Analysis Paralysis

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34

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So the new PlayStation Plus line-up was finally announced this week and, of course, the online squabbling was quick to follow.
Many were quick to point out the “glaring omissions” from Sony’s new service, and when judged on its classic game line-up, perhaps this is understandable. An initial 10 PS1 titles for the Premium tier does seem a little slight, but there are still over 120 games in total, and the PS4 and PS5 games on offer are surely better than most expected.
If you want a full, official rundown of what’s on offer, you can find it here.
One thing that can’t really be argued is the amount of choice. And because personal preference will dictate whether the games list appeals or not, I won’t sit here and suggest games to you or argue the ins and outs of the various membership tiers. Instead, I’d like to ask a question; if you already have PlayStation Plus (or Game Pass, or Nintendo Switch Online), how often have you sat staring at that colossal list of games available to you and had no idea what to play?
If you’re anything like me, probably quite often.
There’s a reason for it, and it’s called analysis paralysis. Business advisory firm Deloitte explain it best; “The human brain simply isn’t designed to process and compare the sheer amount of information it is often given. While consumers say they want choices, the need to select between endless options can become a cognitive burden rather than a delight. Without ways to mentally manage or weigh the value of information, people struggle to decide, and freeze”.
It turns out you really can have too much of a good thing.
A subscription to all three top tiers of PlayStation Plus, Game Pass and Nintendo Switch Online will set you back roughly £265 without discounts (the cost of around four N64 games at 1998 prices) for 12 months access to more than 550 games. And these games aren’t limited to three consoles either; you’ll be treated to games from the NES, SNES, Mega Drive, N64, PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox Series S & X.
Of course, we don’t own the games offered via these services (a thorny subject covered in last week’s issue), but still, this is a staggering amount of content for your coin. More is being added all the time too, and our attention is being spread ever thinner. Stretched like butter scraped over too much bread, to paraphrase a famous hobbit.
I often wonder if I’m doing games a disservice. Am I really getting the most out of them? I distinctly remember the N64 days (derided for its lack of games) where the wait between big releases was measured in months, sometimes years. But good Lord did I squeeze every last drop of enjoyment out of each and every one of them.
Meeting Yoshi on the roof of Peach’s castle after claiming that 120th star. A 1080° Snowboarding half-pipe score good enough to win a magazine competition. That 100th gold skulltula. Hundreds of hours of my friends and I swearing that we were definitely the best GoldenEye players in the world (a claim I’m sure a few reading this will no doubt be familiar with, and quick to challenge). If those games were all available at the same time - alongside 500 others - would I have done any of those things?
I know I wouldn’t. And those are some of my most treasured gaming memories.
Perhaps the ideal is somewhere in the middle, but for those of a certain vintage who can remember those "good old days”, before you start lamenting the games that aren’t available to you, try to think back to how much you got out of your games when you were truly focused on just one or two at a time. Sit back and really look at the games that are available, and try to appreciate how lucky we are now to have such easy access to so much great content.
Failing that, I’m sure you’ll be able to find something that takes your fancy on Netflix, Sky, Prime, Apple TV+, Spotify, Steam, HBO, Disney+, All 4, YouTube, iPlayer………
This week saw a big uptake in subs to the newsletter, undoubtedly boosted by a shout-out from none other than the former-editor-of-Edge-for-ten-years Nathan Brown. Please check out his brilliant Hit-Points newsletter. If I can send a few subs his way in return for his support that’d make me happy.
Oh, speaking of support (and I promise I won’t make a big deal of this) there is now a way to support The Week in Games. I love writing this newsletter, but it’s quite a bit of work for a spare-time gig. You can show your support with a tip or a sub from only £1 a month, and help make The Week in Games sustainable long-term. See here for further details, if you so wish. Thank you.
Well that was another long intro, sorry about that. Next week I’ll try to keep it a little shorter!
I hope you enjoy the rest of the issue!
NEWS
NEW RELEASES:
There’s really not much going on release-wise at the moment, unfortunately. Issue 372 of Edge magazine released this this week though. And From Gamers Magazine Issue 3 is also available to buy now. Both are worth your time.
(Xbox) – May 17
(PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC) – May 19
(PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC) – May 20
UPCOMING RELEASES:
(PC) – May 24
(PC, iOS, Android) – May 25
(PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC) – May 25
(Xbox, PS4, PS5, PC) – May 26
(Xbox, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC) – May 27
(Xbox, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC) – May 27
GAME OF THE WEEK
A randomly selected game each week! Any and all games are eligible for selection regardless of age, platform, popularity, or otherwise.
This week, the honour goes to…
PaRappa the Rapper (1996)
Kick! Punch! It’s all in the mind!
Abstract in the extreme, it’s difficult to explain quite how PaRappa the Rapper’s utterly bonkers concept and mechanics end up working so well. But they do. Cows, dogs and pungent onions rapping in unison to create one of the first - and most genuinely lovable - music/rhythm games of them all.
A remastered version (pictured) released a few years back, if you fancy reliving those early PS1 days on PS4 or 5.
GAMING ANNIVERSARIES
Another round of gaming anniversaries to make you feel old… Sorry!
Click through the links to see what people had to say about them.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt turned 7!
Green Man Gaming
Today marks 7 years of The Witcher 3.

What's your favourite bit of the RPG epic? https://t.co/7jDaMqbOT9
L.A. Noire released 11 years ago!
The Game Awards
Don't doubt it.

11 years ago today the innovative L.A. Noire was released by @RockstarGames https://t.co/s5xvEF8Bpc
Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day was released 17 years ago!
jeff
Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day! is 2022-2005 = 17 today!

Known as Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training in Europe, Japanese retailers were initially sceptical of its ability to sell... but word of mouth spread, and it became a bit of a global sensation.

Did you play it? https://t.co/b4aSycAAPH
Star Wars Episode I: Racer released 23 years ago!
jeff
Star Wars Episode I: Racer first released 23 years ago today!

It’s safe to say that The Phantom Menace wasn’t very well received, so basing the game on its most exhilarating sequence was a smart move. It was fast, weighty and chaotic, podracing recreated brilliantly.

Any fans? https://t.co/wxC79a8D8j
RECOMMENDED READS
Rob Fahey - GIBiz
The question of what Nintendo does after Switch is increasingly important, but breaking the curse of unsuccessful console follow-ups is a major concern.
Andrew Dickinson - Superjump
The highs and lows of the crowdfunding revolution from the Editor in Chief for the [lock.on] gaming journal and writer of Dreamcast: Year One.
Chistopher Dring - GIBiz
Game preservation shouldn’t just be about the products, but the stories behind how they were made.
CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGNS
The VM2
Chris Diaoglou - campaign not yet launched
Perfect Organism: An Alien: Isolation Companion
By Andy Kelly / Unbound
VITURE One - Game & Stream Anywhere, Anytime
By VITURE - campaign ends May 25
INBOX
Last week’s main topic was Xbox server woes and digital ownership. Thanks to everybody who commented or responded!
“I do think physical is also fundamentally flawed these days, and shouldn’t replace the need for better digital rights,” says Dan on Twitter. “At the end of the day, only digital preservation will allow titles to be accessible en-mass. Physical games entitle only a small percentage to be able to play those games. The Xbox outage is truly troubling and hopefully that mobilises people into demanding better.”
Pete, also on Twitter says, “I know physical like you said is not the answer with patches coming out long after the game has gone gold. However, there is one exception, GOTY/complete editions. They usually come out a year or so after the original release and contain most of not all the updates and patches. The drawback is that not all games get these editions.”
“The problem is that if I don’t have access to the internet then I don’t have anything,” says WOJi. “I have more than one Switch and one has to keep checking if I own the game or not. If I take the Switch where there is no internet then I can’t access some titles at all which I ‘own’.”
If you have any thoughts about the newsletter or gaming in general then please reply to this email directly, write to jeff@jeffsayhi.com, or catch me on Twitter!
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…and that’s it for this week!
I hope you enjoyed this issue of The Week in Games! I’d be delighted if you would consider forwarding this email to anybody you think may like it, by sharing this link on social media, or simply telling people about it!
I’m always looking at ways to improve this newsletter, so if you have any comments, suggestions or enquiries, please reply to this email directly, write to jeff@jeffsayhi.com, or catch me on Twitter!
Thanks again, I hope to see you next week!
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