SilentStriderm touched on a great idea with his blogpost this week, and it reminded me of a discussion I had ages ago.
I unveiled a list of rules for common sense in buying video games, one I intended for helping me and others save money on buying video games.
Now with interest in starting the $20 Club, this seems like a great time to update those rules for the co-op crowd.
1. Never buy any game at full price. There are always deals, coupons, trade offers, and price matching stores that will do anything to get your money.
2. Never go to midnight releases. If you have stood in line before at midnight to get your copy of Halo, Call of Duty, Battlefield, or any big game (or iPhone, or other gadget,) how long did it take you to see that same item you waited in line for to drop in price? How many glitches and bugs were in it when you got it? And most importantly - did playing the game moments after midnight really help you get ranked up faster or dominate the leaderboard faster than anyone you know? Was all the bonus exclusive swag offered at a midnight release really worth it, or was it more flimsy made crud that fell apart a month later? There is NO item anywhere that has kept its value or remained better 6 months after a big midnight release event.
3. Say NO to Pre-Orders . . . UNLESS the game fits ALL of these criterias.
A. The game is from an established series that you know and love. (In other words, it's got to be a sequel.)
B. The Pre-Order offers a discount (See Rule 1) or something of value that justifies the cost (such as DLC expansions, free weapons downloads, gift cards, or money off an additional purchase. Swag does not count.)
C. The game is less than 1 month from release, and you are 95% confident it will not be delayed.
4. Never buy a new franchise game or Single Player game on Release day. Too many times, a new game rolls out with a huge ad campaign, lots of hype, and big release parties, only to fall dud in less than a week. Single player games drop in price faster than any other electronics.
5. When in Doubt - Rent it! Even if companies put online play access codes with their game, a little time with Redbox or Gamefly can mean the difference between a few buck and back to the store - or a $60 dust collector on your shelf.
6. Stop playing with the Flavor of the Month Crowds. How many FPS games have you gone through in one month? Did you max out everything on CoD: Black Ops before you picked up Modern Warfare 3? Is there a copy of Battlefield 3 sitting next to that copy of MW3? Do your Call of Duty games alternate between copies of Halo 3,Rainbow 6 Vegas 2, Halo: ODST, Bad Company 2, and Halo Reach? Do you realize I just named every game on one of my little cousin's bottom shelf - a grand total of $480 (at new price) worth of games that are collecting dust because Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is now the next Flavor of the Month? Is it really worth keeping up with FPS crowd when the popular game can change in a month's time? Think about that. For the price of playing the popular now multiplayer games, you could have bought a new game console, or an iPhone, or PS Vita - or even mix and match up to two of those choices.
7. Don't worry if you don't get a game on release day. Sometimes, a new game will have a special weekend sale within the month it was released. For example, I picked up my copy of CoD. Black Ops for $34.99 - one week after it was released. Same for Portal 2, except I paid $29.99 for it.
I have followed these rules for 3 years now, and I've managed to play whatever I wanted to play - as much as I wanted to play - even during my unemployment spell over a year ago. And my gamerscore can testify that I've played not just a bunch of crapola bargain games, I've got top dogs like MW3, Gear of War 3, Mass Effect 3, and other big names notched on my controllers. I've done so well with it, I've even managed to stay active on 2 game consoles while padding 2 savings accounts.
My future game plans? Maybe pick up Borderlands 2 on a good pre-order deal. Same for Halo 4. Rent Aliens: Colonial Marines before buying it, and maybe trade-in on a pre-order for Black-Ops 2. Buy Transformers: Fall of Cybertron after shopping for the best price (and who will have the best exclusive character download) Then borrow Assassin's Creed 3 from the relative I usually borrow the other Assassin's Creed games from :) If I don't get them on release day - BIG WHOOP!