Steam Games over USB 2.0 is painful

450GB of games Somehow I have over 450GB of games installed. I went a little mad installing them when I bought this PC last year but now that I need the space I don’t really want to download them again. Luckily I have a number of external USB drives so I started copying games over yesterday evening.

Out of curiosity I used Steam Mover to copy and symlink the games back to the C: as I wondered how well games would play over and old USB 2.0. It didn’t work well. It was very painful. Assassin’s Creed wouldn’t even load but crashed on the Ubisoft logo. Arkham Asylum loaded but the graphics of the main menu moved like molasses. I think I’ll use Steam’s backup system to make archived copies of the games as that will compress the files too saving a bit more space.

External drives are simply enclosures with real disks in them so I opened up one of my external drives to see if I could hook it directly to my PC internally but the disk in it is using a different interface to the one in my PC. The last time I went diving into a PC was when IDE was the standard and SATA was only just becoming mainstream!

144KB seemed so big back then

So, I’m going to backup games to the drive instead of copying them. I’ll also dump another copy of my photos there too as I started using Backblaze (aff) to do remote backups. It may take some time to squirt 681GB of data into the cloud though. Eventually I’ll have to buy a second drive for my PC but that’s something I’ll look at in the future.

Natural Selection 2: survival of the fittest

Natural Selection 2 went on sale in the Steam Winter Sale and I bought it yesterday. First time playing it this evening and for complexity it blows any other team based shooter out of the water. Just take a look at the video above for a taster.

I have to admit I didn’t know what I was doing most of the time but it was a blast. Lots of other new players too judging by some of the chatter I saw and heard. Glad my friend Brian is an old hand at the game, he was a huge help.

If it goes on sale again you should grab it if you’re interested in a great team based game that rewards communication. For once I finished a game at the top of the leaderboard too!

Natural Selection 2

Robot Enrichment

I just noticed that Portal 2 now has a store where you can modify your robot. I like the way Valve monetize their games. They bring out free DLC, expanding older games with updates and offering them either free (TF2) or at a steep discount. Then they encourage you to buy hats and personalise your character! Nothing like some of the other grind to play free games I’ve played elsewhere.

Two games spring to mind, both free Android games. Samurai vs Zombies and Garfield Defense. Both play in exactly the same way even though they are apparently by different developers. I swear they used the one game engine and just swapped out graphics and sound.

In both games you collect coins to purchase power ups but those purchases are fairly pricey and by the time you get to level 10 you’ll need to grind and play the level 4 or 5 times to get enough coins to buy an upgrade to finish the level.

Still, not a bad way to spend a few minutes while waiting for the bus or something but to be honest I’d rather use my phone to read a book!

I almost forgot to mention the iOS version of Plants vs Zombies. It received a few updates recently which added the ability to plant flowers that reward you with silver and gold. I only tried it briefly but soon discovered that you need to use fertilizer or the plants will wilt. Of course you have to use real money to buy the fertilizer. *sigh*

L4D2: Help them up!

Lord of Angry mmmmmar person was a bit of a douche when we played L4D2 gibfest tonight. It was great fun until that guy joined. He was fairly useless, charging ahead and shooting us all the time.

We got our revenge when he got knocked down. Duck watched as his health slowly drained away. He wasn’t happy! 🙂

Move Steam Games to another drive?

I have two partitions on my machines and the first one is always full so I’ve had to move games to the second partition from time to time. That means moving files and directories and opening a cmd prompt as an administrator to run mklink.

Well, it just got easier with Steam Mover. Nice GUI that uses xcopy, rd and mklink to copy Steam games to another drive.

It worked a treat moving 5GB of files over this evening!

I bought a 4 pack of Sanctum I…

I bought a 4 pack of Sanctum. I already have an idea of who I’ll give the extra 3 copies to, but if anyone that I play with regularly is really interested in the game please leave a comment here.

Not tweeting this post, only for those few of you who actually read this blog! 🙂

Edit: 2 copies gone (David and Duck), one left. RPS blogged about the sale, here’s their wot i think review and here’s TotalBiscuit’s review:

Beat Hazard Ultra + Megablast

Woah! Beat Hazard Ultra is a manic asteroids type game where the tempo of the game is dictated by the music you choose. I picked 90’s classic Megablast by Bomb The Base. Great fun. The score above is nothing special, but the mix of familiar or favourite music and hectic gameplay is a winner!