Wednesday, January 6, 2010

If Loving You is Wrong

Oh Steam. I didn't know it was possible to love a digital distribution platform until I began using you. You're everything I could possibly want in a digital distribution platform (I.E. Actually good, not like iTunes, which is pretty much the devil.) and more. I mean, really, you let me REDOWNLOAD games after the first download WHENEVER I WANT, unlike iTunes and music. That alone earns you points.

But what leads to my undying love of Steam? So many things. For one thing, there's the selection. Not only does it have the big titles, like Modern Warfare 2, or Left 4 Dead 2, but it also has games that are amazing, but not well known, like Psychonauts, (Which if you haven't played yet YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM.) or Braid.

There's a good community, from what I understand, but I don't really mess with that section myself.

It's got Achievements, which I for one love. (If done right.)
It's got a great, easy to navigate interface, it's even got an easy link in the store for "Games under $5" and "Games under $10". It even has the metacritic score right next to the game name in the list in the store. It's got screenshots, demos, it's pretty much fantastic.

But the single greatest thing about Steam in my mind? The sales.

Let's take the wayback machine to a far flung time known as "The Early 00's" shall we? If you wanted a new game, you paid $50. If you wanted a used game, you paid $20-$30, with minor risk of buying an unplayable copy. That was it. Games just didn't go on "sale". They weren't like other things. They had a set price, and that was what you paid for them. It might go down $10 after it had been out 6 months to a year.

My first experience with sales on Steam was buying World of Goo. World of Goo is a $20 indie title, one that I found good, if not great. Do you know what I paid for it? $5
75% off! That was unheard of, to me at least. But lo and behold, it was there. I then proceeded to buy a game called Psychonauts, I had heard was quite good, for $10. Not on sale. It was just $10.

And thus, my love for steam began.

Later on, I bought Team Fortress 2, another game I had heard to be amazing (and it is) for $10, as opposed to $20. But if you for some reason think $10 is too much for one of the most creative shooters ever, don't worry. It was on sale for only $2.50 over Halloween. I was tempted to buy a second copy, it was such a good deal.

Let me tell you some other deals I've gotten from this:
Champions Online: Was $50; I got it for $20.
The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition: Was $10; I got it for $2.50.
Plants Vs. Zombies: Was $10; I got it for $5.
Audiosurf: Was $10; I got it for $2.50.

Heck, I bought Mirror's Edge, and my computer can't even run that, just because I knew I would upgrade soon, and it was SO CHEAP.

And the thing is, these aren't cheap games going on sale. The lowest metascore game in my "My Games" list, is rated 72, and it's Champions Online, which is an MMO, and by default scores low, because people either hate MMOs, or compare them to WoW.

The rest of the list?
Portal (90)
Psychonauts (87)
TF2 (92)
Audiosurf (85)
PVZ (88)

They're all excellent games!

So yeah, basically, I love Steam. If I could marry Steam, and have babies with Steam, I would do so.

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