The Game Industry 9 Comments

Steam Christmas Sale Shopping List

(Wondering what to buy in this year’s sale? Check out last week’s 2012 gaming review on the Cat Context Podcast.)

In three days (December 20th) the Steam Christmas Sale, that most bountiful of Steam Sales, will begin. In five days my Christmas holidays begin. The rest of 2012 should shape up pretty nicely after that.

Of course, just blindly going into a Steam Christmas Sale is madness, or at least it is with my poor impulse control. I certainly do love games, but I have to also admit that I’m a collector. Back in the scary old analogue days I used to collect magazines, and I still collect books. Games are even better because I don’t have to pack and carry anything whenever I move!

There’s nothing wrong with being a collector, of course, but there’s also nothing wrong with a little frugality. Here are the titles I’ll be particularly checking for during the Steam Sale:

Hotline Miami
One of the big indie darlings of this year, Hotline Miami is apparently very fast-paced and super violent. As the name implies this game is all about the aesthetic of the 1980s — loud, bright, and fast. Players should expect to die a lot (and use the fast respawn feature) to master getting through each level. This isn’t my usual style of game, but Hotline Miami seems to be unique and critically lauded, and at an indie game price point it’s worth grabbing for a look.

Spec Ops: The Line
This is another game in a genre I rarely play, namely military first person shooters. As you probably already well know, though, Spec Ops: The Line is more of a narritive experience dealing with PTS on the battlefield, and the morality of military action. I hear the actual gameplay of Spec Ops is pretty generic, but the story is unlike any FPS before it.

Jet Set Radio
Console classic Jet Set Radio was finally ported to PC this year. Players ride around on roller blades while rocking out, doing awesome tricks, and tagging gang signs. Not every game has to be serious business!

Arkham Asylum / Arkham City
No, I don’t own either of these yet. Yes, I am full of shame. Both Asylum and City got great reviews, but I also read many comments that both play a lot better with a controller than with a keyboard/mouse combo. One of my plans for Christmas break is to build a PC box out of spare parts just to run Steam’s new Big Picture mode in the living room. Sounds like the perfect time to pick up a few controller-friendly titles, so this pair of games is back near the top of my list.

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  • Reply
    December 17, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Think I’d like to pick up The Walking Dead in the next sale if it’s up again, I keep hearing good htings about it and I’m in a RPG/story type game mood after KOTOR2.
    spinks´s last post: [News] TSW drops subscription charges, Layoffs at Trion

    • Reply
      December 17, 2012 at 11:36 am

      The Walking Dead is one of my best games of 2012, and I highly recommend picking it up on sale.

      • Reply
        December 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm

        Yes, seriously pick this up. It’ll probably be ~$10, and it’s a steal even at full price. Each episode (there are 5 in Season 1) is only a couple hours long, and really intense. As long as you enjoy the genre and don’t mind not feeling happy for the rest of the day, they are incredible.
        ThatAngryDwarf´s last post: Not Every Game Needs Levels (or Why Warcraft Fucked Things Up, Again)

  • Reply
    December 17, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Oooh, I should check what’s on sale. I missed KotOR II during the Halloween sale. I have heard amazing things about the Walking Dead too. Want!

    I bought Arkham City in the summer sale, and it’s fantastic. I have no controller but with my AC G13 layout, I was doing just fine.
    Kadomi´s last post: Review: The Way of Kings

  • Reply
    December 17, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Honestly…. I need to stop buying games all together until I play through some of my backlog. I have so many amazing games that I picked up for under 10 bucks…. but I just haven’t had time or drive to start them. I keep getting sucked into another MMO based goal :)

    Hoping to play through Walking Dead over my upcoming break. I am off 21st through 7th!!!

    • Reply
      December 18, 2012 at 11:05 am

      Nice! I have all of next week off, and I am going to play SO MANY GAMES. :)

  • Reply
    December 17, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    King’s Bounty was my best buy of the previous year. The game series wasn’t perfect, but it was what I needed. I spent around 70-90 hours in the 2 games. I have not enjoyed a game like ‘King’s Bounty: The Legend’ in a long time.

    Other cheap noteworthy titles were: A Wonderful End of the World (despite how limited the game is, the concept still gets me happy on a sad day), Limbo, Portal 1, Bastion.

    I feel like a traditional RPG at the moment. I will most likely purchase Cthulu / Breath of Death pack, Penny Arcade Rain Slick III and possibly the Spiderweb Software Complete Pack.
    Other names on my list are The Secret World, Orcs Must Die! II, The Walking Dead and Hotline Miami.

    • Reply
      December 18, 2012 at 11:06 am

      Hello, Wonderful End of the World buddy! I wish the game was bigger and more fleshed out, but there is nothing else on PC that can fill the “roll everything in a giant ball” hole in my life. Limbo was also really really gorgeous and had neat puzzles.

      I’m not familiar with King’s Bounty, but I’m gonna look it up now!

  • Reply
    December 17, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Ah, I forgot Torchlight II.

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