Well, now you’ve made your first step towards becoming a gamer.
But now you need to know how to choose a game.
It’s a brutal, unforgiving world out there. The stores, developers, and publishers are all against you in your quest to pick up a great game. But with this, the next part of “How to be a Gamer”, you will acquire the knowledge needed to thwart them! Prepare yourself for…
PART TWO: BEATING THE SYSTEM
“GRIND RAILS, FLY, RACE AND POWER YOUR WAY THROUGH MIND FLIPPING STAGES!”, screams the box. A novice gamer might openly squeal, “WOW! I must OWN this game!” and promptly hand over their cash to the grinning shopkeepers. However, a knowledgeable gamer (such as yourself… potentially) will scoff at this deceptive claim. Having played the demo version, you already know that the only reason that the stages are mind-flipping is because they are so poorly designed. “GO HEAD-TO-HEAD IN AWESOME MULTIPLAYER BATTLES!”, the casing shrieks at you. You know, from reading reviews and comments from other gamers on GameFAQs, that this means “Awesome-ly bad”. You shelve the copy of Sonic Heroes and buy Viewtiful Joe instead. Again, you draw on the knowledge you acquired from this article that the game is a whimsical celebration of all that is fun and the best game of the year. You have many weeks of joy with your new game, safe in the knowledge that you have not wasted your money.
Make no mistake about it: The publishers hate gamers like you. They’re out to make money, and sometimes the only way to do that is to develop a substandard game and market it as the next Vice City. Causal gamers will buy it if it’s well sold.
That is why you need to learn the warning signs.
Firstly, if you see a game advertised with no in-game footage or screenshots, it’s usually very, very bad. (Examples: Harry Potter, any Army Men game)
Secondly, if you see a game in the shops that hasn’t yet been reviewed by anyone, it’s usually very, very bad. (Examples: Mega Man X7, any Army men game)
Finally, if a game is based on a movie, it’s usually very, very bad. (Examples: Terminator: Dawn of Fate, Charlie’s Angels)
The best way to know whether a game will be any good or not is to get hold of demo discs. These are given away monthly with the Official PlayStation 2 magazine. This way you can find out for yourself which games you enjoy playing. Do NOT, however, trust the reviews in this magazine. Since they are official, they cannot give damning verdicts on Sony games that deserve them.
Another way to get trustworthy information is the Internet, specifically GameFAQs. The users there are people, just like you and I (Except LUE, but let’s not dwell on them), and the opinions they express tend to be accurate.
These tips should ensure that you do not waste money on a bad game. Good luck, and I’ll see you next month.
Ooh, almost forgot: Don’t buy games by EA. They are patronising and heartless.