The best things in life are 80 points. Not 80 points like a behind-the-back, eyes closed, standing on one leg, half-court swish in basketball (you guys don’t play like that?), but 80 Microsoft points. For those of you in the real world that equates to one US dollar. In England, that is approximately 5 crumpets and an order of fish and chips.
I’ve heard a lot of people say, “The dollar just isn’t what it used to be.” What can a dollar buy, you ask? I had trouble thinking of things myself, so I asked my friend Google for some help. A calendar, office supplies, coffee mug, candle holder, incense, books, and a lottery ticket may all be had for about a dollar apiece. Honestly, that sucks. I had no idea you could get a calendar for a dollar, so one available at that price probably only covers six months. You can’t even get a bottled beverage for a dollar these days. As I was cursing inflation under my breath and alarmed about the valuation of our currency, one redeeming thought entered my mind: the Xbox Live Arcade.
I recently made one of the best value purchases of my life. For only one dollar, I am now the proud owner of Breath of Death VII, an XBLA indie game that plays just like Dragon Warrior! I get to level up, upgrade equipment, find new party members, and dungeon crawl for the same price of a scratch-off lottery ticket. I was dumbfounded at the amount of content and fun that was available for only a single.
The next time I went to the grocery store, I found myself evaluating the opportunity costs of making certain purchases. Candy bar or game? Can of soda or game? Can of soup or game? This train of thought started creeping into other aspects of my life; how many games could I get for the cost of a movie ticket? Or going out for some nightlife? I stopped myself right there before I could think about the tradeoff of paying rent.
The next time you are bored or looking for a surprise in your gaming life, check out the XBLA. There are some pretty clever indie games out there that will make you proud of what a dollar can still accomplish.