Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Reflections

Sitting here thinking about what I was going to write for this week, I couldn't help but let my mind wander into the thoughts about how my gaming year has panned out and comparing them to previous ones. The fact that it is December could be playing on my subconscious too with a whole host of Game Of The Year articles due from the various gaming websites out there. Looking back at it, the year has definitely been different for me and it is somewhat surprising.

At the start of the year I can remember worrying about two things. I had missed out on some of 2007's big titles like Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare so I was worrying about whether I was going to get a chance to play these titles or not. In April, another thing I was worried about was whether I was able to buy Grand Theft Auto IV on launch and was starting to pick out games that I would be okay with trading in if needed just to ensure I was able to secure my copy.

Fast forward to now and the story is much different. I went from uncertainty to, well, I'm not even sure what to call it. The fact that I bought 8 games in the month of November shows just how much a difference a few months can make. That alone was surprising for me as usually I am someone who can only afford maybe three of the titles I am interested during the end of year rush. But no, a week or so before November I bought Fable II and a week after November I bought myself a new DS after giving my older one to my little sister. I'm not literally doing it but I feel like I am just throwing my money around at the moment. Being able to buy so much of what I want lately feels weird and you know, I actually kind of feel guilty about it.

As a gamer the ability to buy what one wants is a good thing, especially when there are so many titles worthy of attention these days. As someone with a conscious though, I can't help but feel as if I am perhaps too greedy and that I just want too many games. It is either that or we really are spoiled for choice these days. Maybe I didn't leave the uncertainty behind after all, maybe I just redefined it as the year went on and am now just over analyzing it all due to it being an unusual thing for me. It won't be stopping anytime soon either as sometime today or at the very least this week, I will be spending even more money on something gaming related. I am looking forward to it but for now, I will keep what it is quiet so I can talk about it on here later in the week. A lame attempt at keeping you in suspense, if you will.

For the record the year was quite good regardless of whether I had a brilliant November or not. I bought Burnout Paradise when it released and had a blast with it. I did manage to play some of the games I wanted to from last year even if it was in ways I didn't expect. I managed to play the Xbox Live Arcade titles I wanted throughout the year like Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2 and perhaps more importantly, Braid. I also secured that copy of GTA IV without having to trade games in so all in all it was a solid year. A solid year that became a brilliant one last month and is set to continue this week...

6 comments:

pete said...

After Gears of War (the first one), I learnt that gamin greed is not exactly good for my mental well-being. Now, it's a rare game indeed that'll see me buying it because of hype and/or early-adopter raves; I'm finding it increasingly easier to sit back and wait.

I feel vindicated in that GTA4 rarely receives much mention anymore (GOTY at the VGAs notwithstanding), except to slate its multiplayer. Mirror's Edge attracted me no end with its visual style, but I waited out the early foaming reviews before even playing the demo - and found a game that would, ultimately, frustrate me, with little opportunity for payback. In fact, I've managed to miss just about all the AAA (in hype or quality) titles for the year (save Burnout Paradise), and happily feel no remorse.

But eight games in November? Damn! I knew it was a big month, but hell... I've only bought 16 games for the year! ;)

Steven O'Dell said...

Pete, see under what I would deem as 'normal' circumstances, I would struggle to hit 16 games for the year so to me you have done well. But as is obvious from the post, I am way ahead of my usual and indeed your number too for the year and yeah, it's just weird to think about due to it being a relatively new thing for me. I increased that count by one today as well, with possibly another two or three by year's end.

Crazy.

Scott Juster said...

I too feel some of the guilt you described when it comes to game related purchases. It's an odd thing to be spending money like that, especially with the world's current financial situation.

I've tried to be better about pausing and reflecting before buying a game, or simply renting it or putting it on the GameFly list instead.

I'll be interested to hear if you regret any of your purchases, or if they live up to their price tag!

Steven O'Dell said...

I haven't played all of the purchased games yet so I can't answer completely, but the games I have played have all been worth it. It's been a very consistent year with games and their quality, with only small flaws or niggles getting in the way of the experiences rather than big issues.

As for Gamefly and services like that, Australia doesn't have them. Well as far as I am aware anyway.

pete said...

I regret a *ton* of my purchases - but most of those date back to the early days of the 360, when playing a demo would soil your gamercard. Bloody Astropop!

The purchase of a bunch of Jaguar games a few years back also hurts ;)

ThrawnOmega said...

I've had similar guilt-trips about buying games, made worse by the fact that I have college tuition to pay for 1 more semester, and should leave myself some money to set up after graduation. I've gotten over it by learning to wait a season for most games, so they've all taken price cuts, and learn to find good deals. When I've pulled down 5-6 games for the usual $59.99 price of one, I have my gaming desires fulfilled without feeling bad about it. It's the only way I've been able to get my gamerscore to nearly 70k without going broke lol =)