We’re about to hit a maelstrom of rapid-fire game releases for the next few months. In fact, we’re already in the eye of the storm. As a gamer, this is great news. As a gamer who adults more often than they play, it’s a nightmare fueled by pre-order bonuses and credit card balances. It feels like Christmas in March but we’re doing all the shopping. Strap yourselves in and brace yourself; for winter is coming and you’re best defense is just going flat-out broke now. At least by the time the storm hits, you’ll be too poor to afford anything.
Do Not Pre-Order
I know, this is a boiling pot of controversy but hear me out. The storm is about to hit, you must make sure you have all your funds ready to go at a moment’s notice. Placing your money at a GameStop or BestBuy ahead of time may disrupt and threaten your buying power later on. Options like Amazon give you the option of saving 20% off new releases and pre-orders don’t require any kind of payment until the game ships. BestBuy’s excellent Gamer’s Unlocked program also offers 20% off new releases but you have to put money down like GameStop.
Even Pre-ordering online with BestBuy has them making pre-authorized check-ins on your order to make sure the money is there; while not an actual charge, it acts like one and can ultimately hamper your buying flexibility. We live in an age of constant, up-to-date impressions and reviews, from big popular outlets to the passionate vlogger on YouTube, save your money now and just wait. After all, video game prices have been dropping sooner than usual, just wait.
You Don’t Have to Buy Everything
This is important. I know Resident Evil 7 looks great, so does Gravity Rush 2, so does Nioh, and Horizon: Zero Dawn. Oh and Nier Automata. And Kingdom Hearts 2.8, Yakuza 0, Mass Effect Andromeda. There’s also this little game called The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild releasing alongside the Switch launch by Nintendo in less than 2 months. Calm down and take a deep breath, will your bank account survive this? No, it won’t, even though you tell yourself it will. When will you find the time to play Yakuza 0, Resident Evil 7 and Horizon: Zero Dawn?
Even full-time YouTubers are feeling nervous about this, what makes you think you’ll pull it off? And should you? Buy 1 or 2 games that are absolutely must-haves on their respective launch dates. If both games come out the same day, buy just 1. Play it, beat it, and by the time you’re done you may find a good deal on the other or simply just trade the one you have to lessen the blow. Between now and March 21st, there are over 15 games releasing. This isn’t Pokemon, you don’t have to catch’em all. Just catch a few.
Watching Let’s Plays
We live in a generation where people watch other people play as much or more than actually playing the games themselves. It’s a growing subculture that not only lets you spectate games you’re interested in, it often helps make you make buying decisions. Aren’t sure of what the gameplay is like in Tales of Berseria? Watch a quick walkthrough and see if you like it. It will never substitute playing the game but sometimes you just know if it’s not for you.
I once watched an entire playthrough of Beyond: Two Souls and saved myself $60, no regrets. Sometimes this tactic works and sometimes it doesn’t. I also watched a Watch Dogs playthrough, was initially blown away and scuttled to GameStop to make a purchase. I sold the game no more 24 hours later and to this day remains to be the worst gaming purchase i’ve ever made. Be careful out there, not everything is what it seems. Watch Dogs 2 is pretty good though, so there’s that.
Sentimental about that sweet steelbook? Still fawning over that gorgeous statue? Fine, keep those things, they’re not worth much at places like GameStop or Amazon and they probably look cool next to your unending backlog. Truth is, trading in games for credit has never really been the best option for gamers. It’s convenient and quick compared to setting up potentially risky meet-ups with Craigslist. I once sold a Wii bundle to a stranger in the Subway and it was the most nerve-racking transaction i’ve ever made; is selling a Wii with Super Mario Galaxy for $80 worth getting pushed into an oncoming train?
Gamestop can be a lucrative option if you play your cards right. Be sure to take advantage of their trade-in bonuses and deals, it makes the trade-in process less painful than normal and you’ll be able to cut costs at a steady clip. Amazon’s trade-in process is even better in my opinion due to the instant reimbursement of funds via Amazon Giftcard. Heck, you don’t even have to ship the game to them right away, (although i suggest you do) enjoy your newly acquired Amazon credit and start shopping. Great way to save money and start shaving off that backlog. Oh that backlog, sweet mother of God.
It’s going to be a tough Winter gamers but i believe in you. Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones, our very own Marcus Lawrence is only getting Tales of Berseria; he’ll be picking up the tab for the rest of the year. Remember to suit up and chin up, we may not all survive but we will make it through playing incredible games. Because really, that’s what it’s all about right?
*Checks Bank Account
Here we go boys and girls.