Something I’ve learned over the years from bad gaming purchases is to try and avoid buyer’s remorse. Sounds easy enough, right? Be sensible with your wallet and know what you’re buying beforehand. Well, it’s not always that simple. There are many reasons why, despite our best efforts, we end up wishing we hadn’t wasted our money.
The most common reason I regret a game purchase is hype. As someone who is always watching the online community’s reactions to gaming news, it’s difficult not to get swept up in the fervor that accompanies new releases. When Rock Band 4 came out, seeing my friends and others online get excited about the game brought the urge to strum the plastic guitar surging back, and I quickly dropped $250 on the full bundle.
Unfortunately, Rock Band 4 was sorely lacking in features, the set list was pretty mediocre (by my standards), and the instruments required Bluetooth upgrades that I couldn’t access. Though I enjoyed my time with the game, it didn’t have anywhere near the legs that the previous games did. From a playtime per dollar spent ratio, Rock Band 4 rates among the worst gaming experiences I’ve had.
Buying a game on an impulse can happen at any time and for a variety of reasons, but I feel you see it most during sales. Arguably one of the biggest examples of this in the gaming community would be all of the purchases made during Steam seasonal sales. Many, many, many games are purchased, and many, many, many of them will never be played. Granted, a majority of these games are purchased for pennies on the dollar, but pennies add up.
Personally I like to pick up some cheap deals during Black Friday, but sometimes I end up wasting money on games I should have known wouldn’t interest me. Last year I picked up Little Big Planet 3 for cheap, but after an hour or so I realized that I didn’t care so much for platformers anymore. I could have put that money towards something better.
Trying Something New
Though I’ve had great success expanding my gaming preferences with games like Bloodborne, more often than not I tend to strike out when trying something new.
Most recently I decided to give XCOM 2 a try (a review is forthcoming), and although it was somewhat enjoyable I quickly wished I hadn’t spent full price on it. But trying new things is good, and from that perspective I’m glad I gave it a chance. However, I may have decided to wait for a price drop if I had done one thing…
Always do your research and know what you’re buying beforehand. This can be hard if you have a non-spoiler mindset, or if you don’t want to have any expectations. That said, I don’t think it’s worth staying in the dark only to find you spent $60 on a game you wouldn’t like.
Last year I picked up the PS4 version of Tearaway based on the general consensus of the gaming community. Despite it being a platformer (which as I mentioned above I’ve outgrown) it was heralded as one of – if not the best – games for the PS Vita. How could I not enjoy the best game for a console? Well, it wasn’t that hard. It’s a cute game and well made but it wasn’t for me. Had I just looked into it a bit more I would have seen that pretty quickly.
Missed Price Drops
Have you ever decided to buy a game only for the price to drop a couple weeks later? The burn feels even worse when you hadn’t even played the game yet. In my case, I spent 10 bucks on FEZ only for it to appear as a free title on PlayStation Plus shortly thereafter.
The best way to remedy this problem is to determine how much money you would feel comfortable paying for a game, and wait for it to drop to that price. If it drops further, then hopefully you helped fund a developer of a game you enjoyed.
What reasons do you have for regretting a game purchase?