Friday, 20 September 2013

Steam is expanding

It would seem Steam are making a push for the living room, which I'm taking as hints at the 'Steambox', Valves take on a console. Anyways on the Steam website we are told that "The Steam Universe is Expanding in 2014" and it goes on to mention about their 'Big Picture' feature in Steam optimizing controller and TV use.

Along with this we have a count down timer, which is sat at around 70 hours at the moment. It also has 2 more imaged next to the first timer with nothing around them currently. So I am going to take a wild stab in the dark and guess that the guys at Valve have 3 big announcements over the next coming months/year. The first of which we will find out about in just under 3 days.

As I mentioned before this is bound to be news about Valves console and their push for the living room. Hopefully if I am right about this, they will be the ones to push what Microsoft should have done with the Xbox and GFWL and encourage cross platform gaming. I prefer playing on my PC a lot of my friends prefer to play on console. This has generally stopped us playing together as I don't have consoles and they don't have PCs. The different platform should be irrelevant, I would quite happily wait a few extra months for developers to integrate this feature in to their games, if anything this could quite easily extend the life span of games due to there being more players rather than having the fan base of a game split up over at least 3 different platforms. It is the way forward. I get that different platforms have their exclusives as incentive to buy said console. But more and more games are becoming available on multiple platforms, in these cases cross platform gaming would be idle.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to see what Valve and Steam do, considering we haven't heard too much from them as of late.

Female Protagonists in games.

I'm a bit late typing this up as I drafted it out a few days ago and have been busy doing other stuff I can't really remember. Anyway I had seen a couple of articles kicking up a fuss about the new Grand Theft Auto. Believe it or not, it's not the usual this game is corrupting our children which it's violence and all that bull that subject is a story for another day. This complaint, as you might have guessed from the title, is about the lack of a playable female character.

My little rant about this matter, is does it really matter? Surely you play games like Grand Theft Auto to steal cars, cause mayhem, randomly kill people and when you get bored play through the story. I couldn't care less about what gender the playable characters are. So long as I get to play the bad guy (sorry, I mean bad person to be politically correct). Which at the end of the day is exactly what this game is about. It is Rockstars choice what gender they want the protagonists to be, not ours. Should we get offended when they don't do something we want with the game. I'd say no, it is there game, they can make it however they want to. If you don't like it, don't buy it. It's simple enough. 

I get there isn't too many female protagonists out there, the only ones I can think of is Tomb Raiders Lara Croft, Chell from Portal and Kate from Hydrophobia: Prophecy. Most people won't know of Kate as it is a pretty small game that has been over looked by a lot of people. I believe it was meant to be the first game of a few, but never got enough funding to carry on the series, check it out anyway you can pick it up fairly cheap on Steam and probably some other places as well, I generally buy everything on Steam so I wouldn't know. Anyway tangent aside all of these games, never got complained about because the protagonists are female. So why should we complain about when you play as a guy. It does not matter, some games have male players some have female. It is entirely up to the developer to choose what they believe would suit the game better.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Humble Indie Bundle 9

It's once again indie bundle time. Today I will be looking at the Humble Bundles latest one. They seem to be on a roll lately throwing out a bunch of decent bundles over the past few weeks or so. Just in case you have been sleeping under a rock the past however long these indie bundles have been going on, it must be years by now, Humble Bundle (and other bundles like it for that matter) let you buy a select group of games for a very small minimum price, if you are feeling flush feel free to chuck some extra money at them as a lot of the takings from this bundle does go to charity. I'm not sure if it changes from bundle to bundle I've never really noticed to be honest. Anyway charities that are involved are:
The games in this cool little bundle are:
I've heard good things about all of these games, except Eets Munchies which I have never heard of at all. However I will give it a download and see what it's like. Might even put up a little first thoughts post on here if I get round to it. I did many buy this bundle for Brutal Legend as I have found memories of playing it ages ago when I had a Playstation. However I have already put a good few hours into FTL, that game is really quite hard but oh so addictive, I can see it being my favourite out of the bunch. The bundle also comes with soundtracks for Trine, Brutal Legend, FTL and FEZ. All for the low, low cost of $4.59 minimum at the time of writing this, rather than the £50+ you would be paying if you bought all these games separately. I would definitely reckon getting in on this bundle, not only do you help out charities you get a bunch of cool games as well.

Steam is a big boy now.

It would seem that Steam has hit it's 10th birthday today. Which apparently means I missed out on the first 3 years of it's life missing all those big moments like it's first steps, it's first word and the fact that it was a little bit shit when it first came out and everyone hated it.

Back then was a simpler time for gaming, you bought a game put a serial key in during installation and boom you can play your game. But Valve obviously saw the potential of the future of online gaming and took a left turn while everyone else was going right. This is also why I am so lenient with the likes of Origin and the fact everyone rips on it. It's still early days for EA and their digital download system, yes it's not the greatest, but since it started it has improved and will continue to improve of the years, just as Steam did. Other wise it will end up as another GFWL, I don't see that happening though, as EA do seem to actually be working on it.

Hopefully we will see the guys at Valve continue to improve Steam for the next 10 years and we will see some bugs fixed, new features and other improvements I can't think of. I was going to put a corny line in to finish this about the cake and lies but I decided against it. Instead have a picture of portal cake.