Polish your screens and open your checkbooks because November is here.
The month of November is famous among gamers for the yearly avalanche of game releases. According to Heavy magazine, the most anticipated titles in November are “Fallout 4,” “Star Wars: Battlefront,” and “Call of Duty: Black Ops III.” PC gamers are also preparing for “StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void.”
This month is close to my heart, with memories of chilly midnight game releases, rushing home to play all night, and being too “sick” to make it to work the next day. However, for some reason, this year the enchantment of immediate gratification is gone.
I wouldn’t have hesitated to buy every game I wanted on day one in years past, but this year I’m OK with waiting. Maybe it’s because I’m slowly becoming a boring adult with a busy schedule. Maybe I’m finally learning some patience. Or maybe I’m becoming more cynical about the big title releases.
“Assassin’s Creed: Unity” is a famous example of a release last year that disappointed thousands of gamers. Ubisoft heavily marketed the release of the title, but everyone soon realized the product they purchased was glitchy. A YouTube video made by Unspoken OUCH Gaming highlights just a few of the problems gamers encountered, including map fall-throughs and horrifying facial deformities.
Studios releasing broken games was a huge discussion topic in the industry over the past year, and I hope we won’t experience similar disappointment this season. However, it won’t hurt to play it safe. Here are some practices you can start to avoid getting burned.
One at a time
If you are anything like me, you don’t have the attention span to get 100 percent on every game you play. It’s hard to focus on completing a title if the brand new games you just picked up are calling your name. I’ve started only buying a new game once I’ve finished the one I’m currently working on.
Although it’s nice to have two or three games in the rotation, living by the one-at-a-time rule will motivate you to get all of the achievements and give you the opportunity to appreciate every detail of the game.
Do your research
Is watching E3, YouTubing trailers and participating in the beta enough? If you want to guarantee your satisfaction with a new game, you might want to do a little more research.
Don’t pre-order. Pre-ordering is a lame idea for many reasons, but essentially you are gambling your money when you pre-order a game. Before day one, you’ve only been exposed to what the game studio has carefully selected to market to the public.
Watching gameplay from YouTube and Twitch.tv is an excellent research method. There are a good amount of gamers who provide their honest, un-sponsored opinions on new releases. Redbox is pretty good about making new releases available within a couple of the weeks. Rent the video game you’ve been wanting to purchase, and try before you buy.
Patience pays off
Your bank account will be happier if you choose to wait. About a month after a game is released, it can be purchased used at a discount. The longer you are able to wait, the bigger the discount. Waiting gives you the time for prices to go down and time to do enough research to decide if it is worth the money.
Often after a brand new game is released, it gets patched several times before it is truly glitch-free. Waiting to buy will save you money, discourage game studios from releasing half-baked content, and ensure you get a quality gaming experience.
Making it through November will help your bank account and improve the standards of the industry.