Late to the Party

While I’m on time for real-life appointments, if not at least ten minutes early, I’m generally not on time for video game releases (with only the rare exception). There’s nothing wrong with being late though; let me explain why.

I'm late! I'm late! For a very important release date!

Firstly, let’s mark the difference between being late and being patient. Being patient involves actually waiting. Some people have a ‘month rule’: don’t buy a game brand new, buy it only after x amount of months have elapsed. This is patience; waiting to see whether any creases have been ironed out, waiting for the price to drop or waiting for the game to prove its worth and longevity before investing. Being late is different. Being late is knowing that the game came out, forgetting about it, vaguely listening to everyone raving about it but being too tied up with other things to investigate. Being late is realising after a long time has passed that you’ve missed something, and going to pick it up, and finally enjoying what everyone else has probably long forgotten or at least completed three times over.

Boring box art, but bursting with content.

If you’re keen on saving money, then being late to the party is really the way to go. I haven’t played Dragon Age Origins yet, but that will change when the ‘Ultimate’ edition hits shortly. Being a year behind (a year!) seems to have been justified, with all of the downloadable content included in one giant package rather than a tantalising and expensive drip feed. I was pleased with the appearance some time ago of the Fallout 3 Game of the Year edition which followed the same pattern. Most video game retailers also go through cycles, offering discounts, 2 for £30 deals etc for titles that have passed their prime. Of course, if you’re a dedicated fan or are keen on having things such as shiny, extra special, super accessorised special editions as soon as they come out, then paying the extra won’t really bother you. Overall though, I’m happy to trade time for savings, especially as I have a backlog of games so long it could rival the history of time itself.

The other main benefit to being a latecomer is that it makes the wait between sequels that much easier. I may have screwed this up slightly with Mass Effect though… It took me a while to buy and play through the first one, and by the time I’d finished it, happily Mass Effect 2 was available, cutting out the agonising wait that other fans had to go through. Unfortunately, becoming addicted to Mass Effect 2 meant that I powered through that game in no time, and am subject to the same painful wait for the third installment as everyone else. Should have held out for longer… Or maybe Dragon Age Origins will provide a welcome distraction.

The titles tend to build up, and you can spend your time casually playing through each large wonderful game, only for another one to be ready for you to pick up. My recent pattern of titles has been Mass Effect → Mass Effect 2 → Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition → Lots of random Xbox Live Arcade Games → Lots of random backlog games → Assassins Creed 2 Game of the Year Edition. Next in line is Dragon Age Origins Ultimate Edition, which will set me up nicely for the next round of big titles that I’m late to pick up.

So if you’re not exactly current on all of your releases, then it doesn’t really matter! Well, it kind of does matter if you’re a multiplayer gamer since for certain titles, the fads go really quickly, and if you’re too late it might be difficult to find people to play with. Still, the higher quality titles always have someone around if you want to play with others. If you’re a solo gamer like me though, then being bang up to date won’t have been too important. Just taking your time is a lovely way to go; if you have the whole package in one chunk, then you can take your time and really enjoy your game. Plus, if you get stuck, there are guaranteed to be ten million faqs and guide videos already uploaded on the incredible, edible internet.

Lots of people can tell me where to find those glyphs and feathers…







One response to “Late to the Party”

  1. Dean avatar

    I agree, i tend to do this as much as possible – more often than not because i’m always skint. But then Love Film came along and meant that i could have my cake and eat it: enjoy the brand spanking new game on release at my leisure, and then buy it two years down the line when it’s on sale for £10 with all the DLC, then enjoy it all over again.

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