Trouble Thinking

July 21, 2012

Steam Summer Sale 2012: Days 9 & 10

Filed under: Game Reviews — Tags: , , , — Durandal @ 10:47 am

What to get in these last few batches of sales?

Day 10

-Batman Arkham City: Yep, yes. Well worth the $10. Not as much of an innovation or improvement on Asylum as it could have been, but amazing.

-Dawn of War II: There’s a big following for these games, but they’ve always struck me as the dumb cousin of the Company of Heroes games. There’s just less satisfaction to be garnered. I’d give it a go if you like the universe a lot. $7.50

-Torchlight: Preorder Torchlight II instead. It’s worth it, but preorder Torchlight II because that will be even more worth it. $3.75

-Indie Bundle X: Nah, just buy Machinarium. It’s an adorable little adventure game. The other stuff on offer here just isn’t all that much fun after the first few minutes.

-Quantum Conundrum: A slightly different Portal with more FPS jumping puzzles and less innovation. Which is to say it’s probably still great but also eh. FPS jumping puzzles, ugh. $9

-Prince of Persia (2008): I liked it! It’s got a lot of troubles, like how it basically surgically extracts a lot of the challenge of the older games, but it’s beautiful and charming and engaging. Worth $2.50 definitely.

-Fable 3: I loved Fable 2, but I never bothered with Fable 3. I think the moral-choice BS and the ultimate goal of establishing a large savings account never jibed with my idea of fantastical adventure. If it were as big a leap forward as 1->2 I’d care more but nah. Plus please man, still originally priced at $50? Fuck you. $12.50

-Evochron Mercenary: In the tradition of space games like the X series, you’re a mercenary in a big, kind of empty galaxy looking to make your way in the world. These things always depend too much on dogfights to interest me. $6.25

-Arma II: Hey, you can play Day Z! Grab it if that sounds fun. $18

Day 9

-Driver: San Francisco: I’m seriously considering this weird game. It’s an open-world driving action game, where you race and stunt-jump and generally cause chaos with a car. What really interests me is that you play as a coma patient who can leap to new bodies, but only other drivers. So you can slow down the person you’re chasing by leaping into some civilian cars and making them T-Bone in front of your quarry. That’s so weird! I want it. $7.50

-Magicka: Yes! Grab this. It’s weird, it’s fun as hell particularly with friends, it’s pretty and funny and it has the best implemented magic system I’ve had the joy of figuring out. Completely worth $2.50

-Red Orchestra: Heroes of Stalingrad: If you’re itching for WW2 action, go for it. It’s only worthwhile if you’re into the multiplayer, but it looks pretty solid. Plus, I like things that focus on the Russian front, they get too little play. $5

-Dungeon Defenders: Cute fun with friends, if you’re all into tower defense games. I find Sanctum easier to do with strangers, but these things usually wind up fun if you’ve got the requisite pals. $3.75

-Civilization V: Yep. It’s not perfect, but it’s a dang good world-conquering game, and if you get it cheap now you can probably afford the new expansion if it turns out you really dig it. $7.50

-FEAR 3: Eh. I mean if you really really are hard up for a new FPS, sure. But it’s a horror game without any horror. Maybe if you have a friend who’s willing to buy it as well. Then you could check out the co-op mode, the only new idea they had. $5

-Crysis 2: I’d get Crysis 1 for $6 instead, it seems like a better time in a more open environment. But Crysis 2 got decent reviews. For some reason neither of these games really appeal to me though, they seem fluffy and indistinct. Tech demos labeled “SHOOTER”. But whatever, better choice than FEAR. $12

-Deus Ex Human Revolution: Absolutely buy this, it is entirely worthwhile. It doesn’t quite deliver on being the original only better and smarter, but it gets so damn close. It’s a lot of content, a lot of ideas, a decently told story, and a lot of very entertaining stealth and gunplay. Get this now. $7.50

-Indie Bundle IX: This is the one! This is it! Get it! So gooood. Jamestown is a great old-school shmup with a fun theme, Capsized is a fun, weird sort of metroid-y platformer, Revenge of the Titans is great Tower Defense, VVVVVV is an amazing open-world platformer with a great hook, and Zeno Clash is a surreal fighting game that’s well worth the entry fee. $10

July 19, 2012

Steam Summer Sale 2012: Days 7 and 8

Filed under: Game News — Tags: , , , , — Durandal @ 6:17 pm

More games! NEVER ENOUGH GAMES

-Gratuitous Tank Battles: Have not heard great things. Get Gratuitous Space Battles instead, wait on this until you’re really certain. $7

-Indie Bundle VIII: Man these things have been a mishmash. Hoard, not worth it, Swords and Soldiers seems fun looking, Demolition Inc is interesting but flawed… I mean it’s just such a mishmash. I can’t imagine someone interested in all of these. Worth it if you want all of them? But, you won’t. $10

-Krater: Interesting, but flawed. Get if you like flawed weird gems. It’s kind of an old-school RPG, only a bunch of shit isn’t working the same, usually for the worse? That makes it sound terrible, just try the demo it’s probably worth it if you like the demo. $7.50

-The Witcher 2: Yes. Yes now, yes get it get it now it’s the best fucking RPG. It’s so good, so good. They even updated it for free with a bunch of extra shit just because they love us. It’s fun, engaging, reasonably complicated, it manages a bunch of shit people keep whining about games being unable to do. $16

-Alan Wake: I’ve heard middling things. Nice high-production-value game, decent but repetitive action and a mildly interesting but mostly wasted narrative. I wouldn’t bother unless you’re really intrigued. $7.50

-Fallout New Vegas: I’ve heard amazing things, go for it! Fallout 3 was actually pretty fun, worthwhile. It’s one of those games I never actually finish finish though which nags at me forever so I’m not into it, you should give it a shot though. $5

-Amnesia The Dark Descent: Fun! Go for it. One of the only scary games, even if people keep acting like it’s the most frightening thing in the world, and it just ain’t. $5

-Sniper Elite V2: I’ve heard decent things. Kind of inherently repetitive though. I wouldn’t bother for $25, it’s a series of pot-shooting exercises.

-Plants vs. Zombies: Fun times, not worth $10, definitely worth $2.50

 

Yesterday’s Deals:

-STALKER: YEP. Get it, now. Yep. It’s a fun, weird, strange shooter/RPG that just you cannot get any other way. Nothing else is quite like it, you need to give it a shot now. $3.75

-Age of Empires Online: NO. $2.50

-Thief Deadly Shadows: The whole series is such a touchstone, this is a necessary purchase. At least Deadly Shadows, the latest best-looking one. I’ve heard it’s less interesting than the early ones, but it’s probably worth not seeing super early-gen 3D $2.50

-Super Meat Boy: The best platformer, yes. $3.75

-Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion: Instead, grab the Sins of a Solar Empire: Trinity deal, it’s only $5 and you’ll get essentially the same dang game. Pony up for Rebellion if you’re really into it. $25

-Total War Mega Pack: Eh. They’re big, impressive, but I’ve never really felt that much for them. Fights are huge and impressive but not nearly fun enough, and the strategy AI isn’t quite smart enough to be fun. $12.50

-Indie Bundle VII: Dungeons of Dreadmor is definitely worth it, the rest I’m not certain about. I’ve seen Vessel and it seems like a good puzzler, and Avadon is from Spiderweb Software, who make good shit. Yeah, go for this one. $10

-L.A. Noire: Supposed to be wonderful, but like Alan Wake it’s leaning more production values than actual gameplay. Unlike Alan Wake, the gameplay it does have is interesting and reasonable uniquely focused on investigation and interrogation. Go for it at $5, come on.

-Carpe Fulgur Collection: Only get Reccetear, but get Reccetear. It’s a weird sort of almost Diablo clone, but you also run a cute little item shop oh man it’s the best. $5

July 17, 2012

Steam Summer Sale 2012: Day 6

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Durandal @ 1:47 pm

Alright today isn’t super amazing but alright here we go:

-Grand Theft Auto IV: Eeeeeh. Grab Saints Row 2, or 3. Or anything. Don’t get GTA, it’s a snoozefest. $5

-Call of Duty: Black Ops: NO. And fuck, $20! Fuck you guys.

-Stronghold 3 Gold: Everything I’ve heard says nope, even people who were super excited about it. :(. $14

-Limbo: It’s… kind of… it’s worth $2.50. It’s atmospheric, but I wish the puzzles were more puzzle, less trial and error. But it’s worth giving a shot for that price.

-Company of Heroes: Get the first one, only the first one, if you haven’t tried it. Great single-player RTS, fun multiplayer if anyone is on. $2.50

-Indie Bundle VI: Spacechem is an absolute must in this. If you dig ticket to ride, just get the pack so you can get both for $5 off, but the test is dross, so get Spacechem alone if you’re not into that. $10

-Train Simulator 2012: I’ve heard oddly good things. You buy it, I’m not buying it. $3.50

– Spec Ops: The Line: If you were thinking about Call of Duty, get this instead. At least they tried. $35

-Wargame European Escalation: Horrid name aside, I’ve heard it’s one of the better new RTS games. Poor thing can’t compete with the big names though. $20

Must Have Flash Deals:

Double Fine Pack! Totally worth it for $7.50 if you don’t have any of them, and all worth it alone.

July 16, 2012

Steam Summer Sale 2012: Day 5

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Durandal @ 10:27 pm

Hey! Here is the lowdown on what to purchase, you need it. I trusted you for Day 4 and look where that got us.

– Age of Empires 3: This is a weird one. I mean it isn’t as though it’s bad or anything. I just can’t think of an RTS fan these days who seriously considers Age of Empires as a touchstone. That said, having played around with the demo I enjoyed it. If you don’t dig Starcraft or Supreme Commander, give it a shot! $10

-Rage: I feel like this got pushed to the wayside because it didn’t really do anything new or interesting. But it did do corridor shooting well. So if you have a jonesing for killing waves of enemies that run straight at you… get Serious Sam: BFE. But also this, if you have extra. $10

-Indie Bundle V: I’d get this one. Tiny Bang Story is what happens when describe Katamari to a terminally dumb person, but the rest are critically acclaimed and quite interesting. Greed Corp is also fucking hard, but the good kind. $10

– Iron Front: Liberation 1944: Nah. I mean it’s 33% off an let’s be honest, you’ve never heard of it. Fuck these guys. $20

-Men of War: Vietnam: It’s a tough series to get into, but particularly if you dig the multiplayer it’s this big sprawling war-movie of a war game. It’s worth checking out an earlier cheaper title even if you don’t get this. $9

-Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: A classic, but one of those classics that only assholes tell you is fun to play at this point. It’s fine, it’s fine. Worth a couple bucks if you’ve never played. But seriously find something new. $2.50

-Assassin’s Creed: Revelations: No, you’ve had enough. Everyone had enough. Do not bother. $13.50

-Dear Esther: If you’re the sort of person who would buy this, at least buy it on sale. $2.50

-Metro 2033: YES! Get it. It isn’t perfect but by god it’s like a linear companion piece to STALKER and it is so worthwhile. It’s just a great fucking game. Do it, make them more successful. $5

Flash Deal You Need:

Amnesia The Dark Descent: Half as scary as people make it out to be, still 15 times more scary than any horror game in the past 10 years. Give the Penumbra games a look too, same people made them. $5.

July 14, 2012

Steam Summer Sale 2012: Day 3

What to get, what to ignore? Listen to me, I’ll tell you … more!

-Tropico 4: Get Tropico 3 for $2.50 instead. Just about the same exact thing, fun little Sim City sort of game where you’re an island dictator. Good times! $7.50

-Two Worlds II: Silly name aside, I’ve heard good things about this game from a bunch of people. It seems solidly in “flawed gem” territory. Give it a go if you’ve either already played or can’t afford Skyrim. $7.50

-Frozen Synapse: Buy this game, buy it now. It’s great, interesting, very worth a shot. Simultaneous tactical turn-based combat is an underappreciated genre. $5

-Indie Bundle III: Well, if you’ve still not got braid, obviously. I also dig Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet. Runespell, Bunch of Heroes, and Bit.Trip Beat are also on offer, but I’ve not heard a ton about them, Runespell I think was eeeeh. Kind of seems like these packs always have a few duds. $10

-Skyrim: I’ve heard it’s good! If you’re into open-world RPG action, it’s the king at the moment. $30 is a bit steep during a big sale, but now’s the time to grab it if you want it, it won’t be lower than $30 for a long time.

-Dirt Showdown: I cannot comment at all on racing games. Sooo… do what you will. $25

-Borderlands: Great fun, good with friends, a bit samey and has both the best and the worst loot (I spent half the game with one gun, because it was the best gun I rolled all game), and the worst ending. But grabbing it and the expansions would be great if you’ve got some friends to play with. $5

-Orcs Must Die!: GET THIS. It’s an excellent tower-defense/action game that maintains a high level of fair challenge the entire way through, gives you reason to make use of all the tricks available, is nicely strategic, and the right side of funny. Great game, for $3.75 you’re an idiot if you don’t pick it up.

-Dead Island: I have heard it described as a solid dungeon-crawler with Zombies but… I mean I don’t know. I think it’s probably fine, this is just the game where we all decided Zombies were played out. Probably a bunch of fun if you still think Zombies are neat! $10

Flash Deal You Need:

Nah, not today. They’re all fine but not setting the world on fire.

July 13, 2012

Steam Summer Sale 2012: Day 2

What to buy, what not to buy, you need help I know”

-Payday: The Heist: If you’ve got friends to play it with, I’ve heard it’s a very fun L4D clone. Probably worth a look for you and your pals at $5.

-From Dust: I got it! It got acceptable reviews that mentioned a few issues, but nothing major. For $3.75 obviously worth a shot.

-Anno 2070: Unless you really really need a near-future Anno, I don’t know that I’d bother. The other Anno games are great, and still cheaper than $25.

-The Binding of Issac: Is amazing. For $1.25, you’re going to get a lot of game. I’d go for it.

-Tribes: Ascend Starter Pack: No! You don’t pay for free games. Let other people finance FTP with their $5, you’re no rube.

-Indie Bundle II: Is not setting my world on fire. Maybe E.Y.E alone? It’s very weird, worth a look if you’re into that, but the pack might not be worth $10.

-Warhammer 40K Space Marine: Fun and simple third-person shooting. A bit repetitive, but it’s just a ridiculous, gory good time for the majority of play. Well worth $7.50.

-Sonic Generations: Well, if you’re one of the people who were waiting years for a decent Sonic Game… yay! This is it. If you’re anyone else, feel free to continue forgetting who Sonic was. $10.

-Max Payne 3: I’ve heard good things about the shooting mechanics, but honestly grab Space Marine and wait for the price to drop below $30 if you must shoot things in third person.

Flash Deal You Need:

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light: The best Lara Croft game, and one of my top fun-givers of the past few years.

November 3, 2011

Bastion is Great, Buy It After The Steam Sale Ends.

Filed under: Game News, Game Reviews, Video Games — Tags: , , , , , , , — Durandal @ 11:53 am


Bastion is such a danged excellent experience, I recommend you pay more than $7.50 for it. In fact, not only should wait until you have the opportunity to pay $15, you should send Supergiant games an extra $5 to thank them.

Briefly, Bastion is a beautifully rendered dungeon crawl/action-RPG. Less briefly, Bastion tells the story of a young man who wakes up to find the world has shattered around him in the night and sets out to put everything back together. He’s guided… well, you’re guided, by the voice of an old man telling the story of how he does it. The narrative conceit, added late in the development apparently, works amazingly well. You’re gently guided to the right paths, you get commentary on your actions that can be pithy or surprisingly touching. There are also some very well done bits where the old man can only tell you what he thinks may have happened, which is a nice way of turning the previously omniscient narrator into a portion of the story.

Bastion is a triumph of form over function. It’s a game type I’ve played dozens if not hundreds of times before. You walk, you smack, you gather, you build. But with an astoundingly deft touch, the writing and art direction manages to make you care so much more than you expect in a game like this. It comes, appropriately, in both big and little pieces. The beautiful painted landscapes that rise out of nothing to meet you as you run, the spare lines of text that hint at a society you wish you could have seen in full flower, the way the narrator seems ashamed of the fact that he needs to send a kid to do the dirty work, the distant music from a time you’re trying to bring back. All of these pieces of design lift what could have been a standard slogging kill-fest into something simultaeously melancholy and heartening.

This is one of the few games where the compulsion toward completionism that I tend to feel regardless carried some emotional weight. I wasn’t making sure I had all the upgrade structures, I was putting back the pieces of a shattered world so that a hard-working kid could finally rest. I wasn’t getting achievements, I was paying tribute to the people that would be forgotten without me. Its a game with few characters, but it makes you feel for all of them. Including the beasts you need to kill to make your way in the world. It’s not mawkish or sentimental, either. It just presents you with a situation that is unfortunate and too few options to fix it.

Through these touches Bastion achieves one of the best game narratives I’ve seen, using subtle strokes to tell a story bigger than the part you play in it.

The best recommendation I can give is that immediately upon finishing it, I wanted to wipe my memory and start again from the beginning. Hell, it’s got a newgame+, I may do just that.

Buy Bastion at Half Off!

July 5, 2011

Steam Summer Sale Update 2!

Filed under: Game News — Tags: , , , , , — Durandal @ 10:57 am

This one is a bit late, so if you’re reading this, immediatly

PICK UP

Frozen Synapse: awesome little tactical game with a surprisingly solid single player. Comes with a copy to gift to a friend!

Trine: cute puzzler for $2, worth it.

Mount and Blade: only buy Warband! It’s the most up-to-date one and on sale individually for cheaper today. This game is weird and entertaining as hell. A sort of mishmash of RPG, strategy, and nation-building. Includes the most accurate jousting this side of no other game involves jousting so you know.

Fallout: New Vegas. By all accounts, $15 will get you dozens of hours of very well regarded wasteland wandering adventure.

GET UP

DOOM 3

Singularity

Serious Sam

Bionic Commando Rearmed

RUSE

Alpha Protocol

DROP IT LIKE IT’S A SHITTY GAME

Homefront

Bully

July 2, 2011

Steam Summer Sale Update!

Filed under: Game News — Tags: , , , , , — Durandal @ 10:49 pm

Hey there, Correct Platform For Playing Games owners (for as long as I am talking about it)!

The Steam Summer Sale has updated with a new batch of stuff you

Really Must Buy Instantly:

Magicka, or for a few bucks more the Magicka Complete Pack: Just a solid, entertaining, neat little slice of different. Great fun with a friend.

Super Meat Boy: Significantly better than Super Mario.

Don’t Really Have To Instantly Buy But I Mean Might Row Your Boat:

-Darksiders: Like a less charming Zelda is what I’ve heard

-Battlefield Bad Company 2: Don’t even know, but at least it’s not fucking Call of Duty

-Fable 3: If you like Fable you probably will want to buy another of these games!

-Bioshock 2: If you really really need to go back to Rapture

-Plants Vs. Zombies: Fun, if you don’t already have it.

-Half-Life: Episode 2: If you don’t have it, why don’t you have it?

Probably Do Not Want To Buy:

-Hoard: I’ve had a bit of fun with it, but it’s way too simple to warrant a purchase. You can find free games online with better content.

-Aliens Vs Predator: It was not well received

-Resident Evil 5: Like 4, but without the humor and you’re constantly escorting an AI player. Maybe if you and a friend both buy it and play co-op.

Football Manager:

-Football Manager 2011: Football manager.

July 1, 2011

Steam Summer Sale! Get On With It!

Filed under: Game News — Tags: , , , , , , — Durandal @ 3:28 pm

So, the magical time of the year has come again: Steam is having a massive summer sale!

Stuff you should buy that is currently in the deep discount “Featured” section:

Just Cause 2

SpaceChem

Braid

Stuff you should definitely not buy:

Dungeons – not even going to link this. Just don’t bother with it.

Don’t care:

Total War: Shogun 2

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Grand Theft Auto Classics

Hamilton’s Great Adventure

Might and Magic Heroes V

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Train Simulators:

Railworks 2: Train Simulator

Now, some of you are probably people who either do not play a lot of games or do not think you want any right now. You know, assholes. You people should just buy a lot of gifts for your better, more attractive friends. If you buy a gift, and then e-mail it to yourself, you should be able to just forward said e-mail to your friend at a later date. The sale is a decent time to pick up deeply discounted Christmas/birthday gifts if you feel like it. If you know me, buy me all the games. I deserve all the games, so get me all of them.

If you’re interested in getting games and also a good person, this might still be your first time! Either you have just recently installed Steam or you’ve never paid a lot of mind to the store. Here is the only important lesson: do not buy anything that is not a featured deal until the final day of the sale. Games that are currently 50% off are occassionally 75% off for a single day when they are a featured item. If you wait it out until the last day of the sale, you may get a much better deal. Conversely, if a game you’d like to get is a featured deal you’re probably not going to do any better for the duration of the sale. Either buy it or put it out of your mind.

Note also that almost the entire catalog is on sale at the moment. Not everything is a huge discount, but not every huge discount will be featured on the front page. Got a thing you’ve wanted for a while? Search the store and you may find it’s $2.50 now. Oh! Also, there are huge Developer/Publisher packs that give huge discounts on a whole swathe of games. If, for instance, you haven’t bought much of THQ’s catalog but you’re interested in them? Maybe you had a crap computer for the past few years? Well, now you can get most of their modern games for a grand total of $50 and a savings of something like $250.

There’s also a little contest thing going on where they give you a ticket for getting achievements in certain games. But there are 100 winners, and 6,000,000 Steam customers. You’re better off not buying a game, even a cheap one, for the shittiest lottery. Just play what you like and if you can do one of the little achievements, go for it. Note that you can also get these any day, they just unlock on the one listed.

That’s all you need to know for right now, you pack of ingrates! I’ll try to keep TroubleThinking updated with the latest deals.

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