Buying video games is a luxury. This generation has access to more games now than we have ever had in the last 30 years. Video games haven’t always been cheap but you can’t deny that games are more affordable now than they ever have been. Today, with so much choice we come to find ourselves with more risk in our selections. Before you whip out the cash you have to answer questions like:
Do I spend $15 a piece on these three indie titles or $60 on a AAA title?
Should I wait for a sale or a used copy of the game?
Should I expand the life of the game that I have now with DLC or move on to something else?
The value is all in the customer’s perspective. This is your time, your experience and of course, your MONEY we are talking about here. What you get from a game will ultimately decide how you spend your hard-earned cash. I am here to help you along with those choices.
“If you like shooters, and you play shooters, then chances are you’ll probably like other shooters.”
1. Do your research
Check your favorite websites for some background on the game. If you aren’t sold on a particular title there are tons of places to find gameplay footage and previews of nearly every single game long before it’s released.
2. Know your tastes
If you like shooters, and you play shooters, then chances are you’ll probably like other shooters. Don’t jump on the hype wagon of a new MMO or MOBA if it’s simply not your style. If you’re diverse and enjoy many types of genres, identify which games and series you loved the most. Identify the battle systems, stories, and progression you had and see what games may fit those tastes.
3. DLC isn’t a bad thing if you love the game
The point of downloadable content is to extend the life of the game. There are different breeds of DLC out there. A comparison I would like is to use Borderlands vs. Call of Duty. The full extent of downloadable content for both these titles is around $50 dollars. While Borderlands grants you more missions, plot, weapons and characters that can be applied to a single or multiplayer experience, Call of Duty provides content that gears towards customization and competitive multiplayer. You may very well be more satisfied extending the life of a game that you enjoy and not take a risk in unfamiliar territory.
4. Where your friends play DOES make a difference
This is an easy one but it relates more to the console of choice rather than just the game. This upcoming season for Q4 is bringing more co-operative multiplayer games than the industry has seen in quite some time. Games like Destiny, Evolve, Assassins Creed Unity, Sunset Overdrive and the The Crew are bringing new spins to multiplayer. I’m always up for making new friends, but I know that I would prefer playing with the people I know.
5. Pay attention to release dates and follow sale patterns
I’ll give you a hint: When a sequel to a game is announced, the price often goes up for its predecessor. Don’t believe me? Keep your eye out on any sequel announced at the Tokyo Game Show. Now when it comes to sales I’ll make it easy: New Games (with some exceptions) launch on Tuesdays, price changes (decreases and increases) happen on Wednesdays, sales start on Thursdays, Flash Sales often begin on Friday. This should give you an idea on when to make a trip to the store.
6. Be realistic about how much time you have to play
Are you a college student with a part time job? Or are you a full time working professional with a family? Your lifestyle dictates how much free time you have to enjoy video games. If you only at best have maybe thirty minutes a night to play games you probably have even less time to shop for them. Selecting a game like Dark Souls 2 or Tales of Xillia that honestly needs some TLC to really dive into may not be a good idea. When it comes to shopping, hint 1 & 2 will come in really handy.
7. Look at your Achievement/Trophy list & look at your library
This is a big one. This is looking at your past experience, seeing your habits and knowing who you are as a gamer. Take some time and look back at what games you have actually completed. How far was your progression? Do you notice any patterns in the games you play? Even though this doesn’t hold true in every game you play, it could give you some insight into what you enjoy, how much you play and what you consider is worth your time.
The most important thing to remember: your time is valuable.
There are literally thousands of titles to choose from today and sometimes its overwhelming to witness. Gaming can be an expensive hobby, and each purchase can affect your opinion of the entire industry and your interest. Take some time to establish what you enjoy it games and what you want when you put that controller in your hands.