Thursday, January 15, 2015

Do I really need the Majora's Mask New 3DS?!?

I really want the Majora's Mask Edition "New" 3DS XL. But do I really need it? A part of me says, "YES!" That's the part of me that smiles every time I pull out my A Link Between Worlds 3DS XL to play my games. It makes every game feel like a special moment, because I have this amazing looking system to play it on. When I'm around a group of people holding their standard 3DS's, I'm usually the only one that has this edition and I bask amidst their "ooh's" and "aah's."

Another part of me says, "NO!" That's the part of me that made a promise not to go over my budget of $520 to spend on games this year. A promise that I've broken for the past five years. It's also the part of me that knows this "New" 3DS XL model is a re-design, but what about the eventual re-design of the re-design? The only reason why I have my Link Between Worlds 3DS XL, is because I didn't buy the 3DS when it first came out. I waited, and my patience was rewarded with a sweet Zelda themed portable.

This is the struggle I have on a daily basis with my relationship to video games, magnified. I'm trying to better my gaming habits: reduce my spending on impulse purchases and spend more time playing the large library of games I own. But video games never stop being awesome, and there is always a new game or limited edition bundle that I want, because this is my passion and I don't want to miss out on anything. Yet I know it's impossible to own and play every single gaming thing that is released.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Maybe I should renew my Xbox Live subscription for 2015

Last week my Xbox Live Gold subscription expired. I have been a member of Xbox Live for close to 9 years, but I keep automatic removal off. At the end of every year, I always tell myself I won't need to renew. Something eventually always keeps me coming back. It used to be multiplayer that kept me renewing. Then Netflix and other apps, and eventually the deals on games you could only get through Gold. I always felt the $50 $60 I spent on my subscription was worth it.

For the past year, I barely touched my Xbox 360. The only times I turned it on was to play Castle Crashers or MineCraft with my daughter. I haven't played an Xbox 360 game online since Halo 4, which I played mostly at the beginning of the Summer last year. I only bought one game on sale this year, and that was Beautiful Katamari (another game I can play with my daughter). This year you no longer needed a Gold Subscription for Netflix, Hulu, and other apps but I had purchased a new TV a few months before that allowed me to use those apps. Now I don't even use my Xbox 360 for Netflix or Hulu anymore.

Surely next year I don't need an Xbox Live subscription? Polygon recently published an article on how much money you saved on games through the Games With Gold promotion this year (inspired by the Push Square article on PS Plus). The promotion began in June of 2013, so this was the first full year and the savings are pretty staggering. If you downloaded each game offered for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 the total value was $584.67. But what if you didn't download every game? What if, like me, you only have an Xbox 360 and only downloaded a few games...was it still worth having an Xbox Live subscription?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Why I won't buy Trials Fusion this Holiday

The video game sale season is upon us! At the end of the year people all over the world look forward to the weeks of sales that flood Steam, Xbox Live, Nintendo eShop, PSN, etc. Hundreds of games get discounted, and it can be hard to resist buying all the games that you don't already have from last year's holiday sale. Christmas happens around this time I think.

I recently wrote that this year, I'm not going to buy a single new game from any of these video game holiday sales. Why? Blame my backlog. It's gotten out of control, and I really am going to make an effort in 2015 to play those games I've been neglecting. Seriously, I am! Also I've spent way too much money on games this year, so I don't need anymore.

It can be tough to avoid purchasing games this time of year. When I'm at home I can simply play games to avoid it, but these game companies make it real easy to buy games either through their apps or online. It doesn't help that every gaming website loves to post the daily sales and specials going on, with helpful links to purchase said games. So to avoid buying away from home, I've decided to write about why I won't be buying a certain game that is on sale. Each game I write about is one that has been on my wish list for a while. This entry is about Trials Fusion, which is today's daily deal in the Xbox countdown to 2015 sale.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Why I won't buy any games during the 2014 holiday sales

Ugh...the 2014 Steam holiday sale is here. As well as the countdown to 2015 Xbox sale. I'm sure there will be some holiday sale shenanigans on the Nintendo eShop next week. All these sales are exciting, and there are many great deals to be had. But not for me. No way, Jose. I will not buy anything that is on sale during these holiday times...oh snap, MGS V: Ground Zeroes is $6.59?!?!

No! I will not buy it! For the past couple of years, I would give myself a small budget so that I could take advantage of these holiday sales. My patience for not spending any money on new or recent games throughout the year was rewarded when I could snag six or seven games for the price of $60. But this year, I spent way too much money on games. I wrote about the amount of money I've spent on Nintendo products alone this year, but I've been too afraid to calculate all my other gaming expenses of 2014.

Truthfully, I don't need any more games this year. To be perfectly honest, I've never needed to buy games during these holiday sales. I've always had plenty, and it's just me overloading. It's like that third plate at Thanksgiving dinner. I don't really need it, I'm just not exercising any will power and giving in to my selfish, gluttonous ways. And even though I saved a bunch of money last holiday, I've yet to play most of those games I bought one year later.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Gaming Goal of 2015 #001: Having a budget of $520 to spend (and sticking to it)

For the past few years, I've given myself a budget of $520 to spend on gaming for the year. Why $520? There are 52 weeks in a year, so I wanted to limit my gaming purchases to about $10 a week. Since I created this budget goal, every year I have spent way more than $520. Like, a lot more. This year especially I crushed my budget (and not in a good way).

Every year I try not to buy too many games and I always end up doing so. I don't want to not buy games because I'm spending too much money (I am). I want to not buy games so that I actually have the time to play the ones I have. At best, I can squeeze in 2-3 hours throughout the day to play games. If I can manage that time in a day, it usually means I'm only playing one game. It can take me weeks to finish a game, or a couple of months if I want to 100% complete it. With a full time job, family, and other responsibilities life manages to throw at me there's just not enough time to play all the games that I keep buying. My backlog is out of control because of my spending and it really needs to stop (or so I tell myself every year).

It's always a struggle to find the time to play the games I do have, but what's been an even greater difficulty for me has been finding the time to exercise. In my junior year of high school, I started working out a lot. I went from a skinny kid who could barely do a pushup to being able to do 60 pushups in a minute by my senior year. I was able to workout nearly every day in my last two years of highschool and my first two years of college because, well, I had the time. Back then, I had the time to do whatever I wanted. I could work out, play video games, and hang out with friends. But soon school and work started taking up more of my daily time, and I began to start a family with my (now) wife. I stopped working out consistently around the time I became a Dad.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Re-building my Nintendo 64 collection (part one)

Nintendo recently announced Majora's Mask is coming to the 3DS. Everyone who played the Ocarina of Time 3D had been wondering when this announcement was going to happen. It doesn't seem we have to wait too long to get our hands on it either, with an expected release date some time in the Spring of 2015. This remake looks fantastic and I can't wait to play it.

Confession time: I've never played Majora's Mask. I know! All the time I spent playing Ocarina of Time over and over again I could have been playing Majora's Mask. It's one of the many Zelda titles I've never played, even though I claim to be a huge fan of the series. How come I never played Majora's Mask? I was probably too busy still playing Virtual Pro Wrestling 2 which was released January of that year, and saving up my money for WWF No Mercy, which came out a month after Majora's Mask.

For the longest time Majora's Mask was on my wish list of Nintendo 64 games. I had a great library of N64 games growing up, but I missed a few big ones like Majora's Mask. Over the years I sold, bought, and sold again my N64 collection. In the past year I've slowly tried to re-build, and I'm getting closer to restoring my N64 library similar to it's glory days.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I spent a lot of money on Nintendo in 2014

It's the end of October, which means only two more months until the end of the year. November and December become a spectacle of deals and discounts in the video game world. Every major publisher and platform have blowout end of the year sales, and before we know it there won't be any money left to spend on our loved ones, because it all went to video games.

That is, if you have self control. I, when it comes to buying video games, do not. I have been getting better. This year, despite the amount of money I've spent, I exercised a lot of self control. I avoided a majority of Xbox Live sales and specials, most notably their Spring sale. I haven't bought anything on Steam this year with my own money; I only purchased the original Half-Life for under $5 with credit in my account I obtained from selling Steam trading cards. I also managed to avoid the Steam Summer sale completely (which took a LOT of self control).

I curbed my enthusiasm to rebuild my legacy consoles, notably my Gamecube and N64. I probably bought less than five games combined for those systems. And thanks to Pokemon XY; my 3DS collection hasn't grown beyond that and Super Smash Bros. (but I will be buying Pokemon Alpha Sapphire). All in all, trying to stay under my budget of $520 for the year seemed obtainable this year. That is, until I bought my Wii U. Then the spending just wouldn't stop. And it's not over yet...