Some of you, the Crew, may have noticed that I am usually a little behind the times when it comes to my hardware library. If you were to ask me what I have been playing recently, you will probably catch me talking about Smash Bros. or about an older handheld title. It is an interesting dynamic, keeping up on current Nintendo news and zeitgeist, while not updating my Nintendo library alongside other Nintendo fans.
But I know it is not just me that has a hard time keeping up with Nintendo’s ever-expanding hardware and software library. I would like to start a discussion here on being a Nintendo fan on a budget. I want to keep it practical and easy, and I will kick it off with a few of my own tips and tricks.
Manage your Expectations
Before we get to practical application, we have to begin with the proper mindset. As I said before, Nintendo never stops making great consoles and games. It is not possible for pretty much any Nintendo fan to acquire everything they put out, much less spend quality time with each game. Not only can the quantity be overwhelming, but, just like it would be with any other hobby, playing video games is expensive. It may be true that gaming now is more affordable than ever, but that does not change the fact that even (most) gamers have bills to pay.
Also, refuse to get caught up in “must-play” mentality. It is fine to set goals of games you want to eventually play, but, as I have gone on record saying, do not let other people dictate the games you play. Just because a game is “10/10” or a “classic” does not mean you have to play it to be a Nintendo fan. Do not feel pressured into playing a game. It is likely you will not enjoy your experience, and the anxiety to acquire and complete that title is not worth it.
Bum Off your Friends
This is one I do a lot. There are some titles that are worth owning, and you and a friend each have your own copies. Often times with fighting games and other competitive games, you will want a copy for yourself to be able to play and improve at your own pace. Many other single-player ventures, however, can be experienced once through to satisfy your need. In these instances, it is handy to have a friend that can lend you the game and/or system. It is how friendships should work.
(Okay, maybe “bum off your friends” is a little over the top, but it gets my point across.)
Scott has lent me games on numerous occasions, and I have lent him some of my own things as well. Reciprocation is a healthy way to build a friendship. Often Scott will be too busy to play for a month, so he will allow me to borrow a game for that period. Currently, my wife and I are enjoying the SNES Classic. Later on, he just might have a problem that I’d understand. We all need somebody to lean on.
Check Pawn Shops
Now, no matter where you go, new equipment and games will probably cost you a few coins. But, if you have managed to manage your expectations properly (see what I did there?), you will not be driven by your need for the new stuff. This is where you have a decision to make: do you save up some money and/or wait for the new stuff to come down in price, or do you go for the bargain old junk at the pawn shop or eBay? Nintendo has so many classics to explore for the systems that you already own, and they can be more than reasonable in price.
Also, with pawn shops, you never know what you will find. Maybe you will run across a rare gem that would be exorbitantly priced elsewhere, or you might find a game that looks cheesy and bad for twenty-five cents, take it home, and make a new memory of the terrible piece of trash you found. You could even find a reasonably-priced old Nintendo console, allowing you to retread the glory days of your childhood, or see what gaming was like when your parents were kids.
Of course, if you want to get really edgy…
Foray into Non-Nintendo Fare
*Gasp!* Say it isn’t so! Am I suggesting you play something on a non-Nintendo console? Of course! If you have never owned a Sega console, pick one up at a local thrift store or pawn shop. I can recommend several titles, if you need any assistance digging for gold. All sorts of retro consoles wind up in second-hand stores, or in your uncle’s closet; grab one and try it out! Games can be cheap, and it exponentially broadens the field of games you can play. If anyone knows the value of playing retro games (even on non-Nintendo consoles), it is the staff here at Two Button Crew.
I hope this article has been an encouragement to you, especially if you are on a tight budget. You are not alone, and you can enjoy new experiences no matter your financial plan.