Year in Review 2020
Image source: Luis Ruiz

Year in Review 2020

2020 was not a great year for the world at large, and I don’t think I need to explain why. However, there was at least one ray of hope in an otherwise bleak year: video games. With lockdowns, quarantines, and social distancing practices, many people, myself included, found themselves with a lot more free time. Naturally, I used this time to play video games, and I finished a lot of them in 2020!

Looking Back: 2020 Goals

I had mentioned in my Year in Review 2019 post that I wanted to comb through my Backlog category on HowLongToBeat and remove the games that I didn’t feel the need to play anymore. I definitely did a bit of that, though more could probably stand to be done.

Another goal I had for 2020 was to get into the Trails series more, and I did a little bit of that. One of the games I played through in 2020 was The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II, which I enjoyed. I still haven’t played through any of the Trails in the Sky games though, maybe I’ll finally get to those in 2021! Also, I mentioned in my goals that we were still waiting on an English localization of Trails of Cold Steel IV. Well, that’s another game that came out in 2020, meaning I’m even further behind on the Trails series now!

My last goals for 2020 were about finishing more games. One was to finish more games in 2020 than I did in 2019 (I definitely did that!), and the other was to check off all the games on any of my Top 10 Games in my Backlog lists. I did that too, completing all the games in my original Top 10 Games in my Steam Backlog post!

2021 Goals

After finishing Shin Megami Tensei IV shortly after the dawn of the new year, one goal that’s fresh in my mind is getting deeper into the Shin Megami Tensei series. 2021 should be an excellent year for this, since 2 games currently have 2021 release windows: Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD Remaster, and Shin Megami Tensei V. Assuming both release in 2021 and aren’t delayed (fingers crossed!), I would love to play both this year! It might be nice to try several of the Shin Megami Tensei games and their spin-offs that I’ve included in a few of my past Top 10 Backlog posts too, like the Super Famicom original or the PS2 Digital Devil Saga spin-offs.

There’s a pretty well known RPG that’s been staring at me from the backlog for years now: Chrono Trigger. Admittedly, with all the praise I’ve heard for it, I’m nervous to start it myself. What if I don’t like it, you know? But I really want to play such an influential and renowned game, so playing Chrono Trigger is another 2021 goal!

Another more vague goal I have is that I think I’d like to branch out a bit with my content creation. I love running this blog, and in a lot of ways it’s just right for me. But I’m also really curious about creating YouTube videos, so I might dabble in video creation in 2021 as well. No promises, and I don’t really have concrete ideas for videos beyond maybe releasing video versions of some of my blog posts, but we’ll see where 2021 leads!

The Breakdown

As I did in my Year in Review 2019 post, here’s a look at the changes in my backlog compared to last year, as tracked on my HowLongToBeat account. Regrettably, I don’t have a snapshot of the state of my backlog at the end of 2019, so all I have to work off of are the numbers I used in my 2019 review post. So unfortunately, I can’t compare the numbers for some platform backlogs that I’m sure saw a decrease this year, like PS4. Anyway, here are the totals, as well as the individual totals for the platforms I had listed last year’s review post.

  • 2019: 1128 total backlogged games
    • 782 PC
    • 70 3DS
    • 52 DS
    • 23 PS1
    • 6 PS Vita


  • 2020: 1103 total backlogged games (-25)
    • 783 PC (+1)
    • 57 3DS (-13)
    • 45 DS (-7)
    • 22 PS1 (-1)
    • 6 PS Vita (+0)

The decrease in total backlogged games in partially because I finished a lot of games this year, and partially because I removed a lot of extraneous games from the backlog, particularly on PC. Sandbox games, multiplayer games, other games without clear endings, I went through and tried to remove all the games like that.

That said, my PC backlog still increased, because I remain a Humble Choice subscriber, and this adds about 9 games to my PC backlog each month. Sometimes it adds less, if the bundles aren’t very interesting to me. I could really probably stand to end my subscription, but every now and then there’s a really good game included, which makes me want to stay subscribed.

In the list below, note the parentheses next to a few of those platforms. Those indicate that I played at least one compilation game on the platform this year, which means the total differs depending on whether you count each game in the collection individually or not. For the first number, I counted each game in the collections individually. The number in parentheses is the total when only counting the collection itself as a completion.

In 2020, I completed:

  • 3 Game Boy Advance games
  • 2 Nintendo 3DS games
  • 1 Nintendo 64 game
  • 1 Nintendo DS game
  • 1 Nintendo GameCube game
  • 7 Nintendo Switch games (5)
  • 32 PC games (31)
  • 7 PlayStation 4 games (5)
  • 1 Sega Genesis game

That makes for either 55 games completed if counting them individually, or 50 if counting the collections as 1 game each. It was a great year for chipping away at the backlog, with a lot of variety among the games I played!

As I did in last year’s post, I once again calculated how many total screenshots I took throughout the year. By my count, I took 8,745 screenshots during my video game playthroughs in 2020! Once again, a relatively small number of those made it on this blog, but I enjoyed taking them all the same. Notably, this number is actually 1,356 less than the total I counted for 2019, so I guess my screenshot obsession is getting slightly better!

As I’ve done for the past 2 yearly review posts, below is a simple visualization of my completion totals for 2020, organized by platform. I really hope I can keep similar momentum with my PC backlog in 2021. In the end, it doesn’t really matter, as long as I’m playing enjoyable and remarkable games!

Thank you for reading, I hope this blog brings joy or knowledge to your life in some small way. Let’s all have a great 2021!

PCPlayStation 4Nintendo SwitchGame Boy AdvanceNintendo 3DSNintendo 64Nintendo DSSega Mega Drive/GenesisNintendo GameCube

Ben

(bsinky)
Ben
The self-proclaimed "Guy with the Backlog", as of this writing his Steam backlog is slowly growing to the point of consuming him. Meanwhile, he spends most of his time trying to catch up on the retro classics he missed, as well as replaying the games he grew up with.

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