There is a difficult decision every gamer must make when faced with the acquisition of a new game, whether to rent that new release, or own a copy of their own. No one likes buying a crappy game, but there have also been many times when I’ve taken a rental back that I ended up purchasing later. I want to take the guesswork out of owning and renting the right kinds of games without you wasting money.
Everyone has different tastes, some people prefer racing games, and others can’t get enough sports titles, but you can generally trust the opinions of respected gaming websites like IGN and Gamespot when they review games. When I am interested in a new game, I check out reviews from those websites along with the player reviews when I need a second opinion. You can trust your peers when it comes to judging games and it can save you money when they tell you not to buy a game.
Racing games nowadays often lack offline multiplayer gameplay, and for me, that greatly reduces the enjoyment received from such games. Series like Need for Speed are fun for a few days, but don’t have the features other genres have that keep the gamer coming back. Online racing is fun, but I can drive vehicles in other games that also allow me to shoot at other players, so I can do a lot more in other genres than I can in games that focus solely on racing.
Racing games get the heart pumping, but you might want to rent before you buy just to make sure it’s a good fit Multiplayer games that allow many people in the same living room to enjoy a game at the same time is are great additions to your video game collection and are often a good buy. Games like Rock Band and Left 4 Dead get even better the more people you have playing and will usually last a long enough time for you to get your money’s worth, even if buying all that Rockband equipment was costly, it’s still worth it in the long run.
Shooters are a tricky genre to pass judgment on. Back before consoles came with network capabilities, shooters were easily in the rental category. But the ability for gamers to connect to the internet and play with others all over the world has greatly extended the life of shooting games. Call of Duty and Halo 3 are testaments to this, their online communities being in the hundreds of thousands with many players probably never even touching the single player campaign mode. The market is getting flooded with first person shooters like Killzone 2, Call of Duty: World at War, and Resistance 2, and they are all pretty similar, with one player modes and online gamplay with minor differences in story and whether your enemies are humans or aliens. I recommend buying one or two because they will last a long time in your PS3 or XBOX 360, but owning all of them seems unnecessary. Renting the ones you don’t own is more than adequate to satisfy your curiousity of the other games in the genre.
Different genres of games fairly often determine the length of the game with RPGs being the longest. Games like Oblivion and Two Worlds can take hundreds of hours to complete if you like exploring every nook and cranny, completing every quest, and finding the best weapons and armor. RPGs, in my opinion, provide the most bang for your buck because they provide a long and enjoyable journey that in many cases plays like an interactive book. You can’t really go wrong with buying and RPG if you do your homework and look at reviews before you buy. My rule of thumb is if gaming websites rate an RPG at 7/10 or less, it’s probably a fairly enjoyable game, but won’t keep your attention long enough to warrant throwing down $60 (Eternal Sonata anyone?).
Some franchises are tried and true, like the Uncharted games
Here’s what to look into before buying a game:
-Check the rating: the higher it is, the more likely the game will be good enough to keep you playing it
-Consider what types of genres you prefer, if you love racing games and like Maggie Q, go ahead and buy Need for Speed Undercover
-See an estimate of how long the game takes to complete: why pay $60 for a game that you can beat in a couple hours?
-Replay value: games that give the player different choices to make that effect the development of the character and outcome of the game make it more fun to go back and play the game again and take a different path
-Price: $60 for a new game is harsh, but that clearance bin with the greatest hits can have some really good older games that you just never got around to playing
If the game doesn’t meet the criteria above, pass on buying it (as hard as it may be) and rent it for a few days instead, you’ll be glad you did if the game turns out to be crappy because you can gladly send the game on its way and await the next one in your queue, with your fingers crossed.
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