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Steam Charts: Oh So This Is A Thing Edition

Ah.

Featured post I LOVE THIS AMAZING GAME!

Haha, that was funny last week wasn’t it! Remember how we did that whole bit where I had left RPS, but then I was still stuck writing Steam Charts? Heh, they do some good goofs at this site. Anyway, let’s… [looks straight into camera]

Right, OK, so maybe this curse is for real. Which means I need to figure out how to break it. Here’s my current list of possibilities:

1) Return to Ursidae and attempt to put right whatever I did wrong when I opened that sarcophagus.
2) Sue someone
3) Write a straight, sensible, version of the column that mentions all the games.

Obviously 3 is a non-starter – I don’t think it’s even possible. 2 sounds fun, but I’m not sure whom. So it’ll have to be 1. I’m starting to make plans now for a return trip to Caniformia. This time I’m taking photographs. In the meantime, let’s muddle through this together.

10. Monster Hunter World

Imagine if someone actually spent money buying these.

There’s no Flibble Glibble Pants this week, which also leads me to wondering if there’s a 4th possibility – a week in which none of the gruesomely recurring games appear. Although let’s be honest, Plunkbat is showing no signs of ever actually going anywhere, is it? Meanwhile, to step into its place, bloody MHW is back for some sodding reason.

(I used to be on a mailing list in the ’90s on which a… character known as “MHW” would routinely unsubscribe and redubdide to launch a volley of barely comprehensible madness, which neatly echoes this game’s tiresome endless reappearances at the arse-end of the charts.)

But, this is what barely worthwhile running gags are for, so here we go with my SEO-baiting superb guides for the game that put Dave and Ollie to shame.

How To Beat Poop On A Stick

Tricky to find in the game. Poop On A Stick (POAS) is often mistaken for a joint of meat. Don’t be fooled. Most players lose when they make this mistake. Poop is poop.

Poop On A Stick’s weaknesses and resistances

Clearly his number one weakness is to Febreze. Some have argued that the whole appearance of this character in the game is some shady cross-promotion for the excellent Procter & Gamble air freshener, but we’re not here to comment on that. [stuffs bundle of £50 notes into back pocket] But anyway, he’s extremely resistant to Glade, Dettol, Air Wick and all the other vastly inferior brands, just as are all bad smells. Gosh, they’re terrible air fresheners. Not like Febreze, which is my personal favourite.

How to fight Poop On A Stick

As well as your trusty spray bottle of Febreze, you’ll also want to make sure you’re armed with one of the better brands of toilet paper. I’d suggest Charmin, from your and my favourite multi-national consumer goods corporation, Procter & Gamble. It’s just the softest, most effective tool for beating POAS, unlike that awful Andrex stuff.

8. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Have you seen my moustache?

Today I bring you an exclusive list of forthcoming titles from From Software.

Awa: Ghosts Fuss Gently

Bakuhatsu: Light Claims Axiomatically

Dentaku: Grass Clouds Glass

Ushi: Staplers Eat Sparrowhawks

Teoshi-sha: Water Boils Desperately

What I’m saying is this game has a really stupid name, and no one seems to be saying. Don’t make me have to carry on.

9, 7 & 5. Imperator Rome

ARGH IT'S HISTORY HOMEWORK

If someone sat down to create a parody of exactly the sort of game I absolutely would never want to play, even if I were handsomely paid to, it’d be Imperator Rome. Looking at the screenshots, I have to pause to wonder if it actually might be a prank being played on me.

But I don’t begrudge it! Because I’m not a sociopath. It’s just that when I try to find empathy with the notion of wanting to play something like this, my brain just puts up an italicised “E”. Look at it! It’s just homework!

It’s comforting, too, though. In a time when Paradox are suddenly publishing games like Bloodlines 2, it’s a relief to know they’ve not forgotten their madly hardcore roots: Awkward Map Games. Look at that awful font on the map! That’s the font choice of someone who really takes their history seriously. It’s the font choice of someone who makes a game with a button marked, “Import Fish to Latium”.

But lummee, look how well it’s doing! Three spots this week, the 9th and 7th going to pre-orders, the 5th to the launched game itself. People love themselves some maps.

It’s reviewing extremely well, too. Nate LOVED it. Yet players are absolutely blammoing it. I’d find out why, but dear god, those maps.

6 & 4. Mortal Kombat 11

Ooh, I hate it when static electricity ruins a cuddle.

There’s a similar disparity for Mortal Kombat 11 as with Imperator Rome, with reviews enjoying it, and players HAVING A GRUDGE ABOUT SOMETHING. It’s Metascore is healthy 83, while its user score on the same site is 2.7. Wow, critics are so out of touch!!!

Or, as it happens, not-critics and critics tend to review on different scales. A critic plays a game at length and creates a multifactorial judgment on a scale from 1 to 10. A player gets cross because the game doesn’t feature their favourite character’s best hat, and marks on a scale of 1 or 10. What I’m trying to make clear here is that players, people, YOU LOT, are idiots. And I’m great. Really great.

RPS hasn’t reviewed the game at all, because honestly, it’s all just a shambles since I left. (Tried to leave?) So there’s no way to know who’s right in this instance, until those lazy sods pull their finger out and FINISH REVIEWING IT.

3. Plunkbat

I just discovered this new track by Tindersticks, which for some reason has a sulky vampire in the video.

2. Risk Of Rain 2

This is of course a sequel to Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs.

Crikey, this one’s really selling, isn’t it? After two weeks in the top spot, it’s still out-selling Plunkles at number 2. And I have absolutely nothing interesting to say about it.

So instead I’ll say something interesting about Garry Shandling. I hope you’ve already watched all of The Larry Sanders Show, absolutely definitely the greatest sitcom ever made. But I worry you might not have seen his previous show, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show. Which is, as it happens, the greatest live-audience sitcom ever made.

It’s Garry Shandling’s Show took the sitcom format apart, analysed it in every imaginable way, messed around with fourth walls, even fifth walls (that’s my pleasing way of saying it messed not only with the outward-facing wall to the audience, but also with time and chronology), to the point where it really shouldn’t have been possible for anyone to make another standard three-camera live audience sitcom ever again. And yet this was in 1986-1990.

Once you’ve watched It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, it’s impossible to see the format the same way again. It was meta-folds in meta-folds, a man who lived in a set, with an audience facing his living room, but with neighbours and friends who existed inside his fictional world while simultaneously being aware of it. It was a programme where Garry could walk around the front of the set to short-cut to far away locations, or even into later scenes to pre-empt concerns. It was the inside of Shandling’s head as an external world, the inhabitants written by him and partially aware they were, yet defiant of this.

It was utter greatness, and remains astonishingly hard to get hold of today. It can’t be streamed anywhere and seems to have vanished from or made unavailable outside of the US on over-priced ($2/ep) stores. Or I suppose you could buy it on DVD for £411.36.

1. Forager

This screenshot genuinely unnerves me, seeing all those plants not currently generating anything.

Oh gosh I could not be happier about this! Forager has been brutally ignored by the gaming press, with not one single review on a big name site other than, OF COURSE, Rock Paper Shotgun. (Although had I reviewed it, you’d not be able to see the screenshots for all the Bestest Best stickers I’ve have stuck all over them.)

MUST GATHER MORE BERRIES

I am head-over-heels in love with Forager. I’ve no irony or cynicism to offer you hear. It’s a sublime game that has occupied a frankly frightening number of my hours over the last week. I sat down to play the game for a couple of hours one evening, and when I next noticed it the time it was Space Year 3230, and flying cars were outside my study window.

Is it a clicker? Sort of? It certainly shares similarities, with its endless ferocity of things to do. But there’s a sense of purpose, a far greater sense of direction beyond simply making numbers go up. But bloody hell, do numbers go up. It’s that, along the way, there are proper actual things to do – puzzles to solve, stories to hear, fetch-quests to skip away on, vast mazes to explore and complete, underground chambers packed with secret rooms and tricksy challenges, and a museum to the game itself to mindlessly fill.

Seriously, my game has stopped spawning berries, and I need to do more fishing.

I adore the path of progress I’ve been on, from slowly poking around a small patch of land, chopping down the odd tree and plucking the occasional flower, to the enormous fully unlocked world I now inhabit, bursting with factories and plants and smelters and looms churning out items in their tens of thousands, while my mad army of drones blitz the screen gathering resources at a phenomenal rate, at the same time as I furiously dig and fish for the rarest treasures. Enemies that once were a challenge I now don’t even look at, as I walk through them while my cloud of assistants do the work for me, far more focused as I am on getting the eight, ninth and tenth Frozen Squids I so desperately wish to find.

To see this at the top of the Steam Charts is utterly astonishing, and so joyous. Also, it proves a point I’m always trying to make: that critics are idiots who ignore great games, and it’s the players who always know best. Good work, players!

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

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Who am I?

John Walker

Prisoner

One of the original co-founders of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I tried to leave, but they won't let me. If anyone reads this, please send help.

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