On shopping and the end of the year in video games

Based on a prompt from Plinky: Describe your most recent shopping splurge.

I am so happy that the end of this challenge is finally in sight.  I have most of my posts for this week started (a couple nearly finished), which is great.  I don’t think I’ve ever been this ready for something to end, aside from uncomfortable visits to the emergency room.  This will probably be my last spontaneous post of NaBloPoMo.  I saw this prompt and thought it would be good for discussing some of my thoughts on the new console launches and the end of the year in video games.

2013 has been a good year for video games.  There have, for me, been enough interesting titles to keep me from kicking much from my backlog, but the backlog hasn’t been growing either, so that’s definitely a plus.  2014 looks equally, if not more, promising with some pretty awesome titles to look forward to:

  • Layton vs. Ace Attorney
  • Dreamfall: Chapters
  • Transistor
  • Tales of Symphonia Chronicles
  • Tales of Xillia 2
  • The Witness
  • Broken Age
  • Child of Light
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth
  • Bravely Default
  • Danganronpa
  • Persona Q (if it gets a North American release in 2014)
  • Persona 5 (also if it gets a North American release in 2014)

These are a lot of great things to be excited about.  I’m also hoping to get a PlayStation 4 for my birthday in February, but we’ll see.  Most of the home console games I’m looking forward to are either generation 7 exclusive or coming out for all the systems — I think right now the only exception to that is The Witness.  That said, I can see myself wanting to play those systems on the new gen consoles over PS3 or X360.

So, this fall instead of buying a new console, I decided to buy a newer PlayStation 3 model, which is my most recent shopping splurge.  I had an 80 gig system and it was becoming a huge hassle for a number of reasons.  Finding an entertainment unit that it could fit in to easily when I moved to Alberta was a challenge, and I’ll likely buy another new entertainment unit when I move again — the smaller console is just so much easier to work with.  Also, I’ve been downloading a lot of the PlayStation+ free games and micromanaging the hard drive has been a tremendous pain in the ass.  I was thinking about just upgrading the hard drive, but I figured I may as well get the bonus of a much smaller and quieter system at the same time.  I traded in my old system and the copy of GTA V, so I wound up not paying that much out of pocket for it.  It’s a much nicer design than the original enormous PS3.  If the PS4 had had backwards compatibility out of the box, I would have just upgraded, but I couldn’t justify the price tag right now when there’s nothing on it that I’m interested in playing.  Zeitgeist be damned.

All that’s really left to do for now is finish up the last few games I want to play before compiling my top 5 list.  I generally work with a top 5 because most years there are just slightly too few games for me to make a top 10 without stretching, and coming up with a top 5 is quite a challenge, which I think is best.  A game of the year list wouldn’t be all that significant if you didn’t have to make some tough decisions here and there.  I do have most of my list planned at the moment, but there are a few titles I need to play before I make my final cut.  Here’s what I’m looking to play before the end of the year:

  • Papers Please
  • Thomas was Alone
  • The Legend of Zelda: a Link Between Worlds
  • Turnabout Reclaimed (Dual Destinies DLC case)
  • Tearaway

I’m not sure I’ll play Tearaway because while I think Media Molecule always has interesting ideas, I am not generally that interested in platformers and Thomas Was Alone is also a platformer and far more appealing to me.  Not sure I have it in me to play two platformers by the end of this year.  Also, I’ve read that that game can tend to be a bit short on content, so I’m not sure I want to pay full price for it.  We’ll see how the Christmas budget winds up shaking out — if I can afford to buy it, I’ll probably try to pick it up.

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