Getting Steamed

I’m not much of a PC gamer – in fact, the only times I ever even came close to being a PC gamer was whenever I was playing an MMO (and even then I played Final Fantasy XI on my PlayStation 2). Despite my allegiance being pledged to the console world, seeing everyone whipped into a froth over the Steam Summer Sale (or is it Summer Steam Sale?) certainly got me curious… and got me buying.

I do have a Steam account, which was made several years ago, but it lies mostly dormant. Steam’s fantastical sales and pricing don’t usually do much for me because most of what’s on offer are games that I’d rather play on a console, where I can get a physical disc which will allow me to play the game on my TV, while sitting on my couch, with a controller in my hand. Yes, I’m one of those unwashed peasants. Have at me, Master Race.

Most of my library consists of indie games purchased from Humble Bundles, Star Wars games and the odd PC exclusive game here and there. I actually have a few games I haven’t even played (as well as some games that were gifted to me by friends that I haven’t put a whole lot of time into) that make me feel really bad and wasteful… I just never really feel like sitting down at the computer when I want to play games.

I think part of it is the layout of my living room; the computer is tucked into a small nook which means that when you’re sitting in the computer chair you have your back to the rest of the room. Since I have a weird guilt complex when I play games for too long anyway, having my back to my wife makes it even worse. It’s all caused by my weird brain and nothing that people say to me, but regardless, it affects my mindset when it comes to PC games.

Anyway, I bought a couple of things during the big sale because we had a few dollars sitting in PayPal and some things I’d been wanting were on deep discount. I wound up getting Torchlight II, Heretic, Half-Life, McPixel and They Bleed Pixels.

Torchlight II I got because I played the original on Xbox Live Arcade and had a really good time with it and I love games that throw loot at me. I’m having a good time with it so far, although I’m not playing it an absurd amount. I don’t want to get burned out on it.

Heretic was a game I remember enjoying a lot as a kid so when I saw it was on sale for like $2 I decided to go for it. It’s much darker than I remember, but it’s a lot of fun eschewing shotguns and rocket launchers for magic wands and enchanted crossbows. I just wish there was a way to run it in widescreen.

I’ve never actually played the first Half-Life… yeah, I know, I’m sorry. I think I played maybe the first 20 minutes or so at a friend’s house, and I played some of Half-Life 2 on the Xbox 360 when I bought the Orange Box, but I never really got into the original. It’s fun, but I can’t play it for too long because it stresses me out. Also I somehow missed the pistol.

McPixel is GREAT so far. I had heard good things at the end of last year (the Giant Bomb crew raved about it) and it was only $.99 so I couldn’t pass it up. It’s very simple and VERY hilarious. It’s got fantastic presentation and the sense of humor really reminds of of Panic! for Sega CD which is awesome. I’m looking forward to playing more of it.

I haven’t booted up They Bleed Pixels yet but it was $3 with the soundtrack and Christina had played it at PAX East and enjoyed it so it seemed like a natural purchase. I love the main character’s design.

I also got Final Fantasy VII. I swore I’d never play it on anything other than an actual PS1 but Shane just had to go and show off how pretty it was and I just couldn’t resist. Christina and I want to play through the game with my sister-in-law (who’s 16 and never played it – but she’s getting curious about RPGs) and hooking the PC up to the TV and playing this nice shiny versions seems like the way to go.

So yeah, I spent a lazy weekend getting reacquainted with Steam and it was really nice. It made me like PC gaming again by reminding me what PC gaming can offer – inventive games by creative teams that won’t break the bank as well as all kinds of classic PC games that I missed out on years ago.

I’m gonna try harder to diversify myself. Instead of lazily browsing the internet when I don’t know what to do with myself I’ll just load up something on Steam. There’s lots of good stuff there. I just need to be more open to it.

One Comment

  1. I don’t play PC games much either, but for completely different reasons – I’ve never owned a desktop of my own, and for years the only computers in the house have been laptops, and until now mine usually ended up being (paradoxically, since I do the most with them) the worst of the bunch. (I’m getting a new one soon that should have more capabilities, but it still won’t be a gaming laptop per se.) So my computers haven’t had the capability to play new games. I’ve only really used Steam in the last year or so, but I only play older games or indie games that don’t require as high specs.

    I actually like playing on the computer – not because I prefer keyboard and mouse to controllers (I don’t particularly) but because the location’s better. My computer desk’s in my bedroom – it’s in a nook too, but it’s facing out into the room. I can see whenever anyone’s in front of the door. It’s in an upstairs room next to windows. It’s nice. My consoles, on the other hand, are in the basement game room, which is great for having friends over and such, but is a lot less convenient for spending time in on a daily basis. As such, my consoles haven’t seen nearly as much use lately – DS and PC for me.

    I still love Steam for the discounts. I can’t deny that discs are fairly expensive, and Xbox Live never seems to offer deals like Steam does. I try to limit the amount of games I buy, so my library is pretty small, but I’ve gotten pretty much everything in there for $10 or less. And while I do like physically owning games, I can’t argue with the convenience of a service that remembers what you own by your account rather than your device – it actually feels MORE secure to me, and it’s nice to know that if a game doesn’t run on this computer, I can download it on my new one for free.

    Torchlight II, They Bleed Pixels, and pretty much every Half-Life have been on my wishlist for a while. TBP in particular looks really charming. I’m not that much of a shooter fan, so I’m mostly interested in Half-Life for their reputation – I have a friend who adores the series. The only thing I bought during the summer sale was Bastion, which I’d heard a lot of good things about (it’s awesome, by the way.) I also got back into Terraria. I find it odd how I tend to really enjoy a lot of 2D games on PC, while on consoles I usually prefer the 3D entries in series…

    Well, that was a wall of a comment. I’m glad to see you writing stuff again. You know, this blog is still my homepage? I’d stopped expecting updates, so I tend to click away quickly, but I guess I’m still giving you money every time I open up my browser. You’re welcome. :P

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