Friday, June 4, 2010

Back from the Dead: The Rule of Four

Like an alcoholic who can't stay on the wagon, I keep falling on and off the wagon when it comes to my Rule of Four. Lately, I've started making a concerted effort to get back on it. The current loadout is:

1. Red Dead Redemption
2. Alan Wake
3. Dragon Age Origins
4. Cameron's Avatar (the clean-up holdover)

+1 Record of Agarest War

I think part of the hopping on and off the wagon is because I've been wishy-washy on what counts as completed enough to take the game out of the four. Every achievement? Finishing the campaign? Either / or? I think I'm going have to decide on a game by game basis what "completed" means for that game.

This is the easiest time of the year to keep on the wagon, as the summer months are traditionally the thinnest in terms of quality. I'm not planning on purchasing any games in June, and if not for Crackdown 2, I wouldn't be buying anything new in July either. So, I have an abundance a month to see how much I can accomplish with this set of four before Crackdown 2 pushes itself into the mix. Then, even with Crackdown 2, I'm going to be seeing how much I can accomplish before the fall rush starts sometime in August.

In the on-deck circle, Divinity II will replace Dragon Age when that's done, and Prince of Persia will replace either Alan Wake or Avatar. I don't want to make myself a queue that is any more than two titles deep, as my mood is likely to change before I get to the point where I'd be playing them.

I'm a little behind pace for Silver in my completion challenge, and would need to step it up to catch back up... which isn't likely to happen with the current line-up. What I'll probably end up doing is see where I'm at during the post-PAX segment of my vacation, and go on an easy completion binge if I have no other plans. I may also use the month of September as "catch-up" month in general, where, aside from Halo Reach, I do nothing but rent and whore out easy games. I'm just going to hope by then I'm not too far behind to get close to reaching Silver (24 completions) which is my true goal for the year. Anything above that is a bonus.

Besides gaming, I've been making an effort to do some more reading (which is something people don't be enough of any more). I made a killing on Barnes and Noble deals, picking up some gread books at insanely low prices:

Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Allies -- $14 ($27 list price)
Confessor {Sword of Truth Series #12) -- $5 ($30 list price for Hard Cover)
Duma Key {Stephen King} -- $7 ($28 list price for Hard Cover)
Frank Herbert's Dune -- $4 ($8 regular)

Mmmm... $93 list price for $30... I like! (Then again, I've never paid list price for a hard cover book. It's way too easy to find a deal on them to do that.)

I always try to get the hard cover versions when I can, because they last longer. Paperbacks tend to start falling apart after a second reading. Even at the higher price hard covers charge, books maintain a better entertainment-value-per-hour ratio in most instances. What's a better bang for your buck; a $10 book that takes 30 hours to read, or a $60 game that takes 12 hours to beat? I know it's kind of comparing apples and oranges, but if I ever had to chose between not buying games and not buying books, I'd give up games first. Those low-low prices you see listed above were because the books were either clearanced out Hardcovers (with nothing wrong with them except that I had to peel off some bargain stickers), or were part of a summer Sci-Fi sale, plus my 10% discount. I'll be in books for a while.

That'll do me for this time.


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