Tag Archives: gaming

Get Games Cheap!

It’s pretty well known that if you want a AAA game cheap, you don’t pre-order.  If you pre-order a game you are beyond the razors edge here and you are going to pay for it. Sometimes, in more ways than one.

In today’s competitive market, video game companies are attempting to work in closer relationships with gamers.  A way for them to do this is by running open and closed beta sessions and then following that up with intense feedback sessions.  I have talked before about the clouding of this process by trolls and haters.  This is something game companies AND gamers need to look beyond.  Maybe more stringent insider programs with screenings for participants?  I am not sure. This is something they need to work out though.

Bottom line also, is that so called “influencers” out there will throw the hate for views too and there isn’t much you can do about that.  The recent rash of hate on Fallout 76 and Anthem come to mind.  Both Bethesda and Bioware are trying their best to make it all work out for the best. Still, haters gon hate.  Well, what can you do?  Be positive?  At least that is what I try to do.  Don’t address or acknowledge the haters and certainly do not follow or endorse the “influencers’.  It is easy to say you hate something.  I hate lima beans. See…easy.

To write about how you like something is harder.  Or, to write about something that might not be your bag of chips yet is still good is REALLY hard.  For instance, I am a Sony photographer. I have been for as long as Sony has made cameras.  But, I have to talk Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Fuji, etc. on a regular basis.  It’s tough. But, I remind myself, those cameras all got to where they are by some sort of means.

I think a major contention is that these games are costing WAY too much money.  I remember paying $49 for a boxed version of a game. No trials, demos, videos on Youtube.  Just a box with some screenshots, artwork and a bunch of sales pitch.   And, on top of that, a 5 day return policy if unopened.  In 1996, that was a lot of money to shell out for one game.  Nowadays, AAA games go for $79 at release, $89 for a deluxe version (usually NOT worth it) and $99 and up for a 1 year season pass version.  No box. No tangible artwork.  If you want that stuff you get into the Collectors edition stuff and that budget is limitless.  It’s a racket for sure.  At the onset of digital delivery we were all promised games at LOWER prices due to reduced manufacturing costs. Boy, that didn’t happen.

So what is a poor gamer to do?  Well, use the interwebs to find better deals after release.  Sure, you will have to wait a bit for the game, but really THAT is the only downside.  You get a chance to witness gameplay via Youtube and twitch.  And best of all you pay a LOT less.  One of my favorite sites is Humble Bundle.  For $12 a month I get a bundle of games that always contain at least a couple AAA games and best of all, a bunch of indie games that I might not find otherwise.  As a streamer, this is a GOLDMINE! For the stuff I get that I already have, I can give away to my viewers.  You also get regular bundle deals on all sorts of software other than games from them as well in their pay-what-you-want program.  I have bought full video and audio editors for $12!!  You can check them out AT THIS LINK.

Another place to get great deals on not only NEW games but all sorts of softwares as well is Kinguin.com.  I have to admit, when I first bought a copy of Windows 10 Pro there for $19.99 I was quite sceptical. But, it was $20 so I gave them a shot.  Now I look there first before purchasing ANY software included new AAA games. Quiet often a week after release they will have copies for sale for a pretty steep discount.  I have an affiliate link there if you are interested check them out AT THIS LINK.

The are other companies too like GreenManGaming.com and of course Amazon.com

If you are into surprises and the like, then check out some of the subscription services out there.  XBox Game Pass on PC (and xbox) is a great deal.  I got Sea of Thieves, State of Decay II (thank god), Forza Horizon 4, Gears of War 4 and more for just 9.99 a month. I bought it just for Sea of Thieves but then ended up keeping it because of all the new games and they are releasing more all the time.

Then there is PSNow.  Another subscription service for the Playstation 4. But, it has a great side effect, you can also play/stream PS4, PS3, and PS2 games on your PC!  And you don’t even need to own a PS4. All  you need is the subscription, PS4 Dual Shock controller, and a decent internet download speed for PC play.  If you don’t own a PC and/or care about playing PS games on your PC and just want great games on your PS4 then the decent internet download speed isn’t needed.  Just sign up, and play over 750 games, BOOM!

Obviously most people know of Steam, Origin, uPlay, and Battle.net so I will just give them a quick mention here.  Origin Access is a great 2 tier subscription service and Anthem was included on the service and available a week early for Premium members.  They have 189 titles in their collection right now and they are downloadable to play offline (non-DRM titles) or with minimal internet. Most of the titles are AAA as well.

nVidia has also jumped in the ring with Geforce Now. <–You can request beta access at that link.  One account enables gaming on Windows PCs, nVidia Shield Devices and now on MacOS as well.  The subscription does require high-speed internet with at least 50Mbps downstream and 5Mbps upstream capability.   I have tested it extensively and can say that it works really well and is hardly discernible from playing natively.  Some games are in 4K HDR as well.  It’s pretty chill to just lay back on the couch and play on the big 65″ screen.

And finally, recently Google completed testing of their game streaming system featuring Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.  Upon completion of the program they gave all participants a free copy of the game.  I was a beta tester for this and though it had early hiccups, the last 4 weeks of testing was flawless.  I really hope they run with it.

In conclusion, you NEVER have to overpay for a game if you choose not to.  If you are going to pre-order and run on that cutting edge…you are going to bleed once in a while and even get hurt bad. That is the chance YOU take. And you have every right to complain about it.  But, that doesn’t mean I am going to care or even listen to it.  I hope you find these links useful.  I would love to hear down in the comments about any other services you know of. I am always checking out new things and passing along what I have learned to others.  Until next time!

~TAG out

Ooh, side note, check out https://Dealzon.com a custom notification service for finding your games on sale!

Anthem – TAG’s view

Being that Anthem is the first TAG’s view, let’s set some ground rules.  These reviews will be:

  • My own opinion (most likely not popular)
  • They will hopefully be constructive to the vision of the developers
  • Not full of hate as I tend to keep my perspective (it’s a f***ing video game)
  • Not too ranty
  • My own opinion (most likely not popular)

Okay with that said, let’s get at it.

Anthem – Bioware (February 22, 2019/Co-Op PVE/no PVP)

Well, like everyone else I guess I will carry forward my slightly jaded view from Mass Effect Andromeda and just expect Anthem to be more of the same. Or maybe I will just say Anthem is more of the same from Bioware and be done with it.  Of course if you know me at all, you would know that I would not do that.  I will keep Mass Effect Andromeda in my back pocket as I move forward and occasionally peek over at the report card as I go.

So in Anthem, our protagonist is a cocky, mildly modest rogue-like woman, or man based loosely on a Han Solo character.  In the game you are called a Freelancer charged with the job of protecting the citizens of Fort Tarsis. A mercenary of sorts, but you know, in it for the loots and scoots.  Mostly loots though.

From what I can tell, in the game there is no real RPG’ing in the true sense.  No love interests or relationship building on the surface. Instead you gain points in factions. Which, up to this point I have not gathered enough points to figure out what to do with them yet. Which is okay by me. I generally go into these games without reading the game guides and staying away from wiki pages as much as I can as not to spoil anything.  I mean, if I go figure out the entire game before I play it, where is the fun in that?

So like most games today, the tutorial is a built in mission to get you started. It is a mixture of the game modes or missions that you can do including Freeplay, Strongholds, and contracts.  The tutorial is a guided stronghold mission where you battle a giant beast with some other freelancers to show  you the ropes.  When finished with that you end up back at Fort Tarsis where you will basically begin the storyline.

All of this though, is ancillary.   Because Anthem, above all else is really just an amazing Iron Man simulator.  Everything else in this game so far is just icing.  Let me in my javelin and let me fly around and bash, slice, freeze, burn, shock, shoot, stun, EVERYTHING. I. AM. IRONMAN!!!

Seriously though, if they would have hooked up with Marvel on this one…  So like Fallout 76 and certainly less deservedly so, Anthem has gotten a bad rep.  Which is a load of crap.  If you are not having fun in this game, especially with friends, then you are not doing it right.  Maybe take up gardening.   Sure, there are issues. There are issues with everything in the world.  Pull up yer panties and get in there!  Anthem’s mechanics feel good.  The Colossus feels heavy and strong. The Storm feels fluid and otherworldly.  While not perfect the lipsync is much better that MEA and as always the voice acting is great.  The Anthem map so far is expansive and lush, and quite easy to get lost in. With plenty of secrets and interior cells to explore.  The gunplay is spot on and the biotics, er, other javelins weapons, have a magical feel to them.  Bioware is getting it right, they’re pouring their hearts into it, and it shows.

As far as the bad rap goes I feel Skynet has become self-aware.  It started with cryptocurrency and video games.  They (the internet trolls) have discovered that they can control the world with tweets, bots, and facebook.  From there they moved on to world governments (cough-orangutan president-cough).  Now I am seeing the same thing in the 3D Printing world.

Bottom line is this, you need to recognise you are being hoodwinked by these trolls.  Make up your own mind through examining things yourself. There is no shortcut here. If you are going to solely rely on others opinions of things, you might as well not exist.  It’s fine as an opening though. Oh, this looks interesting..maybe I should check it out.  But don’t let others ruin the possibility of fun in your life. That goes for real life as well!  There are enough demos, trials, and discounts out there for you to get in on it without much expense.  Check out GreenManGaming.com or Kingquin.com for great deals. HumbleBundle.com too!

So Anthem comes down to this.  Do you want to fly like Ironman? Or do you want to live under a bridge, eat worms and be hated by everyone?  I choose to fly, and I am really happy I did.  Can’t wait to see what Bioware has in store for the Anthem Universe!  Long Live the Freelancers!