Backloggin’ the Year – Sam’s Sojourn, Year End Wrap-Up

October to December was a bit up and down life-wise. I was very sick throughout all of November; I found out I was running below optimal oxygen levels and had contracted a staph infection that was taking a huge toll on my body. It meant a lot of doctor and hospital visits, but thankfully I’m back to optimal. I thought my stint in the “Poopy Health Club” had subsided after my broken arm healed, but 2023 decided another health issue was a great thing to add to my stress levels!

On the positive side, I did get to go to a few shows, mainly the Jinkx & Dela Holiday Special which my roommate and I always go to see each year. Our family also adopted a puppy at the end of September and she has been keeping us busy. It’s kind of hilarious to watch an almost six-month-old Golden Retriever puppy learn from an eleven-year-old English bulldog. They are a weird but loveable pair. Willow had a bit of a rocky start in life, and my husband and I have been putting in the hard work to make her a very successful girl. She still has some anxiety, but she is starting to feel much more comfortable with us. She also sleeps the night through, which is a bonus!

There was also a lot of working and resting. I gamed a lot, but as you’ll notice, this is a bit of a unique update for the column given I reviewed all the RPGs I played during those three months! However, in 2024, I’m randomizing my backloggin’ process as I will be allowing the RPGamer staff and readers the ability to select games to play throughout the year. Currently, I need to make some time to play the first selection, which is Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III, and I also would like to get an Atelier game I haven’t played there as well. Who knows what the new year will bring gaming-wise, but either way I am excited.

RPGs I Played

Well, this is awkward! All the RPGs I played from October to December were all games I reviewed for RPGamer! If you’d like to read my in-depth thoughts, check out these reviews!

I also played a few adventure titles, so please check out our Adventure Corner for more of my thoughts on:

All the Non-RPG Goodness

When I wasn’t playing RPGs, I was diving into more survival horror games. First off, I completed the recent remake of Dead Space, which I have some mixed feelings about. I loved the original version of Dead Space, but I found some of the remake’s changes to feel a bit unsatisfactory. I didn’t like that Hammond felt younger, and some of the additional content that was added made the game feel far more frustrating than I remembered. That being said, I loved the addition of Isaac’s narration, I loved the changes they made with Kendra and Nicole, and I couldn’t get over how beautiful the remake itself looked. Overall, I enjoyed my time with the remake, as Dead Space‘s atmosphere and story are still top-notch.

The other survival horror game I tackled was Resident Evil 4‘s recent remake. I have never played RE4, but I watched my husband play it years ago on Xbox 360, so I was familiar enough with bits of the story and some of the boss battles. This remake is so emotive and gorgeous, and while the story is a bit ridiculous at times, I was addicted to the ride from start to finish. I screamed so many times while playing, mostly because I was easily startled! I am really happy I never have to fight another Regenerador ever again!

Whatcha Playing Now, Sam?

After finishing up Resident Evil 4, I am returning to working through Sea of Stars. I want to try and finish it before RPGamer begins its Game of the Year selections, so given I have some time off in January, I feel like this will be doable. I am very much enjoying the game, and I think Garl is such a good sweet boy who needs all the love in the world. So far I am finding that compared to the secondary characters, they lack a lot of personality, and I am not connecting with either of them. I also going to finally get back into playing Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III as I am still in the first chapter. I have heard mixed things about III, particularly in its pacing, but I am still excited to see how I feel about it. Plus, there’s Randy, and we all know how much I adore Randy.

Other than those two games, who knows what 2024 will have in store for me! I am so excited to play new releases, but also work through my backlog some more and share my feelings with you all. May 2024 bring you tons of awesome gaming experiences!

2023 Final Game Tally

Games Completed: 45

# of RPGs Completed: 26

# of Non-RPGs Completed: 19

# of Games Purchased: 18

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