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[Steam] The Fabled Potato Pack Lives!

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by HI Mana, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. HI Mana

    HI Mana Member

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    Is there a better company out there right now than Valve? A company who knows their fans, listens to their concerns, and showers them with freebies, deals and extras, like this weekend.

    Most gamers know that Steam holds a few major sales every year; 4th of July, Black Friday/Cyber Monday, and Christmas. Last year's Christmas sale included many "Indie Game Bundles", generally 4-5 games of a single genre (rhythm games, puzzle games, adventure games, etc.). The list of bundles was leaked online several days in advance of the sale, and included one massive bundle composed of the very best Indie games of wide ranging genres; everything from survival horror to ridiculously hard platforming to tower defense to this. Sadly, come sale time, out of 13 leaked bundles, the mythical "Potato Pack" was nowhere to be seen.

    Turns out, the joke was on us. The potato sack is now avaliable in honor of April Fool's Day, complete with a Team Fortress 2 extra.

    Valve, you magnificent bastards. This is an awesome deal; hell, it's 2/3 the cost of a modern game, and you'll be getting 13 outstanding games that kick the crap out of 90% of mainstream, big developer games today.

    Also, if you want to purchase any of the games individually, they're all 50% off this weekend.

    http://store.steampowered.com/sub/7586/
     
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  2. HI Mana

    HI Mana Member

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    A quick update for anyone who cares; looks like this bundle is promoting the EARLY release of Portal 2; all of the games now have special GLaDOS/Portal themed levels now.

    http://www.kotaku.com.au/2011/04/portals-opening-all-over-steams-potato-sack-indie-games/

    Just an awesome idea, and really well executed. It's pretty scary to think about how much control Steam has over your games when it can ninja download secret updates like this, but on the other hand, I'll be damned if this didn't get me a little geeked for Portal 2, a game whose release I've been dreading.
     
  3. Coach AI

    Coach AI Member

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    Why would you be dreading it? I'm looking forward to it. Just finished my new Sandy Bridge i5 build and this will be the first 'new' game I test it on. Should be fun.

    Steam had Bioshock 1 and 2 each on sale for 75% off today (er, yesterday). They have some great sales.

    I'm hoping Civ 5 is going to be part of this 2K sale over the next couple of days.
     
  4. Uprising

    Uprising Member

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    Yep, it's a big 2K sales week.
     
  5. Coach AI

    Coach AI Member

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    Borderlands:GOTY pack for 7.50! That's niiice.

    PLEASE be Civ 5 tomorrow! I mean...it's gotta be, right? ....
     
  6. HI Mana

    HI Mana Member

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    SB i5-2500K is a beast. I just built my own rig a couple weekends ago and have been plowing through Starcraft II and Shogun 2 with no OC and stock cooling; can't wait until I have some more time to get a water cooler hooked up and start fiddling with some overclocking.

    To me, the original Portal is as close to gaming perfection as I've ever experienced; with zero hype or advertising, a tiny development team, and serving as basically a bonus tech demo in the Orange Box, it has managed to spawn countless imitators and nerd-culture references. Furthermore, it had one of the greatest atmospheres in gaming ever (IMO), and is one of the VERY few modern games that doesn't overstay its welcome, going out with a true bang, never feeling repetitive or running out of ideas.

    Portal 2 seems like it will be a superior game in all facets; it will be longer, have much more money and resources behind it, a massive marketing campaign, and multiplayer support from the best developer in the business.

    Yet I can't help feel that everything that made Portal great is missing in this new iteration. For me, Portal was special because it was essentially a monologue; a one-sided conversation with GLaDOS reinforced by the deadly puzzles you were completing. Chell was utterly alone, and yet never lonely. This was a game that made you feel compassion for a cube with a heart on it, and eventually ripped it away from you in a loss more shocking than Aeris in FFVII.

    Throughout the game, you gradually come to the conclusion that GLaDOS is either insane or faulty, and yet you can't truly hate it; it is your only companion and guide, even if it is leading you to your death. It is not an evil thing, but simply a victim of its programming, as trapped in the decrepit Apeture Science building as the player.

    Portal 2 is hyping up its multiplayer, where you play as one of two robots, designed specifically for GLaDOS's games. Having that second player there, and removing the emotional attachment of playing as a human simply destroys the inherently fatalistic and lonely existence of the former that made the atmosphere truly one of a kind. Similarly, adding in a friendly guide robot, audiotapes and NPCs destroys that sense of loneliness and required self-discovery that the first game did so well.

    Finally, the marketing of the game gives me quite a bit of pause. Here in San Diego, there are billboards and side panels on buses, even in very surfer heavy areas of town; obviously Valve is counting on this game to do gangbusters. Yet with great expectations comes enhanced scrutiny, more top-down interference, and more rewrites to the narrative. Back when it was a throwaway bonus project, Portal was allowed to have a singular, direct voice; do you really think middle managers and CEOs who have poured millions into this project as its new signature IP will let the story stay untouched? The greater length of the game also concerns me; will there truly be enough inventive puzzles to not make the game feel repetitive. Stealing a like from Yahtzee Crenshaw, the original game was a perfectly timed comedic fart; executed and whisked away before any aspect became too rancid. I worry that Portal 2 will become an extended colon cleanser; longer and funnier in places than that short but sweet original, but when you stretch it out too much (such as this comedic simile), unpleasantries start popping up.

    I fully expect the game to be great; this is Valve, after all. But I just find it extremely hard to believe it will be anything close to the original Portal, and that GLaDOS will follow the Freddy Kreuger career arc of becoming this wisecracking, deadpanning big bad that will inevitably help you out at some point only to betray you again, rather than the uncomfortable, slightly sinister PRESENCE it was during the first game.
     
  7. chestr

    chestr Member

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    If I could I would gift you my steam copy of Civ 5. Just couldn't enjoy it and it started slowing down so bad later in the game (not the gameplay but the game itself).

    I wish steam would let you gift games that you bought but don't want anymore. Similar to a real CD/DVD
     
  8. HI Mana

    HI Mana Member

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  9. Coach AI

    Coach AI Member

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    Not 75% like the others, but I'll probably still bite...
     

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