OK, I’m about to write a longish post but in the meantime here’s an update.
Halo 2 – still don’t got. But what’s amazed me is that not only are there still tons of copies of the collector’s editon in stores, but that people at work who don’t know me all that well still are amazed that I don’t have the game.
Half-Life 2 – got it. It’s amazing. Of course, a lot of people didn’t get to play it on day one since, despite not being an MMORPG, once people on the east coast started getting home from work, the Steam servers went in the toilet. I presume their infrastructure was smart enough to separate the “pusing 3GB of content per user” cluster from the “authenticate so people can play the game when they install it” cluster, but maybe not. I know that people who installed the CD version were complaining of not being able to play, but my DVD version told me it would just finish the process later and let me play in the meantime. Maybe we’re just special since we paid more.
But the whole Steam thing is fascinating to me. Part of me wants it to work – I think the industry would be better off with digital distribution and mandatory updates. But part of me wants it to fail – I’m amused by all of those who say that Half-Life 2 is a better game than DOOM 3. It’s like saying that, say, Gone with the Wind is better than Star Wars – not exactly a good comparison to begin with. Maybe DOOM 3 requires Windows XP (or Linux or Macintosh), but at least you could play it day one. Hell, some crazy fuckers got it running on a Voodoo 2
You want to know why we don’t have anything other than a white anglo-saxon protestant up for the White House? Why we don’t have black or female candidates for the presidency? Because the first few to try will lose and neither party feels like wasting their turn. You want to know why companies like id Software don’t want to do something like Steam? Because the first big time game to try it is going to get bit and no one other than Valve has the desire to tough it out. Stardock sells Galactic Civilizations online, but that game isn’t going to sell millions of copies. DOOM 3 was guaranteed to sell millions and id and Activision didn’t feel like messing with that. Hell, VUG is still going to sue Valve before it’s all over. A party will have to decide that it’s worth the possibility of losing before they put up a minority candidate, and a company like Valve will have to decide it’s worth the possibility of taking a bath on sales and PR before we saw something like Steam.
Metroid Prime 2 – I really want this game. Actually I really want to finish the original. Sure, it’s just more of the same, but the same was damn good.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater – from what I understand, this is just more crazy weird shit, but not in a good way. People blast Quake for having no plot, but maybe that’s a good thing since the last two MGS games have had plots so bad no one wants to play them.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – I want this game just so I can drive around and hear DJ Axl Rose.