GRID Autosport

GRID Autosport is a racing game. It is the sequel to GRID 2. Apparently, lots of people were upset that there was no first person view in GRID 2. There is a cockpit view in GRID Autosport and it sucks. Nobody is ever happy. I didn’t play GRID 2 but the general consensus is that this is barely a sequel and probably should have been DLC. GRID Autosport is $24.99. This is a daily deal. What else can you get for $24.99 that could benefit your car in real life?

  • The Manager’s Special Oil Change at Jiffy Lube
  • A Tasmanian Devil steering wheel cover
  • A steering wheel
  • Roughly half a tank of gas
  • 36 Little Tree air fresheners, Black Ice edition (WTF does black ice smell like anyways)
  • An air filter
  • Fuzzy dice
  • That pair of fake testes that rednecks hang from the back of their Ford F150s
  • Anti-freeze, which you will be able to ingest because fuck this game
Anyways, the list can go on and on. But the point is your 25 dollars are suited elsewhere. If you don’t have a car and you still want to feel the exhilarating rush of pure speed, go to the thrift store/eBay and buy yourself some rollerblades. The market for rollerbladez is not so good right now so the time to buy is now. Buy low and skate fast, people. But make sure you get the ones with a brake on the back so you can stop if you’re going to fast down the hill, you don’t want to have to run into a patch of grass like a spaz now do you? 

Grid Autosport is currently 50% off and $24.99. It is probably not worth your time or your money. Verdict: Skip it. 

Zombie Driver HD

Zombie Driver HD is just the latest in a series of the current zombie apocalypse games.  Some of them make you force feed rotten bananas to half naked people (Day Z) and some of them make you save hippies while turning the streets red with your tires. This one is the latter.

Zombie Driver HD is a thematically confusing game. It looks like it should be hilarious and that it should be completely over the top but it only goes about halfway there before coming right back down to sanity. Luckily, even when the game is trying to be serious it is still absurd and hilarious. So they are either geniuses or idiots but either way the game ends up being hilarious. Just watch the intro video. There is no sound and no words or anything but it explains the plot of the game. You play a man who jumps in a taxi and drives around running zombies over.

This game plays like a combination of the first two GTA games and maybe Twisted Metal with a little Crazy Taxi mixed in. It also gave me motion sickness, even though it is a top down game. How is this possible? I’m not sure, but points are definitely added for the fact that I vomited PBR all over my keyboard about 3 minutes into playing this beast. The controls are easy, basically it’s just drive, handbrake, and shoot. The zombies die quick and the only time it gets annoying is when you’re trying to kill the last straggler.
Why is the music such a downer though? It is really intense, dramatic, and depressing music that doesn’t fit with the game’s theme of being ridiculous. Which is what makes me so confused. Is this game supposed to be a joke like the title would imply? Or is it supposed to be taken seriously? I can’t tell. Maybe they didn’t even know. It’s like Tara Reid in Sharknado. Is she a genius or did she not even realize she was in a movie at all and she just thought it was real life and sharks were really attacking? Zombie Driver HD is kind of like that, it looks ridiculous and it sounds ridiculous but it might not be a joke.

Zombie Driver HD is currently on sale for $1.99. That’s 80% off. It’s pretty fun to mess around with but it’s mostly just average. It’s definitely not bad and it’s pretty funny, so if you can’t get enough of the zombie apocalypse go ahead and buy it. Otherwise Verdict: Skip it.

Steam Weeklong Deal: Secret of the Magic Crystal(s)

I’m not sure if this game is called Secret of the Magic Crystals like the logo says, or Secret of the Magic Crystal like it says in my Steam library, or if these are two completely different games. Quite frankly I don’t care. Buy the crystal. Buy all the magic crystals, and put their secrets on your horses to imbue them with wondrous powers. You can light your horse on fire! Try this one at home, kids. Find a magic crystal called a “matchbook” in your parents’ hardware drawer. And then strike the match and then put the magical flame onto the secret horse’s mane and see what happens! She can become magical too!

In this game you play a crazed professor who found some moonrocks that fell from the sky. This would probably classify them as meteors. Anyways, this professor found the meteors (or magic crystals) and started rubbing them on horses for some reason, and this caused the horses to catch fire. Then he tried to explain to his Anthropology class that this was a good thing and he was promptly expelled from the school. Note: this all actually happens in the intro video, which is only about 30 seconds long.

Choose your instruments of torture. To the right we have a syringe full of sulphiric acid and bowl for grinding bones. On the wall are various cutting implements, used for molding the hellspawn that the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse ride in on. 

Your horse’s name is Blondene. This is not optional. It is fitting because the horse is blonde. It sounds kind of like a Pokemon which is fine because I think the target audience for Secret of the Magic Crystals is children. This is a kids game, or it is a game for crazy people. The problem is it is on Steam. What small child that loves horses is going to have Steam? I’m not sure. Possibly a calculation error. Anyways, gameplay consists mostly of rubbing your horse with a brush or a rock. Also, you can hit arrow keys to jump over small fences.

Anyways, Secret of the Magic Crystal is the Steam Weeklong Deal. It is 50% off and $2.49. You should buy this for one of your friends and make them play it. Or you can buy it for yourself if you are literally a crazy person.

2K Weekend

There are a whole lot of deals this weekend. So many deals. And it’s not even really the weekend it’s Thursday. What day is this? Who knows. It’s not just 2K games that are on sale either. You’ve also got Dishonored which is on a free weekend, a space sim called Kinetic Void, and all the Metro games. The ones in the subway, you know what I’m talking about. The problem is how do you decide which Steam daily deal to purchase? At least you can try a few of them out for free. But if you are too lazy to try them yourself and you would rather purchase them blindly, letting them sit and grow moldy in your backlog for ages, untouched, like a Pristine Rotten Kiwi in DayZ, then you have come to the right place.

Let’s start with 2K Games weekend. 2K is pretty cool. They make/publish pretty decent games. The publisher/developer relationship in video games has never made much sense to me, but generally if a publisher sucks the game somehow ends up sucking, although this is not always the case. Anyways, 2K is A.O.K.

The Gamez:

Maybe you have heard of Sid Meier’s Civilization? I guess it’s kind of a big deal in the strategy world. Or as they say in the industry “4X.” The thing is with Civ V you have to figure out which Civilization game is the best. The problem is in order to compare Civ games and to determine which Civ is better it takes hundreds of hours because the damn games take so long to play. If you have never played Civilization before but you would like to try it, go ahead and play Civ V. But you are also going to want to pick up the Brave New World DLC which basically adds some stuff that should have been in the game in the first place. Personally, I like Civilization IV better than Civ V. The AI is not all messed up and neither is the UI. The combat is kind of lame though, so be forewarned…also watch out for Tokugawa that guy is an asshole.

Bioshock Infinite is a pretty good game, albeit a very polarizing one. It’s not really a Bioshock game so throw that out the window. The story is good, but it being about multiverses and time travel there are going to be lots of holes. Holes in the fabric of reality, I mean. It will either make sense to you or it won’t, everybody has their own interpretation of it. The biggest problem with the game is that most of the guns suck and they aren’t very fun to use. You can also only hold two at a time, which is dumb and pointless (thanks for that one, consoles). The second biggest problem with the game is that it had so much potential to be better. That’s not to say that it is a bad game, because it is a good game. But there were many game mechanics that felt either tacked on or unused that could have been much cooler than they were (i.e., flying around on metal rails is cool but not necessary most of the time). Anyways, it’s certainly worth playing.

There’s something to be said for the fact that Borderlands is more expensive than Borderlands 2. Borderlands 2 should be a better game than the first- it adds more weapons and more varied locales and the gameplay has remained unchanged. But the first one is probably better. Maybe because it felt more novel. The vast majority of the time in Borderlands 2 is spent fighting the same damn robots all the time. If you don’t choose an acid weapon you are basically screwed. The first Borderlands felt like it had more flexibility in types of weapons. The game is also hurt by the fact than any class can use any weapons just as effectively as any other. It makes you feel less special and I like to feel special because it’s a video game. But really, you should only buy this game if you have a friend(s) to play with because that’s what makes it fun, it’s like Diablo with guns.

XCOM is totally the best game on this list. Defend the USA (or Earth or whatever) by blowing away aliens with huge machine guns. There are gibs. You will cry when your squadmates die. This is the game to purchase, unless you are a whiny baby communist that can’t handle a challenge like a REAL MAN. Also, there are real women in the game, they make the best snipers for some reason. Plus you can give people funny names.

Anyways, all of these games are actually good and you will have a good time with any of them, so make up your damn mind already. But your best bet is totally XCOM.

Bully: Scholarship Edition

I tried to come up with something to say to describe Bully. But why would I describe it when the greatest rock band of all time can describe it for me? That’s right, I’m talking about Third Eye Blind, or their street name, 3EB. The hit song “Wounded,” is a heartfelt ballad about someone who got punched in the face. So step back from that ledge my friend, cause here it is.

Back down the Bully to the back of the bus
Cause it’s time for them to be scared of us

Remember everyone in high school? Yeah, they all sucked. But now you can be the cool kid in a video game so you don’t have to lose your mind in real life! That’s great. Basically Bully plays like GTA if there were no cars, and also no killing. You are essentially a teenage Bart Simpson, complete with slingshot. So you can pick fights with bullies or you can become one yourself and stuff people into lockers and things of that sort.

If high school related media causes PTSD than this might help you get over it, or it might actually piss you off even more, who knows? Anyways, Rockstar usually makes pretty good games. This one was when they were into making weird stuff like Manhunt. Also you get to play as a ginger. So potential for bullying would have been even higher. The biggest problem is that you have to go class. You can ditch the classes but then you get in trouble if you get caught. This is stressing me out already.

As Bart Simpson said, “Eat my pants”

Bully is currently 75% off for $3.74. This is a pretty good deal, if you like GTA style games then there is plenty of enjoyment to be had here. Plus you don’t have to somehow pull off the ridiculous feat of a 10 minute mile. If you don’t want to relive the horrors of high school then you should probably skip it. Verdict: Buy it.

Secrets of Rætikon

Secrets of Rætikon/Ratikon/Raetikon? is a stylistic, artistic 2D indie game. People have referred to it as Metroidvania-style, or possibly even like an open world Ecco the Dolphin but instead of being a dolphin swimming around you are a little polygonal bird. This is pretty apt, the flight mechanics actually feel pretty similar to the swimming mechanics of Ecco. In case you somehow have escaped the term “Metroidvania,” it generally means a game like Castlevania Symphony of the Night or any of the ones that keep coming out for Nintendo handhelds. Secrets of Rætikon is only really like that in terms of the fact that it’s a 2D open world game. There are no items and there is no leveling up and there are no RPG elements, but you can technically go anywhere from the beginning without completing any objectives I guess so there’s that- in other words it’s not really Metroidvania at all.

The game has a minimalist soundtrack and it is unobtrusive. It looks very nice, but simplistic, 2D-polygon-type style can actually get kind of confusing. Sometimes I picked up objects without even knowing what they were. A lot of things end up looking kind of the same and it’s a little hard to figure out what is a friendly bird and what is a rock. Gameplay basically consists of flying around, exploring, and collecting stuff. If you like listening to an ambient soundtrack while just sort of cruising around on the jetstream, well then you will probably like this game. There’s not a ton else going on. There’s no attack button but you can get evil birds to fly into spike thorn walls or something, I was very unsuccessful but it’s allegedly possible.

In general, Secrets of Rætikon/Raetikon is one of those “experience” indie games. You play it for the experience. The gameplay isn’t amazing on its own, but the combination of the gentle soundtrack, really pretty visuals, responsive controls, and its exploration based mechanics all fit together to give you a unique experience. That’s what’s great about indie games these days. Some of them are all shitty gameplay and nice graphics, some of them are great gameplay and terrible graphics. Some have it all. But either way they allow for some complete, unique experiences and this game is no exception.

Secrets of Rætikon/Raetikon is currently on sale for $4.99 which is 50% off. It’s only a few hours long and at this price it is probably more than a dollar an hour. The game is beautiful and interesting but I never really felt compelled to keep playing. If ambient, relaxing games are your thing, pick it up. Otherwise, Verdict: Skip it.

Jazzpunk

Jazzpunk is a comedic stylish first person adventure type game. You are a spy in Russia or something and you have to infiltrate buildings and probably women, then make off with the goods. It looks really good, it’s a combination of voxel-type graphics, crazy skyboxes and cool environments. This is the definition of a stylish indie game. It’s even got good graphic design and easy to read yet good looking fonts! How about that!

Gameplay is really easy but pretty funny. It’s less about winning and more about exploring the environments and enjoying the funny jokes. The writing is consistently inane and funny. It’s supposed to make fun of spy films from the 60s. And it does. There are also some easter eggs in there, like when you get hurt the indicator is the same as the one from Goldeneye for the N64. Actually this whole game has the color scheme of an N64 game like Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon, the greatest game ever created. Anyways, you basically just run around and mess with stuff until funny things happen. And they will happen. You can pick gum off of the underside of a table and eat it. Comedy gold! There are also lots of puns about video games and computers. Take a byte out of crime.

It reminds me a lot of Gravity Bone and if you haven’t played it yet you should definitely check it out here, it’s free. Same concept, slightly different executions. Both absurd looks at spy movies with funny technology, huge computers, and men in coats. Jazzpunk and Gravity Bone even share a similar visual style, although Gravity Bone is more boxy. Voxely? I don’t know. It is also only like 20 minutes long though.

The biggest issue with Jazzpunk is its length to price ratio. It’s only about 4 hours long and its currently $5.09. That’s more than a dollar an hour. There are a few massage places in Koreatown that charge less than that. However, the game is hysterical and really well done. It’s better than paying $12 for a movie in the movie theater though. If it was $2.50 it would be a must buy. But even at $5.09 you will get quite a few laughs out of it and it’s probably worth it. Verdict: Buy it.