The trials and tribulations of a n00b PC Gamer
So a few months ago I found myself standing in line at Gamestop. I was next but the kid in front of me was taking awhile, so another associate hopped on a register to help me. As I happily reserved my copies of Syndicate and Metro: Last Light, I looked over at my right at the little troublemaker and his mother.
The kid had to have been no more than ten years old. He was holding a new Xbox 360, Call of Duty MW3, and was begging his quickly-conceding mother for a headset. A few things went through my mind… for one thing, when I was his age I was lucky enough to own Mortal Kombat for the Genesis, but was strictly forbidden from EVER using the blood-code or using fatalities. Parents were legitimitely scared of games like that and Night Trap, but since then games have become much more realistic and parents much more lax, but I digress.
I also thought with a sigh “Well, there’s the average Xbox gamer… maybe I’m too old for this…” but that doesn’t seem right. All of my friends are gamers, and gaming more actively targets the older demographic now than ever before.
Maybe I needed more “mature” hardware for gaming. Besides, I started to think, “Well, the Nintendo Wii does one thing, the PC does another, and Xbox/ps3 does what PC does, just not as well…” and a decent desktop could be had pretty affordably (especially compared to laptops, I am sworn off laptops forever! That’s another rant…) especially if you build it yourself.
So I decided to use my Christmas money to purchase my own bare-bones gaming PC and customize it along the way. This seemed like a brilliant idea since I was finally able to take advantage of my Steam account. I could also interact with a much more mature community of gamers.
I hopped on NewEgg and purchased an “ibuypower” for under $500. Not too bad. Granted, I never heard of the brand, but in the past I have been sorely let down from brands I have heard from (HP… so much hate), so I thought this was a good buy.
It arrived a few weeks before Xmas, so I was just in time for Steam’s big holiday sale! So I plugged it in and… no internet connection. Now let me stress that this is my first desktop in years. During the last decade, I have been primarilly using a laptop. The last time I used a desktop, I was using a phoneline to connect to the internet through AOL.
So it took me a few moments to realize that it did not have WiFi! What’s more is that my router is several floors below my room, so a wired connection wasn’t feasible… Then began my first challenge…
N00B PC CHALLENGE 1: GET TO INTERNET
I ran to Best Buy, purchased a USB Wifi adapter, popped it into my computer and all seemed fine. I set up my Steam Account, downloaded Killing Floor, got a 4 pack of Monster, and was ready for a good time with a boomstick…
At least I would have been if the lag didn’t get me killed as soon as I started each and every single friggin match… I eventually concluded that the issue was my router, which I’ve had since I was in highschool. It was so old that Linksys didn’t even support it anymore.
Off to Best Buy again for a new router…
N00B PC CHALLENGE 2: Sound!
After screwing around with my adapter’s settings, I was finally online but something was still wrong… I didn’t have any sound! Again, I have been using laptops for years, so it didn’t dawn on me that I didn’t have speakers…
Off to Best Buy again for speakers…
So NOW I think I’m all set. I sit down with my Monster drinks and game to my heart’s content. I am also taking full advantage of Steam’s sales (and yes… I bought Duke Nukem Forever for the THIRD time… it was so cheap!) I even purchased Batman: Arkham City. I enjoyed it except two things…
N00B PC CHALLENGE 3: Video Card
Now when I purchased my budget gaming pc, it was just that… budget. I planned on customizing it the way I wanted later, and thought that what I had would work fine. For the most part, I have no complaints, but time and again the action would slow to a pitiful crawl during Batman AC. After looking at my specs I realized two things. First, my video card needed to be better. And second, the numbers after an NVIDIA video card mean absolutely nothing! So a new card is on my “to buy” list….
N00B PC CHALLENGE 4: Even in PC land, you cannot escape “Corporate Commander” (All credit and Love to Angry Joe for the character)
Another issue I had with Batman: AC is how it forces the player to login to their Microsoft/Msn/Windows Live Account… While gaming on the PC, I usually have my Xbox 360 on for its Last.FM application to stream music. However, “for security reasons” I cannot be on Xbox Live and play Batman AC on my PC at the same time. So no background music for me.
I know i know, it’s a very small gripe, but it shouldn’t even be an issue. It feels completely unnecessary to have the player do this. I’m sure there’s a good reason for having players sign into Windows Live to play, but I honestly cannot think of it.
Anyway… going back to the beginning of this rant. There was a third game I decided to reserve: Mass Effect 3, which I wanted for PC. A few months later (and I should probably have seen it coming) EA says they have shoe-horned their Origin service as a requirement for the PC game. Therefore, for it to be played on PC, it has to be done through an Origin account. Now, for all I know, Origin can be an outstanding service, but I really do not want it since I am happy using Steam. Even if Origin did something completely different than Steam, it should still be up to the consumer whether or not they want this service.
So back to Gamestop to move my ME3 reservation from PC to Xbox…
While there I discovered that Gamestop indeed are a bunch of LIARS. I ask them “Can I trade in Street Fighter?” and they say “Sure!” So I give them the game and they’re like “What is this…? …no…” Even though they said they would!
*sigh* Oh well… I hope to review Katawa Shoujo soon. For those that don’t know, it is an “eroge” (dating-sim/visual novel) featuring cute moe girls.. that are handicapped. That’s it for this post, need to stop doing this so often. *is doing this from work*
Btw, I just started a twitter @FurrySenpai
– Furry Senpai