Backloggin’ the Year – Paws’ Pilgrimage, March 2021

Welcome to Backloggin’ the Year, a feature that discusses the challenges and excitement that comes with working through your backlog. Site owner Anna Marie Privitere looks at where she’s at in terms of her backlogging goals.

A beefy game tied up a lot of my time this month, but it was worth it!  There were fewer lucrative sales in March compared to February, which also kept my backlog from growing ever larger.  My goal this month was to try out a handful of the titles I’d picked up on sale during the first two months of the year, which led to quite a few spirited discussions about how a backlog is defined.  One friend defined a backlog game as anything she didn’t immediately play, while another said he considered a backlog game something he hadn’t taken out of the shrink wrap yet.  A third split the difference, and defined his backlog as anything that wasn’t released in the current year and wasn’t immediately started.  How do you define a backlog?  Drop a comment below after reading about my progress.

The Streams: Bravely Default II / Ys IX: Monstrum Nox

With Ys IX wrapped up, it was time to look forward to another new game!  Likely to no one’s surprise, I fell head over heels for Bravely Default II, playing it both regularly on stream where the focus was on the game’s stellar main story, as well as offline where I could hunt for treasure, progress in multiple jobs, and complete side quests a little more leisurely.  As I wasn’t playing through the story particularly fast both staff and viewers could, with little effort, jet ahead of me and then watch as I experienced parts of the story they’d already played through, which was really fun.  I’m doing the final job grind before I head into the last stretch of story, with some amazing tips from viewers on our Twitch channel.

The Not-New-Not-Backlogs: Hero Hours ContractGood Pizza, Great Pizza


So, what do you call a game that isn’t new, but hasn’t been sitting in your backlog for an unspecified period of time?  If it wasn’t clear from my intro, no one seems to agree!  I picked up the former of these two indie gems in January after a friend recommended it — he’d spotted it on one of those clickbait-style lists of games you’d missed but should still definitely play.  The list was right, and while Hero Hours Contract is repetitive, it also isn’t terribly long, and I enjoyed the five or so hours I played with my magical girl trio.  It’s more of a puzzle game than an RPG, but the gameplay loop was pretty fun, though it could do with a tweaked tutorial and a little more guidance to where the game’s main story takes place.

Good Pizza, Great Pizza (another suggestion from the same friend, so probably the same list) combines together puzzle gameplay with slice of life toppings, full puns intended.  I snapped this one up in early February, a month to the day after Hero Hours Contract in fact…strange coincidence I’d play them back-to-back!  It’s a time management sim with a ton of personality.  People order pizza, and they tip based on how well you create their order.  There’s also competing pizza joints, bears, mummies, ancient prophecies, and tons of shop customization to keep things rolling in an interesting way.

The 5-Hour Rule: Nothing!

It turns out I made good choices this month, as I didn’t bail on any games.  Hurray!

“New” Releases: Strawberry Vinegar 


Strawberry Vinegar seemed really cute when it arrived on Switch in mid-2020, but I wasn’t looking for a visual novel at the time.  However, it went on sale this month, so I snapped it up to start immediately because I really wanted something shorter to play between grinding sessions of Bravely Default II.  I have been really enjoying the rise of VNs seeing English releases, even though some companies can be hit or miss with their localizations… looking at you, Aksys!  Strawberry Vinegar hits the right balance between not too short, not too long, and interesting to replay, and has a solid translation.  If you’re a VN fan, pick it up!




Andi Privitere

I like writing reviews and impressions. Co-Owner of RPGamer.

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