Backloggin’ the Year – Paws’ Pilgrimage, May 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 as the midway point of the year looms ever-closer.

May was definitely a more successful month in terms of backlog busting, and I even managed to sneak in some additional writing.  So far, I’m on track for completing 50 games this year, but will I hit 50 backlog games played?  The further into the year we go, the harder that goal feels.

The Streams – Yakuza: Like a Dragon 

I actually expected to wrap up this adventure long before June, but between Chris (my spouse and co-owner of the site) getting really sick with food poisoning and my own doctor’s appointments, I ended up taking a two week hiatus from streaming.  That being said, I have just wrapped up the final dungeon and rolled credits, making it the 23rd game completed in 2021.  You can see the full Let’s Play on our Twitch channel, or subscribe to our YouTube to be notified when they’re available.

New Games – New Pokémon Snap 

The game I couldn’t mention by name in April was Save me Mr Tako: Definitive Edition, which I wrote about more in our Adventure Corner series of articles.  I also completed New Pokémon Snap and wrote about that game, too.  While once upon a time I stuck strictly to RPGs, I’ve been branching out more and more into RPG-adjacent games in the last ten to twelve years, and I’m really enjoying that exploration.  You can always suggest games for me to try, too!

The Backlog Bustin’ – Rusty Hotel / Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity / Nexomon: Extinction

Rusty Lake is a macabre little puzzle game I downloaded on my iPhone at some point but never got around to trying out until recently.  This strange tale mostly focuses on not just completing small locked room puzzles, but also ensuring each step is taken in the right order.  In general, the player is tasked with retrieving both a meat course and one or two optional ingredients to serve with it.  This does mean dispatching the hotel guests one at a time to serve up on a platter, but sacrifices must be made.

I remember being so excited for Age of Calamity when it was first announced but somehow just never got around to playing it last year when it launched.  Once I’d started, I was hooked hard.  I ended up playing over 50 hours in just 10 days’ time (in part because Chris was stuck in bed and enjoyed watching me play while he wasn’t feeling well) and getting close to wrapping up absolutely everything the game had to offer.  I might return to it again in the future, once the DLC arrives.

I also finally dove into Nexomon: Extinction, a Switch title that fellow staff member (and RPG Backtrack co-host) Matt Masem loaned me at the end of 2020.  I’ve been hesitant to dive into the monster collection indie scene because I wasn’t sure how much I’d enjoy games outside of the Pokémon franchise.  Turns out, I was missing a ton of fun!  There are so many fantastic little details that I will miss when I go back to a vanilla gotta-catch-’em-all experience, like evolution levels being simply available in-game, and a breakdown of the actual chance of catching a weakened enemy.  The only question remains what monster collection game to queue up next?  I have World of Final Fantasy in my backlog, and Monster Sanctuary is a GamePass game, which both seem like excellent candidates.

The 5-Hour Rule – Waku Waku Sweets / Poi: Explorer Edition

Waku Waku Sweets is a 3DS game I’d heard was super fun, and similar to another game series I enjoyed (until it got weird) called Cooking Mama.  Unfortunately, the Switch port is plagued with a huge problem: unskippable, permanent tutorials that spring up every time you go to cook a dish.  Gross!   I also tried out Poi: Explorer Edition from my most recent box of crap*.  It’s actually a pretty decent title, though I ended up putting it aside because it plays exactly like Mario 64, and I’ve just never clicked with Mario 64 or any game similar to it.  However, if you’re a fan of 3D platformers, it might be a good fit for you.

*”Wait, what the heck is a box of crap…” you say?  For those who don’t listen to the weekly RPGCast, Chris waits for those last-minute sales between American Thanksgiving and Christmas day, rounds up all the games around $3-7, and then I get to discover whether they really do suck.  Some, like the above mentioned Poi, are actually pretty decent, and there’s always one game in the box of crap I do end up sincerely enjoying — one year I received Picross 3D, and another I received Style Savvy, both of which I played the heck out of.

New Purchases

I managed to keep my impulses under control, so only two new games get added to the list this month: Rise Eterna, a strategy title I’d been watching with anticipation, as well as Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD.  As someone who sports both a Jack Frost and a Pyro Jack tattoo, the latter was pretty much a given.  We finally also managed to snag a PlayStation 5.

In June, my plan is to tackle the Final Fantasy VII Remake once it arrives on PS5, and try to lop off another few titles from the Switch physical pile…at least until the Legend of Mana remake arrives!  What’s your backlog plans for the summer months?



Andi Privitere

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

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