So 2012 turned out to be quite the year for pc gaming. I started the year off with less than 10 games on steam, and only a few more other pc games in total. For the purpose of this blog though I'll stick to steam. My total budget for the year was $117.36 and I used it to buy 278 games by my last count, possibly more. My most expensive purchase was during the steam winter sale... Tom Clancy you are downright evil sometimes. I ended up buying future soldier and splinter cell conviction and that finally tipped me over the 100$ mark. How did I do it you ask? How did I get so many games, and what did I actually get? Obviously they all have to be garbage right? you can't buy anything good on the cheap right? Wrong!
Many of you have probably bought or at least heard of the THQ bundle. On humble the above average price was only 5$ and change and gave some great games, and for only 1$ you still got an amazing selection. In fact I bought 7 1$ copies as christmas gifts, and those of you that got them and are reading this, you're very welcome. Of course now it's available at amazon for 7$ and metro 2033 a game in that pack has been giving away free keys on the THQ facebook page for some time now. I do dare say anyone who doesn't have a copy of metro 2033 in their steam account by now doesn't deserve it. Excluding those that simply were incapable of getting it of course. But for those of you that heard "free game" and went "nah I don't think so, I'm gonna pass, I'd love to pay for it instead" and walked away shame on you. Though enough on that part, thq bundle is the smallest example of this years great deals.
Earlier in the year during the spring bundle on steam there were some downright amazing deals which is where I got the majority of my titles. Then throughout the year humble bundle, indie royale, indie gala, groupees build a bundle, and many other similar bundle sites had tons of great deals for only a fist full of dollars. Great sites like steam gifts awarded me a couple games. And even a few friends got me gifts by simply asking when they were on sale. Then recently amazon has had some amazing holiday deals on games like the borderlands game of the year edition, and the bioshock games. I got bioshock 1+2 for only 5$ from amazon, and for 10$ I got duke nukem forver, darkness 2, and borderlands goty. Granted the real reason I bought that bundle was borderlands which was worth it, meanwhile the other two were really just added bonuses, either way they get added to the collection. GOG and gamergate also had some great deals from time to time. So really I hopped all over the place buying up whatever was cheap at the time if it was something I actually wanted. So that's the how, now comes the what. What exactly did my money buy me? After all some of us plop down 120$ on one game, like assassins creed 3 limited edition for the consoles. This could also be applied for almost any limited edition on consoles which had a very expensive year if you're a limited edition addict. ME3, BL2, AS3, DoA5, etc, so how exactly could I come by 300 games worth over 1000$ for 1/10th the price, and again are they any good?
Well the best way to tell you is just to list some of the awesome games I got. And to also simply remind you to just wait for a deal, make an RSS search for deals on games you want and eventually you'll find them cheap enough. Don't outright beg your friends, but it never hurts to ask when you find something on sale but might not have enough yourself. This works better if you remember to get them something from time to time as well when you have money. I spent 16$ on gifts and got over 200$ in gifts back by value, not sure what they actually paid. For example a friend I got a humble bundle for got me sleeping dogs without me even asking because he noticed it on my wishlist while it was on sale. I bought another friend the witcher for 2$ and he bought me every deus ex game. I don't expect gifts from my friends, but it's interesting to note that by remembering their birthdays and holidays how much I tend to get back regardless. Then there's trades. I managed to trade dota 2 early access gifts for sanctum and unstoppable gorg, I am alive, and several others. I also got plenty of DLC gifts from friends and trades which aren't counted in the actual games list.
Some of the other games I've gotten include torchlight 2, the spellforce games, velvet assassin for a measly 75 cents in which I got 2 copies, the other warhammer 40k game that wasn't included with thq bundle, nuclear dawn, from dust, defense grid, atom zombie smasher, magicka, orcs must die 1 and 2, the portal games, the left 4 dead games, and all the dlc's pretty much for all of my games, the only one so far I don't have all the dlc for yet is sleeping dogs and that's just because it hasn't had a great sale yet to put the dlc's down to a good price. I also got the supreme commander gold pack, all the company of heroes games, alien shooter 2, nation red, zombie driver, really just some absolutely great games. Many of them might fall under the category of arcade or snack games that don't have the AAA full on gaming experience but are meant to fill your spare time, even so they're the best of the best, and you can't really argue with geometry wars for a quarter. Given also that every game so far has worked perfectly on my system without any lag and I never have to worry about discs I'd say pc gaming has also got all of my gaming budget next year, I doubt I'll be buying any more console games, and I might just let my XBL of 6 years lapse. I'm tired of the full price nonsense at 60$ a game when if I wait a few months or a year I get it for pennies on the dollar, that even includes just getting it used over at gamestop.
Again my only real complaint with steam is I can't loan my games or resell them, but that's not so big of a detriment to me, more of just an inconvenience. Though with new things like the marketplace opening up where I can make money by continuing to play rather than by forfeiting my ability to ever play again... well that sounds a lot more appetizing. While I'm no stranger to buying used games, I will say that it's exceptionally hard to find older titles, a problem I've never once faced with pc, because I can still grab tachyon the fringe if I want to and that game will never be seen on store shelves again outside of perhaps some niche shop if you're really lucky. Really my year with PC gaming has turned me from a true believer into a devout zealot. Not the hardcore mouse and keyboard you normally get but at the very least the power of pc gaming.
While I still prefer my mouse power I won't blame you for using an xbox controller, because that's probably the one thing I'll always like about controllers. I like the feel of it and the extra feedback, the overall compact form of the buttons and simply put the comfort. I don't have to find an awkward position to hold the shift key to run or ctrl to crouch, and if done properly I still get all my macro's. Accuracy is the only downside to controllers actually, and while I may not be able to have the same power I'd get from my mouse I can calibrate it to the point that the loss in accuracy is either negligible or ignorable. A better mouse doesn't make you a better player, it's all about skill and when it comes down to it the skill of aiming is secondary to all the other skills needed to be a great player in shooters. As to non shooting games you really almost never have to worry about awkward finger positions and usually don't have to worry about micro so you can confidently use both the mouse and the controller. Though in RTS I will say you'll probably never beat a keyboard and mouse with a controller, that's just how they're built. When it comes down to it it's just whatever works for you in whatever game you happen to be playing. As long as you're playing on a PC.