Steam Sale Day 12: Payday Couldn’t Have Come At A Worse Time
Two more days. All we have to do is make it two more days. If we huddle together and hide our wallets behind us, maybe Steam can’t get to them! That will work, right? Guys?
Once again, if it’s not a Daily Deal, it’s not worth picking up yet. There are two more days where it can go on sale, hold up and save money.
Puzzle Agent – ($1.24 – $2.49) – The Puzzle Agent series is your prototypical Telltale game. Classic puzzle elements with its charming humor albeit a bit shallow at times. These aren’t the best games Telltale has put out, but they’re surprisingly good especially considering the price point. Just don’t have your expectations to high.
Fallout: New Vegas – $4.99 – Fallout: New Vegas is everything Fallout should have been. Essentially, less gloom and doom with specific good and evil choices and a lot more black comedy. The three factions you can work with all offer something a bit different, and not a one of them is black and white. Rarely have I felt so justified using an Arrested Development quote, but about halfway through the game it echoed through my head. “I’ve got it down to two.
But honestly, I don’t even want to choose. I just feel… I feel like the prettiest girl at the dance.” The game does have a lot of bugs, so I advise you to save often. However the mod community has ironed out many of them and added some incredible features featuring everything from turning it into a more straight forward FPS to a Pokemon simulator. I’m not making that up. Pick this game up; it’s a steal for how many hours you’ll lose to it.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution – $16.99 – Deus Ex should have won a lot more Game Of The Year titles than it did. It’s hard to make a sequel to one of the most beloved games over a decade later, especially considering the previous sequel was absolutely horrendous. Human Revolution not only met my expectations, it far exceeded them. The game was downright brilliant, and there is a ton of content here. I played through as a stealth/hacker character, and while this hindered me in the boss battles (we’ll get to that in a second) I was able to break into every computer in the game and understand every little nuance of what was going on all the while not killing a single person.
And not once did I feel bored or overwhelmed by the information, I still wanted more to see exactly who I could and couldn’t trust. My friend didn’t quite have the pacifist morals that I did and left literal piles of corpses on the streets, and while he may be a bit of a sociopath he loved the game as well. The bosses are the one weakness of this game, all of them are absolutely atrocious. While it turns out that these were outsourced, that’s still not an excuse for ruining a grand play through to have to do battle with some meathead using tactics I haven’t for 12 hours. That being said, this game is definitely worth picking up. The asking price is an absolute pittance considered what’s being offered, and if you’ve been holding off this is decidedly the steal of the day.
Super Meat Boy – $3.74 – Super Meat Boy is the video game equivalent of an abusive relationship, you know it’s only going to hurt you but for some reason you can’t leave. I can’t think of a game that has caused me this much frustration and brought on more noise complaints while still being fair. Not once did I die because the game is “cheating”, I died because I missed the jump perfectly.
That jump where I have to land perfectly and take off again the instant I hit because there’s a laser shooting wasps at me. The sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with beating this game is unmatched outside of perhaps Demon Souls. If you’re the type to throw controllers and break things, you need to pass on this one, everyone else should buy it and buckle up. Do yourself a favor and don’t watch any speed run videos though, that just rubs it in a bit too much.
Driver: San Francisco – $24.99 – Personally I didn’t enjoy this title at all. The missions felt extremely repetitive, the rubber banding in the AI reduced any sort of threat for making a mistake and the plot was insane. Not the good kind of insane where you never know what’s coming next and you want to see what other horrors the developers came up with, but insane where I honestly felt that during “bring your kid to work” day someone’s daughter got loose and managed to type up a script.
Add on the oppressive Ubisoft DRM and it just being a poor port, and you’ve got a hefty hill to climb over. She must have belonged to a higher up because they just rolled with it. If you’re looking for a campy sandboxish racing game with a lot of plot points from 80’s films, there are worse titles out there but there may also be better uses for your money.
Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 – $4.99 – Command and Conquer is the standard by which all other real time strategies are judged upon for the mass market, however they don’t always play up to that roll. Red Alert 3 brought the series back to its roots and is a pretty good game on the whole. The campaign is a bit corny, but it’s full doable through co-op and being able to joke with a buddy makes everything better.
The multiplayer has always been a hallmark of the series and it plays fantastically. The only thing worth noting to new players is that when you go online expect to have some rough starts. Just as in Starcraft, Command and Conquer has some serious players who have forgotten more about the title than I know about anything and are quick to demolish. For five bucks, you really can’t go wrong.
Civilization V GOTY – $16.99 – Oh. Your. Gods, I loved this game. While some have complained that it’s a bit more simplified as opposed to Civilization IV, and I can’t really argue that point, I’ve lost hundreds of hours to this title. It’s easy to lost 6 hours at a time here without paying attention the clock. The difficulty levels do a great job of allowing the player to progress at their own pace, and the hardest difficulty will challenge you even when you’ve logged over a hundred hours. My recommendation is to turn on the random AI personality, as it adds a bit of surprise to the game.
Normally they’ll try to act out as their leader would have, Germany and the Mongols are quick to anger and India holds off on war as long as possible. That one little tweak could have Gandhi threatening to nuke you off the face of the planet, and that’s truly a magical feeling. The only reason this isn’t the steal of the day is that with strategy games not everyone will truly enjoy the genre.
The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault On Dark Athena – $4.99 – This is widely considered one of the greatest licensed games of all time, and it’s hard to argue with that. Everything is polished and simply feels right while telling a great story. However, and this is a big one, I refuse to recommend this game to anyone. It uses TAGES DRM, which is the most draconian of them all, and has led to more computer issues than I can count including damaging optical drives, opening security holes and acting as a root kit. You should play this game, but not under these terms.
Magic The Gathering: Duels Of The Planeswalkers – $3.99 – This is a digitalized version of Magic: The Gathering. If you enjoy collectible card games, this is up your alley and you’ve probably already looked into it, but if you’re not a fan of the genre there is nothing here to win you over
Grand Theft Auto IV – $9.99 – GTA IV is met with split reactions around here. Some feel that the more serious turn in the storytelling was fantastic for the maturation of the series and gamers as a whole, while others (myself included) found it to be a bit sterile and lacking that soul that I had grown to love and respect out of the series. The DLC does offer a bit of it back, but there seems to be something missing.
I’d be doing you a disservice if I failed to mention the modding community here as they complete overhaul of the game is downright impressive here to the point where it can be mistaken for a Blu-ray film at first glance. GTAIV is under no circumstances a bad game, and many gamers will find it to be the perfect fix for their sandbox needs. However some of us who miss the wild and wacky aspects of the previous titles will have to look towards Saints Row or wait for GTA V
Universe Sandbox – $2.50 – This is less a game and more of a toy where you can play with interplanetary physics. Create your universes and try to balance everything out so you don’t destroy everything within the first five minutes. It’s extremely simple, but it’s also addicting for reasons I can’t explain. This one is definitely worth a look.
Space Chem – $2.50 – Few game have made me feel like an idiot as much as SpaceChem has. In each level you need to design a reactor to build a chemical element to finish the puzzle. I’ve gone through the tutorial twice, and still have no idea what I’m doing. This game takes a concerted effort, and if you’re not willing to sit down and really work on it, you have to pass on this title. Chemistry majors should pick this up immediately though.