Games Abandoned on a Shelf? Not anymore.
Collecting video games is easier than ever. Digital deals and fast discounts means we can finally buy that game that we totally didn’t have much interest in getting, but we HAVE to get it now that it’s 70% off! If it sounds like I’m projecting it’s because I am. I have far too many games that I’ve yet to play, but fortunately I’ve begun to change that throughout the year. As the summer approaches I plan to complete even more games alongside many friends that will be doing the same.
What is the Summer Backlog Challenge?
It’s an annual event hosted by the Galaxia Nin10do community (Spanish-language Podcast and Facebook page) where the goal is to mow down some of the games in your video game backlog. They can be games you’ve never played before or started playing but never finished. The catch is you must choose at least 5 games and they had to have been released before April 2018. This event runs until September 2018 and has a point system to motivate you to complete each game. Points depends on the average beat time as established in HowLongToBeat.com.
I participated in the Backlog Challenge last year but failed to complete most of the games I selected. I’ve historically had a bad habit of starting a game and then forgetting about it, but I’ve gotten a lot better within the past year. As of this moment I’ve completed about 7 games in 2018 so I’m feeling pretty good going into this Challenge. With that being said, I present the 5 games I picked to complete within the next few months!
Ratchet & Clank (PS4, 2016)
The Playstation 2 was packed with great 3D Platformers. Sly Cooper, Ratchet & Clank and Jak & Daxter are just a few examples of why the console was loved by many. All of the previous series I mentioned have been remastered on multiple occasions, but the lackluster release of a Ratchet & Clank movie in 2016 lead to a re imagining of the first game for the PS4.
It’s not the exact same game as the PS2 version as it changed a few areas and it completely overhauled the graphics to take full advantage of both the PS4 and PS4 Pro’s features. The result is a beautiful game that many have said is one of the best titles on the console. It was made free for PS Plus subscribers during March of this year (alongside Bloodborne) so I downloaded it and am ready to collect bolts and upgrade the crazy weapons it has to offer. You do collect bolts in this, right?
WWE SmackDown! Vs RAW 2007 (Xbox 360, 2006)
It’s no secret that I love wrestling and wrestling games. I have over 60 wrestling games in my collection and many are packed with terrible story modes filled with even worse voice acting from wrestlers that have little to no experience with video games. You’d think that this would turn me away from playing these story modes, but you’d be wrong.
Playing through SmackDown! vs RAW 2007’s Season Mode gives me a chance to take a look at WWE’s roster from that time period and the types of stories they were trying to tell. I’ve been open about my dislike of the current WWE games so I’m excited to step into the time machine and play this classic on the Xbox 360.
Kill Switch (Playstation 2, 2003)
Gears of War was my first experience with the cover mechanics system that many others games would soon borrow. It was innovative and dramatically changed the pacing of hectic battles. When I went to online to see if there were other games like it, most people would indicate that Kill Switch was one of the first games to use this feature. Given that it came out during the previous generation (Available on PS2 and the original Xbox) I was surprised I had never heard about it.
It’s a Third Person Shooter that received mostly mediocre reviews, but I want to try it out for myself. Its story mode can apparently be completed in under 3 hours, so I assume that had a lot to do with its negative reception. Considering a used copy cost me less than $5, I’m excited to play it and possibly stream it.
Assault Android Cactus (PC, 2015)
This next game is one I found thanks to IndieBox and its physical collector’s edition of great independent video games. In short, they help people like me (that love boxed editions of games) be able to put great titles up on our shelves. They also pack them with neat things such as plushies, DRM-free copies of games, soundtracks and more. I saw this on sale and quickly grabbed it once I saw it had a very positive rating on Steam.
Assault Android Cactus is a top-down twin stick shooter where you battle different creatures and robots (from what I can tell) in space. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack on the road and it has a great blend of electronic music that’ll keep you dancing to the beat as you unleash hell on your foes. Watch my unboxing of the Collector’s Edition and a bit of gameplay!
Sanctum 2 (PC, 2013)
Sanctum is what happens when you put a First Person Shooter and a Tower Defense game in a blender. I played many hours of the first one and enjoyed it’s hybrid gameplay but never played its sequel. You have waves of enemies that you must fight against, and you do this by placing turrets and other weapons in the arena. It’s a deep strategy game as you can alter the enemy’s path by blocking certain areas, forcing them to sprint longer distances or walking closer to your arsenal of weapons.
Think everything’s done once you’ve set the turrets are up? The fun’s only getting started. You can choose between different classes that enable you to use a sniper, assault rifles or other options. The best thing about it is you don’t have to battle alone as it has 4 player online co-op. I’ve already begun playing this game with Nicole and friends and it’s great to be able to level up together and unlock new perks.
Join me in this Journey!
The goal for my Summer Backlog Challenge is to stream as much of these games as I can. I’ve already streamed WWE SmackDown vs RAW 2007 (Watch archive here) and we recently played Sanctum 2 (Archived video). Follow us on Twitch and Facebook as we stream on both platforms. Our Twitch schedule runs Monday through Thursday, starting at 7:00PM EST and we host one special weekend stream on Facebook. These usually start earlier and often happen on Sundays.
I’m excited to complete all these games by end of Summer and who knows… I may add one or two more games to the list. Are these any games I should consider checking out? We own all current generation consoles, a Playstation 2, GameCube and PC so most games are accesible to us. The recurring theme with all games I selected is they take 10 hours or less to complete, so feel free to suggest something along the same line.