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True_Sounds Blog

Gaming setup

If anyone is curious this is pulled from Xfire's gaming rig function. I don't use that site anymore because I feel it's gotten progressively worse after the creators sold it off in order to start Raptr. Miss the xfire days RIP.

TrueSounds's Rig

HardwareManufacturerCustom Build
ProcessorIntel(R) Core(TM) i5-2500K CPU @ 3.30GHz (4 CPUs), ~3.3GHz
MemoryPatriot Viper Xtreme 2X4GB DDR3 1866MHZ
Hard DriveSanDisk Extreme 240GB 2.5in SSD
MotherboardASUS P8Z68-V Pro GEN3
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1
VideoVideo CardGigabyte AMD Radeon HD 6870 1GB
Physics Card
MonitorBenQ GW2750HM 27 inch LED 4 ms
SoundSound CardSpeakers (Realtek High Definition Audio)
SpeakersPlantronics GameCom 780
PeripheralsKeyboardTt eSPORTS Poseidon Illuminated Mechanical Keyboard - Brown switch
MouseCorsair M60 Laser Gaming Mouse
Mouse SurfaceSteelseries QCK DOTA2-edition (17.7" x 15.7")
Computer CaseAntec Three Hundred

2012 PC games in review...

2012 was in my opinion the year of indie games. What was once somewhat of a niche has now been shoved into mainstream PC gaming full force, with the help of entities such as Humble Bundle, prominent YouTube lets players, and the mass appeal of existing indie juggernauts such as Minecraft and Super Meat Boy.

Heres some games I liked this year:

FTL (Faster Than Light) - $10 indie roguelike

This was the type of game Ive always dreamed of since childhood; a space combat sim where you control a crew and ship functions to fight off random encounters. Everyone who grew up watching Star Trek can probably relate. The joy this game brings to me comes purely from a gameplay aspect. While the visuals may not be impressive, and the encounter variation may be slightly lacking, the game to its very core is designed to play extremely fun. The amount of control and management options built into this rogue-like RPG are streamlined and unparalleled. Due to the rock solid foundation of this game, it will surely live on with a cult status for years to come due to modding.

Hotline Miami - $10 indie twin stick

I have to admit I went into this game skeptical at best. The trailer was awesome, but the whole vibe made me feel like it was ripping off from recent box office hit Drive. However once I hooked up my 360 gamepad and booted this up, I lost all preconceptions and got lost in mindless gory fun. Like FTL, this game has a very basic visual style, and makes up for this with absolutely stellar gameplay mechanics. Playing the game reminds me of previous indie mega-hit, Super Meat Boy. The similarity lies in the fact that levels are meant to be tried in constant succession until you can beat it. As soon as you die you are instantly back at the beginning of the stage to put your skills (or luck) to the test again. And unlike SMB, dying isnt as frustrating, because the gameplay involved in killing enemies is so fun you probably wont mind playing the same level countless times.

Legend of Grimrock - $15 indie rpg

While I havent gotten too far into this game yet, I have played enough to form a (good) opinion of it. Its a turn based dungeon crawler / puzzler with again, EXCELLENT gameplay. But this one has top notch graphics to boot. Its squad management, where you control 4 heroes in a square formation. The combat of course involves micromanaging that grid of heroes effectively, and other genre staples such as leveling up and equipping gear. A neat aspect is the puzzles, which are needed to progress through the dungeon as well as to unlock doors to special gear. Its simple enough to jump right into after a 2 minute tutorial, but complex enough to offer a challenge and keep you interested.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown - $50 AAA strategy

XCOM is a turn based squad management strategy game, which has a delightful RPG meta-game where you can research tech and gear, construct facilities to gain game-wide advantages, equip and level up soldiers, and even choose missions, as a few major examples. I was a sucker for RPGs growing up, so this light roleplaying touch where we get some choices really spices this game up. But at its core it is most definitely a strategy game. The combat is somewhat reminiscent of recent Fallout reboots, in that you use guns to get turn based percentile shots on your opponents. The meta-game can factor into those percentages, as well as terrain based aspects, such as elevation, cover, and line-of-sight. You could easily get lost in this game for an entire day (and possibly the impending night as well). Its just great.

Saints Row: The Third - $50 3rd Person shooter

I dont really know what I expected from this, since I had not played any of the previous games, and had heard bad things about the PC port for SR2. Nevertheless, I am a huge fan of the GTA series, and this looked like a homage or parody to that, and the lets plays looked fun. I was blown away. This must be one of the goofiest mainstream games ever created, but its done so well! I was floored by the production and finesse this game has. It takes anything tedious from GTA 4 and makes it fun. The gameplay is phenomenal. The missions are so well varied, and are a BLAST to play, and will keep you wanting more until its over. The game is witty when one might expect simply nonsense. Surprise hit of the year, for sure.

Games still on my to-play list from 2012:

Far Cry 3

Mass Effect 3

Dark Souls

...and a ton of other single player games that are time sinks which I have yet to muster the attention span for

My Steam Summer Sale Experience

Summer Sale Haul

I bought alot of stuff from the summer sale! This included a bunch of base games, including:

X2: The Threat
Jade Empire
The Last Remnant
Portal 2 - Two Pack
Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box
Project Freedom
F.E.A.R.: Ultimate Shooter Edition
Rome: Total War Complete Pack
Medieval II: Total War Gold
SimCity 4 Deluxe
Star Wars: KOTOR
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic

Delve Deeper + Treasures and Tunnels DLC bundle
The Hitman Collection
Trine 2
Fallout 3 GOTY Edition
Serious Sam 2
TES: Morrowind GOTY
TES: Oblivion GOTY Deluxe
Far Cry® 2: Fortune's Edition

I also bought a couple 'bundles'. I owned most of the indie games from the dailies, but did not own any from Day 2, which was a steal for me, since I was planning on buying EYE and Universe Sandbox, and the other 3 games looked to be worth playing as well. Also I bought the Dejobaan bundle for $5, which was afaik never advertised on the main page, but was one of the better deals of the sale.

Summer Sale Indie Bundle Day Two:
-Includes 5 items: E.Y.E Divine Cybermancy, Botanicula, Splice, Universe Sandbox, Oil Rush

Dejobaan Complete Pack
-Includes 5 items: The Wonderful End of the World, AaAaAA!!! - A Reckless Disregard for Gravity , Aaaaa! - Brutal Concussion, 1... 2... 3... KICK IT! (Drop That Beat Like an Ugly Baby), AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome

The sale finally gave me the chance to catch up on some DLC's I was on the fence about, at a bargain price:

Binding of Isaac Wrath of the Lamb
Just Cause 2 DLC - Monster Truck
Just Cause 2 DLC - Agency Hovercraft
Just Cause 2 DLC - Chevalier Classic
Just Cause 2 DLC: Black Market Aerial Pack
Serious Sam Legend of the Beast DLC
Hamilton's Great Adventure - Retro Fever DLC
Super Monday Night Combat - Turbocross Bundle
Zombie Driver: Summer of Slaughter
Frozen Synapse: Red DLC
Tribes: Ascend - Steam Starter Pack

During the event I was fortunate to get some games for free for various reasons!

Arx Fatalis (gift from someone I helped to buy a region locked game)
FEAR 3 (gift from a friend, thanks Tom!)
Shadowgrounds Survivor (free from summer seal slots)
Shadowgrounds (free from summer seal slots)
Dwarfs!? (gift from stranger)

With all this influx of base games and DLC, I was able to push my game count over 350, enough to gain entry into the exclusivegame collectors steam group, which is kind of neat.

My games aside, I also took this opportunity to stock up big on steam gifts to either trade or send during the six month period between now and the winter sale. This is actually where I spent the bulk of my money, but I am hoping over the long term I will be able to save since I will be able to send gifts for much cheaper than I would otherwise be able to.

These are the gifts I have saved:

Garry's Mod (x4)
Saints Row 3
Saints Row 3 Franchise Collection (x2)
Fallout 3 GOTY
Fallout New Vegas Ultimate (x3)
Bioshock 2
Jade Empire
Red Orchestra GOTY
Grand Theft Auto Complete Pack
Batman Arkham City
Tropico 4
Portal 2 (x2)

I ended up spending way more than I anticipated during this summer event, but I had a great time and think if anything it made me an even bigger Valve fanboy XD. Did anyone else have similar experiences? How did you guys find this very much sales-oriented event?

PC rebuild

So my old hardware dates back as far as 07. I had made RAM and GPU upgrades since then, but it always one piece at a time. This is what my old build was at it's ending:

Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4600+ (2 CPUs), ~2.4GHz

Memory: 4096MB RAM

Hard Drive: 3 TB Total

Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS

Operating System: Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit (6.1, Build 7600) (7600.win7_gdr.100226-1909)

Motherboard: Some stock HP mobo

Computer Case: Antec 300

Power Supply: OCZ 500 watt

As you can see it is quite ancient. I am betting some newer gamers don't even remember the days when the 8800 was a gaming standard. So yeah, playing BFBC2 on low settings and dealing with crashes on multiple games, I was getting frustrated. My PSU blew, and while I could have easily just replaced it, I decided to scrap everything minus the case, and get a fresh start. This is my new build. All that is left to get is a fast SSD, but I figured that can wait until windows 8 comes out because they will only drop in price anyways. The futureproofing comes with my plan to eventually crossfire. It is not an expensive high end build, but I hope it will get the job done much better than my old desktop!

Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000

Memory: Patriot Viper Xtreme 8GB 2X4GB DDR3 1866MHZ PC3-15000 9-11-9-27 1.65V XMP Ready

Hard Drive:

Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 6870 Windforce 915MHZ 1GB 4.2GHZ GDDR5 2xDVI HDMI Display Port PCI-E Video

Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V Pro GEN3 Z68 LGA1155 ATX 3PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 2 PCI B3 Motherboar

Computer Case: Antec Three Hundred Mini Tower Gaming Case

Power Supply: Corsair Professional HX750W 750W ATX 12V 62A 24PIN ATX Modular Power Supply Active PFC 140MM Fan

Tabulation of past Indie Royale bundles

I am having trouble finding a google source with a list of all games included in past Indie Royale bundles, so I'm going to attempt to create one myself. If you have any relevant info I am missing please leave a comment so I can add it in! I will keep this list updated if any of you are curious enough to check back later.

The Indie Gala 3 (March 25) (? sold), $1 or BTA ~$4.50
Steam keys:
-Trapped Dead
-Greed: Black Border
-Future Wars
-Grotesque Tactics (BTA)
-Twin Sector

IndieRoyale: Ninja Lightning Pack (March 24) (10,414 Sold), $3-4
Steam keys:
-Ancients of Ooga
-Cloning Clyde

Desura-only keys:

-A Kingdom for Keflings
-Outpost Kaloki
-Band of Bugs

IndieRoyale: The St. Patrick's Day Bundle (March 16) (33,274 Sold), $4-5
Steam keys:
-Hard Reset
-Jolly Rover
-Vertex Dispenser

Desura-only keys:
-DLC Quest
-Lair of the Evildoer

IndieRoyale: Alpha Collection #1 (Feb 24) (13,500+ Sold), $5
(Non-Steam) Alpha access to:
-Wyv and Keep

Groupees: Be Mine Bundle (Feb 14) ($62,442 worth sold), $1 minimum
Steam keys:

-Wasteland Angel
-Sideways New York
-Xotic + DLC
-The Ball
-Nikopol: Secrets of the Immortals
(50-50 lottery chance)

IndieRoyale: The Valentine's Bundle (Feb 10) (23,708 Sold), $4-5
Steam keys:
-Zeno Clash
-Hoard + 2xDLC

Desura-only key:

The Indie Gala 2 (Feb 4-2012) (30,500), $1, or $5.50, or $10
Steam keys:
-Critical Mass (Carebear Bundle $1)
-Fortix 2
-Bunch of Heroes

-Roboblitz (Big Saver Bundle ~$5.50)
-Greed Corps
-Indie Gala 1 Contents (Epic Gala Bundle ~$10)

Note: There were 3 tiers to this bundle, and paying more got you into a higher bundle, which adds on extra games to the base "Carebear bundle".

IndieRoyale: Serious Sam Lightning Pack (Late Jan-12) (~16,000 Sold), ~$4.35, never below $4
Steam keys:
-Serious Sam: The Random Encounter
-Serious Sam Double D
-Serious Sam: The First & Second Encounter

Desura-only key:
-Serious Sam: Kamikaze Attack

IndieRoyale: The New Year's Bundle (Early Jan-12) (?) Sold, ~$3-4
Steam keys:
-Nuclear Dawn
-Max and the Magic Marker

Desura-only key:
-Super Crossfire

The Indie Gala (Mid Dec-2011) (45700 sold), $0.01 minimum
Steam keys:
-Zombie Shooter 2
-Hacker Evolution: Duality
-Your Doodles Are Bugged!
-Zombie Shooter 1
(Pay more than average)
-Hacker Evolution: Untold (Pay more than average)

IndieRoyale: The Xmas Bundle (Mid Dec-2011) (over 15000 Sold), ~$3.50 to $4+
Steam keys:
-Blackwell Trilogy
-Dino D-Day

Desura-only key:
-The Oil Blue

IndieRoyale: The Really Big Bundle (Nov 22, 11) ~10,000 Preorders, (?) Sold, $3-4
Steam keys:
-Really Big Sky
-Runespell Overture
-Cthulhu Saves The World / Breath Of Death VII

IndieRoyale: The Difficult 2nd Bundle (Mid Nov-11) +25,000 Sold, $2-3+
Steam keys:
-Ben There, Dan That! / Time Gentlemen, Please!

Desura-only keys:
-Bullet Candy Perfect

IndieRoyale: The Launch Bundle (Late Oct-11) ~35,000 Sold, $2.50-3+
Steam keys:
-A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda
-Gemini Rue
-Sanctum + Violator DLC + Killing Floor DLC

Steam Holiday Sale - My Big Haul!

This break I was stuck on a netbook becaues my PSU had just died, and I didn't really want to replace it. So instead of buying steam holiday sale games this year, I decided to try my luck on the steam forums Trading market. I started off with a few extra humble bundle Frozen Synapse keys with the bonus spacechem keys, and nothing else. I did a TON of trading and this is what my final haul looked like:

Paypal surplus of $98.45 CDN:

- Dotax3 @€15.00 EUR each
- Rage @ $15 USD
- Bastion @ £5.00 GBP
- Section 8: Prejudice + DLC + Bulletstorm @ $18.50 USD

I also was able to acquire a few games I had specifically wanted to get from the sale, via trading. These include:

-E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy
-Orc's Must Die
-Left 4 Dead (gifted to a buddy)
-Borderlands GOTYx2 (gifted one to the same friend)
-Dungeon Defenders
-Cave Story+

At the end, I was left with many games that I can trade in the future, or also install for myself when finish re-building my desktop. Some of them I am really interested in and will definitely install, but it's best to keep them in my inventory until my desktop is completely built. My ending tradeable inventory consists of:

-The Ball
-Borderlands GOTY
-Day Of Defeat:Source
-Delve Deeper
-Far Cry
-Greed corps
-Killing Floor
-Left 4 Dead 1
-Left 4 Dead 2
-Lego Batman
-Oblivion GOTY
-Plants vs Zombies GOTY
-Red Faction 1
-Red Faction 2
-Rock of Ages
-Rome: Total War
-Runaway, A Road Adventure
-Serious Sam HD First Encounter
-Serious Sam HD Double Pack
-Sherlock Holmes Collection
-The Ship
-Tropico Trilogy (1, 2, 3, expansion for 3)
-Universe Sandbox
-World Basketball Manager

I had alot of fun doing all this trading, so it was time well spent. Not bad for a few days work, eh?!

How was your Xmas haul? Leave me a comment about what you bought or traded. I am doubtful it is as dramatic as mine, but then again I bet you had lots of time to enjoy your games, whereas I did not! :P

TF2 Idling week of the century

-Deus Ex Specs day1 release; sold for 2 keys

-Machina day 1; 2 reclaimed

-Widowmaker day 2; 1 rec

-Mutton chops level 100; on the market, worth 6ref+

-Spy turtleneck alt suit; on the market, worth 2.66 ref


This is not even counting the Team Captain I found mere hours before I decided to idle. Jesus must be humping my pc as I sleep. :]