Torchlight on Mac? Tomorrow!

Kotaku is reporting that the Steam client for Mac computers comes out tomorrow. If you already own Portal and Torchlight on the PC, you may already own it on the Mac.

If you bought Portal or Torchlight via Steam on your Windows-based PC then you may in fact already be the proud owner of tomorrow’s releases. Portal (and possibly Torchlight — the press release is unclear) will support a feature called Steam Play, which, according to a press release from Valve today, “allows customers to purchase a game once and play it on all Steam supported platforms. Gamers who have previously purchased games on Steam will find them available in their account on the Mac as they are released.”

I think this is AWESOME because these games should run fine on my MacBook. I can now play Torchlight on any computer I own.

Wait. That may be a bad thing.

This Game You Should Play: Beat Hazard

Seizure inducing for the win

Pictures do not do this game justice. Beat Hazard by Cold Beam Games is a new entry in the music as game genre. You essentially fly a ship that shoots down anything that moves a la Geometry Wars. The catch? It’s all created by your music.

The Audiosurf of 2010

How does it work? Each song is a game. The game reads certain characteristics of your own music and then relays that as enemies on screen, their frequency, and the rate or power of your ship’s own guns. What this does is makes each song unique but each song plays exactly the same. Usually upbeat tempo (think trance) songs work best because there’s a lot of action. Sometimes it’s too much–it’s a blast. Have a song that crescendos? So does the action on screen. Is there a quiet pause after that crescendo? Uh, oh. A lot of enemies and no force behind your pea-shooter of a weapon. However, all is not lost.

Added brilliance

Instead of being a typical shooter there are a couple of neat innovations:

  • Shooting some enemies nets a POW reward. This in turn powers up your ship’s weapon.
  • Some enemies release VOL. This increases your songs volume and also draws more enemies to the screen thereby increasing your chance for failure and glory.
  • Little +1 symbols net you a score multiplier. (Oh, this game is all about points and rank.)
  • You can also protect yourself during the quiet lulls of the song by using bombs. They are a mechanic that is in every shooter: everything on screen is destroyed.
  • Your music generates bosses. Have fun with multiple bosses.
  • Of course, there are leaderboards. Always a win. Ranks too. Cumulative ranks. The higher you are the more perks you have at the beginning of each song.
  • Achievements.

Blue Light Special

So, where do we get it? It’s on Steam for $10 and can be had on XBLA indie for 400 MS points. The XBLA version is cheaper but there are a few more features (nothing major) with the PC version. The Steam version can be played with a mouse/keyboard combo or an 360 controller (only–but there are some simple workarounds for this).

Honestly, there are some songs that cause so much chaos on screen you have no idea what’s going on, but you do know what to do. It’s the best feeling to have your ship survive a huge onslaught of enemies, pulsing lasers, and seizure-inducing light effects.

Command and ConqueRED!

I have always been a huge fan of the C&C games. Command and Conquer 4 came out this week. I was contemplating purchasing it on Steam. At the bottom of the page, I saw this:

PERSISTENT INTERNET CONNECTION, EA ACCOUNT, REGISTRATION WITH ENCLOSED SERIAL CODE AND ACCEPTANCE OF END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT REQUIRED TO PLAY. SOFTWARE REGISTRATION IS LIMITED TO ONE EA ACCOUNT PER SERIAL CODE AND IS NON-TRANSFERABLE.

Thank you EA. The first three words helped me save $50. We’re reading about people raping Ubisoft all over the Internet about this. Why have we not heard anything about EA?

I’m going to be alarmist and state that PC gaming is going to look really different in the near future. It’ll be more niche, indie, and cheaper. I, for one, welcome it.

This makes me red.

Puzzle Quest 2? Sign Me Up!

Giantbomb has the new trailer posted for Puzzle Quest 2. As long as they don’t make it like Galactrix, I’ll be thrilled. Interesting take on the adventuring this time around.

If you are using a feed reader and don’t see video, you’ll need to make a visit.

The Road to the Blow

I don’t remember if Sony did this last year, but what is the point to playing a game if you know others are going to cheat? (He who has the most money wins–again.) You’ve already forked over $60 to play and now you’re going to fork over more to advance your play…before you’ve even given it a shot? The following was released on PSN today:

MLB 10: The Show – 6 Classic Stadiums ($9.99)
Unlock all Classic Stadiums for use in MLB 10: The Show!
File size: N/A

MLB 10: The Show – Franchise Funds Increase ($0.99)
Increase your Franchise funds by 20 million.
File size: N/A

MLB 10: The Show – Road to the Show Training Points ($0.99)
Increase your Road to the Show training points by 1000.
File size: N/A

The first item doesn’t bother me that much. The last two…

It works for the same reason SPAM does. People buy it. Of course, I guess if the pros can cheat to win, so can gamers. This just sullies one of the best gaming franchises for me. I will probably still get it, but I may set on it for a while.

In college, the TV show Cheaters was a guilty pleasure. I wish there was a videogame equivalent.