Thursday, July 4, 2013

As The Steam/GOG Turns #1: Sales, Final Fantasy, and Mortal Kombat, Oh My!

Hello everyone, and welcome to my new weekly column, As The Steam/GOG Turns, the continuing story of two competing digital distribution services that consistently have some pretty good releases!

But before I get to that, I want to recap a couple of recent releases and give you an idea of hwat I am going to be doing with this column, at least for the game release recaps.

First up is Leisure Suit Larry In The Land of the Lounge Lizards Reloaded, the remake of the first Leisure Suit Larry game that is more like the cel-shaded graphical style of later LSL games.  Plus Al Lowe, the original guy behind the game, is helping with the remake in some capacity.  The price is $19.99 on both GOG and Steam, and I think you are best off waiting for this one to go on sale.  $9.99 would've been perfect, so when it gets below that in a Steam sale, that's when you can snag this one.

Second is Rogue Legacy, from Cellar Door Games.  It's an independent game that is a side-scrolling Metroidvania-esque platformer with roguelike elements.  The idea is that you have a genealogy element, like the hero you use passes on certain traits to his or her heirs, such as hypergonadism (i.e. you have better knockback of enemies), dwarfism (i.e. you are smaller and thus harder to hit), and gigantism (i.e. you are huge and thusly a LOT easier to hit).  It is $14.99 from both GOG and Steam.  I would recommend the game as it gives off a lot of replay value and that classic "just one more run" feeling that I got from my 2012 game of the year, FTL: Faster Than Light.  This one is one that probably you can afford to pick it up on Steam or GOG, but if you are like me and want to support these amazing indie developers, I would probably recommend paying $15 on their website, giving them an additional tip if you desire, which then gives you a Steam key AND a DRM-free copy of the game, so you get the best of both worlds.

And now, on with As The Steam/GOG Turns...

This week, GOG ceded to Steam because they are still holding their #noDRM Summer Sale, the last day of which is today, July 4th.  They brought back all the prior bundle deals, so if you haven't picked anything else up, go ahead and do so.

However, there is one preorder release that has hit both Steam and GOG, and that is the brand-spanking-new Rise of the Triad game that is coming out at the end of this month.  Drool.  I love me some old-school FPS action (as I played Quake III and Unreal Tournament till the cows came home), and this is pretty much more of the same gaming goodness.  It's $14.99 for the preorder on both Steam AND GOG, plus no matter where you buy the preorder you get the original Rise of the Triad, along with Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold and Blake Stone: Planet Strike, so it is a total win-win situation.  I know where I'll be picking up my copy of the new ROTT from, so get going, soldier!

So, Steam this week has got a ton of awesome releases this week!

First and foremost, Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition, the ultimate version of the hit 2011 game that rebooted the Mortal Kombat franchise, has finally, finally, finally made it to the PC.  This franchise is well-known for its gruesome fatalities, its roster of characters, and some of the most over the top fighting action you will ever see.  Mortal Kombat is the main reason we now have ESRB ratings on our game boxes, and this franchise has gotten a breath of fresh air.  The Komplete Edition even adds 4 new Kombatants, Rain, Skarlet, Kenshi, and guest Kombatant Freddy Krueger (yes, THAT Freddy Krueger, the Nightmare on Elm Street himself), 15 Klassic Mortal Kombat skins, and 3 Klassic Fatalities.  it's $29.99, and while I am in full support of paying full price for this game (and I think I am going to pay full price for the game to support fighting games on PC), I am afraid I may have to recommend waiting till it goes on sale.

Secondly is a game that was (amazingly) released on PC back in 1997 but got a revamping of sorts last year and every single fan said, in essence, "No Steam, no sale", and now they get their wish: Final Fantasy VII is now on Steam!!  This new version of FF VII boasts achievements, Cloud Saves (the punnage is amazing, as Cloud Strife is the hero of FFVII), a Character Booster feature so you can get through a difficult section with ease (glad they put that in), and it works on all modern PC operating systems.  I'm not sure if the SecuROM that was in place on the Square Enix Store version is still in place, but ya never know with these things.  $11.99 gets this game on a modern platform.  Great value, because the original PS1 version goes for way more than that on eBay.  This is recommended to buy now and not wait till a Steam sale.

Finally in the releases, I will take the opportunity to detail what is on Free Weekend on Steam this holiday weekend. Free Weekends are usually a game that is available to the public for free for the weekend and is pretty much on sale for the same time at a steep discount.  Usually this is more than likely going to be a separate post, but because this is the July 4th holiday weekend,  the Free Weekend title is already online: Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed.  Some of us already have this title (such as myself), so this one is a non-issue for me.  I can't wait to give this game a whirl, because I like Mario Kart-style racing games, and Sega and Sumo Digital almost always get the game's speed and pacing exactly right.

Now, what have I been playing of recent?  I mentioned in my introductory post yesterday that I've been playing the Poker Night games from Telltale. 

First, let me talk about Poker Night at the Inventory.  The game is interesting to say the very least, where you play Texas Hold-Em poker at a secretive club founded about the time of Prohibition called The Inventory.  Your opponents are Max, the rabbity-thing from the Sam & Max games, the Heavy Weapons Guy from Team Fortress 2, Strong Bad from Homestar Runner, and Tycho Brahe from Penny Arcade.  The game is hysterically funny (and please, if you are not sensitive to the profanity, turn it on.  The language filter is on by default for whatever reason), but the AI is godawful.  Even Tycho's geek humor cannot save this from the "Only-buy-it-on-Steam-sale-for-75%-off" bin.  Only good for maybe a couple hours, if that.

Next I will give my impressions of Poker Night 2.  This one is really good, the AI is much improved over the prior game (although that wasn't that hard to do...), and there are 2 different games you can select from in this one: You can play Hold-Em, as I am continuing to do, or you can play Omaha, which while it does have an element of luck, it is a game that has a mich higher skill ceiling than Texas Hold-Em.  Your opponents in this one are Ash Williams of Evil Dead fame, Brock Samson from the Venture Bros. cartoon on Adult Swim, Claptrap from the Borderlands games, and Sam (the detective dog from the Sam & Max games).  Your dealer this time is gLADOS from Portal.  How fun!  I love this one very much, and I totally lucked out last night as I was playing because I landed a 4 of a kind (the best hand you can possibly have in poker) against Brock Samson, and he was all-in so I summarily knocked him out.  That was amazing, let me just say.  $4.99 is a "impulse-buy-no-need0-for-it-to-go-on-sale" game and it is amazing.

That's all I'm playing right now, so I'll see you next week on As The Steam/GOG Turns.