XboxEra's 2024 Backlog Challenge |OT| Surely this is the year?

Man, I started the year out strong but then got pulled back into so many love service games (damn you Diablo 4, for having a great season). @Zip, you’re killing it… and legitimately, I might add :wink:


I may have just gotten pulled back into Starfield - so we’ll see if I can keep it up, but thanks :slight_smile:

Honestly have been having a lot of fun with this.


Well, my grand plans to knock out some shorter games after spending 100 hours of FF7 Rebirth went up in smoke. Instead, I decided to spend 100 hours on Unicorn Overlord.

  • Unicorn Overlord -1
  • Unicorn Overlord +1
  • No net change

This is only the second game of this type I have played, the first being Fire Emblem Three Houses a few years ago. I absolutely loved that game and Unicorn Overlord scratched the exact same itch. (I have also spent about 1000 hours on the XCom franchise and other tactical games over the years, but I don’t consider those to be direct analogs to Unicorn Overlord).

The number of tactics you can employ in this game is as close to infinite as I can imagine - with 60 custom characters + an unlimited number of mercenaries to hire, complete control over unit composition and layout, hundreds of gear choices, and a deep programmable tactics system. The amount of tinkering you can do is truly awe inspiring.

I found everything about this game to be just about perfect. It has rocketed up to the top of my GOTY list - duking it out with Balatro for the top spot.

Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys this type of game.


+1 DiRT Showdown (360)

-1 SpongeBob Cosmic Shake (PS+)

This challenge has made me very picky with picking up new games. But SpongeBob gets a pass. :slightly_smiling_face:

  • +1 Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition (Steam)
  • New total = 5.5

This was my first completion on a Metro game. I had played bits of the first two but ultimately bounced off them. I enjoyed this but had several significant gripes. I have never had to use a guide as much for any “shooter” game as I did with this game - and not for plot points. Just trying to figure out how to simple things in game was a challenge. I completely get that many games now take hand holding to an absurd level, but the complete lack of “instructions” for some tasks in this game was frustrating.

I ended up getting the “bad” ending because I missed something (or didn’t save someone?) somewhere along the way. I love good/bad endings is games like Dishonored where you know in advance what the choices and consequences are, but I didn’t even know this game had good/bad until it happened.

I’m sure I would have had a better experience with this if I had actually played the first two games - so that’s on me. Regardless, I had a good time other than the frustrations noted above.

I’m off to the beach for the next nine days. Taking my ROG Ally with me. I have a ton of shorter games installed, but I may end up spending all my gaming time on Triangle Strategy. Ha.


+1 The Long Reach

A short retro pixel art horror/scifi point and click. I mostly enjoyed it, but it does have issues like no map, bad checkpoints, and a confusing story. None of that is helped by switching characters randomly throughout the game either. If it wasn’t such a short game, it wouldn’t have been enjoyable at all.


This is one on my list. Any tips for when tackling it to avoid such frustrations? Or good guides to watch before starting? I played Fable back in the day being called chicken chaser all game not realising you could change it and wasn’t something linked to game progress. :rofl:

+2 - (+1 Fallout 4, + .5 Nuka World, and + .5 Alan Wake II Night Springs DLC)

I was trying to finish Far Harbor before reporting score, but I ran out of gas and just dont feel like playing Fallout 4 anymore.

Total = 16


+1 Roombo: First Blood

Roombo is an experimental proof of concept game, almost a glorified demo, where you play as a Roomba vacuum defending a house from burglars that are trying to ruin Christmas. You accomplish this by hacking the smart windows, outlets, lights, and appliances or vacuuming up a weapon and launching it at them. It only six levels and three bonus levels, so it’s short but a lot of fun. Since the concept worked, they created a full fledged game called Justice Sucks.

+0 The Bookwalker

The Bookwalker was an enjoyable RPG lite that you play as the titular Bookwalker, someone who can literally enter books’ worlds and interact with the characters within. Each book, with its different setting and genre, has a different object to obtain. Although the levels are mostly linear, you can sometimes choose how or if you want to obtain said object. The overarching story was slow at first, but I enjoyed it in the end.


+0 Astro’s Playroom (PS5)

This is a really, really good game. Anyone making fun of it clearly hasn’t played it. (I was a bit skeptical myself, tbh.) It’s much more than just a controller demo.

It’s also quite the love letter to all things PlayStation and the brand identity they’ve built over the years - and something Xbox could maybe learn a thing or two from.


Just make sure you google the conditions for the good and bad ending before starting.

As for guides, I didn’t use a specific one - I was mostly googling very specific situations when I got stuck - but those searches mostly took me to either the NeoSeeker or IGN guides.

  • +.5 - Just beat ‘The Deeds of Captain Wilkins’ DLC for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Absolutely loved the main game, legit one of my favorite FPS titles of all time (I could wax poetic about MachineGames for days), and this DLC was a nice pulp-extension of the game. Only realized when I was randomly playing this the other day that I hadn’t gone through any of the extra content, and all of them are similar pulp-detours with new characters… it’s almost like getting a new Wolfenstein :slight_smile:

  • -1 - Bought SMTV:Vengence for Series X. I know it’s just taking points away from myself, but just like with Zau, P3R, and Dragon’s Dogma 2, I want to put my money where my mouth is. In this case, just like P3R, I want to make sure Sega/Atlus content gets full support from me at launch (I do the same for most Japanese games). Zau, it was because I firmly believe in supporting Black creators, and other under-represented creators - can happily elaborate. Finally, with Dragon’s Dogma 2, I wanted to support a publisher that chose to give its employees raises in a time when so many are laying people off. Obviously, there all amazing games in their own right, so I would have picked them up eventually, but when I can support these out of the gate, I feel obliged.

Total = 9.5


Thanks, made a note to do that when the time comes.


I’m just looking at the release calendar from July through December and all I can think is:


Thanks for supporting Atlus, thus encouraging them to bring more games to Xbox. I had planned to buy SMT V as well, but I just moved, so I don’t have the extra money for it right now. I did get the Persona trilogy and Soul Hackers 2 however, so I will definitely get SMT V when I can.

Haha, yeah… Thankfully there’s Game Pass for a lot of it.


I finished Bramble last night, well into June 16th so cutting it close before it leaves Game Pass lol. The setting based on Swedish folklore and with environments that could be my backyard of course was awesome. The John Bauer inspiration was there too, with some very nice art. The game captures the beautiful parts as well as the fucked up parts of old fairytales very well. This is pretty much how all these things, like the stories collected by the brothers Grimm, was before Disney got their hands on it to pretend it’s something else haha.

I remember my great grandma used to warn me about the Skogsrå and Näcken when I was a child and pointed out big stones that was trolls caught in the sunlight… She would have loved this game heh.


  • +.5 - Wolfenstein II: Episode Zero DLC - so… apparently I started these out of order… this episode was a quick one-shot of each of the characters being featured in the rest of the chapters. I liked it, not too short and the pulp pivot they made for these is so welcome after how poignant the rest of the game is.

Total = 10


+0 A Short Hike

A short cozy game light on story and big on collectables, with a few fetch quests and mini games thrown in. It was fine for a bit, but I couldn’t be bothered with some of the collectibles and mini game high scores.


The Outer Worlds DLC + 0.5

Preferred Murder on Eridanos to Peril on Gorgon. If you like the game then its more of the same but if not you’ll not miss out. Maybe a little harsh but just wanted it cleared. Tempted to jump into some newer games on game pass so probably Hellblade 2 and the Path of the Goddess when out next month.

Edit for an afterthought but maybe DLC too long after completing the original game loses it’s appeal.