Short arms, long pockets

There are a lot of habits that are hard to break – picking your nose, biting your nails, licking your knife at the table – but the one I find the hardest is parting with money in games.

Ah... a room filled with money. Happy days!

When GTA IV came out, I had been happily playing it for a few days when I received a text from my girlfriend saying something along the lines of “Why haven’t you told me you can get prostitutes in the game?” My reply, rather than being one of deniability or subject avoidance, got straight to the point. “You can,” I thumbed, “but they cost money, and basically I’m not spending any I don’t have to. I got a new pair of trousers for free at the start of the game – I won’t even spend money on clothes, let alone mucky women!”. Just imagine how excited I was when I found that T-Shirt at the bottom of the Statue of Happiness… woohoo free clothes rule!

I’ve noticed that the same is true in a lot of games. In Enchanted Arms, for example, I won’t pay for any components to make the creatures. I don’t mind paying for things I can’t find lying around, like weapons and skills, but I draw the line at paying for things that are dropped by fallen enemies or found in boxes.

This has been playing on my mind a bit, as I’ve just started Final Fantasy V on PSOne. I’m trying to be more generous with my money. I really am. I can’t do it though. Any town I enter, I run past the supplies shop. I’ll spend a few gil on weapons and armour but I refuse to buy a phoenix down when I know I’ll stumble across one in battle somewhere – albeit usually the battle after I needed one! I’m like the Ray Mears of gaming. I could show you how to survive if you were dropped into a monster-filled forest with only the weapons on your back.

The only time, I find, that I’ll really hammer an in-game wallet is, you guessed it, when there’s an achievement at the end of it. Saints Row – buy a load of clothes, get some Gamerscore. You should have seen me spend. Spend, spend, spend. I got a nice purple pimp hat in my spending madness, so it’s all good as my big-headed albino character struts his oh so funky stuff round the streets of Stillwater.

Guitar Hero is another – work like a swine to earn some fundage and blow it all on a load of stuff I wouldn’t normally even look at, like the guitar finishes or the slightly different coloured denim, just because there’s a smidgen of Gamerscore for buying everything.

What I’m saying is… I’m tight. So which are you? Spendaholics or frugal folk?







9 responses to “Short arms, long pockets”

  1. Michael avatar

    I’m terrible for licking my knife…

    I got quite bad for hoarding stuff in Morrowind, so much so I had to divide all my loot among maybe three houses in Balmora. I even had a pot of money that I would add to every so often but it absolutely had to be a round figure so I kept whatever would’ve disrupted that on my person

    I think you got a free pimp suit, with hat, as a reward for completing the Escort side missions in Saint’s Row

    But in some games, I’ll spend like a thrifty maniac – the skills and all that stuff in FFXII, weapons and upgrades in RE4. Though in that game I made my money back with selling the Broken Butterfly, infrared scope and some other stuff I kept getting after my first playthrough.

    I always see infrared as one word

  2. Jake avatar

    I didn’t think I had finished the escort missions – I’ve had a pimp hat for a while though. Well, even better if it was a free hat!

  3. Tony avatar

    I find it funny, Jake, that you of all people would be tight in-game. Your gamer score implies you have bought at least twice as many games as I have at home, and that’s assuming you’ve got every achievement on every single game you own!

    If you’ve only got the same achievement-to-games-owned ratio as me though, you should own 6 times more games than me!

    Maybe the in-game frugality is the ying to your real world spending yang?

  4. Carole avatar

    Thank you Tony In answer to your question I believe that its more likely Jake owns approximately ten times more games than you however I am not in a fair position to comment as generally he hides about half of them from me 🙂

  5. Kirsten avatar

    Knife licking? How disgusting! I’m very tight in RPG’s with potions. I can’t bare to top up my HP/MP if I’m going to come out of a battle and go into a cutscene and get my health restored.

    In Lost Odyssey I’d get a magic user who wasn’t in my active party to top up everybody’s health and then quite the game after saving at the save point. When you reload all your characters are back to full health and full MP. By the end of the game (just like I find in every RPG) my inventory is chockablock with high level potion snd ethers that I’ve never touched.

  6. Michael avatar

    I’d say whisht you but I have a question – where is the quit option in Lost Odyssey? The (apparent) absence of that in some games annoys me

  7. Kirsten avatar

    It’s in the options in the menu. Yeah I find the lack of a quit option unsettling in games but I suppose it’s no longer really needed.

  8. Dave avatar

    That irked me in Lost Odyssey too.

    Sometimes I’d realise I just did something really stupid in a fight which meant I was going to die in twenty or so turns and I’d want to just quit back to the load screen without having to go back to the dashboard first.

    Alas, we were offered no such luxury 🙁

    (absolutely mint game otherwise!)

  9. Andy Turner avatar
    Andy Turner

    I too become some terrible hoarder of items and cash when it comes to games…currently I’m only a little way into the epic story of Fallout, chances are I could be further along by now if I didn’t stop at every derelict shack in the wilderness fill my pockets with all the tat inside and then crawl back to Megaton to sell on my scrounged goods (and arm loads of rat meat) to the local shop owner.

    In contrast to you however GTA 4 was one of the few games in which I have been frivolous with my money…or at least I became that way after I got tired of a police car magically spawning behind me the second I steal a car usually when I only have 10 minutes to play and really wanted to progress on the story a little. No my Nico soon became a man of leisure rarely sullying his own hands on a steering wheel unless there was work to be done…and letting taxis ferry me from door to door the rest of the time, keep the change…

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