As you probably know, I do have a backlog problem, and I’m not alone. I honestly can’t remember the last time I actually played a game on the release date.
I think it was God of War 3 on the PS3, which released on March 2010. I remember skipping class in college just because I couldn’t wait to see the continuation of the massive cliffhanger at the end of God of War 2.
After the opening sequence I remembered thinking to myself: damn, that was worth it! Let’s finish this whole game now!
Fast forward to 2018: I’m now at a full-time job, travelling every week (for work), with not enough time to play as much as I’d like. Because of my backlog, I’m constantly playing catch-up. I mean, I ONLY JUST FINISHED SKYRIM, 7 years late!
You may be thinking “boy, he’s a downer”, but rest assured, it’s not all bad.
Even though you risk having games spoiled and you may feel like you’re not always playing “the latest”, there are some advantages to waiting before buying games:
Let others play it first
Since our time is very valuable, it’s good to let others have a go at a game first and then give you a full rundown of a game. Of course there’s reviews you can read, but who better than a friend (or Random Select) to give you a recommendation. It’s because of my blogging colleague David (df205 on our site) that I’ve played games like Overwatch, Life is Strange and am soon to try Horizon Zero Down.
Engage with others, listen to their points of view and then make an informed decision on whether to give a game a try.
Day 1 patches
I recently heard how Kinda Funny’s Greg Miller had to retract a tweet where he was criticizing Shadow of the Tomb Raider for some presentation issues that turned out to be resolved with a Day 1 patch.
The fact that games can now ship practically unfinished due to artificial deadlines being imposed on developers means that if you’re an early adopter, you risk playing a product that is well beyond the quality its creators intended. For this reason, I’m perfectly ok with waiting before buying.
There may be a remaster coming
Even though I’m not an advocate of quick cash grabs in the name of lack of creativity, I do understand that gaming companies are businesses that need to maintain a steady cash flow. I also understand that it gives slow players like me time to play improved versions of their games in current platforms as opposed to older ones that I may no longer have access to.
No need to wait for sequels
If there’s a series that you haven’t been able to play for a long time, there’s a chance you can get several of their games out of the way at once. For me, that will be the Witcher saga, which I haven’t touched, but have heard great things about.
I expect some people to tell me I can just skip 1 and 2 and go straight to 3, which again, is the advantage to having waited this long to get into it (feel free to let me know in the comments, I’d appreciate the advice).
Tons of online help
I’m unapologetic when it comes to getting stuck in a game and looking up hints online. It’s not that I immediately jump to Google at the first sign of difficulty, but I honestly don’t have the time to grind or try every single arbitrary combination of items that will give me the rewards I need (looking at you, Stardew Valley). If there’s an effective and time-efficient way of doing something (as long as it’s not an exploit or cheat), I’d like to know about it.
At the end of the day, whatever game you happen to be playing, make sure you remember to simply enjoy it and appreciate it for what it is, and just because a game was hyped and brand new, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worth your time.
Which games are you planning on getting to that you haven’t for a long time? Next on my list will probably be Uncharted 4. What’s yours?
I've been a gamer since the SNES days and Donkey Kong Country was the first game I ever owned.
I currently work as a management consultant, and my console of choice is the Nintendo Switch, which I carry with me during my travels.