Welcome to Game Arsenal, equipping you with the video game knowledge you need.
Video games have quickly become the country’s No. 1 form of entertainment. Did you know the video game industry now generates more revenue than the movie and music industries combined?
But gaming can be an expensive form of escapism if you don’t know how to get the most for your money.
There is no video game retail store in Patterson, and not everyone has an opportunity to drive to Modesto or Tracy to buy games very often. Coupled with the poor economy, it can be tough to be a gamer right now.
So I’ve come up with a list of tips on how to be a frugal gamer. Spending less money doesn’t mean you should get less game — you just have to know how to get the most bang for your buck.
Everyone wants to be the first on their block to get the newest games, but they are also the ones who pay the most for them.
Video game companies make most of their money on their games within the first month of their release. The prices of games drop when the sales numbers drop, so if you wait a couple of months to buy a new game, you’ll usually save yourself at least $10 or $20.
Make sure it has multiplayer.
There are a great number of games these days that support multiplayer and online play. The typical single-player mode for a game can usually be beaten in about eight hours. However, if the game has multiplayer or online play, you can almost infinitely extend the life of your game.
I have played games where I have blown through the single-player modes in a few hours, but the multiplayer aspects keep me engaged to this day. Be sure to read the back of the box on games to see what they offer in the way of multiplayer use.
Avoid licensed games.
Video games that are based on movies, television shows or toy products are almost always mediocre at best. Video game companies have to pay lots of money to be able to use the names and likenesses of famous characters like Iron Man, the Hulk and Spider-Man, which means they have less money to spend on actual game development.
These games are oversimplified to try to appeal to everybody, but that almost always translates into repetitive and shallow game-play, and most of them do not include multiplayer use. These are the games that will end up at the bottom of your closet within a couple of days.
Don’t buy budget titles.
If a game is cheap, you should wonder why. Budget titles may be cheap, but that will also mean poor gameplay and a short life span.
If a game is cheap only because it’s been out for a while or because the sequel just came out, go ahead and grab it. If a game is brand new and cheap, you should avoid it.
Role-playing games such as Final Fantasy, Disgaea or the Tales series contain massive amounts of single-player content. RPGs on consoles usually take between 30 and 40 hours to complete and contain many secrets and side quests that will make you want to play through them more than once. A good RPG can last you a couple of months.
Read video game reviews.
The Internet is now overflowing with Web sites dedicated to reviewing video games. While game reviews are not always 100 percent accurate, you can get a good idea of what certain games are about before you actually shell out the cash.
Patterson resident Nick Huggett is a video editor for GottGame.com, a former video game tester for EA Games and Sony Computer Entertainment America and a notable video game reviewer on YouTube (youtube.com/SWAGshow). Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.