Steam Summer Sale – Sunday, 6/22 Recap, HP14 Woot! Offer, HumbleBundle Audio Books

Good afternoon!  Today just a quick recap of the games on sale as part of the Steam Summer Sale as of 1 PM today, 6/22/14 along with a couple other deals happening now from Woot! and HumbleBundle.

Steam Summer Sale

Battleblock Theater – $3.74 (75% off)

This game has been out for some time now on XB360 but is a more recent release on Steam. By the creators of Castle Crashers, it is a somewhat similar game but has far more emphasis on puzzles, platforming, and humor. It features local and online multiplayer and a TON of content for the price.  Strongly recommend it at this price.

Borderlands 2 – $4.99 (75% off) / Game of the Year Edition $9.99 (75% off)

First, please note that the Borderlands 2 Game of the Year (GOTY) edition is ALSO on sale for 75% off, making it $9.99 – and that is DEFINITELY the one to buy, as for $5 more you’re getting an absurd amount of additional content. The one on the front store page is just the game itself.

If you haven’t played Borderlands 2, it is basically the Diablo/Torchlight of FPS games, though Borderlands 2 has more story and humor than the first. The shooting mechanics themselves are still a bit lacking in impact but I loved this game and highly recommend it if you haven’t played it. Definitely playable solo but far better with 2-4 player online co-op.  For $10, if you have one or more friends you can talk into buying this as well, buy it.  This is the cheapest price I’ve ever seen on this game.

Continue reading Steam Summer Sale – Sunday, 6/22 Recap, HP14 Woot! Offer, HumbleBundle Audio Books

Transistor Review: Function Over Form

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Before I talk about Transistor, I find it necessary to talk about Bastion, because my feelings about one directly inform my opinion of the other. If you absolutely can’t stand the idea of having to read a little bit about Bastion, skip ahead to “Transistor: Overview” down below.

Revisiting Bastion

 

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I played Bastion as part of the XBox Summer of Arcade promotion in 2011, and before the first level was over, I was in love. I obviously wasn’t alone, as the game’s sales have exceeded two million copies as of this year across multiple platforms including Windows, XBox 360, and iOS.

The game’s setting, a sort of post-apocalyptic western/steampunk/fantasy hybrid, is exceptional. While the graphics are basic, the art style and execution of the game’s visual design is superb, and in fact this is exactly the type of game that will still look good ten years from now.

The voice acting by Logan Cunningham is in the upper echelon of all such work across the canon of videogames.

And, the music by Darren Kolb is outstanding. This is a game with songs you absolutely will remember after the game is over. There’s a haunting but beautiful thread that runs across many of the tracks, and it has a musical style that would not be out of place in the anime Trigun, which itself was a sort of Western/Steampunk hybrid, or perhaps Firefly.

 

 

The only area where one might say Bastion was average?  Gameplay and mechanics.

Bastion is a competent, but relatively shallow, Action/RPG hybrid with more emphasis on action. There’s nothing wrong with how the game plays, but neither is there anything new or particularly exciting.

  Continue reading Transistor Review: Function Over Form

Steam In-Home Streaming on an HP14 Chromebook

Today, a very brief guide on how to set up in-home streaming using Steam’s service, which recently came out of beta.

In order for this to work, you need the following:

  • A computer running Windows, OS X, or Linux to act as the host; this is typically going to be a more powerful PC and should be connected to the internet via a Wired connection.
  • A computer running Windows, OS X, or Linux to connect to the host computer; for our purposes, we’re going to be using an HP14 Chromebook running Ubuntu 14.04
  • A sufficiently fast network connection for both devices; I’ve been able to get this working at 50 Mb download / 25 Mb upload, but if I run much slower things start to lag*
  • In order to run Ubuntu on your Chromebook, you need to have Crouton installed or have set your Chromebook to dual-boot into Ubuntu

If you have a PC to act as the host and have a Chromebook, but haven’t installed Ubuntu on it yet, see here for instructions on how to get Ubuntu and Steam running on your Chromebook.  At this point I recommend installing Ubuntu 14.04 as it is fully compatible with Crouton.

Continue reading Steam In-Home Streaming on an HP14 Chromebook