The Infinite Zenith

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Tag Archives: Discount

Steam Winter Sale 2016

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” – Josh Billings

The 2016 Steam Winter Sale ended about two hours ago at the time of posting, and today, while I’ve technically got the day off on account of a Bank Holiday, I’ve spent much of the morning working on work-related things. The last and only time I wrote about a winter Steam Sale was back in 2014, right before I took off for a two-week vacation in Taiwan and Hong Kong. During that sale, I picked up Valkyria Chronicles alone, and it turned out to be one of the best games I’ve ever played through. This time around, I decided to pick up Far Cry 4 and Sim City 4: the former was because I was interested in playing an open-world shooter, while the latter, I decided to reacquire on Steam so that I would not be required to insert a CD-ROM into my computer every time I wanted to build cities (and because my MacBook pro lacks a CD drive). Besides these games, there were no other titles that caught my eye. During the course of the sale, I also accumulated a large number of trading cards, crafting a level two Steam Awards badge, plus badges for SUPERHOTDeus Ex: Mankind Divided and Valkyria Chronicles in the process. Having beaten all of the games I bought through the course of 2016, in 2017, I imagine that between Sim City 4Far Cry 4 and Battlefield 1, plus the other titles I’ve been longing to play through again, I will have plenty on my plate from the gaming perspective to keep me occupied.

  • I’ve found that Steam’s current way of doing things during a sale, by offering trading cards for exploring one’s discovery queue (and then voting on community events) is the best way of doing things: no longer do I have to vote every eight hours or run the risk of losing cards. This year, the community event was The Steam Awards, where players can vote for their favourite games. Some of the titles I’m fond of, including Portal 2 and DOOM, made the finalists for the awards.

  • Just Cause 3 and Grand Theft Auto V remain high on the list of games I’d like to try out, but because they’re open world, I imagine that I would probably not find the time to beat them. At present, the only true open world games in my library besides Far Cry 4 is Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which I picked up during the Summer of 2013 for a song and still have not beaten yet.

  • With the crafting of my SUPERHOT badge, I managed to efficiently use all of the money in my Steam wallet. I entered the badge-crafting spree this year with exactly zero dollars and zero cents in my Steam Wallet, sold off all of my excess trading cards, and bought enough cards to complete three badges, returning my wallet’s funds back to zero. Besides the SUPERHOT and Mankind Divided badges, I finally got a badge for Valkyria Chronicles, as well.

  • I’m fond of including profile screenshots as the closing image to these posts mainly because they show snapshots of my Steam profile through time. Perusing earlier posts show how my page has changed through the years, and also give indication of how icons to the applications I use change. Here, I’m rocking the Alicia wallpaper I got from crafting the Valkyria Chronicles, and she remains one of my favourite characters in the game from both a gameplay and writing perspective.

My purchase of Sim City 4 presents with it an opportunity to do a new series of posts for 2017: I’ve done some basic strategy posts in the past, but have never really shown off my cities. Since I upgraded my computer back in 2013, my old cities were lost, and until now, I’ve not bothered to reinstall Sim City 4. Thus, to follow my quest to build a region-filling megalopolis, I will be dropping by on occasion to showcase how the city is doing, and initially, will be playing through Sim City 4 without any modifications. Of old, I used to have mods that enabled for better pathfinding, increased transportation options even further and provided new landmark buildings. Once I fill out a majority of the tiles in the region, I will reinstall some of the modifications and see about extending the game’s features further, but until then, it’ll be interesting to see how my cities progress. On the Far Cry 4 end, I will go through the campaign and explore Kyrat at a methodical pace. There will be a handful of posts about that, as well: it’s time to conclude reminiscing about this year’s Steam Winter Sale and begin enjoying the titles I’ve picked up.

Steam Summer Sale 2015

“The bargain that yields mutual satisfaction is the only one that is apt to be repeated.” —B. C. Forbes

Yet another Steam Sale is drawing to a close, right as Summer Solstice and Father’s Day kicks off. It’s officially summer now, and I have been enjoying the lengthening days leading up to summer’s start. This year’s sale came much earlier than it did in previous years (last year’s ended on June 30, and 2013’s was in late July), coinciding with the E3 2015 Expo. An earlier start to the Steam Sale means there’s more summer left to actually experience and enjoy one’s acquisitions, and this year, despite already having spent a small sum on the Wolfenstein bundle and Modern Warfare 3, there were some fantastic deals: I spent a total of not more than twenty Canadian dollars on Metro 2033: Redux, DeadCore, Just Cause 2 and Sakura Angels. Three of these titles lie within the scope of my interests. I’ve been wondering what Metro 2033 was like ever since beating Metro: Last Light back in 2013, DeadCore‘s a 3D platformer that I saw a preview of back in October, and one of my friends noted that Just Cause 2 was a game that practically paid for itself (he has roughly 91 hours in game and picked it up for the same price I did). I’ll see to starting Metro 2033: Redux in July, once I finish Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, and as for the other games, I’ll start them when I start them.

  • This year, my purchases were broken up into two rounds: on the first round, I picked up Metro 2033: Redux and DeadCore. One thing I have noticed that doing talks on Steam Sales is that it’s possible to see how software icons change over time, and if one were to take a look at the application icons for things like Steam and iTunes, they’re dramatically different from the ones from last year.

  • Then on Friday, round two of purchasing titles occurred. Just Cause 2 was a no-brainer, but why Sakura Angels, one wonders? I was swayed by the low price and hilarious reviews on Steam, and decided that the visual novel’s rather unique content outweighed any limitations it might’ve had. It’s supposed to be quite short, with all routes being doable within the space of four hours. I’ll go through this one later in the summer and see if I can’t provide a proper review on it. Unusual it may sound, no one’s unfriended me…yet.

  • I’ve finally gotten my Go! Go! Nippon ~My First Trip to Japan~ badge up to full level, and I’ve got my eye on levelling up the Sakura Angels badge at next opportunity for the kicks. Friday also was the week to the Flood of 2013: I was set to go visit the downtown core, but rising river waters closed off the downtown. This year, I was able to head downtown after the day’s research had concluded and celebrate my recipient of a scholarship, as well as make another donation to the flood redevelopment efforts.

  • I’ll swing by to do a talk on Deus Ex: Mankind Divided before the week is out: posting will come to a close today, since it’s Father’s Day today (besides being a cool, grey first day of summer). This year’s itinerary encompassed helping move new furniture and building a new desk, and today, we’re also to pick up a TV shelf, bookcase and a pair of desk chairs from IKEA, as well as siu laap (燒臘, or Cantonese-style roasted meat) for dinner. It’s as busy as it sounds, so I’ve taken this respite to get this here post up before heading out.

How I came to pick up DeadCore was quite an interesting story: the Steam Summer Sale 2015’s main event was a monster-hunting mini-game that featured unlockable milestones, and when certain objectives (number of players joined, enemies damaged, items used, mouse clicks registered, etc) were met, deals would unlock. On the second day of the sale, I noticed that DeadCore was offered, and realised it was the same game I was looking at back in October. There was one title that was not offered during the Steam Summer Sale 2015, and this was SUPERHOT: I’ve been following its development since 2013, and from the looks of things, the game will be available in the fourth quarter of 2015. I’ll pick it up onec the time comes; the delay in its release is entirely forgivable, since the developers have implemented so many new features into the game that it’s nigh-unrecognisable from the Unity prototype from 2013. Of course, to keep this wait exciting, I’ll have a graduate thesis project and four new titles to keep me occupied.

Steam Winter Sale 2014

“The well-satisfied customer will bring the repeat sale that counts.” —James Cash Penney

I believe this is the first time I’ve done a talk on the Winter Steam Sale: last year, I picked up Trials Revolution and Bioshock Infinite during the sale: the latter went on a 75 percent off sale, and I sold one of my old Salvaged TF2 crates for twenty dollars, which gave me sufficient funds to pick up Bioshock Infinite. At the time of writing, I’ve beaten the latter, and I’m probably a quarter of the way through the former, which is a consequence of the classic “Steam sale allows players to have more games than they can realistically play” syndrome. It’s Winter 2014 now, which means now it a good time as any to consider which of the titles I have actually made a substantial amount of progress in. The answer is not surprising: “very little”: between The Stanley Parable, Wolfire Overgrowth, Receiver, Skullgirls, Tomb Raider: UnderworldMagicka and Borderlands 2, I’ve played through and gotten several endings in The Stanley Parable, gotten to chapter 3 in Magicka and are presently level 12 in Borderlands 2. I’ve also become accomplished at reloading the weapons in Receiver, and as Overgrowth is still in development, I haven’t played through it much. Skullgirls and Tomb Raider remain completely untouched, and I added Crysis WarheadGo! Go! Nippon! ~My First Trip To Japan~ and DEFCON to my library through the autumn Adventure sale. Because I love shooters, Warhead is done, and I’ve also gotten halfway through Go! Go! Nippon!, so I should have some talks for those out at some point in the future.

  • Valkyria Chronicles was not on sale during the first day of the winter sale, and I was considering purchasing the game at full price had it not gone on sale. However, by a curious stroke of luck, the title went on sale for 25% off on Friday: I had arrived at the lab and was loading the textures to my cell model, as well as looking over a term paper that I was trying to finish before the deadline. Upon learning about the sale, my first inclination was to purchase the game.

  • However, Friday was anything but conventional: I ended up heading downtown with a friend so he could purchase an HG Tieren All Region Type, and we subsequently stopped for poutine. I subsequently proceeded to finish the paper, and before turning in for the evening, picked up Valkyria Chronicles. The game is now retailing at full price again, but I imagine that it could go back on sale during the encore sale on the final day.

  • I was able to get all of the cards on fairly short notice because I was crafting badges at a fairly high volume, enough to go from level 16 to level 19. Coupled with the purchase of Valkyria Chronicles and some trades, I got all the cards quite quickly. The setup this year, where one vote earns one badge, was much more manageable than the system employed in previous years. Thus, I could go watch The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies and enjoy a dinner with the extended family without any concern for missing vote deadlines.

  • At the end of the day, I’ve got Valkyria Chronicles on discount, the Holiday Sale 2014 badge and on top of that, are level twenty now. Leveling up from here on out will be exceptionally difficult, so aside from the level 5 Go! Go! Nippon! ~My First Trip To Japan~ badge, I’ve also set my sights on a level 3 Valkyria Chronicles badge. This will be the final post between now and 2015, so to all the readers, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 🙂

One would imagine that, with such a vast pile of games, I would probably pass on the Winter 2014 Steam Sale, and they would be correct, were it not for the fact that Valkyria Chronicles went on sale for 25 percent off on December 19. I’ve been interested in playing this game for quite some time (ever since I watched the anime last summer), although it had been available for the PlayStation III only. Back in November, a PC port changed all that, and the game is supposed to handle quite well on the PC. To this end, I aim to complete Tomb Raider before Valentines’ Day so that I may begin Valkyria Chronicles after that. The game is supposed to have around 40 hours of game time, so this will be fun, and I anticipate beating it (hopefully!) by the end of summer 2015. If I make it in a reasonable ways by the time the 2015 Steam Summer Sale rolls around, I’ll probably pick up one of Wolfenstein: The New Order or Call of Duty: Black Ops as my summer shooter, but we’ll see what happens. What I do know is that it’s time to roll out with the Edelweiss and decimate any Imperial forces that I encounter. On another, unrelated note, I’ve finally reached level 20 in Steam, and my remaining focus now is to acquire a level 5 Go! Go! Nippon! ~My First Trip To Japan~ badge for the sole purpose of bragging rights.

Steam Summer Sale 2014

The Steam Summer 2014 sale has been over for a little less than an hour, and we’ve now come a full circle from last year’s Steam Summer sale. Since then, much has happened from my end: I’m now rolling into a MSc of Computer Science in the fall, and half the summer has already elapsed. In that time, I’ve picked up the basics to Unity and learned some C# in the process. Last year’s Steam Summer sale, I picked up four titles and had a blast with them, although the backlog endures: in fact, I’ve only just gotten around to playing through Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Of course, this summer sale saw some impressive deals, as well, and overall, after some forty dollars worth of purchases later, I ended up with The Stanley Parable, Wolfire Overgrowth, Receiver, Skullgirls, Tomb Raider: Underworld, Magicka and Borderlands 2. This is rather more than I purchased last summer, and I doubt I’ll be able to beat everything by the end of this summer, or next summer, for that matter: I have enough games to last well through to next year. Thus, I am now presented with the classic conundrum: will I ever get around to playing some of the titles I purchased (or even finish the titles from last summer)? Given that Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Skyrim and Borderlands 2 are not typical AAA shooters with six-hour campaigns, it’ll be unlikely that I manage to succeed before the summer is over.

  • At the time of writing, I’m level fifteen, and are 24 XP points away from reaching level sixteen. The main incentive to level up now is to get at the extra showcase box so that I can show off my favourite achievements.

  • Compared to last year, I purchased more games, but I should also be good for the next while as far as buying things during Steam sales should go: there’s enough content here to last me at least two years (with the way I progress). I probably won’t buy anything during the Winter 2014 sale this year, as I more or less have everything that I was looking to buy since last year (MagickaTrials: EvolutionBorderlands 2).

  • After initial rumours that the teams were rigged to win fairly, Red Team won consecutively for four days in a row. I was assigned onto Pink Team after crafting a badge for Portal 2, and ultimately, Pink Team was able to disrupt Red Team’s streak. The setup allowed me to craft two Summer 2014 badges, which are cosmetic but do add a bit of customisation to one’s Steam profile.

  • With all these games on my plate, Battlefield 3 is something I will set aside for the present. Besides the new games, I’m also doing more pencil sketches and have finally made progress in my books from last year. Over the weekend, in a strange twist of déjà vu from last year, I went out for dinner at The Green Chili for Indian cuisine, then watched How To Train Your Dragon 2). I also finished building the HGUC Full Armour Unicorn Gundam (Destory Mode) model that I had acquired during Otafest 2014. We now reach the halfway point of summer, and with the time remaining, besides hanging out with friends for wings, I should also resume biking.

Now, that isn’t to say everything is doom and gloom: from the looks of things, I have enough games to last the next while. Moreover, games like The Stanley Parable, Magicka and Skullgirls can be played at a more casual pace. For the present, I’ll probably alternate between Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Magicka. At some point later this summer (say, late July to early August), I’ll start Borderlands 2 and Tomb Raider: Underworld (after I find a software for capturing screenshots: Steam Overlay doesn’t work with the latter). I will also find time to get back into Skyrim and finish the main quest line near the beginning of August. Over the course of the sale, I also was able to level up from rank twelve to rank fifteen by crafting badges. Through voting and contributing points to pink team, I contributed 24 points, acquired 26 cards to craft a level two Summer 2014 badge, and with that, I’m getting closer to rank twenty (which means an additional showcase for my profile). I understand that there was quite a bit of heated discussion on social media surrounding the whole “earn points for your team” mechanic, but at the end of the day, what really matters is the sale, and that for now, I should aim to complete at least Deus Ex: Human RevolutionMagicka and Tomb Raider: Underworld before term starts in September.

Steam Summer Sale 2013

There’s only a half-day left in the Steam Summer Sale 2013 at the time of writing. This event has become somewhat of a tradition, but this year was my first participation; I’ve long expressed a desire to get Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and a game that would be similar to Deadly Premonotion. This game would be fulfilled by Alan Wake. During the summer sale, Skyrim was offered at half-price, while the entire Alan Wake franchise enjoyed a 90 percent discount, I also purchased Audiosurf and, on the spur of the moment, Deus Ex: Human Revolution. No, I adamantly refuse to call it a Summer “Seal” for any reason. That joke is not amusing and was never funny to begin with. However, what is amusing is how excellent the deals are.

  • I originally intended to buy Magicka and Trials: Evolution alongside these games, but I came to the horrifying realisation that between just the four games here, I would probably never finish all of them. I’ll pick up these games during the Holiday Sale that comes in winter only if I somehow manage to make good progress in Alan Wake (Skyrim is an open-world game and will probably be something I do wherever I feel the want to explore to my heart’s content).

  • Badges for the Summer Sale 2013 must now be earned, and with the sale rapidly drawing to a close, I’ll need to hunt down people with the right cards so I can craft my Summer Sale badge. At the time of writing, I am at level 8 in Steam, and strange as it sounds, wish to get to level 10 solely for the purpose of getting a red ring around my level number.

In previous years, the lack of a powerful PC precluded the possibility of capitalising on such excellent deals. Specifically, I did not have the GPU power to make the most of all these sales, and lacked the RAM to keep the game running alongside my OS. There is one final note I have: the day before the Steam Summer Sale 2013 kicked off, all of the Half-Life games were on discount, allowing me to buy Half-Life 2: Episode 1 and Half-Life 2: Episode 2 at 2.49 USD each. As noted on one of my earlier posts, a bus ticket costs more than that. During the Summer sale proper, the episodes somehow cost more than they did previously. With this in mind, it’s not difficult to understand why Valve has such a number of repeat customers.