Ok, not everyone plays video games, but these days you’re as likely to meet a forty year old businessman as a teenager playing World of Warcraft. Games aren’t just for kids anymore.
Even so, we don’t all have a middle-aged businessman’s income. Some of us have to calculate hours per dollar rather than dollars per hour if we want any fun-time at all. Under those conditions (and for some of us, it’s always been that way, but it’s definitely more common now), economical entertainments are at a premium.
Subscription games are one of the first things to go. No XBOX live for the tight of budget. It’s better than cable bills, but the Wii uses common WiFi and doesn’t require a subscription.
Which leads us to the crux of this article.
Old Games Are Still Cool.
Yes, I played all the way through Fable. I beat the bad guy, married the barber, gave the brothel to the girls as a halfway house, and had butterflies fluttering around my halo. I was a knight in shining armor with a big bad sword and spells that made me hell on wheels. It was fun. I beat the game. Time to trade it in, right?
Maybe not. I’m playing through again, this time as a pure spellcaster.. I’m trying for the horns. Being a will user is very different, and playing a bad guy is hard. You know what? It’s still fun. Wow; I have a fun game, and it didn’t cost me anything new, not even the gas to drive to Game Stop.
I still play Halo 2 with my ten year old daughter. I also play “Lights, Camera, Pants!”, a Spongebob Squarepants game that’s just as much silly fun. Our whole family enjoys “Sims 2”. Oblivion was fun, but the XBox 360 keeps dying. We picked up an old original XBox off EBay, and still play “Morrowind”. It’s just fine.
Old Games Can Still Be New To You.
When I do decide to go trade games in, I never, never pick up anything off the New Releases rack. I rarely even get a game that still costs $20. Rather, my high end is usually $10. More often I grab three or four off the $2 and $4 games. These are usually games that are literally years old, but that I’ve never played. I don’t require the absolute latest AI and best graphics. I don’t have to play Final Fantasy XIV Online, or Dead Rising 2, or Quantum Theory to have fun. I’ve recently been having a ball playing or Advent Rising, which features polygon graphics with a script by acclaimed sci-fi author Orson Scott Card.
We’re still looking for a copy of Okami We’ve heard it’s a great game, just our style.
Don’t Forget the PC.
We get so caught up in the video game console that we forget the first console widely available to the video game market was the desktop computer. With the advent of the internet, free games have exploded. You can play thousands of games online without bothering to download anything. Some are really fun. Yes, you have to wade through some real crap. I think of the process of finding a good one as a game in itself — it’s like an Easter egg hunt!
The old boxed games in the closet become real assets now. Diablo II is just as much fun as it ever was. Few things get me giggling like running around the secret cow level with a powerful javelin amazon, gathering up a few hundred Hell Bovines all saying “Moo? Moo moo moo, moo.” I run around for as long as possible watching cows with halberds follow me with murderous intent, then spam them with chain lightning till the whole crowd falls over and it becomes a loot-fest. “MOO-oo!” Hilarious, and you can do it online with friends.
Remember, when your budget is gone and your last cool new game is played to the end, it doesn’t mean the world is over. It just means you ran through the game. Play something else for a while that you haven’t done lately, then come back to this one. Trade with friends to get something different for free. There’s always a cheap option if you’re creative.