Anyone Struggle with Game Buying Decisions?

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Ovirew

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#1  Edited By Ovirew
Member since 2008 • 9366 Posts

...Whether it be due to indecision, finances, time, moods, responsibilities, or other factors?

It's been in the back of my mind lately.

For me, I don't get good Internet with my current living situation, so I take that into consideration with game purchases. (Among other things.)

I keep thinking that moving would afford me new options with gaming. But I still feel conflicted about what gaming purchases would be worth it, and which ones I should avoid.

When I look at my current collection of games I still feel mixed about it over all. I'm a little cautious about my future purchasing decisions based off of the present. (ex: Pokemon Shield.)

Amidst big releases, indie games; physical and digital releases; and tons of DLC, micro-transactions and subscriptions there is a sea of options to consider. And just knowing about a game and doing some research isn't always enough to know it'll be worth it in the long run.

Anyone else feel like it's gotten difficult to decide what's worth buying and playing? And how do you usually make your decisions these days?

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mrbojangles25

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#2 mrbojangles25
Member since 2005 • 45657 Posts

No. I usually see a game I want, add it to my wishlist, then sleep on it for a night or two.

If I don't start playing something else, or if the thought of the game nags at the back of my mind, then I go and buy it.

Concerning AAA games, I do have some issues because on one hand I know most of these franchises and have fond memories of them--your Far Cries, your Call of Duties, your DOOMs, and so on--but at the same time I've become really fed up with the monotony and lack of innovation in these games. They're also the most expensive games out there, with base versions at 59.99+tax and "deluxe" version going in excess of 110.00. So I do think about those games quite a b it before buying.

Fortunately most of the games I want are independently published so they are generally cheap, I don't need to think too long about it. I rarely regret a purchase.

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Ovirew

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#3 Ovirew
Member since 2008 • 9366 Posts

@mrbojangles25: Do you find that you spend enough time with all of these independently-published games? Do you feel like you typically get your money's worth? (In general.)

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Speeny

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#4 Speeny
Member since 2018 • 2327 Posts

Sometimes. I generally have a pretty good idea of what I like though.

On the other hand, if I order a game from Amazon and play it as soon as I can, if, by any chance I'm not feeling it, I can just return it and get my money back. I usually don't like returning things but selling things off can be even more of a hassle.

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mrbojangles25

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#5  Edited By mrbojangles25
Member since 2005 • 45657 Posts

@Ovirew said:

@mrbojangles25: Do you find that you spend enough time with all of these independently-published games? Do you feel like you typically get your money's worth? (In general.)

I do, I absolutely do.

My most played game, Factorio, that I've spent hundreds of hours on, only cost me 20 dollars.

The only thing that can rival the play time I've spent on Factorio is maybe World of Warcraft (which has a monthly sub) or Counter-Strike and Team Fortress, both of which are either mods (or derived from mods) and also independent games.

But it doesn't end there. On the flip-side, and equally as beneficial, is the idea that a lot of independent games are short. They end! Isn't that a wonderful thing these days, in these times where AAA publishers try to bleed you dry for months upon months upon years with DLC and boring open worlds. A game that ends after 10-20 hours! And it's only costs 10-20 dollars.

Plus, a lot of these games have high replayability. Whether they're rogue-likes or games like FTL or Into the Breach or some other bite-sized game, it's just nice to be able to beat something in its entirety over the span of a week, and then saying "Damn, that was fun; I think I will play it again!"

That's not to say I never felt like a made a bad purchase; sometimes I will take a gamble on something and I won't play it, but at that point I think I've only wasted 5-10 dollars. That's a lot less than what people spent on Ghost Recon: Breakpoint.

I've got probably 100 hours in AC: Odyssey and, don't get me wrong I enjoyed my time with it, but about 50% of that time is a lot of bullshit. Travelling, talking, doing fetch quests and stuff.

An article at Polygon (groan, I know...) said it best, but one of the best things about The Outer Worlds is that it ends after 20 or so hours. I totally agree. That's also a sentiment that I felt from a lot of other posters out here. I think there is a lesson for developers and publishers to be learned there; make a good game, and move on. Don't keep the customer on the line needlessly.

*Sorry I sort of went on for a bit longer than I meant to haha. TL;DR: I find indie games have a good value either because their depth of gameplay is nearly infinite (as in the case of games like Factorio, Elite; Dangerous, Stellaris, and so on) or in the notion that they end and are highly satisfying and worth multiple replays.

**Here is that Polygon article I mentioned.

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RSM-HQ

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#6 RSM-HQ
Member since 2009 • 8982 Posts

Not really, the way it work for me is have a clear budget in mind every year for how much I'm willing to sink into gaming.

Some people use the 'moneys worth' alibi for gaming. My time, and the quality of that time spent gaming is far more important. I don't care if a game has 1,000 hours of gameplay, if that gameplay is mediocre/ stale/ or underwhelming.

Back onto budget usually some games are absolutely up-my-alley as the saying goes. If I still have some left over I consider games my friends or even just forum posters rave about; assuming it reaches the basics for what I enjoy in the hobby.

This year I don't see myself experimenting much. PS5 launch, Bare Knuckle 4, Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Resident Evil 3 are absolute must purchases as far as I'm concerned. D00M 64 as well I guess, though don't see that consuming much funds. Just hope Bethesda doesn't screw that port up or otherwise I will pass on it.

And if my maths are correct that leaves me with enough for three more full-priced games, so we'll see what gaming events drop. Or I'll drop my funds on discounts/ sales.

@Ovirew said: (ex: Pokemon Shield.)

My fellow Gamer, feel I warned you so many times to pass on that game. Even gave detailed reasons for why it is so mediocre. And sure I myself fell into that purchase, but that's a lesson learned for me, started with X/Y and S/M and heavily enjoyed both, saw no reason to not dive in. I for one do not intend to buy future Pokémon unless I read some very outstanding things about the game(s) from reliable sources, this includes that upcoming DLC.

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thereal25

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#7 thereal25
Member since 2011 • 1887 Posts

Just gotta weigh everything up. Consider how much free time you have/will have, how your recent purchases have gone, how much money you have, whether the game looks like good bang for buck, reviews (both positive and negative), sales, dlc possibilities and of course, your backlog.

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Ovirew

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#8 Ovirew
Member since 2008 • 9366 Posts

@speeny:I think it can be difficult to tell if a particular game is one you will have the time for, be interested enough to want to play once you buy it, and have enough originality or wow factor.

When I think back over some of my purchases on the Switch, I think it can be difficult to really categorize which games were and weren't worth the buy for me.

I haven't played Wargroove as much as I would like, but I think that was a good buy because it's so dang close to the Advance Wars games that I loved years ago and I could see myself working on it again despite being stuck on that same level for about a year now lol. Katana Zero was probably a very good purchase also, but I reached this point close to the end where I just got stuck and haven't ever gone back and finished it. Both Steamworld Dig games are simply great.

A lot of games are kind of in-between. I think Hotline Miami Collection was a great purchase because I was playing that a lot when I got it, but one thing that is kind of missing in the transition to the Switch are achievements/trophies (except they are kind of built into the second game) which would have added some more value or challenge to the game. I am glad that Ori and the Blind Forest came to the Switch, but I question if buying it was the right decision for me since I haven't sat and played it on the Switch yet and purchased it digitally on the XBox One years ago, so if I get that again one day I would likely prefer that version.

I love me some Overwatch, and it is cool that it runs on the Switch. It's just noticeably not as good as it was on the Xbox One, is missing the achievements, and frequently crashes on me because of my unpredictable Internet connection where I live now. And I have no doubt the Shovel Knight Treasure Trove was a fantastic value when I bought it at Switch launch, I just haven't been compelled to work on it since I got my newer Switch system, even with all of the recent free updates.

But then I've got countless games that I wonder about. I really loved the demo of Deltarune, and I was sort of enjoying Undertale when I got it... But then my feelings about Undertale are kind of mixed and I haven't felt like sitting down to play it. Untitled Goose Game I bought on a whim, and it's funny and novel, but I don't feel like touching it again. Okami, I question whether I'll want to sit and play again. But heck, even big releases like Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Fire Emblem 3 Houses and Pokemon Shield I'm surprised at how mixed my feelings are about them. Pokemon Shield might actually be the biggest disappointment in a major game series ever.

I think it is hard for me to make a plan about how to spend, and to predict what I will want to play. And even with reviews and previews of games I still don't always know quite what I'm getting myself into.

@mrbojangles25: Hey, don't apologize for having a lot to say about an issue. Look at the block of text I just responded to Speeny with lol. I think you make some good points.

Yeah there is something to say about a game having a clear-cut ending, or offering fun replay value. I think the biggest thing is cutting out the "bloat".

I think a lot of games kind of teeter this fine-line between cleverness and un-originality though. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's Adventure mode gives me very mixed feelings. On the one hand, there is a lot of play-time there, and it's kind of cool seeing which character choices and handicaps they used to represent certain characters. (Seeing an orange Dr. Mario with an army of tiny Solid Snakes represent CO Andy from Advance Wars was just brilliant, Imo.) But the gameplay can get boring and repetitive and tedious quick, and stickers feel like a real gimmick. And on another note, the game is such a mixed bag because the only way to play it with friends online is to make "rooms" you enter codes to join, thereby nullifying a huge part of the multiplayer-with-friends. Let's not get started on how many of the characters feel like clones or old hat.

My mind kind of goes back to games like Trenched! (Iron Brigade) and RISK: Factions on the 360. These had short campaigns, but were a ton of fun. Trenched didn't have a ton of replay value, but you would certainly replay some stages. RISK Factions had plenty of replay value, and I'm still stunned it was removed from the library. I will sit and play the RISK game on my smartphone sometimes and it's pretty fun, but I still wonder to this day why they completely did away with the unique gameplay features that existed in that game.

I feel like new Halo games almost always met my standards. The campaigns are usually just long enough that you can have a lengthy play-through alone or co-op, and the achievements and hidden goodies and easter eggs really make for a deep and re-playable adventure, on top of the way check-points already drastically changed the way each play through would go down. The multiplayer is always loaded with great fun all-around.

I obviously enjoy long adventures too since I like World of Warcraft Classic, but even that inevitably had a point where you could do everything - minor quests and all - and the only thing that might add replay value (aside from new characters) is things like battlegrounds, arena, vs, and maxxing out your avatar with the best possible loot and augments. I won't really touch modern WoW anymore though because it reached a point where most quests just became push-over and not very fun as the game skewed to focus on the newest high-level content. I think Skyrim is pretty great from what I played, and maybe the thing about that game is, you aren't really expected to do everything in a single playthrough? Idk.

My issue with a lot of small, indie games becomes that the purchases can really go either way, and in a lot of cases they are tied to your account and just kind of take up space in your library. I still think Costume Quest was a great game, and worth the ten or fifteen bucks I spent on that back in the day. But even with a game as good as that it becomes kind of a paperweight after you've played through it once or twice.

Card Crawl was one game I bought on my phone that was kind of fun and had replay value. Bloons TD5 is always great also, but the problem is I almost always want to play RISK if I play anything on my phone lol. And then there are stinkers like Chroma Squad and Cat Quest that I regret tremendously. Let's not even speak of that whole Pokemon Go *cough*money-sink*cough* thing...

Annnnd another wall of text, sorry lol.

@RSM-HQ: And you were absolutely right about Pokemon Sword and Shield. But it can be just so difficult to convey that idea to people without them playing it themselves and understanding exactly what you're talking about. I don't think a Pokemon game has ever felt THAT lifeless before. And it took a few hours of playtime (I think I put in close to two days' worth of playtime just catching tons of stuff in the wild and whatnot) to really have everything likable about the game gradually kind of wear off and snap me into reality. Like we have reached this point where spin-off Pokemon games might actually be getting better than the main-series games. And like you, I don't really see myself playing a new Pokemon game again unless it's more like gen 1 - gen 4, or drastically different from the present offerings.

Even Fire Emblem somehow managed to screw up its Switch debut by throwing away the weapons triad and turning the game into an anxiety-ridden search-and-converse fest. I like it certainly more than Pokemon Shield, but there's no denying it's not really as good as a lot of the older games.

Your principle about having the time for a game, and about a game having gameplay that is fun and not stale regardless of length and replay value, hits home.

Every year I keep going around in circles and kind of reach this point where I'm unsatisfied with my game collections. And maybe that's the problem - that I'm building collections. I have a buddy who only buys like a few games for the life of every game system he purchases, and I think he's probably got the right idea. He waits for the big ones, the games that kind of define a generation. Of course I know I also like more quirky and experimental games than him, and so sometimes it comes down to taking a chance on something different - and that either pays off or doesn't.

This year I haven't made any game purchases yet, aside from buying another month of WoW Classic. I think things might stay that way for a while. I've been thinking about making some life changes and moving away, and I don't really know how that would impact things yet in the long run but I suspect it could be a while before I decide to buy any other games. (Aside from WoW time, perhaps.) I have an idea of some future games I might like to play, but for now Idk what the plan is. Maybe your idea of sticking to a set number of purchases for the entire year is a smart one.

@thereal25: The dreaded backlog! I think that is my downfall a little bit. Like I mentioned a bit in some of these other responses, I have this habit of trying to "collect" all of these games that seem interesting to me, and don't always have the time or interest then. And I have this problem of deciding what system to purchase a game on, since I seem to buy a new system like every year or two, and there are pros and cons to getting it for Switch or XBox One, for example, or even the PC or smartphone.

Something I did a little last year, since I was away from the Switch for so long and returned to owning one again, was I went back through and read up on the "essential" games people recommended buying for it. And in a way that was smart because it pointed me in the direction of great games like Steamworld Dig 2. But then I have to use my own judgment a bit too, and I guess that's difficult when you're debating whether to give a port of an older game a try because it's available again, and you can play it in handheld mode as well as on the television. There's a lot of little factors to consider, and I always end up screwing it up.

Pushing on into my 30's, I am reaching a point where I am actually leaning towards digital games over buying physical, but at the same time I don't want to waste my time on digital games I won't enjoy. Monthly services like Game Pass seem like options I might be more willing to embrace nowadays, and I see where Apple and Google might be onto something with their streaming services eventually. But streaming still feels like an ugly word, and I would much prefer to download games I play, at least.

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Speeny

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#9 Speeny
Member since 2018 • 2327 Posts

@Ovirew said:

@speeny:I think it can be difficult to tell if a particular game is one you will have the time for, be interested enough to want to play once you buy it, and have enough originality or wow factor.

When I think back over some of my purchases on the Switch, I think it can be difficult to really categorize which games were and weren't worth the buy for me.

I haven't played Wargroove as much as I would like, but I think that was a good buy because it's so dang close to the Advance Wars games that I loved years ago and I could see myself working on it again despite being stuck on that same level for about a year now lol. Katana Zero was probably a very good purchase also, but I reached this point close to the end where I just got stuck and haven't ever gone back and finished it. Both Steamworld Dig games are simply great.

A lot of games are kind of in-between. I think Hotline Miami Collection was a great purchase because I was playing that a lot when I got it, but one thing that is kind of missing in the transition to the Switch are achievements/trophies (except they are kind of built into the second game) which would have added some more value or challenge to the game. I am glad that Ori and the Blind Forest came to the Switch, but I question if buying it was the right decision for me since I haven't sat and played it on the Switch yet and purchased it digitally on the XBox One years ago, so if I get that again one day I would likely prefer that version.

I love me some Overwatch, and it is cool that it runs on the Switch. It's just noticeably not as good as it was on the Xbox One, is missing the achievements, and frequently crashes on me because of my unpredictable Internet connection where I live now. And I have no doubt the Shovel Knight Treasure Trove was a fantastic value when I bought it at Switch launch, I just haven't been compelled to work on it since I got my newer Switch system, even with all of the recent free updates.

But then I've got countless games that I wonder about. I really loved the demo of Deltarune, and I was sort of enjoying Undertale when I got it... But then my feelings about Undertale are kind of mixed and I haven't felt like sitting down to play it. Untitled Goose Game I bought on a whim, and it's funny and novel, but I don't feel like touching it again. Okami, I question whether I'll want to sit and play again. But heck, even big releases like Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Fire Emblem 3 Houses and Pokemon Shield I'm surprised at how mixed my feelings are about them. Pokemon Shield might actually be the biggest disappointment in a major game series ever.

I think it is hard for me to make a plan about how to spend, and to predict what I will want to play. And even with reviews and previews of games I still don't always know quite what I'm getting myself into.

Yikes that was long, though I had to cut the post down to just what you've said to me. :P

Well, to add I recently purchased and played Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap for the Switch. Seeing as I really like what I've played of Shantae, I thought this game might be up my alley too. Geez, maybe I was wrong. Although I like the art style, the game is difficult for me personally. Reading into it now people were saying that the game is just a frame for frame HD remake of the older title. I didn't grow up in the 8-bit era all that much, maybe I'm just not used to it. I usually give in and just play most games on easy, because I'm more into things for the experience rather than a challenge. But, for this I didn't really want to do that. So I'll probably revisit it down the line. It's a shame though. I wanted to really get into it. The standard game came with some really nice extras including a key chain, soundtrack & manual. I think that's it...

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thereal25

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#10 thereal25
Member since 2011 • 1887 Posts

@Ovirew:Honestly, I don't think the last 10 years have been that great for gaming in general. There are barely a dozen games that I could speak proudly of.

I was just thinking last night that it's been over 10 years and nothing has surpassed Fallout 3 in all that time. Wow.

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Ovirew

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#11 Ovirew
Member since 2008 • 9366 Posts

@speeny:I know what you mean. I had a similar experience when I had gotten Cuphead on the XBox One X.

Granted, it seems like a really fun game, but the gameplay felt much different than I was expecting. I think it may have been fun to play through on co-op, but I was stuck a few levels in playing alone. I'd like to try to go back and give it another shot one day.

@thereal25: I guess I tend to look at the past 10 years and notice the improvements more than disappointments. Yeah, the DS and 360 years were pretty dang good, but I also remember those times and they had disappointments too.

Since 2010 a lot of great games have come along. Skyrim, GTA 5, The Last of Us, Divinity Original Sin, BotW, Hearthstone, The Binding of Isaac, Hotline Miami, Rocket League, Overwatch, a revival of DOOM, Shovel Knight, Witcher 3, Minecraft (main release), etc.

Speaking from my own perspective, I think a lot has come out that has been good. But heck, I was pleased with the exclusives on XBox One, so maybe others need a lot more to be impressed.

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#12 thereal25
Member since 2011 • 1887 Posts

@Ovirew: Maybe it's an age thing. I'm like this with other things too. Whether it's a book, music, a tv series, a movie - I increasingly find that I don't have time for it unless it's insanely good.

The key, I find, is not to spend too much, too often.

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Ovirew

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#13 Ovirew
Member since 2008 • 9366 Posts

@thereal25: I think you're right. I just can't focus on a bunch of games like I used to. And I can't gamble on every interesting game that comes along. Gotta be more frugal, and decisive about what I spend my money on for gaming.

Someone made a thread a few days ago (in Gaming or SW, I don't recall which atm) and asked everyone to list the top 5 titles they are most interested in for 2020. I did that, and I kind of realized since then that those are probably the games I will want to get this year.

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#14 Speeny
Member since 2018 • 2327 Posts

@Ovirew said:

@thereal25: I think you're right. I just can't focus on a bunch of games like I used to.

Kind of related to what you're saying but I only like to play one game at a time. Gives me the room to really take in the experience for what it is.

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#15 VFighter
Member since 2016 • 6015 Posts

If the price is right I usually can't say no. Take Shaq Fu, $5 for a new ps4 copy from Best Buy, I wouldn't touch the game at full price, but for $5, why the hell not?

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omegaMaster

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#16 omegaMaster
Member since 2017 • 1384 Posts

Not really. The problem I face finding time to playing video games after spending 8 hours staring at the screen at work.

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#17 thereal25
Member since 2011 • 1887 Posts

@Ovirew said:

@thereal25: I think you're right. I just can't focus on a bunch of games like I used to. And I can't gamble on every interesting game that comes along. Gotta be more frugal, and decisive about what I spend my money on for gaming.

Someone made a thread a few days ago (in Gaming or SW, I don't recall which atm) and asked everyone to list the top 5 titles they are most interested in for 2020. I did that, and I kind of realized since then that those are probably the games I will want to get this year.

Exactly, if you haven't spent too much then there's not much to regret. And I still find that no matter how careful I am I still find myself making purchases that don't feel worth it.

For example: I thought street fighter 30th anniversary edition (pc) would be pretty dope until I bought it and realized that not only are the moves unreasonably difficult to pull off, but the ai cheats like crazy. Another example would be dishonored 1 & 2. I just don't get the hype about these games. Sooo overrated!

I just can't focus on a bunch of games like I used to.

If a game can't hold your attention for long then it can't be that good. It's also possible that you might be subconsciously thinking that if you're spending time on one game then you're missing out on something else, but don't do that to yourself because that "something else" could easily be just another disappointment.

Someone made a thread a few days ago (in Gaming or SW, I don't recall which atm) and asked everyone to list the top 5 titles they are most interested in for 2020. I did that, and I kind of realized since then that those are probably the games I will want to get this year.

Heh yeah, for a while there I was thinking to myself that if I didn't buy cp2077 day 1, then I'd have no right to call myself a gamer. Now I'm having second thoughts though. Sure it's going to be technologically impressive but that doesn't necessarily equate to fun. And there are other upcoming games that look awesome too - like vampire bloodlines 2 and system shock 3.

Meanwhile I just bought Rage 2 (pc).

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#18 Blazepanzer24
Member since 2018 • 315 Posts

Meh...I wouldn't say struggle, there's a lot of games I'm interested in, but I'm able to just pick a game or a few if I want to invest in games that month. Now when it comes to two $60 games, then that can be a bit of a struggle, but there's only a few games I'm actually willing to buy at $60 anyhow.

And by the time I get around to buying those kinds of games, most (Non-Nintendo IPs) have already dropped in price. As a result, I only buy a $60 game once in a blue moon or so.

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#19 hrt_rulz01
Member since 2006 • 19803 Posts

It's definitely difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff in the Switch eShop... there are just sooooo many Indie games on there. And I've definitely wasted some $$ buying games I thought I would like but ended up deleting.

Man I wish Switch had a Game Pass like Xbox :(

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Ovirew

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#20 Ovirew
Member since 2008 • 9366 Posts

@hrt_rulz01: Very true. Imo the Switch eShop is horribly organized.

Back when there weren't many games yet I wasted money on a little game called Mr. Shifty. Still regret that one...

But the sheer number of shovelware 99 cent games on there is overwhelming. I'm all for supporting the little guy, but at least keep it all separate ya'know?

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#21  Edited By hrt_rulz01
Member since 2006 • 19803 Posts

@Ovirew: Yeah exactly.

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#22 Jieuwok
Member since 2020 • 6 Posts

Nope, I know what i want to buy exaclty.

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#23  Edited By Ezekiel43
Member since 2017 • 2237 Posts

I barely buy ANY games. Unimpressed on almost all fronts. Can't even think of anything except RE3 and HL3 this year. Will play Doom, but that last game was a 3/5 for me. CP2077 looks nice, but will probably be plagued by open world bullshittery.