In life it’s often hard to let go of the things you love, but in the world of video games…not so much.
After waiting weeks, months and years for that all important new title to come out, you rush to your favourite local gaming emporium, run home and play it until your hands refuse to move from the controller shaped form that you have forced them into. And then the credits roll, and it’s all over.
Sure you may then play the token multiplayer mode for ten minutes, or have a crack though the game again to mop up those last few achievements, but generally that’s when the disc is popped back into its case and thrown to the bottom of the pile while you move on the next game on your wish list. And more often than not, all of your previous games are used as a bartering tool for the new for your next distraction.
There are exceptions though, those few games that for whatever reason will never be traded in or sold and are destined to be part of your gaming collection forever. Be it a game you just keep going back to, one that everyone demands when you have chums over, or simply that it comes in too nice a box. Those select few become as integral to your gaming setup as the console itself.
Now everyone will have there different games and different reasons, but here for your consideration are a few of mine.
Damn, that looks pretty
Say what you like about most special editions, but every now and then there are the few that just are so special you can’t part with them. I have two titles very literally placed upon such a lofty perch: the original Bioshock, and Halo 3′s Legendary edition. The very fact that Halo was mentioned somewhere in the game’s title meant it was pretty much a shoe in that the helmet was destined to stay mine for all of time, but Bioshock didn’t have such an easy ride.
Bioshock, when originally released, came in three flavours: vanilla (just the game); a slightly classier vanilla which was probably made in Henley (the game in a steel box); and strawberry cheesecake (the game, steel box, and a rather lovely Big Daddy statue). I of course opted for strawberry cheesecake.
Now a lovely statue should be enough but as what followed was some of the finest hours I have ever spent gaming, there you have a game which I could never part with. Also it had that intangible “time and place” factor, but that’s just an added bonus.
What’s old is new again
One of the problems with any game, no matter how grand its scope, is that sooner or later you’ll simply run out of stuff to do in it. Eventually power sliding around London, no matter how lovingly created it may be, will become old; or saving the Princess, no matter how lovingly created she may be, just isn’t worth the effort. If only there was a solution…
Well thanks to the wonder of larger tubes pushing the the Internet around the world, there is: Down Loadable Content. Or “DLC” to those in the know.
An old game can seem as fresh as a daisy once a whole new world, map, song or set of characters has been added to it. And it’s this tactic that has lead me to keep going back to Fallout 3, all of the Rock Bands, and, once again, Halo.
While of differing levels of quality, Bethesda had exactly the right idea with each of the DLC packs for Fallout. After wandering the Wastelands for so long people needed a change of scenery. So instead of simply adding the different quests to paths already trod, we were sent to places as far flung as Maryland, Alaska and Space. And as far as I see it, this was key to keeping people hooked and, in essence, keeping hold of the game; keep things interesting and people will keep coming back.
Halo also did this with its selection of map packs ranging from recreating old hunting grounds to a fine selection of totally new and fresh killing fields. Adding a Forger’s best friend in “Sandbox” didn’t hurt the longevity either.
The king of DLC however is clearly Rock Band. With songs and track packs hitting every week it’s nearly impossible not to see something that tempts you to part with your stash of MS points. Plus with songs ranging from Spongebob to Slayer, there is a variety and depth there that helps to attract a wide array of players with all sorts of musical tastes. (Incidentally, I’d choose Spongebob every time.)
Play it again, Sam
Now in all fairness, this category should be the most important. After all, what’s a game if you have no intention of playing it?
I keep games that I know I will play again, but even then most will outstay their welcome or be overtaken at some point in the near future. However, some are just meant to be on constant rotation for all eternity: Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Rock Band and Halo. (Spotting the trend yet?)
Be it a day of solo gaming, a friendly gathering or a weekend long festival that is Halopalooza, RB and Halo sit on my shelf and just scream to be played. And I keep answering their call! As mentioned earlier, it helps that there is often a fresh selection of content to while away the hours, but even without these added trinkets there is more than enough stuff on the shiny disc to keep me occupied for many years to come.
Interestingly, it’s not only major titles like your Halos that I would never trade in, as there are a couple of games with a lot less renown that I would never consider getting rid of, and those are the 2nd and 3rd editions of Scene It. While they may not have the pizzazz of other games I may have mentioned, they do make a quiet evening in with a few friends much more interesting. Plus it helps that I seem to win this one most of the time, and, trust me, I don’t get to say that too much!
Right, that’s me out the way so now I throw it over to you. What games would you never
eeeeeeeeeeevvvvvvvvvvver consider trading-in/selling and why? I demand to know….!!