I suppose you could say that the $60 a Month experiment has been successful. Using only $60 of my monthly income I’ve managed to accumulate a pile of games so vast that I can’t finish them all. I barely even have time to play them, which means a certain meritocracy has formed in my game library where only the games that command my attention are given it and those which may even have plenty of merit but aren’t forceful with their insistence to be played sit idle.
Meanwhile, March was a sad month for games. Very little worth noting came out and nothing was released that I couldn’t live without. As a result I did some light trading and rented a couple of titles which filled up about a week apiece. None of this is necessarily a bad thing; somewhere down the road there will be a month with a number of releases that I can’t afford on my base budget alone. Perhaps the carryover here will come in handy.
Sometimes the worst part about having a budget is feeling like the money is already earmarked. It becomes a strange circumstance where you almost feel like you need to spend the money or else you’re not doing something right. Toward the end of the month I started feeling that way which prompted a second rental. The more I thought about it, the less I felt like I needed to spend all or a significant portion of the budget.
I did find myself occasionally staring at the shelves lined with games I intended to play or was halfway finished with and felt stuck either with overwhelming options or a lack of true desire to play anything specific which led me to my biggest feat of the month which was offloading a number of games I’d been clinging to without really having just cause. I tell myself often that I’m not a collector of games and yet titles that I really enjoy I often find hard to part with for sentimental reasons. Since there wasn’t anything I was dying to buy and I didn’t have a lot of Goozex credit to look for additional trades I instead began listing games that I didn’t have plans to play any further or games that I had intended to play more but found myself frequently passing over in favor of other options. The clearing house that occurred was rather cathartic and the money remaining will go a long way next month as I anticipate the GTA IV launch.
Last month’s antics left me with a mere $3.58 to work with so after adding the usual sixty bucks, I had $63.58. I did no recycling this month which means I have recyclables that have been collecting since January’s run; I may earn as much as $20-25 next time I need to take them in.
The Game List
- Army of Two
Platform: Xbox 360
A mediocre game at best, surely a rental only title. I can’t complain too much about the price for completing a new title but the game itself is so flawed and derivative that I might have appreciated the cost savings more had I not mostly wished I just skipped it altogether.
- MLB 08 The Show
Platform: PlayStation 3
Sports games are tricky acquisitions: Rentals seem like too short to fully invest in them but purchases feel like a ripoff since they tend to be annual releases that don’t retain their value at all. I went with a rental here but I have requested the game from Goozex on the strength of the time I’ve spent with it. Parts of the game not showcased in the demo are important enough to warrant a bit of up-front cost before commitment and I don’t mind the sacrifice here.
- Ninja Gaiden Sigma
Platform: PlayStation 3
Essentially I traded up from Ninja Gaiden Black which, while nearly identical, was also run only in backwards compatibility mode on the 360 and that experience isn’t the best. It plays nicely on the PS3, looks great and is still a fun game despite being unapologetically difficult.
- EA Replay
A miserable compilation of games that haven’t retained their appeal for the most part. I picked it up for Syndicate which is interesting but not strong enough on its own to hold onto the game. I re-listed it on Goozex almost immediately and if I don’t get back to it before someone requests it, I won’t be upset.
A short list this month and not all good news. Still I came up with a better version of Ninja Gaiden and a week with The Show so a fifty-fifty split good and bad.
As part of my library clearance trades I parted with Assassin’s Creed, Ninja Gaiden Black, Resistance: Fall of Man, Burnout Paradise and Meteos. I was probably most sad to see Assassin’s Creed go because while I was getting tired of searching for flags just to have an excuse to step back into the game, I really enjoyed the heck out of it while I was playing. Resistance was forgettable and not as good as I’d hoped, Ninja Gaiden Black went as part of my effort to replace it with the newer Sigma for PS3. Burnout Paradise was a tough call because I really wanted to like the game but despite its promise and general enjoyment I think I needed a close friend to get hooked on it to make it worth my while.
I also listed a slew of other games on Goozex which had not been snapped up as of this writing but watch this space next month for more surprise trade-ins.
Budget-wise there was no better month for coming out on top. Of my available $63.58 I spent only $13.00 leaving me with $50.58 for next month. That means that starting off I’ll have $110.58! I didn’t choose all that wisely this month though even with my few new game selections, but with a lack of new game fodder out there, pickin’s were slim to begin with. Hopefully the late-month trade-fest will result in some better titles early next month to tide me over until GTA and in the meantime the bounty from previous $60 a Month efforts continues to pay off with plenty of great titles clamoring for my attention.