Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but many gamers in the Milwaukee area have to be like me. We’re constantly attracted by the newest, shiniest game–to the detriment of all the games we already have.
A while back, GameSpy even posted a hilarious open-letter to the videogame industry asking them to stop making new games for an entire year. That’s clearly not going to happen–so how do you deal with the desire to experience a new game when it’s still new but still get time on the old titles that have been gathering dust?
Here are some tips that work for me:
Stick to one game at a time on each platform you own. Currently I have a basic laptop capable of playing mostly older games (or games that support low-specs), an Xbox 360, a Playstation 3 (backwards compatible with PS1 but not PS2 titles), and a Playstation 2. That gives me a huge volume of potential games I’m capable of playing–which, combined with my job (and my passion) being keeping up with gaming news–gives me a large volume of games I own.
Up until recently, I bounced around from game to game based on what I was just ‘in the mood’ to play. Which meant I’d get 40 hours into Oblivion, get sucked into Halo 3 multi-player for a few days (or weeks), and by the time I got back, I couldn’t get back into the story. So my habit is to play one game at a time for each platform (currently I divide that as any Sony system, the 360, and I’ll be adding in the PC this week), and rotate which platform I play each day. Finish at least the main storyline, then move on. Exceptions are always made for multi-player games like my current favorite Battlefield: Bad Company 2.
Do you have kids? Then split your library into kid-friendly and adults-only titles. If you have kids and also game while they’re up, you can also split your current games a little more. Maybe one of your games isn’t terribly kid-friendly–but you want to fire up something while they’re up. So get out one of your other games during those times.
This judgment, of course, is rather personal. My wife and I are O.K. with playing violent but not especially bloody shooters in front of our kids, like Halo 3 for instance, but BioShock is definitely on the adults-only list. Make a decision based on your values and the age of your kids.
And then, maybe you just shouldn’t buy that new game. This is the hard one for me. I always want the newest game, but find it hard to justify when I have so many games sitting unplayed. Also, despite my love for stores like my local Gamestop, I don’t trade in old games. I always want to keep it around in case I want to play it again. Unless it’s terrible–but terrible games usually don’t have high trade-in values.
I always make exceptions for multi-player titles that you have to get in early, like the intriguing Blacklight: Tango Down. Favorite franchises also get my money, like Halo: Reach. What’s especially sick, though, is when I want games like Dead Space 2 and just recently was able to pick up the first game.
Do you have more games than you’ve ever played? Share in the comments!