Monday, December 27, 2010

2010 Holiday Steam Sale

Long-time readers will recall that last year I purchased quite a few games during the Steam holiday year-end sale. Those games literally lasted me all year - in conjunction with re-playing some old favorites (like Civilization IV and its expansion packs) and buying only a couple of new games at deeply-discounted prices (including Deus Ex: Invisible War, which turned out to be way better than I'd been told to expect). In fact, I just finally started to play Bioshock this month and I'm not done with it yet, and it bought it almost exactly a year ago.

So as 2010 wound to a close, I made sure to check and see what Steam had to offer in this year's holiday sale. Once again, I think I was able to pick up enough to keep me busy for a while.

Assassin's Creed II - the original game was part of the pack I bought last Christmas, and it's one of the most-enjoyable games I've ever played. So when I saw the sequel on sale, it was a no-brainer to pick it up. In fact, the only annoyance for me is that the newest game in the series, Assassins' Creed: Brotherhood, appears to be a console-only title, with no PC version available. Which truly sucks. Cost: $14.00

Prince of Persia - I got the whole collection of games, sequels and expansion packs for a pittance. The road to this game is actually kind of amusing. As I mentioned above, I really, really liked Assassin's Creed. My wife though the Prince of Persia movie looked pretty good, so we got that from Netflix and watched it. And the combat scenes were apparently true to the game, as they made me sit up and say, "Hey, this movie looks a LOT like Assassin's Creed." Sure enough, Assassin's Creed was built on the Prince of Persia game engine, and they do behave similarly from what I could tell in my research. So the game plus the movie lead to me buying this other game. Fascinating! Total cost: $19.95

The Witcher: Enhanced Edition - I know next to nothing about this game, but it was five bucks so what the hell. From the description, it sounds a bit like an Elder Scrolls-type of RPG adventure game, and I've been enjoying those for almost thirty years, I figure I'll get some kicks out of this one, too. Cost: $4.99

Grand total: $38.94

That doesn't look like much of a list. And, to be sure, I was very tempted to pick up some other games at greatly discounted prices. But they weren't low, low enough for me. Nope - I'll wait until next year, when I can expect those same games, some of which are still pretty new, to be available for a song. Besides, what that list doesn't show is that there are something like five different games included in the Prince of Persia pack I bought, which bulks up the amount of gaming I've got to look forward to by quite a lot. I can't find my receipts from last year so I'm not sure how much I ended up spending in 2009, but I think I'm in the ballpark. And none of those were duds, even if Judge Dredd was a little bit craptastic. I still enjoyed playing it.

I won't know whether these games are all they're cracked up to be for several months at least, but that's always a challenge when you're buying a game. Usually for forty bucks (or easily more), you get one game and one chance to find some satisfying entertainment. With the Steam sale, I get a half-dozen chances or more to find a decent game. And in my experience, I end up with a half-dozen or more decent games, which is huge.

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