With the last day of the Steam sale yesterday, I checked myself and my wallet into a rehab center. Of course, the rehab center lets you play all the games you bought, so its effectiveness is debatable.

Regardless, we’re still in the summer lull. But now we have a ton to keep us busy before the Fall hits strike in a couple of months! Have a listen to our podcast from last week to get up to speed on what we’ve picked up and what we’re playing. I’m sure we’ll talk about it here too, I guess.

Saturday, 5:53 pm – Ricky

I don’t know why, but I’m turning into a bit of a weekend warrior with my updates. I have SOME time during the week, but it’s usually saved for gaming, friends, family, etc. I promise to recommit to these updates!

I’ve been working through how to livestream my gaming, and I have it all figured out. One, tiny problem though: My internet speeds blow. Actually, my download is fine, but at 1 Mbps upload, I couldn’t stream a still motion photo set properly.

So, while I wait for my current contract to run out (fiber internet is in my future!), I’ve locally recorded some play sessions from this past week and am putting them up to YouTube now… slowly… I’ll embed them here when they’re set! Hint: We play a game with purple dildos, and a classic zombie co-op!

Saturday, 8:20 am – matt

after listening to the podcast and hearing gavins affection for the skyward sword game he just finished (last zelda title i played was twilight princess but every entry up until that point as well) got me thinking of the game i most loved in recent memory and was also mentioned on the podcast, Metal Gear Solid 4.

now despite a funny joke about me hating albert due to the fact he has not finished it, its simply not true, i hate albert for a variety of other reasons think he’s a cool guy…i know its a long game but gavin devoted what?, 50 hours into zelda, albert clocking in over 150 (is that possible?) in skyrim, ricky finishing every game hes ever owned spending a lot of time in steam sales, think about how much time we still manage to cram in despite full time jobs and girlfriends/fiances/wives. back now back to metal gear…

as with the case of gavin with zelda and alberts love of saints row (and by the sounds of it fifa street), metal gear is a classic game for me that even today i could throw down the ps1 metal gear solid and have as much fun as any current release. not only playing a lengthy game, but a series of lengthy games takes true dedication, while playing through MGS4 and especially at the end it was crazy to think how much you care about the character in a videogame. knowing that metal gear 4 is also the “conclusion” of solid snake’s chapters in Hideo Kojima’s series was bitter sweet, as i wanted to see how things would unfold for this character i have assumed over several titles but not wanting it to ever end. now its difficult for normal people to understand but i know my gamentary crew will get it when i say the ending for MGS4 is not only of the greatest endings to a game, but one of the best experiences i have ever witnessed ever and that is why its a damn shame albert, and ricky for this matter, haven’t finished it. i gave a copy of the game to a friend who had never even played or knew of the series before playing 4 and agreed it was something he could not fathom as being possible, but he almost cried from a videogame.

no there is no purple dildo…

there is an added sense of commitment when playing games in the series you love. despite my lack of knowledge on diablo, i understand how important it is to others, and you can hear it in your voices the excitement when the third title released. returning to familiar locales, or characters just makes the game that much more special. its a delicate balance for successful franchises as the want to capitalize on popular titles by cashing in with sequels while the irons hot, but when time is taken and things are down correctly fans are willing to wait for the best possible product. just like tomb raider in the 90’s

Thursday, 6:45 pm – Albert

Poor poor Xbox… R.I.P. For some strange reason (knock on wood – giggity), my Halo Xbox 360 still ticks, but then again, I’ve definitely haven’t been making it work hard… I have Fifa Street for my 360 and… …. yeah. Still, perfect timing for a vacation Gavin! Plus now that the Steam sale has ended, I’m sure you have enough games to survive until the next iteration of Xboxes come out.

I bought QUITE a few games off the Steam Sale and I am definitely one of those players in the +$100 spent. That being said, I should be set for games for a LONG time. We’ll see how long that phrase lasts. To compare yourself to other people, here is another link to Reddit based on a survey on how much people spent on the sale.

With all those games, I tried From Dust first. I had read and seen a bit of footage from reviews when it came out and I really like the concept of the game but I couldn’t really get into it. The graphics seem mediocre and something is lacking on the control side. For example, since you are the “breath” or whatever, you are guiding your tribe over to different sections. The ability to transform ground or water is your main tool to get your tribes people over to their destination.

The problem is that you have a finite amount of resource you can “hold” and move over to drop it onto the land making a mound for instance. I understand that you cannot be able to hold a lot of land, but it is tedious to scoop up some land on one side of the map because that’s where the only island is and drop it over 10-15 times to make a bridge over to another island. After doing this 5-8 times in four maps, I thought I would come back to this game when I am in the mood for a god game. AND, you can’t skip cut scenes. DRIVES ME CRAZY.

I promptly left that game and have moved onto Terraria. So far, I’m 20 hours in and I have no intentions of moving on.  I have Max Payne 3 in my games library…. and I cannot tear myself away. I know, I know, Terrarias’ been around forever but since I’ve gotten into it since the sale, I cannot say enough good things about the game. It’s comparable to Minecraft, as many will tell you, but there are some notable differences.

For example, tools such as picks, axes, etc do not have a limited amount of uses before they break which makes the ability to mine much easier. It is much more combat focused it seems, and from what i’ve been reading there is an end game.  I haven’t tried multiplayer but i’m really excited to try it out as I can imagine two people working away at an empire speeding up the process. Those who are familiar with Minecraft will have no problems jumping into this amazing universe where the sky is the limit. And even then probably past that. I’ll probably pour more hours into this and we’ll see how it goes! Until then, the image below is how far I’ve come from being put in a world with a copper sword, axe, and hammer. Not too shabby I think.

Fort Alberto

Also, Zynga… Yikes. They need Run a Successful Mobile Gaming Business with Friends app quicktimes.

Thursday, 10:16 am – Gavin

A neat picture posted to Reddit, of someone playing Metro 2033.  No wonder there’s no HL3.

Getting ready for a bit of overseas vacation, so I’ll be noticeably absent for the next two weeks.  I’m bringing my phone with me, so I’ll be able to play Final Fantasy VI when I have a few minutes to spare in the hotel.  World of Ruin is eating my dust.

On the plus side, when I’m back, my dad will be there, so we’ll be able to give you a good review of Railworks Train Simulator 2012.  I’m anticipating overly complex rubbish, but we shall see.  Anyone ever play any games with their folks?  We all used to sit down and play the King’s Quest games together.  Then we said “to hell with it”, bought the hint books, and finished them substantially more quickly.

In other news, during last week’s podcast, we mentioned how Zynga is one of the biggest game companies in the world.  That may not hold true for much longer…

Toronto Star article

Anyway, have a great couple of weeks, and I’ll catch up with you all when I’m back!

Tuesday, 10:13 am – Gavin

RIP My Xbox (2008-2012)

We had a good run, but alas, you were not long for this world.  Like a thief in the night, the Red Rings of Death swooped in and stole your very essence of life.  All I have left are my memories, and a very large and cumbersome paperweight.

I’m going to try to fix it.  Not myself, obviously, but I’ll take it somewhere.  Just as long as I can still access Xbox Live at the end of it and not get booted for modifying the console.  New consoles are a pretty good deal, but I still don’t want to spend $300 for a new one when it’s approaching the end of its useful life cycle.  Also I don’t want to end up with a copy of Fable 3 or Modern Warfare 3 or what have you.  I’m always hesitant about used Xboxes as well because you never know who is lying to you and has modified it.  I also have a 40 gb hard drive that I’d rather not lose.

Nintendo has never let me down like this, which speaks volumes to Nintendo’s hardware reliability.  Sure, you had to blow into the cartridges to make them work occasionally (seriously – how is it that before the use of mass communication tools like the world wide web, text messaging, e-mails, or BBSs, we all knew that we had to blow into the cartridge to make it work?), but my 21 year old SNES still runs like a champ.

Oh well, not like I’m shy of games to play.  I ended up with the following after the sale:

  • Skyrim (gift)
  • Mirror’s Edge (gift)
  • Civilization V (gift)
  • Splinter Cell: Conviction
  • Fable: The Lost Chapters
  • Machinarium
  • Botanicula
  • Samorost 2 (no idea what this is – it came in the Amanita Bundle)
  • The Longest Journey
  • Universe Sandbox
  • Bastion
  • Dungeon Defenders
  • Railworks 3 Train Simulator 2012 (hells yes I did)

I spent a grand total of $32.01 on myself, and then a further $32.98 in gift transactions.  Safe to say that I made out like a total bandit this time around though.  Time to hibernate and not come out until I don’t know who’s president of the United States!

Monday, 10:21 am  – Albert

Steam Sale is over! I feel sad, but relieved as well. My first Steam sale went well, and I think I went crazy, but what’s life if not without some spontaneity?

I just installed Anno 2070, Crusader Kings II, From Dust, HOARD, Left 4 Dead 2, Stronghold 3 and Terraria. I have no idea what I want to play but I wanted to be ready for anything.

Besides that i’ve been waiting patiently for someone on my friend’s list to play Diablo 3 because I cannot play that game at all alone anymore. My wizard has decent damage but is able to stand up to a monster’s hit in the same way a toddler can take on a bus. Always kinda makes me think of this.

I hope everyone got what they wanted from Steam! Save up, because the next sale is only months away!

Monday, 8:49 am – Ricky

Double-update! Just got this email from a friend:

Hey hey,
Last night, I dreamed I wrote a forensic pathology exam.  The problem was, all of my answers on cause and mechanisms of death were based on the Elder Scrolls (“acute leukemia may lead to sepsis, caused by corprus, or chaurus egg infection”).  I got 56%.
My interpretation of this is that I’m spending too much time at work.
[friend’s name withheld to protect nerdiness]
Gamentary approves of this message.

Monday, 8:36 am – Ricky

I’ve been playing some Max Payne 3 over the weekend and ignoring Diablo 3. I don’t know how long that’ll last… I’ve also installed Crusader Kings 2, so modern-day illegal marriages ho!