So, real talk – a lot of you reading this bought more games in the last Steam Summer Sale than I have ever played seriously. That may sound ridiculous, but the truth is I’ve never been that big of a PC gamer. Sure, I enjoyed the original Tomb Raider and Jedi Knight on my parent’s Windows 95 box back in the day, I’ve known the grind of World of Warcraft, and I enjoyed long nights of co-op play in Left 4 Dead 2 with the few friends I have that are into PC gaming (and on a PC I built, no less). I’m not averse to PC gaming in any way. I’ve just always been drawn to consoles more. Ever since my parents bought me an NES at the tender age of…5? 6? Whatever it was, I was young and impressionable and the games I played on that console made me a Nintendo fan for life, which made me a video game fan for life. I played 99.9% of my games on consoles and that trend followed me into my teenage years. Some people grew up having LAN parties playing StarCraft or Counter-Strike into the wee hours of the morning, but me? My Saturday nights were spent drifting around turns in Mario Kart 64, laughing maniacally after blasting a friend from behind a grate in Goldeneye 007, and, eventually, blasting new friends on an Xbox LAN setup of Halo: CE. Basically, I just didn’t have the time or money for PC games.
Well, now I’m 33 years old and life looks a little different. I have a mortgage and car payment that come due every month, I have a job that I report to Monday-Friday, and some of those medical commercials I giggled at as a kid suddenly raise legitimate concerns. (Maybe I DO urinate too frequently…) Hey, don’t worry, it’s not all bad. I also have more money and I have a lovely wife to come home to who just happens to love games as much as me. The funny thing is – she does a lot more PC gaming than I do and I’ve had her and my fellow Playback cohorts trying to court me to the realm of PC gaming for some time. Funny enough, my passion for console gaming is what has led me to this. As a Twitch streamer, having a more powerful rig is beneficial to supporting that process. So when it came time to replace my PC, I figured “go big or go home.” I didn’t go ALL out, but my new rig is very powerful. Intel Core I7 processor, GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card, 16GB of RAM…I haven’t had this much power before and a certain web-slinging teenager would tell me that great power comes with great responsibility. This time, that responsibility is to explore PC gaming.
So let’s talk about my first gaming experience on my new PC: a little platformer from Studio MDHR called Cuphead.
I had hoped to one day own this one on my Xbox One, but by the time they finally released it, I’d traded my Xbox One in to buy a replacement Switch, but that’s another story for another blog post. This PC gave me the chance finally experience the game, but I knew a keyboard and mouse wouldn’t suffice for a game with platforming and shooting THIS demanding…but what other options did I have? That’s when a Google search revealed a mind-blowing revelation – I didn’t need anything special to use my Xbox One or PS4 controllers. No wireless dongles, no surfing the Web to search in vain for the correct drivers…all I needed was a USB cable. Steam instantly recognized the controller and it just…WORKED. It didn’t take long for me to realize that, outside of special controller adapters, only gaming on PC will you have the ability to use Xbox and PlayStation controllers on the SAME PLATFORM at the SAME TIME. (In fact, by the time you’re reading this, Steam will have beta support for the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller!) I had avoided PC gaming for so long, fearing the headaches of getting games and peripherals to work…yet everything worked flawlessly. I immediately showed my wife this revelation with glee and showed her the first level of Cuphead like a young man running to show his Mom Super Mario Bros.
I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.