Valve, If You Don’t Integrate Steam with Metro, Someone Else Will…And They Have!

Valve and its founder Gabe Newell doesn’t really like Windows 8 and its “metro” environment. As such, we didn’t expect Valve to integrate its flagship product, Steam, with Windows 8. Well, good news because an elegant solution arrived sooner than we would have thought. The community stepped up and created a Windows Store app that integrates your steam games with metro! Now, you can have a more seamless experience with Steam and Windows 8 despite Valve’s opinions.

The app that’s behind it all is called Pin Steam. It has two main functions; the first is that it is a metro version of your Steam games library. Now, rather than having to go to the desktop and launch Steam, you can open this app and view all your Steam games in a clean, metro style, app. The second function of the app is its highlight. It lets you pin your Steam games to the Start Screen as a tile!

Because Steam games are desktop apps, pinning it manually through the OS only shows you a small icon on the Start Screen. However, if you pin it with Pin Steam, you get a big tile that displays the Game’s cover art. It makes your game collection prettier on your Start Screen. Now, you can launch Steam games directly from Start in an elegant way!

Pin Steam Configuration
When you run this app for the first time, you will be asked to type in your Steam ID. If you need help, the app will help locate it for you. This ID is required to access your Steam games library.
Steam Profile
If you need help locating your Steam ID, the app will launch your Steam profile and will tell you where to look to find your ID.
Sto Pic 2
The app displays your Steam games library in a clean, metro style, environment. Just click a game to play it. Right click it if you want to pin it to your Start Screen
Store Pic 3
You can customize the tile, if you wish, that will be pinned to the Start Screen.

The app is $1.49; however, you can download a trial version that lets you use the app as a metro style Steam games library. To be able to pin apps to the Start Screen, you will need to buy the full version. Also note that you need to have the official Steam desktop app installed for this to work.

A note to Valve: if you think Windows 8 will be a catastrophe, think again. Windows is too big to be a failure. Thinking that users and developers will ignore Windows 8, like they did with Windows Phone 7, is wishful thinking. If you don’t step up your game and play nicely with Windows 8, someone else will. Let’s just hope that someone isn’t a competitor.

Download from Windows Store: Pin Steam

Here’s how Steam and Minecraft can Play Nicely with Windows 8 Metro

Before we start the discussion, let’s recap on some basic topics, including a quick look at Steam and Minecraft and, also, the whole issue regarding these products and Windows 8. If you are familiar with the matter discussed in the overview, please skip to the next section, as it will contain more valuable insights that haven’t really been discussed much. Continue reading

Pinball FX2 – Xbox Game for Windows

Pinball FX2 Icon

Preview and Install

Screenshots

Pinball FX2 (1)

Description

Pinball FX is back, and it is better than ever! Pinball FX2 offers brand new tables and a host of new features and improvements, including a new state-of-the-art physics model that surpasses anything available so far.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword [Review]

 

Ah… The Legend of Zelda. I remember telling my friends all about Ocarina of Time as a child, trying to get them to play it – but in a way, I kind of appreciate it being my own. Hyrule has always offered such a unique experience; the ability to travel dense forests, conquer castles and dungeons, sail the ocean, or go to an entirely different dimension. When I walked into Walmart to pick up my copy of Skyward Sword on the opening weekend, I knew another unique experience was waiting for me on the other side of the golden case I held in my hand. I was ready to pick up my sword and dive head-first into the clouds – and that’s exactly what you’ll find yourself doing in this majesty of a game.

Aesthetics

The graphics are initially the most jarring, different thing about the game. For years Nintendo has played around with different art styles, looking for what ‘fit’ – and they really hit the mark with this one. Distant trees and building look like a painting underneath a beautiful impressionist filter, and the nearby flora and characters look akin to something out of Wind Waker or Okami. The graphics are fun and refreshing, but most importantly, play well into the cinematic experience Nintendo is trying to get across. Whether you’re carousing Skyloft or tackling the next massive temple, you can’t help but stop to enjoy the incredible art Skyward Sword gives you.

Gameplay
However good the graphics are, they appear pale in the light of swordplay. Nintendo’s use of the WiiMotionPlus in this game is so precise and comfortable, you’ll never want to return to a regular controller. Every battle is a challenge, forcing you to effectively use the remote to attack in very specific ways – and you’ll be required to do so for the entirety of the game. The puzzles are unique, yet nostalgic; you’ll find yourself facing some classic techniques that really utilize the arsenal of items Link collects this time around. Nothing is overdone; every challenge is refreshing and new.

 

Story

Skyward Sword’s biggest triumph (in my opinion) is how it presents itself as a story. Being the first game in the known timeline, Skyward Sword’s real challenge was to explain how everything in the other games had come to be – but it did so much more than that. Zelda is shown in a different light as Link’s childhood friend, completely devoid of her royalty. You, as a person, begin to truly care about her well-being. Even without voice acting, the game is much more like a cinematic experience than any of the others.

 

The only thing that really got to me was the music; in comparison to Nintendo’s fantastic music in Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword’s music seemed like a bit of a let down (which is odd, because it’s the first game with actual orchestrated music). In the light of the game itself though, I don’t think the music effects the overall experience enough to take it down too much. Definitely a 9.8/10.

[review pros=”Incredible story, amazing controls and gameplay; refreshing graphics and overall brilliant experience.” cons=”Music is okay, but doesn’t live up to the Nintendo standard.” score=98]

 

Steam Holiday Sale Encore Day Features Modern Warfare 3, Skyrim, and More

As expected, Valve has wrapped up their annual Steam Holiday Sale with an Encore Day, featuring the best deals throughout the sale. These final sixteen deals will close the sale as well as the Great Gift Pile event. No achievements were announced today, as it is the last day to earn games, coupons, and entries into the giveaway event, which will be announced on Monday.

The final deals of the sale can be found at www.store.steampowered.com, and feature:

  • Saint’s Row: The Third (33% Off)
  • Bastion (66% Off)
  • Magicka (75% Off)
  • Serious Sam 3 / Serious Sam HD (50-90% Off)
  • Portal / Portal 2 (75% Off)
  • Orcs Must Die (75% Off)
  • Terraria (75% Off)
  • Total War Franchise
  • Dead Island (50% Off)
  • Dungeon Defenders (75% Off)
  • Deus Ex Human Revolution (66% Off)
  • Batman Arkham City (50% Off)
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (25% Off)
  • The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim (33% Off)
  • Assassin’s Creed Franchise (25-75% Off)
  • L.A. Noire The Complete Edition (75% Off)

Steam Holiday Sale Day 13 Features Bioshock, Counter-Strike, and More

Valve wraps up 2011 with a final wave of deals and achievements during their Steam Holiday Sale. While there will be one more wave, it’s uncertain whether or not the January 1 sale will be a review of the previous days or not, but either way, plenty of amazing deals can be expected until the very end. Remember to complete any achievements you see fit, as the event will be over on the second!

Today’s deals can be found on www.store.steampowered.com, and feature:

  • Dead Island (50% Off)
  • Bioshock / Bioshock 2 (75% Off)
  • L.A. Noire (75% Off)
  • Bit.Trip Runner (75% Off)
  • Counter-Strike Franchise (75% Off)
  • Hitman Franchise (75% Off)
  • Magicka (75% Off)
  • Might & Magic Heroes (50-75% Off)
  • Rochard (50% Off)
  • Grid (75% Off)
  • Dungeons and Dragons: Daggerdale (66% Off)
  • Hoard (75% Off)

Steam Holiday Sale Day 12 Features Fallout: New Vegas, Super Meat Boy, and More

Valve slowly begins to wind down their Steam Holiday Sale on the twelfth day of the event. They have by no means stopped however, as the sale is projected to proceed through the new year and the first few days of 2012. There is speculation about what Valve might be planning for the final day of the sale, which traditionally is composed of the best sales of the holidays, often showcasing the best of the best. For the time, though, the savings continue to appear, with the spotlight being shone on games such as Super Meat Boy and Fallout: New Vegas at bargain prices. To take advantage of the following deals and more, be sure to check out www.store.steampowered.com before time runs out!

  • Driver San Francisco (50% Off)
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena (75% Off)
  • Fallout: New Vegas (75% Off)
  • Command and Conquer Franchise (75% Off)
  • Sid Maier’s Civilization V (66% Off)
  • Puzzle Agent / Puzzle Agent 2 (75% Off)
  • Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 (60% Off)
  • Deus Ex Human Revolution (66% Off)
  • Super Meat Boy (75% Off)
  • Universe Sandbox (75% Off)
  • Grand Theft Auto Franchise (75% Off)
  • Spacechem (75% Off)

Steam Holiday Sale Day 11 Features Quake, Left 4 Dead, and More

The New Year is right around the corner, and Valve is making sure they go out with a bang as more deals were rolled out earlier today during the Steam Holiday Sale. Twelve new deals were announced, revealing huge discounts on well-known series and franchises, such as Valve’s very own Left 4 Dead, or the infamous Quake. In correlation with the sale, six new limited-time achievements were also announced, giving gamers the chance to win coupons, games, and coal through the beginning of January. The following deals and more can be found at steam.storepowered.com for a limited time only.

  • The Binding of Issac (75% Off)
  • Quake Franchise (75% Off)
  • Dungeon Siege III (60% Off)
  • Mafia / Mafia II (75% Off)
  • Men of War Franchise (75% Off)
  • Wasteland Angel (75% Off)
  • Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter (50% Off)
  • The Lord of the Rings: War of the North (33% Off)
  • Xotic (75% Off)
  • Total War Franchise (75% Off)
  • Left 4 Dead / Left 4 Dead 2 (75% Off)
  • Two Tribes Franchise (66% Off)

Steam Holiday Sale Day 10 Features Tomb Raider, Dead Space, and More

Steam hits the double digits with day ten of its annual Holiday Sale. With twelve new deals and six new opportunities to receive free games every day, it’s been quite the past ten days. Thankfully, they still have some time to reveal the tricks up their sleeve, as the sale will continue for a few days longer before concluding after the New Year.

Today’s deals can be found at store.steampowered.com, and include:

  • Tomb Raider Franchise (75% Off)
  • Dead Space / Dead Space 2 (75% Off)
  • Revenge of the Titans (75% Off)
  • Machinarium (75% Off)
  • Section 8 Prejudice (75% Off)
  • Two Worlds (66% Off)
  • Serious Sam (50-90% Off)
  • S.P.A.Z. (75% Off)
  • And More!

Steam Holiday Sale Day 9 Features Black Ops, Terraria, and More

Ten days into the sale, and the Steam Holiday Sale continues with its usual big-name headlining sales. The Call of Duty franchise makes an appearance once more with 50% off Black Ops, while the more casual gamer can kick back with 75% off the infamous Terraria. All of these deals and more can be found at store.steampowered.com.

Today’s deals include:

  • Gothic Franchise (75% Off)
  • Terraria (75% Off)
  • Cities in Motion (75% Off)
  • Sequence (75% Off)
  • Dawn of War Franchise (66% Off)
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (75% Off)
  • Stronghold 3 (33% Off)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops (50% Off)
  • Disciples III (75% Off)
  • Solar II (75% Off)
  • Prince of Persia Franchise (75% Off)
  • F.E.A.R. Franchise (50% Off)

Steam Holiday Sale Day 8 Features Sonic Generations, Bastion, and More

Christmas may have come and gone, but the Steam Holiday Sale is still continuing on at full-force. Given the current trend of incredible sales over the past few days, it’s predictable that they will keep this pace going over the last few days of the event. One of today’s headline sales, SEGA’s Sonic Generations, has managed to climb to #1 on the sales charts today, overcoming games such as Modern Warfare 3 and Skyrim with its 66% off price tag. Other sales, such as Bastion or WORMS, have also managed to climb high in the charts, making today a memorable day in the Holiday Sale. These sales can be found at http://store.steampowered.com/

Today’s sales feature:

  • Sonic Generations (66% Off)
  • King’s Bounty Franchise (75% Off)
  • Beat Hazard (75% Off)
  • Bulletstorm (75% Off)
  • Anomaly: Warzone Earth (75% Off)
  • Test Drive Unlimited 2 (66% Off)
  • Far Cry / Far Cry 2 (75% Off)
  • WORMS Franchise (75% Off)
  • Bastion (66% Off)
  • Red Faction Franchise (75% Off)
  • A Game Of Thrones Genesis (50% Off)
  • Rock of Ages (75% Off)

Steam Holiday Sale Day 6 Features Skyrim, Plants vs Zombies, and More

It’s already the day before Christmas, but Steam still continues to produce incredible deals on the sixth day of their holiday sale. For the first time ever on Steam, the price of the infamous Elder Scrolls: Skyrim has dropped significantly, along with other big names such as Prototype and Borderlands. With deals as big as these surfacing so early in the sale, it leaves many wondering what else could possibly arise in the days to come. A particularly interesting thought is what will become of the final day, when there is traditionally a wrap-up of the event featuring the biggest deals of the season. Only time will tell.

For the time being, today’s sales include:

  • Blood Bowl (80% Off)
  • Tom Clancy Franchise (75% Off)
  • Plants vs. Zombies (66% Off)
  • The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim (33% Off)
  • Prototype (75% Off)
  • Company of Heroes Franchise (80% Off)
  • Borderlands (75% Off)
  • Renegade Ops (66% Off)
  • Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony (75% Off)
  • Risen (50% Off)
  • Wings of Prey (75% Off)
  • Hard Resist (75% Off)

Steam Holiday Sale Day 5 Features Saint’s Row, RAGE, and More

Only five days into the sale, and Steam has continued to show that they have plenty of big names up their sleeves. While big-name franchises such as Half Life and Mass Effect have appeared over the past four days, Steam has shown they have plenty more to sell with today’s deals on games such as Saint’s Row: The Third and Dirt 3. As always, six new achievements have been released, which could lead to prizes such as free games or coupons.

Today’s online deals feature:

  • Cities XL 2012 (50% Off)
  • Train Simulator 3 (90% Off)
  • E.Y.E. Divine Cybermancy (75% Off)
  • Cave Story+ (50% Off)
  • Audiosurf (75% Off)
  • Frozen Synapse (75% Off)
  • Dirt 3 (66% Off)
  • Saint’s Row: The Third (33% Off)
  • Aliens vs Predator (80% Off)
  • Back to the Future: The Game (60% Off)
  • RAGE (50% Off)
  • From Dust (50% Off)

Steam Holiday Sale Day 4 Features Mass Effect, Silent Hill, and More

Day 4 of the Steam Holiday Sale once more serves gamers with drastic price drops for the next 24 hours. Gamers are also given the chance to take advantage of The Great Gift Pile event, which currently gives players 24 opportunities to receive discounts, coal, or full games, with six new achievements added each day alongside twelve new deals. Today, these deals consist of:

  • Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine (50% Off)
  • Blur (75% Off)
  • Alien Breed Trilogy (75% Off)
  • LIMBO (75% Off)
  • Torchlight (75% Off)
  • Mass Effect / Mass Effect 2 (75% Off)
  • Brink (75% Off)
  • Flashpoint Red River / Flashpoint Dragon Rising (80% Off)
  • Silent Hill Homecoming (75% Off)
  • Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga (75% Off)
  • SkyDrift (50% Off)
  • Avalon: The Black Fortress (75% Off)

My Top Two Steam Holiday Picks with Insane Discount!

I am not a hardcore gamer, but, nonetheless, I do love to spend my leisure time playing casual games, and who else, besides Zynga, is the king of casual games other than Pop Cap? And if you have guessed that my pics have something to do with Pop Cap, you guessed right! But before we get ahead too quickly, I will mention that I am a huge portal fan, and even though I am not much of a player when it comes to shooting games, the half-life series stole my heart. So, ladies and gentlemen, I present you my two top holiday picks from steam.

First is the Pop Cap complete pack. If you have played a Pop Cap game, you know how addicting they can be! My favorites include Bejeweled 3 and Plants Vs. Zombies. These games are simple, colorful, and extremely fun (and not recommended for office if you want to keep your job). Steam is offering 86% off for Pop Caps Complete Pack. The pack includes all of the Pop Cap games ever released (34 games) into one bundle. The price was originally $340, but now, you only need to pay $49.99. Click here to visit the deal page! If you are skeptical about how addicting these games can really be, I suggest you download and try the free trials of these games from the Pop Cap website.

My second pick is the Half-Life Complete. If you have played one of the games in the Half-Life series, you may know that it is an incredibly awesome game! I played only one of the games, and this holiday deal allowed me to get all other games in the series. This pack includes all half-life games ever released, including expansion packs. I was surprised at the price, which is just less than $20. The pack includes 9 games; so you are paying only one and a half dollars for each of these incredibly valuable games. Click here to check it out!

My Top Two Picks

So, folks, these are my pics. I believe these games will keep you entertained for years to come, and are totally worth considering. If you have a recommendation, please, feel free to leave us a comment, and we will surely check it out!

Oh yea, don’t forget to follow us on twitter, @techtronica.