The Big Question: How Are We Finding Time For All These Games?

Image: @TheJunglist

Every day, at some point, we're talking about how much of a cracker year this is. Serrels has crazy Hyrulian stories from his bus trips (more on that later), and I'm frantically trying to get through my Nioh level 1 run before moving onto Nier: Automata in earnest. A fresh round of DLC was just released for both of those games, and we have details on the Zelda DLC... But how in hell are we finding the time to play everything?

I mean, RNGesus. Resident Evil was great. Dark Souls wants to finish off its story with The Ringed City. We've got Persona, we've got Tides of Numenera... Nioh was fantastic. Horizon was fantastic. Nier: Automata was fantastic. Berseria was fantastic. Some people are saying this Zelda is one of the best games ever. I'm only just now getting into Dawn of War 3, and we have so much to look forward to.

There were disappointments, too, and I think at the end of the year people will be choosing between two games for the Most Disappointing award: Andromeda had a uniformly disappointing experience, whereas For Honor was massively disappointing for the 40% of people who just couldn't play it.

Those blemishes aside, I really do think this is the best year I can remember. Even better than 2007.

We all have piles of shame already, and we're either going to have to say no to a few nights out to get through all these amazing games, or we're going to have to massively prioritise which ones we go with. How are you handling it?

In a bit of a twist, I've actually been trying to make my default action when I sit down at my computer to create, rather consume, and that's been taking the form of loading up Gamemaker 2 to work on my silly little tower defence game. That of course means less time for playing games, but I don't regret it. I'm actually having a ball.

What about you? How are you navigating one of the best years in gaming ever, both in terms of money and time?


    I ain't.

    Simple as that.

    At a glance I'm playing stuff on my NES Mini, Persona 4, Witcher 3, Arkham Knight, Overwatch, Paper Mario Colour Splash, Pokemon Soul Silver and Pokemon Sun (with Pokemon White 2 too), Playerunknwonsbattlegroudnssdsdsds and I have barely started Zelda Breath of the Wild.

    The 'go go go' attitude that has infected games culture has always pissed me off. It's not hype culture, that's easily avoidable. But hoo boy, games are not supposed to be a job for me but it often feels like they are.

    Take Nier Automata for example, I'm needlessly angry at this game because it's one that I know in my heart of hearts I'll never properly get to, because to get the best out of that game I have to probably learn a set of mechanics I simply don't have time to, and then I have to finish it, what, four or five times?

    You can't play everything, and I detest the way I'm being told to, if only by osmosis. Always have detested it, always will. This probably explains why my gaming tastes skew towards Nintendo as much as they do, its consoles and games operate out of a completely different universe to the rest of the industry.

    I love my newly-built beast of a PC (early last year I put it together), but I do very little "extremely taxing" gaming on it these days and just got a laptop that isn't all that cracked up for high-end gaming anyway, yet I'm still filling it with games I don't or shouldn't be playing on it in the first place.

    We're not. Nintendo was very savvy to release a portable, the only way I get to put in a decent chunk of gaming as I'm a #gamerdad. My PSVR gathers dust. A 100 hr Persona 5 commitment scares the bejesus out of me.

      Im with you on Persona 5...would love to play this, but 100 hours would wipe out half my year gaming time

      Agree 100%. I really want to play Nier and Persona 5.....The only way I could possibly play those games these days is if they were on the Switch.

    YES, this is definitely a problem for me. I've bought RE7, Horizon Zero Dawn, Breath of the Wild and Andromeda and have no more than 4 hours with each of them... Overwatch has consumed my life.

    My sporting and work commitments have amped up in recent times, so I'm thinking I am going to be playing games a lot less this year :'(

      Yeah. Pub? ;)

        I've started work in Parkville recently so I could actually grab a beer in the city again, I've got a bit of night work these next few weeks but would be awesome to grab a beer before June!

    I'm not playing them all. Just Zelda. Few bits left I want to explore, finish up some quests then hit the end.

    Also enjoying a few things on Netflix so between the two I'm great. No pile of shame, no rush, just enjoying life.

      PILE OF SHAME is exactly what I'm talking about.

      I can't stand that mentality. It's everywhere, still.

        I can't stand onions, it's something about the texture.

        They are also everywhere.

    I've had to make some concessions, I don't think i'll be able to play Horizon: Zero Dawn till much later, I still haven't beat Zelda as Persona took over that, I also need to finish Yakuza 0 and Digimon World: Next Order, but in my infinite wisdom i'm going through all of the Kingdom Hearts ports of games i've already played... because priorities are dumb. so thats gonna be taking up most of my time until the next big thing comes out.

    What it means is that i haven't been spending any time playing the multi-player games i usually love, No Overwatch, Dota 2, TItanfall 2 etc. while i had a blast with them there's been so many big singleplayer games that i've had to play. Literally the only multiplayer game i've played in the last month was Golf With Your Friends, because that's a short break that i can use as an excuse to chat with my mates.

    Nier Automata, Persona 5, Horizon Zero Dawn... the only completionist+time saving route I can go is with a save game editor to max out gold and levels after I've completed the games from start to end. I know cheating is frowned upon, but I save tons of hours from grinding which could be used for something else.

    So that's how I manage.

    I don't even bother buying that many games anymore. I'm very selective and just live through reading about everyone else's experiences on games i may never play.
    Side note: i disagree about Andromeda, the more time i spend on it the more I'm enjoying it.

    Yep, not a chance. I admit I have a massive pile of shame that I will never ever get through.

    I am also a #gamerdad, so I am learning that I simply don't have time to play sprawling open world games anymore and are starting to change which games I play.

      I'm a #gamerdad too.......

      Playing BOTW on the Switch with my 7 year old has created fantastic memories we'll both cherish forever. I play via my son on these games now. He does the grinding and exploration, and I'll come in and do the harder stuff. Works a treat.

      Now for that last Divine beast......then Ganon.

    Simple, im self employed and have zero social life!

    Barely. Have been managing to keep up until the last week, but Persona 5 tossed a celestial-body-sized spanner in the works. Managed to get through Outlast 2 in a day (although I want to go back and dig deeper into the story), and now trying to find time to get into the Nioh DLC between bouts of Persona, while studiously ignoring Prey because I just don't have time for it at the moment. Oh, and all this while sporadically spending 1-2 nights a week raiding in Destiny. If I had a social life, I'm pretty sure it would be suffering.

      Ah... Destiny. *happy warm Fatebringer (Adept) glow*

    Not handling the influx of games at all! Haven't bought Resi 7 or ME:A yet (even tho they are fave series of mine) because I spent the 1st few months glued to Destiny n BF1, which was a return to competitive online gaming after a 5 year hiatus from the genre. Tried the free Overwatch weekend and said "NOPE" due to its addictive qualities. The rest has been Tomb Raider, Horizon and finishing Bloodborne, Witcher 3 n MGS5, along with Indies scattered in the mix from PS+. Add in just sheer exhaustion after work (thankfully my kids are grown up n moved out so that's one less thing), quite often I'll just say "Fuck it" n watch a movie or ppl playing on twitch cuz I'm too tired to play myself. This year is a literal embarrassment of riches, game wise. 1st world probs, eh?

    Breath of the Wild is the only recent game I've gotten. Prior to that I played Just Cause 3, before that Shadow of Mordor and I just bought a pre-owned copy of Arkham Origins for $14. I quite happily live a year or two behind the times with my gaming.

    Effective time management, and being realistic about it.

    For me personally, I like to play games for maybe an hour or two every week night. When the weekend rolls up, I'll probably spend more time playing games.

    Like most (or probably all) of you, I work full time. I go to the gym four times a week and then I go to judo twice a week. I have a partner of over three years (who I live with) as well as close friends and a social life. Can't forget about home duties as well like cooking, cleaning etc.

    With my games, I try to focus on one game at a time. For example, I had both Horizon Zero Dawn and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I like Zelda more, so I focused on that and unfortunately, left Horizon Zero Dawn in the dust. I will return to it though, it's a great game.

    I find that if I'm struggling to motivate myself to playing certain games (Nioh, Mass Effect: Andromeda etc.) then at the end of the day, they're not worth my time and I shouldn't have bought them to begin with. With these kind of games, I'll usually trade them in somewhere such as EB Games, to get store credit and put it towards another game. To get the best deal, I'll do some research online, find the cheapest retailer, and make EB Games price match it. As a level four EB Games card holder, I get a 20% bonus to trading in games.

    When I was younger (teenager and young adult), I used to play games all day, every day. This lead to me becoming ridiculously unfit (seriously, walking up three flights of stairs would make me sweaty and out of breath), overweight and just plain unhealthy. I lived a lazy life style. I would go to university, do my classes, I would work my weekend job, and hang out with friends... aside from that, I was playing video games. Sure, I loved my games, but honestly this is not a good or/and healthy way to live and experience life.

    Manage your time, balance your life.

    It's simple. Quit your job. Break off any relationships you have. Move back to your parents. Give up on being healthy. Don't sleep.

    Nah for real, just chill, play the things you feel like playing when you wanna play them. Don't get stressed about not playing all the games.

      Precisely. Barring accidents, the games will still be there next year or the year after. Who knows when the next gaming drought will be?

      Myself, I'm playing Horizon Zero Dawn from this year, Overwatch from last year, Moe Chronicle from 2015 and also (when I have time) Zone of the Enders HD from 2012...

      Really, those games in my backlog will all be played in due course :-)

        I'm finishing of Fallout 4's Dlc & well i'll be playing Fallout 'till the next Fallout or Elder scrolls, I'm playing Dragon age inquisition in episodes. Looking forward to The Surge & others.

      It's simple. Quit your job. Break off any relationships you have. Move back to your parents. Give up on being healthy. Don't sleep.Man. I've basically done all those things and I still can't keep up!

    I'm not trying this year. The only game I've bought with intentions of playing immediately (not because of a sale) is Persona 5.

    This year is all about cutting down my pile of anxiety. I have renamed it because I have no shame about my pile, but it does make me realise how little of my time I get to spend doing the things I really want to, and then I go into a downward spiral.

    My goal is to have a great time with what I have this year, then next year I can pick up Resident Evil VII, Neir, Horizon Zero Dawn plus whatever else pips my interest all on special.

    Plus, at some point I'll buy myself a Switch

    since about mid last year I've been playing 1 x AAA game that I really love and then picking up the rest 6 months later on the cheap. currently playing Horizon and about to start Doom or Dishonored 2. Also I don't stress about not going back to games if something else better comes along. example: I was mildly enjoying Rise of the Tomb Raider and now Horizon has completely ruined it for me

    No problems for me. I work a standard 38 hour week and don't really have many hobbies outside of gaming. Having two TVs is a godsend as well. Girlfriend watches TV in one room, I game in the other or on my PC.

    As for money... Girlfriend works for EB so she gets staff discount. Very handy :)

    Put game in easy mode, play through the story, start next game.

    This is something that would help, but damned if I can actually do it.

    In the past 2 months, i have bought:

    1. nier on PC
    2. yakuza 0
    3. Nioh
    4. Persona 5
    5. Dawn of War 3
    6. Mass Effect Andromeda
    7. Zelda
    8. Mario Kart.
    9. Horizon Zero Dawn
    10. Ghost Recon Wildlands
    11. Resident Evil
    12. Dark Souls 3 DLC

    I'm sure there are more, like humble bundle stuff i am not even counting, plus the ongoing relationship with blizzards updates and my love hate relationship with Black Desert.

    There is that mentality, "save it for a rainy day"... yeeeeh... that rainy day is never coming but i still love toying with that idea.

    I have technically only been able to put the most hours in Nier(solo play)/Dark Souls 3 and Ghost Recon Wildlands(playing with friends).

    So am i coping? Nope. But does it worry me? Nah... but i really do pray for one of those off drought months where there is absolutely nothing at all. Would definitely help. But i doubt i would get much done then as well. :S

    As of now, it's just flavor of the month. A movie could trigger me into wanting to play a specific type of genre, or watching some series. Having so many options allows me to usually play what i feel like at the time.

    No time. No way. No how.

    My full-time job and a family seem to get in the way.......damnit. ;-)

    Im pretty happy with the situation, I remember being a kid and thinking how there was never anything to play because I completed everything that came out that I was interested in.

    These days its choosing which game is most worthy of my time. Its a good problem to have!

    I don't. My main game of choice right now is the same game I've been playing for the last 6 months - World of Warcraft Legion. Returned to it after a 5 year absence, still going strong. Re-joined my old guild, became the raid leader because no-one else was being proactive and have been told by the long standing members that our current raid progression is the best its ever been.

    As for other games - I play games to have fun, not to just complete or get through them. Doesn't matter if I play them now, later or never. I play games that I find entertaining for as long as I find them entertaining.

    Id kill to be a uni student again. Well maybe not the poverty part, but the plenty of free time part!

    I've felt apathetic towards most of the releases this year so most of my time has been spent revisiting old games or ticking off backlog items. The next few months are when I'm going to have to start juggling time vs want though, especially since most of the games I'm interested in are JRPGs which usually have a base time of 30 hours.

    I'm struggling.

    I'm still toiling away with Zelda, with some Overwatch with friends on the side. I still have Rise of the Tomb Raider and ME: Andromeda on the shelf, unstarted, as well as Life Is Strange which I bought a million years ago during a sale. I've forced myself not to buy anything else until I actually finish those. I've had to consciously avoid all Horizon and Resident Evil 7 stuff because I know just can't feasibly fit them in, and all the while Persona 5 is eating away at the back of my head.

    There's too much good stuff this year.

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