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Steam is the biggest PC gaming platform out there. As early as January of this year, it was revealed that 75 million accounts had been registered to the site. That's pretty phenomenal if you ask me, but it's all for good reason. The library of games available is essentially a portfolio of anything you could ever wish for. Coupled with the insane number of sales and the nifty Workshop feature, which allows users to modify select games to their liking, Valve's ever-growing network is an unstoppable force. Only one thing seems to be dividing the fanbase, however. That "thing" is the Steam Early Access Initiative. It all started on March 20th 2013, when twelve titles launched under the new program that granted immediate access to games in a pre-alpha testing phase. People who bought these games would be actively contributing in the game's development, with the funds attained going back in to helping the game grow. What emerged recently was a the deluge of titles that weren't even in any fit state to breathe. Such games of late including Earth: Year 2066, The Stomping Land and The Slaughtering Grounds were slated for their inability to provide any sort of experience to the customer. The former of the three has since been removed from the Steam Store page for simply being a complete joke. The player was literally plonked onto a flat plain of nothingness, where robots would charge at you out of nowhere and randomly explode. For something that cost the player an unreal price of £19.99, it wasn't worth it in the slightest. Even The Stomping Land (an open-world prehistoric action title) was pulled for a while because the developers went silent for several months without updates for the game. I noticed about a week before writing this that it had been quietly put back up for purchase. At any rate, Early Access is becoming a bit of a convoluted mess. Some will argue that it opens up the oppurtunity to play and experience the development of a potential gem. That's not really the thing in question, however - more so the way it's advertised to the community so that customers know precisely what they're investing in.
Occasionally, you do manage to find that diamond in the rough. Crypt of the NecroDancer is an ambitious indie title where the protagonist can only move and attack to the beat of a song. I still had my doubts going in because I rarely go near the Early Access side of Steam, but what I found when I started it up was a very polished first build. I'll just say first off that the songs for this game are great, thankfully; the foundations that the entire project revolves around are very, very solid. Dig further into it than the catchy beats and you'll find a very cute progression system. You need to collect diamonds through different zones to upgrade your character's abilities and, to a degree, upgrade the dungeons themselves - in the sense that you can find better loot and weaponry when you play. It almost follows the premise of mobile games that need you to play the game to collect upgrades in order to get further, except this quite literally dances all over that and reinvents the wheel entirely.