First, I went out and bought a mouse, because seriously, track pads are the worst thing ever. I also bought a wired Xbox controller, so I can just plug it into the laptop and play games, Without a controller, there is no way I could play PC games. I tried the demo for Bastion last night just to see what gaming with a keyboard was like, and well, I hated it. I didn't, however, hate how beautiful Bastion is, and I fully intend on buying that again through Steam.
Speaking of buying games I already own...
Did you know that Portal and Portal 2 were on sale this weekend on Steam? You probably did if you went on to Steam at all this weekend, seeing as how it's plastered all over the home page. Yeah, well, guess what I grabbed on impulse, just because the deal was so good? This guy...
Anyway, the Portal bundle wasn't the first games I actually bought, however. The first game that officially started the madness that is buying Steam games was a little game I heard talked about on a Podcast last week, so when I saw it while scrolling through the seemingly endless list of games, I had to grab it. The game is DLC Quest, and the price tag of $2.99 didn't hurt either.
If I enjoy playing all PC games as much as I did DLC Quest tonight, then I might have a problem developing very quickly. I feel my insomnia yelling at me already.
This game was amazingly fun, simple and more importantly, creative, funny, witty and smart. It is a simple platformer with very basic graphics, but the premise behind the game is selling point. It is a game that is essentially mocking the DLC phenomena running rampant in the video game industry. You start out controlling your character, but you can only run backwards and forwards - no jumping, no animation, no movements at all, and even no sound. You just run and collect coins, until you meet a shop keep who offers to sell you DLC packs, like the Movement DLC pack that allows you to jump, or the Audio DLC pack that actually brings sound to the game. It's a game that makes you think about how much game developers are leaving out, taking out or locking out of video games that they sell at full price, then charge you more for additional content to enhance your gaming experience.
And no, there is no actual DLC purchasing in this game, as everything you buy is just upgrades in-game that you use your coins you collect through the game to as currency, Don't have enough coins to buy the necessary DLC pack to allow you to continue the game? Go find some more coins!
The entire game is just one running gag and joke after another. From the signs you run past that tell you not to bother going that way because all the story line specific action is happening in the other direction, to the NPC characters who try to give you fetch quests that you graciously decline because you don't know them at all and they should be completing their own quests - it's all brilliantly done. Because the game plays off of preconceived notions of what and how we think games should play out, they tend to go the complete opposite direction with it all.
Despite the industries best efforts to be as creative and original as possible, most games of specific genres usually follow a very tried and true pattern of design to get the most from the consumer while giving the most to the player. DLC Quest, however, rejects the mold from the get-go and instead turns the camera around on the development and publishing studios, almost challenging them to step outside the box a little more often.
When they name a certain area of the game as a reminder to the level designer to remember to come up with a name for it, you know exactly what kind of game you're getting - one that isn't afraid to not only break through the fourth wall, but essentially just pretend like it doesn't even exist.
Oh, and by buying DLC Quest, I also got the new Live Freemium Or Die adventure game as well. I actually beat both games, as they are pretty short, but worth every penny.
And seeing those achievements pop up as I was playing? Yeah, I'm completely sold on this whole PC gaming thing. Thanks, internet, for finally pushing me hard enough to jump in head first. I am probably going to enjoy this far, far too much, but hey, is it really a bad thing if it means getting to enjoy pure gems like this game tonight? I think not.