Topic: Nintendo Gaming on a Budget

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I didn't see a topic on this, but I wanted to see how others may be dealing with this. The days of having a good job with no wife or kids is long past for me, but I still enjoy gaming when I can. Since I am not independently wealthy and I am trying to also be a responsible adult, I have been setting a yearly budget for my gaming. This amount has varied as pressures on my finances have come and gone.

So I am curious, is anyone else trying to do this? If so what are the methods that you use to decide when or what to purchase?


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I live with my family, and we're kinda only get $100 a month. So, yeah...>.<

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For the last 5 years I've been pretty careful with how I spend my gaming money. I still spend a lot on the hobby, compared to others, but I really make sure I get value for it. I almost never buy day 1 anymore. There's enough good games out there across the various systems that I'm happy to wait for price cuts or even used. I know that's not perfect as it's not really supporting the publisher, but even the smaller publishers are reasonably large and wealthy corporations, and I have to put my own finances ahead of theirs.



Since games cost so much over here (about 14 days of minimum wage!), I just buy up to 2 games a month with the ocasionally eShop card. I used to buy a lot more when I was working (I'm in school again), but now I regret buying some of those games. I'm looking at you Couldberry Kingdom.

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I haven't bought a game in so long.. even the last game I got 2 months ago was a gift given to me. I think I'm just at that age where I need to focus on grabbing other things such as a car, computer, and pet rock food.. can't find any of these things affordable nearby.

I just have a list of wants piling up higher and higher..

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@Peach64: I am right there with you. I've done this for a few years, but this will be the first year that I have had to set such a tight budget limit. Picking up Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate was a lifesaver for me personally this year as I am 145 hours into it and still not even to the end of the single player campaign (too distracted by chasing parts to craft gear), but that isn't an answer for everyone.

But do you resign yourself to Virtual Console and eShop stuff for the most part, or do you just reduce the number of games overall that you buy?


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Yeah, I don't have the money for any of the current gen consoles, so I just occasionally pick up a used game for one of my 7th gen consoles, or DL an eShop game or two on my 3DS, every other month.

Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)


I'm on a monthly budget.
Every month I have a certain "entertainment budget" which I spend on music, videogames, live concerts and stuff like that. I know I have to be very careful not to cross that line, because the rest of the salary is already going into bills, gas, food and real life stuff.

I have to depend on eShop/PSN discounts and the 2nd hand market if I want to maximize my purchases. I have no problem buying at a discount and I don't feel like I'm robbing anyone if I buy 2nd hand. I don't buy VC games from Nintendo because I personally think it's a huge waste of money.
I am definitely not one of those compulsive videogame buyers, so most months I can survive just fine with a set budget and get a decent dose of games, especially cheap indies. Other times life gets in the way (like when I have to renew the yearly car insurance, or if I have to buy meds for the cats) and I have to take the money from the "entertainment budget", so I get no games/records at all. Managing the budget is a videogame in itself, but it's very gratifying to function within these limitations.

Top-10 games I played in 2017: The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild (WiiU) - Rogue Legacy (PS3) - Fallout 3 (PS3) - Red Dead Redemption (PS3) - Guns of Boom (MP) - Sky Force Reloaded (MP) - ...

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@spizzamarozzi: A lot of my VC games came from Club Nintendo to be honest, but there are a few games from back then that I grew up with and find that I can replay a lot. I don't know if it is nostalgia or just the era, but SNES games just are a bit magical for me. The eShop games on the other hand have mostly disappointed me on the Wii U. I think I got spoiled by games like Shadow Complex, Sanctum 2, Monday Night Combat, or Torchlight on XBLA. There have been some nice ones but they are too few and far between, and Nintendo themselves seem to be missing the golden opportunity to soft reboot idle franchises with smaller eShop games.


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Get the eShop deals when you can. I got a couple when they were on sale and have yet to play them. Some I regret because I feel I won't get around to them, but others are there for when I do play them and I got them for as cheap as I could such as Phoenix Wright. Got the Trilogy and DD both when they were on sale, but I'm not playing DD until I finish the Trilogy.

Games that have no replay value you can sell when done. Nintendo titles keep a high price so you can buy and sell games without losing too much money in the process and you get to play the game at your leisure.

Currently Playing: SMITE, ROTTR, Halo 5: Guardians (XB1), Xenoblade Chronicles X (WiiU), Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney 2 (3DS)


@Darknyht: I see your point but my experience with indie games on the eShop has been positive. Mind you, I don't have access to Steam and off-tv playing for me is a BIG incentive, so that's probably why I keep buying more things on the eShop rather than PSN/XBLA. If Sony had something similar to (and as big as) the GamePad for remote playing, I would have no problem jumping ship. Actually, I'd be way happier to buy from Sony than Nintendo, because Sony tends to be a lot cheaper and at least they are very upfront about wanting your money. When the Steam portable machine will be out, I'll get that and wave goodbye to the opulent world of console games once and for all.

Ever since I moved out to live on my own (2008), the "value for money" factor in games has become crucial. I have bought many retail games on WiiU and I liked most of them, but I think I could have easily lived without them. Actually, I kinda regret having bought so many, because I clearly didn't need them - though I'm not going to sell them, my niece is going to get them eventually.
I have been keeping lists of the games I buy and play monthly since 2012 - every January I do a top-10 of the best games I have played, and you'll be surprised of how many indies are in there. The best game I have played this year was an XBLA €5 download. And the previous year was a free iPhone game. I have been playing for 25+ years and I have no problem admitting that I had more fun with ZooKeeper Battle than Super Smash Bros.
In November alone, I have spent €60 for Project Zero and €6 on an indie game called Canvaleon. Actual state of affairs is that I have played the €60 game only for 15 minutes, and the €6 game for 15 hours. Either my taste in games is shite or I am simply drawn to simpler, more immediate experiences (which is actually the reason I fell in love with videogames in the first place). I find myself caring for retail games less and less, and I could easily live on indies alone. The plan for 2016 is to stop buying retail games and to simply try and rely on indies on eShop/PSN/XBLA and occasionally iPhone (but I have a super-old model) for all my gaming needs. If things work out the way I have them planned, in a couple of years I could afford a 2nd hand motorcycle (and yeah, 2nd hand - I don't care if Mr. Triumph doesn't get a penny from me).

Top-10 games I played in 2017: The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild (WiiU) - Rogue Legacy (PS3) - Fallout 3 (PS3) - Red Dead Redemption (PS3) - Guns of Boom (MP) - Sky Force Reloaded (MP) - ...

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It's pretty simple to be on a budget for Nintendo stuff as there's so little to choose from. Just stock up on eshop credit for the DLC for already existing games and you're pretty much set.


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Just get the big games you actually want. Make sure to research them as well. I mean big releases. With nintendo's lack of support that makes that a lot easier. If you have Smash or Kart it keeps things fun in between purchases. E shop games are great to get as well and they will go on sale at some point. Keep an eye out for another humble bundle deal. I think I got shovel Knight, Guacamelee and a lot of other quality e shop games for like 10 bucks.



Every time a game comes out that I want, I add it to my Wish List on Amazon. Now I will probably get at least a couple of them for free for Christmas and my birthday (in February) from family. Along with my backlog, that is plenty to keep me occupied. Also, I do online surveys and earn a free $25 gift card to Gamestop every couple of months. Then I just wait for Buy 2 Get 1 deals or drops in price. I haven't paid for a game in I don't know how many months, maybe close to a year, and I still have plenty to play. As long as you have a life outside of gaming, it is pretty easy to game on a budget.

Grumblevolcano wrote:

It's pretty simple to be on a budget for Nintendo stuff as there's so little to choose from. Just stock up on eshop credit for the DLC for already existing games and you're pretty much set.

You should see my Wish List. Anyone who says there is so little to choose from definitely has too much time on their hands to play video games.


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Tips for your Budget?

Spy Chameleon is totally worth the $4 - you're going to be pleased at the Bang for your Buck.
And if you're still interested in more:
And Color Zen and Color Zen Kids - like $2 each.
Then to top off that fresh $10 Bill - you can download Toki Tori for your kids - I think that game is sill $2 or so.



I good idea is to but games at a small local video game shop. Often the prices will be very competive to get the attention of consumers such as ourselves to shop there rather than a big companies store. Also if you feel comfortable you can always check your local craiglist to find games for dirt cheep. However, tread with caution, there have been plenty of horror stories on the news about craiglist but from my experience everyone is just interested in selling or buying for the most part.

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@Smoo: The Humble Bundle was nice, but to be honest none of the games included have made it past the 3 hour mark for me personally. I enjoyed Stealth Inc, Steamworld Dig, and Guacamelee the most, and have little use for Olli Olli and the other endless runner. I also wonder if we will get the opportunity to see something like that again.

@spizzamarozzi I run into three problems with the eShop. First is a quality issue, in that there is a lot of half-baked Unity/Webkit games on there and too many of the top indie stuff misses the console. Second, if the good stuff does arrive it is already available elsewhere for a lot less by the time it reaches the Wii U. Finally, the lack of demos. 90% of my XBLA purchases were made after trying the demos.

@vitalemrecords Toki Tori I got as own on pc because of a Steam sale, and I did complete it but wasn't impressed. And while Color Zen series doesn't look like my sort of game, I may have to check Spy Chameleon out. Again, I wish there was a demo. For example I am permanently stuck with Puddle because I bought it blind.


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I've broken a lot of my own rules in the last 18 months. Before, I would never buy any games new unless they were sub £5. I'm quite happy playing catchup a generation behind, and using eBay, metacritic, and Top 50 games lists to get some terrific games that might be 3-10 years old for a snip.

However, when Mario Kart 8 came out it kinda broke something inside me and I've gone a bit crazy since then, buying lots of new games. Only cos I can afford to though cos I don't have any other hobbies currently and young kids mean I can't be away from the house much.

But there's absolutely no shame buying used. If the used market didn't exist then people wouldn't be so willing to buy full price as they'd have no way of recovering some of that money.

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My gaming budget is pretty low, and has lately become part of my overall entertainment budget (which also includes books and movies). I've been trying to pay off a few things and am trying to do some home improvement projects as well.

Previously I would budget for roughly one new retail game a month, but with the exception of a good deal for SMG2 at retail, I haven't bought any new games lately. I'm trying to work my way through a Nintendo backlog of which roughly 58% of the games are RPGs (though probably closer to roughly 50% if we're excluding a couple of Professor Layton titles).

As others have mentioned, I carefully screen a new game through reviews and the opinions of others before I make a purchase in order to ensure that I don't waste my hard-earned Rupees.

Currently playing: Luigi's Mansion 3

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gcunit wrote:

But there's absolutely no shame buying used. If the used market didn't exist then people wouldn't be so willing to buy full price as they'd have no way of recovering some of that money

It goes both ways. If the used market didn't exist then publishers wouldn't have to charge as much for games at launch to cover their costs. Because with the used market a single sale can pass through multiple consumers. The used market literally raises the price of games for everyone. It's a classic example of the selfish option being the one that's not in your self interest.

And I know people are going to freak out again by me saying this. But it's the truth. If we wanted cheaper games we would all collectively make an active decision not to buy used games. Of course as long as people keep buying into the used market we're all screwed anyway.

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