Friday 29 June 2012

GOG - Critical Review


A wonderful site for purchasing games. GOG (formerly Good Old Games) is a group that has so much to offer in comparison to other many online stores.

They provide any game bought as DRM-free, so you're not limited once you buy a game. It's yours and you can do anything with it – download, reinstall, back it up, or what ever else you want. All your purchases are saved on your account (which takes a few minutes to set up) so you can access them anywhere as long as you have some internet connection; hopefully that will become universal and never be an issue! Though I understand housing and food comes first. The convenience of access along with the hassle free downloads make buying from GOG easy.

The best part is their strategy of bribery. GOG throws stuff at you, instead of taking the normal method of appealing to the customers by hyping something up. Often companies will provide something, then forget about it. By this I mean, most companies will provide a product, and once they have milked that product to the point that no more money can be taken, they move on to something else. Where as GOG decides to go the opposite path. GOG decides to go for a more customer satisfied method. Giving quality games away with enough content for each dollar to attract thousands with their fancy deals. It's a long term vs a short term focus on the customers. Take a company like CAPCOM, who decided to release Street Fighter X Tekken, then take the popularity from that, and make people buy more after they had already purchased the game through DLC (downloadable content) to get the full experience. The point behind that is they know they have a fan base so once they hook people into buying the game, they can just saying, "Oh we've got ourselves another character" to reel in more money. After buying a game, if the person you bought it from keeps asking for more and more money, it doesn't seem as if you're actually being treated with any respect. It's almost as if you're in debt, a striking similarity between the mafia and developers (a good example would be Zynga [responsible for the infamous Mafia Wars on Facebook]). GOG provides quality games, but doesn't stop there. They make sure to look and track down any extra goodies you might be interested in. This includes manuals (613 as of June 28th 2012 along with the rest of these numbers), soundtracks (568), custom avatars (1320), game guides (171), high resolution wallpapers (734), artworks (4989 pieces of concept art, renders, and others), videos (207 trailers, making of videos, and others), and a lot more. They provide a great product packed with all you could want and try to satisfy you on purchase with their bundles. Providing a quality fully finished product, that has something to offer forever, will keep the customers coming. Something that continues to get customers or manipulating them for as long as possible, what's the better business decision. Most importantly from a business stand point is that the short term method will cause upset among the customers and damage reputation. GOG continues to improve it's own reputation with this service and casts the bigger companies in it's ever growing shadow. As of today this is a quote from their website which should only become more impressive as time goes on.
Did you know? We have bundled over 40.8GB of bonus content FREE with games 

Now in terms of games, you might be wondering, how much better is GOG than the 60 dollar average price we see in stores? Well the prices are in the range of a bag of chips to a decent resturant meal. As a translation this means that games can go from 3 bucks to 30. I've only seen one game that comes close to a regular store price and that's the games made by CD Projekt themselves (the game developers who run GOG). Though as mentioned before the content recieved will be in a much higher quanitity than from a regular store. A great feature they possess is a weekly sale special. Useually at a rate of 50% or higher off the regular prices. For games that often cost about 6 dollars, its really no more than the price of a snack.

The reason for these low prices on the other hand may dissapoint some arogant gamers but for those who aren't hell bent on getting the best graphics, GOG has games you won't find anwhere else (mostly). They do at times release games that have just been released on their site but it seems to be only indie games, things that need more attention anyways. The main focus of GOG is to rerelease older games, hence the name: Good Old Games. They try (and do a damn good job) to remaster games which can't be found in stores anymore or are to old to run on your computer anymore. They bring back the nastalgic moments of your favourite classics, and let you experience the great works of art that have been forgoten. There is a mountain of old soundtracks, effects, and writting, which all play a role in the works of art we call video games. It is a shame to think that so many great songs will not be heard and so many adventures will not get to be explored all due to time passing by. GOG trys to remidy that issue. Allowing the users to purchase super cheap copies of old school classics like Deus Ex and some you've probably never heard of. They make sure that these remastered version are completely compatable for the latest version of Windows. Sadly for Linux users, we have to deal with that, but I'm sure your all used to that and know your ways around it. Mac users will have to do their best to work around that blockade as well. The fact they make these games so functional, is reason enough to be happy with the Windows realease, and letting them continue to provided quality games every week (that's right, a new game every week, minimum). No one else really provides this kind of content, other than retro video game stores, but even than not often for PC's. Without any compatition they still strive to provide the best service possible for something so rare.

One could claim the site has flase and needs to fix certain aspects, or that it's missing something, but GOG knows this and welcomes feedback. Unlike some sites (which do a decent and admerable effort) to get specific information about things they want to focus on, GOG lets the users identfy any problems or issues they find need the most attention. Using a voting system, GOG users can submit an issue they have found just as you would do with many other services though the difference is it then made public. If other users around the site look and see that the compliant/ comment you made correspondes with the same thoughts sturing up in their minds, they can give it a vote. The more votes something gets the higher the chance it will be seen by those who run the site. The higher the number of votes a submition has the closer it gets to the top of the list. As a result the users decide what features get added and fixed. This essentiually means the improvments people want get done. Along side this feature for voting on website changes, they offer the same system for new games. They allow the users to submit classic games people want to be able to play again. As before, if your choice is popular enough and gets enough attention then the focus will turn to that desired game. Make suggestions and support the quality ones. The community matters.

Just to bribe you even more, once you sign up with GOG they give you freegames as well. Nine games to be exact. This including Beneatha Steel Sky and UltimaIV, so there is an incentive to try GOG out. If you decided to buy agame, or even just wanted to install a free-bee, then you may do sowithout any concern, because GOG offers tech-support. A popular feature they don't have is a questionnaire (thankfully), to get all your information. Some sites will ask for your information and than only store it for their use (often in the fine print they say it will be distributed to other companies). GOG instead just doesn't keep that information and really doesn't request much. They let you pay and then the information swap is done. No billing address, it's online after all. GOG does these things to simply make the features of their website as friendly and appealing as possible. It's an environment that is quite easy to enjoy.

With all of that convenience, free content alongside the quality content you pay for at such great prices, the rare experience, and products you can achieve from GOG is something to appreciate. A company that cares about the customers and allows them to be in direct relation to how it grows, while games continue to bring back memories or install knew ones that could have so easily never existed. 
They also have a Youtube channel for trailers of upcoming games.

Friday 22 June 2012

Recommended Links for 2012

Recommended Links for 2012

Let me take you to another place!

After reading reviews I'm sure you're very ebullient. Here are some quick links to some quality content to help release your inner fire. Then once you have the patience to come back feel free - I hope to entertain and enlighten you with some more insightful reviews! The best method is to check out a review first, to get some in tell about what your stumbling into. That way you won't waste your time. Though truth be told, I haven't managed to review everything. As a result, you can use my reviews to help yourself out when scouting the web and narrow your next choice. Here you will find links to things I may have reviewed, have not, and maybe will not. The option of taking my advice is advised, or at least taking it into consideration, though it doesn't apply to everything. Have fun exploring and perhaps leave a comment on what would be a preferred next choice to review. :)




Rice Boy
Comics made by Evan Dahm. A couple of complete books that you can read entirely for free on the website. Great art style with some interesting stories to be told. Other works are featured on the site to be read as they are being created (page by page updates). Purchasing posters or your own copies of the comics is a way to support Evan and his future work.

Critical of current affairs, this blog deals with approaching issues in Canadian politics (but not only)/ media from a multi-perspective analysis. With in depth research, each article is a detailed yet easy to digest. My blog is static, but this one is time sensitive; visiting as often as possible will be quite beneficial.

This site is fantastic for find inspiration, getting motivated, and finding amazing artists. It is a art sharing site that consists of many categories and more functions than I know how to use. The variety of content is endless, and the skill that can be found is impressive. If you would like to see I have made an account at

The Humble Indie Bundle
Every so often they post a bundle of video games you can buy, though they do so allowing you to decide how much you want to pay. When you pay you get to decide how much goes to these guys running the site, the developers of the games you buy, and a charity. Also soundtracks are often included.

If you want to improve your arguments or just figure out why someone sounds fishy, this site can probably help. This website and poster have been designed to help you identify and call out dodgy logic wherever it may raise its ugly, incoherent head.

A blog of art by Oscar Sanmartin. Surreal art with lots of detail. The compositions often resembles old fashioned photographs, though it still manages to seem like the image is almost popping out with it's detail.

A wonderful site for purchasing video games. GOG (formerly Good Old Games) is a group that has so much to offer in comparison to other online stores. The best source for old school games you just can't get to work on your computer or haven't seen in years.

For all of those who are interested in keeping up to date with all the latest technology, from developers and engineers who realize that the planet still exists. Petrol and coal are outdated, some realize this, they are the leaders in technological progress.

We Got Scared - Dogmatic Cure
This fantastic video explains the human race in the best way I've ever had the privilege of listening to and to watch (and read).

A clever comic series 
"A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language." 
which relates to some quite silly and technical topics.

An amusing show exclusive to the internet (until downloaded), bring humour and education toward the great subject of science. Take a look at this sample episode which talks about the fascinating concept of Absolute Zero (can't get colder than that), Kelvin (zero Kelvin is Absolute Zero), the coldest place in the universe (it's closer than you might think), and why any of that matters.

Educational, but useualy on trivial things; this comic makes fun of lots of different aspects of the Scandinavian culture while occasionally bringing in aspects from around the world. Every comic has a point with a lesson or just some knowledge to be inherited which if not understood right away is always explained later on. Great humour to accompany your education.

For fantastic/ critical analysis on regular things which people just misunderstand, a great Canadian blogger who posts often about Canadian politics and media while also dishing out some rational criticism on culture.

Laughter and sometimes some education involved as well with these comics. The presentation of every comic here is always done in a brilliantly simple yet artistic and effective manner.

A digital newspaper feeding your eyes with fascinating information you probably didn't get to know or hear about yet. The guys (and perhaps gals) in charge, are the writers for the fantastic educational show, QI. The value of the show also comes from the very witty guests, that always come on the show to try and answer the hard questions, instead you laugh, but then learn.

Colossal Art & Design
It's always inspiring experience when visiting this blog. Posts on some of the most creative and skilful designs I've ever seen, by a variety of artists. When you want to see quality (which for me strikingly contrasts with my own) go and look through. Perhaps a goal of mine would be to get featured on this site. :)