Video Games Monthly subscription; is it worth it?

So recently I decided to try out the Video Games Monthly subscription, a blind box subscription service. I thought it would be fun to show what I received for my first month and talk about my experience with the whole thing. So first let’s do a bit of overview and we’ll move into what I got in this fun little box. 

Such mystery, such intrigue, such box.

I call it a blind box because unlike other whatever of the month clubs you have no real clue what you’ll be getting every month. We’ll circle back to that part in a moment. You have several tiers to go with when you first sign up and I went with the 4 games a month to try this out. It seemed like a good trial deal for this because after shipping you have four games for less than the cost of one newly released title. 

Now when you sign up you have the most important task ahead of you for this subscription, filling out your video game collection. The reason you don’t know what you’re getting every month is because there isn’t a set grouping of items every month for every subscription. They go through your collection that you keep track of on their website and pick games for you. So you need to keep this updated if you want new games for the systems you actually own. If I had one complaint it would be how the collection system works, these long lists of checkboxes aren’t exactly the most user friendly and things are a bit unordered in my opinion; I hate when things are listed by “The” for example. There is also no other way to bring in your collection if you use another service already, but I’ve had that problem with multiple websites that just focus on collection tracking so I’m not surprised. Just saying to everyone out there thinking of a collection app or website– a working excel file import would be handy. 

I’d love to show this whole process to you, but as of writing this review I have closed my account and apparently you can’t get back into your profile unless you give them money again. So, you’ll just have to imagine the laborious task I described.

You have a lot of systems to choose from, obviously not everything is there but all the major players are present with the only exception being Nintendo Switch. But the best part is retro systems are an option and that was the main draw of VGM originally. So if you really want to get random carts for your NES or Sega Genesis you have that option and even a few handhelds. Now there is no guarantee with the retro systems you’ll get something in great condition, in fact I can’t see any promise of that for any system but I’d imagine if they sent you something that ended up not working they would help you out.  

A big box of “meh”

So, let’s look at the box I received the first time.

  • Zombi U: A brand new copy in fact. A fantastic launch title for the WiiU. Despite coming out on other systems after the Wii U failed I’d still wager the original is the best way to play it, it was really designed around that pad.
  • Yokai Watch: This was also sealed but I’ve already opened it because I needed to check it out. I skipped the Yokai craze but I’m happy to check this out now. 
  • Legends of Chima Lavals Journey: Also new but I’ll probably trade this out or sell it. Who knows though, we’ll see. 
  • Final Fantasy Typer 0 HD: Another sealed title, I’ll admit I know nothing about this game as I don’t follow Final Fantasy stuff much. 
  • I was also selected for a 1UP bonus and for that I got the loose Sebastian Loeb Xbox One game. 
  • Oh and can’t forget the One Million dollar Super Mario bucks. My bank did not take it as legal tender sadly. 

Now as you may have guessed I had already played Zombi U and yes I already own it. This was my fault though, I signed up towards the end of the month and failed to update all my game lists. But sadly I didn’t select Xbox One and I do not own one. But I’m happy to say they quickly corrected that error. 

I assumed I would just get credit for another month or just get something extra in the box at the most. But I didn’t expect much if anything because I can certainly sell these if I really was worried about the cash. But they surprised me and sent me Zok Zok Heroes for the Game Boy Color and Killzone 3 for the PS3. Hilariously Killzone 3 is an import version, but it is region free so not a problem. Zok Zok Heroes I’m not sure I can play much of due to needing a peripheral, but that kind of intrigues me; there isn’t much out there about the title. 

KIllzone 3 failed to be photographed.

So out of the first I basically got one game I want to play. If it wasn’t for Killzone 3 and Zok Zok to make up for the Xbox One error that would be it. Sadly I’m not sure I can do much with Zok Zok but Killlzone 3 I’m interested in. Not off to a great start but not all their fault. With that said, I decided to give it another month.

I think this box may be even worse.

The second box had; SSX Tricky (Another 1Up Bonus), Final Fantasy X-2, Luxor, Tenkai Knights, and Bug’s Life. I won’t pretend like I was excited when opening this box. I’m not a Final Fantasy fan in general and I haven’t played Final Fantasy X so X-2 isn’t exactly super inviting. Of course that isn’t on them, that is part of the blind box experience. SSX Tricky will be fun for a brief moment just like it was in 2001 at least. Everything else is very, mediocre (Luxor Pharaoh’s Challenge really stands out and low effort filler).

I’m seeing a pattern here, these were mostly made up of bargain bin titles. Despite being good games and personally getting lucky with a few titles, 7 of the games I got are titles that were released in large quantities and later found in bargain bins just about everywhere. You can still find games like Yokai Watch, ZombiU, Tenkai Knight, Chima, and Final Fantasy Type-0 as lot sales on eBay fairly regularly. Having just recently gone on a WiiU game hunt I’ve seen those lots recently. I’m sure this applies to Final Fantasy X-2 as well, highly reviewed but so common it was in bargain bins constantly. Luxor was sitting on Wal-Mart shelves for a few dollars for years and years and that is filler no one needs.

Conclusion: Is it worth it?

So the conclusion is a mixed one. Obviously these are all new because they are all very common games that can be bought in bulk on eBay, but that being said I didn’t get robbed for the price. I just basically broke even– but this isn’t about getting amazing deals just getting games you may not pick out and trying something new or growing your collection. For that the subscription succeeded. They also fixed their mistake and went above and beyond in my opinion. 

Me being picky with the video games I play and collect is not on them, that is on me so maybe the subscription just isn’t for me. But, it could certainly work for you; I wouldn’t have a problem telling someone else to give it a shot. If you’re picky just make sure you update your game lists and narrow down your systems a bit. They seem to routinely throw in bonuses and honestly no matter how I slice it they did what they promised as a company. But the cheap filler games is definitely a knock.

Video Games Monthly is a blind subscription box featuring both retro and modern titles. It starts at 34.99 for 3 Games a Month.

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