The Digital Video Game Conundrum

May 05, 2013

It's been some time since I wrote for the site. I've been very busy, as one can imagine. I've been working hard on a variety of projects, all projects by Artevelde University College Ghent of course. Updates on everything will follow, but in the meantime you might want to check out a presentation I gave some time ago for an English class, one on responsive design and mobile traffic. But that's not what I want to talk about today. Today I want to talk about Video Game reviews. In my free time, I've been playing a bit this weekend, and I've been thinking about reviews and video game prices.

Digital Retailers And Low Priced Awesomeness

You might know that Steam, a platform by Valve, is a great and easy way to purchase and play games. There's always discounts on Steam, which is kind of interesting.

Of course there are other online purchase platforms, like GOG.com, who offer older games (but also more recent titles) completely DRM-free, which is awesome. I got Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (from 1999) for €2 from there, they also did some free deals, which is how I got the first Fallout.

Another 'platform' is the Humble Store, which is a part of the Humble Bundle. When Humble Bundles launch, you pay what you like for a bundle of games. Wholeheartedly recommended!

Finally, there's Gamersgate, another online platform that offers even larger discounts as you purchase more games. (You unlock a 'discount'-currency that stacks as you purchase more things.)

However, Steam is still the most prevalent game platform. There's a nice 'recommendation' section, and I use it to write down my thoughts on games after I finish them. Since my profile is not public, no one but my friends get to enjoy my reviews. However, I want to share my thoughts on video games and video game prices on this site.

Aspects of Video Game Purchases

When you think of picking up a game, there's few factors you're going to consider. Perhaps not if it is your first purchase, but if you've purchased quite a few games, you end up looking for a few things in video games, like replayability, a great story, and generally, you're looking for a bang for your buck.

Waiting For The Discounts

'A good video game' is certainly something that doesn't exist, because a game can be good or bad in the eye of the beholder. That doesn't mean that we can tell you how we feel about a game. Most of the time, you don't want to get a game when it releases because you will be paying full price and because you don't know whether the end product will be worth it. So most of the time, especially during recent years, people end up waiting a few months for the hype to die down, and then decide whether to get a title or not. By that time, video games are usually discounted.

When To Get Them At Full Price

I'm going to tell you that's a great thing, because it means we can get more games for less money, and that's always cool. So, when should you pick up a game at full price? Well, if you can't wait for a certain title, and it gets good reviews (I'm looking at you, BioShock Infinite), I'm sure to get it at full price. Think about this, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is also worth a purchase, even though you will always have to pay full price, because it is sold through Battle.net.

A Bunch of Reviews

These are the games that I played recently, and my opinion on them. I'll be brief and I won't spoil what they are about, so if you want to play them, prepare to be surprised.

BioShock & BioShock II: Two great games, set in a mysterious underwater world. A unique setting and a unique cast of characters in both titles makes these two games amazing and definitely worth a playthrough. Worth at least 6 hours of content for either game on a single playthrough, which means you might clock in at 15-20 hours on both games if you go slow and explore some more.

The Walking Dead (Episodes 1-5): A great series. Less of a game and more of a narrative jewel. Quite possibily one of the most interesting comic book spinoffs. Better than the TV series, I've heard. I haven't seen the TV series, so I can't comment on that. Good for at least 12 hours of content. Since the story if choice-driven, there's some replayability in this game.

That's it for now, more on video games coming up soon. For now, however, I have lots of work to do, and many project deadlines are approaching. I won't have much time for games, so yeah. When my projects are finished, I'll be sure to post about them on this site.