24

Groovy

May 18, 2022 by Tim

Because I have limited time and a million games I’d love to play, I often find myself engaged in a lot of devil’s advocacy. Weighing the pros and the cons, attempting to quantify how many “entertainment hours” each of my dollars might buy me and whether that ratio qualifies a game to be a contender for my precious minutes, listing all of the reasons I shouldn’t buy a new game, etc.

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To a point, this sort of a screening process is valuable, because it helps pare down the games I most want to play (if I can talk myself out of it, I must not have really wanted it all that badly). But at the same time, too much of this thinking distorts my perception of “value” when it comes to video games. I try to remember that not every single one has to be the GOAT or needs to have a six-year roadmap and keep me entertained for 400 hours. It’s great when a game exceeds all playtime expectations (example: I’m at 430 hours in Hunt for my $30 initial purchase), but they can’t all be that.

I picked up the Evil Dead game because I love those movies, and it looked like a fun alternative to the Dead by Daylight vibe (which I understand is pretty popular but always looks janky as fuck to me). Is Evil Dead going to keep my attention for 100 hours? I’d be pretty surprised. But if I let myself worry too much about that, I’d miss out on the fun it’s providing me right now, however long it lasts (and it is a pretty good time).

What about you? Are there any games where you’ve just said “fuck it,” and picked it up because it looked fun, regardless of longevity, or reviews, or cost?

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GUNnibal
GUNnibal
1 month ago

The most recent example I can think of (and by “recent” I mean maybe a couple of years ago) was “LIT: Bend the Light”. I’m a bit of a sucker for various puzzle games, including those that play with physics. So when I saw it on Steam, realized it had all the things that appeal to me and a reasonable price tag – I hit that Buy button without bothering with reviews/scores.
It’s pretty short but I definitely had fun with it.

Killiak
Killiak
1 month ago

Yep. Monster Hunter World. It kept my attention for all of the first map. Bit of a miss on that one.
Fall Guys, on the other hand, has given me a fantasticdollar to fun ratio.

leduk
leduk
1 month ago
Reply to  Killiak

I played like… 3hours before giving up ๐Ÿ™ that was a serious waste of money.

Sanquin
Sanquin
1 month ago
Reply to  Killiak

I was pretty much the opposite with MHW. I had never played MH games before, and was very weary of buying it. But a friend convinced me after a day or two of pestering. Best game purchase ever. Almost 900 hours in it + expansion, and had a total blast. Story was boring though. ๐Ÿ˜›

Kaitensatsuma
Kaitensatsuma
1 month ago
Reply to  Killiak

To be fair you can play through MHW solo for the most part. Not that it makes it any more fun, but as an owner of the PSP games in North America it’s an expected feeling of lonliness

GurrenLagann
GurrenLagann
1 month ago
Reply to  Killiak

I have 1200 Hours in World, something is really wrong with you all people

Killiak
Killiak
1 month ago
Reply to  GurrenLagann

Or there is something really wrong with you, from our perspective.

In short, I am just going to say that you really should not put other people down for their gaming preferences. Unless it is mobile games, those people are fair game for all the ridicule in the world.

leduk
leduk
1 month ago
Reply to  GurrenLagann

sorry but there is literally NOTHING I enjoy in monster hunter. I had to try it, to be sure. And wasted money.

Alcor
Alcor
1 month ago
Reply to  Killiak

I had never played a MH game before World and I fell into that for years. I adored that game.

Paul
Paul
1 month ago

This is precisely why I adore Game Pass. I can usually scratch the itch by browsing the games on there. Either I uninstall after an hour, or it keeps me going for a week or two.

Martin Zugec
Martin Zugec
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul

100%! There are so many games on Game Pass that I was excited about, yet stopped playing them after one evening. But there are also tons of (especially indie) games that I’ve never even considered buying and discovered they are hidden gems.

pal87
pal87
1 month ago

my money and time are valuable and I do meticulous research into games before I buy them.

I have avoided all the recent turds, and I am proud to have done so.

I cannot and will not buy a doomed game. Life is too short for that.

Humsterr
Humsterr
1 month ago
Reply to  pal87

Is your time going into research worth it, or would it be better to lose money and buy something, but spend less time researching?

At what price point you’d be better off not doing research?

no thanks nintendo
no thanks nintendo
1 month ago
Reply to  Humsterr

don’t ask questions just consume product and then get excited for next products

Urazz
Urazz
1 month ago
Reply to  Humsterr

You act as if you need to do a lot of research to find out if a game is a turd or not. You really don’t need all that much time to do research just patience. Don’t buy a game on release, wait a week or two to find out if the game is good or not. Watch for certain advertising like advertising the game as a live service, if it has NFTs in it, loot boxes, etc.

Humsterr
Humsterr
1 month ago
Reply to  Urazz

Well, pal87 said about _meticulous_ research, so I expect it takes more time and effort than just reading through user reviews on Steam, otherwise what’s so meticulous about it

no thanks nintendo
no thanks nintendo
1 month ago
Reply to  pal87

Heck, avoiding the recent turds doesn’t even need research to be that meticulous. Do you hear the term “live service?” If so, avoid. It’s going to be a turd. It will come in one of two types: the kind that eventually gets patched up later and becomes worth playing, so buy it then when it’s better and cheaper; or the kind that gets abandoned and thus nothing of value was lost. (Remember, all live service games launch as what the industry calls a “minimum viable product”, meaning they are literally shoving it out the door in as buggy and content… Read more »

CBL
CBL
1 month ago

Yeah but there are definitely other ways a game can be Garbo or even just not what you were hoping for

robloughrey
robloughrey
1 month ago
Reply to  pal87

How do you predict the future? Thats a neat trick.

Logan
Logan
1 month ago

Nevermind a few months,, this game is ‘Dead’ on arrival. Of the ‘Evil’ variety! xD

“Asymmetrical horror”…?

Taylor
Taylor
1 month ago
Reply to  Logan

Asymmetrical horror means that it’s like Dead By Daylight or the new Dragon Ball game where you have 4 players who try to survive and 1 player who tries to kill the other 4.

Vampyrr
Vampyrr
1 month ago
Reply to  Taylor

Oh I loathe those with a passion. Rather a pure coop

MasterofBalance
MasterofBalance
1 month ago

This is why I wait for sales on Steam/Razer. I know I’ll be stuck with the game after 2 weeks whether I’ve played it or not, but at least it was a bargain

Lily
Lily
1 month ago

I legit have 180 games on my steam wish list, because I just wait for sales. Obviously that is too many games for me to play, so I don’t even buy most of them when they are sale. However, what I do when looking for a new game is just browse the ones I got on my wish list and at any given time there is 5-10 games on sale.

A lot of the games I honestly don’t have major interest in. Which is another good thing about waiting for a sale, that the hype doesn’t influence you as much.

Hiwardchris
Hiwardchris
1 month ago

A long time ago I wanted to pick up a mmorpg that wasn’t WoW and I came across Guild Wars (that I hadn’t heard of at the time). Turned out to be my most played game in my life with me buying all expensions and enjoying it all the way through. Even now years later, even though I haven’t played in a long while, I still find the urge every now or then to go back to it.

Haf
Haf
1 month ago

I used to play lots of online and MMORPG games, with WoW being the greatest (but not my only) time sink. Because of my limited time in recent years I generally avoid all online-heavy games now. Seeing something like asymetrical Horror PVP on a game’s website would make me close the tab without a second thought. I’d rather enjoy a good story experience or building something at my own pace.

Artur
Artur
1 month ago

Hell yeah ๐Ÿ™‚
I have lots of such games.
And even sometimes i play some of them ๐Ÿ™‚

nealithi
nealithi
1 month ago

It super varies for me. There are games I think look cool but maybe are not for me. Then a review comes out and I need to try this thing. Because it can’t be That bad.
Thus Mass Effect: Andromeda, I loved. Fallout 76, lost interest once shiny new game wore off. And Cyberpunk 2077 where I seem to be having a reverse of the launch issue. It worked fine for me. But the more it gets patched the buggier it is getting for me.
Some quirky titles I try if it is a low point.

Shoggoth
Shoggoth
1 month ago

I do that constantly – especially during sales. Luckily for me I prefer singleplayer games, so I don’t have to worry about the longevity. At the same time I often buy more than I can play, so I end up playing some games years after purchasing.

Deyo
Deyo
1 month ago

And that here is one of reasons I only play single player games. That, and waiting for good discount.

Lily
Lily
1 month ago

I pretty much never buy games on release, or for full price(unless it is a sub $20 game at full price, then I am not so strict) but there are three games I made exceptions for. Mount and Blade 2 when it first came out on early access. King’s bounty 2 when it came out. And Crusader Kings 3, when it had the preorder bonus. All for the same reason, which is that I loved the earlier games in the series. Looking back on it, I probably could of waited for all of them.

'Drew Bergy
1 month ago

Buying a game shows your support, especially if you’re participating, and companies as well as independent creators all need to see that enthusiasm as well as the bottom line. Consumers teach them what they should be making, and in this kind of feedback and criticism what they need to be producing, and influence the market. This is in part why I purchase paper bound collections of the web-comics I read daily for free (besides my love of books!)

It's a Banana
It's a Banana
1 month ago

I doubt it counts because Game Pass, but I downloaded Forager thinking it’d be a silly game I could try for an hour, then never play again. Ended up sinking so much time into it, my girlfriend would roll her eyes when I’d say I’m gonna play it. I should open that up again…..

Sanquin
Sanquin
1 month ago

My requirements for a game purchase: 1: Look up gameplay on youtube, does it look fun/interesting? 2: Do I think I could play it for more than 10~20 hours (<30 euro game) or more than 30 hours? (30> euro game) 3: Do I have the money to spare? I don’t care if a game will be dead in a few months. If I can have fun with the game in those few months, I’m happy. Screw the idea of “this game will become my free time for the next year or years”. Too many games to play out there for… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Sanquin
VacuumOfDeath
VacuumOfDeath
1 month ago

Recently I purchased Death Stranding (on a good deal at least) because I had heard so many good things about it (graphics, story), but I did not get very far into it because of the tedious nature of carrying things while avoiding the “ghosts”. I will tolerate a lot of bad gameplay mechanics for a good story but that was just too much.

Leon
Leon
1 month ago

Oh, timing, you bitch

TheZomby
TheZomby
1 month ago

TWW3, I kinda had mixed feeling about the initial release, and so far I can say I did not get enough for my money, but later this year when they release the Immortal Empire DLC (free I hope, like for TWW2) with the maps of the whole world combining the factions from the 3 Total War Warhammer into one, I know I’ll spend a couple hundred more hours in it, riding into the frozen wasteland had the head of a Bretonnian crusade to rid the world of the forces of Chaos.

GurrenLagann
GurrenLagann
1 month ago

Which Is why I only play Single player games.

robloughrey
robloughrey
1 month ago

Dead by Daylight may be the best dollar to time ratio for a game I’ve ever had. My group still plays at least once a week 5 years later. There’s nothing janky about it, at least on Steam. It may be the best balanced MP game I’ve ever seen that didn’t just give everyone the same abilities.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
1 month ago

Plus, you know, if you write a comic about it that’s a business expense.

James Not-A-Zombie Jameson
James Not-A-Zombie Jameson
1 month ago

As someone with pretty severe ADHD, yes, I’d say most of my library is stuff I picked up on a whim and never played again. Which is a big part of why I can’t really afford other hobbies.

Tony
Tony
1 month ago

I have another metric as well – how much mental/worry energy I am wasting by trying to convince myself not to buy the game. Got Cyberpunk because of it. At some point I was just wearing myself down from having to repeat: “it’s not finished yet. Wait a bit more” every other day. … can’t say I’m all that happy that I did. I love the lore and the small mini-stories of one screwup or another that you see with the NCPD tasks and side missions. But the general unpolished feeling I get from the game stops me from wanting… Read more »

Nuitari
Nuitari
1 month ago

Paradox, in particular with Stellaris and Europa Universalis IV, seem to have mastered to art of DLC. I think they are both well over 5 year olds, get regular updates, including free additional content that comes alongside the DLCs. The game mechanics also get updated on a regular basis, so its not just piling things up all the time.

Detton
Detton
1 month ago

Oh yeah, 100% – Mostly indie titles, but I do look at it at a cost-per-hour POV as well. I rarely buy AAA $60+ titles these days (i’m pretty resistant to the GaaS / battlepass schemes that pass off temporary events as legitimate content) but if I can get a solid week’s worth of obsession out of a game, it’s money well spent. If it’s longer than that, even better. (which is why I loves me some roguelike and survivalcraft games)

Anyway, shop smart – shop S-Mart, folks.

Axiomite
Axiomite
1 month ago

Fallout 76. Picked it up just this weekend. So far I am enjoying the hell out of it. But I’m a simple person – wandering around the wastelands in a huge open world, hunting feral ghouls, raiders and scorched is a fun past-time for me. The quests are honestly just tertiary goals for me at the moment; the escapism from the hellscape of existential dread that my life currently occupies is all I care about right now. The other one is Hunt: Showdown. That game should not be as fun and awesome as it has been for me. On paper… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Axiomite
Dean
Dean
1 month ago

I have two major criteria when buying a game:

  1. Does it look like I will actually have FUN playing it?
  2. How long it will last vs the cost. I generally try not to buy a game that will give me less than an hour of entertainment per dollar of cost. So $60 games have to have at LEAST 60 hours of INTERESTING content before I will buy it.
Urazz
Urazz
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim

I don’t think that’s the case. I think there is only like one or two games that I missed out on because of those rules I follow and even then, I still have a backlog of games I have to play anyways.

If you are like most gamers nowadays, you have a backlog of games to play so don’t feel bad if you miss out on one. I’ve actually cut down on my backlog of games since COVID hit because I’ve gotten stricter in following the rules I set myself for buying games.

Meatballs21
Meatballs21
1 month ago

I likewise heavily weigh up whether a game is worthy of my precious time. I usually have one story-driven epic Iโ€™m gradually working through, and a more chill thing on the side for when I have less time or interest. I was grinding through Mass Effect 2 LE and, though Iโ€™d been aware of it since itโ€™s release, Disco Elysium captured my imagination for some reason when it came on sale (before Iโ€™d even bought it). I promptly dove in, and had a wonderful time. Meanwhile, RDR2 is standing in the corner wondering when Iโ€™m ever going to get around… Read more »

KBABZ
KBABZ
1 month ago

My bar for how much a game should provide for $60 is Ratchet & Clank, which typically gets me about 12 hours on my first runthrough. Anything more is a bonus, but there’s also such thing as too much content (as Lego Star Wars proved).

Bernie Margolis
Bernie Margolis
1 month ago

I seem to buy every Civilization game, even though I know I’ll obsessively play it for a few days before realizing that it’s not actually any more compelling than its predecessors. I’m sorry to say that I feel it’s been all downhill since Civilization II, but I keep buying them nevertheless hoping to recapture the magic.

Jonathan
1 month ago

I always buy every Civ game too, though seldom on release. I agree that Civ II is excellent, but for me Civ IV is the pinnacle of the series, and since then it’s gone downhill. I like a few of the innovations from Civ V and VI, but most of the changes make the game worse.

Crestlinger
Crestlinger
1 month ago

Yep. Paladin’s Quest, SNES. Yay for acid trip designs and no coherent plot. Still a good hard game unless you grind a bunch.

Urazz
Urazz
1 month ago

Or you could wait and see if it’s a good game and while this is happening, play your backlog of games? That’s what I’m doing.

There is also Gamepass to consider as well since that’ll let you try out most of these games with little cost.

Last edited 1 month ago by Urazz
Dynamicprog
1 month ago

Vanguard. I was wrong

Extreme
Extreme
1 month ago

Breach.
I’m very sad that the game died due to management/milestone-related issues, as I enjoyed the hell out of that game.

Daeron
Daeron
1 month ago

I look at what I will enjoy/piqued my interest. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice grabbed me for it’s relatively unique idea and that the team behind it had put some serious research into it. Is it the longest game? No, about 12 hours. Is the combat groundbreaking? No, it’s very Batman with the occasional dodgy camera angle. That being said, I have recommended it to every person I know that plays games. Some considered the shortness to be bad value and did not buy it, others did not buy it because “I can just play Batman, or Assassins Creed Valhalla for the… Read more »

Lith
Lith
1 month ago

You have been on a god damn roll this week

Namefield
Namefield
1 month ago

“What about you? Are there any games where youโ€™ve just said โ€œfuck it,โ€ and picked it up because it looked fun, regardless of longevity, or reviews, or cost?” I ALWAYS check the reviews because if there are ever any technical issues or bad business practices that’s the place where you’ll find that. Cost is also a thing: Reasonable prices only. It’s the reason I don’t like games with DLCs: They regularly try to make the DLCs almost as or more expensive than the main game. Longevity: My perspective when buying is always: “Can I play this 10 years later when… Read more »

Matt
Matt
1 month ago

mostly, I do that with board games, and I’m having to force myself to stop, because I have a wall full of board games that I bought because I thought they looked like great fun, but I’m never playing them, because they’re long play time games, that nobody else ever wants to take the time to play. with video games, I mostly buy it if it tickles my fancy and don’t worry to much about it.

dchaosblade
dchaosblade
1 month ago

As far as I’m concerned, if I can get $2/hour of entertainment out of a game, I’m content. So a $60 needs to get me 30 hours of fun gameplay and it will have been worth it. I pay a lot more for a lot less in other parts of my life ($10 for a cheap movie ticket to watch a 1.5 hour movie, for example), so it doesn’t really make sense to hold back when your return is so much better with games more often than not. Now, if there’s a game where I’m not even sure if I’ll… Read more »

Jonathan
1 month ago

Join us!

lemonVanilla
lemonVanilla
1 month ago

resident evil 3 remake, and boy was it an awful jumper on.

Pulse
Pulse
1 month ago

how dare you say anything with bruce campbell could be dead

evilleet
evilleet
1 month ago

I have used this formula to decide if a game was a good investment for entertainment.
A night out with friends, going to the movies and have some food. How much does that set me back and how many hours of entertainment can i get out of that.
Then i divide the costs with the hours and look at, does a game give me at least twice the value / hr played.
Now there are bad movies and there are bad games.
But at long as i had fun and felt entertained, all is well.
My backlog is insane btw…

Alcor
Alcor
1 month ago

There are a few franchises where I will/would buy anything they released, sight unseen. Persona; Metal Gear Solid before Kojima left; Trails/Kiseki. Can’t think of others atm.

Sian
Sian
1 month ago

not quite but similar enough in theme, with me keeping throwing money at DLC’s for Paradox Grand Strategy games (EU4, CK3 and Stellaris in particular) simply because i have some 4k hours spread over them ๐Ÿ™‚

There’s nearly no amount of money that’d would make them a bad combined value-for-money

Economy101
Economy101
1 month ago

“Because I have limited time and a million games Iโ€™d love to play[…]”

…the logical conclusion is to buy preferentially those games that offer the least amount of entertainment per dollar to bring money, time, and game quantity in balance.
๐Ÿ˜‰

NoName
NoName
1 month ago

FYI: bought it. Played 3 games. Reimbursed. I was able to see it would not hook me in the long run and I rather spend my EURO on games that engage me better.
That being said, it was fun the first time, but it’s extremely repeatable stuff so, naw.

merkentile frog
merkentile frog
1 month ago

Crypt of the Necrodancer, FTL, Monster Hunter, Gears of War, Warframe, Halo 5, Alien Isolation – to name a few. I’ve never put any real value into reviews, preferring to see what something looks like for myself. Though I do sometimes observe them, and so far the ones I can actually respect the opinions of, regardless of difference of opinions, are ones that I am familiar with the perspective viewing it, such as with Yahtzee Croshaw or the overlord of this web comic.

TomB
TomB
25 days ago

I’m the opposite. I wait until they have been played by many, have a strong recommendation and lots of info about gameplay, then I get them at a discounted price. I pay probably 1/2 to 1/4 of what early adapters paid and I often get additional DLCs thrown in and lots of bugs fixed. And I get just as much fun playing them a year later or two, or three. (I don’t do massive multi-user anymore). I even talked myself out of the online Old Republic – it looked neat, but at $80… nope. The cost will detract from my… Read more »