Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Sometimes It Feels Like Every Day Is Prime Day

Today is Amazon Prime Day, or as Amazon would have it "Prime Day" because obviously "Prime" is, itself, now a brand everyone recognizes equally well.  To anyone who doesn't really give a toss who's behind it and just wants the cheap stuff I guess "The Sale" covers it.

Actually, I doubt there is anyone like that. People seem to feel about certain companies the way they used to feel about religion or politics. Can't say I'm able get that emotional about it myself but then I'm old. All my receptors are worn down to nubs.

I had a quick look through some of the offers but as usual there are so fricken' many of them I soon lost the will to go on. Sometimes I wonder if companies wouldn't do better with smaller, more focused sales but the evidence seems to suggest otherwise.

As I mentioned yesterday, I might be in the market for a new phone, so I was looking to see if there was anything in that line going cheap, which led me to start thinking about the specs and whether in fact it made any difference whether a particular phone could or could not play games well, which in turn led me to muse over the whole concept of playing games on a phone and whether I would ever want to do it any more than I have up to now, which is really not very much at all, even though I first posted about doing it over a decade ago. All of that linked "Amazon" and "Games" together in my mind, which is how I came to log in to Amazon Games to see if there was anything new I should know about...

...and there was. I can't keep up any more. I mean, it's less than two weeks since I last posted about a new tranche of freebies over at AG and that was the second time that month. Should I be logging in every week just to check I'm not missing something?

Some of it was there already, I think, but I chose not to claim it then. Those Star Wars games, for example. Did I mention those last time? Let me check... nope, can't see anything so maybe they are new. The offer expires in two days so if they are they can only have been on offer for a couple of weeks. 

There's no time to dither. That's how I missed the Steam sale on Solasta. I'll almost certainly never play them but they're big titles. It seems rude to refuse. CLAIMED.

 Then there's a bunch that expire at the beginning of August. Those are definitely new since last time I looked. And guess what? There's a Lucasarts point & click adventure!  It's not Monkey Island but still! What's more, it's Manic Mansion, a game I have often thought about playing, not that I've ever done anything to make it happen. Well, now I have! CLAIMED.

Of the other three, only one drew my attention, the pretentiously and portentously named Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark. I have no idea what it is other than what it says in the description: "a tactical RPG much in the vein of great classics like Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre." I have no clear idea what those are, either, other than what I've read on Tipa's blog. She makes these sorts of games sound very interesting but then she makes everything sound very interesting so that's not much help. Worth a click, at least. CLAIMED.

The two I chose not to choose were the self-explanatory Fishing: North Atlantic, a trawler sim and Suzerain, a text-based strategy sim about running a newly-independent Scotland. No prizes for guessing why I turned either of those down. (Clue: life would still be too short even if I was fifty years younger.)

Having cleared my plate of free games I thought I'd better cast another glance towards the in-game freebies Amazon packages under their Twitch imprint. Those definitely have a faster turnaround so I thought there might be something...

I wasn't expecting more, free big name games but that's what I got. At first I was a little confused. Didn't I already claim one of them before? And turn down another because of some convoluted account-linking prereq?

No, I don't think I did. I'm probably thinking of Bio-Shock, which was free on Epic a while back and Far Cry, which was free on Prime if you linked to Ubisoft. This time around it's Mass Effect and Need For Speed: Heat, for both of which you need to link Prime to your EA account. 

Those are two games I very well might want to play at some point and as it happens I already have an EA account (For reasons long forgotten.) Amazingly, the login details still work and the process is very quick and simple. CLAIMED and CLAIMED.

Throw in yet another set of weapon skins for New World and I think we're done. I wonder how long I should leave it before I check again? A couple of weeks? I guess. They're bound to be giving away new stuff in August.

While we're on the subject, remember that Void Sheep Shoulder Pet I claimed for Roblox last time? No? Really? Well, I did. And now it looks like I'll get the chance to wear it. Throw it. Whatever you do with it.

According to a report on Pitchfork I read earlier today, from tomorrow until Friday, the excellent Soccer Mommy (aka Sophie Allison) will be hosting "a Metaverse listening party for her new album Sometimes Forever on the Roblox platform.

Her own Roblox page doesn't invoke the dreaded "M" word, explaining "I’m hosting a Listening Party for my new album Sometimes, Forever July 13th-15th in select Roblox experiences! You’ll be able to hear the album and hang out with me in the below participating experiences. Check the dates and times to see where you can find me and be on the lookout for a private server link to be shouted out! "

All of which sounds quite complicated and daunting but I'm beginning to get the hang of how it works now, after the Pink Pantheress and Charli XCX appearances, so I think I can cope. Look forward to a report if I go and get ready to tell me just how terrible Roblox is in the comments, as usual!

Regardless of the widely-reported ethical issues, Roblox, together with Fortnite, does seem to be staking a claim to being the virtual concert hall of record for the 2020s. Maybe someone will come up with a more acceptable platform. How about... PUBG Mobile?

You what, now? PUBG? Where did that come from?

Well, from here, as it happens. The story, which I read in the NME, inevitably, since we're talking about KPop, involves legendary icons Blackpink, who "have announced they will perform a virtual concert within PUBG Mobile‘s in-game world later this month."

PUBG Mobile is not a game I currently have installed. It's not a game I've ever thought about installing and I don't believe I'm going to reconsider as a result of this news. I don't mind Blackpink. I 've heard a few of their tunes over the years and not really thought much about them one way or another. I wouldn't make the effort (and from the NME article it looks like there might be some effort involved, beyond just downloading the game.) just to watch their avatars dance while a few of their songs play.

Then again... I might. I do find this stuff fascinating and this is someone new entering the growing field. Maybe I should check it out.

What I'm really looking forward to is the day someone I really like announces a virtual gig in a game I already play. Regularly. As a game. Not just log into to watch and listen. Unfortunately, given my musical tastes and the kind of games I spend my time in, that's still a bit of a long shot.

Fortnite, Roblox and PUBG Mobile it is then! For now.


  1. When I think of Amazon Prime Day, I don't think of video games (or board games/RPGs, for that matter). I just think of "Black Friday in July", which typically devolves into "cheap crap sold for cheap". I'm sure that companies/brands like Elgato or Sony would bristle at that observation, but that's what really comes to my mind.

    Ironically enough, I've been in the market for an amp for the speakers I'm building to replace my old 1997 era ACS41 Logitech computer speakers (I'm donating them to my son so that he has speakers he can plug into his laptop at college), and there's plenty of inexpensive amps to choose from for what I need, so... Thanks, Amazon?

    But still, gaming to me means the Steam Summer Sale and the anniversary sales from our Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS) that happen in late May / early June. Amazon just never is on my radar. Unfortunately for them, I suppose, but their disaster of a New World release hasn't exactly endeared me to Amazon's capacity for gaming, either.

    1. I did finally buy something - an XBox-style controller for PC at 50% off. Now I'm playing a lot more non-mmorpg games I've noticed an increasing tendency for them to be palyable with mouse/keyboard but optimized for controller so I thought it was probably about time I gave it a go.

      It was because I was after something very specific that I was able to find what I wanted. The sale works for that but what I really want to be able to do is browse and find things I wasn't thinking of buying but at prices that make me think "Well, maybe..." For that, a physical sale works so much better.

    2. This. So much this.

      I knew what sort of amp I wanted, 2x50w (Bluetooth would be nice but not required), so I landed on a Fosi Audio amp for less than $60. Hey, if I could afford a Cambridge or Schiit Audio amp, sure, but... I'd probably not be shopping for one on Prime Day if I could afford one.

      But browsing... Yeah, I prefer going to my local bookstore or game store for that.

  2. Okay I didn't know Amazon Gaming was a thing, and I didn't know I could get Fell Seal for free. It DOES sound like a game I'd play so.... claimed :-)


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