Saturday, July 21, 2012


In my previous post I dismissed the Steam Summer Sale. I had found the sale to be somewhat underwhelming in its early days. So, I got my game fix by spending a tiny bit of money on some titles at my local bricks-and-mortar store. Well, it turns out that one of those titles is not so good --- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed --- and I have yet to play either of the remaining two. Also, the Steam sale got better; it taunted me with deal after deal after deal. Steam is like that hot woman who knows that I want her, and also that my male pride won't let me reveal my true weakness by giving in at the first sign of skin. So she gradually reveals herself little by little until I can resist no longer.

I resisted as long as I could, but I finally cracked. I put $100 in my Steam wallet and promptly proceeded to spend it on games that I probably won't be able to play for several months. More on that later. First, the games I bought after the jump.

Dragon Age: Origins - Ultimate Edition
I've already played through Origins once on the PS3, and doing so made me realise that it was a game made for the PC. The console version looks fine and plays well, but there are framrate issues (even when I'm just running my character from place to place), draw-in, and muddy textures. Also, I've seen screenshots and videos of the PC version, and the UI looks much more elegant, smoother, and easier to navigate than the console version. A game with such a vast landscape and deep, complex story and levelling system deserves a more powerful machine to run it. The Ultimate Edition includes Origins, Awakening, and nine DLC packs.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R Collection
I've read a little bit about S.T.A.L.K.E.R and I've seen a few gameplay videos here and there, and my curiosity has been piqued. Apparently, these games are scary. We'll see about that. The Collection consists of Shadow of Chernobyl, Call of Pripyat, and Clear Sky.

A crazy, seizure-inducing twin-stick shooter.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior
One of my all-time favourite games is Sniper Elite for the original Xbox. I love sneaking around, setting up my shots, taking out targets from a distance, and revelling in the gruesome bullet-cam. This game bears some resemblance to that, albeit with a modern setting. It didn't receive good reviews, but I figured I would enjoy it's basic mechanics and functions anyway.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Many years ago, I played a bit of Deus Ex: Invisible War and did not enjoy it at all. At the time, I was heavily into shooters and I think I was put off by the slow pace and all of the dialog options. Things are different now, though, and this game has me intrigued. I can't wait to sneak around in its Blade-Runneresque world

Fractal: Make Blooms not War
This is, more or less, a puzzle game. A Giant Bomb Quick Look of it convinced me to add it to my Steam library. I hope I have the patience to think my way through it.

This isn't really my type of game, but it looked cool, and was dirt-cheap. So, why not, eh?

I purchased all of those for myself, and started to feel a little guilty about it. So, I mitigated my guilt by purchasing a game for everyone on my friends list (one of them reciprocated by purchasing two more games for me: Braid and Amnesia: The Dark Descent). My $100 quickly diminished to around $14 in just a few days. Sigh. Steam, I shake my fist at thee for preying upon my weaknesses, but I love you just the same because you give me what I need.

The sad thing is, though, I won't be able even to start downloading any them until Monday, July 23. You see, I hit my monthly bandwidth cap 3 or 4 days ago, and if I go over it, I have to pay $2.50/GB in overage fees. The 23rd is when the new billing cycle begins; my usage drops back to zero, and I can begin to download. Unfortunately, my bandwidth is capped at 25GB and some of the titles I purchased are HUGE. Dragon Age, for example, requires 20GB of space; Deus Ex: HR, 8GB; Sniper: Ghost Warrior, 6.5GB; S.T.A.L.K.E.R Collection, 6 to 10 GB; Amnesia: The Dark Descent, 3GB. Also, my download speed is slow. So, I'm thinking that Dragon Age will take, probably, a full day to download. Deus Ex, Ghost Warrior and Amnesia, probably 6 to 12 hours (each). The games are quite small, and not much to worry about.

So, I could download Dragon Age first and play through it for a month while I wait for the billing cycle to renew. But that would mean avoiding listening to podcasts, watching videos, and downloading of any kind for 30 days!
Or, I could begin by downloading the smaller games. That would leave some bandwidth to put towards podcasts, videos, etc. Then, on August 22nd, I could start downloading Dragon Age, pause it halfway through, then restart it after midnight on the 23rd. That way I would avoid any overage fees for the current month and wouldn't eat up 95% of my bandwidth for the following month. Such are the difficult decisions I have to make in my life.

Whatever I do, I still have a pile of other games to play and several unplayed games in my Steam library from other sales to bide my time. More evidence of my weakness

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