Two Games Down, 98 More To Go…

In the month since I started the Steam Challenge, I’ve felt quite overwhelmed. Realising how much time and effort this will require, the size of my list, what I can finish and what I can’t; it’s all a lot to think about!

Some of the pressure has been relieved, thankfully, when this week I finished two games. I know it’s only two games, but it’s a start and sometimes that’s all you need.

This week I finished Mass Effect 2 (no plans to finish Mass Effect 3 since it isn’t in my Steam list, but I’ll probably import my character and actually finish Mass Effect 3… eventually) and a texty-point-and-clicky RPG called Monsters Love You.

My Mum asked me about this challenge recently. I explained to her the basic rules and regulations I’ve imposed on myself and what I’ll be doing. Her second question was “How many games do you need to play?”

“Well, I’ve got 100 games in my list and I’ve figured that I can play at least half of them before I have to start looking at games that I can’t actually finish.”

While my Mum doesn’t necessarily understand my work, her interest in it (or feigning of) is nice, too. Hopefully with the coming months and more games being completed, she’ll be my own personal cheer-squad.

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Steam Challenge: Humble Bundles, Steam Games and the Internet Plots Against Me.

I actually think the Internet is working against me this year. When I decided to start the Steam Challenge, the first thing people said was “What about Humble Bundles!?” Ah, Humble Bundles…

If you’re not a gamer and don’t know what a Humble Bundle is, they’re a group of games that you purchase for whatever price you think they’re worth. The money you spend goes to charity. It’s a pretty cool idea. Some people just pay over the recommended price to get the extra goodies, but I’ve seen donations for games upwards of thousands of dollars.

So while I’ve been doing the Steam Challenge, I’ve pretty much ignored the Humble Bundle stuff on social media and such so that I won’t be tempted to buy anything. And then this happened:

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A text message from Tyr (the boyfriend) telling me about the new bundle and its games.  Apparently, the boyfriend has joined the evil forces of the Internet in trying to tempt me with new games. I went to look at what games the Codemasters Bundle included because apparently I’m a giant idiot who likes to tempt myself. Thankfully, the only games that really appealed were games I already had (thankfully!)

Humble Bundle: 0. Rade: 1.

In other news…

I’ve started Mass Effect 2, Peggle Deluxe, Plants vs. Zombies and Half-Life 2. I think that with two story-heavy games, Peggle and PvZ break up the long hours of game play. The list of games I’m playing is available here if you’ve got suggestions on what I should play!

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Steam Challenge: Week 1

Half a week in to the Steam Challenge and I haven’t completely lost my mind. After the initial freak out and planning stage (which didn’t go well, to be honest), I started playing games from the beginning and making some simple rules for my challenge to follow.

For the challenge to be a little easier to manage, I decided to go through the games I can play. I’ll go through all my games and make sure that I haven’t missed anything, but the list so far contains 52 games which is just over half of my Steam list.

Secondly, I realised that this challenge might interfere with the whole “review” part of my job description. So I add this clause, any game that I have to review doesn’t count towards this challenge. Although, all the games that I review, I buy for myself so that would go against the rules of the challenge.

Lastly, any game that I can’t finish (online games, multiplayer-only games), I will spend at LEAST half an hour playing and I’ll document it with a Let’s Play, to show that I’ve done it. At the end of the challenge (or when I break), I’ll put together a thing and write up what I discovered about gaming. Or something. Maybe I’ll just wax lyrical about crap like I normally do.

Like always, if you’ve got suggestions for what games to play, the list is linked above. Should I play them alphabetically? Short to long?

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Rade Reviews: Depression Quest

Video games have a wonderful way to make people go on great adventures and have new experiences. Often, people use video games to escape something going on in their life. As someone who suffers from depression and anxiety, I use video games as a way to vent my feelings in a safe way that doesn’t cause anyone any harm.

Statistics from Headspace (an organisation in Australia) say that 1 in 5 adolescence will suffer some form of diagnosable depression in their life and that depression also accompanies other mental illnesses like anxiety disorders or substance use disorders.

Zoe Quinn, Patrick Lindsey and Isaac Schakler’s game “Depression Quest” has just been greenlit for sale on Steam and  if you know someone who has depression, but doesn’t understand their way of thinking, or how to interact with them, I highly recommend this game.

From the very beginning, this text “adventure” game warns you that the experience you’re about to have is in no-way light hearted or fun. It’s meant to help people better understand the things that people with depression go through: social stigma, isolation.

The background is grey snow, like you’d see on televisions. While it doesn’t move, it gives off the bleakness that people with mental illness often see in going about their day-to-day lives. Background music plays to add depth; piano notes, I would assume. Mostly in the lower end of the scale which you’d think well suit a rainy day.

When you hit the “begin” button, you’re told information about the character you’re playing. You have a significant other named Alex and a job that you find somewhat boring, but it pays the rent. You and your parents both think you could be doing more with your life, but trying to figure out what that means is difficult.

Depression Quest then starts discussing some feelings that your character is feeling; Guilt, anger and exhaustion from the lack of sleep.

During the day to day events of your character (who doesn’t have a specific sex or name, as it is meant to be you in these shoes), you’re given choices to select from once you’ve read the text. Sometimes the “normal” options will be crossed out and you’ll be forced to choose something that you don’t feel like you would do.

At the end of the page, you’re given a summary of your mental and social situation. Depending on what interactions you choose, your quest will go a different way.

No matter what I say about this short, heart-felt game, I’m torn. On the one hand, I love the simplicity of it. It’s straight to the point and really, that’s what it needs to be. But, it breaks my heart. These “fictional” choices that I’m making are choices that I’ve made in real life myself. Avoiding socialisation with people because I either feel awkward around them or in my own skin, lying to myself about doing work due to a lack of motivation or lack of faith in myself.

In the end, this game will attract two kinds of people: People who already have depression or people who are curious about depression. It’s a heart-breaking and enlightening tale that could help open the eyes of people who think that depression is just something people can shake off and will perhaps, make them take it seriously.

 

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Steam Challenge: Oh Sweet Jesus, What Did I Sign Up For?

I often feel this pang of guilt when I look over my Steam list and see games that I’ve bought and never played. My number (101 games) isn’t much by any means (my friend Lasers has 247) but, I’m somewhat ashamed that I’ve probably only really finished maybe a quarter of the games on my list.

Then this appeared on my Facebook newsfeed.

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“Beat every game in my library? Can I do it?” I pondered to myself, forgetting that I’d only been awake for an hour and thus am probably too tired to actually realize what the fuck I’m taking on.

Looking over my games list, I do notice some games that I can’t really “finish”; MMOs, only multiplayer FPS games. So, with that in mind, I add only one caveat: games I start MUST have a definite ending. I see Skyrim being a massive problem for me. While I’ve finished the main storyline before, there are a butt-ton of side quests to do. What counts as beating a game? Do I have to 100% it? Get all the achievements? Jesus Christ, what did I just sign up for!?

I plan on logging some Let’s Plays while doing this so you can see my progress while also updating you on the blog and Facebook page. If I can get Twitch to work, I might even do some live streaming. Obviously, this is a massive task and it’s probably going to take me all year to do it so I’m wondering who thinks I can do it, who thinks I can’t and do you think we can get Waterhouse to take bets?

Now, what game to start with?

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