Steam Charts: Cephalopodic

Sometimes you set out to write a themed entry of the Steam charts around anagrams, and end up posting videos of octopuses. You know how it is.

10. God Eater 2: Rage Burst

This one makes a reappearance after a year or so thanks to a price drop last week (despite still costing more than it did in the Summer Sale the week before.)

You need to know that God Eater: Rage Burst is an anagram of Rare Buggered Toast. The reason I tell you this is because a lifetime of doing cryptic crosswords has taught me to spot awkwardly grouped words that don’t quite make sense and assume them to be an anagram. Perhaps the clue would read,

“Unusual cheer delivered from the back, organising God Eater: Rage Burst. (4,8,5)”

Which of course means I now feel obliged to try to do the same for all the rest of this week’s entries. But guess what?! I’m not going to. It could have been a whole thing, this week’s theme! Except it would have been excruciatingly boring.

9. Friday The 13th: The Game

I wondered if this one had had its day, slipping out of the charts in recent weeks, but nope! Like a joke about about how Jason Voorhees always comes back coming back, it’s come back.

8. Stardew Valley

Similarly, Stardew Valley took a single day off being on sale after the big Steam event, and dropped back down about 40% for a good chunk of last week. It’s back up to full price now, but that’s still only £11.

I can’t even begin to imagine wanting to play gardening in a game. We let our back garden turn to meadow this year, which is the extremely trendy way of saying, “Didn’t mow it even once.” It looks amazing now! Grass plants growing four or five feet high! The cat loves it. As do the butterflies and bees, breaking from their infamous boxing match to have a happy flitter and buzz about our painstakingly uncultivated maelstrom. Which is to say, you wouldn’t want to see a Stardew Valley I’d worked on. (An anagram here would have been “Travelled Ways”, which would have been nice.)

7. Fire Pro Wrestling World

I never followed wrestling. I remember going over to Mark Arden’s house a few times, because he had Sky, and seeing the Undertaker being all cross about something, but never seeing enough to follow the plots. It was only many years later when I was living with Craig Pearson, formerly of this parish, that I learned just how splendid a thing it could be, in amongst its many, many ugly issues. Most of all, Craig was excellent at impressing upon me the athleticism and skill required for anyone who wanted to get big, as well as explaining the intricacies of the soap opera stories. I still never reached a point of ever choosing to keep up, or watch it on my own, but I still look forward to when Craig comes to stay for a weekend and we watch some wrestling madness he’ll have brought with him.

So I asked if he’d played Fire Pro Wrestling World and he said, “A tiny bit, but I don’t like the controls.” Useless.

6. Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor GOTYE

Eurgh, I love this game – it’s one of my favourite games – but I’ve only been writing the charts for a few weeks and I already can’t wait for it to go out of favour again so I don’t have to try to think of another pithy paragraph about it. Maybe I should have one with the crossword clue idea.

I’ll tell you what I have kept meaning to say, actually. I HATE the name. “Shadow Of Mordor” is great. Lovely and looming title. But it’s the “Middle-Earth” prefix. It doesn’t make sense in the context! I guess they didn’t want to go with Lord Of The Rings: Shadow Of Mordor, because the game takes place between the events of the Hobbit book and the later trilogy. But it’d have made a lot more sense, rather than the most innocuous and bland of identifying features. Having to look for the game under “M” instead of “S” drives me potty. Someone change this.

5. Grand Theft Auto V

Please welcome the 436th entry in our ongoing series, What Are Rockstar Spending All The GTA V Money On?

What Are Rockstar Spending All The GTA V Money On?

This week: Chemical weapons

4. PGL 2017 Krakow CS:GO Major Championship Mega Bundle

There are times when, as I get really fucking dangerously close to 40 (three months left), I feel pretty young. And pretty. The job helps! And then all of a sudden, it really, really doesn’t. I look at whatever PGL 2017 Krakow Bumper Sticker Collection is, and feel a tiredness that goes deeper than my bones. It’s why we confused old fools hired much smarter people like Pip who understand such things.

So far as I can tell, this is a £31 sticker collection, commemorating this year’s million dollar CS:GO tournament in Krakow, which started yesterday. Pretend stickers, mind. Half the astronomical cost goes to the teams participating, and half goes directly into Valve’s GIANT BABY KILLING MACHINE.

It is also very confusing that an outdoor activity adventure holiday company appears to host gaming tournaments. In other news, my two year old also loves stickers.

3. H1Z1: King Of The Kill

And the top three are the same as the top three always have been, and always will be, so let’s instead spend a bit of time thinking about how clever cephalopods are. Starting with, of course, the mimic octopus:

2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

I love how the colossal squid is a sort of genuine myth. Only ever washing up dead, for years, in conditions too damaged to be usefully studied, they may as well have been the giant monsters from the B movies. And then in 2007 someone caught one!

Although I figure, if you assume they could have the same pigment changing abilities of other squid, they might well just be living amongst us.

1. Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds

Ah, go on, have an entire 53 minutes on how amazing cuttlefish are:


  1. Treners says:

    All this talk of squid is making me wonder whether John has read Kraken by China Mieville. I think he’d quite like it.

    • Minglefingler says:

      I can’t disagree with your assessment.

      • Captain Narol says:

        There is a “The Kraken” unit in Shardbound that summons 8 tentacles randomly across the battlefield, that’s so fun to play that it immediately become one of my favorite cards !

        By the general tone of the game, I’m definitely sure that the devs have read some Mieville’s stuff…

    • Kittim says:

      I like most of China’s work, but I never finished Kraken for some reason.

      I thought The Scar was brilliant though!

      Also loved Embassy Town.

  2. Ushao says:

    I love cuttlefish, they’re one of my favorite ocean creatures.
    I also love Ze Frank’s take on cuttlefish.

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      phuzz says:

      Baby cuttlefish are so cute, with their little tentacles, and colour changing :)

    • Daymare says:

      I don’t know how often I’ve watched Sad Dog Diaries. Too often to admit it.

    • Okami says:

      Great! Just great! Now I have to watch all of Ze Frank’s videos again. It’s not like I have anything more important to do. Thanks a lot!

      (actually I really don’t have anything more important to do right now.)

  3. Daymare says:

    The header image shows a cuttlefish, which is a cephalopod, but technically no octopus, because it has more arms. Fascinating, and weirdly cute creatures.

    Sorry for the nitpicking, here’s a cuttlefish video as an apology.

    • John Walker says:

      Yes, but an octopus is an octopus. Science fact.

      And it says “Cephalopodic” in the title.

      And it says, “spend a bit of time thinking about how clever cephalopods are.”

      • Daymare says:

        Yes, all true. I knew I was smartassing when I did it. You caught me! (I think I’ve been annoying people with animal facts for a decade now. I should probably stop.)

        Can I interest you in my favorite octopus fun-fact to make up for it? All octopuses have one favorite tentacle they like to use more than their other tentacles. Sorta like being left or right-handed. Makes them unexpectedly idiosyncratic.

  4. lancelot says:

    mimi octopus

    Is “mimi” a short for “mimimi mimic”?

    (Fun fact: in Russian, the interjection “mimimi” and its derivatives apparently also originate from the sounds the lemur in Madagascar makes, but the meaning is “cute, kawaii” instead of “sad and whining”.)

  5. Nauallis says:

    Eh, I think given that I tend to find myself in agreement with most of your WoT pieces, probably you’d like Stardew Valley, John. Likely the worst part about it for you would be the utter lack of negative consequences. That was hilariously, ironically stressful when learning to how it all works, but then it quickly became one of the most addictive and relaxing games I’ve yet played.

    I dunno though. On the other hand it could remind you of all of the potential things you could’ve done in your life but can’t, wouldn’t, or haven’t.

  6. nitric22 says:

    I get paid this week and due to the pressure of an associate of mine to do some group PlUnkBating… well John, I expect to make my contribution to next weeks number #1 entry. So what I’m trying to say is, can we do amphibians next week please?

  7. TheBookThief says:

    I do hope next week’s specialty is jellyfish and the various weird variety of it.

  8. pepperfez says:

    That header image was a cruel prank. Here I thought there was some gorgeous, out-of-nowhere cephalopod game taking over Steam…and there’s PLUNKBAT instead. Absolutely heartless, John.

    • Leafy Twigs says:

      And here I thought Subnautica made a return to the charts. Very misleading cephalopods indeed.

  9. caff says:

    Having watched 53 minutes of cuttlefish, I’m afraid to say I’m none the wiser on the actual content of Player Unknown Battlegrounds.

  10. SpakAttack says:

    I enjoyed the squid video. Much more entertaining than counterstrike. Thanks!

  11. Hardlylikely says:

    We let our back garden turn to meadow this year, which is the extremely trendy way of saying, “Didn’t mow it even once.” It looks amazing now! Grass plants growing four or five feet high!

    Known in Australia as the local snake and/or rodent breeding centre.

    Also, yay cephalopods!