The benefits of realizing the daunting state of one’s backlog of games might not be immediately apparent, but can eventually show itself to be a blessing in disguise. From time to time I find myself, as I’m sure many “gamers” do, replaying older games from my younger years. Games that have strong nostalgic holds on me. The amount of nostalgia these games still hold can often times be overwhelming. Overwhelming in the sort of way where I soon find myself pulling games from old dingy boxes I thought I’d never play again. All the memories I have from when I first played these games immediately return. It’s a great feeling, but I can’t help but feel that there is something missing.
Though these games were doing their job by feeding my nostalgia, the one thing I notice is the amount of boredom I experience. This boredom, I later found out, was directly linked to the lack of discovery I was having. One of the greatest feelings I remember experiencing as a child was the excitement I felt when discovering new worlds and defeating new enemies; even opening that brand new cardboard box or plastic case containing the game and being hit with that new-game-smell was great. That feeling was all but gone now that those games have been mastered and those boxes/plastic cases were either lost or destroyed. That realization then took me on an even more exciting journey I now find myself engulfed in.
Now obviously, even though I have decided to shorten my list of backlog games, there is also a limit to what I’m willing to spend monetarily and actual time on. However, it wasn't long till I found myself scavenging flea markets and websites looking for the perfect game.
The game I ended up starting with was Castlevania. I have heard many great things over the years about it; one in particular being how perfectly placed and well thought out the game’s levels and enemies were. There are plenty of videos on YouTube throwing praise towards this game, and seeing actually footage made me even more excited. Even in retrospect, it was the perfect choice. This game was fantastic in feeding my nostalgia for old games while also introducing new environments and music I won’t soon be forgetting. I couldn't help but be sucked back to a time where all games were an entirely new discovery for me. There was no thought of being jaded, and not just because I didn't know what that word meant, or even overwhelmed by a game’s depth or lack thereof; simply because, I had all the time in the world at that age to become completely engrossed in every game I chose to shove in that little grey toaster we called the NES. I had found the perfect mix of new and old feelings laying at my fingertips.
A backlog can be nothing short of an overwhelming behemoth of monstrous proportions if let be; often times leaving many “gamers” feeling left out or even embarrassed that they may not live up to this now ‘cool-like’ persona of being a nerd. I recommend embracing these past missed opportunities. Instead of pulling out old games you spent hours upon hours learning every detail to, head over to Amazon or a flea market and embrace new discoveries while also feeding your nostalgia and shortening that lengthy backlog.