Conquering the Backlog Part 6: Video game choice paralysis

Eric Abent - Jun 6, 2020, 2:30pm CDT
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Conquering the Backlog Part 6: Video game choice paralysis

One thing I often struggle with when it comes to gaming is choice paralysis. I’ll know I want to play something, but when you’ve got an extensive backlog of games to choose from, deciding on what to play can be a tricky thing. The same concept applies to all forms of entertainment, whether you’re deciding on the TV show or movie to watch next or you’re trying to pick a book out of the pile of unread tomes that sits in front of you.

I definitely had some issues with choice paralysis this week. It’s been a rough few weeks for this weekly series, as I haven’t added a new entry to the list of completed games in a while. When the entire point of this series is to track my progress as I try to finish as many games in my backlog as possible throughout the rest of the year, that ain’t a good thing.

Part of the issue is that I’ve been interested in games that don’t really have an end and therefore make poor candidates for this “challenge” of sorts. Monster Train is one of those games, and though you probably won’t see that on the list, I did want to take a moment to recommend it to anyone who likes roguelikes, Slay the Spire, or deck-building games. It’s been fantastic so far and it’ll probably be my go-to pick up and play game for some time to come.

Then we have games like WoW Classic and Terraria – the former a game that’s meant to be played forever and the latter a game that has more content than everything Electronic Arts has released this generation combined (only kidding – I think). Both games have occupied a decent chunk of my time this week, leaving little time for much else.

So, when it comes to trying to actually finish games, bouncing from title to title while only playing them for 30 minutes each doesn’t really get me any closer to my goal. This is where the choice paralysis comes in – looking at a long list of games I have yet to play through and trying to decide which one I want to play most, as if that’s an easy call to make.

You might think that I’m talking about choice paralysis because this is yet another week where I didn’t finish a game, but there you’d be wrong, dear reader. We’re adding a new game to the list this week, and that game is Flower by thatgamecompany. In addition to the list’s new entry, I started a number of new games this week specifically because of my bout with choice paralysis, and they’re all games that I plan to complete in the future. First, here’s my quick take about Flower:

Flower

After completing Journey for the first time earlier this year, Flower seemed like the next logical step. Journey may be thatgamecompany’s most famous game, but Flower and its predecessor Flow are the games that put the company on the map.

Flower, like Journey, is a relatively simple and short game. It doesn’t take a long time to complete and there’s almost no difficulty to it at all. There are six stages in all, and in each one, you start as a lone flower petal (or rather the wind that moves that flower petal) with the goal of restoring life and color to the surrounding area by activating other flowers.

Recommended? Absolutely. What a wonderful little game this is. For starters, it’s absolutely gorgeous, especially when color begins to return to the world. The game is backed by an excellent soundtrack, too – one that only gets better as you progress through the stages. I think I might like this game just as much as I like Journey, and that’s saying a lot considering the following Journey has built for itself.

I think everyone should play Flower if they have a platform that can play it. It’s only $6.99 on Steam, which puts it firmly in impulse buy territory, though if you’re patient you can probably pick it up for even less during the Steam Summer Sale, which is rumored to kick off at the end of June.

With little in the way of difficulty, this game is a fine pick for everyone – casual and more serious gamers alike. It’s a particularly great game if you’re looking for something to help you relax during these very stressful times, so definitely consider it if you game on PS4 or PC and haven’t already played it.

New games and wrap-up

I started a few games this week, namely SteamWorld Heist on PC, Metal Warriors and Super NES, and Pathfinder: Kingmaker on PC. SteamWorld Heist will probably be on the short list of games to complete, because I like what I’ve seen so far and I really enjoyed both of the SteamWorld Dig games.

I also want to play SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech because I’ve heard a lot of really good things about it, but since I’ve already played the first two games in the SteamWorld series, I’m not really willing to skip Heist just to get to Quest sooner; I figure I might as well see all the series has to offer instead.

I’d also like to finish Metal Warriors, but that may not be as urgent as SteamWorld Heist. I’m actually really impressed with Metal Warriors, but like many retro games, it’s a pretty challenging title. Still, that’s nothing that a little bit of practice won’t fix, and I’m excited to see this through to the end (eventually).

Pathfinder: Kingmaker is a game that has been sitting in my library for more than a year, and it’s one that calls to me every time I see it on my backlog list. I briefly booted it up this week and wound up quitting about halfway through character creation because it’s a bit more serious and involved than what I’m looking for at the moment, but it’s definitely one that I’ll be working my way through in the future.

So, with all of that said, here’s the list of completed games as it stands on June 6th, 2020:

PC

• Cat Quest
• Chrono Trigger
• Flower
• Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (100%)

PlayStation 4

• Journey

That’s all for this week’s entry of Conquering the Backlog, but hopefully I’ll be back next week with another new game to add to the list. For now, head down to the comments section and let me know what you’re playing over the weekend.


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