ByAna Valens, writer at
Writer and games critic. As seen at the Daily Dot, Waypoint, Kill Screen, Bitch Media, and ZEAL.
Ana Valens

Summertime is officially upon us. Or rather, it has been. Summer officially began on June 21st, and with July 4th coming up, it's really starting to feel like summer break outside.

Literally. It's 80 degrees here in New York. Thanks goodness for central air conditioning.

Anyway, like most gaming journalists, I'll be spending most of the summer playing video games on my PC. Thanks in part to 's ongoing Summer Sale, there's a ton of great games available for me to play over the summer, and quite frankly, I'm dying to get started.

Which leads me to ask: what are your gaming plans for summer 2017? Here's just a few things I plan to do as July and August approach.

Finally Dive Into My Backlog

A moment of silence to all my friends that bought me these games.
A moment of silence to all my friends that bought me these games.

Every gamer has a backlog of games they picked up during sales but never played. Over time, that backlog can get enormous. Sadly, as a Steam user of nearly 10 years, my backlog is so big it puts most libraries to shame. I'm very embarrassed.

On Steam, I own 323 games, but only a handful have more than two hours of in-game time. Games like Stardew Valley, Saints Row IV, Mirror's Edge, Lisa, and Mafia II sit unplayed in my library, surely covered in online cobwebs.

Seriously, only 0.5 hours on 'Civilization VI'?
Seriously, only 0.5 hours on 'Civilization VI'?

So this summer, I really want to dive in and actually play more of these games I've left behind. For some, like Vampire: The Masquerade, it's just important to play through these titles as a gaming journalist. We're talking about history there, guys. But with games like Guacamelee!, Grim Fandango Remastered, or HuniePop, digging into my backlog is all about playing games that sound fun.

So there you have it. By September 2017, I hope I'll have left a decent chunk into those 300+ video games. In reality, it'll probably just be a microscopic chunk. But a girl can dream, can't she?

Practice More 'Overwatch'

Flying the friendly skies!
Flying the friendly skies!

I love Overwatch. It's my GOTY for 2016, and quite frankly, it's also my top game of 2017. Every day, I go out of my way to play at least an hour or two of Overwatch, just to keep my mind fresh and my hero skills on par.

But there's also another reason I've been playing more Overwatch. I legitimately want to get better at the game by improving with some of my favorite heroes (and learning a few new ones along the way).

In particular, right now I'm focusing on Mercy, Tracer, Orisa, and Widowmaker. Each of these characters come from a different class role, and that's on purpose. I want to make sure that I can always contribute to my team with a solid, well-rounded hero choice regardless of our team make-up.

For instance, if there's no healer, I want to jump in as Mercy on the spot and help our team. Meanwhile, if we need another offensive hero and my top pick (Pharah) is already taken, then I still want to be our team's MVP by going Tracer instead.

I like getting good at video games. And Overwatch is a complex, highly dynamic game. The more I play, the better I'll get. I want to make sure that by the time autumn rolls around, I can hold the title of "Best Gaming Journalist Overwatch Player 2017."

Finally Buy A Nintendo Switch

My body is totally ready. [Source: Nintendo]
My body is totally ready. [Source: Nintendo]

Please. I need one so bad.

I'll be the first to admit that the Nintendo Switch had a mixed start. While The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an excellent launch title, there weren't any other games convincing me to buy a Switch back in March.

But now that Splatoon 2 is coming out on July 21st, and Arms came out this past June, a Nintendo Switch is looking like a solid option this summer.

Of course, I'm not in a hurry to buy one right this instant. I want to grab a Switch at the right moment: ideally, for a solid price with Splatoon 2, Breath of the Wild, and Arms as my starting titles. But once Nintendo Switch supply is higher, and as soon as its price drops back down to $300, I'm totally buying one. I can't wait, not at all. Especially because Super Mario Odyssey is headed to store shelves later this holiday season.

I'll be set for you, Mario.

Those are my summer plans. How about yours? Share your summer gaming plans in the comments below.


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