Top 10 Games in my Steam Backlog (2021)
With my Steam backlog of 796 games at the time of writing, clearing 10 of them is just a drop in the bucket. But it should be a very fun drop in the bucket, because I’m really excited to finally play these games! Here are the next Top 10 Games in my Steam Backlog!
10. Lost Dimension
Leading a special task force armed with guns and psychic powers while trying to hunt down the traitors amongst the group sounds pretty interesting, and that’s exactly what Lost Dimension has in store.
The traitor mechanic is what sets Lost Dimension apart from other strategy RPGs. In order to advance to the next floor of the game’s dungeon, you need to sacrifice one of your teammate’s lives. The choice is potentially made easier with the knowledge that several of your teammates aren’t really on your side, and are actually traitors working for the enemy. Using your psychic powers, you’re supposed to read your teammates’ minds in order to discover who is a traitor and who is not. I’m not exactly sure what happens if you end up sacrificing someone innocent by mistake, or if that’s even possible, but the premise definitely sounds interesting!
9. Ōkami HD
Once upon a time, there was an internal team at Capcom known as Clover Studio. Made up of many of the same staff that had developed Viewtiful Joe, the team was tasked with developing new IPs for Capcom. The studio was short lived due to their games failing to meet sales expectations from Capcom, and one of the last games they released was an action-adventure game for PS2 called Ōkami, which eventually received an HD remaster for PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC, and that’s the version we’re looking at here.
Ōkami’s gameplay draws inspiration from The Legend of Zelda series, which is what put it on my radar originally. The player controls the sun goddess Ameterasu, incarnated as a white wolf, on her journey to defeat the mythical 8-headed demon, Orochi. Along the way, you’ll encounter many figures from Japanese mythology and folklore, all the while exploring a gorgeous cel-shaded world inspired by Japanese ink wash paintings.
8. Tokyo Xanadu eX+
Tokyo Xanadu eX+ is an action RPG that tells the story of Japanese high school student Kou Tokisaka as he comes into contact with a supernatural realm called the Eclipse, and discovers supernatural powers of his own.
Hm, a contemporary Japanese high school setting combined with supernatural powers. Three guesses as to how I learned about this game. …Yeah, I read somewhere that is was sort of like Persona, and it was immediately wishlisted.
Anyway, given that it’s an action RPG, and that the Steam store page boasts “40+ hours of gameplay,” it’s different from Persona in many ways. It’s developed by Falcom, who are primarily known for the Ys series in the action RPG space, so they definitely have experience making great games in the genre. I’m also looking forward to hearing more great tracks from Falcom Sound Team!
Indivisible is a unique blend of action RPG and platformer. While exploring, you’ll be platforming in 2D, and when you encounter enemies, gameplay shifts to a turn-based battle system where your attacks are dependent on button combos, sort of like a fighting game. In that regard, it’s said to be similar to Valkyrie Profile, which is another game I’d like to play someday!
The characters are all hand drawn and animated, and they look fantastic. Reviews on Steam are hit or miss about the story, but Indivisible seems worth playing for its gameplay and visuals alone.
Edit: Prey blew my expectations out of the water. I really enjoyed it! It definitely has its horror moments, but its far less scary than I expected, at least once you get used to the alien-infested environment it presents. Prey brings everything I’ve enjoyed about Arkane games in the past to the table in a spectacular way, and I whole-heartedly recommend to any fans of their other games. You can read more of my thoughts on it here.
Metroidvania-elements, a tense atmosphere, stealth mechanics, and all of this set in a Sci-fi space station? Yeah, I’m interested in that!
Prey is a first-person shooter with all the aforementioned elements, and developer Arkane built it as a spiritual successor to System Shock. Add that to the list of System Shock spiritual successors.
I have to admit, I’m a little nervous about playing this game. I’m not really one for horror games or movies, and while Prey might not be a horror game, from what I’ve heard of the soundtrack and seen of the enemies, it seems like it could be pretty intense at times. The setting, story, and gameplay are really intriguing though, so I will press onward one tiny step at a time like the scaredy-cat I am!
5. Valkyria Chronicles 4
Valkyria Chronicles 4 features the same gripping tactical gameplay as the first game in series, but with improved graphics, and a new cast of characters. The Steam store page describes the battle system as “part overhead turn-based strategy, part real-time 3rd person shooter,” and that’s a perfect description of the primary Valkyria Chronicles gameplay loop.
The setting of Valkyria Chronicles is just as striking as its water-color painting visuals. It’s basically a World War II story but in a fantasy universe, and with superheroes on the battlefield called Valkyria. I really enjoyed the first game, and I can’t wait to go back with this 4th entry in the series!
Set in London during the 1918 influenza pandemic, Vampyr puts you control of Dr. Jonathan Reid. Besides trying to heal the influx of sick patients, the doctor has another problem: he’s recently been turned into a vampire. Now forced to take lives in order to survive, it’s up to the player to decide how he uses his powers, and whose lives he takes. Your decisions will influence your community, and London as a whole.
As a vampire game, Vampyr immediately has my interest. It’s an action RPG with strong narrative elements, and “choices matter” is a big selling point as well. It’s sort of interesting that this is the game DONTNOD made after the original Life is Strange; I guess they really wanted to go in a new direction thematically! In any case, Vampyr sounds like it will be right up my alley.
3. Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition
Edit: Both games in this collection finished! There’s a lot of RPG goodness here between the two games. The original Cyber Sleuth is definitely the stronger effort, but I was satisfied with Hacker’s Memory as well. You can read more of my thoughts on Cyber Sleuth here, and more of my thoughts on Hacker’s Memory here.
I was never into Digimon as a kid, it was Pokémon all the way for me. As an adult, I don’t have anything against the franchise, it just isn’t something I’ve ever gotten into. After hearing a lot of positive feedback for the 2 Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth games on the Internet, and enjoying a few tracks from the OST on YouTube, I decided it was time to try these games, and picked up the Complete Edition on Steam.
I’m looking forward to seeing a bunch of Digimon designs that are new to me. I only know a few from what I’ve seen in promotional material over the years - the orange lizard one, the cat with green gloves, and the cactus with boxing mitts. I definitely have a lot to learn about the Digimon themselves, but I’m looking forward to diving into these turn-based JRPGs!
2. Resident Evil
You might recall a few entries ago when I referred to myself as a scaredy-cat. If I’m nervous about playing Prey, a game that isn’t even a horror game, then you can probably guess how apprehensive I am to start Resident Evil, a game that helped pioneer the survival horror genre.
Yet, I’ve ranked this game nearly at the top of this list. That’s for a few reasons. While I’ve enjoyed Resident Evil 4, 5, and 6 in the past, I’ve yet to experience the less action-focused roots of the series. Resident Evil 4 had some really dread-inducing segments, and I can only imagine what the game that started it all has in store for me.
I think I’m equally parts nervous and excited to play Resident Evil HD. I consider it a gap in my video game experience that’s been a long time coming.
1. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered
Edit: Another RPG finished! Ni no Kuni was a super charming JRPG that inspires an enormous sense of child-like wonder. The monster catching mechanic is pretty simple, so I wouldn’t recommend going into this expecting anything like Pokémon, but if you’re a fan of JRPGs, I’d definitely recommend this one! You can read more of my thoughts on it here, spoiler-free!
This JRPG originally released for PS3, with a remaster releasing several years later for PS4 and Windows. With animated cutscenes produced by the legendary Studio Ghibli, it’s no surprise that those look amazing. The graphics during gameplay also look very good, with cel-shaded visuals that sort of make it look like a Ghibli film translated into 3D. Combat mixes both real-time and turn-based elements, and I’m really curious how it feels in practice.
As a JRPG, there’s plenty to love here, with side quests, great characters, and a compelling story. Ni no Kuni has received numerous accolades since its release, and I think it’s about time I give it a try!