Week 1 - Bioshock, CS:GO and My Stupidity

(Part one of this blog series can be found here!)

The first week of my silly experiment is over, how have I fared?

Total saved so far: £350.65

This total does include games that aren't out yet but which I would be purchasing anyway, as well as DLC, Kickstarter projects and other miscellaneous alpha buy-ins.

This has really shone a light on my rampant spending. If I hadn't started that spreadsheet I don’t think I would've processed just how much I spend. I'm not really feeling any great desire to rush out and break my pledge, maybe that’s because gifting season is coming up. Maybe I’ll get Assassin’s Creed 3? I have Liberation but it’s not quite grabbing me, maybe I just need to put more time into it. One game I would really like to get is the Edna and Harvey bundle from GOG, it looked great in the quicklook.

But anyway, with that admin out of the way, onto games I actually did play significant amounts of this week!

Bioshock

This was my intended game of the week, where I would go back and play a single game solid for a week to get a better appreciation of it. I say intended because I never actually did that. I played enough of it to get the research camera. It’s not that I dislike Bioshock or that I can’t go back to it for technical reasons (the PC version notwithstanding,) it’s that I have played so much of that game I just can’t do it again. I've beaten it so many times under so many conditions I can no longer wring any further enjoyment from it.

I love Bioshock, it’s a game that absolutely everybody should play.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

I played far more of this than I expected to, having expected to play none of it. However Valve had a free weekend and it was always something I had wanted to check out. I never played CS 1.6 or Source online against actual humans, preferring to putz about with bots. That changed with CS:GO. The changes they made to the standard formula make it a much quicker, enjoyable game to play, what with round times being shortened, the emphasis on smaller teams, and the faster demolition and Arms Race maps. Speaking of Arms Race, that is my new favourite FPS mode. Fast gameplay which forces a rotation of weapon types and therefore a change in tactics? Sublime. Also, whatever Valve has done with their matchmaking might as well be witchcraft to me. The games I was matched into felt right; didn’t feel outclassed and I wasn’t outclassing others. Still reluctant to try other FPS games such as CoD, Battlefield etc. though.

When the year is up, that is definitely on my must-purchase list.

Other games

Galactic Civilizations 2: I just didn’t understand this game. Spent a couple hours with it, found it nearly impenetrable. I’ll stick to safe, ground-based Civilization V.

Skate 3: I can always put this on and tool around for an hour doing nothing and enjoy it.

Way of the Samurai 4: Finally got around to removing the wrap on this, had it since launch. Too early to render an opinion just yet, but what a weird localisation; the British Captain is called Melinda Megamelons.

Melinda Megamelons.

These are names in this game.

Theme Hospital: Sat down to play just 10 minutes of this, ended up spending over 2 hours. Oops.

Grand Theft Auto 4: Mainly tooling around with mods; the iCEhancer mod and this absurd thing:

This week

More time with Way of the Samurai 4 for sure, perhaps more Theme Hospital and Forza 4.

MUSIC:

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A year-long experiment

I have been extremely lucky to have a job which allows me to keep extremely up to date with all the latest, high-profile releases. I realise how lucky I am when I look behind me and see shelves full of Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii titles, my Steam/GOG/Origin library, or when I remember the boxes and boxes of classic titles stored under my bed, in wardrobes, in hall storage closets. But I realised recently that I actually appreciate very little of any of it.

It was a very jarring thought to have; I have all these titles, but why? I have certainly enjoyed what I have played, but that’s the rub; I have a large collection that I have barely touched. It’s something I obviously take some amount of pride in, but it’s also something I should be deeply ashamed of. Hell, you can check out my Steam library here: http://wastedonsteam.com/gbp/id/dekka So many titles with zero hours played. It’s fucking criminal, really.

I have essentially wasted so much money on stuff I wanted, but had never gotten around to actually enjoying, critiquing and appreciating. Well, today I take a step in somewhat addressing this.

For the next 365 days, I intend to not buy a single game.*

This includes anything that could be construed as a sale, bundle or classic purchase from eBay or Amazon Sellers. Not a single scrap of my income will go towards game purchases for the next calendar year. Gifts will be permitted though.

Why start now? Well, it’s holiday season; lots of big-name titles I want are coming out. I think it’s best to start at the toughest time of the year, no reason other than that really. Plus there are the various sales from GOG.com and Steam to tempt me. But I shall persevere!

Instead, I’m going to spend that time playing and appreciating what I have. For example, I have barely touched Forza Motorsport 4 since release, I really enjoyed it but it got brushed aside in the avalanche of subsequent releases. No point buying Forza Horizon, in my opinion, until I’ve accomplished what I want in that.

I realise that this is a very “first world problem” to have. I fully understand that this post will draw some amount of ridicule, ire, maybe anger? I don’t know, I can’t predict the response. What I do hope though, is that people in a similar situation to me, those who buy games just to have them, who have to have the latest purchases, will see this post and try to appreciate what they have. I am in no way advocating any kind of financial responsibility or admonishing poor spending decisions, because I can barely keep my own finances under control.

Throughout the upcoming year, I intend to do a blog post a week, which is a significant increase in my output, an average of one post every year on various personal blogs. They’ll mostly be covering old-ish ground compared to the rest of the community and may be poorly-written even compared to this post’s standards, but I hope that they’ll be at least a little entertaining for readers. This one is being attached to the off-topic forum, future entries will be linked to appropriate forums. If you're interested in following this series as it progresses (hard to know right now, I know) then maybe follow me? Otherwise you'll see them pop up on the forum feed on the front of the site (I'm guessing.)

I don't really have a closing line for this, so here's some music:

*There are some exceptions to this; I have had pre-orders in for a long time, and have been completely budgeted for them. These are the Wii U console, Persona 4 Golden, SimCity and Assassin’s Creed Liberation. Outside of these four purchases, there will be no others.

The tl;dr version: Asshole duder in somewhat stable financial situation is not spending vast sums of money on his hobby for a year. Will blog about the pointless experience. Woo.

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