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. Günter says:

    Must… Resist… Incredible… Deals!

    I’ve already spent $75 on games this week, and I’ve got plenty to play. Steam is a vile temptress.

  2. PC Monster says:

    Am very very tempted by Sins but am a touch concerned by the comment above about it being more of a multiplayer game. Anyone care to add to that?

    And I’d heard that in the original, by mid-game you’d know who was going to win making the end-game rather pointless. Did Entrenchment sort that out any?

  3. Fenchurch says:

    “…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.”

    Oh God get out of my head! D-:

  4. abhishek says:

    I bought SF4 from Steam. Couldn’t pass up the price, and I am somewhat surprised that a 50% off sale happened 8 weeks after it’s release. Is that brilliant marketing or does it signify poor sales?

    I also bought Demigod back when they first announced the 50% off coupons. Back then, it seemed to make sense to buy it since I kind of like the Dota inspired subgenre it belongs to. However, given the same choice today, I would not buy the game. Firstly, there are free and, in my opinion, better alternatives out now, which wasn’t the case back then. Heroes of Newerth is a fairly easy closed beta to get into, and League of Legends will be a free to play game which should also be entering open beta soon. Both these games are in the same vein as Demigod and playing them right now is free. Demigod fumbles some basic things which these games get right…. it also has a lesser number of heroes which is ultimately what decides the longevity and depth of these games. The community is shrinking. Getting into matches can still be a somewhat frustrating experience, especially when compared to HoN for example where it is smooth and flawless. Definitely would not recommend a Demigod purchase now.

  5. Azhrarn says:

    @PC Monster: Entrenchment gives each faction a massive, extremely powerful defensive starbase to build in orbit of worlds, those things can stop entire fleets by themselves, especially when supported by the normal defensive architecture, it makes sneaking round the back of someone’s empire and blowing their colonies up while they’re occupied by another front a lot harder, as blasting your way through a fully upgraded and supported starbase is no mean feat.

    As for the multiplayer aspect, no idea, I generally don’t play online because I’m a slow and steady player.

    The AI isn’t the greatest, but can certainly pose a challenge in my opinion, so single-player isn’t bad, but the game has no campaign, so it’s essentially all skirmish games (But then again the Master of Orion series and GalCiv did exactly the same thing, this is just in RT4X form, rather than standard 4X).

  6. Heliocentric says:

    On perimeter, its like a versus mode on a tower defense game where you are playing real time rock paper scissors with the units. Multiplayer is much better than single. Go try the demo, or buy it on gog.

  7. Archonsod says:

    I tend to stick to single player with Sins too. Multiplayer tends to be dull unless watching fleets of thirty identical ships shooting at each other is your idea of a good time. It’s a fine game in single player though.

  8. Dave Gilbert says:

    Thanks for the plug, Dracko!

    @malkav11 I wish I could sell ECC through my own store, but technically it’s not my game! I made the game for PlayFirst so I have no say in how they sell it, but you can get the game for pretty cheap on Big Fish Games or Steam.

  9. Oak says:

    Any fans of tycoon games would do well to get Vegas: Make it Big off the Strategy First sale.

  10. fabrulana says:

    Thanks – got me Nation Red – didn’t like Left 4 Dead or Killing Floor demos but this one just feels right …

    Thanks also to Dracko for the adventure game links picked up Downfall and Shiva that got good reviews – looking forward to some great adventuring …

  11. Daniel Rivas says:

    Huh. This is very odd. Sins of a Solar Empire would appear to be half price on the product page, but full price on the payment page. Oh dear.

    Please advise.

  12. Andrew Dunn says:

    Dammit, at that price I’d love to buy Anno 1404 but it’s North America only (hence the ‘Dawn of Discovery’ nonsense). Even though it kindly gives prices in pounds, it doesn’t let us Brits buy it.

  13. Heliocentric says:

    Your area is not on sale?

  14. Daniel Rivas says:

    But it gives a half-price value in pounds sterling! This is all very confusing.

  15. LewieP says:

    @Dave Gilbert
    Is there a newsletter or something I can sign up to so I don’t miss any wadjeteye sales in future?

  16. Kua says:

    I think its quite alright to call Civ 4 Complete erm Civ 4 Complete. Colonization is a game in itself, just using the Civ 4 engine. There’s so much goodness packed into that favourably priced box that, in fact, “Complete” doesn’t do it justice. Fab feature this btw.

  17. lePooch says:

    At anyone who is considering Demigod vs other titles(Heroes of Newerth, League of Legends) in the same vein, keep in mind that a caustic, childish playerbase is endemic to any DOTA-like game. Its the nature of the beast that most of those who play get annoyed at the smallest mistakes you make.

    Severian has it right; it is better to play with people you know than to even try a PUG. Speaking as a person who enjoys this genre of games I would say that League of Legends piques my interest the most, while Heroes of Newerth stays closest to the original formula.

    Demigod is a distant turd/third.

  18. LewieP says:

    @Kua
    The reason I make the distinction is that there has also been a retail release called “Civilisation IV Complete” that did include Colonization.

  19. Kua says:

    Aha. Apologies for my ignorance :) They should have called that Civ IV Ultimate Awesome Complete: Now with more Completeness.

  20. Innokenti says:

    I believe that you can pop your Sacred 2 key into Steam… which should mean that you can install it all over the place over Steam… I think…

  21. invisiblejesus says:

    I picked up Nation Red last night; it’s a pretty small, simple game but a great buy if it’s the kind of thing you want; a top-down Smash TV-esque shooter with nice graphics and fun arcadey gameplay but no story to speak of. I’d try the demo and resist comparing it to Left 4 Dead or Killing Floor, as the gameplay bears absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to either of those games. It’s a really fun game, not a ton to it but for that price I think that’s more than forgivable.

  22. Curiousity says:

    Except for The Shivah (which I have) and Emerald City Confidential (which doesn’t count in the sale), can anyone make recommendations on the other Wadjet Eye games?

    Downfall looks similar to Yahtzee’s Trilby games (the one that took place in a hotel … x days a something or wotsit)

  23. SmokinDan says:

    QuantZ is actually pretty good. Sure, simplistic, but a lot of content for that price.

  24. Vinraith says:

    “this is just in RT4X form”

    That’s a vicious little lie and I wish people would stop repeating it, it’s all RT and no 4X. SoaSE is a galaxy wide but an inch deep, and the diplomacy system (which would be one of those “x’s” it wants to claim) is so badly broken they’re planning to release an expansion to replace it (nice of them to charge, no?). No one that’s actually looking for a 4X game need apply, there’s a world of better space 4X titles out there (for god’s sake, play Sword of the Stars or Gal Civ 2 or even Space Empires). If you’re looking for something akin to Supreme Commander in space, on the other hand, then you could do worse.

  25. Dracko says:

    Curiousity: Just go for the Blackwell series. They’re finely designed episodic adventures.

  26. malkav11 says:

    Er, if one leaves out The Shivah, and Emerald City Confidential, doesn’t that pretty much only leave the Blackwell games? (I mean, they sell Downfall and The Adventures of Fatman in their store, but those aren’t Wadjet Eye games.)

  27. Anonymous says:

    @Nation Red:
    Experience level and perks. So how is this different from crimsonland? I mean, even the names are complete ripoffs of each other (Nation Red – Crimson Land).

  28. malkav11 says:

    Nation Red has snazzier graphics. Beyond that, I haven’t actually played it so I couldn’t tell you.

  29. user@example.com says:

    Innokenti: From what I’ve found, you can’t use a retail Sacred 2 key on Steam.

  30. JB says:

    “since the demo only lets you beat each level once, I can’t say how long it would keep me entertained.”

    Just FYI, if you create a new profile in the demo then you can play the 3 levels again. Repeat as necessary.

    It’s a pretty good little game, but I don’t think it would hold my attention for too long to be honest.

  31. We Fly Spitfires says:

    I’d urge *everyone* to buy Sins of a Solar Empire + Entrenchment for £12. That’s excellent value for money! It’s such an awesome game. Truly it is. Go my pretties, buy it, buy!

  32. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    2Curiousity:
    Blackwell series and get the soundtracks… :) Just grabbed The Shivah OST, splendid!

  33. Heliocentric says:

    I got it really early, why don’t they have a sale on the expansion? They have already gotten $40 out of me.

  34. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    2Lewie:
    Good to see KOTOR over at Steam… I might pick it up later and finally finish it*
    —-
    after I finish Mass Effect, Oblivion, and well…maybe Dragon Age? Darn…

  35. Blather Bob says:

    @Kua: It’s also worth pointing out because even GamersGate themselves got the “Complete Edition” including Colonization thing confused. They mention in the first paragraph of the description that it does include Colonization, but that’s pretty obviously the result of someone copying/pasting the description of the newer Complete edition, rather than this older, discontinued one. Colonization isn’t mentioned in the detailed description, and the boxshot shows the older box, with only 3 games/expansions included, so it’s obviously meant to be the older release. Which makes it about the same price in this sale as the regular price from various Amazon sellers here in the US, and Civ4 is something I’d probably rather have a physical copy of, assuming the complete edition still includes a real manual and tech tree charts.

  36. born2expire says:

    Thinking I’m gonna buy Scared 2, but i’m considering holding out for Steam to have it on sale.

  37. Spoon says:

    Nation Red is an uninspired Crimsonland clone, with better graphics and less interesting gameplay. Less weapons, less enemy types, less missions/challenges, less perks. Unless you are a graphics whore or a zombie whore, stick to Crimsonland imo.

    The survival mode is particularly bad, as once you get to a certain strength level, you cannot die. I got to around 32 minutes into a survival game before i got so bored that I had to ask myself “why am I still doing this?!” and let myself die. When I saw the time I played, I facepalmed hard and uninstalled.

  38. Vinraith says:

    I humbly submit that the best place to get Sacred 2, or any game with an unreasonable install limit, is Gamersgate. Of the digital distributors, they’re the only one I’m aware of that guarantees you’ll always be able to download and play the game, regardless of any nonsense DRM attached to it.

  39. LewieP says:

    I must admit Crimsonland did come to mind, but it is years since I have played Crimsonland, and even then it was only the demo.

  40. Joe says:

    SFIV controls well with a keyboard. Personally, I prefer keyboard over anything else after playing a lot of emulated Neo Geo fighters. Timing is very forgiving, and I can consistently pull off the shoryuken motion for the first time ever. Woo.

    Unfortunately, I caused some, er, structural damage fistmashing the Esc key while trying to ragequit. New rule: Esc should always bring up a menu, especially when that blubbery yellow git is doing his stupid victory dance.

    By the way, when a fighter game makes me actually violently angry, I take that as a good sign. This is probably the best one I’ve played on PC, perhaps excepting The Last Blade 2, and it’s reasonably kind to non-experts like myself.

  41. Dominic White says:

    @Joe – Yeah, N’thing that with a bit of practice, the keyboard works remarkably well for SFIV. My only complaint is that it’s just not QUITE fast enough to do Zangiefs Final Atomic Buster. Every other move in the game I can do, but not that one.

    His single-360-motion throws? Easy. Just not the double. Ah well, if I need that move, it’s probably a bad sign anyway. It is an exceedingly good fighting game, although if people think SFIV (which is about as pared down as a modern-day fighter can get) is complex and inaccessible, their heads would explode if they ever played five minutes of BlazBlue.

    This Penny Arcade strip just about sums it up:
    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/7/27/

    Good thing the game itself doesn’t take itself the slightest bit seriously.

  42. MD says:

    KOTOR worth $10 for someone who isn’t into Star Wars, but feels like something with a tasty story and tolerable mechanics?

  43. Psychopomp says:

    *YES*

    II is even better with the story, albeit unfinished.

  44. MD says:

    Excellent, and yeah I am tempted by KOTOR II but I’ve heard that it is indeed unfinished. I figure I might as well play the first one first, then hopefully by the time I am up for the sequel (if ever), the big fan-made patch will have been released. (Also the first one is available online for $10, while it looks like I’d have to hunt around for the second and perhaps pay more also.)

  45. Dominic White says:

    I recall that the story was KOTOR 2 was that about 3/4 of the way through development, Lucasarts had a change of heart, and cut their deadline by six months – six months which had been budgeted on.. y’know.. finishing the game. An enormous dick move, as far as publishing goes.

    In the end, they spent that last six months having to hack together something approaching and ending, and surgically removing whole PLANETS worth of a content which they just didn’t have the time to finish anymore. The (absurdly overdue) fan-patch is apparently going to bring back a lot of the content that had to be cut, but which Obsidian kindly left in the data files in unfinished form.

  46. LewieP says:

    A fantastic bonus offer now:

    http://savygamer.co.uk/2009/09/sins-of-solar-empire-free.html

    Sins of a Solar Empire for completely free!