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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    November: too many titles provide trap for gamers

    In this Monday edition of Game Freak, it felt pertinent to bring up the biggest video gaming pitfall in the industry — the month of November.

    What does that mean? It seems like a strange thing to say, but November is the month when most video game publishers slot their premium titles.

    The reason for this is simple — it’s the holiday season. In reality, the college market is not the target of this flood of top shelf video games, the students are just a casualty.

    Parents are the people the industry is really after, because they want them to buy these great video games for Christmas, Hanukkah or whatever other secular gift-giving holiday they celebrate.

    But why release them in November with the major holidays so far off? The answer is simply to give media outlets time to give good reviews (so companies hope) and for the gaming community to pass along how awesome the games are through word of mouth.

    Then, when parents start doing their research for holiday shopping, they come across these great games. Plus, since they’ve been out for a while, some parents can buy them used at a lesser price and there are also sales to lure them into buying more.
    It’s all a ploy to boost revenue.

    But as it was mentioned earlier, the college students suffer. Sure, many people still get gifts in the winter season, but no one is hauling it in like they did as a child.

    To make matters worse, college students, being responsible adults, often have to spend money on gifts for each other.

    Not to say gift-giving is bad, but unless someone works out a trade with their friends where each buys the other a video game they wanted, it’s safe to say many won’t have enough money for all the games they desire; this is a shame, this season especially, as there will be a lot of desirable titles: “Uncharted 3,” “The Lord of the Rings: War in the North,” “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3,” “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” “Assassins Creed: Revelations,” “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary,” “Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3,” “Minecraft” and “The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword” are just the main titles of interest.

    That’s nine games right there, all of which are supposed to be huge sellers.

    Since most of them are going to run $60 a pop, as per usual, getting all of them will cost around half a grand. Who has that money to spend?

    Yet, despite that, so many gamers go out and buy armfuls of games during this season because every title is so good. That, my friends, is the trap on its surface. But there’s more beneath.

    Despite the question of how much money it costs, who has that much time to play nine games in any short period of time? The answer better be “no one,” and if it isn’t, it’s time to leave the basement.

    “Uncharted 3,” “Modern Warfare 3,” “Halo,” “Assassins Creed: Revelations” and “Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3” all have virtually endless game play potential because of their multiplayer modes, so a gamer might never stop playing.

    As for “Minecraft,” it’s a sandbox game, meaning it has no structure — the player just does whatever they want indefinitely. So that too has infinite gameplay.

    Then there’s “Skyrim,” which promises to be a game so big that no one with a social life will finish everything in it in less than a year.

    So that means the only game that has an end in sight is “The Lord of the Rings.”

    Bearing that in mind, no one should bother buying more than two of these games at release.

    Most of them offer so much replay value that a gamer can spend their entire winter break with just one. The second is just for the occasional change of pace, and because everyone likes to splurge in the winter seasons.

    Now, that doesn’t mean gamers should never own all of these games. Just wait until boredom sets in, months down the line, when the games can be bought for much less money.

    It’s using self-control and delaying the enjoyment of these games, not getting rid of it altogether.

    Stay out of the trap this season and use the extra money to buy someone else something nice. Or save it.

    The goal is just don’t come home from GameStop with more than what’s manageable.

    _— Jason Krell is a junior studying creative writing and Italian. He can be reached at arts@wildcat.arizona.edu. _

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