No doubt many of you Steam gamers have noticed the new feature available on Steam: In-Home Steaming - The ability to stream games between computers on your home network, a feature that I've been waiting for. Sure it has been available for a while (through Steam Beta opt in), but it just wasn't viable until now. But now we can play our Steam libraries remotely, provided your home network isn't a stinker. Also, those of us who choose a non-Windows OS can finally play all of our Steam games without the need for often messy compatibility layer software (Wine, PlayOnLinux/PlayOnMac, etc.). A dream come true. There are some bugs, but the overall goal of the project has certainly realized.
Continue reading Stream Steam Games Over Your Network... And More?
Today I mourn the passing of a few close friends. For years they have been with me, through good times and bad, and though at least one of them was responsible for more than one bad time, there were more good than bad, I think. That was confusing. Anyways, I know that all of them could be counted on for at least one reasonably good game.
I discovered their passing this morning as I worked on what I should have "on deck" in my revised gaming room (Room 1, v2). I had finally settled on PS2, NES, SNES, Genesis, T-16, and N64 (Dreamcast and Xbox are stationed in Room 2, v2). After fixing the mass of wire-spaghetti making sure the proper hook-ups were hooked up I discovered the tragedy. My Sega CD, Genesis model 1, and Turbografx CD had passed onto a better place. I did what I could, but in the end there was no saving them. They have gone Home, and I will have to come to terms with this on my own.
The viewing will be scheduled Sunday, September 15th at approximately 11 am EST. As per their last requests, games will be placed in their trays/slot. They will be Sonic CD, Final Zone II, and StarFlight (for the Sega CD, Turbo CD, and Genesis, respectively). The funeral has been scheduled to take place in my basement, where they will be entombed in my console display shelf (since they are inanimate objects) and dusted not less than once a month.
Goodbye, my friends.
[UPDATE] - It seems the Turbo CD isn't totally dead, but is unable to play CD games. It look like the CD drive gear has stripped out, which is the death knell for this particular system. Fortunately I can still play regular Turbo games on it (and through composite), so for now it will stay next to my SNES.
Well, the Labor Day sale has come and gone (as well as my B Day) and I am spent. I picked up a lot of great games and am looking forward to many a long gaming session. However things certainly didn't turn out the way I thought it would. Hm, that was a bit ambiguous. Let me be more specific. While I did receive an iTunes card as a gift, it was a $25 card instead of a $15 card. Add that to the $8 credit that I already had and that adds up. Couple this with the awesome Labor Day sale (tons of .99 cent games) and I nearly had a brain hemmorage. Anyways, here are the games (in no particular order):
Across Ages - It's billed as a Zelda-clone, but is really just another KRPG. Fun, but not Zelda.
Silent Hill The Escape - a touch-centric title that I do not like. Out of the lot it is the only one I regret buying. Luckily, it was only .99 cents.
Zenonia Series (1, 2, and 3) - I had so much fun with part 3, I ended up buying the first two. All are fast-paced Secret of Mana-style games.
Illusia - another great Gamevil title, this one a Popful Mail-style game.
Dead Space - only .99 cents, and one of the best new gaming experiences I've had all year. It makes me want to grab the console titles.
Hyper Crush - A Mario-type platform based around an electronic band. I can barely describe it.
Zombie Infection - a Gameloft third-person shooter with zombies. I like killing zombies, and it was .99 cents.
Resident Evil 4: Platinum - I've read it's not the full game, more like a greatest-hits version. It controls well and was only .99 cents.
Vay - surprisingly, this was the only traditional JRPG that I picked up (and $5 at that).
Shadow Guardian - another Gameloft third-person game, this one clearly modeled after Uncharted. Fun, and .99 cents.
Gangstar: Miami Vindication - the second Gangstar game, this one quite good looking and fun. It was not on sale, but I had so much fun with the demo.
SNES Player - this isn't a game, but rather an app that allows you to listen to spc and rsn files (direct sound rips from SNES games). What can I say, I'm a dork.
Noise Entertainment System - plays nsf (NES) and gbn (Gameboy) sound files. Very cool.
Aurum Blade Free - Yep, free. For the whole game. Cutesy-Diablo/Secret of Mana game.
Inotia 2: Eternity - Like Zenonia 3, there is a free and paid version of the game. Unlike Zenonia 3, there are a ton of ads in this game. If it turns out to be good, I'll buy the full version (like I did with Zenonia 3).
Guardian Saga - I must have picked this up the single day it was free, because it is now $1.99. It's basically a Dragon Warrior game, 8-bit graphics and all.
Fallen EP-1 - Third person survival horror with traditional controls and some touch-centric actions scenes (bashing open a glass window with a fire extinguisher). A bit annoying, but still fun.
GTA Chinatown Wars - Basically a port of the PSP version, but with touch. While I did buy both versions of this game (DS and PSP), I decided against this one. Not really for any problems with the game, but since I've already bought it twice...
Bug Panic - you wonder around a forest, blasting giant, cute bugs with bombs. Great controls, lock ons, and charging attacks make this game stand out. I would have bought it if was cheaper and had more content.
1112 - an episodic touch-adventure game. It was clearly made more for the iPad than the iPhone/iTouch, but it still looked nice. Far too short (from what I hear), a relatively large price tag, and the fact I kept getting stuck in the bathroom kept this one away.
Well, that's it (for now). I'm knocking around an idea for doing a semi-regular feature about iOS and Android games (I'll be getting an Android phone in October) to maybe give some more love to some of these great titles. I don't know. It'll depend on how bad my online class gets.
Ah, the blessed silence. Relatively speaking, that is. While I do still have Life to contend with (which includes wife, kids, work, house, etc.), I now have a small lull between semesters. A week to be exact. In the past to celebrate this event I would typically pick a game from my backlog to conquer and not beat it (usually an RPG), I would outline several articles, write them, then stick them in my articles folder, then I would look through my collection (pause to think back to when it was larger), then pick out a few titles to play when I wasn't not playing the RPG I picked out earlier.
However, I've decided to try something different. Seeing that this coming up semester is my last, I am going to break tradition, first by not playing the copy of Final Fantasy IX that I brought up from the basement this morning. Next, I will look over the articles I've written, pick out a few and spruce them up a bit, them drop them in my blogs (not all at once, though). Then, I will start thinking about the speedrun I've been planning (with non-traditional games) and narrow down the list. Finally, I will change my RFG link from the boards to the main page, which will guarantee more comments on the blogs (which I've already started doing).
Don't call it a comeback (as I was never really here to begin with), but rather a slight refocus.
Happy Holidays everyone!
It has certainly been a long time, but it feels nice to write again. The fifty-plus hours of work coupled with the full time school schedule and the constant madness of dual-child rearing has paused briefly, allowing me to leave more than a fifteen word comment once a week. How do I spend this winfall of time? Do I update my own stale website or post a blurb on the myriad of gaming blogs on the Internet? No, instead I go to one of the precious few sites that shares my love of gaming, collecting, and general good fun. I'm talking about you guys. Seriously, I swear.
Like many of you fellow parents, most of my Christmas money goes to the Santa fund, which provides more entertainment Christmas morning than I can properly explain. The wife and I rarely exchange gifts, and when we do it's more likely to be something simple, like a night on the town. This year was different. Due to my new job (and the massive amount of hours I work) we decided to give each other $40 to do with as we see fit. I didn't even need to think about what I would spend it on, it was only a question of where. I saw the answer Monday night before bed - Steam.
December 20th saw the start of a game sale that rivals clearance racks. Nearly all the games on Steam (over 1,400 at this point) are at least 10% off, with many well over 30% and some 50% to 75% off the original price, and to top it off there are daily deals which often give ludicrous discounts. Any doubts I had about digital distribution went out the door instantly, especially since most of the games will work without an Internet connection (a fact I was unaware of). This afternoon I finally snapped up some titles, all which I will add to my collection soon. All the games are followed by the sale prices with the original in parentheses. They are:
Red Alert 3 - $4.99 ($19.99)
Far Cry 2 - $4.99 ($19.99)
Half-Life 2: Episode One $3.99 ($7.99)
Half-Life 2: Episode Two $3.99 ($7.99)
Red Faction: Guerilla $9.99 ($19.99)
Stalker Bundle (both Call of Pripyat and Shadow of Chernobyl) $4.99 ($39.99)
Sid Meijer's Pirates! $2.49 ($9.99)
Supreme Commander 2 $3.74 ($14.99)
X2: The Threat $2.49 ($4.99)
Commander Keen $3.74 ($4.99)
Sure, I went over a bit, but I was always the one to push things. Fortunately the wife just rolled her eyes and walked away. Now the only problem is the finding time to play them. Too bad I couldn't get some of that for Christmas this year.
Well, I've finished Silent Hill: Origins for the PSP. I did enjoy it, despite its various glaring flaws, and planned immediately to restart the game and start working on some of the unlockables. It hit me about five minutes after I started. What hit me, you ask?
The Post-Game Blues (PGB).
PGB. This is the name I give that very special form of almost-depression that strikes me after I finish a game that I really enjoyed. It doesn't happen much these days (which speaks either on my gaming habits, my taste in games, or the quality games today), but when it hits, PGB is quite a bit more intense than when I was younger. When deep in the effects of PGB I can be expected to loaf around, going about my daily activities normally, but basically in a state of confusion as far as gaming is concerned. I want to play something, but I am unable to focus enough to actually play something.
In the past I beat this by organization as well as getting help from my computer. I own a copy of Game Collector (basically a database for your game collection), and when I used to get PGB, I would boot it up and select "Random Game". This solved my problem instantly. Now... things are different. I'm a parent of two children under 5 and a full time student. What time I get is usually on my PSP, or on my junky laptop. I do have CFW installed, so my choices are not as limited as they could be, though.
Is this a common thing among us gamers? Maybe older gamers, or is it just me?
I wrote this in response to a posting on a message board where the user wrote: "Being a 'hardcore gamer' these days involves playing hour upon hour of WoW or FPS on your computer."
That got me thinking. What does it mean to be hardcore player? I certainly consider myself a hardcore player, and over the past few weeks I've played at the most three or four hours of videogames. In fact, I've spent more time scanning magazines and planning new displays for my videogames then actually playing them. Never in a million years would I describe my gaming habits as casual.
I firmly believe that the style of gamer you are completely relies on what games you like to play. Do you play only party games on Wii, or nothing but Rockband? Once you have mastered these games will you stop gaming altogether? These represent the gaming habits of a casual gamer, who will only generally only play games that are simple (I'm using the word 'simple' very loosely, so don't flame please) to pick up and play, and also to put back down again. Once the challenge is gone, or once there is nothing left but an arbitrary thing such as score, a casual player will put the game down and not play it again until it is required in a social situation. However many casual gamers will play these games for hundreds of hours on end. I had an old work friend describe how he played Space Invaders on the Atari VCS for weeks at a time, but he never played anything else, and abandoned the game after the Crash of '83.
Hardcore gamers, however, are different. While game companies and distributors will describe a gamer exclusively by the game they play and how frequently they purchase said games, I believe a hardcore gamer can be defined by not only the type of game they play, but also their habits in playing them. Did you play GTA to see for the story, or for the challenge of getting into impossible places the designers hadn't thought of? Did you play a FF game so much that you could finish the game with only one character? Did you write the FAQ on how to do this? Did you read the same FAQ so you could do the learn how that player did it? These are all habits of a hardcore gamer. However these aren't the limits. A hardcore gamer can be a person who plays anything, anytime, for any reason. The real difference between casual and hardcore is that a hardcore gamer will continue to game, regardless of social constraints placed upon them by those of the gaming industry and the media. A casual gamer will often stop gaming if it is considered uncool (which is what I believe really caused the Videogame Crash, that is, perception of games through the media and societal figures), or if they have "played the game out".
So by utilizing what I have stated above, a casual gamer can be someone who plays WoW or an FPS for hundreds of hours, and a hardcore gamer can be someone who only plays games on their current Nintendo system. Confused? That's alright, if there was no confusion then there would be no discussion.
In summary, please remember that we are all gamers, and even though casual gamers may or may not have caused the Crash of '83 (ahem), there is no reason we cannot have a civil discussion without poo-slinging and name-calling.