An exercise in perspective:
This is really the last generation of consoles that has a primarily physical game base, meaning that these store closures are going to get more and more catastrophic at the end of each generation.
I've been buying digital, too, and now I feel kind of guilty about it.
The animations are really nice, and from what I've seen it doesn't look like the gameplay is bad enough to completely ruin that experience. It just looks like a game that is more fun for your eyes than your...brain, I guess.
@bam541 Oh man, this is incredible. I'm so happy this channel exists! This really makes me miss the garage; there was just a completely different vibe back then. Not that I think the studio is what changed everything, but as things change and we all get older, it's hard not to feel nostalgic for the way things were.
Huber's Diaper is the best video on that channel, by the way:
Steam's layout/user experience for their Steam Game Festival event gives me an incredible amount of anxiety. Like all smart social media decisions, rather than take a minute to cool off and let the fury pass, I'm going to make an ill-informed and unreasonable post in a public space.
But look at this.
After clicking the banner, you get taken to the Home tab of the Steam Game Festival event:
It looks like the top of any normal Steam Store page, only when you scroll down, the first thing you see is this insane stream layout:
What should I even be looking at here? There's so much information on display. Should I want to watch the stream, or should I want to click away to one of these four games? I can't even read the title of the second game, but I can see Foregone's title in three separate locations. Where's the chat? Instead of chat, there's a big dumb gray box with Foregone's key art AGAIN, and it either comes out in March or "soon." I also just can't stand how this stream layout almost kind of blends in with the Steam Game Festival page, but not really, so it looks like big ugly purplish boxes with face cams randomly spaced in relation to the alignment with the rest of the Steam page.
At this point, I'm used to Steam putting stupid autoplay videos at the top of all of its pages, so whatever, I'll just scroll down:
This was the best you could do to tell people what the upcoming events were? To place a giant block of information in the middle of their scroll through your page? It almost feels like a hidden object game: "Hmmm yes there are events coming up, but can you find where we actually tell you what will happen at those events?!"
At 7pm, we can play the Rain on Your Parade demo! Just kidding, it's actually a Dev Livestream and Q&A, did you catch that? You can play the demo right now, actually. But after what you're done watching that, you can check out the dev stream for The Last Sunshine: Rekindled! Just kidding, that's actually happening at the same time, hope you were paying attention!
Not to mention a full quarter of this object is blocked by that ridiculous stream and maybe I'm just old, but I thought everyone hated popups. These popup elements where the video gets shoved to the corner of the screen after you scroll down always make me feel like I splattered hot greasy muck on myself; I just wanted to get away from that stream, but recoiling away from it wasn't enough. I actually have to physically remove it from my body.
This is the last time I'll leave the stupid stream popup in the picture, but it's completely necessary to illustrate how annoying this feature is.
"Recommended for you" is the scourge of the planet for various reasons, but at this point it's mandatory to put it in your storefront, so this one isn't Steam's fault. What is Steam's fault is the autoplay video that starts as you hover over each of these elements, which is reminiscent of the Netflix auto-trailer feature that makes you feel like you're running from Michael Myers as he chases you through the house and if you stop you're going to die. There is no way that description is overly dramatic; it is completely accurate.
I thought "Recommended for you" was my least favorite store section until I saw this next one, and this is a first for me:
What are primary tags?! Why are no tags listed whatsoever? Why are there so many games in this section? What am I even looking at? What section of the store is this??
It's not until I got to this point in the write up that I saw the very unassuming filter button on the right. It lets you narrow by almost every tag on Steam, so while it almost makes me feel better about the section, it still doesn't clarify what a primary tag is (surely there's no game whose primary tag is "2.5D"), and it certainly doesn't show you what those tags are as you look at the entire element.
At this point I was tired of getting everything recommended to me, so I went back to the top and clicked the RPG tab to check out what RPG demos there might be:
IT'S THE SAME THING?!
It's the same stupid stream, the same stupid event schedule, the same stupid recommended for you section, before the first new section which is vaguely titled, "RPG Highlights." And it's just a YouTube video. I assume this video is a sizzle reel or series of trailers or something.
If I click off of your Home tab, take me somewhere else. It means I don't want to be on the Home tab anymore. It means I want to specifically see RPG stuff. There was almost an existential moment when I clicked the RPG tab and literally nothing happened. Like if you walked out of your front door and ended up in your living room again.
After all of the same garbage, it doesn't even take you anywhere good. Just to these weird subgenre sections where you can't control how you navigate through them. I hope you wanted to see all the Open World games first, because you're gonna!
(By the way, when you hover over these five games, only one of them, Frozen Flame, has the "Open World" tag listed. The others might have them listed when you click the game page, but it's apparently not important enough to be listed first.)
I hate everything about this Steam Game Festival experience. What is it about me, am I too old? Am I wrong for expecting the ability to I don't know, check out what games I might be interested in, instead of what Steam thinks I'd be interested in? Am I wrong for expecting the information to be displayed more clearly? Am I wrong for being irritated at seeing the same 4 games presented to me multiple times as I scroll through the page, in different areas? This sucks. You suck, Steam.
Cosmic Star Heroine is an awesome Chrono Trigger-esque RPG with a really fun and unique battle system.
Kamiko is the most brain-dead easy arcade action game, but the vibes and the music are 10/10, and the game can usually be found for less than 5 bucks. It's worth getting just for the soundtrack.
I am usually making my own challenges as I play through games. In Minecraft, I'll be a "vegetarian" and never kill any animals. In Final Fantasy V, I'll only choose a single job for all four characters, or never use magic, etc. In FF Tactics, I'll only play with named story characters, and they can only have a "canon job." Even games where like you'll have a skill tree, I'll min/max to an absurd degree to make a challenging build (my defense-crazy Valdis Story playthrough was extremely tedious).
It's how I find fun in games, and it works to varying degrees. I played Dark Souls with a parry-oriented playstyle, and it frustrated me so much I stopped playing. But I also can't imagine playing FFT while caring about these random, faceless losers instead of Ramza or Delita.
I think it's also something that proves how dangerous social media is in the wrong hands.
There's a really simple answer for "how did we get here" or "who's to blame," and that answer is "We all are, by using social media the way we do." I highly, highly recommend everyone watch The Social Dilemma to get themselves started seeing this issue, but after that, there's also a great podcast called Your Undivided Attention that goes deeper into how our social media system brought us to this point.
No, seriously. If you are confused by what's happening or how it's happening, take 90 minutes and watch The Social Dilemma. It's not like there's an evil puppeteer mastermind, but it's also a complete factual truth that this wasn't a coincidence, it was engineered to happen.
The Video Game History Foundation has an archive dedicated to media and promotional materials; you might be able to find what you need through them. They also have a patron-exclusive Discord, which might help.