The Two Best Games Series’ To Play on a Budget

There are many reasons that someone might want be broke, and as gamers, this affects game choices and playtime quite a bit. As much as all of us would love to just go out and buy each release without a care in the world and play to our heart’s content, a lot of us cannot due to restrictions of time and money.

Luckily, much like a paranoid, doomsday-prepper Otaku, I have been preparing for a situation where I had no money, and a contrasting,  large amount of free time. It becomes much easier to forget about things I haven’t had the chance to play yet – like Bioshock Infinite or the new Fire Emblem game on 3DS – when I’m able to numb myself and enter a trance thanks to a select few games I’ve hoarded over the years.

If you want the most out of your money, and wish to enter some kind of gamer-coma for a while whilst you bide your time, waiting to be able to afford the latest releases, I’d recommend the following series first and foremost:


The Persona Series

‘Grinding’ is such a dirty word in the gaming community. It’s most likely looked down upon by people who have tried to pass a certain point in an RPG and have been absolutely annihilated by a boss, got stuck because of it, and have felt completely hopeless and as if the game were badly made. More often than not, this is not the case, and the ‘grinding’ is actually implemented quite well, opening up new depth within the game. This is easily overlooked by a lot of people, but for those who are able to open themselves up to the idea of dedicating a lot of time to what would seem a tedious process, a new layer of complexity emerges and compliments the overall experience.
Persona is the perfect example of this type of system being used well.

You can spend countless hours taking on the side missions given to you (notably in Persona 3), all the while gaining essential levels, items and opportunities to fuse your Persona. It’s all about balance and knowing when you’re ready to move on and face the harder enemies that are thrown at you in general story progression. This balance is often not easily achieved and requires some trial and error, which can be frustrating, but when mastered, is ultimately rewarding.

You may find yourself at a point in the story where the next floor of the dungeon is opened up to you, and then find yourself getting completely destroyed by the enemies on that floor as soon as you arrive. This can be very frustrating, and a lot of people without patience will chalk this up to bad design, or exclaim that it’s simply not worth it to continue.
Players that put in the effort will find themselves facing new and exciting challenges and enemies as soon as their party is ready to take on these harder floors.

Bonus enticement: Creating social links by interacting with classmates and friends outside of dungeons enhances your ability to fuse and make stronger personas, so you can potentially power through those levels faster!


The Disgaea Series

Besides MMOs, I don’t know a single franchise with the potential to suck as much time from someone’s life as the Disgaea series does. Disgaea is an over-the-top turn-based-strategy game by Atlus, and boasts one of the most potentially time-sapping levelling mechanics of any game I’ve played. Firstly the level cap is set absurdly at 9999.

Secondly, you have the option to reset your character’s level through ‘Reincarnation’, allowing you to essentially change classes and hybridise your characters. Each instance of reincarnation will make the base statas of that character higher also.
I have never been that into the Disgaea series, but nonetheless, there is so much to experience in the series, crazy levelling aside.

The Disgaea series takes a different approach to grinding, in that your grinding can be done in item worlds. Yes, that’s item worlds, plural. Every item you obtain can be entered as though it were a world itself, and subsequently levelled up. This is done as you battle your way through the world of that particular item, also levelling your party members in the process. There are incremental bonuses and bosses to be discovered the more battles you complete.
This in itself can very easily take up days and days of your time.

Bonus enticement: The music in the series is so nauseatingly catchy that you’ll either be forced to love it, or it will numb your brain so much you won’t even remember how long you’ve spent levelling.