Over the last couple of months, I've spent way too much time playing GTAIV and, despite some very frustrating gameplay in places, I've enjoyed myself, immensely.
Now normally I'm a Mac person, always have been, and so I come at this Windows stuff with a great deal of scepticism, but for PC gaming, you just don't have many other option. Macs just don't get games... never have, probably never will. Last December I thought the whole Rockstar/GTAIV online registration process was pretty damned unnecessary (I prefer keeping my Windows box offline, for obvious reasons...) but this morning I picked up a copy of Saints Row 2. A friend thought that after playing GTAIV for the last two months, I'd rather enjoy it.
Well, not yet. Like GTAIV, Saints Row 2 requires online registration, this time with something called Steam. Just why I should have to register online a game I've just ponied up $80 for instead of simply entering my perfectly legit 25-digit(!) serial number beats me, but there it is. Do I have a Steam Account? Well, yes I do. But first it wants me first update my old Steam account (or application, or whatever) and I'll need to change my password details. OK... it updates itself download any amount of stuff on my connection, and then I have to wait for an email confirmation before I can actually use my new, updated account. All this takes, ohhh, another 10 minutes or so. And of course when my new password (not to mention an answer to a "secret" question) does arrive (via my Mac), its one of these codes that contains at least one '1', or is that a capital "I"? Morons. Several minutes go by while I try all the various combinations, but finally I'm allowed into "my" Steam account.
Now we are cooking, and I can begin to install "my" copy of Saints Row 2? Well, no, I can't. Steam requires that I allow it to do this for me. Well, just why I can't do this offline beats me, but OK, be my guest. Soon I get to the part where I need to enter my 25-digit serial number, which I do, and we are almost there. It will probably take another 30 minutes or so to actually install the game, but hey, GTAIV took nearly an hour, and so being the old hand that I am, I can live with that.
Ahhh, but what's this? Now Steam is telling me that "Sorry, but the following items are not available for purchase in this country". Well sorry, but I just bought the fucking game this morning! But I can always drop Steam Support a polite note? Well no, I'll have to set up another "account", because apparently Steam "Support" is different to Steam "Membership", and.... well, forget it. I'll call the THQ Customer Support number kindly supplied me with on the inside back cover of the game booklet that comes in the box. At $2.45 (inc GST)?!... like hell I will!
And they wonder why people pirate these games.....