A March of Bargains

I’m not just a gamer, I’m a frugal gamer. This means that on the one hand I have a “I must have it NAO!” gene that makes me buy the next big thing for day one delivery at any price, and on the other hand my wallet speaks to me telling me to hold back, maybe I’d like to eat this month.

March 2014 was a crazy month for me. Older Xbox 360 titles that my frugal side told me to wait for because I simply didn’t have time to play them plummeted in price and I snapped them up, my habit of entering competitions paid off big time and of course my “Must have it NAO!” gene activated once or twice, but at least it wasn’t too bad, I can still eat, technically. but then March only has 2 days left at the time of writing.

Here’s the list of freebies, bargains and essentials that I ended up with, including my fail of the year for buying a game I’d forgotten I already owned and one I deliberately bought twice. My one caveat is that I’ll always buy new, I think of it as feeding developers and their families, my way of saying ‘thank you’ for bringing me so much joy, but that’s just my thought process, feel free to knock yourselves out on second-hand stuff, don’t let me stop you.

Must Have It NAO!

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PS4) – I played the beta, loved it. I want it day one so I made sure I wouldn’t forget by preordering at the super fine price of £36.99. Bargain right? Wrong, it has already dropped to £24.99 and I just can’t be bothered with the cancel/reorder hassle. It’s done, water under the bridge, I don’t have to worry about it not arriving.

Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster (PS Vita) – I played both games years ago but this time it’s not just Spira that’s at stake, there are Platinum Trophies too. £29.99 from the PlayStation Store, digital version. In fact my entire PS Vita collection is 100% digital and I still haven’t filled up my 64GB Memory Card that I imported from Japan. Working on it though.

Square Enix Security Token – Final Fantasy XIV is an MMO. Security Tokens add an extra layer of security to protect your account from twats who assign real money value to your gameplay and then try to steal it from you. A reluctant purchase for extra peace of mind.


Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution (XBox 360)

Dungeon Defenders (XBox 360)

Smart As (PS Vita)

PixelJunk Monsters: Ultimate HD (PS Vita)

Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition (PS4)

I’m sometimes tempted to buy a PS3 JUST so I can download more free games that I’ll never have time to play. That would be crazy, right? Right??

Speedlink Medusa NX 5.1 Surround Sound Headset – these puppies will set you back around £110, I blagged mine for free from a competition on Videogamedebate.com, and I put some effort into my entry because I hate it when gaming prizes turn up on eBay the next day. My Xbox 360 now has a new lease of life, every game now sounding absolutely glorious. It’s also the first time in my gaming career I’ve ever had to use an Optical port on a console, nice to know they actually have a use.

Bargains (All for the XBox 360, most were boxed versions as my 250GB HDD just can’t fit any more digital in without major shuffling around)

Red Dead Redemption: Game of the Year Edition – I already have RDR on 360 but managed to pick the GOTY edition up for less than all the DLC I’d yet to get for the original. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever done this.

Dead Space 3 – Returned the next day as I realised I already had it, I just hadn’t got around to storing it in the collection alphabetically yet. Yes, my backlog is that big. But it was £7 so an easy impulse buy to make.

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine – £3.50. I’m not sure if there’s an Xbox 360 title I wouldn’t buy for that price. £4.99 for any last gen game is usually an instabuy for me so I probably left friction burns on Amazon’s ‘Buy It With One Click’ button when I saw this price.

Bioshock Infinite – I loved Bioshock, Bioshock 2 is still Y-wrapped and seal-intact but it’s on the shelf ready and waiting, Infinite just completes the collection. Can’t remember what the price was but probably less than a tenner like the rest of my bargains.

Assassin’s Creed III, Devil May Cry HD Collection, Metro 2033, Metro Last Light – The first because it was less than a tenner, DMC because it’s 3 games in one for just £11.60 and the Metros because I’ve heard good things about them. I follow @DeepSilverUK on Twitter, I like Deep Silver UK as a publisher, so when they tweeted a link to their Amazon store asking if I’d played their games I did something about it. I don’t really enjoy FPS but again my threshold price was beaten so I caved in.

SSX, Star Trek, Aliens Colonial Marines – that magic £4.99 price popped up again. The Metacritic average score of my entire gaming collection probably dropped a few percent with those last two, but £4.99. £4.99!

Bully: Scholarship Edition and Midnight Club: LA – £2.99 each in the Rockstar Xbox Live Sale

Anyhow, turns out I added one new game to my collection every ~33 hours 50 minutes during March, which doesn’t sound nearly as bad as saying I added 22 games to my collection in just one month. As for actually playing any of them:

I’ve had a quick dabble on Dead Nation Apocalypse Edition on the PS4, twin stick shooters aren’t really my genre but I know quality when I see it, and it’s quality, so definitely a game I’ll return to after the measly hour or so of attention I gave it after downloading it.

I make sure to give Smart As a whirl every day on the PS Vita because MENSA once recorded my IQ as 154 and declared me as top 2 percentile, so I have a bit of an ego about it and I like having my ego massaged, Smart As does a great job of that.

The convenience of digital is that I tend to boot up games as soon as they’ve finished downloading, so Bully turns out to be as brilliant as ever, Midnight Club LA hasn’t aged all that well but for £2.99 I can’t complain.

The real gem was Final Fantasy X HD Remaster – everything else gaming-related is now on hold because it has me in its grip, so I’ve no idea when I’ll get around to 18 of my other new titles. Except Final Fantasy XIV, I’ll be there day one, even Final Fantasy X will get relegated to server downtime when that hits.

I’ve got my fingers crossed that one day there’ll be DLC available for the human lifespan, until that happens it’s a case of so many games so little time. And this problem will continue to get worse as I get older. I mean have you seen April’s release list? I’m trying to figure out how much I’d be willing to pay just to have a game called Goat Simulator in my collection.