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Terraforming Mars
Scythe: Digital Edition
One Deck Dungeon
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Istanbul: Digital Edition
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The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind – Game of the Year Edition
Cat Lady - The Card Game
Isle of Skye
World War One Gold Edition
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Onitama: The Board Game
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The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
Through the Ages
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Mass Effect 3
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Machine Head
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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
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Hong Kong 97
Double Dragon (1987)
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Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom
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Rise of Flight: The First Great Air War
Starsiege: Tribes
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Kristopher
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I have a ton of games to play. Free ones I get from Xbox, DLs of PC computer games, old games I always wanted to play. And I will NEVER get to all of them (some/most are massive epic games that take hours or days to play.) But I've also come across games outside of my usual that I've enjoyed and been blown away by.

So....
Realizing you will never have enough time in your life to play every game, is it better to just play the ones you want to play, or branch out and play different ones that are beyond your experience/comfort zone? Why or why not?
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I am in that horrible "between games limbo" where nothing I pop in or start up interests me. I have a TON of games to play - ones that I want to play (Far Cry 5 and DLC, Red Dead Redemption 2, GTA 4, for example); ones that I have already played but want to replay/revisit (Far Cry 3, RDR1, Skyrim, Oblivion, Morrowind, Alan Wake, Alien:Isolation); games I want to get into but am never any good at (Stellar, Galactic Civ, Distant Worlds, Pandora); old games I want to play/replay (Baldur's Gate 1 & 2, Neverwinter Nights, Half-Life)....

But being a member of Xbox, I get/have a butt-load of games to play that I don't particularly care about.

However, I go back to the time I got Hitman: Absolution for free - I had ABSOLUTELY (get it) NO interest in the Hitman games, and in fact, was just kind of horrified by the idea of the Hitman games - "how many different ways can you murder someone?" But I popped it in once..... AND LOVED IT.

So I always feel like I should give everything I have at least the ol' college try.

So part of me wants to just play the ones I want to play. For example, I DLed and installed WatchDogs - a free one from Xbox, but it looks and plays just like a GTA game. So shouldn't I just play GTA 4 like I want to, instead of playing one with similar mechanics I don't care about?

But what if I end up liking it?

So I think it's better to branch out, because you experience games you may not have come across before. But yet at the same time, I'm NOT playing the games I really just want to play.

And now I sound like a Patrick Carroll Blog post.
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Most of the games I really want to play are older PC games that won't run on our laptop (or will run, but not in an enjoyable fashion). Beyond that, pretty much everything I play is at least 5 or 10 years old, sometimes more - like SSB: Brawl on the Wii, or GTA: San Andreas on the first-gen X-Box. Not having spare cash to keep up on the latest consoles or to keep my PC functional and up to date is a big factor.

More to your question... there are loads of new games that I'd love to try out, but given lack of time and money, I'm perfectly content playing the games that I already know I enjoy.
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I'm old. I did my "try new genre games" during the original PS and PS2 era. I discovered what I liked and what I did not like so now-a-days, I stick to what I like with the occasional games being the exception such as Don't Starve that showcases a different genre I have not tried before.
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I hear ya. Part of the reason I HAVEN'T played FC5 or RDR2 is because they are too expensive at the moment. (Though is $50-60 worth it when you'll get at least 70hrs out of a game?)
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How do you know for sure which games you want to play if you don't branch out and explore?

(Here's a catchier version of that, with rhyme:
If you wanna know for sure,
you gotta branch out and explore.)

Then again, exploring can lead you down a rabbit hole. And how will you ever find your way back home again? (I know--it's all a dream, and you never really left home in the first place.)

Balance in all things, Grasshopper.

A key part of the question, for me, is how often I want to replay the games I like. For some video gamers it's a moot point; you play an RPG once, then you're finished with it and move on. If you happen to come back around to it someday, fine, but you're not going to be thinking about that. But for me, playing over and over with at least a vague aim of improving is what gaming is all about. So the games I really want to play are the games I want to replay. Then the question becomes, Do I want to branch out and try something new, or do I want to put time into a favorite game and get better at it?

I'm always torn, and I end up doing both. But I'm always aware that I'm never going to fully experience a game and "git gud" if I just dabble at a hundred different titles.

I might have fun, though.

Then again, every game has something of a learning barrier. So you have to put some time and effort into learning how to play before you find out whether playing is fun or not. I often get tired of facing new learning barriers, so I fall back on familiar games instead.

Still, the tl;dr answer is Both--play the games you want to play and branch out.
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I hear ya.

For me the tension is between continuing a game I'm already playing and starting something new. The thing is, I get a lot of satisfaction out of completing games to the end credits (and sometimes 100%; but never platinum so far). But this requires a bit of dedication and pushing through sometimes. Whereas it's easier to flit around between different titles. Sometimes I do switch between 2-3 games, but it does seem to make it harder to complete any of them.

Also I like to replay games, if I know I enjoyed them in the past, I can appreciate them more on replay sometimes.

In terms of trying new types of games, I try to be cautious, since I found that most times trying something new doesn't work out. There's so many games out there it's tempting to want to try all the games, but my brain knows this is counterproductive.
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This question takes on a different meaning for me.

For the last 15 years I've predominantly played a single genre; in fact, a single game. Yet, over those same 15 years, I amassed a collection of over 30 consoles and close to 800 physical video games.

So, the eternal question now, is should I play the game I love playing, or play a history of the best games of all-time like I've always wanted to?

For a few years I was heavily into streaming, and during that time I got to play and beat many games in my collection on stream. During those few years, I played and (mostly) beat Rocket Knight Adventures, Ninja Gaiden, Super Mario Bros. 3 (100% for the first time), Klonoa: Door to Phantomile, Phantasy Star, Night Trap, Wirehead (about 90% of the way through, before a scratch on the disc made it unplayable shake), Bubble Bobble, a low-level run of Final Fantasy VI (where after many hours of grinding, I realized the GBA version changed the patterns in the minecart fights...), replayed Chrono Trigger, Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! (finally beat Tyson!), Demon's Crest, and others. I had a great time, and even if not every game was enjoyable (I'm highly critical of Ninja Gaiden now...), it was great to get first-hand experience with so many legendary games.

Moreover, I made many friends, at least three of which will probably be lifelong friends.

Still, I missed Final Fantasy XI, and eventually I came back to it. There's a comfort and joy that game brings me that I can't honestly say is less valuable that those years I spent playing a diversity of games. Yet, the call of those games draws on me now.

This is a question I'll never answer to satisfaction.
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Why would I ever play games I don't want to play? I have a ton of games in my backlog that I bought because I wanted to play them. I also have some free games that might look interesting and if I play them, it's because I want to...

If I don't have time to play all the games I want, why on earth would a pick up some other random game vs something I'm pretty sure I will like? I already know what kind of games I like, and if there is something completely new that comes up that is unlike any other game, I'm pretty sure I'll know if I'm into it too (like when Rockband first came out and I was obsessed with it).

Why waste time trying to play games from genres I'm not into, though? What would be the point of trying to play every type of game unless you are new and don't know what you like yet?
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Bit of both. You'll always have a type but if you branch out you might discover that you have more than one type, which has certainly happened a lot in my gaming career.
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I tend to "branch out" when I can get games for free/on discount

Otherwise, time IS indeed a factor. When I first asked an employee at a video game lounge about a game (turned out to be League Of Legends), got a brief description, and he said he could get me started with an account. PASS! I'm sure I'd enjoy it, but I was already "binge playing" StarCraft 2. I didn't have time to add another game on top of that!

Other games that tend to fall into the "branch out" category tend to be the ones I'm interested in (I alr bought them, started them, or its been on my mind to purchase), but have yet to really committed to playing them.

flaeryn wrote:
Why would I ever play games I don't want to play? I have a ton of games in my backlog that I bought because I wanted to play them. I also have some free games that might look interesting and if I play them, it's because I want to...

If I don't have time to play all the games I want, why on earth would a pick up some other random game vs something I'm pretty sure I will like? I already know what kind of games I like, and if there is something completely new that comes up that is unlike any other game, I'm pretty sure I'll know if I'm into it too (like when Rockband first came out and I was obsessed with it).

Why waste time trying to play games from genres I'm not into, though? What would be the point of trying to play every type of game unless you are new and don't know what you like yet?
I'm assuming the OP isn't being that absolute. I interpreted it as "games that are high on your priority" vs. "games you'd still like to play, but aren't that high in priority". The latter would NOT be "play games you hate"
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For me, when it comes to playing games on the Nintendo Switch, I'd say it's better to play games I want to play. 2017 was a dull year for the Switch for me because that year didn't have very many easy games. All I really liked was UNO; Super Bomberman R Battle Mode (I died too often in Story Mode, even on Beginner); Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Smart Steering and Auto-Accelerate) and Woodle Tree Adventures. But then 2018 had a lot more easy games I was interested in like Kirby Star Allies; NES games Ice Climber and Dr. Mario; Super Smash Bros. Ultimate; Pokemon Quest (I really want Johto Pokemon); and Ludo Mania. The YouTube app has been really nice, too. 2019 has been a good year so far, too, with Kirby's Adventure; Tetris 99; and Arcade Archives ICE CLIMBER. There are so many good games I have and a few still I want to get plus Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the Wii, Pokemon Silver and several GBA games, I don't have time to try out a whole lot of new games.
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Geoffrey Burrell
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I branch out after I play a game for awhile. I sometimes get bored with a game which then necessitates change. I mainly play PC games over Steam.
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flaeryn wrote:
Why waste time trying to play games from genres I'm not into, though? What would be the point of trying to play every type of game unless you are new and don't know what you like yet?

You don't have to be new to not know what you like yet.

I've been around since the very first video games, but I've stuck mainly to genres I thought I would like. So there are some I've only dabbled at or not tried at all.

Just recently I played my first Hidden Object video game. Just a couple years ago I played my first Real Time Strategy game. I've never played a Clicker / Incremental game or Rhythm game or Light Gun Shooter.

Besides, if you play too much of what you like, you may get tired of it and stop wanting to play that kind of game. People change; tastes change. Also, new games (and even new genres) are always coming out.

Stick to what you currently want to play, and you may be missing out on discovering what you'd really like to play.
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This is something I think about with music. Whether I should listen to an old favorite or give some time on something newer.

I have absolutely zero interest in playing a video game I don't want to play. Heck there are a lot of games I am interested in playing that one thing or another turns me off to them, be it their price tag or the time commitment required to get through the length of the game or the time commitment to learn the games controls/system.
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Time and money are limited. So my preference when I want to play something I enjoy is to play a video I know I enjoy.

However, there are times when I feel like investing in time to explore -- new music, new tv shows, new books, new games. Video games are no exception. But the price point and time cost remains a factor in how much I am willing to explore something new. When I have lots of time and sufficient funds, I will try out something new when I am in the mood. (my longing to play a game I haven't had much time to enjoy may override that sense of exploration, though).
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As a game designer, I am constantly playing types of games outside of my comfort zone. To be a better designer, I feel that such exploration is necessary. Sometimes great mechanics, ideas, or ways of doing things can be plucked and remixed from games I wouldn't normally play.
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That's a good question. I finally came to the realization that no matter how hard I try, I'm never going to complete my massive backlog. So I suppose I've done a little of both of the options you listed.

I primarily gravitate towards the games that I know I want to play. That's my priority at the moment. A large portion of my backlog is the result of free games or dirt cheap sales on games that I could-possibly-maybe-probably like. I'm reserving those games for moments where games I want to play might be too daunting (i.e. a long RPG) at the time. When that happens, I do tend to try something that I maybe wouldn't normally.

So I think I go back and forth on that.
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frumpish wrote:
This is something I think about with music. Whether I should listen to an old favorite or give some time on something newer.

I have absolutely zero interest in playing a video game I don't want to play. Heck there are a lot of games I am interested in playing that one thing or another turns me off to them, be it their price tag or the time commitment required to get through the length of the game or the time commitment to learn the games controls/system.
FWIW, listening to music tends to be a much lower time commitment. A song is only 2 to 6 minutes. Granted, if you do enough of it, it add does add up.

And then there's learning how to play a new instrument. For example, I have a spare flute on me, as well as some "hand me down" beginner books. That, combined with YouTube, should paint a path to show just what my true level of commitment to that would be. (if more serious, I can consider taking lessons).


Also, my complimentary Sirius XM subscription is about to run out. The lowest tier is $10/month, which isn't bad. However, I'd like to shoot for the 2nd tier, which is $16/mo. I don't care about sports, but that's where the comedy/standup channels are at. I could afford it, but I'm going to pass, as I could also stand to save the money as well. Plus, I don't spend that much time driving anyways (which is where I would primarily continue using it)


ghostpants wrote:
That's a good question. I finally came to the realization that no matter how hard I try, I'm never going to complete my massive backlog. So I suppose I've done a little of both of the options you listed.

I primarily gravitate towards the games that I know I want to play. That's my priority at the moment. A large portion of my backlog is the result of free games or dirt cheap sales on games that I could-possibly-maybe-probably like. I'm reserving those games for moments where games I want to play might be too daunting (i.e. a long RPG) at the time. When that happens, I do tend to try something that I maybe wouldn't normally.

So I think I go back and forth on that.
When I got into the Humble Bundle craze, I not only recorded my purchases to keep track of how much money I was spending, but also to make notes. That way, I can tell at a glance which games I should prioritize. For example, if I purchased a bundle for 1 or 2 specific games, but wouldn't be able to play them anytime soon, I'd note those 1 or 2 games (ie. "looks like a fun platformer according to the preview video")
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flaeryn wrote:

Why waste time trying to play games from genres I'm not into, though? What would be the point of trying to play every type of game unless you are new and don't know what you like yet?


Well, I think it would be because I might miss out on a game I might like without realizing it. I go back to the Hitman example - wouldn't have even looked at it if I had gotten it for free. Then found I really enjoyed it.

There are some I WON'T waste my time playing:
MOST sports games (Football, soccer, basketball) however, I will play a golf game.
Most one-on-one button masher fighting games like Dead or Alive and that ilk. I played one where I got a little bit in with being able to spam one move, but no further.
Visual Novels (though loved the one creepy one that was being played a few years ago.)
And hardcore racing games as opposed to arcade-y kind of ones.

It's tough with the Xbone because it takes SOO LOONG for me to DL and install those huge games. The other day, it took half the day to DL Project C.A.R.S.! And when I started it up, I knew right away it was something I would never get into. (And I felt bad because it was obviously beautiful and well-done. It just wasn't my style.)

So it's a little tougher now to just try ANYTHING I get for free because I need to DL and install them, which takes a good two-three hours+ for anything over 1 GB.
 
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ackmondual wrote:
FWIW, listening to music tends to be a much lower time commitment. A song is only 2 to 6 minutes. Granted, if you do enough of it, it add does add up.


Ah good point to clarify. Most of the time when I'm intentionally listening to music it's an entire album. I'm not one to use shuffle.
 
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frumpish wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
FWIW, listening to music tends to be a much lower time commitment. A song is only 2 to 6 minutes. Granted, if you do enough of it, it add does add up.

Ah good point to clarify. Most of the time when I'm intentionally listening to music it's an entire album. I'm not one to use shuffle.

Hmm, so I'm not the only one who (still) does that. I figured everybody else had moved on. Albums seem to be on their way to being relics of the past.
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
frumpish wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
FWIW, listening to music tends to be a much lower time commitment. A song is only 2 to 6 minutes. Granted, if you do enough of it, it add does add up.

Ah good point to clarify. Most of the time when I'm intentionally listening to music it's an entire album. I'm not one to use shuffle.

Hmm, so I'm not the only one who (still) does that. I figured everybody else had moved on. Albums seem to be on their way to being relics of the past.


What? Sitting in your room, listening to the entire album while you read the liner notes, look at the lyrics, and devour the album photos/art? Bah! That would require there to BE an album with liner notes, lyrics, and art.
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Lhowser wrote:
Realizing you will never have enough time in your life to play every game, is it better to just play the ones you want to play, or branch out and play different ones that are beyond your experience/comfort zone? Why or why not?

Depends on the person. For me personally, I'm about game play over most other aspects of the game, and I enjoy a good number of kinds of games and have a lot of experience and self-knowledge, so I really don't need to "branch out" beyond what I'm already aware I like. I'm not against trying things, I just have a pretty good idea how something will be for me, and I already have enough trouble getting time for what I want to enjoy.

Now, someone younger, with less experience, sure, you have to test out your options and get the experience to evaluate things without having to put your time into them.
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