Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Oh Steam You Devil You

Yes, yes it has been quite some time since my last post.  A fact rendered largely irrelevant by the fact that basically no one has actually visited this blog since then, due to the unfinished state it's currently in.

But worry not, for I shall soldier on.  For glory!  Or perhaps just for the lulz.

So...just what's been going on since that Dragon Age 2 review from so many moons ago?  Well, since we're on the subject of the DA2 review, I must make a (admittedly embarrassing) retcon here.  The review...well, perhaps I was seeing things through rose-tinted spectacles.  See, Bioware, up until this point, has been the untouchable, unwavering and undisputed champion of the gaming world for me.  They have never released a bad game (don't worry, I'm not now saying Dragon Age 2 is a bad game), they consistently release extremely high quality games that push the boundary of what storytelling in games can accomplish, and they (unlike certain other developers) seem to listen to their community, which reflects in the games they put out.  Exhibit A:  Mass Effect 2.  A sequel that basically improves upon the original in every single way.  With Dragon Age 2, however...well, I suppose I was convincing myself of the same thing.  Origins was just a better game.  It was longer, had more content, more polish, and clearly had a lot more time, energy and devotion put into it.  All the reused environments, rehashed quests and shorter, lesser overall story really is telling of just how rushed Dragon Age 2 must have been.  An unfortunate missed opportunity.  That in mind, I still stand by a good portion of what I said in the review, in that some of the characters are absolutely terrific, the combat is much improved, the talent trees are better, and the dialogue wheel is simply the wave of the future.

Now, with that bit of business out of the way, what else is there to say?  Well for starters, Steam has had another sale.

Ouch.  My wallet.

Yes, the Steam Summer sale has come and gone, along with a good chunk of change from me.  No regrets, however, as the sale prices ranged from great, to unbelievable, to actually feeling almost guilty for getting certain games so cheap.  In fact, I wish I had bought more.  I unfortunately missed out on a couple days, which included missing out on Dead Space 2 for $15 (admittedly I've yet to go back and finish the first game, as I lost my old save file around 2/3 through the game).

But in terms of what I did manage to get on the cheap, a real gem that comes to mind is Transformers: War for Cybertron.  Now hold on there; if you're thinking this is a terrible movie tie-in to one of Michael Bay's silly blockbusters, think again.  This is based entirely off the original series, and thus is very faithful to the source material, and as it turns out, is actually a very fun game.  Think Gears of War's over-the-shoulder shooting meets Halo's vehicle combat.  All the while you're seeing these childhood icons (if you're too young or too old to recognize the original Transformers as childhood icons then I deplore you as a human being) blast the holy hell out of each other.  I won't go into it much further, as a review in the not-too-distant future is a possibility, but I'll cap it off by saying all this came to the price of $6.70.  And to think you could spend 10 times that on new console games that aren't half as fun.

Speaking of games for that price, I picked up Mass Effect 2.  Again.  Yes, I already own Mass Effect 2 on Xbox 360, but I fancied playing it again, only on PC instead.  Less than 7 bucks seems like a fairly reasonable price for that.  What's that you say?  Your budget for gaming is less than 7 dollars?  Worry not!  Or, should I say, worry not if you managed to get in on some of these deals (and if you missed out, well there's always the next big Steam sale).  There were plenty of really great Indie games on sale for ridiculously low prices.  I bought Trine, a very unique and beautiful sidescrolling, platforming, puzzle/action game, for the absurdly price of $2.  Lots of other amazing Indie games like Terraria, Beat Hazard and Amnesia were also on for brow-furlingly low prices.

So I suppose what you can take away from all this is that there was a bunch of rather delicious deals on Steam, some of which I bought in to, others of which I unfortunately missed out on, and yet more that would have been terrific had I not already bought the game (The Witcher 2; 33% off barely a month after release...seriously).  What this means is I've now got some more games to commentate on and review.  More content is coming, in other words.  Try to contain your excitement.

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