Backlog Report – July 2022

Hello July. Goodbye July. Another month has come and gone in what feels like a bullet train ride through the year. Despite the hot and sticky weather, I will try and cherish these last few days of good mental health before hell starts to break loose. Gaming and writing may take a back seat in the months to come.

This month marks the end of the 50/50 Challenge that I started last year. A post about my results and what I’ve learned will come out shortly after this post. Since I haven’t really been talking about it lately, you can kinda guess how that went.

In other boring news (but really exciting for me), I am almost done cataloging all of the video game guides and art books that I’ve been collecting. This should have been done sooner when I first decided that I was interested in collecting them, but it can also be fun cataloging things in a huge batch. I just have a few more to go since most non-guidebooks are kept in a different room. I want to write about why I’m seeking out these old guide books lately and what makes them interesting to have in 2022. My next inventory project will be to record all of the game systems that Kat and I own.


Blog Posts This Month

Kirby and the Forgotten Abilities (Backlog Tale) – While I enjoyed my time playing through Kirby and the Forgotten Land, I couldn’t help but feel that something was missing. If you played through it and thought something was missing, maybe the structure of Kirby’s abilities was the culprit.

Finishing the Final Game in the Final Fantasy Advance Ports – Final Fantasy V (Backlog Tale) – I found Final Fantasy V to be lackluster, but that is a fault to the day and age that I played it (and games similar to it that I’ve played). While it is a classic game and has one of the best job systems in the mainline series, its spiritual successors like Bravely Default and Octopath Traveler have evolved the concept.


Games Finished This Month

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV

The meme is now over. After 168 hours and playing this game in chunks over the past year and a half, I have finally finished this part in the overlapping saga. If my tear ducts would work properly, I would have sobbed at the end. After getting to know these characters all these years and watching them grow into the heroes they become gave me so many emotions. I’m glad that I decided to randomly pick up this series since it has been an overall good experience for the most part. I would like to say that I am caught up on the current series, but I still have the Sky and Crossbell games to play through before I view all of the pieces in this epic saga. Just give me five to ten years to do all of that…

Gunstar Heroes

This is a blast from the past. I don’t have as much nostalgia for the Sega Genesis like I do with the Super Nintendo. There are a few games on the Genesis that are very nostalgic for me, and Gunstar Heroes is one of those games. We used to play this a lot at my cousin’s house, but we could never beat it due to its high difficulty toward the end. Thanks to the Sega Genesis library via Nintendo Switch Online, my brother and I were able to put this game to rest in a little over three hours. The game still holds up great despite all of the flashing lights (developers loved their epilepsy flashers back in the day). If you have never played this game with someone, now is one of the best times since you can play it with someone online.

Final Fantasy VII

Would it surprise you if I told you that I have never finished this game before? I have played it in the past, but I lost access to it right when I got to the Northern Crater. Despite owning an original copy of the game, I went with the PS4 version since the achievement list would encourage me to see all that the game had to offer. Additionally, turbo mode made getting through some sections a big time saver (wish all JRPGs had a turbo button). Overall, I really enjoyed this game and understand why so many people are fond of it. I appreciate Cloud as a character way more since I finally understand the type of character he is. I’m excited to see the events of Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth and the third game now that I have a better understanding of how the main game’s events flow (the final Midgar raid better be epic). I will now take back my JRPG Player card now that I have finished this game proper.


Games Added This Month

Tokyo Mirage Session #FE Encore

I wasn’t planning on getting many games this month after last month’s splurge fest. Of course deals would pop up that would be too good for me to resist. The first game that I was able to find cheap was Tokyo Mirage Session #FE Encore. I have wanted to try this game for a while, but didn’t feel like hooking up my Wii U just to play this. Hopefully I will find the time to play it soon since it is a good game from what I’ve heard.

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles

I completely forgot that I got this game this month (for some reason I thought it was last month). I’ve enjoyed the Phoenix Wright series due to its suspenseful nature. I need to finish the rest of the series past Apollo Justice at some point before bringing this game to the stand.

Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town

This is a game that I’ve been waiting to get. Not only does it feed into my Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons collecting as of late, but it is technically a remake of one of the better games in the series. I would also like to point out that the case for this game is amazing since the reverse cover is a redesign of the Japanese box art for Friends of Mineral Town. I wish more companies would be creative with their cover art.

Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin

I had no intention of getting this game, but for $10 USD I can be persuaded to give anything a try. After looking at game footage I’m starting to wonder why I wouldn’t be interested in this. I will have to give this game a try soon just so I don’t forget that I have it.

Harvest Moon 2, Harvest Moon 3 GBC, & Harvest Moon (SNES)

Yup. I’m back to collecting different versions of Harvest Moon. With the 3DS and Wii U shop closing soon, these may be the last games that I’m interested in getting on either system. Harvest Moon 64 is also available on the Wii U shop, but I’ve decided that I’m going to look for an authentic copy of the game (there are so many replications online). Good luck finding a cheap copy of Harvest Moon for the SNES once the store closes since that is a crazy expensive game.

Mario Golf Toadstool Tour & Mario Power Tennis

We can all agree that the Mario sports games have been extremely lackluster as of late. The whole “release the game now and we will add the rest of the content later” does not work with a full price game and Nintendo has ruined a lot of popular titles with this development model. I’m going to get off this topic now before this turns into an essay. I have never owned these titles despite really liking Mario Golf and Tennis on the N64. For some reason my older brother never had the urge to get these. I was able to find them both complete for a good price; and that means a lot considering that they are Gamecube games. 

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

If I hadn’t finished the other two Xenoblade games recently, I wouldn’t be as excited to play this. With both games’ stories still fresh in my memory, it’s best to play this now and dodge any potential spoilers that will be posted online next week (because people can’t help themselves). Will report once I get further into the game.

Digimon Survive

I felt bad for Digimon Survive. We’ve known about this game since 2018 and it’s finally being released….the same day as Xenoblade 3. That’s not their fault since Nintendo bumped XC3’s date up from its original September date. It is Bandai’s fault for not marketing this game until the last few months. It looks like a really good game with a mix of tactics RPG and visual novel segments. I wanted to support this game because I know this will be found in the bargain bin soon and considered a semi-flop (or maybe not since physical copies are slim).


Currently Playing

I wrapped up Final Fantasy VII for the first time. Despite the frustration I got while trying to navigate some areas, the original game still holds up greatly. I appreciate the whole FF7 universe now that I have a better understanding of the characters and world (I didn’t remember much from the first time I played it). Consider me excited to see where Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth goes and how the Remake project will conclude.

At the time of this writing, I haven’t played enough of Xenoblade 3 to give a formal opinion. I can only assume that I’m enjoying my time with the game and annoying people on the socials about it. This is where I will be for a while.

Once I’m done with Xenoblade 3, I want to take a break from long RPGs and break out into some other genres for a while. Maybe I will start playing through all of these Harvest Moon games since I will need something relaxing to play after work in the coming months. 


And that’s all I got this month. What are your plans and goals for this month? Try to stay cool out there.

Backlog Report – June 2022

Let’s get into it. A lot happened this month.

For those keeping track, I was on a roll for a while posting at least one blog post a week. This was due to the amount of games I had finished and me just writing down my fresh thoughts before I forgot them. While there are still plenty more of them that I need to write (include a bunch more just from this month), I need the time unscramble my thoughts and make them coherent as possible. For example, I have a post about Kirby and the Forgotten Land that I was ready to publish, but after rereading it, it felt unfocused. I had established a subject, but for some reason started to talk about a different one half way through. This is a problem when I have multiple topics to talk about, so I decided to rewrite the entire thing with the second (more interesting) topic in mind. This realization has made me observe my writing process a bit more and has led to some new writing strategies. This would be a good motivator to get more done, but June brought about some other headaches that I wasn’t prepared for.

Three people at my job resigned this month. I was close with two of them, so seeing them leave is bittersweet. With the scare of layoffs floating around campus, I’m glad they were able to find new jobs that move them upward in their fields. One of them was the only one I could talk to about video games around here, so now I’m back having no one to share in my hobby.

And if that wasn’t a big kick to the tibia, my boss announced that they were diagnosed with one of the worst news that your doctor could give you. What makes things stressful is that in the coming months we will be switching our ILS to a different company that will take effect in December. This means lots of training, ensuring our data is up-to-date and ready for migration, pulling everything that we’ve had for the past 20+ years and making sure that the switch goes off without any major hiccups. My boss may or may not be in the office around this time, so they are relying on me to take charge incase they are not around. I’m up for the task, but I won’t lie and say that it has already taken a toll on me with everything that has happened so far.

Ok. Had to get that out somewhere. Onto the best distraction from work that I could ask for. A warning first. My birthday was this month. With how things are going, Kat gave me her blessing to do the one thing that I restrain myself from doing. She told me to splurge. So splurge I did…


Finished Games This Month

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

I believe I have come to the realization that I don’t find modern Mario games appealing. I wasn’t the biggest Mario fan to begin with, but the games I had on the SNES and the Galaxy games (surprisingly) were enjoyable experiences. While the music and visuals in 3D World are great, the gameplay frustrated me the most. I have bad depth perception. This is a reason why I avoid 3D platformers and hate when 3D action games include random platforming. 3D World feels fast; and when I’m pressured to do fast platforming action, I fail terribly. When trying to be precise with my landings, I would always be off by a hair and either get hit by an enemy or fall to my death. The moments when the world is shifts to a 2D perspective is worse since it retains the 3D space in the foreground. Instead of having a fun, whimsical time, I was clutching my controller hoping that my fuddled hand-eye coordination would work together. Good game, just not meant for me.

Super Mario 3D Land

Take all my issues with 3D World and throw them out the window. This was one of the best Mario games that I’ve played in a long time. Everything about this game just felt better than 3D World. Mario controlled just fine and I didn’t have many issues with the platforming challenges. This is one of the games where I enjoy playing with the 3D effect turned one since it works with the game and not just tied in gimmick. The only time I got frustrated in the game was during the final Bowser level where the game doesn’t give you a normal checkpoint halfway. I messed up during the final part and thought I had to redo the entire stage again, only to be greeted with a checkpoint at the beginning of the final confrontation again. I will have to do some research on the two games and try to really figure out what the main difference was. I wish I had this game sooner in my library. It would have possibly been in my top 3DS games.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

After watching the Final Fantasy VII anniversary event, I came to the conclusion that I should really finish the original game… The other thought that I had was that I should finish the original Crisis Core since the remake/remastered/rebranded was announced. So I did that instead. I knew I was close to the end of the game where I last left off. I didn’t realize however that I was standing right outside the door to the final fight. Blame younger me. The last time I played Crisis Core was sometime during or right after college, so I had to remember how to play the game while fighting the final boss. It might have been easier if I took the time to do the missions, but I did it and got to see Zack go out like a badass. I’m looking forward to the remake now not only to refresh myself on the story, but to take advantage of skipping cutscenes since you can’t do that in the original. If I have to watch the cutscene before the final fight I’m going to have a crisis soon.


Added and Finished This Month

Mario Strikers: Battle League

Only play this game if you have friends you want to play with or a big fan of unregulated football. Mario Strikers: Battle League is not a bad game. It is a stale one if you don’t have people to play with. I’m not going to fault the game for a lack of content since the pervious titles didn’t have many modes either. Playing against high level CPU or random people online who know what they are doing will lead to some heated matches that will make you scream at your TV to simulate watching a real football match. I had some entertainment with it, but until I can get my brothers and friends to play along with me, there’s not much here for me.


Added This Month

Tales of Destiny 2 (JP)

I made the trip to visit one of my favorite game stores. Sometimes it is nice to visit in person since they will have items in stock, but not updated on their website. Imagine my reaction when I saw this in a display case. It was listed as unavailable on their site, but there it was just hanging out. It wasn’t a pricy game either only being around $35 complete. Now I just need a translation guide in order to play it…

Drakengard 3

Have you ever had a game that keeps popping up out of nowhere and taunts you to try it out? That’s my relationship so far with Drakengard 3. I have no idea what this game is about. I know it is connected to the Nier series, but that is all I know. Something was just bugging me to get it, so I gave in and welcomed it to the collection.

Planet Puzzle League

Pokémon Puzzle League is probably the only game where I get very competitive in. I don’t understand why Puzzle League games are not made as often as Tetris or Puyo Puyo games. Puzzle League is a great game that rewards fast thinking and reaction. It is my go to when claiming a puzzle game that you are good at. Anyway, I never knew a DS game was made, so I picked it up for cheap and showed it off to my brother (who is also very competitive at the game). He informed me that the game was made available on the 3DS shop and he already knew about it…

Kirby: Planet Robobot

After finishing Kirby and the Forgotten Land, I started to look at other Kirby games that I may have looked over. Planet Robobot was seen as an interesting shake up from the normal Kirby gameplay. Piloting mechs that can use Kirby’s copy ability does seem like an interesting concept, but for some reason I had no desire to pick it up. Now seemed like a good time (especially with rising 3DS prices) to check this adventure out.

Unlimited Saga

With the remaster of Romancing Saga: Minstrel Song coming out this winter, I no longer feel obligated to play the unforgiving PS2 version. With Square seemingly interested in remastering all of the SaGa games, it is only eventual that Unlimited Saga will get that same treatment. So to hasten that inevitability, I found a copy and added it to the collection. I will play it so that I can get an understanding why critics hated it, but knowing my luck the improved remaster is already being worked on (I hope…).

Pokémon White

The most expensive game I purchased this month (go figure). Pokémon Black & White would be my favorite generation of Pokémon if Game Freak never released HeartGold & SoulSilver. Kat has never played these games before, so I mostly got it for her to play and understand why these games were so good. If not, I can just play this version since I’ve never have. I won’t have a problem with that.

Super Smash Bros. Melee

Thanks to having this game in the past (and the memory card data), I don’t need to add this to my Unfinished list. I was just happy to find a copy that wasn’t for $90 or $100 dollars. After playing it for a few minutes, I still don’t think its the greatest. I’m not a competitive player or give a damn about the competitive fighting scene to play this the way the community wants me to play it. I just enjoy doing adventure mode and looking through the gallery since that was what I always did. Any who, it is back in the collection after losing it all those years ago.

New Super Mario Bros 2

I saw it for least than $10 dollars complete and said sure why not. The New Super Mario Bros games all look bland, but I seem to fair better at them since they are not in 3D. I will see if this surprises me like 3D Land did, but I’m not holding my breath on this one.

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time

I greatly disliked Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Rings of Fate back in the day. It didn’t feel like a worthy successor to the enjoyment that I had with the first game on the GameCube (despite playing it all the time with another friend). When Echoes of Time first came out, I avoided it since it looked too similar to Rings of Fate and I wanted none of that. Nowadays, I can distinguish Rings of Fate for what it was, but it still remains one of my least favorite games. Adding Echoes of Time to the collection not only means that I have a complete collection now (minus the Wii Ware titles), but it also gives me a chance to give this game a chance and judge it for what it is.

Xenogears

For my birthday, my in-laws tasked Kat with picking out a gift card for me. Kat choose a PlayStation gift card, so I had to figure out what to do with that. I immediately came up with the idea to purchase some classic games that are f***ing expensive to buy physically. Xenogears is one of those games that is stupid expensive to buy. I will gladly pay the $10 dollars on the online store versus the $120+ prices from other places. Now if only Xenosaga Episode III would become affordable…

Mega Man Legends

Along with Xenogears, I also purchased Mega Man Legends. I have played and finished this game in the past on the N64 and emulation. Since I have never owned it before, now seemed like the perfect excuse to own it officially. And before you ask, yes. I am also one of those who is upset that we will never get a third game in the subseries.

Bleach: Soul Resurrecction

I have never seen/heard of this game before, but I became curious once I saw that it was published by NIS America. Not one of my favorite anime, but I did enjoy some of the concepts. I can’t wait to see how much filler is in this game.

Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires

This game has been on my radar for a while, but I was a little hesitant since reviews were mixed. While I do enjoy musou games, I’ve come to find that I enjoy when they are mixed with other franchises (Dragon Quest/One Piece/Gundam). Finding a copy of this game at a low price will convince me to try it out however. After playing through the tutorial, I have come to the conclusion that I like it. The emphasis on controlling bases is something I really enjoyed in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3, and I’m glad to play another game that makes capture points relevant. I can see myself finishing this game through.

Yoshi’s Wooly World

Every time I think I’m done collecting games for the Wii U, there are still some games in the library that don’t get ported over to the Switch. I think most people were beating on Nintendo to release Wooly World on the Switch, but we got Crafted World instead. Seeing that Wii U games are becoming rarer these days and the online store retiring soon, I decided to give the wooly game a proper home.

Satisfactory

My friend Eric gifted this game to me on Steam. He was telling me how obsessed he had became over this game and that it would be fun to play in multiplayer mode. I do enjoy a good simulation game, but I was not prepared for the chaotic nature of this game. The whole game is about striping the planet of it’s resources and creating factories and machines to do all your work, so it is pretty messed up to begin with. The fun part is figuring out how to use the tools to create new machines and become completely automatic. Some would say that watching your factories run by themselves to your benefit, satisfying.

Cross Edge

I was watching a video on gaming cross overs and heard about this game. I have never heard of this game before, so I immediately scooped it out. Not an expensive game to acquire, but one that may soon be.


Currently Playing

I should be playing Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak right now, but I’m not. Would you be surprise to know that there are monsters in the base game that I never got around to fighting? I finished most things in the game before updates were added in over time, and I just never got around to finish them. I plan on doing those quickly before moving on to the expansion.

What I am currently playing is the final chapter of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV. I have been playing this game on and off for almost a year and a half now. After finishing all the quests, side content, and collectables (and still missing some), I am finally ready to conclude this saga. It will be a bittersweet moment since I’ve already decided at some point I am going to replay all four games in the saga to earn all of the achievements. And eventually, I will get to the Trails in the Sky trilogy and the Crossbell duology when both games come out. What I am saying is that I have come to really enjoy this series enough to experience the entire overall story. Thank God the developers included a High-Speed mode to get through a lot of things.

Before jumping into that nightmare, I need to start getting myself ready for Xenoblade Chronicles 3. If I didn’t finish Xenoblade Chronicles 2 this year, I wouldn’t be as excited for this game as I am now. I will try and find some shorter games to play and finish before this game comes out; because I will probably be glued to this until I roll credits.


Blog Content

I will try to upload the posts that I had in mind for last month this month. I make no promises. The hot, sticky days of Summer are here and most of the time I want to get comfortable and play some games. I still want to write some fun things alongside my backlog posts for variety, but we will see how that goes.


I’m going to stop talking now. If you need me I will be burying my debit card somewhere in the backyard so that I never splurge again and then play more Monster Hunter.

Backlog Report – May 2022

Holy Mayflowers Batman! What the hell happened to May!? One moment I’m celebrating that it’s finally May, and the next thing I know June is here. I swear the moment you finish grade school or college, time means nothing anymore and everything becomes a standard affair until something life changing happens that slows down time again. I’m still searching for my next big life changing moment; but I have a feeling that something will shake things up next year.

While May was a blur to me, there are some blog related items that I did accomplish. For starters, the blog has a fresh new coat of paint on it. I was growing tired of the old look for a while and wanted to make things more “pleasant.”  The only thing that I’m meh about is that I can’t change the background color to a slightly less bright white. Despite there being a setting to change the background color, it doesn’t work for me for some reason. Other than that, the banner is temporary until I get off my lazy arse and create one myself. I appreciate any feedback.


Finished This Month

Final Fantasy V Advance

Didn’t have my capture device set up

Continuing my playthrough of all the mainline Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy V is the newest title to graduate from the backlog. Final verdict. It’s not one of my favorites. There was a lot with this game that did not intrigue me to pay attention half the time. The story is basic and only has a few standout moments. The job system in this game is fine, but once you know what skills you want each character to have, there is little point in trying out other classes if you are trying to master the ones you need. It’s not that long of a game, so grinding job points could be seen as a way to pad the game out. If that is the case, then it only makes the game even more boring since the focus is on the job system and not the characters or story. I will congratulate FFV for being so bland that it made me appreciate FFIV way more than I ever had (it was originally one of my least favorite FF games).

Elden Ring

Rise ye Tarnished. I’ve gone from maidenless to Elden Lord in record time for one of these games. I thought this game would take me months to finish based on my track record from Bloodbourne and Dark Souls. I think my play style and familiarity helped carry me through all the new challenges in this stupidly big world. Playing this alongside a friend was also the drive that kept me playing for weeks. I didn’t realize how much fun I was having with this game until I beat the final boss and my friend asked if I wanted to create a new character and play it over again. Elden Ring is the type of game that you can replay multiple times since there are so many character builds that you can experiment with and items to try out. You can even be like me and explore places that you completely missed on the first journey! So far this game is tied for my game of the year, and it’s going to be hard to decide which one will come on top.


Added and Finished This Month *New Section*

*I needed a new section for games that I buy and actually finish in the month I purchase it. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does find it in this section!

Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin

Have you played anything that sounds ridiculous on paper, but actually works in some crazy manner? Well I played Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin so that you don’t have to. Silly jokes aside, I found myself enjoying this game even though I had no idea what was going on half the time. SoP takes aspects of the Nioh games and Dark Souls by making the combat all about action while having the punishment and patience to learn the mechanics. The game attempts to fill in the holes to its story by finding lore orbs(?) in the game and put the pieces together about how the Luferians are assholes and reset the world for their pleasure. I would be upset with their explanation on how Garland came to be, but then I remember that the original Final Fantasy had the flying tech fortress and time travel to defeat Chaos. The series has always been weird so just embrace the weirdness from time to time. I want to get the platinum trophy, but it requires a second playthrough on Chaos difficulty and I only have time for so much patience these days.


New Additions This Month

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands

I have always wanted to join a tabletop RPG game. It has been an interest for some time, but living in an area where no one hosts games is an issue (I would have to travel at least an hour away). Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is far from a compromise, but so far it has highlighted what makes TTRPGs so much fun to play. The quest lines, unexpected twists and turns, and having a good time with the people you are playing with is what makes these games entertaining. The Borderlands formula also complements TTRPGs to the point where nothing feels out of place despite being based around a fantasy game. Kat and I have been streaming this game over on her Twitch channel every Wednesday. Just excuse us for being rusty at the whole streaming thing.

Prinny Presents NIS Classics Vol. 2

This is a collection that I’ve been waiting for. Prinny Presents NIS Classics Vol. 2 contains two games: Makai Kingdom: Reclaim and Rebound & Z. H. P.: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman. I remember really enjoying Makai Kingdom even though it is a bit dated these days. That doesn’t stop it from being an enjoyable game and funny writing as you watch the strongest being in the universe defend his title while stuck in a book. Z.H.P completely missed my radar when it first came out, but I was hooked after the tutorial. It is some of Nippon Ichi’s best comical writing with a premise that makes fun of the whole Super Sentai/tokusatsu genre. I didn’t know before playing, but the game is actually a rougelike RPG that uses the same tactical grid set up from the Disgaea series. I will have to sit and finish this game since it is too funny and stupid to not finish.

Cruis’n USA

Oh look. More N64 games. Acquiring Cruis’n USA completes the racing N64 games that me and my brother enjoyed playing. It has been a while since I’ve played this game, but nostalgia is a terrible disease and I’m sure I will enjoy this game again nevertheless.

Kingdoms and Castles

Now here is a surprise. I felt the urge to boot up my PC after what feels like a three month hiatus from it. While deciding on what to play on it, I discovered this game on the Steam store page. It has been a while since I’ve played a strategy, city building game, and this was charming enough for me to investigate.

I have become addicted to this game. There are so many mechanics in this game that keep your attention busy at all times. Peasants are needy peasants who need everything from you and the world. Dragons and Vikings will attack your village at certain times and will always outsmart you depending on where you set up your defenses, and the Witch will be your best friend if you tell your peasants to work harder! And this is only on the beginner difficulty! The Kingdom of Dommy has seen lots of hardship in the 100 years, but has sense sabled itself to a functioning city. With the acquisition of the Isle of Mommies, the kingdom is starting to grow exponentially and we are better prepared for Viking attacks. I have no idea what other ordeals are waiting for us, but it is equally exciting and terrifying. I know at higher difficulties there are A.I. kingdoms that you can interact with and could work with you or invade you. I’m serious when I say that this has become one of my favorite games that I’ve played this year.


Currently Playing

I am currently in the flux of deciding what I should finish next. Trails of Cold Steel IV is the obvious choice since I have been pushing that aside for a while now. I may have to strap myself in and just finish it once and for all. My problem is that I’m trying to accomplish as much as I can on the first playthrough so that my list of tasks are simpler during the Nightmare runs. I am on act three part 1 out of 4, with two shorter acts afterwards. I know I should just focus on the story and do all the quests in another playthrough, but when the side content does a lot to flesh out the world and characters, it is hard to ignore them sometimes.

Kingdoms and Castles will be on the daily rotation. Since it does not demand a lot of resources, I can easily play this on my laptop and continue the harvest wherever I go (now I have to consider a SteamDeck). Elden Ring isn’t quite over yet since another friend has the game and we will be cooperating to help him get through it. Like I said before, Tina Tiny Wonderlands will be every Wednesday until we finish that game. The only other thing calling me at the moment is my DS/3DS collection. It has been a while since I’ve finished something on the handheld, so maybe that time is now. I don’t know. Something will come along.


Blog Update

By my records, I managed to post at least one item per week. This is a goal that I’ve been trying to work myself up to, and I think it wouldn’t have been possible without the many topics that I’ve started and slowly worked on. I have nine finished games that I still need to talk about, some fun posts that I’ve wanted to write, and more stories about certain games in my collection. I hope I can keep my productivity high while still improving my writing. Be on the lookout for two new Backlog Tales, a post about some of the games announced over the month, and a special post for a special day.


And that is all that I have for this month. Thank you for reading and your support!

Backlog Report – March & April 2022

Is it over?

Hello all. I wasn’t planning on skipping a month from the blog, but April proved to be more of a beast than I was anticipating. Up until the final week, I didn’t have a day to myself where something wasn’t on my calendar of responsibilities and obligations. I haven’t been able to play much, but I have been able to write some things down here and there. My plan is to go over all the ramblings that I wrote and flesh them out to proper post. Hopefully those won’t take long to edit and I can start trying to post more regularly again.

One thing that is going to help me with that is to finally tackle some of the issues that I’ve been having. They are not easy to talk about since I’m still trying to figure it out as well. Long story short, I will be taking sessions soon to start tackling some of the anxiety and depression that I have. If you’ve noticed that I haven’t said anything about my 50/50 challenge lately, this is one of the reasons. One of my goals was to lose fifty pounds by August, but instead of losing weight I’ve been gaining even more. There is definitely a mental component to it all, so this is my first step to finally do something about it. If all goes well, I may still have time to reach my goal before the deadline. The “finishing games” component will definitely not get done due to the black hole that is Elden Ring.

In other news, I’ve started the painstaking task of taking inventory of all of my consoles and video game reference books. I’ve been meaning to do my consoles for a while ever since my brother got robbed last year. I had never thought about recording all of my other stuff, but having something like that happen makes you think twice about having a record of it all (plus it is just nice to have). I should have started my reference book list a long time ago before my collection exploded, but there is a certain joy of having a lot of stuff to catalog at once (I am a nerd for this kind of stuff so just leave me alone). My goal one day would be to get rid of the old excel sheets and have an online catalog where I could keep track of things a bit better. I recently discovered this one mobile app called Gameye and it has been great to use so far. The inclusion of a barcode scanner makes inventorying so much easier. It is hit and miss since it does go off what is stored in its database which is growing. What makes me like it even more is that I can include my own notes as well as a tracker if I’ve finished a game or how much I have finished it. The icing on the cake however is that you are able to export your data to a txt file or a .cvs file. The exports can be hit or miss since instead of leaving empty variables empty, it fills it with random text just to keep each cell full. Overall I am impressed with it. The designer is still constantly updating the app with the hopes one day launching a website where users can create an account and access their account on multiple devices. Not a paid ad, but I like it so far and wanted to spread the word.

Another fun thing that happened just last week was my friend Ben’s wedding. He is a silent third member of my group of friends who’s only gaming device was a Xbox 360. So to surprise him on his wedding, me and my other friend got him a PS4 to celebrate the occasion. He really liked playing Soul Calibur with us, so I’m practicing my character creation skills again to create even more questionable characters (maybe a sequel to one of my old post). I’m just happy that we get to include him in some of our gaming sessions online versus on occasion when we meet up. One of these days we will build him a PC.


Finished This Month

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

The big game that I finished this last month. I am surprised like all of you that it only took me 3 weeks to finish this game. Miracles can happen if you believe hard enough. Overall, I enjoyed the game minus the beginning parts. I won’t say that this was better than the first game, because that would be a lie and I don’t want to tell a lie. I will say that I wish I had the motivation to play this a second time via New Game+ and explore different routes with team composition that I didn’t think of. If you want to know my full thoughts on the game (plus a little lesson on tone), you can read the post I made about it a few weeks ago.

Trivia Pursuit Live! 2

Um. I don’t have much for this one. Kat and I enjoy playing the first Trivia Pursuit Live!, so getting a new one with updated questions and modes seemed like a good idea. While I do like having updated questions, I don’t particularly like this version of Trivia Pursuit. It somehow looks worse than the first game, and in some areas it feels cheaper. Outside of a new Twitch mode, this is the same game with new questions. There are new cosmetic options for your avatar and their primary color is not tied to your title anymore. Other than that, it doesn’t impress me. I won the first game we played so I count that as a win for finishing the game. On a side note, I am terrible at geography (I couldn’t tell you where to find anything on a globe…).

Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel

After thinking on it for a while, I think I am going to put this game in the finish pile. Originally I wanted to reach the highest ranking before calling it quits, but I’ve lost the motivation to do that. There’s just so much going on in the game now and I feel like I need to create specific decks to compete with the current meta. It’s not my favorite way to play the game, but I can appreciate how engaging it can be. I just hate that I keep running into the same decks and the lack of original playstyles that I’ve come across. It could just be the matches I get into, but it gets repetitive after a while. I will still pick this up and play it from time to time, but I have no interest in becoming the King of Games in this game.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Coming in at the end of the month is Kirby and the Forgotten Land. I don’t normally gravitate to Kirby games, but if one looks fun then I will give it a go. The game felt like HAL Labs looked at Super Mario Odyssey and said they could do the same thing with Kirby. It definitely has that Switch era, Nintendo first-party atmosphere to it where it is a familiar game with a fresh take to it. Everyone thought that this was going to be an open-world Kirby game like Mario and Zelda on the Switch, but it is a cozy linear-ish 3D Kirby game. I personally like that direction since it is what make Kirby games work in my opinion. Besides, if HAL Labs is going to make a open-world 3D Kirby game, it better be Kirby Air Ride 2. Overall, this was a fun and pleasant game to play as a secondary to Elden Ring.


New Additions

*This is a combination of games I got in both March and April

Beetle Adventure Racing

So why in the year 2022 did I purchase a game about racing Volkswagen Beetles? The one and only reason I can think of is nostalgia is one hell of a drug. This was a game that me and my older brother would frequently rent from our local video store from some strange reason. I remember us really liking this game for the arcade racing feeling that the game has. When I mentioned to my brother that I had found a copy, his face lit up and he got excited. That reaction must mean we had a good time playing it. Once I’m done being lazy about hooking up the N64, I will let those memories come rushing towards me like a 1998 Volkswagen Beetle with 2-wheel driving and other features like anti-theft alarm, four beverage holders, and a bud base on the dash (whatever that means).

F-Zero X

Speaking of racing games, F-Zero X was recently added to the Nintendo Switch Online Service. That’s neat, but I don’t have the updated version of NSO. I used my money wisely to buy a rather cheap copy for the N64. I know I’m missing out on online multiplayer with the NSO version, but knowing how the system handles online I think I’m good. I remember playing this game a lot at one of my cousin’s house. The fast pace action was a change of pace from Mario Kart. As I write this, I can vividly smell his house and the weird musk of three boys sharing one room. Nostalgia is a weird drug…

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice

To be honest, I completely forgot that I bought this game in March. If you forgot, the 3DS eshop is closing this year, so now is the time to purchase any last minute games (and DLC) off of it. Something that makes buying these games easier are all of the sales that are happening right now. Capcom and Atlus have been selling some of their best games on the 3DS for less than $10, so now is the best time to pick these games up before the physical versions skyrocket in price. What makes the Phoenix Wright games special on the 3DS is the fact that they are only available in digital format. So once purchasing has been disabled on the eShop, those games will be unavailable forever (until they get ported to current devices). Why pay for a premium now when when I could buy it now for only $5?

Star Fox Zero / Star Fox Guard

I knew I would have to get this game sooner or later. With the shop shutting down soon, now would be the best time before prices start to inflate. I don’t this game would have had a problem though, since I bought this at a second hand shop brand new (unopened) for only $16 USD. They even had it behind the counter with all the other expensive games. If that is a testament to how bad this game was received, then I don’t know what will. Star Fox 64 is one of my favorite games of all time, and I know Zero is just a glorified remake of that game. I consider myself a patient gamer, so getting used to the game’s unique controls will grow on me eventually (hopefully). Star Fox Guard was a nice extra bonus and from what I can tell is the better game out of the two. I hate bad mouthing games that I have not played yet, but with the reputation that this game has, it has clouded my judgement a bit.

Trivia Pursuit Live! 2

I already talked about this game. Go back up four paragraphs in case you somehow skipped it. Or maybe you skipped it initially because you did not care about the game or what I finished this month. That’s okay. We all have things that we like to read in posts like this and ignore certain sections. I am not one to judge since I like to skim through some articles that I read. Read what makes you happy and don’t feel obligated to reading every single word in this post. …Okay where was I? I seem to have lose what direction I was going with this bit…

Kirby and the Forgotten Land

It’s Kirby again. I’ll talk more about it when I write a Backlog Tale on it.

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards

This is my favorite Kirby game that I’ve never owned. Back in the glory days when you could rent games, my brother and I would always rent this game and play through it before we had to return it. To me, this has a lot of replay value thanks to being able to mix and match copy abilities. Mix fire and bombs and now Kirby is a firecracker! You thought Kirby becoming a vending machine was original in Forgotten Land? Wrong! He was doing that before in Kirby 64! I can’t wait to find the time to go through this game and get the true ending that I never got since I was a dumb kid.

Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology

I played and finished the original Radiant Historia on the original DS. I thought the game was fun on its own, but could have used its time travel mechanic a little bit better. I originally wasn’t interested in the 3DS remake, but for around $10 I am more than willing to revisit this remake.

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker

I completely forgot that I bought this along with Radiant Historia. Another game where I have played the original, only that I completely screwed myself towards the end and never went back to finish it. I mostly bought this to complete the collection of having all of the Shin Megami Tensei games for the 3DS. Once I “borrow” my brother’s copy of Soul Hackers, I will have them all.

Castlevania 64

This month should have been called the month of getting all the games I used to rent as a kid. Castlevania 64 earns the reward of the game I rented once or twice and never got far into it (since I didn’t have a controller pack to save). There was definitely a learning curve that my child brain could not understand, but that didn’t stop me from trying it. I also played the other Castlevania game for the N64, but obtaining a copy of that game is way out of my budget right now. I have played the first stage in this game, and I feel compelled to stream this one day…

Dark Cloud

Last weekend I went out of town to be a part of a friend’s wedding. Before I left the area, I found a really cool game store that was packed with games, collectables, arcade cabinets, and tables for card games. I talked with some of the guys who ran it, and I had a good time talking about games. The owner (I think) hooked me up with a copy of the Final Fantasy V Advance strategy guide that normally is sold for up towards $50 for only $30. If I lived in the area, I would probably frequent this store on a biweekly basis.

Oh yeah. As a souvenir I bought a copy of Dark Cloud since Kat owns the second game, but not the first. It was also my way of supporting their business for being real cool guys.

Snowboard Kids 2

The final game in my nostalgia filled ride. Snowboard Kids 2 is one of the best N64 games that not many people played. If we ever saw this game available to rent from the store, we would always get it. It is that good. If this game ever appears on the Nintendo Switch Online service, I will upgrade immediately and play this online with my friends. This game is just a snowboard game similar to Mario Kart, but this is way better in my opinion. Seeing how this was developed by Atlus, that may also be an indicator of why I like it. I will definitely write about this game soon, but for now I need to pay off the small loan that it took to buy this game.


Currently Playing

Elden Ring continues to consume my life. I’m over 100 hours in and getting close to the end. I have just been taking my time having a panic attack if something new is going to kill me or not (more than likely I panic for no reason). With my friend’s help and guidance, I have created a pretty good build for myself. I hope I can finish this game soon, but a part of me doesn’t want the adventure to end just yet. I know I can carry everything over into New Game Plus, but I’m the type of person who tries to get the most done in a single go (especially if I really like the game). At the time of writing this, I have bested Malenia and Rykard and have claimed their Great Runes. Only Shardbearer Mohg is left and then I can cross the Shardbearers off my list. In the main story, I have reached Lyndell and have defeated the skin quintuplets. Before I defeat the “final” boss, I want to get some last minute sight seeing done. If I stay this diligent, I should have the game done next month. After that, I can no longer use it as an excuse for not finishing other games.

As much as I am enjoying Elden Ring, I do need to focus on games that I can finish this decade. I am somewhere in the middle of Final Fantasy V. If I’m being honest, it is kinda hard for me to stay motivated with it. If I had one big complaint with the game currently is that it is easy to get lost. I’m bringing up my bad luck with geography for the third time again, but the game likes to tell you where to go, but not how to get there. I’ve had to use a guide multiple times in order for me to figure out the next area I was supposed to go to, and that is something I don’t really like doing on a first playthrough. It could be a me issue, but when I send time in a cave convincing myself that there is a secret path somewhere when there isn’t, then I blame the game for not communicating that well. Everything else is fine. The job system makes me wish I was playing Bravely Default instead.

Even though I finished Kirby and the Forgotten Land, there are still Waddle Dee for me to save and the post game to do. I figured that it is a short and fun game that I should go the extra step to 100% complete the game. It’s not going to be my top priority, but a good palate cleanser if I need something cozy to play.

Blog Plans for This Month

Small goal will be to publish at least one of the things that I’ve been working on. A bigger accomplishment will be getting both things I have been working on out this month. I just want to keep my expectations low just in case I don’t get anything out. I do miss blogging and I miss talking with people online about things. With summer slowly approaching, I should have the time and mental stability to be more of myself. There are a ton of games that I need to write about along with some more stories from my gaming past. I also have these ideas that I’ve had that I need to sit and work through. I’m the type of guy who has lots of ideas, but needs to figure out what is realistic or not. I need to get the ball rolling on finishing more games so I can say that I finished half of my challenge.


Okay. That’s all the time I have for rambling. I need to go back to playing Elden Ring on my Nintendo 3DS. Until next time (soon, it will be much sooner)!

Backlog Report – February 2022

Please stay safe out there everyone.

There was not a whole lot of activity from me this month. Minus the post I did on Pokémon Legends: Arceus, I haven’t gotten around to finishing any of the other posts that I’ve been working on. Call it the Winter Blues or whatever, but for a better understanding of myself lately, I’m looking forward to warmer coming up soon. While my efforts to get some writing done has been meager, I have been able to concentrate on sticking to one game until I am finished with it. If you know me, I like variety and my mood constantly affects what I feel like playing most days. There have only been two games that I felt I spent the most time playing this month, and luckily for me I had the drive to see them through. Talk to me next month however and I might be back on my wishiwashi BS.

Finished This Month

Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Easily one of the best Pokémon games I’ve played. There were a lot of things that I liked and hated about this game. The general focus on being a Pokémon researcher is something that I wish the mainline games did before instead of just trying to be the best trainer there is. What if I don’t want to be the champion? What if I just want to wonder around the wilderness until I discover something new or get killed by hostile Pokémon? Being in this position made searching and discovering things feel exciting since I was playing the role of that profession. If later games would let you have the choice of being a trainer or researcher, I think I would always chose the researcher route if the series were to introduce a new region that hardly no one knows about in the present. It will never happen, but that is my new pipe dream game (here’s looking at you Gen 9).

You can read more of my thoughts on the game from the post I wrote.

HuniePop 2: Double Date

Boobies. Cool. That is not what makes this game great. I have no idea how they made this game better than the first, but HuniePot found a way. If the increase difficulty from the first game didn’t stress you out, then switching between two dates while also focusing on a stamina gauge will make you sweat. It is such a simple new addition that makes the game so much better. Every combination of dates makes you shake up the way you approach the puzzle board since now everyone comes with baggage that can alter gameplay. All the new gameplay mechanics makes this one of my favorite puzzle games that I’ve played in a while. I did play this completely co-op with Kat since she is also a big fan of the game and I’m pretty sure was getting into it way more than I was.

New Additions

Elden Ring

I tried not to fall into the hype of calling this one of the best games I’ve played, but every minute of this game has had me hooked. It helps that I’ve been playing this game almost 90% co-op with a good friend of mine. We have been helping each other out by relaying discoveries and tackling bosses together. I’m glad I have experience with the series since I would have probably noped out of this when I first encountered the Tree Sentinel. I doubt I will finish this game this year, but I can see myself playing this in chunks and tackling every challenge I come across. Also my friend and I can’t stop making fingering jokes since we are in middle school.

I’m sure I will have much more to say about this game, but I want time to reflect my thoughts before talking about it. I will say I don’t think this game is a “perfect” game with all of the technical issues that I’ve been hearing.

Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth

Like many people who freaked out when they heard the Wii U and 3DS shops would be closing soon, I feel into the trap and went to the shop immediately to wishlist games that I wanted to get. After a few minutes, I came to the realization that if I didn’t purchase these games earlier, do I really need them now? My answer is yes and no. I don’t need to download everything that I see to preserve it for myself. I will take the approach I did with this game and shop around to find a good value on physical games while I can. With that being said, I though I bought the launch edition of this game for a good price, but it ended up being the standard version. It was still at a better price than what I’ve seen other places sell it for.

Etrian Odyssey is a dungeon crawling series where you create your expedition team and map. The game can be difficult if you are not careful with customizing your team to cover yourself for the journey. It also have an intriguing story that is followed through the games (minus the 3rd). This was the last game in the series that I was missing (if you don’t count the mystery dungeon spinoff).

*I technically also bought Horizon: Forbidden West, but that was for Kat. I don’t plan on playing it even though the internet says I should :p

Currently Playing

When I finished Pokemon Legends: Arceus, I thought it would be the perfect time to start tackling one of the fifteen games that I said I was going to finish this year. Instead I started playing Xenoblade Chronicles 2. I think the news of the third game got me interested in playing through the second (technically third) game in the series. I thought this would take me a while to finish, but I am currently chapter 7 after only playing for about 30 hours. The tone and character designs really turned me off at the start, but the story really picked up for me in chapter 6. I would be at the end of this game if Elden Ring didn’t come out last weekend. I will definitely have the time to finish this game soon since I will be on vacation and unfortunately my PlayStation is not a portable device.

But yeah. Elden Ring. I’m having fun. I won’t lie and say that the scary part is not knowing what I’m going to encounter at anytime, but that is also the fun of it. If I do finish it this year, then that will be a testament of how much I really enjoyed it.

I am also getting to the point where I am almost done with Yu Gi Oh! Master Duel. I still login daily, but I’m at a plateau in rank duels. I wish I could change things up with my deck and take the time to create something fun and new for me to use, but with thousands of cards and high rank players playing a certain way, it makes it hard to come up with a fun and functional deck.

Plans for Next Month

I don’t want to jinx myself. Their has been something new each month that has captivated my attention. I know I should have a stronger will and just ignore them, but I am a weak human being. The only games I’m interested in next month (that I know of) are Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin, Chocobo GP, Triangle Strategy and Tiny Tina’s Wonderland. I can wait on all those games except for Chocobo GP because it is the law. I won’t commit myself to what I will be playing this month since it will probably be Elden Ring and one other game that I will feel in the mood for.

For the blog, I have several things that have been in my draft folder for a while. I hope to get some of those done and out of the way so that I can start preparing for some new things. Since I only got one post out in February, my goal is to get at least two out there this month. My analytics took a nose dive and I want to say it is due to me not being as present as I once was. Hopefully I can get things turned around and start thinking of ways if I want to make myself a bit more public as I feel comfortable.


And that’s all I got really. Enjoy the change of the seasons. Get your allergy medication ready. Help support those in need if you can. Trails of Cold Steel IV will never get done.