Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Man and His Backlog: A Hate Story

     I bought my XBox 360 at GameStop in the Spring of 2007 after my PS2, for whatever reason, stopped playing newer games. Since the 360 was refurbished, it had its quirks, but I was fine with it as long as it worked. In the five years since then, I bought, beat, and traded a great number of games, having plenty of free time neglecting a solid chunk of my college workload.

     From day one, the console made an intense whirring sound, which I chalked up to it being a bulky console requiring a bit of a wind-up before running smoothly. Where the average console would purr like a kitten, my XBox purred like a tiger, drowning out sound from the game.

Over time, there was overheating, discs scratched and ruined, and that damn sound. How can I immerse myself in an atmosphere like BioShock if I can't hear anything over the cooling fan?

     Still, I made due, reaching a point where I would limit the continuous play to an hour or two tops. In spite of my best efforts to provide ample space around the console, it overheated, and soon developed a knack for misreading, or failing to read discs.

     Three months ago, I had enough of having to curb my desire to play through my library because of the flaws of the original XBox 360. I took the unit, controller and hard drive to GameStop, fully prepared to trade it in, take what I could get and put it towards a new slim model.

In all the excitement of purchasing a fresh-out-of-the-box console, the first brand new console I had bought since Gamecube was released, I skipped a very important step in continuing my gaming unhindered.

My hard drive, gamertag and every achievement, progress and completed game was lost to me in the trade.

     I'm sure I could have recovered my gamertag to bring back all of the achievements I had amassed. A gamerscore of roughly 16,000 may not be overly impressive, but I was proud of it. I'm not an achievement hunter, but what I do, I like that I get rewarded for it.

     What I had now was a need to run through my library once again, to reclaim the progress I had put so much time and effort into in the last six years. Unfortunately, between old games and new games, my library had ballooned to roughly 40 games, requiring upwards of one month of actual playing time.

Between work, sleep and whatever other responsibilities or engagements arise at any given time, it is more than likely that it is going to take a substantial amount of time to work my way through my backlog.

Then there are the new releases I fully intend to purchase, which only add to the backlog and put that much more time between me and my goal of beating every game in my possession.

     However daunting the task may be, I have every intention of beating, not 100-percenting, every game in my library. To keep it simple, I have decided to take an alphabetical approach to my gaming, starting with Assassin's Creed, a game I have tried to play through on several occasions before getting distracted by other games.

     If I have it my way, I will provide weekly updates of my progress, noting difficulties I have with the endeavor, providing my personal thoughts on the game and hoping against hope that I do not tear my hair out in the coming months as I journey through my backlog.

I hope you'll join me.

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