Playing Video Games on the Cheap

The rebranding of Marvel Heroes to Marvel Heroes 2015
I like video games.

I don't like paying to play video games. Back in September 2013, I paid $200 to buy a slim PS3 console. After playing for a month, I quickly grew bored of it. The last time I touched it was Christmas 2013. That session lasted 15 minutes before I stopped playing and watched my cousins play Crash Bash from the classic PS1 (game was ported to PS3, don't ask me how, I'm not up with it or down with it or whatever the kids call it these days).

When Diablo 3 launched, I paid the $60 to play for a few hours a day. This went on for over a year before I got bored of doing the same mindless mouse clicking and finger numbing key pressing. When the Diablo 3 expansion was announced, I prepaid another $60 for the bonuses and hope that it would be superior to the original. Sadly, I was mistaken as I stopped playing weeks after the expansion was released.

I don't mind the games that you play for free. I'm still in the middle of an endless game of Bejeweled 2 that I started back in 2012. I play it on my iPod Touch when I'm waiting for something or someone. I used to play an assortment of Flash games on the MSN game network. A few years ago, while passing time in between my studies, I loaded Angry Birds into Google Chrome and bashed pigs until I completed all the levels with 3 stars.

Currently, I've been playing Marvel Heroes. The best part of Marvel Heroes, at least for me, is that it's not boring, nor is it too addictive. My favourite part of Marvel Heroes is that it's free to play. That's right. *Free. Simply create an account, download the client, install the game, and launch. So far they've be active for over a year. In that year, there have been many changes to the game that includes system changes, additional characters, and additional powers.

How could a game you play for free afford to pay its developers to support the game? Well, you can buy additional heroes and costumes. While I haven't spent a cent on this game, I have seen others throw down over $250 for hero packs and other cosmetic goodies.

While the game has its bugs (once when I was playing as Deadpool, I got one shot by a charging Rhino from off screen and Deadpool's God Mode passive did not activate), I'm not complaining as I've paid nothing so far.

Playing as Black Panther, normally you get 2 bodyguards.
For a moment, I had 4.
There are other games that are free to play, but frankly, I don't have the time to commit to more of them. I usually only play Marvel Heroes in the mornings shortly before I leave for work and shortly after dinner as I'm waiting for the food to settle in my stomach before I do rigourous activities (such as wifey and I riding our bikes after dinner). In total, this accounts for one hour a day.

There are days where I'm too busy to start the game. When that happens, I don't go through withdrawal symptoms or anything. After all, it is just a game.

With the emergence of free to play video games, is there a reason to spend upwards of $30 to play a game? I don't know. After the Diablo 3 debacle, I will (probably) never pay to play a video game again.

Is there a chance I may falter and buy another game to play?


For months, I've been debating the pros (it's hockey!, etc.) and cons (I'll stop playing after a week!, etc.) of buying NHL 14 for the PS3.

So far the cons are winning.

*Okay, maybe not free considering you need a fairly decent rig to run the game. Currently, the specs on my computer are 8 core AMD, 16GB DDR3 RAM, an SSD drive, 1GB DDR5 video card, and liquid cooling. My computer cost upwards of $1500. While not the best specs available, I'm happy with it considering it's been over two years since I built it myself and it is still blazing fast. The side perks of being an IT guy, I suppose.


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