January 2, 2017
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“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 SUPERHOT, Deus 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 4, Far 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.
December 22, 2014
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“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: Underworld, Magicka 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 Warhead, Go! 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.