How Do You Navigate The Fall / Holiday Gaming Season?

fallout 4 field

On Monday night as I was standing in line at faux midnight release for Until Dawn, I started thinking that the fall / holiday gaming season had unofficially begun, and how did I feel about that?

Nervous, friends. There are a lot of solid looking games releasing in the near and not too distant future. I started wondering about prioritization; which would I get, and when? Upon release? Should I wait for Black Friday? Wait until a price drop? Or pre-order?

For me, Until Dawn was the beginning of the season. Until Dawn has been my most anticipated game of the year, and so far I’m not disappointed. I am five hours in and I love it. I can’t wait to see how the story wraps up, and I already can’t wait to replay the game to try and make it through with all eight characters still alive. Until Dawn has set a new bar for adventure games, and it’s everything I’d hoped it would be. And more.

The reviews have already been coming out for Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain, and even though I wasn’t sure I would want to play the game right away, the more I read about it, the more interested I get. I’ve never played a Metal Gear game (I know, I know), but The Phantom Pain looks amazing.

tearaway unfolded windy

The next game I have on pre-order is Tearaway: Unfolded. Tearaway for the Vita is one of my favorite games of all time. I can’t wait to see it on a far larger screen, and I can’t wait to take screenshots to my heart’s content. The game was a beautiful experience, and I’m so excited that exponentially more people will get to experience it via PS4 in just a couple of weeks.

I hadn’t intended to, but I’ve pre-ordered Destiny’s expansion: The Taken King. I am a bit wary of trying to get back into Destiny without my fireteams of yore, but I think there are a few people on the horizon who will hopefully be willing to team up with me. Last year and early this year I spent a huge amount of time in Destiny and I quite enjoyed myself. I very much hope I am able to find a fireteam that will have me.

rise of the tomb raider logo

November is where things start to get a little tricky for me. I am so excited to play Rise of the Tomb Raider. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the Tomb Raider reboot, and this game is high on my list for the winter season.

Only trouble is: Fallout 4 releases the same day. The same day!

I know already I will play Tomb Raider first, as I feel confident I can take my time and still finish it within a couple of days, but I have surprised myself at how interested I am in Fallout 4.

Fallout 4 is going to be massive, no question about it. It will be a huge open world and a huge time sink. It’s daunting. I tried so hard to get into Fallout 3 (more than once) but I never managed to seal the deal. Will Fallout 4 be the one that gets me in the door? I hope so, as I’m really looking forward to it.

The other surprise on my list is Call of Duty: Black Ops III. I wasn’t feeling it one way or the other, but word came out that the campaign could be played in co-op and I think my brother will be on board for that. I always love playing games with him, so hopefully we can connect over some Call of Duty.

There are even more games on the horizon like Soma, Yoshi’s Woolly World, and Just Cause 3, all of which I’m excited to play. But this is when I start thinking about priorities. Some of these games are huge open worlds; will I have time to play them all when they release? Would it be wiser to wait until a price drop? Or are there pre-order bonuses that make it worthwhile to invest early?

So this brings me to my question: how do you navigate the fall / holiday rush of games? Can you afford everything as it releases? Or do you go tactical and wait for price drops? Or some combination of the two? I’d love to hear about it.

11 replies »

  1. Generally, I kind of ignore it all, tbh. I mean, I pay attention to a lot of coverage, but so much of it is hype right now. I prefer to sit out a bit from the big releases this time of year. I actually keep a list (WordPad doc, whatever) of games I’m interested in every month, but for Christmas Sales, I pick up only maybe 4 games that I really wanna play. Other than that, I kinda coast through the season sticking to my backlog, of which I always have stuff to go through ;)

    Over the new year, I’ll return to that list and pick up some of the games that are now cheaper and get to ’em at my leisure. Or even just find myself not so interested in them anymore, because by then, the reviews/videos/general consensus has sort of come out and cut through all the hype, which makes it easier to re-evaluate ’em more clearly. So yeah, I’m definitely more “tactical” (I like that term; much better than “cheap” or “very patient” like how I usually described it, lol). But honestly, it’s not so hard to be when you’re chugging along trying to finish Backlog games – everyone’s got ’em.

    I just had to make that mental shift a few years ago. Y’know how weird it is to have that feeling of “I want something new to play” and then realize you have a game you’ve barely, or never, touched in your collection already? I said, “That happens too much” and had to put a stop to it, lol. That’s why I’m all organized with lists now; so I don’t forget stuff. Just today I noticed I had completely forgot I had bought Atelier Shallie at launch in February and barely touched it, for example – and that’s a physical game. Counting GOG and Steam games, there’s definitely more.

    So I think I’m gonna try to only pick up 4-ish games new, and coast through until next year with backlog titles. Dragon Quest Heroes on PS4 and Tales of Zesteria for my PS3 are must-buys. I’m a big fan of both Dragon Quest and Omega Force’s last action-RPG, Trinity Souls of Zill O’ll, and DQ Heroes looks gorgeous so that’s a no-brainer. I’m a huge Tales fan as well so Tales of Zesteria is also a guarantee for me; had it pre-ordered since before the PS4/PC versions were announced. Star Fox Zero may be a day one pickup too, but then again, I hate Gyro controls, so I gotta wait for more coverage on that. Beyond that? I dunno.

    I’ll just figure out something between the likes of Xenoblade X, Yoshi’s Wooly World, Fatal Frame, Mad Max, Metal Gear, Yakuza 5, Battlefront (maybe), etc. Plus, I wanna check out indies like Armikrog & Assault Android Cactus & Cradle, and also some handheld stuff like Stella Glow too. I think Disney may have even finally gotten me to pick up a Disney Infinity title with all the cool Star Wars stuff they have this year. And oh yeah, yikes, MMO’s like Black Desert Online and Blade & Soul and Tree of Saviour — all free to play — are coming up before the year is out!

    Oh well; I’ll figure all those out later. Hopefully some reviews can make those easier to push off into next year. In the meantime, I’ll probably be working my way through Batman Arkham Knight finally when they all come out :P

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    • Man, that’s a solid strategy. Especially with how certain game launches go, waiting it out can only be a smart move. And cost-effective!

      Hey, it IS tactical! I, too, use a spreadsheet to keep track of what games I have and for which platform. Sometimes just looking through the list jumpstarts my desire to play a particular game. I’ve also had those moments where I’m reminded, “Oh! I have that game!” :)

      Oh that’s right! Yoshi’s Woolly World looks adorable and so fun. I definitely want to pick that up, as well as Fatal Frame. And I want to play Arkham Knight eventually. And Bloodborne. And. And…

      So many games! :)

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  2. I’m probably not going to buy anything for awhile, unless something comes out that I know I will play WHEN I BUY IT. This is incredibly unlikely as so many of the titles I’m interested in are sequels to unplayed games I already own, and I’m not one of those people who can play things out of sequence. The benefit is I will probably save a bunch of money and hopefully be motivated to work through my backlog a bit faster.

    I’ve also never played a MGS game. As far as I can remember, the only one I own is MGS4. I’ll probably try to work through that before considering MGSV. It does sound like the reviews are positioning it as a GOTY contender.

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    • I’m right there with you on that one. I’ve gotten a lot better about it, but still. I occasionally cave.

      I’ve never played a MGS game either! I have the collection and I want to play it for sure, I’ve just not gotten to it yet. By the time I do, The Phantom Pain will be free on PS+ or something. :)

      I think the options for GOTY are going to be crazy this year. I’ve completed a lot of games this year, but nowhere near all of the major titles to release.

      Oof. Keeping up is hard.

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  3. Well, I’m lucky in that I can afford them but I really lack the time to play them all. For me it will be Happy Home Designer for sure, maybe the Monster Hunter Village game in Japan, Chibi Robo Zip Lash and the latest Style boutique.. And I’m pretty sure the English Popolocrois won’t be far off!

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    • Ah the plight of adulthood. :)

      When I was younger, I had like six games that I played over and over. I couldn’t afford any more games.

      As an adult, I had less time, but had more income, and that’s the catch-22, isn’t it?

      You have a fun season of gaming ahead of you!

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      • You too! Isn’t it fun how we seem to have such a different wish list? You’ve described it well, more money but less time because of the time it takes earning the money!

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