Seeing as the apocalypse couldn’t quite be arsed turning up, it looks like we better shape up and carry on with the tradition of making up New Year’s Resolutions that we have no intention of keeping. Or maybe not. While eating five fruit and veg a day and swearing less is a distant and obscene pipe dream, there’s plenty of room to improve our gaming time with some healthy steps to enjoying our favourite past-time to its maximum potential.
1. Finish More Games
Blame the Christmas schedule or our distraction for newer shinier things, but it’s high time we finished the games we started. Especially the ones we were enjoying! Shorter games like Black Ops II and Uncharted: Golden Abyss were probably finished by most. But longer efforts like Assassin’s creed III or Borderlands 2 are typical of the sort of titles that may get distractedly abandoned around the 60% mark. Finish these games before buying new ones and not only will you avoid having to restart because you’ve forgotten the controls and the story, your next game will probably be cheaper too.
2. Play Less Rubbish
Balancing work and a social life can be the biggest barriers to sitting down and enjoying your games. If your free time is scarce you should be careful about what you’re playing. If you buy a game that stinks after two hours, it's not going to get any better. Remember, you're supposed to be having fun. For every minute spent playing Kane & Lynch 2, it's a minute not spent playing Dishonored. Online rental fans will be familiar with the disappointment of some games arriving instead of others. Maybe you shouldn’t have added it in the first place. Did you really need to try 007 Legends or Kung Fu Rider?
3. Play Online More
We don’t mean play one game obsessively, don’t become a tragic news story involving playing Warcraft until you‘re rushed into hospital for malnutrition and chair-to-flesh-removal. Some gamers don’t play online enough though, and then wonder why they get destroyed for the first three hours of Black Ops II. Co-op options are appearing more often and offer a great alternative to the world of rage-quitters and campers, so try out the likes of Halo 4, Far Cry 3 and Borderlands 2. Not Army of Two though, that’s an automatic fail for the Play Less Rubbish resolution.
4. Play a Genre You Don't Usually Like
Put it under 'Try New Things' on your regular resolutions list. Free demos are the safest bet here. You may find that a genre you didn't care for years ago has improved or maybe your own tastes have changed. So I might convince myself to try something like XCOM: Enemy Unknown or maybe even MLB: The Show, which is often touted as the PS3's best sports game. It has to be better than watching baseball, right?
5. Get Fit with Motion Games
Don't join a gym, you'll be sick of it after two visits and still have to pay for the rest of your sentence. Buy something like Nike+ Kinect Training, Dancestar Party, Dance Central or Sports Champions 2 for your Wii/Move/Kinect for a fraction of the price. Then sell it on when you reach peak condition or go back to the realisation you could be hit by a bus tomorrow. Well, if you left the house.
6. Have a Games Clearout
Getting rid of newer games is always best done as soon as possible, as you'll get way better prices on eBay or as trade-ins at Game or Cex. Have a good rummage and be honest with yourself about whether you're actually going to bother replaying some of the older titles as they sit there gathering dust and losing value. Selling to friends or colleagues will potentially get you even more money, especially if you have no qualms about lying about how good some of them are.
7. Be less of an Achievement/Trophy Whore
Playing Dungeon Siege III for an extra two hours after finishing it just for one extra Achievement worth a mere 5 points is not how you should be spending your time. I’ve got much better with this; my only rule nowadays is to not have any Trophy list at 0%, even if I’ve rented a piece of crap. Ok, Sonic Unleashed has zero, but there is a limit to what I’ll do. Going mad for Trophies in a game you absolutely love is fine, especially when it doesn't demand you complete the game on a nightmarish difficulty. But wasting hours rounding up a few for a game you're not particularly enjoying just isn't healthy or fun.
So folks, just try and enjoy the core concepts of gaming again. As with all resolutions, keeping all of them is never going to happen. So maybe choose from three of the above and see how it goes. Let us know if you’re going to give any a go or if you have any recommendations of your own. Right I’m to work to see if anyone wants to buy FFXIII-2 or PlayStation All-Stars from me.