Mass Effect

The Video Games That Showed Up When I Least Expected Them A controller gets put down. A disc gets shelved next to dozens of others just like it. But, sometimes, the game lingers. It creeps into your sleep and live on in the backs of your eyelids, demanding ever more from you.


Here's an example: the one night that the crazy nocturnal zombies from Alan Wake showed up in my head. I was me in my dream, and not the overwrought author that's starred in two games.


I hadn't played an Alan Wake game in more than eight months. But a nightmare I had about a month ago threw me into a world straight out of Remedy's psychological horror thriller. I wasn't wielding a flashlight and automatic weapons like the writer hero of the two games. I was in trouble, prey for powerful enemies without any special video game abilities.


I don't know why some games stick around my subconscious more than others. Long after I've left them behind, they pop up when I least expect. I'm not talking about the warm fuzzies I get when remembering favorites like Phantasy Star on the Sega Master System, Shadow of the Colossus or Gravity Rush. Rather, these are straight-up ambushes from the chemicals in my brain, sneak attacks that I can't predict.


Back to that Alan Wake dream. I was on the run, inside my own clumsy body after looking back at the shadow-engulfed people that were chasing me—I can remember in horrifying detail the way that a slimy darkness snaked up their legs and over their bodies. I remember feeling utterly fucking helpless. And somewhere in the churn of my thoughts, I also remember some more conscious part of my brain thinking: "Didn't I beat this game already? And the other one after it? Why am I in here?!"


The feeling of being in a gameworld—without the power to control an outcome—can be a terrifying one.

Worst was how it ended. The Dark Presence—an evil force that possesses people in the Alan Wake titles—crawling up my feet, locking first my ankles, then my knees into place. I couldn't "see" what happened next but I could "feel" it. I lost the battle against the Dark Presence. That never happens in video games, which is probably why I woke up so agitated.


This dream made me wonder about how and why certain games worm their way into my head. It makes sense that Alan Wake would stay lodged in the recesses of my brain, since so much of Remedy's game concerns what happens below conscious thought. But Bastion was more of a surprise. The first few times I fell off the world in Supergiant's acclaimed action RPG, it reminded me of the acute physical sensation of when I'd fall in my dreams: a sense of increasing momentum paradoxically paired with full-body paralysis. But the Bastion-based dream was worse than just falling. This nightmare was filled with Lunkheads, the frog-like creatures that were my most hated enemy from the game. I suspect the real reason Bastion showed up is because the game's final choice is the kind of moment where you have to think about who you want to be in both real and fictional worlds. But dreams are never that clear cut, are they? I didn't have to figure out what I'd do after a cataclysmic tragedy in my Bastion dream; I was only left haunted by giant, disgustingly real versions of some of its antagonists. Lucky me, I guess?


The Video Games That Showed Up When I Least Expected ThemWhat's more surprising are the games that haven't lingered on the edges of my unconscious brain. I loved Papo & Yo and fully expected to have daydreams or sleeping visitations from the PS3 game. But Monster and Quico haven't shown up after I fall asleep at all. Journey's another game, impressionistic as it is, that I figured would be in my dreams. But I haven't had any kind of adventures in the Wanderers' robe since I finished thatgamecompany's masterpiece. Likewise for Silent Hill 3, a game I swore would stay with me forever after scaring the crap out of me years ago, but it never ever showed up in my most meandering thoughts or dreams.


It's tough to figure out any sort of rhyme or reason as to why some games make appearances in my subconscious and others don't. The amount of time spent playing a game doesn't seem to factor into it. Titles that I've spent hours and hours with, like the Mass Effect series, never come to bed with me. The muscle memory that's a physical part of playing games probably isn't any sort of conduit to the part of my brain that brews up dreams. But the feeling of being in a gameworld—recreated in your mind with all its terror, beauty and familiar cues, yet without a button to press or the power to control an outcome—can be a terrifying one. As much as I love games, I'm glad it doesn't happen more often.


Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - Valve
The Steam Autumn Sale has come to a close, but there are a few Daily Deals that are still available!

Yesterday's Daily Deals Include:

*Offers end Wednesday at 10AM Pacific Time.

Left 4 Dead 2 - Valve
Freaks of the night, rejoice! Steam has unleashed monster savings on ghoulish (and not so creepy) titles. From now until about the time all the pumpkins are smashed*, over 80 titles (including The Walking Dead, Bioshock, Left 4 Dead, and many more) are available at prices so low, it’s scary.

For more info, click here!

*Discount offers end November 1st at 10am Pacific time

Alan Wake

Comedy crew Mega64 are at their best when they're out in the wild harassing innocent bystanders with obscure video game jokes, so... yeah, this take on Remedy's Alan Wake is Mega64 at their best.


Mega64: ALAN WAKE [mega64]


Alan Wake - Valve
Act now and save 75% on Alan Wake during the Weekend Deal!

When the wife of the best-selling writer Alan Wake disappears on their vacation, his search turns up pages from a thriller he doesn’t even remember writing. A Dark Presence stalks the small town of Bright Falls, pushing Wake to the brink of sanity in his fight to unravel the mystery and save his love.

Death Rally - Valve
Death Rally is Now Available on Steam and 15% off until Friday, August 10th 10AM PDT!

This is no Sunday Drive. This is Death Rally, so be prepared to be blown away, literally. Make a run for the finish line with a trail of burnt rubber and spent brass behind you..along with the flaming wreckage of any fool dumb enough to get in your way.

The gameplay is addictive, intense, explosive fun! Win races, upgrade your cars and weapons to defeat incredible boss drivers to beat the story mode. Join the multiplayer! lock and load and enter the Death Rally, humiliate and destroy your opponents or sabotage their race. You choose how you win, NO TRICK IS TOO DIRTY!

Also, Remedy would like to thank all their fans on Steam by offering an additional 15% off to Alan Wake and Alan Wake American Nightmare owners.

Plants vs. Zombies GOTY Edition - Valve
The Steam Summer Sale continues today with huge savings throughout the store!

Today's Daily Deals Include:

Don't forget to check back for a new Community Choice vote every 8 hours and new Flash sales throughout the day! You can also grab the Steam mobile app to make sure you never miss any great deals while you're on the go!

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Alan Wake's American Nightmare - Valve
Alan Wake's American Nightmare v1.03 release notes:
* Added text localizations for Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Russian.

Alan Wake - Valve
Alan Wake Music Video
18.7.2012 - Announcement
Now including the iconic soundtrack music video "War" by Poets of the Fall featuring Alan Wake.
After getting the update from Steam you can find the WMV and MP3 files from the following folder:
\steamapps\common\alan wake\bonus

Alan Wake - Valve
Alan Wake v1.06 release notes:

* Added a “Very Low” graphics setting to enable the game to run on lower performance GPUs. This disables MSAA and grass (that’s dependent on it) and disables fading between LOD levels.
* Fixed Alt+Tab crash on some systems.
* Fixed a very rare startup crash.
* Fixes some cases where the game started to main menu but users could not select any menu entries. This was caused by the keybinds.xml being corrupted.
* Fixed some cases of handling custom My Documents paths where game could crash if that was mapped to the root of a drive.
* Fixed the minor DLC1 “black cubes in the mirror” graphical glitch.
* Please see our forum for up to date troubleshooting and update information: http://forum.alanwake.com/showthread.php?t=7759

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