Editorial

5 Tips for Managing Your Inevitable Backlog of Games This Year

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There’s a ton of games coming out this year. You and I both know there’s no way in hell you’re going to play every single one of them. You’re going to purchase games that are going to sit on your shelf, staring you in the face until you finally let out a big sigh of annoyance, rip open the packaging and stick it in your system of choice. Then, if you’re anything like me, you’re going to play it for a few hours, get bored and place that game right back on the shelf in the same spot you found it.

After a few weeks, you’re going to shift through all the games you own and complain you have nothing to play, go buy another game and repeat the same process. There’s a possibility you might get lucky and find a game you just can’t put down, but how often does that really happen? When I’m not doing school work, writing on OnlySP, or hanging out with my fraternity buddies, I’m usually relaxing and either watching hockey or playing a video game. Obviously my schedule is pretty busy, so my backlog just continues to grow and grow. I started The Banner Saga over this winter break, hoping to finish it before I returned home from New York. I managed to get pretty close to the end, but alas, here I am…with yet another game unfinished.

We’re currently working on a definitive list of single player games for 2016 and let me tell you. There are a ton of games coming out this year. A lot that I certainly plan on playing…and hopefully finishing. So these tips are for you as much as they are for me.

1. ONLY PLAY ONE OPEN WORLD GAME PER MONTH

Open world games are the bane of my existence. I start them but hardly ever complete them. Looking at my shelf right now, I still need to complete main questlines for Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, Mad Max, Just Cause 3, Metal Gear Solid V, Fallout 4, and I’m sure I’ve got more. I’ll have to find a way to finish those, but looking ahead to this year, I plan to only BUY AND START one open world game per month this year. For me, beating the main storyline in an open world game means I’ve completed the meat of the game, so that’s what I plan to do. If you start more than one open world game, it’s way too easy to get sidetracked and then you’re adding another game to your backlog.

Far Cry: Primal is the first major open world title coming out this year. Be prepared.

2. TIME MANAGEMENT

Time management is of the essence in college. Finding the time to play any games I start can be pretty challenging as I’m invovled with the media department at school and am in a fraternity. My time is only going to dwindle once I leave college, so learning how to manage my time has become of the utmost importance. If you decide to start a game and want to avoid adding it to your already massive backlog, set aside a few hours per week to get that game completed. For me, 9-11 pm is usually the time I allot to playing my games since I usually eat dinner around 5 or 6 and then do whatever work I need to do immediately after. If you go out on the weekends, you still have Sunday – Thursday to work on your game so that gives you about 10 hours of playtime per week, which is plenty.

3. RESIST THE URGE TO BUY ON DAY ONE

This is an issue I’ve had ever since I started gaming. For whatever reason, when a new game comes out that I really want, I just have to add it to my collection the minute it’s available, regardless if I’m working on another game or not. This year, I will refuse to let myself fall into that trap. I’m sure you’ve fallen into this trap before too. If you want your backlog to remain manageable, don’t buy games on day one.

4. AVOID STEAM SALES LIKE THE PLAGUE

Unless you’ve been waiting all year for a certain game to go on sale, why are you even at the Steam sale? You know you’re just going to add more games to your ever-growing backlog and then you’re going to hate yourself for it and wonder why the hell you just bought all these games you have no intention of playing. We’ve all done it. Learn from your mistakes and move on. Just don’t do what the guy in the video does below if you can’t handle the massive backlog you’ve created for yourself. You won’t have a backlog to worry about if you take this route.

5. WATCH A LET’S PLAY

My final tip for getting through your backlog? Go watch a Let’s Play. Yup. It’s that simple. It’s basically cheating, but anything to get that backlog reduced a bit, right?

 

Nick Calandra
OnlySP founder and former site owner.

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