Saturday, January 28, 2012

Games I'm Buying in 2012

This isn't a "you should buy these games!" post. It's a "I really ought not to buy more than these games for my wallet's sake" post. It's a brief, mostly-chronological guide as to how much videogame stuff I'm buying this year. List is right after the jump (I always wanted to say that...). OK, not one list. Several.

Games I Already Bought

Super Mario Land II: Six Golden Coins
Mass Effect 2

Yup. Already bought ‘em. No givsies backsies, and no regrets. est. $30

A Few Anticipated Discretionary Purchases

One Wii Game

I only own two Wii games at present, Super Mario Galaxy and Super Paper Mario. Enjoying both so far, especially SMG. One day down the line, probably later this year, after those two are done (SMG is over 50%, SPM isn't), I'll want more. My guess is that sometime in 2012 I'll plunk down cash for either Donkey Kong Country Returns, Super Mario Galaxy 2, OR The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Those are three first-party games that I will want to play eventually. est. $50

Up to $20 of indie games

Steam sales will happen, and I will pull the trigger. This is a fact of life. There are also a lot of cool indie titles out there, and I will definitely indulge in a Humble Bundle or something. I'm guessing $20 could land me up to six or seven indies on the year, which is fine by me. est. $20

One Used PS3 Game

Look, I’ll see something used for 20 to 25 bucks, and I’ll convince myself to buy it. I can only hope that it happens just once in 2012. est. $25

Dragon Age II Ultimate Edition

I know, I know, most people really hated Dragon Age II. Well, I didn't. I thought it was a game with some very good parts and some very disappointing parts, but didn't regret playing it. I want to go through it again on my own copy of the game, experiencing the game as a different class and trying some more of the optional stuff. If BioWare releases an Ultimate version of the game in late 2012 (and I think they will) then I'll jump on it. est. $40

Mass Effect 3 DLC

I’m getting the Collector’s Edition of the game, which has a fair amount of DLC already. But I can tell you already that I will want to indulge in all the Mass Effect I can in the long run, so I’ll probably get DLC as it comes out, piece by piece. Only missions and characters, though. No arsenal DLC unless I really, really want it and it comes in a pack. est. $25

Games I will Definitely Buy

These five games I will get on day one of their respective releases. Sorry, bank account.

Mass Effect 3 Collector's Edition (March 6th)

Mass Effect 2 is the runaway winner of my “best game I played in 2012 released prior to 2012” award so far. I am a born-again fan of Mass Effect, BioWare, and third-person shooters. I’m going whole hog on this shit, buying the Collector’s Edition and dropping everything else until I finish it. est. $80

Tales of Graces F (March 13th)

This is almost a waste of money. Why? Because I’m not even sure if I’ll play it in 2012. I’m getting Graces F on day one because I want to let Namco know that Americans want more Tales, but between my goal for 12 in ’12 and other gaming projects I’m not sure I’ll even fire it up. I’m buying this game as a statement, and as much as it pains me to say it, that’s how I want to do it. est. $60

Xenoblade Chronicles (April 2nd)

I know I mentioned three other games as my likely Wii purchases in 2012, but this is in a category similar to Tales of Graces F. If Nintendo is to be encouraged to keep releasing Wii and Wii U RPGs in the United States, then American gamers need to step up and buy some. Plus, hey, I’ll want to play it eventually. est. $50

Torchlight II (date unknown)

Torchlight was one of my favorite games of 2009, and ascends Bastion, Breath of Death VII, and Castle Crashers to be my favorite indie game of all time. I was already planning on buying Torchlight II when I thought it would cost $25 or $30, and was pleasantly surprised indeed when I heard it would cost less than that. Plus, hey, this could be the game that convinces me to hold off on buying Diablo Tres. est. $20

Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode 3 (date unknown)

Easiest buying decision I’ll make this year. Robert Boyd has gone on the record saying that this game’s price point will likely not exceed $5, and it’s a Zeboyd RPG co-written by Jerry Holkins. I’d happily throw $15+ at Steam for any Zeboyd title. I will buy the FUCK out of this game. est. $5

Games I Might Buy for Multiplayer

These are three multiplayer games that I may get in 2012, but not right when they come out and ONLY if I'm compelled by their multiplayer. As a corollary, if my gaming friends (David, Jon, and veteran members of UVA Gamers) aren't playing them, then I'm not buying them.

Soul Calibur V (January 31st)

Soul Calibur I, II, and III used to be my joint. I could beat people in the arcade, I had mains and matchup preferences, and I could play defense. I was let down by Soul Calibur IV, though, and I’m wary of the character and gameplay changes made to SC V. I’m sure the game will look gorgeous, but I will only pick it up if my crowd gives it rave reviews. Even then I’ll wait for a price drop. est. $40

Street Fighter X Tekken (March 6th)

I’m excited for this game. It looks like a great balance of speed and finesse, and the character selection is already stunning, despite not being fully revealed! I can’t wait to try SFxT, but it is 100% a try before buy. And if David and the UVA Gamers folks aren’t making it their 2012 shit, then I won’t either. I bought Marvel vs Capcom 3 and Mortal Kombat in 2011, and haven’t played them enough to justify their purchases, not by a longshot. I don’t want Street Fighter X Tekken to be in that category. est. $60

Diablo III (unknown)

This will be the one game hardest for me not to buy in 2012. I want to play Diablo III really bad. But it’ll cost $60, I’m 100% sure that there will be at least two expansions, and I think I’ll be able to wait on it, with all of my anticipated 2012 projects. There will also definitely not be a price reduction anytime soon. I’ll wait, but I dunno how long I’ll be able to wait. est. $60

Games I Want but Will Wait for Unless I Am Rolling in Cash

These games have all piqued my interest, but I need to hold off on them for my wallet’s sake. They’re on my radar for games to pick up in 2013 if my bank account can handle it. Most of the games in this list are listed at price points under their day-one listings, because I am quite sure I’ll wait for them to get that low before I pony up for them.

Jak and Daxter Collection (February 7th)

I have a weakness for cartoony platformers, and Jak finishes in second place just behind Ratchet to be my favorite platformer series of the 2000s. Since I rented all but the first of these and didn't really finish Jak II, I think it would be really fun to replay them one day down the line. Still, these are not a 2012 priority. est. $30

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (February 7th)

I played the demo for this game earlier in the week, and I was impressed. It’s a pretty normal fantasy game on the surface, not unlike Fable, Neverwinter Nights, or even Dragon Age, but it’s definitely not a broken piece of shit and might even be able to generate a decent fanbase. I’m kind of interested now, but I’m far from willing to drop cash on it at this point. est. $40

The Last Guardian (unknown)

I thought Ico was quite impressive and Shadow of the Colossus was astounding. So of course I want to play Team Ico’s final game, and I’m particularly curious about the backstage drama behind it (Ueda parted ways with Sony recently). I’ll follow this game eagerly and play it eventually, but I have doubts it will be in 2012. est. $60

BioShock Infinite (unknown)

I’m definitely interested in this game, because BioShock was stellar in its storytelling and world creation and solid in its shooter gameplay. I’m less excited about this game than other games on this list only because, well, I thought BioShock was great but that was more from an appreciation standpoint than a real excitement standpoint. I’m not feeling the hype for Infinite the way I am for Mass Effect 3 or even The Last Guardian. Still, it’s certainly on my radar and I might not be able to resist a really good sale on it, especially if it gets superior reviews. est. $40

DmC (unknown)

Extremely unlikely that I get this game this year, but I expect it will be a solid, but brief, action game totally worth a rental but only maybe worth a buy. I’m okay with that, but it mostly adds up to me waiting for this game to drop under $30. Still, you know, those Amazon sales around Christmas if this game gets good reviews… you never know. est. $40

South Park: The Game (unknown)

I have a surprising amount of faith in this game. The design sensibilities of Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Obsidian appear to have a good foundation, and this turn-based epic RPG set in the South Park universe could be exactly the kind of game I love. Similar category to DmC or Kingdoms of Amalur – I sorta want it, but I’ll wait for reviews and maybe a price drop. est. $40

PS Vita (February 21st)

Here’s the big money drop that threatens my funds this year. I love my PSP more than most, and if the PS Vita delivers on its promise then I could see myself throwing hundreds of hours of my life at it. The problem is the price point, which is both surprisingly reasonable at $250 and a major investment at $250. Throw in prices of a few games and I could easily drop up to $350 on this machine. That’s too much for where I am financially right now, but I’m definitely interested. est. $320


Adding up those first three lists (which are almost 100% happening) has me spending $400 in 2012 (eep). The last two lists (a bunch of maybes with varying degrees of uncertainty) add up to a terrifying $750-$800 in 2012 (*passes out*). If I buy everything on every list for the prices I named, I’d end up spending about a full two weeks of paycheck after taxes. Not acceptable, especially since I’m pretty sure I’m going above that sorta-conservative $400 level. One of my major New Year’s resolutions this year is to curb my spending on media, and that means staying under $400 as much as I can on videogames. If I buy anything outside the parameters of the second and third of those lists, then I have a lot of explaining, justifying, and confessing to do. Bottom line – I need to spend less money, and hopefully this minor wake-up call helps me to do so.


  1. A great way for you to save a ton of money on media is to rent games instead of buying them. Skyward Sword was without a doubt in my mind the greatest Zelda experiences that Nintendo could possibly offer, and I’m glad I didn’t shell out the money to buy it because it’ll be available to rent soon. If I bought every game I wanted I’d be out of a place to live. A co-worker of mine from DISH Network recommended that I check out the Blockbuster Movie Pass to save some cash. I did try it out and absolutely love it. Mostly I use the Movie pass to rent games, but I like how there is the option to rent movies too.

  2. I agree with the above poster. If you are going to play a lot of games rent them. I used to do this with Gamefly. I still bought certain games that I played a lot or wanted to own.

    I completely agree with your thoughts on DA2. Not a bad game, disappointing as you said. People expect way to much. That is why great game are often overshadowed.