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STEAM announcements & updates 2013 II - ITT we buy $1 games and complain about them

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Blizzard

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Jan 23, 2008
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I should keep a running tally of how much money I've saved from not buying bad games after reading Xelios reviews.
I just finished the game and I loved it. It might be janky and a little old-fashioned, but I think te atmosfere was great, and 2 hours after, I'm still trying to find every secret.

If you can get past it's jankyness, I think most people will like it.

Also, the game crashes if you have avast installed.
I thought it was interesting, though it is sort of an ancient Myst clone -- how many hours did it take to complete? Also, I have Avast installed and didn't have any crashes, so there must be some other factor with that. It does probably take a tolerance for janky games to play though (like Miasmata), since it's no Portal 2. Oddly enough, haven't some people criticized Antichamber as not a very good game? Though, for all I know, Antichamber may be a bad game and still far better than Kairo, since I haven't played Antichamber at all.

My earlier summary:
It's like Dear Esther meets surrealist Escher Myst with 1990s graphics. Oddly compelling, and also oddly creepy in an "I'm going to die alone surrounded by ancient stone pillars and unnerving radio static" sort of way.

I recommend turning off the grain effect unless you're into that, forcing MLAA or whatever other AA you can get working, turning the mouse sensitivity waaaaaay down unless you're using a controller, and turning off the smoothing option.
Also I think I mentioned I suspect that it uses baked Lightmass lighting since it uses Unity, but I'm not positive. There were a couple of places where they appeared to use volumetric light beams, which is possibly what xelios is referring to.
 

RionaaM

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Jul 6, 2012
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If it hadn't aged horribly you would have finished that run.
I knew you were going to say this. And no, I made it to the second island, completed the Love Fist and porn movie studios missions and got another game (I don't remember which one) that grabbed my attention.

That was my 3rd playthrough, having finished my previous one 1 or 2 years before.
 

Wok

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Dec 28, 2011
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That's fine if you feel that way, but why would you lead with this:

"DLCs are rarely a good purchase."

How would you know if DLCs are a good purchase if you never play them? You act as if they have no value and they absolutely do.
There is less appeal to me. I didn't want to sound as if there were less value.
 

Stallion Free

Cock Encumbered
Jan 21, 2009
29,933
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I knew you were going to say this. And no, I made it to the second island, completed the Love Fist and porn movie studios missions and got another game (I don't remember which one) that grabbed my attention.

That was my 3rd playthrough, having finished my previous one 1 or 2 years before.
So you think the mission design holds up compared to modern sandbox games?
 

morningbus

Serious Sam is a wicked gahbidge series for chowdaheads.
Sep 16, 2007
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Now that I think about it, based on the amount I play, videogames are rarely a good purchase too.
 

Hofmann

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Dec 28, 2011
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Don't listen to xelios. Kairo is a great game - wrote some short impressions in Indie Games thread.

Kairo is a place where nothing is left to chance or at least in unintentional way. Every little piece is constructed to deliver a clues to decipher the logic that lies behind the creation of this world and, with one small exception, it never uses text in any form to do so. That's the beauty of it, it tells a rich story not by randomly scattering audiologs in the most absurd way possible – like Bioshock for example, but with its architecture, sounds, details peeking out the cracked walls, etc., and of course puzzles. The puzzles serve different purposes, but they're always integral part of the world. From the very beginning, in front of our eyes, they start to put the mechanisms into the motion, transforming the space around to help us reach the conclusion. What's more, they're not there to punish; they're just to test the basic abilities. So it's more of an exploratory kind of game than puzzles, even though they make about half of the time you spend with it.

I really loved it. How it sets up the mood of unknown. How elegant it is – the simplicity of controls (no need to use keyboard at all, mouse is enough by default) and the clean unique visuals set it above similar kind of games, not to mention the content it succeeds to deliver - there are a few things left to interpretation, but that makes it even better. The only thing I hated is the secret ending. It's completely unnecessary and it breaks the immersion in my opinion, so if you don't care about achievement - forget about it, just meet the requirements, because they add some perspective to the story, and let it go. Other than that, it's well worth recommendation – one of the most fascinating games I played recently.
 

Nabs

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Nov 3, 2006
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DLCs are rarely a good purchase. This is my Steam inventory:
  • three DLCs, which I have not opened yet, although I like the base games,
  • and one game which I will open as soon as it is released.





Sure. My experience shows I rarely want to play the DLCs, even though I have finished and enjoyed the vanilla games.



In the mean time, I have found new good games which rank higher on my priority list. My piece of advice: do not buy a DLC unless you want to play it now.

I have bought the DLC for BoI in July 2012, ditto for the DLC for Frozen Synapse, and in February 2013 for Trine 2.
You're really missing out. You probably spent 5 bucks total on DLC that improves the experience of 3 great indie titles.
 

xelios

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Nov 16, 2008
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Don't listen to xelios. Kairo is a great game - wrote some short impressions in Indie Games thread.
People don't have to listen to me; it's just my opinion that Kairo is a poor game. I can confidently say there is no "rich story" and to compare it positively in that aspect to games which actually have any semblance of a story is something I find questionable. Simplicity of controls? Well, yeah, to a fault. Terribly inaccurate, floaty and walk, run & jump is all you get. What are these games it's set above with its bare bones, textless, artsy interpretation-based story, primitive 3D graphics and clunky controls, so I know never to play them?

I thought it was interesting, though it is sort of an ancient Myst clone -- how many hours did it take to complete? Also, I have Avast installed and didn't have any crashes, so there must be some other factor with that. It does probably take a tolerance for janky games to play though (like Miasmata), since it's no Portal 2. Oddly enough, haven't some people criticized Antichamber as not a very good game? Though, for all I know, Antichamber may be a bad game and still far better than Kairo, since I haven't played Antichamber at all.

My earlier summary:

Also I think I mentioned I suspect that it uses baked Lightmass lighting since it uses Unity, but I'm not positive. There were a couple of places where they appeared to use volumetric light beams, which is possibly what xelios is referring to.
It took me almost 5 hours to 100% Kairo. I agree the atmosphere is great--really dark and mysterious, which I mentioned in my actual Steam recommendation--and the game boasts a few secret puzzles that are rewarding enough to figure out even though
the secret ending is absolutely terrible and immersion breaking
.

As far as some people criticizing Antichamber for not being a great game: it happened, and I was one of those. I had fair complaints and didn't exactly give it a glowing review, which just reinforces how forgettable my experience with Kairo was when I say that Antichamber stomps it as a game--as does every entry in the Myst series.
 

Rickenslacker

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Jan 26, 2010
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Cargo Commander is pretty fun, though not great for lengthy sessions just due to how repetitive it gets. I like the postcard system that has you randomly coming across messages sent by other players, apparently a lot of people were playing during Christmas and New Years.
 

SteveWinwood

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Aug 10, 2010
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Cargo Commander is pretty fun, though not great for lengthy sessions just due to how repetitive it gets. I like the postcard system that has you randomly coming across messages sent by other players, apparently a lot of people were playing during Christmas and New Years.
lol you're not supposed to actually play the games you get from people
 

Hofmann

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People don't have to listen to me; it's just my opinion that Kairo is a poor game. I can confidently say there is no "rich story" and to compare it positively in that aspect to games which actually have any semblance of a story is something I find questionable. Simplicity of controls? Well, yeah, to a fault. Terribly inaccurate, floaty and walk, run & jump is all you get. What are these games it's set above with its bare bones, textless, artsy interpretation-based story, primitive 3D graphics and clunky controls, so I know never to play them?
It may be a poor game, because it is not trying to be a typical game at all. And I was pointing to people who wrote, that your description saved them $6, without even trying the demo.
In terms of controls you can't compare Myst to Quake, right? And the visuals and sound design are amazing - it destroys Antichamber in that matter and any other indie first person game recently released, but these are about personal tastes, so let it be.

As for narrative, you're wrong in this case, this is the most interesting element of the ''game''. It's told in a very subtle way and it needs a lot of attention, but it is there - you can't mindlessly rush through the game expecting to be spoon-fed. Here is an article explaining the secrets of Kairo for you and other interested: http://www.electrondance.com/the-secret-of-kairo/. It's not even about the story itself, but how it is revealed, with small hints here and there - never straight in your face.
 

kami_sama

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May 30, 2011
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It may be a poor game, because it is not trying to be a typical game at all. And I was pointing to people who wrote, that your description saved them $6, without even trying the demo.
In terms of controls you can't compare Myst to Quake, right? And the visuals and sound design are amazing - it destroys Antichamber in that matter and any other indie first person game recently released, but these are about personal tastes, so let it be.

As for narrative, you're wrong in this case, this is the most interesting element of the ''game''. It's told in a very subtle way and it needs a lot of attention, but it is there - you can't mindlessly rush through the game expecting to be spoon-fed. Here is an article explaining the secrets of Kairo for you and other interested: http://www.electrondance.com/the-secret-of-kairo/. It's not even about the story itself, but how it is revealed, with small hints here and there - never straight in your face.
I read that article before, and I have that it is great.
 

xelios

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Nov 16, 2008
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It may be a poor game, because it is not trying to be a typical game at all. And I was pointing to people who wrote, that your description saved them $6, without even trying the demo.
In terms of controls you can't compare Myst to Quake, right? And the visuals and sound design are amazing - it destroys Antichamber in that matter and any other indie first person game recently released, but these are about personal tastes, so let it be.

As for narrative, you're wrong in this case, this is the most interesting element of the ''game''. It's told in a very subtle way and it needs a lot of attention, but it is there - you can't mindlessly rush through the game expecting to be spoon-fed. Here is an article explaining the secrets of Kairo for you and other interested: http://www.electrondance.com/the-secret-of-kairo/. It's not even about the story itself, but how it is revealed, with small hints here and there - never straight in your face.
Your first sentence says a lot about why I can't recommend the game to most, as most people want to play a game, not try to give purpose to someone's creation. The article is one of the perks of being an artsy game dev and having no writing skill; a few dedicated players will hallucinate the story for you.

On another level we have the "Squall is dead" theory and people giving Braid deep philosophical meaning, but this article takes the grasping to new heights. Truth is for the majority of players Kairo will have no story and its appeal is going to be extremely limited due to it not being a game in the traditional sense, as you said. People should certainly give the demo a shot if it looks like something they may enjoy, but I think few will be impressed enough to go through with a purchase.

Also, I must have paid closer attention than the author because there is in fact another orbit symbol he claims we've only seen once in the game. It's scrawled on the blue pyramid with the lifts in the second world and has one of the moons x'd out. I 100%d and took in all the details, so I definitely gave it a fair chance. I don't think Antichamber is stellar, it's just the most recent remotely similar game and I know many more people will enjoy it over Kairo. Myst comparisons are borderline deceptive.

 

MrTeachwell

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Feb 20, 2012
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Cargo Commander is pretty fun, though not great for lengthy sessions just due to how repetitive it gets. I like the postcard system that has you randomly coming across messages sent by other players, apparently a lot of people were playing during Christmas and New Years.
I agree about the long sessions but for a different reason, I found it to get depressing after a long session because you just keep working your butt off risking your life for your family and the boss just keeps dangling that carrot of 'going home' in front of you.

On the subject of people's opinions on games I find all opinions helpful but especially long time/consistent members because you get a feel for their taste in games and do some internal 'metacritic' weighting of their reviews. But I would always recommend checking out raw gameplay footage or a demo of a game before writing it off based on any review.
 

Hofmann

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Your first sentence says a lot about why I can't recommend the game to most, as most people want to play a game, not try to give purpose to someone's creation. The article is one of the perks of being an artsy game dev and having no writing skill; a few dedicated players will hallucinate the story for you.

On another level we have the "Squall is dead" theory and people giving Braid deep philosophical meaning, but this article takes the grasping to new heights. Truth is for the majority of players Kairo will have no story and its appeal is going to be extremely limited due to it not being a game in the traditional sense, as you said. People should certainly give the demo a shot if it looks like something they may enjoy, but I think few will be impressed enough to go through with a purchase.
It's not for everyone, but there is demo, so I don't see a reason to write it off before trying.

And I reached similar conclusion, before reading this article. Even the game's author said it's mostly correct, so we all have to be delusional.
 

Ledsen

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This discussion has made me want to buy Kairo right away tbh. I love implicit, hidden story, I love beautiful and mysterious games and I love unorthodox approaches. Seems like the perfect game for me.
 

Hofmann

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This discussion has made me want to buy Kairo right away tbh. I love implicit, hidden story, I love beautiful and mysterious games and I love unorthodox approaches. Seems like the perfect game for me.
Then my work here is done. I'm sure you gonna like it.
 

xelios

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This discussion has made me want to buy Kairo right away tbh. I love implicit, hidden story, I love beautiful and mysterious games and I love unorthodox approaches. Seems like the perfect game for me.
I do as well. =)

With a demo available there's certainly no reason for anyone interested to not at least try it out.
 

toddhunter

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Is Kairo a "new" game? Just looking at it, I swear I played it back in the windows 95 days.

Somebody else old might remember the game I'm thinking of.
 

Chrysalis

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Aug 2, 2009
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Is Kairo a "new" game? Just looking at it, I swear I played it back in the windows 95 days.

Somebody else old might remember the game I'm thinking of.
You're probably thinking of Obsidian or one of several other Myst clones.

UNRELATED: I read a review for SimCity 4 that said it has no scenarios/goals to work towards. True? The idea of the game interests me, but I don't to make my own game in a sandbox.
 

Blizzard

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Jan 23, 2008
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Wanted to include yours as well, but I thought it was showing too much and you're doing this! lol
Yeah, that's not cool considering I haven't even played a couple of those parts yet. That sort of thing can ruin the game and story for people who are actually interested in discovering it as they go. :/
 

xelios

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Yeah, that's not cool considering I haven't even played a couple of those parts yet. That sort of thing can ruin the game and story for people who are actually interested in discovering it as they go. :/
Really? My screens don't ruin anything as far as I'm aware, but I'll take them down anyway.
 
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