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Charts And Crafts

Hello, I'm high school sweetheart, John Walker. Welcome, if you can, to Steam Charts.

We start at number 9 this week, to spare everyone the horror of my writing about a Plunkbat season pass.

9. ARK: Genesis Season Pass

Turtle all the way down.

You might think that £28 is a lot to pay for a "cosmetic pet" to add to ARK: Survival Evolved, and that would be because you're right. One would have to be [checks graph]... a colossal idiot to do that. Welcome to PC games.

Come December, if it's finished by then, you'll also get ARK: Genesis Part 1, but for the same price it would cost you if you waited to buy it once you've found out whether it's any good or not. Then just a mere year later, you'll get Genesis Part 2. You know, those year-long seasons you get, comprised of two parts.

The other ingenious aspect of this recently announced expansion is that, nowhere I can find, do they detail what's actually in Part 1 and what's in Part 2, meaning that they can basically put out whatever they've got come this December, knowing that all the [double-checks] colossal idiots have already given them their money.

Meanwhile, due to the incredible ways Steam doesn't work, players are already heaping the game with positive reviews. One up-thumbed "Recommended" review reads, "I really hope this isnt as much of a let down as Extinction was for me". Couldn't be better.

PS. ARK is a 153GB install, or 8,491 Peggles.

8. Oxygen Not Included

I'm afraid this exceeds the number of buttons I'm willing to accept on screen at once.

I've decided Klei are too good. It's not fair on the others. Their back catalogue looks like an organic artisan website's hand-picked selection of Best Indie Games. Don't Starve, Invisible Inc, Eets, Mark Of The Ninja, and now Oxygen Not Included. It reads like an IGF shortlist. They need to stop it. They need to make Shank 3 or something to give the rest a chance.

This is a second charting week for the space colony manager, fresh out of two years' Early Access. Which I hope means their focus is now shifting to Griftlands which I really want to play, unlike Oxygen which looks far too hard for a great big twit like me.

7. No Man's Sky

As lonely as all No Man's Sky scenes should be

I find the trajectory of No Man's Sky a strange one, as it gets ever closer to matching that time Sean Murray went on Stephen Colbert and just made up a bunch of nonsense. Because the more it becomes what was promised, the less it becomes a game I want to play. I mean, it LOOKS amazing, and I can totally see that it's definitely going to be a huge hit with the largest contingent of possible players. But for me, as I watch this trailer, it appears to emphasise everything that wasn't what made me get completely hooked on the broken, half-finished original release:

Watch on YouTube

Ew! There are OTHER PEOPLE everywhere! The joy of NMS for me was the isolation, the idea of being the first person to ever explore tiny stretches of its supposed trillions of planets. I loved that I was the only person to have ever been somewhere, to have observed this planet and its habitat. If anything, what bothered me the most about the original game was the way absolutely every planet had already been visited by one of the alien races, complete with bases and sentinels. But now not only does everyone else already appear to be everywhere in the footage, but they're riding on the poor bloody creatures!

I will absolutely take a look when Beyond releases in a couple of days. And I feel annoyingly certain that I'll yet again bounce right off with its emphasis on building a nice house, pointing me farther away from the nomadic lifestyle that I so adored when it first came out. We shall see.

6. Warhammer: Vermintide 2 - Winds of Magic

This looks so wonderfully like an awkward holiday photograph.

In other charting DLC that isn't released yet news...

Hey, but at least you'll be able to tell your grandkids, as you pick through the rubble for cockroaches to eat, that in your day people used to spend money on games they couldn't play for no advantage at all!


Oh, sorry! Silly me! You got to pay money to beta test their game for them! Haha! Paying to do what used to be a job people got paid for! What a win for the players!

5. & 10. Plunkbat

One of the best pairs of albums I ever found on Spotify was Friends In Bellwoods 1 & 2. Over the years the streaming service seems to have lost and regained licenses to various elements of them, and at this moment in time the entire first album is completely gone. But in better news, all the tracks on the second are in place. It was from this that I discovered bands and singers like Forest City Lovers, Kate Rogers, Ohbijou, Timber Timbre, The Low Notes, and most importantly to me, The Rural Alberta Advantage. But I put the latter in this spot as recently as April, so let's have some pleasingly twee Forest City Lovers:

Watch on YouTube

4. Monster Hunter World

Oh I don't have the energy for this. Let's have some more music.

I remembered about Prick a few days ago. A buddy of Trent Reznor, Kevin McMahon is an elusive figure, despite once somehow supporting David Bowie. Under the moniker Prick he only ever released one album anyone noticed. But what an album. Half the tracks were produced by Reznor, and you can pick them out by ear. It's all on Spotify, thank goodness.

I think the best track on the album is No Fair Fights, and I feel like I Apologise could have been a break-out hit at any time between its release and now. But the only song that got a video was the Animal, and it's about as 1995 a video as music videos can be. Just glancing at it will evoke 90s MTV2 in the most peculiar way. I mean, it's a terrible video, but then weren't they all. (Apart from Tool's.)

I'm rather glad I wrote this, because in doing so I learned for the first time that he released a second album in 2002, which was a web-only thing at the time, but I've just discovered is available in its entirety on YouTube! Meanwhile, here's that Animal video:

Watch on YouTube

3. Age Of Wonders: Planetfall

Don't torch it in the shell! Crack it open, make an omelette!

Goodness me, if you want to know absolutely everything about Age Of Wonders: Planetfall, then you could do worse than to read Nate's exhaustive review.

Those worse things that you could do to learn about the game include:

- Taking all your clothes out of their drawers and cupboards and pushing them all out of the window onto a flat roof.
- Meticulously unlearning the names of all your friends.
- Running into your local bus depot and bellowing the ingredients of a Zoom ice lolly.
- Mistakenly believing your're training a woodlouse to follow instructions by deluding yourself into believing its actions coincide with your demands.
- Grieving the loss of a stranger who yet lives.

2. Valve Index VR Kit

How droll.

I'm so, so much more interested in AR than VR. Did Pokemon GO do that thing where one game gets too big so no one else dares follow it? Where's the explosion of fascinating AR projects? I remember that the Nintendo 3DS had a valiant effort, but no one ran with it back then. I'd have thought we'd see it really finding its feet now. I want to be playing games with my mobile in the real world, but not bloody monster hunting.

1. Flibble Glibble Pants

Not enough games these days just have their name permanently embedded as part of the UI.

What’s Another Thing You Could Buy Instead Of GTA V Again?

This demogorgon costume for your dog

The Steam Charts are compiled via Steam's internal charts of the highest grossing games on Steam over the previous week as they slowly ooze from the pustules all over their engorged skin, stored in a jar, and then spread on your toast.

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