Backloggin’ the Year – Paws’ Pilgrimage, August 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.

Well, there’s no splitting hairs on this: August sucked.  The downside of being chronically ill is you have good days and bad days and the latter definitely outpaced the former in the last month.  Some days I was so tired I didn’t even want to play games, and that’s a depressing statement on its own to write.  However, I did manage to at least start, and finish, a handful of titles this month.

The Streams:  Legend of Mana Remake / Gnosia / Hades / Doraemon Story of Seasons

With my health all over the place, much as I wanted to focus on Legend of Mana, it’s an action game that requires my full attention.  So I’ve been switching between a few different games on our Twitch channel through the month.  Gnosia ended up being a pleasant title — I had high expectations, and it met them all. I snapped it up the second it went on sale (my usual refrain) and decided to give it a whirl on stream one day.  I ended up playing it for nearly ten hours the first day I dove into it!  A combination of social deduction (think a single player Among Us) with RPG mechanics (stats that go up and improve how you play the deduction portion of the game), it was a treat to unlock the different mini-stories inside the larger narrative.

On relaxed days, I’ve been busting out Doraemon Story of Seasons and enjoying slowly winding my way through the different months.  The game’s pacing is questionable — all the story events are tied in some fashion to the friendship levels of townsfolk, which means your progression is tied to how efficient your gifting is, making for a somewhat uneven distribution of narrative.  That being said, I’m still enjoying it enough to continue and I’m almost done the full first year.

For Sundays I wanted to bring in a different game than my weekday streams, so I decided to jump into the world of Hades.  I’m actually doing pretty okay with it!  I managed to make it all the way to the surface on a run I did off stream, so perhaps next time I fire things up on a Sunday morning, I might finish the game for the first time?  We’ll see.

New But Not New: A Hero and a Garden 

I picked up a trio of visual novels during the month that had been on my wishlist and all popped up at discounts on the same week, and dove immediately into A Hero And A Garden, which is an adorable VN about a hero who stomps into a village of monsters only to discover he’s not really saving the princess…he’s just wrecking a very nice settlement.  The game covers in a cute and approachable way the biases we may not even think we have, how friendships evolve as we move from childhood to being adults, as well as self-discovery.  It doesn’t take very long to finish, and I recommend!  I’ll report on the other two visual novels I picked up next month.

The 5-Hour Rule: None!

I’d like to say I made good choices this month.  But I think it was mostly the fact I only started four games this month and carried over two from July.

New Releases: Twelve Minutes / NEO: The World Ends With You

As predicted last month, NEO: TWEWY ate up a lot of my time in August.  I’m currently sitting at Week 3, Day 2 and can’t wait to dive into the finale of the game.  I also sat down to play the newly released Twelve Minutes with Chris on our Xbox.  Honestly, I’m torn on whether I liked the game or if it’s worth recommending.  The twelve minute time loop concept is super cool, but some of the later loops are vexingly repetitive and there’s no way to quickly speed through dialogue you’ve already heard.  The endings also ended up being weirdly unsatisfying to the both of us — the “best outcome” isn’t even a real ending and doesn’t trigger the credits scene.  It’s short enough for those interested in pursuing that it won’t eat up but a few hours of your time.



Andi Privitere

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

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