Samurai Shodown and Backlog Anxiety

Ever since I sold off the majority of my gaming backlog a few years back, I’ve tried my best to minimize the number of games in my possession that are left unplayed. While there is no shame in having a backlog, it became a matter of better managing my time and money. If anything, managing both has only become more important, as I’m now paying to support a mortgage and an expensive streaming hobby on top of video games. If I’m going to buy a game, I’m buying it in that moment because I plan on playing it in the very near future, if not immediately.

However, a flurry of game sales, new releases, and hoarding games for a trip that I didn’t really get a chance to play have created a bit of a logjam. With so much currently on my plate, it’s put Samurai Shodown – a game I planned on buying day one – in a weird predicament.

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A Time to Play

Before every episode of Boss Rush, I ask everyone on the show what they’ve been playing. From there, I gather B-roll footage of every game we’re talking about so that we have that visual companion to our discussion. As I was putting together the latest episode of the show, it dawned on me that I haven’t been playing much at all of late.

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Older Games I Want to Cross Off My Bucket List

A few years back, I made the tough decision to sell off the vast majority of my backlog. From that point onward, I’ve made it a point to only buy games that I was ready to play in the near future. I also minimized the number of games I would play at once, pretty much capping my limit to one-at-a-time so that I get the most out of each. Though I buy fewer games and play fewer games nowadays, I’m largely comfortable with the way my approach has allowed me to squeeze the most out of my gaming dollars while not having to carry the weight of dozens (or hundreds) of games vying for my attention.

And yet I still have a backlog. A few games slipped through those cracks, while I began gaining interest in others relatively recently. Here are some titles I’m hoping to cross off my bucket list someday!

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Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and the Quest to Minimize My Backlog

November 15, 2004. I was in the midst of my first year in college. Was also working a part-time job as a stock boy at a pharmacy. On that day, I bought Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, the sequel to my favourite Metroid game.

November 15, 2018. Exactly 14 years later, and I still haven’t played the game. I don’t remember why I didn’t play it when I bought it, but it only got harder to fit it into my rotation the further away I got.

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The Backlog Versus Reality

Backlog

This is one of my backlog shelves. I strategically position them in a way that it is easiest for me to reach while I’m sitting at my gaming desk. I like to think that having those particular games sit in prime shelf space serve as a reminder that I want to get around to these eventually. Between physical and digital releases, I have a few dozen unplayed games lying around.

Having the luxury to play something new to me at a moment’s notice is nice. However, there is a certain point where the expectation of completing a backlog becomes unrealistic.

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