Never in my life have I ever experienced a “new video game” drought. By this I mean lamenting that there aren’t any new games coming out for a long period. I could barely wrap my head around the concept and I think that has to do with my upbringing. Warning: This piece is going to consist of my thoughts as they come. You may get the impression that I’m running a fever 104 degrees. That’s normal.
Imported consumer items are not cheap where I am from. Take any hardware or software from the USA, multiply the price by 3, and you’ll have what it’ll go for on this obscure Caribbean island. New video games were something that I would acquire on special occasions only and once I got them, I would play them inside out.
It’s somewhat reminiscent of what my favorite musical artist once said in a interview. Nowadays people can download an artist’s entire catalog in minutes, and if they don’t enjoy what they hear immediately, they move on to something else. Not in the days before the internet. You buy a new album, you listen to it more then once, and you might come to understand it.
It’s the same with video games. Nowadays we actually have a lot of options. Games are much shorter and to the point. Developers are worried that the player won’t be immediately engaged and unless they continue moving forward they will lose interest. You don’t hear people say: “I got stuck in this part.” anymore. They simply follow the arrow until the credits start rolling.
Me and my brother, we got stuck, but we persisted. Even once the internet was around we wouldn’t run to a walkthrough at the drop of a hat. Although admittedly, having dial-up internet was a factor.
Luckily I always had what can only be described as a sixth sense for detecting good video games. Whenever I was able to receive a new game, I’d spend the longest time, looking over every detail of those PS one jewel cases, and I never bought a game I regretted. The one that pops to mind right now is Sled Storm. “I’ll take this one.” One of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
But what really saved our asses, was rental stores. This place called “Game Power”. We must have rented Twisted Metal 3 damn near 12 times. Some of the best moments of my life, are me and my brother playing co-op. Twisted Metal, Final Fight, Halo. I’m actually tearing up as I’m writing this... (Come on Qinn, man the hell up, and write) For two reasons: 1. Life. Life simply doesn’t allow for that sort of thing anymore. 2. 343 industries. These guys crushed our tradition with halo 5.
I remember visiting the USA one summer. The fondest memory I had was being in the Dolphin Mall in Miami. My mother gave me a $10 bill and I walked into an EB Games. I remember wondering: “What am I supposed to do with 10 bucks? I can’t possibly affo- Holy shit...” That’s when I saw the prices on used games. With 10 dollars, I walked out of that store with 3 PS2 games. Onimusha: Warlords, Twisted Metal: Black, and Final Fantasy X. My brother could 100% Onimusha in a matter of hours, Twisted Metal: Black gave me legit nightmares, and FFX is still in my top 5 favorite games.
Once I made the switch over to the glorious pc gaming master race as my primary, Valve Released steam. Like most, I was wary at first, but once the kinks were ironed out and I saw shit going for like 5 bucks, my newly acquired debit card was put to good use.
Now as an adult with some disposable income, old habits die hard. I’m careful about what I buy, even off steam or GOG at low prices, and I very rarely pay full price. Pre-order? I’ve pre-ordered video games twice in my life. Once for the Witcher 3, because I’ve been playing the games since the first one and CD Projekt Red has earned my trust. The second time was for Age of Empires HD, because who could screw that up? Plus, It’s AoE, that game rocks.
I haven’t played GTA 5 yet because I haven’t seen the price go below 25 euros. I love Deus Ex, but mankind divided isn’t there yet either. Should I buy Battlefield 1? I see a lot of people returning to Battlefield 4, and even a Battlefield focused youtuber is largely ignoring it.
By the way, why were so many people up in arms about Mankind Divided coining the term “Mechanical Apartheid”? As far as I’m concerned, that should have been the game’s subtitle. That’s the most ‘metal’ name I’ve heard in a while.
Regardless of how careful I am when it comes to buying new games, that are actually old games at a lower price, I still have quite the backlog to work through. Dark Souls? It’s been sitting there for years. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor? I’ve never seen any of the films. Heresy, I know. I’ll get right on that. Papers Please, The Talos Principle, This War of Mine, Undertale, Wolfenstein A new order, Saints Row 4, the list goes on, but not quite as long as some individuals I know.
“I just wanna play Battlefield 4.” “Just one more campaign of Shogun 2 Total War.” “Ugh, I’m wasting valuable time, I should be playing something new.” There’s no fighting it. Play what you wanna play. Maybe you’ll feel like it one day, maybe you’ll never get to it. It’s not the end of the world. But don’t go buying games you’re not sure you’ll ever get to, no matter how cheap it is.