Archives for June 2014

It’s Gonna be a Showdown: Steam Summer Sale 2014

In this way gales have their own [characteristics]. You remember them by your own feelings… some cling to you in woe-begone misery; others come back fiercely and weirdly… others, again, have catastrophic splendour; others are severe like a visitation; and one or two rise up draped and mysterious with an aspect of ominous menace. In each of them there is a characteristic point at which the whole feeling seems contained in one single moment

Joseph Conrad, The Mirror of the Sea

Brothers, sisters. The Steam Summer Sale event is near – so, so very near. Its nearness can be felt, measured. Just the same as the moon causes the oceans to heave and roll, so the proximity of the Summer Sale affects us, churning about all sorts of emotions. A Steam sale is indeed a mighty thing. Each sale carries with it its own intricacies and ingredients, systems and patterns, facets and surprises. We may perhaps recall our experiences with a specific sale – how we braved or floundered – and share them with other salty dogs of the PC master race.

The universal effect of Steam sales on the community’s pathos fills me with wonder and awe. The leveling factor can and should be studied. It is a freaking phenomenon. And here we are now, en masse and anxiously awaiting for this king mother beast to drop. You and I may have different playing styles and game-type preferences, different attitudes and tendencies – These differences may create a rift, or chasm, case depending, between us during any other time of the year. But it is during this time of anticipation that you and I are not so different. I can thereby declare with certain confidence that we are experiencing a similar wash of emotions as we await this summer’s bounty.

The first is excitement. Such giddy, child-like excitement. Oh, isn’t it precious? All those little green boxes next to the title’s price tag. There are so many, and the numbers are so close to 100. Steam will even do the math for you, will strike-through the original price and shade it while the discount price gleams like a promise. Let us envision ourselves skipping and tra-la-la-ing down the digital lanes, fancy-free and grateful for this marvel, this digital mana. Add to cart. Add to cart. Add to cart. Add to cart. Purchase for myself. Purchase for myself. Purchase for myself. Purchase for myself.

But, stop! Cease this ignorant dream of economic distress. The sale has yet to come and we are already mindlessly adding to our gaming backlog. When the Summer sale dawns let us be more measured in our purchases. Yes. The second emotion we feel is resolve. This is prompted by our reminisces of certain sales’ past, as we shudder coldly at our behavior. For shame. Look at that transaction history; Look at your library backlog – What a stain on your dignity. Let us resolve to be more deliberate in our purchases this summer. How badly do you want this title, really, truly? How will this title add to the patchwork of your gaming preferences, styles, and experiences. Yes! How will this sweet, succulent, Flash Sale discounted title further define you as a gamer?

But, that involves too much thinking! The Steam sale is a cultural phenomenon, an event! Look at all those youtube videos. Scroll through /r/pcmasterrace/. I mean, why should we have to practice discretion? Look at those discounts! Soooooo many games. Part of what makes these sales so awesome is the collective (playful) despair we feel. This is one of the reasons we are PC gamers in the first place. While the console peasants claw over each other in Gamestop stores and Wal*Mart electronics departments to use their allowance money to buy used copies of last year’s major titles we delight in the delicacies of heavily-discounted games without ever having to leave our plush computer chairs. So, nuts to deliberate purchasing – I mean, WTF, man? The third emotion is tactlessness

Once you have regained some composure from that last little outburst, you take a deep, cleansing breath. Your mind may still be abuzz with aswirl of emotion but you nonethess take an objective look around. It has been six months since the winter sale. There are mysterious “Mystery Trading Cards” all of a sudden floating around the Steam Marketplace. E3 has concluded; the meta-table is clear. This week’s list of Weeklong Deals contains a mere seven titles, a trite count compared to the regular 25-ish sum. Gaming blogs and websites are fidgeting with anticipation. Yes. Forces are in motion, brothers and sisters. The fourth emotion you feel is acceptance. However you conduct yourself when the time comes, the sale is indeed coming – like, this Thursday.

And so, lastly, we shall not cower in the face of this mighty force. We shall not crumple under the weight of our own personal shopping decisions. Now is the time to celebrate the possibilities and to steel ourselves against… ourselves. May we stand on the bow, with arms thrust to either side and greet this Steam Summer Sale headon. The fifth and final emotion is exhibited below.

I’ll see you on the other side…

June Releases

Well, this is rather embarrassing. It has been over two months since our last post. That means I’ve missed two monthly release posts and even though I have been mashing buttons, I haven’t written anything of substance. (More accurately, I’ve been mashing the right button on my mouse, because Dota 2 still has a stranglehold on my gaming time). But with that said, let’s get on to this month’s releases:

Xbox One

Week of June 3rd
Murdered Soul Suspect

Week of June 17th
UFC – Nice to see EA eschewing adding a number to each one of their franchises. Sometimes simple is better.

Week of June 24th
Transformers Rise of the Dark Spark – The last Transformers video game got some decent sleeper-status buzz. Will Rise of the Dark Spark get it, as well?

Week of June 3rd
Murdered: Soul Suspect

Week of June 10th
Enemy Front

Week of June 24th
GRID Autosport Black Edition
Transformers Rise of the Dark Spark

Week of June 24th
Transformers Rise of the Dark Spark

Week of June 3rd
Tomodachi Life

Week of June 24th
Transformers Rise of the Dark Spark
Farming Simulator ’14 – If it was like this (questionable content alert), I’d be in on Farming Simulator for my 3DS.

Week of June 3rd
Wildstar
Murdered: Soul Suspect
Legends of Persia

Week of June 10th
Enemy Front
SPINTIRES – The description of this game includes the sentence “Fasten your seatbelt and become the driver of unique vehicles that have been based on Soviet off-road classics.” I don’t think you can get a nicher than a driving game based of Soviet off-road classics. The audience is narrow with this one.

Week of June 17th
Black Gold Online – I’ll take games I’ve never heard of for 500, Alex.
MotoGP 14
Tropico 5

Week of June 24th
GRID Autosport

PS4 Banner

Week of June 3rd
Murdered Soul Suspect

Week of June 17th
UFC

Week of June 24th
Transformers Rise of the Dark Spark

Week of June 3rd
Murdered: Soul Suspect

Week of June 24th
Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland
Xblaze Code:Embryo
Transformers Rise of the Dark Spark
GRID Autosport Black Edition

Week of June 3rd
Hyperdimension Neptunia PP – Nope, this title wouldn’t make ten-year old me laugh at all. Not at all!

Week of June 24th
Xblaze Code:Embryo
BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma

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