Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

     So this last weekend was Black Friday, and for many it was a day where they stampeded en masse through retail stores that were open sinfully early in an attempt to make up for the previous months in a vicious cycle of cannibalistic, ritual discount shopping. I was home, though, as this time of year also marks one of a few great traditions on the life of a PC Gamer. For several years now, Steam has held holiday sales where games are priced ludicrously low, and PC gamers have gone on mad spending sprees where they come away dozens of games richer, and surprisingly not as poor as they'd thought.

     Lately, though, other online retailers have been getting in on this game, too. Amazon's got a rather reckless representative named Tony that posts deals on Reddit (such as Assassins Creed IV at 50% off, when it hadn't even been out a month on PC), and GreenManGaming, with it's cute little alien mascot, throw out crazy deals, too. The best part, if you're a loyal Steam user like myself, is that both of these digital stores also offer Steam keys for most of their games.

     Skyrim at $7.50? Dishonored for $5? Fallout New Vegas with ALL of the DLC for $5? Indeed. Indie hits like Dust: An Elysian Tale, Divekick, and Hacker Evolution for next to nothing? Yes, please. All in all, I walked away from that sale with 15 games and a few pieces of DLC for about as much as I'd get a new release title for. I'm now at 488 games on my Steam account, with a staggering backlog that I'll never get through (no thanks to Fallout: New Vegas taking up so much of my time with the Tale of Two Wastelands mod). So what were my spoils this time?

     Amazon brought me Saints Row IV for $15. Batman: Arkham Origins was $20, with $5 off for a promotional credit I got sometime in June the last time there was a huge sale. Far Cry 3 for $7.49. On the first day of the Steam Sale, I picked up MDK, MDK2HD, Duke Nukem 1, 2, and Manhattan Project, Party of Sin, Dead Pixels, and Evoland for about $13. Some pretentious French art title called Bientot l'ete and an indie helicopter game called Thunder Wolves for $5 apiece. All the Metro: Last Light DLC for $5.
Adorable Steam Seal courtesy of John Hernandez, C5 Studios
     I know it's a cash grab to separate me from my money for games I may not ever get around to playing, but as someone who is as ardent a gamer as myself, I can't help but get irrationally excited over the event every time it comes around, posting praising images of Gabe Newell and doctored pictures of Seals in an old in-joke about the "Steam Summer Seal" that happened due to a fortunate misspelling. Waking up every afternoon and checking that store page is strongly reminiscent for me of waking up at O'Dark-Thirty and scrambling to the Christmas tree, only it happens now at least twice a year, and goes for a week or two.

     I keep promising myself one of these years I'm going to just not buy any games at all and live off of what I got over the Steam Sales. I've got a backlog of a couple hundred games, and have been taking the time lately to replay a few favorites. I think this time, I'll try it. I've only got one more big-ticket game I'm looking for, as I didn't have the funds to spare to get Assassins Creed IV on that sweet, sweet sale Amazon had.

     Then again, last week of December's allegedly got another sale coming, so..

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