Call it a mixed reaction, but when Valve pressed whatever big red button they have out there in Washington that released this year’s Steam Summer Sale, a handful of us on staff both squealed in excitement and shuddered in terror.
You see, Steam sales area almost always a dangerous thing. On the one hand, videogames we’ve been waiting to play all year become dirt cheap, despite the fact that we tend to spend too much money on them anyway. Not to mention they just compound our growing backlog problem anyway. Really, who among us has the time to play all the games they picked up?
With this summer’s biggest digital sale now in the books, we at Pixelitis realize that we don’t have nearly enough time to play them all. After the jump, some of us outline some of the biggest Summer Sale mistakes we made this year.
Think of it as a cautionary tale.
Biggest Steam Mistake: The login name switcheroo
I partially blame my excessive spending behavior during this year’s Steam Summer Sale on my iPad and iTunes for making me appreciate how far $2 can go. So, when a fun game I always wanted fell within the $10 and under price range, it was really difficult to resist. I picked up Fortune Summoner, Virtual Villagers, Toy Soldiers, Trauma, PixelJunk Eden and Shoot Many Robots just to name a few.
Instead of regretting the crazy amount of games that I purchased, even though I am fully aware I won’t play them for some time, I regret only one title: Sid Meier’s Civilization V GOTY. I’d been toying with the idea of picking Civ V up at some point and once it was on sale for $12.49 during a flash sale, Steam got me hook, line and sinker.
With a flurry of clicks, I checked out, only to realize all too late that my familiar avatar of Nickelodeon legend Stick Stickly was a Portal picture instead. I made my purchase under my boyfriend’s name, and he already owned the game. Of course, he didn’t have the Game Of The Year edition, so Steam didn’t give me the heads up for the double purchase.
“No big deal,” I thought as I went to Google to see how Steam’s return policy worked. I was hoping they handle this sort of thing all the time, and would be able to work with me. You can search it yourself to see the dozens of other people who have done similar mistakes… and did not get a refund, bummer.
So, I ended up spending $25 on Civilization. Still, I saved 50% off the actual price, so I still came out on top. Now I just need to play it enough to justify the purchase.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, with all these other titles now on my list, it may not be until the next Steam Holiday Sale that I get to crack into it.
- Jamie Young
Biggest Steam Mistake: Owning three copies of Knights of the Old Republic
To recap, here’s a list of games I have yet to play or have barely played, all of which I purchased from Steam’s Christmas sale: Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Bastion, The Binding of Isaac, Dungeon Defenders, Grand Theft Auto IV, Magicka, Metro 2033 and Neverwinter Nights 2: Platinum. Clearly I do not need to purchase anymore games on Steam, so I made myself I promise I would only purchase one or two.
While I was paying attention to how low Skyrim (for modding purposes) and Gods and Kings would go, I managed to only buy one game for $2.50. Pretty good, right? That game was Knights of the Old Republic. When I saw it was on sale for so cheap I jumped on the opportunity.
After my credit card was charged I remembered I own the original Xbox version still. Oh well. This way I can replay one of my favorite games on my portable laptop. That’s when I remembered I received a free PC copy from PAX 2009 or 2010 in my goodie bag. I reasoned $2.50 might be worth not having to dig through my swag drawer to find it.
Unfortunately, after installing I realized how poorly Knights of the Old Republic has aged. On top of that, it’s a game that doesn’t lend itself well to PC controls (at least in my console gaming mind). That’s pretty much the worst $2.50 I’ve ever spent on a video game.
- Lowell Bell
Biggest Steam Mistake: Purchasing the Red DLC for Frozen Synapse
I like to think of myself as a frugal gamer. Rarely do I buy something as soon as it comes out, instead waiting for a price drop or special sale price. Because of that, it’s things like this past Steam Summer Sale are usually the bane of my wallet’s existence. And while this most recent sale showed signs of control, a piece of DLC for a game I literally never play got the better of me.
Earlier in the year, Mode7’s devilishly stylish, asynchronous strategy game Frozen Synapse caught me off guard. It was hip, it looked easy enough and its multiplayer mode fit perfectly into my new life of 40 hour workweeks and waning time for games. It seemed like a perfect fit – until I played the game.
The first few levels were easy but after that, things got complicated, with the computer handily kicking my ass in short order. It was embarrassing and the multiplayer rocked me even harder. I hadn’t picked it up since.
Then on one of the days last week, the main game was on sale. Curious, I checked to see the price of the $9.99 Red DLC; which added new game modes; a new unit; new music; and made the game red, was down to less than $3, I instantly bit.
Excited to check out the new content, I loaded the game up and within the first round, a rocket unit blew up half my team.
Yep. I quit. Probably won’t play that again…