Phew, what about that Horizon Zero Dawn huh? It’s some game right? All those dinosaurs tearing up that rich, vibrant world replete with exploratory tangents to satisfy even the most hardy of adventurers. I’d like to express the overwhelming joy and fluttering anticipation I get from scavenging resources gathered from the shrapnel of these prehistoric replication’s. How I’ve finally realised my “Game of Thrones” fantasy by coming inside ygritte…..I mean playing with Ygritte…..playing as Ygritte, as Ygritte! Or portraying a version of her at least. A strong versatile female that I wouldn’t dare objectify with demeaning misogynistic remarks, that has successfully overcome her hereditary infirmity of being ginger. I’d like to tell you just how much I’m enjoying my time with this PlayStation exclusive, but I can’t. You see the online retailer that I had purchased said game from (for argument’s sake let’s call them “zamazon”) have chosen to enlist the services of their preferred distribution partners, one that rhymes with “Foil Grail”. Of course being the trustworthy and dutifully reliable company that they are my copy didn’t arrive. It is instead currently residing in some storage compartment at my local postal distribution centre, which is mere minutes from my home but isn’t accessible until the morning. Apparently their very singular religious beliefs mean that they don’t believe in letter box’s nor the concept of posting packages through these heinous zealots of Satan!
So thank you “Boil Bail”, I salute your tireless pursuit to disappoint customers up and down the country. You truly are an institution to be preserved and continue to be the primary advocate for independent delivery service.
It’s never been easy to pick the right game. Finances, hype, word of mouth and even luck are contributing factors. Applying preferential distinctions to a game that’s most suitable to you’re current needs can be a difficult process if you’re mind or heart aren’t fully invested. Prioritising quality can simply be a matter of perception, sometimes even one of convenience and availability. For some it’s difficult to be as discerning. I’ve experienced my fair share of mistakes, I still shake my head in disappointment every time I think about the Order 1886 or Watchdog’s. The problem is that you don’t know if a game is terrible with any certainty unless you buy and play them extensively! Of course such a commitment comes with inherent risks, but sometimes the benefits outweigh those risks. So how can you negate the prospect of having to trade week old game with as much substance as a vegetarian lasagne? What constitutes as value? Experimentation? Genial familiarity? Some bargain bin obscurity?! There’s an increasing number of pros and cons and you’re very conscientious of making the wrong purchase. For as long as I’ve been responsible for my own video game purchases I have adhered to 5 principle regulations when deciding on what to buy. They aren’t perfect, in fact by my estimates these 5 rules have filtered out roughly 6% of the diuretic excretions I would have otherwise purchased. At any rate I, deliberated through my own experiences have noted these precepts for you’re benefit…..and because I couldn’t think of anything else to write about this week!
1. The Best Things In Life Are Free……
Or at least in this case cheap. For me there are very few titles worth full retail price. The quality of a product increases significantly if there is a reduction of price. A 7/10 game such as Sleeping Dogs for instance at full retail isn’t worth you’re precious pennies. When reduced to around 3/4 of that price even the most average of games feel like value for money. It also reduces the severity of buying content you don’t like.
2. Avoid Metacritic!
The scourge of critical consensus, where public opinion is scrutinised and liquidised into a fine conceited fertiliser and used to nourish the verdant fields of ignorance. Otherwise known as Metacritic, a negative resource that utilises an easily manipulated algorithm where biased views are expressed with little regard for authenticity. I’ve played some bad games in my time, some with variable redeeming features, but have yet to come across a game that deserves 1 out of 10 score! This community loves negativity, ignorance and bias. Posting 1 out of 10 scores makes them happier than a necrophiliac in a mortuary and are more than happy to express such opinions with prejudice enquiries that determine a games quality such as: what console it’s on, who the developer is or whether the protagonists hair colour has been changed, see DmC, and down-vote accordingly.
3. Don’t Always Believe What You Read……But Don’t Dismiss It Entirely?
Reviewers have a firm understanding of a games intricacies and frailties, assessing a games quality with analytical efficiency. They also possess the ability to manipulate results to suite their agendas such as generating positive feedback for Call of Duty with the aid of certain developer…..incentives. There’s often an indication of compliance when it comes to some professional assessments, so in most instances it’s better to wait for independent gamers who aren’t influenced by money but by their passion. Yet even some questionable assertions can be expedited by the general similarities in scores and criticisms. So don’t always ignore reviews that go against you’re expectations.
4. Variety Is The Spice Of Life.
Alternate you’re preferences. Don’t be afraid to try something different. You maybe surprised by how much you enjoy a game from a genre you wouldn’t otherwise play. It’s like having Fish & Chips for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If there’s no versatility to you’re diet then you won’t receive the nutrients that you’re body requires. If you play predominantly FPS, the try an RPG. Or vice versa. If there’s no variation then what’s the point?! An adaptive personality maybe more beneficial than a good eye.
5. Above All Trust You’re Instincts.
In the end there isn’t really a definitive doctoring that determines whether a game is good for you or not. Sometimes you’ve got to take a chance and no one knows you half as good as you know yourself. No one can interpret what you need more or appeal to you’re better nature with as much certainty as you. Of course fundamentally it all comes down to common sense and the ability to differentiate between need and want. Sometimes you have to be authoritative, discriminate against desires to prevent buying content purely motivated by blind optimism. Though this shouldn’t necessitate that optimism should be completely forgotten as it’s also the most earnest way of buying games.
One additional caution that you should always consider is never pre-order unless you are thoroughly convinced of a games performance. Believe me its a mistake I keep making!
What steps do you take to ensure that you make the right purchases? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers.