Steam turns gamers into things and Nintendo goes off the deep end

the title says it all, and i brought a half hour video blog with me this time.  youtube likes movies less than 15 minutes so you get two carcasts in one post, and one day late:





the following is a bit of ARG bitching and then some new stuff

after Portal 2's vague countdown timer appeared on thursday, many of us who were following the Potato Pack ARG believed it meant the early release on friday at 9am pst, or at least soon after.  i woke up friday morning on 3 hours of sleep and began preparations as if the world was about to end; my room was clean for the first time in months, every task i could manage from thursday afternoon until then (including applying for some jobs) and everything that might have been put off until the weekend was in a flurry to be wrapped up like christmas morning

you know.. just in case

we were greeted of course with some short messages and 13 progress bars for the 13 games in the Potato Pack.  i don't have to tell you much that you might not currently know, except that Valve has stifled the lead-in to a very anticlimactic and perplexing turn in events.  while many angles can be argued, from an overestimation of the userbase, not fullly understanding the system we've been presented with, if Valve never intended for an early release, or that you're being faced with paying $40 for a game to come out at best 48 hours early, one thing is certain: this has gone from engrossing to completely boring

what's more fucked up is that Steam users are now faced with the news of a console leak on torrent sites of the very game we've been dying to play and investing time in throughout the week.  i'm not saying Valve is supposed to contend with an early leak by simply releasing their game early, because that's not a proper response or expectation from anyone.  they couldn't have ever planned for it.  what i am saying is that it's a real live fact that is hanging over our heads while we toil away at an overwhelming task with no real end in sight despite our best estimations; there are people who haven't even paid for a game that with next to no work put in had to simply download it and will be done before we can even max out another indie game bar

on the bright side, there was also a retail leak, so it's nice to know at least that there are a healthy portion of legitimate gamers enjoying Portal 2 right now.  i'd prefer that to a load of asshole pirates as usual

to add insult to injury, this may do nothing but leave a bad taste in many people's mouths for the Potato Pack games, and even worse sour Portal 2's Steam launch a bit.  they could now be doing more harm than good with all the idling indie games out there.  all will be forgiven once we get our mitts on Portal 2, i'm sure, but it's a really crappy way to precede the launch of such a highly anticipated game like Portal 2.  maybe this is another test run for Valve in the way they tried episodic gaming out, who knows?

--end rant--

in other news, Nintendo's new controller and system are apparently seeing more news leaks than the PS3 Slim and like any hardware console leaks, they make the subject sound like a fantasy device conceptualized by someone on Gamefaqs and the most drunk guy you know.  a brand-new controller with an embedded OLED touchscreen that may or may nto stream games directly into it from the console itself.  reminds me of the Legend of Zelda 4 Swords games, or Final Fantasy experiments on Gamecube... so maybe it's not as insane when you think of things that way

it is insane if you remember that those also took advantage of Nintendo's GBA at the time, and makes me wonder why they're getting dangerously close to possibly cannabilizing the recently released 3DS.  of course. by "late 2012" the little handheld will be a thing of the past.  in any case, E3 will be a crazy one this year if shit like this is any indication of what else we can expect

i just want my Nintendo 64 ports of Zelda and Starfox so i can pacify myself like the middle-school kid in me wants to.  times like this make me more than grateful that i have a healthy backlog of the good old days before hardware needed to compete with smartphones and pricing tiers were nonexistant.  at least the 3DS made that much easy, one console and one price point

hell at this point the PC is basically the most stable console on the market, without trying to incorporate motion technology or drastically modify its marketing potential for a new audience.  beyond that, it's had a more versatile control input system than the dualshock design, and still performs every task that all our other portable devices are killing themselves to incorporate, but manages to keep their social aspects separate without becoming irrelevant.  i don't need to like a game on Facebook so it can shit up my favorite time-suck with an extra level, and i like it that way.  call me old-fashioned, but these are video games, not marketing tools.  i understand that developers gotta pay the bills and publishers like exposure, but don't let your product get dragged into the mess while you're busy hustling your audience

for christ's sake, you'll kill the industry

the El Shaddai demo is so-so, by the way.  i'm not a fan of it's combat, but i think that Bayonetta set a bar for me that won't see another visit until Platinum Games bring out another third-person action title.  it's still pretty as hell, but the combat is otherwise distant, and i just wasn't engaged at any point except in the mild platforming

i'll write more tomorrow, with less video.  there's been enough soap-boxing for one post