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Gaming News: Black Friday Edition

Hey everyone! It’s November which means it’s almost time for gorging ourselves on Thanksgiving… oh, and that little thing called Black Friday! I’ve found the deals going on this year at Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, etc and I’ve laid out the specs for you. Whether you are looking for games or a new console make sure you look here!


Xbox

One X – 1TB – Gold Rush Special Edition Battlefield V – $429.99 at Best Buy

One X – 1TB – $399.99 at Wal-Mart (other bundles $70 off)

One S – 1TB – Minecraft Creators Bundle – $199.99 at Best Buy or Wal-Mart

Controllers – 39.99 at Best Buy and Target – $39 at Wal-Mart

X-Box Live 3 Months – $12.50 at Wal-Mart


Playstation 4

1TB – Marvel’s Spider-Man Console Bundle $199.99 at Best Buy and Wal-Mart

Controllers – $39.99 at Best Buy and Target – $39 at Wal-Mart


Nintendo Switch

Super Mario Kart Deluxe Bundle – $299.99 at Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Target

Controllers – Starting at $14.99 at Best Buy


Games

Select Games at Best Buy – $19.99, $24.99, and $29.99

Select Games at Target – $15, $25, $29.99, $35

Select Games at Wal-Mart – $12, $17, $25, $35

Red Dead Redemption 2

  • $59 w/exclusive Steelbook at Wal-Mart
  • $59.99 w/collapsible cup at Best Buy

Fallout 76

  • $59 w/exclusive Steelbook at Wal-Mart
  • $59.99 w/Vault boy keychain at Best Buy

Microsoft Store Deals


PC Gaming

HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop – $599.99 at Wal-Mart

  • 8gb memory
  • 1TB storage
  • i5 processor
  • 15.6″ Screen
  • NVIDIA GTX 1050i 4GB Graphics

Numerous deals at Newegg.com – entirely too many to list! Lots of PC’s and laptops with a few hundred off. As well as parts on sale.


I would love to give you more information about PC Gaming, but we all know Steam keeps it’s Autumn/Black Friday Sale pretty well under wraps. It is coming up, so keep an eye out for it! Also, Amazon has their Black Friday under wraps as well, but they already have Pre-Black Friday sales going on, so head over when you get a chance. I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and good shopping on Black Friday (and Cyber Monday)!

P.S. Please be safe! We all know Black Friday has the ability to get out of hand!

Top 10 Steam Games Under $5

I trolled through my house today looking for loose change. All in all I found $4.82. Not bad. As a kid growing up in the 80’s this would have been a spectacular find. That $4.82 is a sweet, sweet candy stash. Today, not so much. In 2018 this kind of couch change doesn’t have the same kind of impact… however, for under $5 there are a plethora of enjoyable games you can find nestled in the deepest depths of Steam store.

(Before I start a quick note on how I choose these games. Every single game I choose are games that I have personally played and can vouch for. I realize that there are many games out there under the $5 mark that could easily make this list. This is MY list. I did not include games that are Free as that’s a whole other list… I also looked for a plethora of games that could be enjoyed by various audiences and appeal to many types of gamers. That’s that. I hope you enjoy the list and please, feel free to let us know what you favorite $5 and under game is, and if there are any suggestions you may have.)

Organ Trail

10. Organ Trail: Directors Cut. When I was in 6th grade I was introduced to PC gaming by a fun little experience called The Oregon Trail, in which you follow the historic trek many took across our country in a time when dysentery and fording a river were more dangerous than we could possibly imagine. There were hunting mini games and indian attacks. You usually didn’t make it… Imagine that set in the zombie apocalypse, and that’s what Organ Trail is.

Town of Salem

9. Town of Salem. This game is fun… with friends. Please bring your friends. With that in mind Town of Salem is a great time and a ton of fun, and if it tickles your fancy you can look into the tabletop version…

Xcom

8. X-Com: UFO Defense. Sure this game is old as dirt. Sure it has a bunch of bugs. Sure it can make you want to throw your controller through your TV… But, you still love it. It’s charming and horrible and well worth a look if not just to see the origins of the rebooted X-Com series.

PLants v Zombies

7. Plants vs. Zombies GOTY. In which you plant plants to fend of a zombie invasion. It’s fun and addictive, and hard to put down… Tons of game time packed into a charming package. Well worth a look.

Sally Face

6. Sally Face. What a great little game. This horror adventure has a uniquely catered art style that reminded me of classic Nick cartoons like Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. This aesthetic combined with a disturbingly unique story line make this a great pickup.

VVVVVV

5. VVVVVV. A 2D platformer where instead of jumping you control gravity. This colorful masterpiece is simultaneously ridiculous and charming. I don’t recommend this for those that are easily frustrated as each level takes a bit of trial and error, and can be quite rage inducing at times. It’s still well worth the price tag.

Reigns

4. Reigns. Yes or No? As the new king you need to decide what sort of entity you will be. You are presented with requests from your citizens and need to decide what is best for you or your kingdom and impose your will. Reigns is simple in concept but hides a layer of strategy well worth looking into.

Overlord

3. Overlord. You are in charge and your decisions matter. Its hard to deny the surprising charm Overlord brings to the table. Every action you take on the battlefield has lasting effects on the world around you. Command your plucky minions to do your bidding in this quirky adventure. Take them on raids in villages or fight monstrous beasts. What kind of Overlord will you be?

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2. The Binding of Isaac. Roguelikes are a dime a dozen anymore and their influence on indie developers are like a blanket on a hot and humid day. I wish they would go away so we can finally move on. That being said, there are a number of great roguelike games available and few have the draw and prestige of the one of the greatest. The Binding of Isaac is one of the originals and is still loved today.

Superflight
1. Superflight. Wow! That was my initial reaction when I first picked up this game. There is something to be said about simplicity and atmosphere. Superflight is a game about adorning a flight suit and traversing beautiful procedurally generated atmospheres. You can feel the speed as you dip and dive your way through colorful landscapes. Even with the intense feel of falling it is a surprisingly relaxing experience. I was initially gleeful with my experience and was overjoyed to find myself willing to go back and play some more. If you haven’t seen this title, do yourself a favor and give it a solid look.

Review: Portal & Portal 2

Recently, I was asked to stream the Portal games. Of course, they were games I was interested in, but never had the pleasure of playing. Ok, that’s a lie. I was terrified that I would rage harder than I ever have at a game. I have always loved puzzles but there is a level of frustration that comes with them that can send me through the roof and fast.

However, I almost never say no to streaming requests and I almost never say no to Vanri’s streaming requests. Also, I had the honor of interviewing Ellen McClain so I should play her game. Right?

Portal

You awake in a cell with a robot talking to you. Not the oddest start to a video game thatm_img_27895 I’ve played but I’m down, let’s do this. Your character, Chell, is tasked by GLaDOS, to go through a series of tests. At the end of these tests you will be given cake. The tests start out simple enough. Go here, do this, place that here, make it to the exit. Wonderful. Then you receive the portal gun. You shoot it at one location, shoot it at another and create a portal. It’s hard to explain but what you are doing is creating a direct connection between two points, no matter the distance between them.

The whole point is to complete the tests set before you by GLaDOS. It will require finding ways to open the exit, usually by placing a companion cube on a button that will open the door. Usually. You will have to do so by creating portals, unlocking, opening, redirecting and a LOT of jumping. No two puzzles are the same. The rooms are vastly different but with a sense that you’ve been here before, since they all look the same. Each puzzle growing harder, more death rays to avoid, disgusting water not to drop into and making yourself a little motion sick once you figure out how to gain momentum.

These tests continue as GLaDOS taunts you, belittles you and throws everything except the kitchen sink at you (not for lack of trying). I, surprisingly, moved through the game with relative ease. Getting stuck once or twice, frustrated once or twice. Nothing too terrible. You do face some enemies, turrets, and obstacles that will kill you. I did have to restart a few levels a few times.

o2hhbvqI found the game oddly relaxing, fun and challenging. I looked forward to streaming it and not giving up. I came out with a sense of accomplishment and a renewed respect for actors everywhere. Ellen is a WONDERFUL person and GLaDOS was a TERRIBLE, if not hilarious, robot. Only amazing actors will make you love them and hate their characters.

All in all, it is a wonderful game with a great story line and interesting puzzles that will make you think. The twists and secrets throughout the game keep you guessing.

(Pro tip: Listen to the ending credits song.)

This is a MUST PLAY Game!

Portal 2

This time you awake in a cozy looking hotel room. A smaller robot rushes in and disasterportal-21 immediately strikes. I was tickled to hear the voice of Steven Merchant (and JK Simmons much later in the game) as the environment was literally coming down around me.

This sequel is a much bigger game with a much bigger story line. You go through so many twists and turns that it’s hard to keep up. Your gun doesn’t change but you get new things to play with, like paint! I’m also terrified of falling and, my Goddess, did this game love showing me that I could fall to my death OFTEN.

Now… let’s talk about frustration. Every ounce of it that I thought I would feel with the first game, I felt it tenfold in Portal 2. I got frustrated often, found myself having to look up several answers online and even scared people in my chat. Oh yeah, that happened. They ran.

The game is harder by far, longer for sure, and left me with more questions.

It is also ripe with hilarity, insults and opportunities to curse. So many opportunities.

There is a LOT to this game that is hard to talk about without giving away major plot points. It is wonderful in that it isn’t what you expected or thought it would be. The story takes turns and actually plays with your emotions a bit. You leave the game unsure of what just happened and wondering, what’s next? I doubt that question will ever be answered but how my brain plays with the possibilities.

This is a SHOULD PLAY game if you don’t get frustrated easily or don’t mind scaring your neighbors.

Top 10 Steam games under $10 (Sort of…)

I’m what you’d call a patient gamer. I scour the depths of Steam looking for deals and hidden gems. Sometimes they pop out at you, sometimes they’re hidden. Either way you can have an amazing gaming experience on nearly any budget.

(Before I start a quick note on how I choose these games. Every single game I choose are games that I have personally played and can vouch for. I realize that there are many games out there under the $10 mark that could easily make this list. This is MY list. I did not include games that are Free OR under $5. I also looked for a plethora of games that could be enjoyed by various audiences and appeal to many types of gamers. That’s that. I hope you enjoy the list and please, feel free to let us know what you favorite $10 and under game is, and if there are any suggestions you may have.)

Tothemoon

10. To the Moon. Originally released in 2011, “To the Moon” is a game that relies on its story. The game play itself is nothing to write home about, however, that’s not what this is about. I refuse to say too much in fear of giving anything away, but It’s all about the story. This tale is a ride full of emotion which leads to a cathartic experience. Fans of the Super Nintendo Console era will find the art style delightful. I highly recommend you give it a try.

Indiana

9. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. Yeah, that’s right! I got a game originally released in 1992 on here. This point and click adventure game holds up like nothing I have ever seen. You get to play a brand new adventure with one of the most iconic movie heroes of all time. This pixelated adventure manages to capture the essence of Indiana Jones far better than anything else released after the original film. Even without the star aspect the game is solid and worth the play through.

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8. The Elder Scrolls Online. This game retails for $19.99 … HOWEVER, it regularly goes on sale for $9.99. Yes, there is an expansion that costs $29.99. Yes, you can subscribe to the game for benefits. Yes, there are in game purchases you can make. The game, at its core, is a fantastic experience worth a look. Spending less than $10 on this experience is well worth the cost, and I would have ranked it higher if it were always on sale. If you see this on sale and are looking for an excellent and refined adventure that has come a long way since it’s Elder Scrolls Craft inception it originally was, give it a try. I promise it won’t disappoint.

Ikaruga_arcade_flyer

7. Ikaruga. A Vertical Shooter that takes a standard concept and turns it on its head by including a mechanic that wants you to get hit… Vertical Shooters have been around since the beginning and have evolved into vibrant displays of reaction time and memorization. Ikaruga gives you that experience in a unique way while maintaining the difficulty associated with these types of games. Enjoy.

Orwell_video_game_header_B_capsule

6. Orwell: Keeping an Eye on You. Big Brother is watching, and you are he… She… Whomever. A point and click adventure style game from the perspective of a Big Brother agent tasked with finding out the culprit behind a terrorist attack. This game skirts the line of right and wrong and gleams with air of caution. You are responsible for interpreting the data you discover and ultimately make the decision. Are you right to ruin this life? Are you 100% sure? You decisions matter.

Limbo_Box_Art

5. Limbo. Limbo is a quick adventure game that gently mixes side scrolling puzzles with horror. I often find myself eerily quiet while playing. There’s a lot going on in the game and it thrusts you right into the middle of it without any real context. It’s the following period of discovery that the game represents that really sells this as one of my favorite little adventures of all time.

Fallout_New_Vegas

4. Fallout: New Vegas. This iteration of the Fallout saga is arguably the best. There are bugs, sure. There are also a ton of mods to help the game look and feel more realistic that also do their best to get rid of the bugs. Fallout: New Vegas delivers an excellent story that really plays well with the “What happens in Vegas” mantra. Well worth the hundreds of hours of game time you’ll enjoy.

Portal_standalonebox

3. Portal 1 and 2. If you haven’t played a portal game yet, stop what you’re doing and grab one up. You can often get both on sale for a combined cost of under $10. These games are polished. They have excellent game play, fun characters, and are iconic masterpieces. Do yourself a favor and pick these up!

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2. Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath. In which you play as a beastly bounty hunter that has sworn off guns and uses various critters and varmints to help him capture his prey. It has an amazing Dystopian Western feel combined with unique characters RPG elements. Stranger was a favorite of mine growing up (My bias is showing, I know) and could be yours as well. Check this gem out asap.

Undertale_Combat_Example

1. Undertale.  What a wondrous ball of perfection. I have a hard time even writing about it. Everything about this game is lovable. The soundtrack mixed with the visual style and complemented by the fantastic characters… It has so much going for it. Even if your not an RPG enthusiasts I highly recommend giving it a try. It’s won over many people that were turned off by the visuals. Why not you?

Indie Spotlight: Forgotten Anne

Tell us about your game: Valdemar Schultz Andreasen (Lead Game Designer):

Forgotton Anne is an untraditional 2D platforming adventure, with a heavy focus on the narrative and an interest in telling a very human story. We’ve done what we can to make it feel as if you’re playing inside an anime-movie, with a cinematography that swoops and zooms around.

The story centers around Anne, one of two human beings trapped in the world of lost and forgotten things – the Forgotten Lands. The inhabitants are socks, scarfs and other objects that people forget, animated into life as citizens of this world.

Anne and her Master Bonku are trying to get back to the human world, but as the story begins, an explosion occurs – somebody is trying to destroy their plans of returning home.

Since Anne has the role of Enforcer of these lands, she is sent out to locate and find the cause of the rebellion.

You play the game as you would a platformer: Anne can walk, run, jump – and then she has two tools in her belt: Her wings give her a boosted jump. Her Arca-glove on her hand can draw and transfer energy – called Anima – between cylinders and power up machines. It can even draw the Anima out of Forgotlings.

Through the story told, Anne interacts with a lot of Forgotlings, not just drawing life, in fact, mostly speaking to them. Anne encounters a lot of different situations that ask something of her situation as the Enforcer, but also moral situations for the player to contemplate.

The decisions Anne and the player makes impact aspects of the story, and it is not always clear what action leads to what reaction or consequence, which might just make it worthwhile to go through the game for a second run.

Situations of identity, loyalty and choice weave in and out of a beautifully aesthetic and engaging experience, that has a constant drive forward with new areas and situations.

The human story emerges as the story becomes an investigation of Anne – not just of her past, but also of who she is as a human being. We have done what we can to avoid turning her into a caricature or a superhero, rather trying for a naturalistic description of a complicated person full of contradictions and emotions, like any of us. While Anne is athletic and cool, she is also sometimes slightly clumsy. Our lead animator, Debbie Ekberg, was really great in portraying Anne’s movements with 2D animation. The game contains more than 5000 individual drawings, frames, of Anne. She would add these subtle touches of animation that showed Anne from a more vulnerable and naturalistic side that really rounded off her character.

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What was your inspiration to create the game

Alfred Nguyen (Creative Director): It came about after a soul-searching period after I quit my job as a creative lead at a mobile games company. I was reaching a point in my life where I wanted to make use of all the skills I had accumulated throughout the years as an animation film director and artist to express something meaningful. I think there is a space for fun addictive mobile games in our lives, but it did not allow me to go deep with crafting imaginary worlds of wonder and tell stories that affected people in a meaningful way. The same way certain games, books and movies had a lingering effect on me growing up. So the first thing I did was to reflect on themes I kept returning to as an artist and topics that kept being there on the back of my mind throughout my life. My parents were refugees from the Vietnam war and I grew up in Denmark, and so had two very different cultures vying for my identity growing up. So the search for an identity, the feeling of being lost, ‘forgotten’ I could see was a recurring theme in my life. Making a game can be a sisyphean task and so I knew it had to have a personal core that guided the project through tough times, and so this world of the forgotten began to form in my mind. From there it’s just been an incredible journey, starting a company, assembling my great and loving team who is responsible for making Forgotton Anne into what it is, and bet that years of work will feel worth it, as long as we focused on a meaningful creative process instead of calculating what will be ‘hot’ in the future to play or current trends.

Forgotten Anne is availble on Steam, Xbox and PS4 May 15th

 

Bitcoin Mining: How it Affects PC Gamers

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If you’re like me, you hear the word “Bitcoin” and automatically think “huh?” As far as I was concerned, bitcoin was an online cryptocurrency that had nothing to do with anything I was interested in. A friend of mine told me a few years ago to invest in it, but that’s not really my strong suit, so I ignored him and kept on gaming.

Well, I should have paid more attention. Bitcoin has blown up. Bitcoin is apparently worth thousands. It’s currently an unregulated currency that allows people to make online purchases anonymously. It’s not tied to any banks or any government; it’s completely online.

There are various ways to get bitcoin. First, you can use an exchange app, such as Coinbase. Second, a friend or possibly an employer or buyer can transfer bitcoin to you online, much like sending cash digitally (think Paypal or Venmo). Finally, and most importantly to the topic of this article, you can mine it.

According to CNNTech, people use computers to solve complex math problems in a competition. A winner is chosen every 10 minutes and awarded with 12.5 bitcoins. This is how new bitcoin is created.

Bitcoin miners are buying high end GPUs in bulk in order to solve these math problems faster, thus creating a significant shortage in the supply. This shortage is driving up the prices at a nearly 80% markup.

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Because of this drastic increase in price and shortage of supply, PC gamers are finding it almost impossible to build their own rigs. Nvidia has strongly suggested that retailers prioritize gamers over miners, but retailers are going to sell to whomever is going to pay. Some retailers have tried to place a limit on how many any one person can buy at one time, while others, like Micro Center in Pennsylvania, are offering huge discounts to gamers who buy their GPUs with other computer parts.

This problem doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon, which will drastically impact PC gamers in the long run. Why spend upwards of $800 for a $300 GPU when you can just buy a PS4 or Xbox One X for $500? How long until the price of pre-built computers goes up, too?

Until suppliers can meet the demand and flood the market with graphics cards, gamers are going to see the shit end of the stick.

Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

PC Gaming Peripherals to Optimize your Experience

When we talk about optimising your PC gaming experience, the first thing people talk about is usually upgrading your graphics card or processor. However, there is much more to your gaming experience than just graphics quality and frame rate.

Quality Headphones
Sound is a huge part of modern gaming. If you’re playing your PC’s sound from a pair of tiny speakers, you’re missing out on a huge part of the gaming experience.

Whether you’re listening for footsteps nearby in a first-person shooter or you’re watching and listening to a cinematic in your favorite Role-Playing Game, the quality of your games’ sound can change your experience.

A good set of gaming headphones can improve your gaming experience by allowing you to feel a part of the gaming experience, and let you feel all the small nuances of sound that the developers put into the game.

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Gaming Chair
When you play PC games, you’re generally sitting in one place for hours at a time. It’s difficult to feel a part of your gaming experience when you can’t get comfortable in your chair.

A quality, ergonomic gaming chair lets you sit and play for hours on end without getting
uncomfortable or developing aches and pains. Each person has different needs for a gaming chair, and it’s important to find the right chair for you.

Whether you need a strong lumbar pad, a comfortable headrest, and armrests, or additional side supports, the right chair will let you play comfortably for hours.

Gaming Keyboard and Mouse
If you’re looking for a keyboard and mouse for gaming, you could always just buy a $20 office keyboard and mouse combination and call it a day. However, just as your favorite music sounds better through a quality speaker, your gaming experience will benefit dramatically from a high-quality gaming keyboard and mouse.

Before you pick a keyboard and mouse, you need to think about what your needs are. Some people need all the extra buttons to assign to different actions on their game, while others are comfortable with a plain QWERTY style keyboard and a three button mouse with a scroll wheel.

Think about your gaming experience and your needs, then be sure to try different styles. You will be able to find a keyboard and mouse that addresses your needs and feels comfortable.

razer_tron_gaming_keyboard_and_mouse_by_commandertokiwa-d5uk84h

Pick the Right Monitor
Your monitor displays the visual aspect of your games. Since graphics and frame rate has a large effect on your ability to feel a part of the game, you want to pick a monitor that displays your games in the best way possible.

Full High-Definition, or 1,920 by 1,080 pixels, is the minimum requirement for most modern games. However, a larger monitor combined with newer games can allow you to reach resolutions as large as 2,560 by 1,440. Remember, the higher the pixel count, the clearer your picture. So if your gaming area has enough space, a larger monitor is usually better. Running games at full 4k is a stretch for most hardware at the moment, but investing in a 4k monitor could be a good future-proofing move.

Response and refresh rate are important too. The refresh rate is how often the screen refreshes the display and response time is how quickly a pixel can change from white to black and back again. Faster response time and refresh rate lead to better image quality and smoother animations. Since LCD monitors don’t suffer from screen flicker, usually the refresh rate is more important.Your gaming experience should be comfortable, easy to use, and help to make you feel a part of the

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Your gaming experience should be comfortable, easy to use, and help to make you feel a part of the gaming experience. Making these simple upgrades in your PC peripherals will give you an entirely new gaming experience.

Written By: Craig Johnson

OPSEAT is a leading brand of PC gaming chairs.