Staff Discussion: Value For Money

What’s the best value for money you got on a game recently…

…did the £3.40 you spent on Geometry Wars last you longer than the £49.99 you spent on as recent 360 titles…? Did you find something really cheap on some bargain bin that was better that some game you spent the full retail price on…?


Lately I’ve been reserving my money for ventures into the next generation of consoles and certainly the best bargains I’ve heard of are on the virtual console where games I’ve missed out on are going for bargain prices. My last bargain purchase was Civilization 2 for a mere $2.50 and that’s Canadian dollars! Of course there’s always the console bargains for aged games I saw in the first year of a launch, but just recently I saw Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean going for $20! As a fan that paid full price on the beauty of the game (and I’d do it again will be doing it again come the 25th) I was shocked to see it lower in price so quickly. Most bargain bin games I don’t find appealing, but there are the gems that slip into the category making the hour’s browse worth it.


A few years ago I bought Grim Fandango for PC in a shop for just under £5 and since then I’ve played through it twice since it’s just such great fun. A few weeks ago I managed to get both Prince of Persia: Warrior Within and Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow for £4.99, to be perfectly honest I’ve hardly touched Pandora Tomorrow, but PoP is fantastic and also extremely challenging.

By far the greatest “Bargain Buy” I ever got was Worms Armageddon for a fiver, even years after its release it stands as the greatest Worms game ever and online against a load of DarkZero members is a fantastic experience.

On the free side of things; Frets on Fire is highly addictive and great fun with a wireless keyboard attempting the riffs, yes it is a Guitar Hero rip-off, but it is also an amazing concept and clever piece of software.


Earlier in the year I picked up Hitman for under £5, which is possibly the best gaming buy i’ve ever made. Although i’m kinda bored of it now, I spent a good few weeks playing through it, then going through it again, then running around just shooting people and using cheats. Besides that I don’t think i’ve bought any games paying full RRP for 2 years perhaps, but I played Hitman a lot more than I did some games in the past I had paid £50 for.


Value for money is a very subjective thing, how much play time do you expect for your money? What is the going rate for fun per hour? Buy a DVD and it’s about a couple of hours for a tenner, go down the pub and you might get half as much again if you don’t buy for anyone elese. Either of those rates wouldn’t be acceptable when playing a game, but how much is? I’d say if you can get 20 hours out of it for fourty quid then that’s about right, who in their right mind pays fifty for a game? It’s not perfect, not by any means, but I’d say that’s the minimum you’re looking at to make a game value for money, true some give you a lot more, but that shouldn’t detract from others.


Value for money is a strange thing. There aren’t many 360 games I would feel totally happy with after parting 50 pounds for, yet most of my free time is eaten by two freeware games.

Toribash is a turn based fighting game, as bizarre a concept as that sounds. By manipulating the muscles of one of the mannequins, you can dismember your opponent in some sickening ways. Most of the time I’ve spent playing it I have been learning the mechanics – tweaking muscles and changing my technique to find the most effective blows and holds – and playing online with a few friends. The multiplayer is like a virtual fight club, with the winner of each round staying on to take on the next player in the cycle. It’s so satisfying delivering a sexy roundhouse kick to the chin of another player and gloating as their grimacing face flies up in to the air, leaving a sweet, sweet crimson trail in its wake.

Naked War is a turn based strategy in a similar vein to Advance Wars. You have your units and must blast away at your enemies to steal their “doofers”. First team to capture all the doofers is the winner. Simple? Exactly. It is a play by email game. You download the client and sign up to the forum, which gives you one free challenge. You can challenge absolutely anyone you want by using their email address, who can freely accept the offer and get the client themselves. After you make your go, it emails a very small file to your opponent. They open it – it loads the game and plays the move you just made. Make yours and then the cycle repeats. Simple.

After the game, you will need to pay to make any more challenges – $20 buys you 20 challenges – a steal, considering each match lasts around two hours and can be played completely at your convenience. Actually accepting a challenge from someone is free, however, so you can convert new players to the game by challenging them and getting them to sign up to the forums. If these players then buy credits, you get bonuses, so it’s win/win really. Everything is simple. Nice and simple.

I’ve had more fun with these two titles than a lot of new releases recently, and they cost under half the price. 20 credits on Naked War will in time offer you more hours of gameplay for your hard earned cash than say – fifty notes for the charmless Saints Row.

That’s value for money.

It’s down to the person, and brings us back to the first question asked in this thread. Oblivion is a fantastic game which you can dedicate countless hours to and even play multiple times. Same can be said about Geometry Wars, but there is a huge gulf between the two in almost every way. CLEARLY, it would be ridiculous to ask for top whack for Geometry Wars, but why? It’s absolutely fantastic and you can go back to it indefinitely. Compare that to say, Dead Rising, which although fun, was done and dusted within two weeks. A good two weeks, but still – completely finite. HOWEVER, it would be ludicrous to even suggest Dead Rising being launched at £20 due to it’s length.