Cheap Thrills

As someone who has previously written about his unhealthy obsession with buying full price games as soon as they come out, I have noticed something interesting happening to me recently.

I’m spending less on games.

Wait, no, of course not. That would be ludicrous. What I meant was:

I’m spending less on EACH game.

Recently I have been swept up with buying smaller, cheaper titles to keep me busy. That and a few chunks of DLC to freshen up some of my older titles, sort of like a bottle of digital Febreze. I haven’t paid much more than a tenner for a little while.

Topatoi: gaming on the cheap at eight quid.

I’m not sure exactly why this is. I have a few theories though:

  • A lack of full price titles I’m really interested in
  • The fact that I have just paid a load of money for a new car
  • The tabloids have convinced me of the fact that I’ll be dead of swine flu before I’ve finished a full price title

As it is, every Thursday I’m always the one huddling outside the Playstation Store in a sleeping bag like a woman outside the Next sale, but I quite frequently look around and don’t buy anything. And I rarely touch the Xbox Marketplace as a sort of “up yours” to all the adverts on the New Advertising Experience dashboard. But then, to quote Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker, something changed.

I think the item that triggered all this was Burnout Paradise’s “Big Surf Island” DLC, which I pretty much decided I might as well buy. After all, I’d already downloaded the sodding thing thanks to the giant patch needed to play online. That, of course, and the fact that it looked like (and actually is) awesome fun.

Once my card details were updated I was off on a digital shopping spree, filling my virtual trolley (complete with virtual wonky wheel) with games. I’ve splurged on Battlefield 1943 and Worms: Armageddon on 360, and Topatoi and Trash Panic on PS3. I got Zuma too, but that was with a review code so it doesn’t really count.

Trash Panic
Trash Panic: Great. Cheap. And hard. So very hard.

Topatoi is a strange little platform game that was OK, but a little disappointing for the price (£7.99) but Trash Panic (£3.99) might well be the bargain of the decade. It’s a fast moving action puzzle game where you have to fit a massive amount of trash into a fairly small bin, by breaking, stacking, smashing, burning and decomposing it all. The reason I say that it is such a bargain is because it’s so hard I could play it for the next seventeen million years and would probably never get past Level 4. I say that, of course, having never got past Level 3 ever. Trash Panic is harder than diamond tipped ninjas, but great fun to play, and the two player mode is chaotic but good fun.

Battlefield has fallen to the bottom of the pile a bit due to the server problems it had when I first tried to play it, but I’ve had my fair share of Worms obliterated since I bought the game. Playing all of these DLC games even reminded me of how much I love Pixeljunk: Eden, so I’ve even gone back to that now too.

What all this means to me is that I now have a handful of games to play, and all for the price of about £40. I’ll use a food analogy now because I’m hungry – if Ghostbusters is your huge steak meal, then all these little gems are like tapas. A bit of everything, and that’s sometimes the way things ought to be. Small, cheap, but they let you try a little piece of everything. Perfect.







6 responses to “Cheap Thrills”

  1. Laura avatar

    “Digital Febreze”, love it! 🙂

  2. Mark avatar

    Absolutely Tony, couldn’t agree more. I’ve become a little dissilusioned with retail titles of late, but Trash Panic, Splosion Man and Battlefield have quenched my thirst for unique gaming ideas.

    Two titles coming to PSN that I’m looking forward to are Trine (out now on PC, and excellent) and Shatter (out today!)

  3. Jake avatar

    Get Splosion Man. Top notch fun 🙂

  4. van-fu avatar

    Hm. I am the complete opposite. I haven’t quite bought a XBLA game that I thought was a great purchase. Even Peggle was a bit…, crappy.

  5. Lorna avatar

    If you get just the right game then some XBLA games can be more fun and offer greater longevity than some mainstream games.

  6. Jonny/IV DemonJ avatar
    Jonny/IV DemonJ

    I think alot of people are in the same boat here Tony, I haven’t bought a retail games since xmas, the DLC out this year has been thoroughly worthwhile, whether it be GTA’s TLAD, World at War’s Map Packs or simply, Fallout 3s ever expanding story.

    I know there has been a lack of quality titles out this year any way and with the xmas “big hitters” being delayed til early next year, I think im only going to buy one “full priced” game all year! (Modern Warfare 2 😉 )

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