biff said) ditching some of the titles from your backlog that for various reasons don't belong, or by slowing down the increasing size (similar to your not buying new digital games due to lack of space). However, you seem to be quite intent on buying as many games as you like, so I won't focus on it.

Finally the suggestions list, I just compared games we both have trophies in so it's not everything and "other providers are available", but it's enough to give some options. smile
In order of alphabet not merit:
AC: Syndicate - not one of the shortest games (and there's a lot of DLC) but pretty easy to plat, and a lot less collectibles than Unity from what I hear. Plus Ubisoft is still doing PS4 events that give you bonuses in certain stuff, maybe just dip in once a week to take advantage of those?

Beyond: Two Souls - I see you finished the story, so maybe you've had enough, but if you were to go for plat is should be a fairly easy one now you've already played it and once you do that you could definitely delete it (or just delete it now if you haven't already).

Burnout Paradise - Looks like you got the plat and did some of the DLCs partway. IIRC this is pretty huge on the hard drive so might want to finish and/or delete it if you haven't already

Doki-Doki Universe PS3/Vita - don't know which platform you have it on and it's not a big game but it's definitely quick and easy to finish and delete

Final Fantasy XIII-2 - IIRC it's less grindy than the original and since you've already finished the story and maxed all abilities it shouldn't be too bad to mop-up with a guide... I know there's a lot of hopping around and it might be hard to navigate after a break but it's an option

Gravity Rush (Vita) - noticed the remastered PS4 version on your shelf, but you already have a few trophies in the original!

Heavy Rain (PS3) - Just like Beyond, could save a lot of HDD space. I just checked and Beyond is 2.6GB, Heavy Rain is 4.2GB. Well at least it's not full game installs like PS4, maybe on PS3 focus on retail games you've downloaded, on PS4 focus on retail games you have on disc (unless you're planning to temporarily delete them anyway as discussed before)

Saints Row IV: Re-elected - You're only one trophy from completing it, the Genki Holiday... did it glitch?

Valiant Hearts: The Great War - You're only two trophies in, but I mention it because I know it's one of the shorter games (and most of the ones I've highlighted so far aren't). You can complete it in 5 to 10 hours depending on if you use a guide or explore for yourself. We have a WT here on TT that's more or less spoiler-free.
Posted by Prem-aka-Prince on 13 Feb 16 at 14:07
redknightalex Wow, let's see if I can get to all of these comments today AND in only two more posts. wink

@Brad - I did TWD S2 over the holidays, which was great as I was still grinding out the DW8 campaigns at the time, and the TellTale games do offer a great reason to sit back. I'm saving Life is Strange for the "right" time but could do Borderlands or Wolf Among Us instead. Problem is, they do get me a tad emotional towards the end.

@Sander - Sorry, again, for missing this one. laugh

I'm glad you enjoyed it! smile I keep meaning to get back to the FF13 trilogy, which I enjoyed for the most part, yet all I have left is grinding and that takes away most of the fun tbh. I've also got R&C as well, which should be quick ones to get through, and add to my Sony history knowledge, but for these I'm not feeling the platforming. Maybe I need to find a good shooter or linear game to run through? Glad you're working on your backlog through. Seems to be a real theme these days as the new releases are slow to come out this time of year.

@Ojotango - Welcome! Nice to see you around and I'm glad you enjoyed reading my post!

I once had an Xbox, never played it, but I'm so very glad I still have my PS3. Making the jump to another console would drive me bonkers with all my unplayed games but, still, good for you on leaving some of that behind! Fresh starts are nice sometimes, eh? I got stuck on Unity yesterday (Sunday) although I may still get to Everybody's Gone to the Rapture today. It's been hanging out for a while and I do want to get to the gets buried within my library. Particularly from your post I'm thinking that a guide from the get-go might help me finish a game faster, while still being able to enjoy the story, and give me more completion/satisfaction as a result. Next blog topic: to guide or not to guide.

(Btw, I stole the title from a movie. Shocked no one has mentioned it.)
Posted by redknightalex on 15 Feb 16 at 20:42
redknightalex @Biff - Yeah...backlog indeed! laugh

I wish I could have your attitude on games except I truly do enjoy collecting them. I never sell old games, or even rent my games except for a short period of time when I did (and then found it costing me more than buying a game), so I always have whatever games I've bought or collected over the years. Now that most games aren't out until mid-year, for the most part, I do feel like I can take a swing at the ones I've kept since launch. Not going to worry about wasting money, that's a tad useless right now, so I'll focus on finishing two or so before buying a new game, digital or physical. A compromise and a goal, can't go wrong with this attitude.

Thank you! I was rather proud of those trophies, all of which did come this year. I'm not overly egotistical but having that section first gave me some perspective on how things have gone so far and reminded me of why I enjoyed what I did. May need to make it a regular appearance. As for the LEGO games...I always, always get stuck on mopping up to 100% and doing the freeplay. Not sure why when the games are fun and mindless. First plat in a series is usually the hardest syndrome? Hmm....

@Prem I'm pretty sure you kept it positive, which I appreciate, because I never dislike long comments. :D I did keep in mind your suggestion to perhaps make a shorter blog entry and...yeah, doesn't work. I'm assuming your much like me and we both like to write.

Yes, the opening section was a great idea and gave me a good look back on the things I enjoyed doing before going on to look at what I wasn't doing well. I may keep this in mind for upcoming blog posts or try and do it monthly when I want a shorter one. If I look back at what I enjoyed and feel like I accomplished over the month then I'm sure others will do the same and we can all have our moments of, "yes, I did get that done!" It's a good feeling.

Upgrading my hard drives were always first on my list, particularly with the PS4. Compared to making a computer, this is fun! I have gone and deleted a few disc-based games, like Arkham Knight (60 GB install!), but resisted the digital installs (take longer) and GTA V (which has a long install time regardless). I must admit that deleting installs of physical copies isn't too bad when you can normally start the game up relatively quickly. Fallout 4 is also another exception.

Great suggestion list! You put a lot of thought into what you write and you've certainly gained a lot of respect from me for it. Take it for what it's worth. :) I do understand that the long-term solution, other than playing night and day for a year, is to ditch some titles I won't play or bought on a whim. If I did that, in a spit of desperation, it would probably be to storage or in another out-of-sight out-of-mind type of situation. I know that if I truly had one potentially bad habit in my life it would be buying video games (or drinking soda) yet, as habits go, I could do worse. I do plan on slowing down my overall intake of new games, which is helped by the slower release schedule, which should help some. Of all the things I have in my life that I need to work on, buying games is perhaps last on my list.

-Syndicate: waiting for the moment I want more AC. Just finished up Unity, which was almost a fluke, so may wait for a summer month before I feel ready to get back into the universe. Stubbornly, I finished the overly flawed Unity before feeling okay going after Syndicate.

-Beyond: On my short list as the story was great (imho) and a second playthrough would be fun AND get me most of the trophies and/or plat. 10 hours I'm guessing so, as I think of it, not sure why I haven't worked on the plat yet. Hmm...

-Burnout: Want to get 100% except that is now mostly reliant on online parties and boosting. I do have the plat, as you noticed, so I could ditch it. I could...

- Doki-Doki and FF: Excellent ideas. I actually found Doki-Doki to be longer than I thought, at least on Vita, so I play it in short bursts. FF I'd need to look up a guide for what I need to do next as most of my memory for that game is long gone.

-Gravity Rush: I remembered having control issues with it but should go make now since I've learned a lot from games like Flow and Flower.

-Heavy Rain: I may be avoiding it because I know the characters need to die. Eek. Maybe I should ditch this one...

-Saints Row IV: glitch. :( Need to run another playthrough if I want to even see if I can get that trophy.

-Valiant Hearts: Great idea! This one and Rapture are probably my best bets for a quick completion WITH a great game. May start with Rapture first though.

Thank you for your thoughtful comment; with this blog post and the responses I've certainly had to take a harder look at how I play, finish, and buy games. Maybe it'll all be for the better.
Posted by redknightalex on 15 Feb 16 at 21:11
Prem-aka-Prince I like replying to long comments for the same reason anybody in the world likes social interaction, in fact the longer they are the more they become like old fashioned letters with thought amongst themselves, rather than aimless one-liners. But for some reason on TT conversation seems almost a faux pas, especially on news articles. I'm pretty sure one guy mocked me for it once, I had a Sheldon Cooper-like moment of confusion when reading that. Well even if 99% of my comments never get a reply, it's worth it for the few that are engaging enough to get a response.

Well now that I've said something so forthright, I don't think I can with a straight face write a long line-by-line reply, as much as I'd like to. So I'll summarise, but before that, just want to say the only reason I encouraged shorter posts before was to encourage more frequent posts, not to have you cut down on content. The endless procrastination means I'm always looking for something to reflect on, so you could post every day and I'd still find time to think about it. I'm jonesing already- (I'm kidding, I'm kidding!)

I do put a lot of thought into what I write, but miraculously it never feels like work. By the way, when you say one should take your respect for what it's worth, I couldn't figure whether you were joking that it's limited edition and worth a lot, or cheap as chips and not worth taking. Or maybe I've accidentally overthunk it xD

Moving on to the games (summary version), good job beating Unity, I'm not yet sure if I ever will. With Gravity Rush try to think of it differently from anything you've played before, personally IIRC I would look to where I wanted to go and then fall hard, kind of like I do in life if you think about it *ba dum tsh* SRIV look on the bright side, it's not the full upgrades trophy, hopefully you can do these side missions quite quickly on a new save.

By the way with Rapture, I recently completed it, but I can't summarise it in only a few words. If you feel like playing it and are in a patient mood then at least it won't take any grind like other games, but don't be fooled it's not short either. I'd recommend either explore on your own first playthrough or use the completionist guide for maximum story exposure, as every single other trophy is fluff. Then you can do cleanup of those in more focused playthroughs in some combination.

Finally about your closing comment, don't let it become like sacrifice or work, remember you're just trying to make changes to get more out of the things you love. It's the mystical "third option" of beating your backlog without liking to either cut it or put more hours in, but by more abstractly changing your perspective. In the words of my dear Natasha...
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions!

p.s. I almost forgot, I think more people than you think have seen Dr. Strangelove wink
Posted by Prem-aka-Prince on 16 Feb 16 at 01:11
redknightalex Sorry I took so long getting back to you. I hope you aren't going through any kind of withdrawals from lack of communication with people who write/enjoy long replies and posts. That would be terrible!

Hmm...what did I mean when I said "for what it's worth"? Come to think of it, I really don't know. laugh I was at the end of my amount of computer time before my muscles start to spasm, and I had a few painkillers before hand, so maybe I'll blame it on the drugs. Truthfully I find that most people don't care about respect nowadays, or don't seem to notice if someone does respect you, so I figured I'd say it out loud and you could accept it or not. Not that mine is a limited edition or anything...well, maybe limited to about 2,500 copies and then they're gone! :P

On Unity: thank you! I find it interesting that many people will post about a game or trophy they are having a rough time with and then, two hours later, come back and say "nevermind, I got it." Perhaps this is where the thought truly counts. Need the 100% in DLC and then 50GB deleted!

One thing I didn't mention in my post was how much my video captures take up: ~100GB. Yes, I like my captures. I'm trying to trim a few videos every day or so, reducing my capture size by a gig a day, and eventually moving them all onto my computer. It's a great feature, and I use FRAPs a lot when I was on PC, but Sony could have made it much easier to transfer the videos.

I'm getting closer to having the amount of space I need, including deleting a few Plus games off of my PS3, including creating a system that makes me feel better about deleting items: write them down! Genius!

Yes, gaming should never be a chore and many thanks for reminding me of that. I see you post that frequently, much tot he chagrin of many users around her I've seen, yet it's a good reminder to have every now and then. Some games I play through for the series or the plat (Unity) and others I truly do want to experience (Rapture). Overall, if the mix isn't more on the enjoyment side then I think I'd really need to take a breather.

(I truly hope more people have seen Dr. Strangelove! Damn classic movie and better than citizen Kane imho. I also hope this reply made some sense: getting out of work and trying to tidy things up before I go meditate. Need to calm down every now and then, particularly on Fridays.)

Posted by redknightalex on 19 Feb 16 at 21:53
Prem-aka-Prince Damn, it's so hard to resist replying on every thing that could easily be a discussion topic in my head, but this is blog comments so I need to not ramble. Therefore I'm inventing a new self-limitation system: One sentence or less!
Lately there are a lot of site wishlist topics to read which kept me busy.
Respect is not important when talking with people you don't like, but Obama said "Try to be useful to somebody, and try to be kind."
I still don't even own Unity and dread the collectibles but you're almost done. clap
If I took 100GB off my PS4 it would be half empty!
Don't forget about this site's My Games Collection feature (where you can list, filter, sort, categorise and put notes on games)!
I don't remember saying it that much but I do try to be positive when I think it's worth saying, and I try to encourage other people because for me the only obstacles that get in my way are the ones in my mind (that was two sentences I cheated...)
I hold Citizen Kane in exceptionally high regard so unfortunately I can't agree with you on that.
Enjoy your meditation and your weekend (well if I'm going to cheat I might as well make it useful!!) ~~ wave
Posted by Prem-aka-Prince on 19 Feb 16 at 22:47