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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Review Scores and Used Game Value

I've decided to hold off on buying Wheelman until it gets a price drop. I was all set to buy the game for full price but I'm worried about the game's potential resale value. If I can buy a game for $60 then sell it for $40 a couple months later, I'm a happy gamer. But a game's secondhand value depends quite heavily on the game's popularity. Unfortunately, review scores correlate heavily with how well a game sells even if those scores are not true indications of how well a game plays or of the amount of enjoyment one gets from playing the game.

Let's take Wheelman as an example. Currently, it has garnered an average reviewer score of around 70%: mediocre at best given today's inflated review scores. However, users are giving Wheelman extremely high marks based on the game's adrenaline-soaked action. When I go to re-sell Wheelman, which review scores do you think the used game market will look at when valuing my trade-in or eBay auction item? They'll look at the review score of the jaded and unhappy professional reviewers who feel it necessary to cut-down any game that isn't GTA or Braid.

So I'm going to hold off on Wheelman until I can get it at the $39.99 price point.
I'm going to focus on inFamous as my next potential AAA title purchase. It's looking better and better every day. Just earlier today, I noticed some pictures showing the effect of Cole's evil choices on his appearance and the colour of Cole's electricity-imbued powers. If you have Cole make evil choices, his visage will begin to resemble that of a Dark Jedi or Sith and his electrical powers will have a pleasant "red" glow to them (see right). In fact, Cole seems to have many features in common with the Apprentice from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. I'm cool with that: it'd be nice to see The Apprentice in action in a true AAA title for once.

Have a good one!