Steam Charts: The Someday Papers Edition

Some Monday mornings, as I plonk myself down at my desk at 6.50am and load the RSS feed for the Steam Charts, I think to myself: you know what? There are so many other things I’d like to write about today. Anyway, here are the top ten games on Steam from the last week.

10. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Yorkshire Gubbins is a point and click adventure you might have missed. And you shouldn’t, because it’s completely lovely. Funny, silly, a bit rude, and all delivered with a warm hug. Even the tutorial is extremely funny and shouldn’t be missed, no matter how familiar you are with verb-led adventuring. And it’s only £4!

9. Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online

Do U Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddnesses Online | 四女神オンライン CYBER DIMENSION NEPTUNE | 四女神ONLINE 幻次元遊戲戰機少女? As the kids used to say.

(Methinks it might be a slow sales week for Steam.)

Anyway, I was replaying The Witness recently, a game I’ve only ever hated, despite being a rabid puzzler. I was trying to work out why I hated it, to see if it was more than just its deliberate obtuseness. And then I read this from 2016 by Liz Ryerson that explained it to me with words I’d never have had.

“Yet the island can also feel oddly plastic, which places it at odds with the game’s serious tone. Occasional details — like the mawkish, cornball statues of people gesturing plaintively that are strewn over the island — reinforce this dissonance. You are constantly reminded you that you are, in fact, playing a product of the game industry and not the game you might think you’re playing.”

8. Deep Rock Galactic

Do you know what programme I don’t hear enough people talking about? It’s Ash Vs Evil Dead. Good gracious, it’s great.

Following on from the trilogy (of sorts) of movies, it follows Ashy Slashy into his middle-age, beginning with his working at a hardware store, and then eventual unravelling of the scrap of a life he’d pulled together after he gets high and shows off to a girl by reading from the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis once again. Not only is it incredibly funny, extraordinarily gory, and surprisingly frightening, but it seems to exist to confront its own problematic ways, in an endless cycle, that’s at once fascinating and dreadful. Also Lucy Lawless is in it and she’s utterly badass.

7. Into The Breach

Talking of TV shows, I recently discovered Comedy Bang! Bang! I know, I know, I’m many years late to the already over party, but goodness me what a treat it is to find a show so completely brilliant, and then learn there are 110 episodes of it.

I think I’d not watched it because of the name – it sounds like it’s going to be “wacky”. Then I’d heard “comedy talk show” and figured it was yet another sincere plug-fest of comedians congratulating each other. I finally clicked on it on Netflix the other day, and discovered that no! This is the spiritual successor to Mr Show With Bob And David! It’s bizarre, stream-of-consciousness comedy at its best, with incredible turns from celebrities you wouldn’t have thought would be able to run with it (Dane Cook?!), and a surprising amount of murder.

(Everyone says, “Listen to the podcast too!” But I say, “Actually, it’s a bit of a disappointment after the TV show, because while they still have the likes of Paul F Tompkins doing great turns, it’s also far too sincere, and weirdly Aukerman reveals himself to be as bad an interviewer as he pretends to be on the TV version.)

6. Hunt Showdown

I recently discovered, via Richard Cobbett, the YouTube works of sceptic Alan Melikdjanian, Captain Disillusion. He’s been going for over a decade, presumably ever-increasingly regretting his original decision to wear face paint for the character, debunking viral videos by exposing the special effects and video editing techniques they use. Which doesn’t sound too exciting I realise, but he does it with flair, humour, and an awful lot of impressive video FX of his own.

Highlights include explaining how those spectacular basketball shot videos are faked, a splendid takedown (including the many racist connotations) of the so-called Mandela Effect, and some wonderful expert debunking of the Cicret Bracelet.

5. Kingdom Come: Deliverance

You know what game I’ve been playing a lot recently? Er… Animated Puzzles. I’m not sure one is supposed to admit such things, but I keep coming back to its uniquely computer-only options for the ancient art of jigsaw puzzlin’.

There’s something really awesome about putting together a moving photograph as a puzzle, working out piece positions because of the rotation of a windmill, as the sails cross through an otherwise blue sky piece. And when I realised the time on the big clock tower puzzle was accurate, I realised this is probably the greatest game of all time.

4. Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition

In Other Waters looks like it could be good. Subnautica plus a text adventure, to create some mad hybrid. It’s just under £4k shy of its Kickstarter goal, with three days left, and I quite fancy playing it. It might be rubbish, of course, but it would be convenient if you could all fund it so I can find out. Kthx.

3. Warhammer: Vermintide 2

It snowed last week! Every time it snows in the south of the UK – something so rare that there was an eighteen year gap in my lifetime – I, rather obviously, build a snowman. And because of my love for Calvin & Hobbes, I try to make it a grotesque snowman that offends passersby. Since 2009 it’s snowed properly a total of four times (which, by the way, is why you should scream in the stupid face of people who moan about the UK’s inability to cope when it does – if we spent the money on the infrastructure for something that occurs for one week every three years, it would be idiotic), so I’ve four of them. The first three are here.

This year I had the added difficulty of a three year old, who was only interested in sticking the arms in, even before I was halfway through the body. Then there was the added inconvenience of not wanting to traumatise him. So my idea – a snowman who’d had a snowball thrown at him so hard it had gone all the way through his tummy and out the other side, was built in a more innocent PG version, before Toby went in and I added the blood.

2. NieR: Automata

Oh dear, it turns out I only had eight things I wanted to write about. Ummmmm, Nier is currently half price, and stays that way until the 14th? That’s probably the sort of thing that’s useful to pop in these spaces, right?

1. Plunkbat

This by Random Rab in 2011 is an incredibly pleasant piece of music.

The Steam Charts are compiled via Steam’s internal charts of the highest grossing games on Steam over the previous week.

49 Comments

  1. KoldPT says:

    I absolutely cannot understand preferring the CBB TV show to the podcast.

    • John Walker says:

      Yeah, I think that captures exactly what I don’t like about the podcast, and absolutely everything that the TV show isn’t.

      • Alice O'Connor says:

        The podcast gets to have this build over the years, though. It’s a god damn stupid wonderful running joke which is brought back every single year with increasingly absurd justifications and more and more resentment.

        • wraithgr says:

          You mean like someone having to write a top steam sellers article every week and hating it so much they would rather write about literally anything else, but still ending up with “Steam Charts” in the title, almost like the guy from lost pressing that button every day so the world won’t explode, when exactly nothing would happen if they skipped a week or got an intern to write the article or something?
          Because that is delicious.

        • Servicemaster says:

          Looks like we got some Snott Awkwardman fans in the ranks folk!

    • skeletortoise says:

      Best not to try and decipher the tastes of someone who listens to the CBB podcast and believes Aukerman is actually trying to do a good or real interview.

      • John Walker says:

        I imagine he’s reading out those adverts for audio books and mattresses ironically too, right?

        • skeletortoise says:

          Um, yes? I mean, it’s not quite the same thing, but more or less. If you don’t enjoy the podcast that’s fine, I’m just pointing out that’s it pretty obvious Scott isn’t really earnestly attempting to interview his guests.

  2. Daktangle says:

    On a very serious note, I am so happy to see 4 Goddesses Online doing so well on launch, I believe it topped the Japanese Steam charts too.

  3. gambl0r says:

    How in the world can you like the CBB show and not the podcast?! Just find the guests you like the most on the show, and then listen to podcast eps featuring them! For me, that would be Andy Daly and PFT. (EVERY episode with Daly is gold!) Definitely don’t start at episode 1, or with any kind of holiday episode that features 10+ guests… they are a bit much.

    • John Walker says:

      This is exactly what I did, and in the process sat through properly agonisingly dreadful interviews (the one with Andy Samberg in particular was soooo painful), and the soul-destroying misery that is a comedian reading out adverts for products they don’t care about.

  4. Smaug says:

    Why is RPS publishing these articles if they are so pointless?

  5. Lawsoneer says:

    I thought that the steam charts were your excuse to write about whatever you wanted?

    Though I suppose you can’t write any title you want.

  6. DuncUK says:

    I frequently find these articles pointless, but this weeks chart has a plethora of noteworthy new entries and more than enough potential talking points. If John wants his own version of the sunday papers where he can just talk about whatever he likes, then why not make this article series that and drop the pretence of chart discussion altogether?

    • skeletortoise says:

      I think a Sundays Papers where every staff member contributed one thing, and maybe one person (this could rotate) does intro and puts out a couple things, would probably be really enjoyable. But given the consistency of WAWAPTW entries it would probably fail miserably.

    • John Walker says:

      See, behind-the-scenes talk, I kind of relished doing it this way on a week where there were a bunch of decent new entries, simply because of how entirely daft it is to care whether I affirm what you’ve already decided you think about a game! (Which does give me the idea of writing it one week with outrageously inaccurate comments about all the games, to deliberate poke at this desire.)

      We’ve covered most of these games in extraordinary detail on the site, and clicking on any game name will take you to a vast array of articles about them. That’s covered no matter which way I write this on any given week. I’ve fancied writing one of these where none of the entries mention the games for ages now, and got around to it this week.

      • abstrarie says:

        You don’t understand John. I need to hear non-stop praise for Into the Breach from every possible angle. My makers built me this way.

      • Cederic says:

        Most, sure. Nothing on Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online and the coverage of Deep Rock Galactic mainly goes, “It exists”

        I think the criticism is fair. This weekly article has deteriorated into “John Walker rants and/or shares pop culture” which is fine as people out there will want to read that and you seem to enjoy writing it.

        It’s got nothing to do with the steam charts though.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    For some reason I’m glad that Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddnesses Online | 四女神オンライン CYBER DIMENSION NEPTUNE | 四女神ONLINE 幻次元遊戲戰機少女 is in the charts, even if I’ve never played it and probably never will. It’s just nice to see something different.

  8. Zorganist says:

    I for one love the Steam Charts.

    • khamul says:

      I love them too. Not just for the schadenfreude of what the team goes through to write them, but also for the brilliance of weeks like this.

      Snowman massacre!

      Normally Alice is my hero, but from now until the end of the week, John, I am going to be virtually wearing a T-Shirt reading WW Walker Do, to remind myself to be more like you.

    • Minglefingler says:

      Me too, this is my favourite regular RPS column. Never fails to raise a smile and frequently, a laugh.

  9. biffski says:

    I read online recently a line that said something like this…”There are those that love the Porgs and those whose hearts feel no joy”. My guess is that DuncUK is one of the latter.

  10. abstrarie says:

    I enjoy most of the steam charts rants, but this one is a bit too off the track. Usually you at least include the games on the chart in your kindly observations (with the obvious exception of plunkbat which is fine and good). I think Deep Rock and ITB deserved some real life commenting and was looking forward to it honestly (I know know, I am lame).

  11. R. Totale says:

    What do you think of Braid, out of curiosity?

  12. Axolotl says:

    I get that John is sick of writing about CS:GO and PUBG every week, but why doesn’t he say anything about the new entries either? If he’s interested in writing about something other than the Steam charts, he should just write a different column.

  13. latedave says:

    To echo some of the other comments, this does feel a little pointless now. I actually don’t even know what some of these games are about so a small snippet would have vastly preferable, I get the sarcasm for cs go and gta but it’s starting to feel kinder to kill this or I’ll just look direct instead.

  14. poliovaccine says:

    Personally, man, I’d *love* to get paid just for scratching out these goofy pieces on the Steam charts. I realize it isn’t very stimulating in a creative context, but we’re talking about a paycheck here – and there are far worse ways to get paid! I guess what I’m trying to say is, hey man, if you don’t want the job, I’ll have it! Just tell your editor or magistrate or whatever that I prefer to be compensated in units of dogs.

  15. geldonyetich says:

    Could you at least wait until the second time a game makes the list to snub the monotony of the steam charts with irreverent rambling?

    Because I’m quite hyped about Final Fantasy XV and probably outraged that only 85% of recent Rock Paper Shotgun articles are about it when we have yet to properly explore how it would feel to run Noct’s untamed mane beneath our enraptured fingers. Would it tingle with princely magic, or would the sheer angst be enough to drive lesser men to existential crisis? Well, I guess we’ll never know, now!

  16. Artiforg says:

    John finally mentions “Yorkshire Gubbins” in the Steam charts and Chuckieegg is nowhere to be seen!

    • John Walker says:

      I know! I’m worried about him/her!

      • Artiforg says:

        I’m sure s/he is fine. Probably ill this week and will be back next week to heckle you again, as if this week never existed. Yorkshire Gubbins is great though.

    • Hutt Butter says:

      I saw the mention and hurried to the comments to see Chuckieegg’s reaction and… nothing. It’s possible they exploded?

  17. nitric22 says:

    I’m beginning to wonder what Rockstar will do without all the GTA V money? If it keeps missing the charts they may have to cut back on break room snacks, or limit employees number of free post it notes.

  18. abomb76 says:

    “Some Monday mornings, as I plonk myself down at my desk at 6.50am and load the RSS feed for the Steam Charts, I think to myself: you know what? There are so many other things I’d like to write about today.”

    Then please do because reading about how little you enjoy writing this column is bloody tedious mate. Just stop doing it if you hate it so much. Either find someone else who does want to write it or kill it altogether but this weekly ‘oh woe is me’ is wearing thin.

    • John Walker says:

      Sorry I keep repeating a thing you’re imagining I’m writing.

      • abomb76 says:

        we must have all drank the same kool-aid and are experiencing a group hallucination then as I’m hardly the only one expressing this sentiment this week

  19. smeeve says:

    Thanks for the great article John, its why I always come back to RPS. Keep up the good work

  20. Person of Interest says:

    Liz Ryerson complains that The Witness is a smug escapist fantasy, as if that’s a bad thing. It’s my favorite game of the decade because it’s a giant collection of clever set pieces and pretty graphics assembled by talented developers and artists. Don’t be upset just because the creators aren’t coy about it.

  21. Musket Squid says:

    Does Counter strike sell that many every month to bin in the steam top ten or is this just what they want everyone to think?

  22. MajorLag says:

    “Anyway, I was replaying The Witness recently, a game I’ve only ever hated…”

    Ah, now I have some insight into how all those people who love to hate Jonh feel. The Witness is probably the most artistic game I’ve ever played. If you go back and watch Jonathan Blow talk about how he’s disapointed in the industry because games could be so much more meaningful than they are, you could be forgiven for thinking of it as so much intellectual wankery… except that then he proved it by making The Witness.

  23. WigglyDiggly says:

    Honestly, I read this initially because for once the intro made me laugh. To actually find that you care so little about your position that you ramble on about irrelevant games is really a shame. I’ve read your replies to similar complaints and I understand where you’re coming from to a degree, but that doesn’t mean you should write an article with the composure of a child. You’re clearly very literate but this was a bad entry.

  24. pauselaugh says:

    here’s an idea: get someone else to do the weekly steam chart, in a mundane totes non-edgy manner, where only the new entries get any substance and those in the list previously get the same cut + paste as their original, parallel to this “thing I wanna do blog diarrhea” and see which one “gets da clix” as aging millennials who find shit like this relevant probably think as they greenlight it.

    Then realize the only reason this was clicked is due to it being embedded on relevant Steam games’ newsfeeds. Aw, it isn’t because of your personality?!