Breaking into the Backlog

The gaming industry is like a barren desert right now. The only thing that can save you is your backlog.

Erik Norrisby Erik Norris


Oh, look, a tumble weed! That’s how the video game industry feels right now. Interesting news stories are few and far between. Outside the news of EA purchasing PopCap, the majority of my day as an editor here is spent filing through press releases for titles such as Barbie’s Playtime Adventure Co-Starring Ken. OK, you caught me, that game doesn’t exist. But you get my point. We’re in a dead zone for the next few months until the fall and holiday rush rapes us (Man, the gaming industry is vicious, right?).

But as any true gamer can attest, these down months can be a blessing in disguise. We now have the perfect opportunity to catch up on our backlogs. And if you’re anything like me, you probably have a few titles waiting in your queue to finally crack open and see what all the buzz has been about.

So, to fill space and provide some worthwhile content for the site, I’ve decided to detail the five games that I have to play through before the window of opportunity closes. We’re at T-minus two months, I don’t have much time to get through these five titles. Wish me luck.

Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time (Insomniac)


This is the one I’m currently working my way through at the moment. I’ll be honest, I’ve never played a Ratchet & Clank game before (I know, I know). Having now made it through about half of A Crack in Time, I can see why people would be pissed at me for never dabbling in this franchise before now. The entire game is an interactive Pixar experience, and I’m not the first to say that about the recent Ratchet & Clank outings on PS3. There really isn’t anything to complain about with this game. The story is great, the characters are hilarious and the gameplay is tight and responsive. To seal the deal there’s a disco ball that can be used to distract enemies and force them to dance their asses off. How fantastic is that?

Dragon Age 2 (BioWare)


It’s pretty much a long-standing joke around here that I’ll never get around to starting playing Dragon Age 2. I keep mentioning it during our weekly No Rest for the Nerdy column, but every weekend I fail to boot the game up. The reasoning is twofold. Firstly, it’s a BioWare RPG, so I know it’s going to be an experience that requires a lot of hours to push through. Secondly, my fellow collaborator Joey Davidson hates the game. So every time I mention it I get this look or comment from him about how much it sucks. There was even one time where he said I was better off rubbing poop in my own eyes. That’s off-putting, to say the least. But there’s no better time than now to finally jump into the deep end of BioWare’s medieval RPG sequel. It will happen soon. Hopefully.

Mafia II (2K Games)


Here’s a perfect example of how far back my backlog stretches. Mafia II released in August of 2010. That’s almost a solid year ago. I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews about the game, but Joey Davidson assures me it’s good. Really, really good. Many people criticized this sequel for being far too linear, but that’s one of the reasons why Joey enjoyed it so much — it keeps players on a path that pushes the story at a proper pace. That’s something I can get behind. From what I gather, the game’s environment is comparable to L.A. Noire’s, only instead of investigating crime scenes during gameplay, you’re participating in a lot of shootouts and trying to avoid taking the cannoli.

Resistance Dual Pack (Insomniac)


Resistance 3 comes out on September 6, 2011. For those with calendars, that’s not far from now. Therefore, I have to play through two whole Resistance titles to get caught up to speed on the Chimera’s takeover of earth. Judging from a demo of Resistance 3 that I played at E3, they have been very successful. One thing about the Resistance series that I love is that the games feature perfect controls. The controls are silky smooth. The Resistance franchise is also known for its ridiculous weapons, so I can’t wait to give them all a run for their money as I play through both Resistance: Fall of Man and Resistance 2.

LittleBigPlanet 2 (Media Molecule)


Here’s the big one. When I mention that I haven’t played LittleBigPlanet 2 yet I usually get laughed out of the room. So far this year LittleBigPlanet 2 has been one of the most critically acclaimed titles to release, so it’s high time I get around to checking it out. I haven’t played a Sackboy adventure since the original LBP released in 2008. That’s far too long. Over the next two months I plan to remedy that error in judgment.

Now that you’ve read what I plan to catch up on during this dry spell, it’s your turn to share what games you have in your backlog. Don’t be shy, sound off in the comments below.