Hamster, meet wheel

I’ve talked before about my reluctance to “go next-gen” because I constantly feel behind on older releases. There’s another side to that, though. Whenever I get a new system, I suddenly find myself staring down a whole new library of everything that I had missed over the past couple years or so.

I tend to be reminded of this phenomenon whenever I upgrade my computer, which happened again recently. Suddenly, all those games that were barely better than slideshows on my previous system actually become playable, which means I inevitably spend a weekend installing every game I’ve ever owned just to see how they run. When I’m done with that, I move into impulse buy territory.

Thankfully, Sins of a Solar Empire has so far been the only new PC game that I’ve purchased this year, which is good for both my conscience and my pocketbook. On the other hand, now I own a PSP-3000, too, which means that it’s back to traversing that same, familiar minefield. I already have three games of varying quality for the thing, but here I am scheming to buy more. After all, I simply must own Mega Man: Powered Up, Gundam Battle Universe, and Macross Ace Frontier. God forbid I enjoy the games I already have.

This happens to everybody, though. You get a shiny new toy, and you feel compelled to indulge in the novelty, the newness. What you have here, my friends, are the wonders of consumerism. I just hope one day that I’ll find it in me to take a deep breath and stop cluttering up my house with games that I probably don’t have time to play. Until then though, I’ll be right there will you on that big old capitalistic hamster wheel. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve gotta go finish preordering my copy of Gundam Vs. Gundam.

14 thoughts on “Hamster, meet wheel

  1. I don’t know. Mega Man Powered Up was nice and all, but I didn’t really find myself all that wowed by it, and I surprised myself by how little time I ultimately put into it before moving on. That probably makes me the worst kind of fan and an ingrate, but well, yeah…

  2. I was completely unaware of the existence of Gundam Battle Universe until now. I must have this game.

  3. Get Mega Man: Powered Up! And then, I don’t know, design some awesome stages based on the temples from Zelda II or something.

  4. Oh, and PS, it is a great idea not to go next-gen until next-gen is last-gen. Then think of the money you save! And all that backlog of games becomes like an instant library.

    Of course, there is the time problem, as you observe.

  5. I know exactly what you mean. It takes great strength of will to resist the temptation to buy the latest, greatest, shiniest thing (and then all of the accessories/games/etc. that go with it).

  6. It’s reassuring to know that I’m not the only one wrestling with this dilemma, Kat. Though our shared crisis is hardly alleviating for either of us. I’ve just recently purchased a PS3, my first “now-gen” system, if for no other reason than I’m sick of watching from the sidelines–listening to podcasts, reading reviews, etc., but not being able to participate.

    Yes, this will only make it that much more impossible to get through my staggering backlog of last gen games to which I already have time to commit. Over the years, however, I’ve finally learned a certain sense of discipline in my habits. Simply put: thou shalt not buy-eth new games, whilst thou hast not completed ye older ones.

    So many shrink-wrapped games sit on my shelf–the results of impulse buys rationalized as bargains I will eventually play–await their turn. It’s hard to have peace of mind and truly enjoy the game in your machine while you’re ever cognizant of other unplayed classics clogging the pipeline.

    How did it come to this?

  7. I’m totally jealous of Macross Ace Frontier. I want to play it. But not enough to buy a PSP (and, as with your problem, increase my backlog beyond its already vast set of DS and PS2/PS3 games).

  8. I want Macross Ace Frontier, but luckily (?) I’m broke so I can’t run to Play-Asia and import it.

    At least I’m whittling down my backlog instead of buying new games?

    And as others have said, Mega Man Powered Up is a game you should own already. It is worth running out and playing it right now. If you can ignore the copious amounts of bonus content, simply “beating” the game should only take you a couple of hours.

  9. Mega Man Powered Up was pretty MEH to me… ::shrug:: I’d get Jeane D’Arc tho ;)
    My backlog is GINORMIS! (sp?) Then again… it includes Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PSP, DS, PS2… :( good thing I am also broke and can’t buy any “new” games.

  10. Be sure to write about Gundam VS Gundam on here. Nice, reasoned, rational commentary on licensed anime games is in short supply

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