In North America, December 26th is considered Boxing Day. The day after Christmas, it features an insane amount of sales, many store clearing their Christmas stock at below cost. It’s a particularly crazy day to visit shipping mall, and the only day were you will see checkout queues online. Somewhere along the way, Boxing Day because Boxing Week, and sales continue up to January 2nd. This year, the most impressive sale I saw was at the Steam store. I bought four games: BioShock for 5$, Bejeweled for 1$, Doom for 1$ and Unreal Tournament 3 for 10$. Not a bad deal, even considering the mediocre exchange rate. Doom I bought out of nostalgia and as a demonstration tool. The three other games are new to me.
Bejeweled is a fairly famous puzzle game. I’m a huge fan of Puzzle Quest, but I never played the original puzzle game. At 1$, it seemed like a good deal. This game has been described as video game crack, and I can understand its addictive nature. It’s a good time waster, but if I have Puzzle Quest handy, I might play that instead.
BioShock came as a surprise to me. I had played the demo a year ago, but I was unimpressed. At 5$, I decided to give the game another chance. The story elements in this game are very impressive, and its a shame that the demo doesn’t do the game justice. The music sets an incredible ambiance. This is one of the first game to spook me in quite a while. I’ve been playing for 8 hours so far and I’m hooked. Definitively a good investment.
It’s ironic that the game I was most looking forward to ended up being the most disappointing. I’ve always been a fan of the Unreal series, with Unreal Tournament 2004 being one of my favorites. Unreal Tournament 3 was advertised as an Unreal Tournament game with a strong story component. However, the story component is just a series of tournament missions strong together with a narrative. The missions themselves are not very plausible: capture-the-flag and onslaught are not games that translate well to storytelling warfare. The game does try to freshen up the format, the hover board being a nice addition. I haven’t tried the multi player component, and I’m sure this is where the game will shine. However, so far, an hour into the game, the single player experience component is disappointing.