Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Playing Games on the Cheap

I balked at every new game console where the games were US$59.99.  I'm not the kind of person to enjoy that, even though I spent a small fortune with the Atari Jaguar, and had hundreds of games for the 8-bit Atari computers.

Having a Macintosh from 1993 to 2017 kept me focused, especially when I stopped buying desktop machines.  Steam arrived when I had my intel-based polycarbonate MacBook G3 and I took advantage of Portal and Half-Life 2 for free.  I bought very few games because few developers invested in Mac OS X.  I bought Unreal, Unreal Tournament, UT 2003 (a mistake), UT 2004, and missed out on UT3 when some company wouldn't license their technology for Mac or Linux.

Having had the "casual gamer" Omen by HP laptop computer since April, I started off with Steam--sort of reviving my purchases.  Of course, I didn't use cloud saves since my connection was poor, so I had to start fresh.

At this moment, Steam shows 47 games, which includes some VR variant, which I cannot play.  I don't believe I exceeded US$19.99 for any of the games, including The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition.

As I like to release frustration with arena shooting games, Toxikk has become my new favorite for starting a quick game.  The full game was a little over US$5.00 and it has a lot of what made Quake III Arena and Unreal Tournament 2004 fun.  If you want something with a plot, this isn't it.

That game would be Life is Strange 2.  It's so serious at times, I had tears in my eyes at one point.  I've seen the underbelly of the west coast since moving back in 2014, and this game seems too familiar.  It's so well made that has a feeling of reality, although the voice acting might not be what it should be.  (The Galaxy on Fire series of mobile games have the worst English voice acting ever.)

Metro 2033 Redux and Metro: Last Light Redux are similarly serious but seem more of the fantasy shooter variety.  It's good to see some video games that are based on books.

I've spent a lot of time with UT2004 and UT3 lately, but continue to go to Toxikk for quick matches.

Life is Strange 2 is taking a lot of time.  I've tried to go back to Half-Life 2 and the rest of the Valve Software games but my heart just isn't in it since my progress is gone and I have to fight through each area again.  I'd rather spend the energy on something else.

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is somewhat appealing, especially since the Spyro games aren't going to be available to me any time soon.

I've given up on Gone Home and A Story About My Uncle far too quickly.   I will likely be bored and try them again.

I tried the free version of Counter Strike: Global Offensive but I'm just not sure I care.

Picked up the Freemium Asphalt 9: Legends and it's not bad with the controller and it's so small, since it's a mobile game that almost anyone could fit it on their machine.  It could use some powerful CPU/GPU combination, though.  I should be thankful for Windows Phone, even though it isn't really available any longer.  The Asphalt series is good fun and I now have three of them.

Update 2018.12.06: I saw an article saying that Epic Games was starting a store, so I downloaded the application and found that the newer, trial of Unreal Tournament was available.  I tried it for one day and the next day they announced that they are canceling it but that they are going to make the earlier games available through the store.  Since I bought them through Steam, I'm not sure what good that will do for many.  At least, Toxikk is available.

Update 2019.01.11: I've picked up two new games for free from the Epic Games store: Subnautica and What Remains of Edith Finch.  They both seem good.  It's interesting that they're going to offer a different game for free every two weeks.

On the other hand, I picked up Star Trek Timelines for Windows/Steam and it is pretty difficult to play with the mouse, as it hasn't really been converted from the touch screen game that it is on iOS and on Android.  It would probably be okay in tablet mode on the Lenovo Flex 3 that I once had, since it had a touch screen, but it's frustrating with the mouse.  What once fit on 480x320 is now on 1920x1080 and nothing has changed in the screen usage.  As well, the battery usage would be horrible as it keeps the inbuilt GPU and the audio busy, even when I'm not playing it, mostly as it does on mobile devices.

Update 2019.02.02: It's time for Chinese/Lunar New Year and Ubisoft has a sale, including a very free Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China.  I also ended up with Watch_Dogs Complete (or was it Gold?) Edition and Watch_Dogs 2 for decent prices, although I exceeded US$20 for Watch_Dogs 2.

With the UPlay application, I am now acquainted with three different stores/launchers, plus the EA Origin launcher I used for a brief time on Mac OS X.  Sadly, Steam does something to make it difficult to use controllers--even their own controller, which is a magnificent hodpodge of mouse and controller and keyboard in one.

Update 2019.02.17: Just added GoG store and launcher.  They seem to be more for independent gamers and especially, those who are growing to hate Steam.  I'm finding way too many interesting games, and not enough time to play them. By the way, GoG is from Warsaw, Poland and therefore, you will probably incur extra charges for currency exchange.

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