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Some thoughts about dealing with a huge backlog

As many others patient gamers, I've been buying too many games and now I have a huge backlog (almost 100 games). After reading some other post from this subreddit, I've learnt to care less about the number of games and play just whatever I like. The biggest issue was giving up on games after a few hours, but again, I need to care less and don't play with the feeling of "finishing this is mandatory, I paid for it!". Of course, another big rule is stop buying games unless I’m hyped for it and I'm going to play it right now.

But I'm still worried about how many games don't click on me. I would like to share some problems, looking for feedback and recommendations:

(Sorry for my English, is not my main language)

The tutorials

2 years ago, I started to get into board games. I love to try new games and learn. It doesn't matter how long is the rule book or how complex is the game. I enjoy the process of learning and some of my favourite games take 2+ hours per match and have a lot of variables and dynamics to think about.

But when it comes to video games…. I HATE THE TUTORIALS. It doesn't matter if they take 30min or 2 hours… It is something that kills me, and I feel very lazy every time I start a new videogame. The tutorials are especially criminal when the game uses the same mechanics as any other AAA. In other cases, maybe they are useful, but I don't like when they feel so unnatural.

Last week I started the original Deus Ex and you have to go through a tutorial building. A lot of rooms, on each is explained a different mechanic. It was tedious and too long. Another aspect I don’t like is when they teach you something that you are not going to use in the first hours of the game.

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The beginning is a mess

Sometimes you start a new game and in the first minutes you must check and choose abilities, skills, companions, etc without having a clue about how the game works. Is another issue that makes me lazy and disconnected from the game.

Final Fantasy XII is a great example about learning the mechanics step by step: a nice prologue that teaches you the very basics of combat, then you get familiarized with walking through the city, when Penelo comes, you get introduced to the gambit system and finally, when you have a decent experience, they show you how the license system works.

This is something I rarely see and makes me wonder if I have some trouble with the videogames or if they are not really intuitive.

Too much text

Cinema is another hobby I have, I usually watch 4-5 movies per week plus I love to watch sports (NFL, MLB, F1, Overwatch League, etc), so I have a lot of time where I stay on my couch without interactivity. Then, I play a videogame and I want to do things.

Starting a new game means a lot of cinematics/reading text, some action "on rails" and other things that makes me very impatient and I think "meh, I'd like to play some Overwatch" or just watching a movie or reading a book instead because on average the writing and the stories are so much better. Is not my intention to attack videogames as a medium, I love Kojima and his long cutscenes, I've enjoyed recently Red Dead Redemption 2 and The Last of Us, but overall I find hard to focus on the game when I have to watch a lot of cutscenes or reading too many things.

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Packing together this last points, I feel like it is hard for videogames to keep me engaged and I want to drop after just a couple of hours.

Not enough focus on the mechanics

I love puzzle games: Portal, The Talos Principle and The Witness are some of my favourite games. I like how they push their mechanics forwards: the next level is always a new crazy way of interact with their world despite using the same base mechanics over and over again.

But when it comes to AA and AAA action games, I don't have that feeling. It is specially disappointing for sandbox games: you have a huge world, nice variety of mechanics but the story missions are plain and boring. Secondary tasks, such as optional missions and collectibles, are dull and repetitive.

Driver: San Francisco was a sandbox I really enjoyed. It had a lot of tropes, you can feel it is a Ubisoft's game. However, the mechanics are fun, and you can solve the challenges in different ways. Knowing the city and the cars is useful for getting better at the game. Another great example would be Burnout Paradise.

In the other hand, you have the current philosophy of Rockstar games where you pass missions taking steps A, B, C and D and it is completely forbidden to think outside the box. It is especially criminal when some missions feel like a David Cage game, where you just have to press the buttons the game tells you to perform actions you will never see in the game again, like torturing someone or building a wooden house.

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Last year I played all Soulsborne games and now I feel empty. It is hard to find more games that can feel immersive and provide a decent challenge. Or maybe I have too many sandbox and AAA games on my backlog? The last game I finished was Sleeping Dogs. I didn’t fall in love as many others patient gamers, but I enjoyed being in a different setup than the US, the game has some charm and sometimes that’s enough for keeping me playing more than one hour.

That's something I'm looking for: some singularity. Like those old times (PS2) where you have AAA action games like Resident Evil 4 and Metal Gear Solid 3 and they feel so different from each other.


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