Well, look at that: we finally missed a week! It was bound to happen eventually.

So, this week, let’s take the bi-annual challenge: Can you avoid the Steam summer sale? I think the general consent is that the deals aren’t all that juicy this year. I’ve picked up a game for Bert (Rebel Galaxy). Am I doing this right?

Wednesday, 8:56 am – Gavin

I used to really enjoy the Steam sales.  Not only for the acquisition of games, but also because it was just fun to log on at 9:00pm and see what games were on sale in the Flash deals.  It was doomed to be unsustainable though, because there’s no way I could keep that up long-term, and I imagine that there are many gamers in my place.

I fire up the Steam storefront every now and then, and it just doesn’t look all that appealing to me.  I’ve got my Xbox One now and enough games to satisfy me accordingly, and my laptop just can’t handle the beef of some games, so I have to look for older ones.  Basically, nothing post-2013 is guaranteed to run well – I even have to run Rocket League at the most minimum setting available.  The Xbox One isn’t the most powerful unit out there, but it satisfies for now.

I’ve been headlong into The Witcher 3 for a few hours now, and I’ve just made it to Velen.  I am enjoying the game so far, with a few caveats.  The overworld is terrific and quests seem to have purpose beyond just “do this thing to advance the story”.  That said, crafting, alchemy and inventory management are pains in my ass, and they represent a not-insignificant amount of the game.  I feel as though a lot of content is gated off simply because I don’t want to get into trading and crafting materials acquisition, as I find that stuff boring.  Just let me buy a weapon that is better than the one I have, or let me find it somewhere on the way.  Picking up multiple Velen Longswords, where one is better than the one you have right now and one is worse, that’s just irritating.  I hope that it streamlines itself later (or at least feels as much).

Also, having just come off Rise of the Tomb Raider, the cutscenes and facial animations in Witcher 3 really don’t look good at all.  Perhaps it’s because ROTTR set the bar really high, but nevertheless, the fidelity is pretty poor compared to ROTTR.

I look forward to whatever this game brings me!  I have about two months to go through it, as end of August is Deus Ex: Mankind Divided time.

Tuesday, 3:24 pm – Ricky

I also  picked up the annual Battle Pass for the 2016 International. We’re already planning our two-day watch-a-thon August 12 and 13. Even though I don’t play as much as I used to (or, at all, really), Dota2 is still my favourite “esport” to watch. The quality of the production has increased each year, and they really do treat it as “the superbowl” of video games. Looking forward to watching some pixels kick the shit out of other pixels!