Monday, February 21, 2011

Steam Holiday Sale 2010

An actual train of thought from a few weeks ago: "I wonder if I should try out FlatOut 2? Hold on, do I own FlatOut 2? Didn't I buy it during the Steam sale? Holy shit, yeah, there it is! Fuck." Time for a little holiday sale recap, maybe?

This year's sale kicked off on December 20th with more daily deals than ever, a bunch of crazy-cheap indie bundles and publisher packs galore, all presented in a nifty flash-based sale catalogue. This year I was hoping to grab Oblivion and Super Meat Boy for cheap, keeping spending to about €40. So, how did that all go?

Day 1

Super Meat Boy €3.50

I grabbed this one before the store front was even up, worried that such a deep discount on a pretty recent release could only be a mistake. I'm on World 2 at the moment, really digging the look and the music and it's nice to see my investment into a wired 360 pad is finally paying off. Much like N+, which I've played a fair bit of lately, it's hard as balls, but super-addictive. Finally figuring out the strategy for getting through a seemingly impossible level and then pulling off is the most satisfying thing in the world.

F.E.A.R. €2.24

I think the first I heard of FEAR was through a Quicktime trailer on a PC magazine cover-mount in 2005. It looked pretty cool, but there wasn't a hope in hell it'd run on the shitty Packard Bell I had a the time. Better late than never.

Peggle Complete Pack €4.79

After playing both Peggle Extreme and the free WoW-themed version, I was confident I had had my fill of Peggle; It was fun in a mindless, casual kind of way, even a little addictive, but there was no way I was forking out even €10 to get more of it. Dammit though, Popcap got to me somehow; As soon as I saw both games for less than a fiver, I was thinking "Hell yeah, I want to buy Peggle!". Bastards.

Magnetis €0.50

Originally a €5 WiiWare, that I was kind of interested in, how could I pass it up for 50 damn cents?

Day 2

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light €3.60

Who'd have thought that that unplayed Steam copy of Tomb Raider Anniversary would have come in so useful in the end? Thanks to owning that already, I was able to nab this for €3.60 instead of €5.10. Another sweet deal on a pretty recent game.

Puzzle Quest €1.50

When everyone was ranting about how awesome this Bejewelled-fuelled RPG was, I thought they they were insane. Since then though, I've come to know the joy that is match-three gameplay and I'm quite eager to try this out.

The other deal from Day 2 I was strongly considering was The Witcher for a paltry €3.99. Knowing that in all likelihood, I wouldn't get around to playing it before next year's sale, and trying to stay within budget, I took a pass on it in the end.

Day 5

Overlord II €1.35

In a continued (and rare) showing of self-restraint, I managed to resist any purchases for a whole two days until I snagged a copy of Overlord II for a little over a Euro on Christmas Eve. To date, I've only played a few hours of the original, but it was pretty damn fun. No way I could pass up on the sequel for that price.

Day 6

FlatOut 2 €1.00

Having bought it in 2009, I've only got around to playing the first FlatOuta bit of it in the last few months. What better time than now to add the sequel on top of a backlog so immense that the games on the bottom have formed into diamonds? :D Eh, the first one seemed like a pretty solid racing game and I'll buy pretty much any thing for €1 or less. Speaking of which...

Caster €0.89

I was planning to buy this along with a bunch of other cheap, non-daily deals to round out the sale. Seeing as I was only spending a Euro on FlatOut 2 though, what was the harm in another eighty nine cents?

More reckless fiscal policy after the jump.
Day 9

RUSH €1.52

Another WiiWare port, this time of the 600-point Rubik's Puzzle Galaxy: RUSH form the Toki Tori guys. I was already going to get this on the last day for the existing €2.50 price tag, but at this price they were practically giving it away.

SimCity 4 Deluxe €2.49

The only Sim City game I ever played was 2000, which came pre-installed on an old Compaq Presasrio we got in 1998. I wasn't particularly good at it, but man, did I dig the funky MIDI soundtrack. I've been thinking of picking up a used copy of 2000 for a while to have another go at it, but for that price I thought I might as well try this one instead. Hopefully it doesn't place too much emphasis on laying down underground pipes. Ugh, fuck those pipes.

Day 11

Amnesia: The Dark Descent €3.60

Actually a deal from Day 10, I managed to get hold of this at the very last minute after the Day 11 deals didn't really do anything for me. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to find this remotely frightening, now that that element of the game's been talked up to astronomical proportions by the gaming press, so I'm hoping there's a decent game in here too.

Day 13

Indie 2D Pack €4.49 (Bullet Candy, Galcon Fusion, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, Super Laser Racer, VVVVVV)

Knowing that there weren't going to be any more new deals on the final day of the sale, it was finally the time to open the cash floodgates and grab everything I had my eye on since day one. First up was a ridiculously cheap pack of indie games including Geometry Wars, which I've wanted to try out for ages and VVVVVV, which looked like a lot of fun from the Giant Bomb quick look.

I'm not sure I'll be able to get into Geometry Wars as much as many others have, never really caring about high scores in games, but I'm having fun with it so far and loving crazy, neon, vector-style graphics.

Tropico Reloaded €1.74

I've never been particularity good at strategy games, but running my own banana republic seemed like an interesting prospect, especially for the asking price.

Flight Control HD €1.36

A Day 10 deal, I gather this is one of the games all the kids are playing on their space phones. I thought I'd give it a go for the low asking price.

Toki Tori €1.12

I've had the WiiWare version of this since 2008; I think I'm somewhere in the last world at the moment. The last run of levels get pretty damn tough, but it's an enjoyable, well-designed little puzzler and solving one of those later levels by yourself always makes you feel like the smartest person in the world.

Armed and Dangerous €1.99

I know precious little about this, but I remember someone on some podcast said it was pretty rad at some point. If that's not a top recommendation, I don't know what is.

Zeno Clash €3.00

The last daily deal I picked up. Lots of people seem to like this and/or are freaked out by the world it takes place in. I'm always down for a little freakiness, especially for €3.

If my calculations are right, that comes to a total of €40.68, pretty spot-on as far as my budget was concerned and a damn nice haul too.

I'm kicking myself now though that I didn't get Oblivion for €9.99 about midway through the sale. Having played a lot of Morrowind last year, I'm sure I'd get my money's worth at that price, but I was hoping to get it for a little cheaper, so I passed on it at the time. I was hoping it'd pop back up during the last day of the sale, but alas, it was nowhere to be seen. I guess there's always the Summer Sale to look forward to.

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