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.

My Games of 2021

Ugh. What year is it? 2021 is over, so now I can talk about the games I played throughout the year. I was originally going to rank the games that I came out in 2021 that I played, but I ended up playing a lot of uninteresting titles. If you want me to talk more about Mario Golf: Super Rush again I can try, but that was already a struggle previously. So, this year I am going to shake things up and talk about my top ten favorite games that I finished this year. There is a good mix of new and old titles in here and it makes for a more interesting write for me. To give you an idea of how slow I am with things, here are two honorable mention list with games I wanted to play and games I started but haven’t finished.

Games Released in 2021 That I Had Interest Playing, But I Never Bought

Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny
Pac-Man 99
Poison Control
Nier Replicant ver. 1.22474487139…
Resident Evil: Village
Chivalry 2
Cris Tales
Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir
Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind
Legend of Mana (Remake)
Pokemon Unite
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles
Psychonauts 2
No More Heroes III
Sonic Colors: Ultimate
WarioWare: Get It Together!
Cruis’n Blast
Kena: Bridge of Spirits
Metroid Dread
Far Cry 6
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles
Voice of Cards: The Isle of Dragon Roars
Forza Horizon 5
Dungeon Encounters
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition (For the lols)
Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX
Super Robot Wars 30
Potion Craft: Alchemist Simulator

Games That Came Out In 2021 That I Played, But Didn’t Finish

Persona 5 Strikers
Bravely Default 2
New Pokemon Snap
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin
Scarlet Nexus
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game – Complete Edition
Back 4 Blood
Shin Megami Tensei V
Yu Gi Oh! RUSH DUEL: Dawn of the Battle Royal!!

Top Games That I Finished This Year

10. Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City

“Hie thee to the ocean city… To the Yggdrasil Labyrinth. A journey to the blue depths… To conquer the shadows of night. Though you know not what this means, you go towards Armoroad. What awaits is time’s end; death’s demise. A tempestuous dream… To push away the unfathomable dark and bring light to Armoroad… A stormy adventure begins…”

Creating my list was hard, but I knew I wanted to include this game. Etrian Odyssey III was one of the hardest games I have on the DS. My gaming knowledge was new to dungeon crawlers and understanding party compensation.10 years later, I have become an adult with a better understanding of how things work. I went from not understanding how certain abilities could be helpful to finding ways to make my party unstoppable. The mix between dungeon crawling and finding treasure out in sea made the game enjoyable for many hours. The game left such a big impression on me that I went out and got the other games in the series to slowly play through the story canon games in the series. I will report my thoughts when I finish the series twenty years from now.

9. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age

The trend this year was finishing games that I’ve put off for years. I was really excited to play through this game when it first came out, but I found myself playing chunks at a time since I had started grad school at the time. Motivation went south fast when the definitive versions came out and sour my mood when I learned that you couldn’t transfer your progress to the newer, shinier version. So instead of starting all over, I chipped away at the base game and finally finished it this year. 

Dragon Quest XI is a comfort game for JRPG players. It is simple and friendly for newcomers while also engaging for series veterans. The story and setting make this an adventure worth playing while never feeling stale. There is always something to see, something to do, and challenges around every corner. I still need to finish the post game and eventually play through the definitive edition one day, but that won’t be until a while from now. I did write a post about this game back in October.

8. The World Ends With You: Final Remix / NEO: The World Ends With You

Yeah I’m cheating with this one. I couldn’t decide on which game I liked more over the other since they both have their high and low points. Ultimately I decided that if you put both together, you get a great game. The World Ends With You took me places that I wasn’t ready to go. The themes of your world ending when you refuse to live in it struck a chord that I never really thought about. It opened a new viewpoint that I was unaware of and kept the optimistic flame in me going. It’s sequel doesn’t do the theme justice, but it did deliver an improved gameplay formula that irritated me in the formal. Both games had me playing them whenever I had the free time to do it, and that’s coming from someone who ignored the original game when it came out. I am sad that NEO didn’t do well enough to Square’s expectations, but here’s hoping that the series can continue with new characters, locations, and a stronger emphasis on its theme.

7. Castlevania Advance Collection

I’m still cheating! When I learned that the Gameboy Advance Castlevania games were being rereleased, I got excited. Symphony of the Night is one of my favorite games and the advance trilogy share the same formula. While most games in the collection were better than others, I enjoyed my time playing through all four games. If you would like a more of my thoughts on the games, I wrote a post about them last month.

6. SaGa: Scarlet Grace – Ambitions

This was a surprise to me when I was looking over my options. The more I thought about this game, the more I remembered my playthrough and the adventure I went on. SaGa: Scarlet Grace has the charm and formula of a SaGa game that is also friendly for newcomers. The almost endless possibility of how your journey could play out makes finding and making decisions fun since you have to figure it out yourself (almost literally since there are not many guides). My journey with Urpina was a daunting one, but rewarding in so many ways. The other three protagonist are still waiting for me to take them on, but I am in no rush to get through theirs (especially since I started playing other games in the series). I wrote about my experience with the game back in August, so you can get the full read there.

5. Xenoblade Chronicles

The award for the game that took the longest time for me to beat this year goes to Xenoblade Chronicles. In hindsight, I could have finished this game a long time ago, but similar to Etrian Odyssey, my dumb young brain didn’t understand how to play the game logically. Xenoblade mimics a MMO game style where understanding how abilities and status modifiers matter. Once I understood this, the game became much more enjoyable to play and finish. It was a bit bittersweet to finally cross this game off my list since I was really feeling it. My advice if you want to play the game is to get the definitive edition on Switch. It is a really good game and worth playing. And yes, I did write about it as well as part of Love Your Backlog month.

4. Dark Souls Remastered

This is one of my proudest gaming achievements. I had no intention of finishing this game anytime soon, but the more I played and got into it, I was determined to see it through. I’m glad I did since the reward was definitely worth it and I felt accomplished. The original Dark Souls may not be my personal favorite out of the series, but it is now the one I am most comfortable with. There are parts in this game that I dread doing again, but I’m not afraid of facing them anymore. It is somber that I finally get to cross this off my list, but with other games in the series to keep me busy for the next four to nine years, I think the experience will make me a better player.

3. It Takes Two

There is a reason why this game won Game of the Year. It is a well-developed game. I played this with Kat the entire way though to the point where we couldn’t stop playing it. Everything felt well designed from the locations to gameplay to how everything relied on how cooperative you and your partner had to be. The story still irks me in several places, but certain moments make it up for being heartbreaking or hilarious depending on the type of person you are. I wish the game had more to do after the campaign since Kat and I were eager for more. If Hazelight Studios can expand on this gameplay and create something more inline with this, then it would be an instant buy from me.

2. Monster Hunter Rise

A new year, a new Monster Hunter game to play through. For me personally, I enjoyed Rise way more than I did with World. Rise fixed a lot of my personal issues with scaling down the bloated environment and making them smaller and more interesting. I like exploring the maps in Rise since there are things to discover like artifacts from the previous era and remnants of epic battles. My favorite is the Frost Islands where you can explore a destroyed ship and follow the skeletal remains of the monster it was fighting throughout the entire map. It’s details like this that I wish existed in World to make my time getting lost more interesting.

Besides the map, the mobility and how fast the game plays now made for interesting hunts. The Wire Bugs are one of my new favorite additions to the series and offers a lot of elements in and out of battles. I felt “meh” at first with the Wyvern Riding mechanic at first, but once I figured out how take advantage with the controls, it became fun to use. Rampage quest are still a struggle for me. The idea is to have multiple people with you during them, but my lonely self had a hard time maintaining everything that was going on. They do present a nice change of pace and strategy, but it does feel like it was meant to be played with others.

Other than that, the new monsters introduced had their fun gimmicks and quirks. I thought the Magnamola would be a pushover since I had no real difficulty up to it, but it quickly put me in my place when it decided to fly all of a sudden. The two new elder dragons are no pushovers either since they utilize Rise’s gameplay and your understanding of them. They are neat fights and made me say a swear or five. Outside of all of that, I’m happy Rise brought back interesting and creative designs for weapons and armor. It was something I was missing and happy to have back.

I never did write a post on Rise for one reason or another, but there is a lot that I can talk about. I originally didn’t have this game high on my list, but after replaying it this month, I feel in love with it all over again. On the fence if I might double dip and get the PC version when it comes out. I may actually finish Sunbreak when it comes out. The offer still stands if anyone wants to play online.

1. Tales of Arise

Tales of Arise is not a perfect game. If I had to rank it with the rest of the series, I would put it as maybe my fourth or fifth personal favorite. The game has a lot of good qualities in it, but there are glaring issues that hold it back from being up there for me like Symphonia and Vesperia. So why is it my number one game this year? From beginning to end, I could not stop thinking about this game. I wanted to explore everything this game offered and complete each difficult challenge that was available. I tend to avoid doing ridicules challenges in Tales of games, but Arise kept me engaged throughout. I didn’t find the characters annoying outside of battle and their struggles kept me invested. Even though I felt the story wasn’t on par with other titles, it did through me off guard at times and only decided to get complicated at the last minute.

Even as I write this, I still find it hard to explain why this was my favorite game I played and finished this year. There is something to say here about acknowledging all the faults it has while still finding some enjoyment out of it. I may never write about this game because I can never find the true words that I want to say. The best I have is that it is good despite its flaws. Rather that is good or bad is left to the individual. All I know is that Arise was my favorite game that I finished and completed this year.

So that’s all I got. Sorry if it is not the follow-up from last year’s presentation, but there wasn’t a lot of excitement from my gaming bubble. Let me know what some of your favorite games were this year that you finished.

January 2021 Gaming Report – New Year, Same (Bad) Habits


It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these. What happened to me doing these during the last few months last year? The simple answer to that is that I went crazy and did some crazy things that affected my statistical reporting. So before I resumed doing monthly reports, I wanted to finish doing the crazy thing that I did and make sure that everything was up to date and everything again. What was that crazy, stupid, idiodic thing that I did?

Video Game Collection Spreadsheet V. 2.0!

Around last July (I think), I started to notice that my spreadsheet where I keep all of my data was incorrect in a few areas. I was also getting tired of the layout a bit and the colors were starting to get on my nerves a bit. So with a heavy sigh and a bit of excitement, I reconstructed my entire spreadsheet and went about inventorying every single game in my collection.

When I first started this spreadsheet back in 2015, I had a simple, small collection. It was easy enough for me to put together since I only had to worry about the few DS, GBA, Wii, PS3, and PC games that I had at the time. Fast forward to 2021, that collection of less than 100 games has exploded into a collection that contains approximately 1059 games now (rookie numbers I know I’m working on it). That number includes all of Kat’s games as well since they are part of the collection as well (and she had zero desire to keep track of her games like this). I will go over the new spreadsheet and provide a viewable link in a featured post this/next week.

Finished Games

Kat and I have an ongoing tradition to finish one game on the first day of the new year. This tradition happened by accident twice a few years ago, but we like to try and uphold it for as long as we can. This year, I finished two games on January 1st.

The first game was Warioware Gold. To be completely fair, anyone can finish the story mode of this game in about two hours. I only had the last three parts of the story to finish which took about an hour to finish. Warioware is always a good time, and I think the 3DS version does the series best by combining all the different playstyles from over the years. There are bonus modes to do that I will enjoy when the craving hits.

Kat didn’t like the idea that I didn’t really have to work to meet my goals, unlike her. She had the entire story mode of Puyo Tetris 2 to do, and I did feel a bit of pity in my bones. So to even the playing field, I started, finished, completed, and platinum Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight in 8 hours.

I had planned on playing this with the intent of getting the platinum trophy in one day. This felt like the perfect excuse to do it. I can comfortably say that I never want to play this game ever again after marathoning it for 8 hours straight. The game has my least favorite interface for a rhythm game. The screen feels extremely busy, and playing it on the hardest difficulty requires complete concentration and every skill imaginable. Toward the end of my marathon, I started to get loopy and cursing Atlus from making a cash grab like this. At least Persona 4 Dancing has an actual story that ties into the plot to make it interesting. This was an excuse to make a rhythm game with not a lot of tracks to begin with.

The only other game that I finished this month was Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City. This was my favorite game to finish this month, as it signified the closing of a chapter. I have had this game since 2010, but could never finish it due to how difficult I made things for myself. This was the first Etrian Odyssey game that I played, and I could never figure out the mechanics of “being good” at the game. Fast forward to this year and with my good friend, the internet, I figured out that I built my team in an idiotic fashion, and that some skills are not worth learning. Pro tip, Combat Study does not increase your current teams experience points. The skill makes your teams in reserve gain experience so that they can stay level with the main party. Whoops.

Another great tip I can give about the game is how to level up stuip easy. The game features autowalk tracks that you can place on your map. Just make a loop and have your team auto walk to get into encounters. If your team can handle themselves, just set them to auto and repeat the steps. This basically makes the game play itself, but it saves you from spending hours grinding manually. The only time you will have to do much is when you have to go back to town to revive someone, or sell your loot for money. This method is also a great way to get money since that can take some time if your gathering team is nonexistent. If you are good at strategizing and understand the basics of the game, then there is no need for grinding, but if you are a dumbass like me, then this simple method will help you get the level and skills you need to reach the end. I would like to talk more about this game, but I will save it for another time.

New Additions

I was really good at the beginning of the month. There were no games that I was truly interested in getting, but the sales fairy always knows when to hit me at vulnerable moments.

The first game that I got this month was Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Video Game – Complete Edition (breath). I missed out on getting this game when it first came out (due to not having a system I could play it on), but I did play it at a friend’s house. I remember it being a really fun co-op beat ’em up game. That’s still the case, but as of writing, I still have not played this with anyone. The charm of this game really does come with playing with others. Until this pandemic is over (whyisn’tthispandemicoveryetseriouslypeoplejustwearafuckingmaskandpracticesocialdistanceyouselfesslunatics) I will have to wait to play this at my friend’s house again.

After buying that, it went downhill from there. I used a gift card that I got for Christmas to buy Puyo Puyo Tetris 2. Why? Because I enjoyed the first game and I want to get better at puyo. Around this time I also bought Captain Tsubasa: Rise of Champions, a football game based on a popular manga. I have never read the manga, but I do enjoy football games that remind me of Super Mario Strikers.

During a supply run, I stopped at a second hand store and found a copy of Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan. I was off the heels of finishing the third game, so I had to get it to add to the collection. I am now only missing the fifth game and then the collection will be complete. Speaking of finding rare games, I also found a copy of Harvest Moon DS Cute for a cheap price. My older brother loved Harvest Moon DS and he considers it one of his favorite games. I got this version just to have it since I will probably never get the original game from him. I am curious to play this one day and see if it holds up to the other version (I don’t see why not, the only difference is that you play as a girl).

The final game that I got last month was Resident Evil VII: biohazard. I have never been a fan of Resident Evil. The only one that I really enjoyed was watching my brother play RE4, and even then, I never played any of them. With recent news about the franchise, Capcom gave me about 9’6” reasons to maybe consider checking out their newest game. So I started RE7 and did not get past the tutorial. I do not enjoy scary games. I like watching others play them no problem, but I dread it if you put the controller in my hands. I have since then watched a full playthrough of the game, so I think I can make it through it since I know when all the bullshit happens. I will conquer it one day; just not today.

*Edit. I forgot that I also bought Civilization: Beyond Earth since it was on sale. It has mixed reviews, but I’m curious to see what a futuristic civ game plays like; and this was the perfect excuse.

Plans For Next Month

Have this gaming review report thing done by the 28th. I will let you know how that goes.

Message From The Writer

Um. How’s your day going? As of writing this, I am going through one of those phases where playing games feels unsatisfying. It happens every so often when I’m feeling stressed or when I can’t make up my mind on what to play next. I will be floating in and out of the aether this month as my introverted nature kicks my butt. I still want to stream Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness at some point this month since I was really looking forward to doing it and I want to commit to myself. Just know it will happen even if I’m not 100% entertaining.

With that, I am going to try and not think of the scary things that I have to get done this month. Remember to get good sleep and play games in a well-lite room.