Posted on Sep 23rd 2015 at 11:54:16 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under gaming, zeitgeist, budget

It's rare for me to be on the cutting edge of new video game releases. They're so expensive first of all and as a collector I'm never short of other things to play. There are rare instances where a game comes out and I just can't resist the urge to be an early adopter. In recent memory I did it with Mass Effect 3, and I quite enjoyed being part of the discussion going on in the media about the game and of course, the ending.

I recently broke down again and purchased Metal Gear Solid V. At first I intended to wait until I owned a Playstation 4 to play it, but I don't know when that will be. After months of pre-release hype and the explosion of information coming out about the game after its release, I decided to purchase and download the Playstation 3 version of the game.

Metal Gear Solid V is an astoundingly good game, but that's only part of the excitement at this point in history, just after its release. There are pros and cons to being in the mix, but on the rare occasions where I get into the fray with a new game, I tend to find an added layer of enjoyment to my overall experience.

First of all, I find it more fun to learn, discover, and share tips and gameplay tactics with the community as other people are doing the same thing. It's more exciting than pulling up an FAQ and looking up what you need. It's fun when there are things in a game that haven't been figured out yet. It's great to read forums where the other members are trying to figure the same thing out as you are, and no one is really an expert on the game yet.

Further, if the game is highly visible like MGSV, there will be constant news about it coming from gaming news sources, and sometimes even mainstream news outlets. It's nice looking in my social media feeds and seeing story after story about the game. From a psychological perspective, it's one of those things that helps reinforce a buying choice.

There's also the fact that publishers will support the their games closer to the release day, and one can expect diminishing returns from that point on. The servers will only be viable for a finite amount of time, so why not get in while they're being supported wholeheartedly by the publishers?

Of course there are drawbacks too, the main one being story spoilers. At a certain point, many people will have finished the game and the internet is full of people who really don't care that you haven't yet. In the case of MGSV, I was listening to a podcast recently where the hosts were about ten story missions ahead of me. As much as they tried to be spoiler free, there were times where I had to put my fingers in my ears and say "La la la la la" to drown them out until I could press fast forward. On the other hand, this encouraged me to push forward with the story missions and progress further into the game. Those aforementioned social media feeds can be a minefield (pun intended) of spoilers as well, with some outlets putting them right in their headlines.

So as much as classic games and overlooked hidden gems are my bread and butter, it is rewarding on occasion to jump in with the mainstream and join the meta-game of interacting with the gaming community at large. It's expensive, but rewarding. I probably won't do it again until Persona 5 is out...or maybe Fallout 4.

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