The RPS Bargain Bucket: Gods And Monsters

By Lewie Procter on September 5th, 2009 at 1:39 pm.


There’s something in our bucket. What is it? Value, that’s what. Who put it there? The master of all games cheap and bargainful, the SavyGamer himself, LewieP. Read on for this weekend’s best buys in the basement of the internet.

QuantZ – £6.39/€7.19/$7.99
QuantZ is a game where you have to spin a box, then match up pretty coloured balls, then watch them disappear, then realise that your have lost what youthful good looks you might have once had, then pour yourself another glass of supermarket red wine just to numb the pain, then cry yourself to sleep yet again. So it’s a casual game, and a seemingly shallow one. It does have a lot of pretty lights, and I mean a lot. It’s a nice take on the “match up colours” gameplay of something like Bust-a-Bobble, and in the few levels the demo let me play, they do keep adding new ideas (although the degree to which said new ideas effect gameplay is dubious). Hard to be too passionate about, but I guess it is well executed for what it is, and spinning the box really fast and watching the coloured balls go flying is fun. Oh, in 1280 x 1024 (which over 20% of steam users game at) it is letterboxed, poor form indeed. Demo here.

Nation Red – £5.99/€6.74/$
I despise the undead so much, nothing brings me more pleasure than bringing an end to their shambling existence. Nation Red does a pretty decent job of satiating my hideous prejudice against the reanimated corpses of my fellow men. It’s a kind of Geometry Wars of the Dead, with some ace power ups and weapons. My biggest concern would be a lack of variety, and since the demo only lets you beat each level once, I can’t say how long it would keep me entertained. There is a clever experience system, which allows you to pick a new perk every level up, and they really do effect how you play the game. There are dozens of weapons too, including a fairly good flamethrower. I think this is one for Zombie/Alien Shooter fans. The Zombies seem to be a compromise between fast and slow Zombies (along the lines of RE4). Demo here.

Demigod – £12.21/€14.02/$20
Remember when the Demigod demo came out, and lots of people said “I quite like this, but I’ll wait on a price drop”, and I said “I’ll be sure to include any decent discount on Demigod in the bargain bucket.” Well, it’s that time. This is Gas-Powered Games/Stardock’s role time strategy, real playing game or something to that effect. Have all the kinks that plagued the initial release been ironed out yet faithful Demigodders? Demo here.

Sins of a Solar Empire + Entrenchment – £12.21/€14.02/$20
Nice price for Sins plus the expansion. Not played it myself, but Jim had this to say about it:

“Sins is just simplistic enough for me to play it as a bulky strategic shooter – the way I like my RTS games – but also complex enough for you to feel like an entire afternoon plunged into its abyss isn’t wasted. I’m sure that when the Great Computer In The Sky judges me after my death it will criticise millions of the seconds I spent playing lesser games, but I think he’ll be okay with Sins.”

RPS coverage here and here, and demo here.

Deal of the week
Street Fighter IV – £14.99/€18.99/$19.99
The price for SFIV has just been final atomic buster’d in half for this weekend. I imagine you’ll not want to play this with keyboard and mouse (UK folk, if you are after an Xbox three hundred and sixty controller, grab one here for only £11.93). The PC version boast extra pixels over the console flavoured release, and it also has some extra rendering modes if you like fiddling with graphics. Those of you going to the Eurogamer expo in London can beat me at this on the arcade cabinets they are going to have set up if you like.

Also of note:
Civilisation IV Complete – $15.98 (This is the prematurely named complete bundle that doesn’t include Colonization). USA only.
Dawn of Discovery (AKA Anno 1404) – £15.27/€17.52/$24.99
Hearts of Iron Mega Bundle – £39.99/€45.67/$65.13
World of Goo – £6.08/€6.98/$9.95
Sword of the Stars: Complete – £19.99/€22.83/$32.56
Sacred 2: Fallen Angel – £12.21/€14.01/$$19.99
Perimeter 2: New Earth – £9.99/€12.49/$14.99 (how come I never heard anything about this post release? Any good?) [It's terrible - Jim.]
Ghost Master – £1.49/€2.49/$2.49
Jagged Alliance 2 Gold – £6.99/€9.99/$9.99 (part of the Strategy First sale)
GOG Buy one get one free sale. Lots of excellent titles to pick from.

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99 Comments »

  1. Heliocentric says:

    Perimeter 2 is a poop, the best version for single player is the original game, the best for multiplayer the expansion emperor’s “something i forget” as it offers better zooming that the original, but its campaign is a mess.

    Nice to see sales actually competing with retail product for a change on impulse.

  2. Schaulustiger says:

    Strategy First should make the Steam sale prices permanent. I bought JA2 off Steam for about 20€ and considering the age of the game it’s quite outrageous. 10€ is still pretty hefty but a bit more appropriate.

  3. Mac says:

    How does SF4 play with a 360 controller? Is it pap, or playable?

  4. St4ud3 says:

    hmm, nothing for me this time around :/ The only thing remotely interesting is the Gog sale, but I already own all the games I want :D

  5. Jim Rossignol says:

    The 360 pad’s d-pad is a bit shonky, which makes SF4 annoying.

  6. Vinraith says:

    Dawn of Discovery and Sacred 2 are both a little bit tempting at those prices, but the DRM still keeps me away. If it wasn’t for the limited installation nonsense, I’m sure I’d already have picked them both up at full price. I’m not all that fond of managing games through Impulse, either, so that’s another reason to pass.

  7. Jim Rossignol says:

    Dawn Of Discovery/Anno 1404 would be my pick from this list.

    Perimeter 2 is terrible, do not be tempted.

  8. pkt-zer0 says:

    Keyboard works better than a standard 4-button gamepad for SF4. As long as you’re not playing with Zangief, anyway.

  9. Vinraith says:

    Yeah, Dawn of Discovery/Anno 1404 would have been a day 1 purchase for me if they hadn’t slapped an installation limit on it. It actually pains me NOT to be supporting that series, but they aren’t giving me a lot of choice in the matter.

  10. M_the_C says:

    Just to point out, Dawn of Discovery and Sacred 2 are not available outside USA and Canada.

    Street Fighter IV is a good price, but you can get it a little cheaper retail. Since it requires GWfL to run anyway some people might prefer cutting out the extra Steam requirements.

    The GOG buy one get one free was the highlight for me this week, didn’t get any since I already own the ones I want but for anyone who missed out there are some great titles. Sacrifice, Giants: Citizen Kabuto, Hostile Waters.

  11. Lighthouse says:

    Oh – the GOG buy 1 get 1 free promo site isn’t perfectly designed … I only saw that you can click and get a larger list of Interplay titles on sale. Which that was clearer :)

    I had though for the past 2 days that it was only a handful to choose from, but there are quite a few more.

    Looks like this weekend a lot of good titles are on sale. What are others thoughts on Demigod and Sins of Solar Empire? I have read the Demigod community is all but gone and probably the reason for the large price drop now – whats the singleplayer like?

  12. ArtyArt says:

    Hmm, got all the good ones already, I fear. But that discount over at Wadjet Eye Games sure is tempting, thanks Dracko.

    @Nation Red: I’ve heard that this game is brutally hard, any confirmation?

  13. Phinor says:

    I’d buy Anno 1404 for that price, probably Sacred 2 too. But as usual, they are US only offers. Oh and Civ4 collection, that I’d buy too. But not at 39.95€ :)

  14. ArtyArt says:

    @Lighthouse: not sure about an actual Demigod community, but it’s generally no problem to get into ranked games in the evening, so there should be enough people still playing.

    Singleplayer in Demigod is a diversion at best, good for learning the ins and outs and testing builds and stuff. If you’re going to play the single player tournament, do yourself a favor and start with hard difficulty right away – that’s about the challenge you’re going to get from most human opponents.

    For 20$ you cannot go wrong, I dare say.

  15. Vinraith says:

    @Lighthouse

    Both SoaSE and Demigod are built for multiplayer, SP is very much an afterthought and it shows. I wouldn’t buy either if your primary interest is solo play.

  16. Dan says:

    I might get a 360 pad for Batman. Played the demo with a mouse and a keyboard last night and it was ok, but it felt like it would be more natural with pad. (Plus the buttons have already been mapped. You’d think it was a cross-platform release or something.)

  17. TotalBiscuit says:

    Street Fighter 4 is a bit of an investment. The 360 pad is not suitable for it, so you’re going to need something like a Madcatz Fightpad, an Arcade Stick or a USB Saturn Pad from Ebay. Personally, I picked the Saturn pad. It’s worth it, if you’re willing to throw down for both the game and pad.

    Sacred 2 is worth that price, it’s a great co-op title.

  18. Heliocentric says:

    Testament!

    The best perimeter for multiplayer is emperors testament.

  19. Guto says:

    Am I the only one who likes playing fighting games with the keyboard? I find it much easier to perform the special moves than with controllers (except the Zangief ones, they’re pretty impossible on the keyboard. But who cares about Zangief?).

  20. Nak Manakhan says:

    Both Fallout games for a little over £3? Result!

  21. Heliocentric says:

    The 3 for £10 in game has the 3 isometric fallout games in one box.

  22. bookwormat says:

    @Phinor: play.com has Civilization IV Complete for EUR 10.49 .

  23. Vagueism says:

    Gamers Gate have Victoria Complete for 50% (€12.49).

    I’ve been TRYING to play Europa Universalis III as Sweden in 1453 and getting my ass kicked by the Danes every time. Frustrating as it is, it makes me want more Paradox strategy titles.

    (However the Gamersgate sale made me go and buy Victoria cheap on Ebay instead. I want a printed manual.)

  24. Wooly says:

    I found playing SFIV with a keyboard to be surprisingly workable.

    Can anyone tell me what the appeal of games like Sacred is?

  25. Coded One says:

    So Perimeter 2 is a bust? I’m always interested in new strategy games, and I’ve actually never heard of the Perimeter series.

    What makes the sequel so much worse than Perimeter 1?

  26. Jorgen says:

    Agreed with Wooly. Playing SFIV with the keyboard beats playing it with a gamepad, especially the 360 gamepad.

    Also, I’ve been eyeing Demigod and now here it is on sale, but I haven’t seen many comments regarding that here. Any Demigod players here recommend getting this at this point?

  27. Severian says:

    People: buy Demigod PLEASE! The community needs an influx of new players, esp. the well-spoken, high-minded, we’re-all-in-this-together breed that tends to populate RPS. I love the damn game but the community is both shrinking and somewhat toxic (phenomena related).

  28. Jorgen says:

    Agreed with Wooly. Playing SFIV with the keyboard beats playing it with a gamepad, especially the 360 gamepad.

    Also, I’ve been eyeing Demigod and now here it is on sale, but I haven’t seen many comments regarding that here. Any Demigod players here recommend getting this at this point?
    I’ll add that I’m primarily interested in playing multiplayer with friends. Don’t care too much about ranked matches and competitions and what not.

  29. Archonsod says:

    Is it just me, or are there only about two games in the Stardock sale which aren’t US only?

  30. Sparvy says:

    Playing SF4 with keyboard is indeed better than with most gamepads, its hard to beat an arcade stick though.

  31. Severian says:

    @ Jorgen

    Yes, I strongly recommend. It should be noted that there ARE still some bugs in the soup with Demigod but, generally, it’s a wonderfully fun and tactical game. The biggest issues right now are:
    1. Immature players who rage-quit, berate your bad play, or outright cheat.
    2. A poor matchmaking system that makes PUG (pick-up games) a real roll of the dice. Be prepared to lose a lot if you primarily PUG.
    3. Not enough maps, esp. for the most common 3v3 game.

    The good news is that GPG/Stardock are releasing a new update soon, with many fixes, improvements, and 2 new demigods (bringing total to 10). There will be mod support, although it is unclear whether that will easily allow for the creation of new demigods and, more importantly, new maps.

    If you’re planning on playing with friends and don’t care about the (meaningless and flawed) ranking system, than you really should do yourself and favor and pick this up. Stream-lined gameplay, great visuals, lovely team-based strategy.

  32. TotalBiscuit says:

    @Severian – Maybe if it didn’t suck. A watered down DoTA clone with not a single good map and no possibility of any more due to the ridiculous in-house version of Maya they used to create them, only 8 heroes, none of the extra content promised and STILL the netcode isn’t reliable.

    Chalk it up to yet another failure by GPG, I reckon Stardock are really regretting getting into business with them by now.

  33. CogDissident says:

    Perimeter 2 is ABSOLUTELY awful. It has two factions (with one clearly superior in every way to the other) that war for semi-nonsensical reasons. The plot makes no sense, and is entirely skippable. The gameplay is frantic and insanely fast (a generator produces enough energy for a new generator every second, meaning the game is entirely about how fast you can click to place them), and the shield mechanic doesn’t protect you from half the weapons in the game.

    One side fills the level with water, one side removes the water. Except the side that removes water and flattens land doesn’t actually flatten the land very well and if even one pixel is out of place, you can’t build there. And the water flows around the map, so if the water-side just spams the level then you quickly flood the other player and they have nothing they can do about it.

    As an idea of how bad this game is, there has been ONE forum post from a non-developer in TWO MONTHS. And one post from a developer. Every topic on their forum is about how the game is unbalanced, or asking how to beat a certain level (most of the answers are methods that border on cheating, due to the level being neigh-impossible).

    Oh, also, they removed about half of the features from Perimeter 1.

  34. Coded One says:

    @CogDissident:

    Oh… Oh sweet Jesus… Is Perimeter 1 any fun?

  35. Premium User Badge

    Sagan says:

    Yeah I also play SF IV on keyboard, because I didn’t like it that much with a gamepad. But I think the combo system in that game is simply a little broken. I have played the game for at least 10 hours, and I still get even basic combos like a fireball right only 9 out of 10 times. Which simply isn’t enough. And some ultra combos, like Guile’s, I get right only half the time, which is really really frustrating. This is my first fighting game, so maybe I just suck, and should get better, but it’s frustrating to learn in Street Figher, because it doesn’t tell you what you did wrong in a combo. Did I not charge long enough? Was my combination wrong? Was I too slow? It doesn’t tell me.
    And the first thing that the AI learns (when going from childlike difficulty to very easy) is to punish your mistakes. So yeah I’m kind of burnt out with frustration over Street Figher IV, and would not recommend it.

  36. Jim Rossignol says:

    Perimeter 1 is an errant classic.

  37. Azhrarn says:

    @Coded One: Perimeter 1 is difficult, but judging from Cog’s commentary of Perimeter 2, several thousand times more fun to play. All sides are fairly similar, with many units shared (and a number of unique ones each), so the balance is considerably better.

    The campaign, while certainly challenging, isn’t nigh impossible, although the AI has the nasty habit of learning your tricks rather quickly, meaning you’ll need to adapt to them as much as they adapt to you.

    The shield the game is named after stops almost anything, but is impossible to sustain for longer periods over larger areas, making it a great trade-off defensive measure.

    The story, while certainly odd and somewhat convoluted, is interesting enough, and there’s a good number of missions in the campaign too.

    No idea on the multiplayer side of things, never played that, but I liked the single player game.

  38. TotalBiscuit says:

    @Sagan the combo system isn’t broken at all, you’re just not all that good at it. Do the challenge modes or do training with the input readout on.

  39. Carra says:

    I remember Stardock giving us whole rants of “we do not do DRM, DRM is evil”. Yet their impulse system has 3 limit activations (Dawn of Discovery, Sacred 2)? That makes no sense.

  40. Kieron Gillen says:

    I don’t believe either of those games are Stardock’s.

    KG

  41. Azhrarn says:

    Neither game is Stardock indeed, and the publisher probably demanded the security system be implemented, and since they wanted the business, they conceded.

    You win some, you lose some.

  42. malkav11 says:

    You are correct, Kieron.

    And I heartily recommend checking out that 50% off sale on Wadjet Eye Games. That and GoG’s buy one get one free are, imho, the best sales of the weekend. Please note that the Wadjet Eye Games sale includes Downfall, which has been highlighted a couple of times on this site, and does not include Emerald City Confidential, as for some reason Wadjet Eye does not sell that game through their own store.

  43. GJLARP says:

    Highlight of the week should be the GOG promo

  44. RyePunk says:

    @Sagan,
    Tragically I agree with you, it is really hard to get good at the combo system. The problem is 10 hours is a drop in the bucket of time needed to get proficient at the move sets.
    Personally the game needs to just make 4 more keys that auto launch your specials. The Bleach fighting game’s on DS do this and it makes them so much better (they counter spam by making it drain a dash bar making dodging much harder).
    But they don’t so I’ll just keep practicing. And don’t play against the computer, its boring or (possibly and) cheap if you’re new. Even on Easiest. Just go play against real people and watch yourself get smoked horribly against real people. I’ve won I think 5 or 6 matches so far after roughly 20-30 matches. So yea usually I’m getting my ass handed to me, but I go with a title that says I’m new, and it does seem like they take it easy on me. Until I give them their ultra anyways… Then the ow comes.

  45. user@example.com says:

    FFS, Stardock, every time I want to buy something from you I can’t. £27 on Steam as well. I really wanted to give it a go, having seen an off-hand mention of it in a thread somewhere that made it sound pretty cool some ways, despite apparently being a bit flawed.

    Oh well, at least I bought Might & Magic 1-6 and a pad of graph paper during the week.

  46. user@example.com says:

    The above refers to Sacred 2, of course. And I love Stardock really, I just don’t love the way I never seem to notice “US/Canada only!” until I’m trying to buy a game from them.

  47. unclelou says:

    an anyone tell me what the appeal of games like Sacred is?

    Killing monsters and grabbing fat loot, obviously. Same as Diablo’s appeal. Not that I liked Sacred 2 a lot, but I can’t blame the concept as such.

  48. Wazzle says:

    Yeah, I agree that GoG sale is absolutely spectacular. I mean, sure, a lot of you old, seasoned, high-fallutin’ PC gamers may already own those, but for a newcomer like me, getting 3 fallouts, freespace 2, descent 1+2, and Giants: Citizen Kabuto for under $20 is… I don’t even have words to describe it’s excellence. Almost as good as the time I got Half-Life 1 for $0.99.

  49. Wazzle says:

    Yeah, I agree that GoG sale is absolutely spectacular. I mean, sure, a lot of you old, seasoned, high-fallutin’ PC gamers may already own those, but for a newcomer like me, getting 3 fallouts, freespace 2, descent 1+2, and Giants: Citizen Kabuto for under $20 is… I don’t even have words to describe it’s excellence. Almost as good as the time I got Half-Life 1 for $0.99.