Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Steam Holiday Sale and The Great Gift Pile

I hope everyone had an awesome holiday weekend and got what they wanted. I thought I did pretty well myself, and had a really nice time with my family and my girlfriend over the last two days. Today however, the day I'm writing this, I have been relaxing at home with nothing really productive to do. That's where Steam has come in. For those who don't know, Steam is a website and a client that allows you to download vast library of PC games for the set prices. Steam also has a history with sales... Crazy sales... Unbelievable sales...

The most insane sales they usually do are in both the summer time and the winter time, so the winter one is still going on as we speak. Just to give an example of the insanity: Yesterday, Sonic Generations (the NEWEST Sonic game) was available for a day for $10.19. Still not crazy enough? How about Indie RPG Bastion (a $14.99 game) for $5.09? Honestly, I could go on and on, but that's not what I'm here to discuss this time. Today I'm talking about their holiday achievement system.

Not only did Steam create an achievement system similar to the Xbox 360 achievement system/PS3 trophy system, but during the times of their biggest sales like this one, they have more special achievements that you unlock by completing these in-game, and sometimes from doing some simple tasks on their website. Unlike regular achievements that don't actually do anything, these holiday achievements grant you either a gift or a piece of coal. The gifts can range from coupons to actual free games, or pieces of coal. If you collect 7 pieces of coal, you can also exchange them for another free gift. They also allow you to trade these with other users, or give games as gifts. Honestly, it's a perfect setup and a great way to encourage others to play games they might not have otherwise thought of trying. I'm also happy to say the achievements are all do-able (some are very easy, while others are annoying as frack).

So far, I've gotten the holiday achievements for the following:

- Bastion: Beating the first stage. Already had the achievement before they made it a holiday one.

- Jamestown: Beating a stage using the third unlocked ship. In order to unlock this I had to replay quite a few levels after stage 2 and get about $8,000 in game to purchase. Wasn't too hard, but not too easy either. Felt just right.

- Looking in my inventory simply gave me another one.

- Joining the community group forum gave me one more.

Next, I'm going to try the game Killing Floor, which I'm hearing is a lot like if Left 4 Dead had a smaller budget, but was still fun as hell. After that, I think I'll try getting the achievement for the game Sequence (it was $1.24 today...). It appears to be a mix of Rhythm and RPG, which sounds very interesting to me. After that, I think I'll try the achievements for some of the indie games I got not too long ago (Cave Story +, ... And Yet It Moves, etc.). If anyone else is messing around with this, feel free to friend me or trade items with me if you like.

Steam ID: JDOmnislash

To sum it up, this is an awesome idea they have going, and an awesome way to spend the afternoon when you have nothing to do for the day. Go Steam! Wallets around the world hate you, but everyone else loves you, so it's cool! Haha, thanks for reading!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Been A While Since I've Updated

Life has just been one crazy spiral this month, but it's all gotten much calmer and everyone around has become better for it. My grandfather recently passed away, and wasn't doing very well all month beforehand. He was an amazing man and I know he's resting calmly now with Grandma. I'd like to get past all of this though and instead talk about what I've been up to this month.

Well, it really all started with the end of November. I'm already going to say right off the bat that I don't know if I'll be reviewing any of the games that came out these last few months (The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Gears of War 3, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Batman: Arkham City, Super Mario 3D Land, etc.). The reason for this is that there's simply been so many titles that it would actually be kind of strenuous to write them all. However, I think I will still write up a "Game Of The Year Awards" blog, as I think I could get enough of my thoughts out and still keep things going at a nice pace.

Outside of that horrible hobby that I somehow maintain a social life despite, I've also tried to remain caught up with all comics I've been frequenting (Amazing Spider-Man, Batman, Flash, Action Comics, Batgirl, Wonder Woman, Sonic, Wolverine and the X-men, etc.). I also finally got to read Joe Kelly's "I Kill Giants." What a beautiful graphic novel that turned out to be! Reading about superheros is always fun, but reading about people who are not can be just as enlightening, if not better. This book will grab you with its interesting plot, and have you wanting to cry by the end. I'm very glad Mr. Kelly was nice enough to sign my copy, as this is a story I am going to take with me forever. I'm giving this the highest recommendation I can give a graphic novel (it's seriously that good!).

Since I was fortunate enough to get off of work for the next entire week (thank you unused vacation days!), I'll likely be trying to see as many of my friends as possible, as I don't get to see all of them nearly as often as I used to, what with being so busy all the time. I'll also see if I can get to the movies at all this week, as there's actually plenty to see now (though I doubt anyone would come with me to see movies like The "Muppets" or "Hugo" (is that one even playing anymore?)), but I'm sure I could get a small group going for "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" or the new "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows." Always wanted to read the Dragon Tattoo books, as I've heard they are all very interesting in the mystery sense.

And with all of that, I hope everyone reading this has a wonderful holiday season (Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, sitting at the bar drunk, whatever you're into). And let me know if you get anything awesome, as I'll be happy to let everyone know what comes my way. Take care!