Monthly Archives: June 2014

#397 The Post-Steam Summer Sale Damage Report

It is over, it’s finally over, the Steam Summer sales have ended, the virtual summer camp have closed their doors and everyone has gone home, back to normal gaming life with at least something special and a possibly a lighter wallet for some at the end of the week.

...and people like me have walked away with a shiny award for helping out my Team Red

…and people like me also walked away with a shiny award for helping out my Team Red

 

While we are all readjusting to the idea of a full priced game, I thought I would take this time to go through my haul and catalog exactly what games I bought and show how much USD I paid versus how much I would have paid if they were not on sale:

 

Tiny Brains: 1.99/9.99

Rush Bros.: .99/9.99

Walking Dead Season 2: 6.24/24.99

Risk of Rain: 4.99/9.99

DuckTales: Remastered : 4.99/14.99

Battleblock Theater (2 pack) : 6.24/24.99

The Wolf Among Us: 8.49/24.99

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: 4.99/19.99

LEGO Batman 2: 4.99/19.99

Spec Ops: The Line 5.99/29.99

Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons: 2.99/14.99

Dark Souls: 4.99/19.99

Resident Evil 4: 11.99/19.99

Reus: 2.49/9.99

Transistor Soundtrack Pack: 22.50/29.99

 

Now if I did my math correctly I ended up spending $114.06 on 15 new games over the course of one week. If you are my mother that might seem like a lot but for the cost of $114.06 I received the gaming value equivalent of about $284.85 which is on average, 40% off everything that I was going to eventually buy anyways

On top of the incredible deal, it was also worth it because now I have a replenished and updated gaming library with games I want to play, rather than reluctantly playing games that I have ended up owning as consolation prizes from Humble Bundles. Something you will see  me talk more about in Wednesday’s blog post.

 


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Disclosure: I am apart of the Streamer Partnership Program for Turbine’s A.R.T.S/MOBA, Infinite Crisis, which is a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

This blog post was written without approval, consent, or knowledge from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment or any of it’s subsidiaries

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#396 Buying Games vs Buying Game Time

Two things happened in the fast world of videogames that caught my eye that I want to discuss. Recently both EA and Sony announced and started rolling out their plans to sell American/Western players game time subscriptions to their recent AAA games

 

 

This is nothing new, in the Asian gaming market this method is a popular way of paying for their MMO subscription Blizzard has already have this option available for the Eastern World of Warcraft Players.

The question is now, “Can this new payment option of paying for hours instead of the right for a game work in the west?”

 

For the sake of keeping this blog post related to videogames and steering away from an American Studies term paper, I am going to not talk too much about the mentality and/or philosophy of American purchasing habit but I will say that the American dream is owning a white picket fenced house.

For today I just want to talk about the viability for the game time pass can comfortably work in the PC and Consoles on this side of the world.

 

Could this work on PCs?

This is very tough to say, just like the Asian Market I could say that it could be more efficient (money wise) to paid subscription MMOs I would say that if we are not already in the mists of the F2P + microtransaction MMOg trend it could stand a better chance.

Not mentioned: Dota 2, League, and every other ARTS/Moba game

Not mentioned: Dota 2, League of Legends, and every other ARTS/Moba game

 

But as we saw with EA advertisement, there are plans to sell game time for AAA multiplayer game titles, like Titanfall. At this point this could be successful if we did not have the likes of Steam Sales. While we do not legally own the games titles on Steam we do have unlimited game time forever, that we all got for pennies on the dollar.

 

I very much doubt that Steam will adopt this renting games per hour payment method for their non-MMO multiplayer games, unless huge lobbyists from the Activision, Ubisoft, and other game companies. Until then I think game time passes are going to only expand on the EA/Origin exclusives, which might benefit them in the long run by giving the company a different edge over steam in the free online market.

 

It *could* work but it needs to be done properly.

It *could* work but it needs to be done properly.

 

But PC is not the only platform for gaming, so lets take a look at consoles.

 

Can this work on Consoles?

This is a strong possibility for a new payment option for the consoles. I, and everyone else, have said it before but this console generation is built around a constant internet connection and with that the game time passes could be implemented with ease. Especially with the (unwanted) push to an always online connection, with that connection there would be an easy way for companies accurately keep track on how much time you bought for a game and a up to the minute statues on how much time you have left.

Especially with the multiple multiplayer games that comes out yearly for the console library with the Xbox One and PS4, This could act as a nice sample for players to get a legit hands on feel for the games they might be hesitant buying. In the old days, what I just described was called a ‘demo’.

Imagine the giveaways, every Origin/PS4 player gets 5 free hours of titanfall 2 (when ever that drops) or when a classic PlayStation game comes back to the PS4 shop.

Imagine the giveaways, every Origin/PS4 player gets 5 free hours of titanfall 2 (whenever that drops) or when a classic PlayStation game comes back to the PS4 shop.

 

With the early introduction of this payment plans I am hesitant about it simply because it is new in the West and we already have a certain mindset and we have another popular MMO payment option, by supporting F2P PC games through microtransactions.

As I said, it could provide a nice legit sample of the gameplay of the newest AAA console games but there might be a need to keep an eye on the price of renting vs the price of going out and buying a secondhand copy of the game somewhere else.

 

I will say that it is always nice to have a variety of ways to consume videogames to lower the barrier to entry for everyone, whether it be playing on PC, consoles, smart phones, or how you play those games or different payment plans. The problem with companies becoming early adopters for new plans is that it is far too soon to know if this plan will fail or usher in a new trend of gaming.

 


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#395 The Bipartisan Lego Company

Monday’s Steam Summer Daily Sales had it’s scheduled update and with that The Lego series went on sale for the amazing price cut of 75% off. With that I was able to pick up two items that have been on my wishlist for quite a while.

I saw a kid playing Batman 2 and when he flew around the city as the Man of Steal, the classic Christopher Reeves theme song started playing  Insta-buy just on that fact alone.

I saw a kid playing Batman 2 and when he flew around the city as the Man of Steel, the classic Christopher Reeves theme song started playing  Insta-buy just on that fact alone.

 

As I was hitting the ‘purchase for myself’ button I came to the realization that I was just about to buy both a Marvel and DC comics licensed game that was created and produced by the same third party game developer team. Which blew my mind.

It seems that in today’s gaming industry world, that third party companies are forced to side with one game company over the other. In the past of years we have seen the company pairings of Sony’s PlayStation for Taco Bell, we have seen multiple promotions for Mountain Dew and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and One and we have even seen Nintendo making Mario Spaghettios with Campbells.

it’s funny to see that Pepsi-Mnt Dew or just Pepsi never tried to double dip with both consoles market/fan bases considering that Pepsi and Taco Bell are both owned by the Yum! Brands, Inc.

it’s funny to see that Pepsi-Mtn Dew or just Pepsi never tried to double dip with both consoles market/fan bases considering that Pepsi and Taco Bell are both owned by the Yum! Brands, Inc.

 

Even with Third Party game developers have seen the exclusive deals with one of the big three console companies, the most obvious is the deals Sony has with gaming companies (Ubisoft) providing special and unique downloadable content for the PlayStation version of the game.

An hour more content just a fragmented part of gaming/Assassin's Creed comunity because they decided to play on a PS3, instead of an Xbox or PC

An hour more content just a fragmented part of gaming/Assassin’s Creed community because they decided to play on a PS3, instead of an Xbox or PC

 

And During my years at PAX East over the multiple and multiple game developers panels everyone there constantly talk about how gaming retail companies like Best Buy, GameStop, and even Walmart goes up to these developers demanding/begging to be given an exclusive DLC, special editions of the game, or physical giveaway with the game’s launch.

With the exclusive nature of promotional gaming world, it feels a bit like some the most diverse version of national politics. Creating a atmosphere where people who subscribes to one party or belief are expected to constantly and exclusively side with that one side for the rest of their careers.

With all of of the exclusiveness deals and contracts going on it is surprising and refreshing to see a company work across the aisle to get the two major competing media companies to licence almost all of their creative universe and images to create a 3rd party game.

Something that is a bit more awe inspiring than that is how the Lego games have been able to grab other big name film licensees like, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Harry Potter saga and LucasArts’s Indiana Jones and Star Wars series.

 

When Lego approced DC and then Marvel it didn't hurt that they had an established track record of amazing games

When Lego approached DC and then Marvel it didn’t hurt that they had an established track record of amazing games

 

 


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#394 The Tale of Nozell’s Feebas

A few lazy Sundays ago I helped my younger brother transfer his Pokemon roster from his Pokemon Black to his Pokemon X cartage by way of my Pokemon Bank account.

 

because that is what big brothers, with credit cards, do for younger brothers

because that is what big brothers, with credit cards, do for younger brothers without credit cards

 

The deal we made was that he was allowed to transfer all of his favorites to his newest version of Pokemon, I was then I am allowed to scavenge any and all leftovers from his PC boxes before he restarted his game file. After my brother finished moving I was given free range on all the other Pokemons. Among the pickings I found some original Hoenn Pokemons from the Game Boy Advance games and out of the originals generation 3 Pokemons was a Feebas that was transferred from my Pokemon Emerald Save file, which is currently MIA. But finding that one fish reminded me of a story that I want to share with all of you.

 

yup this story is a long time comming

yup this story is a long time coming

 

For all of those who did not play through Hoenn region, the Feebas Pokemon was the Generation III version of magikarp, an ugly Pokemon that could only evolve with max beauty points from winning enough beauty pokemon contests. While it was a cool idea, and evolved into a pretty amazing Pokemon the catch was it could only be caught if you fished in one of six squares on route 119, the location of the squares are different for each save file and just for good measure those six squares would be randomized with every Elite Four victory.

Just look at all that water in this one zone

If you wanted to catch a Feebas, you had your work cut out for you

 

At the time I was trying  to complete the Hoenn Regional Pokedex (and I succeeded) with help and friendly competition with my two other brothers who were playing their games at the same time. When it came to trying to add a Feebas to my collection, neither I, my brother, or any of my friends have never caught a Feebas because it was so difficult to find. So I did what any aspiring Pokemon Master would do, I spent hours fishing at each square title on route 119 until I found one of my lucky squares in my game. After the excited screams and fist pumps I imminently started farming that one area for that one fish Pokemon. I was soon known to be the only kid in my family and in my school to have access to the this fabled Feebas, as a result I gain a monopoly on that one Pokemon (until people started breeding the Feebases I gave them).Looking back on the this story with a few classes of Biology under my belt I realized how cool this story because one person in my hometown was responsible for the entire population of one Pokemon and many of those Feebases were the spawn of the first Feebas I caught.

I have forgotten about this story for years but now it finally paid off because, my brother kept one of my original Feebases from my Emerald save and transferred it to his Pokemon Black and gave it to me as a gift for allowing him to transfer his other Pokemons. Now one of my pokemon, that is reaching ten years old, which was the result of hard work, determination and just a little bit of luck has come full circle and has come back into my possession, taking up permanent resident in the Pokemon Bank cloud servers just waiting to be transferred back to the Generation 3DS remake to come back to it’s updated world.

 


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#393 Summer Fun, Sales, and Games

It is finally here! The Steam Summer Sales just went live, it’s a magical time when almost everything on Steam’s digital shelves are on sale for all the good little boys and girls around the web. This is a great time to be online, not only is it a time to pick up games at insane prices and start collecting digital trading cards in order to craft badges to gain points for your camp team but also get your chance to grab some in-game cosmetic items. On top of all of that this is a big time because, for me, it actually buy some games.

I am from a big family and that tends to result in some penny-pinching techniques like, always use coupons, entering ever contest you come across, always eat your leftovers first, and never buy anything at full price when you know that it will eventually go on sale.

About time too because I needed some new games to play too, after sorting through my library of games I played from the games from my backlog and games I have played before I started that project I realized that I just have the games

About time too because I needed some new games to play too, after sorting through my library of games I played from the games from my backlog and games I have played before I started that project I realized that I just have the games

 

With all these sales this is my time to shine, to cut loose and buy games while not breaking the bank. And more importantly than having a small week-long window to buy all the games that are currently taking up residence on my wish list but now is the time when I take a chance on games that I might have never heard of before their were showcased on either the Daily Deals or on the Flash Sales sections of Steam’s front page. It was because of Steam’s incredibly low prices was the reason picked up Dust: An Elysian Tail and the punishing pixel perfect games Super Meat Boy, Binding of Isaac, They Bleed Pixels and Cloudberry Kingdom. These are some of my favorite games of all time that I would never even thought of buying at full price. I even installed and briefly started playing TF2 because of the holiday sale promotional items back in 2011.

It was just to try to get an easy TF2 achievement and I ended up grabbing one of the rarest hats from the event.

It was just to try to get an easy TF2 achievement and I ended up grabbing one of the rarest hats from the event.

 

Now I can take time to actually browse the shops and add stuff to my cart, knowing that these are going to be the lowest prices for this year. And it has already begun, last night I have already added Tiny Brains and Rush Bros.

 

Before anyone says, "dont buy until the daily deal/flash sales" both games were 80% and 90% off. I'll eat may hat if it goes any lower throughout the week

Before anyone says, “don’t buy until the daily deal/flash sales” both games were 80% and 90% off. I’ll eat my hat if either of these games goes any lower throughout the week

 

I already have a few games I want to pick throughout this week but I want to bounce a question back to you for the weekend and the following week, “What games are on your wish list that you hope to pick up during the Steam Sales and do you have any games to recommend now that I am in the mode to buy games?”

PS: Go Team Red!

 


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#392 Loving the little things

Since last weekend that I bought them, I have not been playing Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8 every moment I can in my busy, busy schedule. I might talk more about Mario Kart at a later date when I get through enough of the game but as for Super Mario 3D World, it is just like a Super Mario 3D LAND, which I have already wrote about before( Be MOP #349) but with more room to expand in content, design, and beauty now it got a console release.

 No Wii U screenshots right now because I just haven't been able to use the screenshot feature yet but I will for future Wii U posts. Also MK8 is slowly become as enjoyable as MKDD

No Wii U screenshots right now because I just haven’t been able to use the screenshot feature yet but I will for future Wii U posts. Also MK8 is slowly become as enjoyable as MKDD

 

One thing that keeps me loving and coming back to these games are all the little things that the game developers adds to the game. I mention on my Twitch stream that I will instantly become a fan of a game or TV show or any other form of media when I see the creators adding these subtle, almost cosmetic Easter eggs to their products.

One of the reasons I like Infinite Crisis is because that game has so many kill quests or special dialogue hidden in the game that are only unlocked when allied champions are passing each other, when champion help assist another champion with a kill, or when certain champions kills an enemy in a match. Currently with all the current champion pool, and depending on your team compilation and what map you choose to play on, you get to hear about a half-dozen special dialogue between your team and the other team.

Its like everyone has something to say to each other it makes the matches feel more alive

Its like everyone has something to say to each other it makes the matches feel more alive

 

The Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated show had a throw away scene in one of the early episodes where a Daphne humming a short bit of ‘The New Scooby-Doo Movie” theme song when sewing a bit of cloth on top of references to other Hanna-Barbera shows

Mario Kart 8 has the now internet famous Luigi Death Stare, and a collection of other facial expressions when a player pass another racer but my favorite little feature about this game is that by the final lap around a race track you get to see all the tire marks on the roads, showing you exactly where you and everyone else previously drifted around the turns.

Batman the Brave and the Bold was the all time champion for hiding little things in its show. Almost every episode had a secret nod to obscure parts of DC Comic’s history that only a dedicated fan would get, while still setting out its goal of being an entertaining kids show that sets to introduce various side DC heroes and villains to the new generation of viewers. The moment I knew that this show was amazing was when in, “Requiem for a Scarlet Speedster!” where the episode casually tossed a reference to one the first few scenes in DC Comics’s Crisis on Infinite Earths where Batman sees the ghostly image of Barry Allen’s Flash’s dying moments.

 

That was when I know that this campy little Super Friends-eques show transcended into something truly amazing

It was this moment when I changed my opinions of the Brave and the Bold from a campy little Super Friends show snip off into something truly amazing or outrageous 

 

I love when the creator adds these little references, nods, or Easter eggs into their works and I usually end up following the rest of the series and becoming a loyal fan because the product shows a level of polish that can only be achieved after perfecting everything else in the initial product which is a pretty tall task. which is why it is so rare to see in television and videogames to the point where it should be applauded when ever you see it happen.

 


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#391 Finally, Finally Bought a Wii U

Consider this a follow-up to my last blog post. Friday I made it known my desire to finally own a Wii U after following Nintendo’s E3 presentation and seeing what all the games they have in store.  But just talking about action means nothing, it is performing on the action that does anything important. After banking my most recent paycheck I then went on a grand adventure of traveling around 5 stores I finally found exactly what I wanted: A limited release Mario Kart 8 Wii U bundle and a copy of Super Mario 3D World.

Just getting hyped from the E3 presentations means nothing if you do not act on that hype.

This was one of my first few ‘major’ strictly entertainment purchases I have ever bought and the first console I paid for by myself.

 

I paid for the new console with my money but it is bought for the family. As I said before I bought this console for two reasons those amazing Nintendo First Party Exclusives and the Local Co-OP and I got exactly that, and the moment my brothers picked up the controllers the real fun began.  What’s amazing is that in 3D World, just like Super Mario 3D Land, the game has no tutorials everything is explained in brilliant in game level designs and drop in Co-op meant that my brothers can join me at any point in the game, especially when they start talking smack after I failed several times trying to collect of the green star collectibles.

And having just one person who is playing next to me on the couch brought me so much more excitement and fun than any 32 man FPS maps

And having just one person who is playing next to me on the couch brought me so much more excitement and fun than any 32 man FPS maps

 

This entire weekend I have been playing Co-Op with my brothers in Super Mario 3D world, that is until the rest of my family kicked us off the TV so everyone else could catch up with the most recent Fifa matches, And at that moment the gamepad feature to play the Wii U games on your controller without any quality or frame drops.

But the fun and games does not stop there, after registering my console and two games I was able to then download Zelda: Wind Waker HD because of Nintendo’s current Mario Kart 8 promotional give away and I was then able to pick up the Wii U port of Mario Party 2 from the recent boosts of Club Nintendo’s rewards points.

For about $390 I was able to get a current gen system, two controllers, and four Wii U games that I have been wanting to play with others for a while all while lowering my barrier to entry for the next Super Smash Bros game. Which looking back is an amazing bargain and after playing the games I can say it was worth it.

People on the campaign trial can say many things about me but I am not finical irresponsible

People on the campaign trail can say many things about me but I am not financially irresponsible

 


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