The RPS Bargain Bucket: Die, Son

By Lewie Procter on September 26th, 2009 at 11:26 am.

My PC broke this week, so I had to write this all on a borrowed laptop. It has Windows 2000 on it, and a tiny tiny keyboard – not fun times. Still, I laboured through, just for my love of cheap games and bringing them to you special people. Some fantastic expectations this week. Amazing revelations too. If you enjoy money and games, and like having as much as possible of both, you should have a look at my website, SavyGamer. On to the deals…

Dyson – $14.95
The free version of this is a lovely little design demo. The devs call it an “Ambient Strategy game”, which basically means it is pretty and relaxing, but still satisfies your need to kill other things just because they are a different colour to you. I’ve never tried buying from D2D USA from the UK, but I gather it works OK when the game is “available worldwide” like this is. It will be on Steam, sold directly by the dev, and possibly other platforms for those of you who are D2D averse (and I bet there will be similar preorder offers too). They are also running a competition to pick a new name for the game, since they have decided to rename it for it’s commercial release. I suggested “No Loss of Suction”, but I don’t think it’ll go down well. RPS coverage here.

Penumbra Collection – £5/$5
These games are kind of funny. They mash together some utterly brilliant moments of tension, terror and a fantastic adventure interface with some (at times) fairly ropey production values, puzzle design and combat. Overall, they are definitely more good than bad, the physics stuff is nifty, and there is not much like this out there. This price for the entire series is an utter steal. Turn the lights off, speakers up, and put a do not disturb sign on your door for this one, methinks. RPS coverage here, and demos here.

First Encounter Assault Recon 2: Project Origin – £12.49/€24.99/$24.99
I’ve not played this. I have, however, played the first game and it’s two (now rendered non-canon) expansions, and they were games about shooting people, and the only thing that they were really successful at was making it fun to shoot people. There are lots of corridors, and very very minor stealth elements (mainly shooting people with a big loud shotgun, but from behind!). The guns all sounded pretty great, and shooting people with a big nail gun in slow mo is always going to be badass. Does the sequel differ from the first game that much? The “Reborn” DLC is also half price. More importantly though, when is Condemned going to be on Steam? Lets blame Sega for that one. RPS coverage here and demo here. Oh, and if you feel like it, the multiplayer of the first game is free.

Scrapland £4.38/€4.76/$6.99
I played this a pretty long time ago. Shortly after it came out in fact. I can remember a few things about it. It was kinda fun, it had robots and transforming into different robots. You got to fly around a big robot city, and it was made by that guy that made that game that had his name on the box. It also gave me the dreaded starforce, but I have no idea if it has that on impulse too, I’ve looked around but can’t find anything saying one way or the other. Demo here.

Deal of the week
Titan Quest Bundle – £5/$5
Jim says a bunch of words about this game here, but the main thing you need to know is that it is a Diablo clone, and it is mostly competent. There is experience and loot waiting to be had, and you are sat there, not getting it, what’s wrong with you? The developer is sadly no longer with us, so I guess this is free money for THQ. Maybe they could give volition some more money to work on patching the known issues with the PC port of SR2, hmm? That’d sure be nice. For your five currencies you get the original game and its expansion, don’t bother leaving the house for a few days (Empty milk bottle at the ready). Demo here.

Also of note:
Five currency sale still on at D2D – UK/USA
25% off Freezetag bundles
EA games now on Steam in the UK – 10% off too! (No excuse for not playing Mirror’s Edge now)

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90 Comments »

  1. Garu says:

    Does buying the Titan Quest bundle give you a code you can activate on Steam by any chance?

    • LewieP says:

      Nope, you just download it from D2D. Games that let you do that are few and far between, but they are all listed here:
      https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=7480-WUSF-3601#which

    • Backov says:

      Ya know, it says something about Steam and D2D that I’d rather pay $15 more and buy the bundle on Steam.

      D2D, meh.

    • Vinraith says:

      I’ll never understand Steam loyalty. As long as there’s no 3rd party DRM on a D2D release it’s just YOURS. You download it, install it where and when you like, no hassles. Steam saddles everything with a client that randomly decides to stop working at times. I avoid it when possible, even if it costs a little extra to do so.

    • Oak says:

      It’s the one-stop-shop convenience – for some, Steam is a suitcase with all their games in it – but there’s also the social networking stuff, and I think that might even be the major draw for a lot of people.

    • LazyEmc2 says:

      Except I lost about ten games I bought when they(D2D) messed up my username. Also they limit the number of machine you can install it on(depends on the game for the exact number), but D2D is FAR from hassle free. With Steam I download the client, enter login info, and install…. done and done

  2. Rinox says:

    Wow. Us mainlander Euros getting incredibly shafted over FEAR 2. :-(

    The pound is worth almost the same as the Euro these days. Won’t even mention the dollar. So we end up paying twice the price for the same game on the same promotion.

    Excuse me while I find a bucket. Feel sick.

  3. RagingLion says:

    Just needed to say I got the Ian Brown reference.

    Otherwise, won’t be getting anything this week: very tempted and interested in Penumbra but too much of a scaredy cat to play them and enjoy them.

    • Clovis says:

      Ya, if you don’t like being extremely nervous while playing an adventure game, don’t buy Penumbra. In the first one the enemies are creepy and you have to fight them. It’s not just that they are creepy, it is that you are terrible at fighting them. Turning the difficulty down helps with this. The later game is almost worse since you normally are unable to fight back at all. Instead you sneak and run. Running away from things in FPS has always freaked me out. For example, the ant queen sequence in HL2 made me jumpy and squeemish. So, if that sequence freaked you out, stay away from Penumbra ’cause it is like that all the time.

      OTOH, the Penumbra series should have brought AGs into the modern world with the FPS view, and physics based puzzles and searching. Instead of pixel hunting, you open drawers and knock things about; just like in real life. Genius!

    • Jugglenaut says:

      Thanks for that, Clovis. I was considering Penumbra, but I felt the same way about the Ant Queen, so I’ll just have to pass (plus I have a backlog of new games from these recent sales).

  4. Gurrah says:

    Impulse is having a sale on Farcry2, 13,91€ for the game plus the DLC is an excellent bargain if you ask me: check it out.

  5. Heliocentric says:

    D2D US has elven legacy for $5 available world wide, the same people who later went on to make majesty 2, I think.

    Dyson was such a perfect name for that game, shame they want a new one.

    • ArtyArt says:

      Elven legacy for 5$ is a steal, indeed. Very nice game, feels very lightweight and comfortable to play. Go buy!

    • Kadayi says:

      I remember RPS featured Dyson when it was an indy game some time back. I really enjoyed it, so will probably pick this up when it hits Steam. I guess that given Dyson is kind of synonymous with Vacuum cleaners these days (just like Hoover used to be) that a name change is judicious, if nothing more than to avoid potential legal problems down the road.

  6. Flappybat says:

    The European prices for EA games on Steam are mind bogglingly poor. Oddly the UK ones are about 1/4 as much, god knows what that’s about.

  7. pignoli says:

    I got the penumbra collection as those games had always looked kind of interesting and I couldn’t say no for a fiver. Turns out I couldn’t say no to Civ 4 either. So many cheap games, so little time to play them. I becoming a bargain game shut-in!

  8. TotalBiscuit says:

    Scrapland is the absolute best of that bunch and thoroughly worth a purchase. As far as I’m concerned, it’s American McGee’s best game, by far. Great storyline, some very original concepts, customisable hover-ships! Hell yeah.

    • Dominic White says:

      It’s not an American McGee game, though. It’s by a Spanish (I think) studio called Mercury Steam. They also made Jericho and are doing that new 3D Castlevania game. McGee just moved in and labelled himself an ‘executive consultant’ or something retarded like that, did a bit of PR and generally had no hand in the game itself.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      That would explain why it didn’t suck.

    • chaves says:

      Dominic is right. It’s made by a spaniard studio. McGee put the cash and the means for it to be published as a major game. He barely had anything to do with the game itself, as the studio presented him the game mostly “finished”.

      As for the game, I liked it. For this price is a must buy, IMO.

  9. abhishek says:

    I got Fear 2 finally. I had been wanting to get it for a while now but it never seemed to be worth full asking price. It’s £12.49 in the UK, which is even cheaper than the 25$ that the rest of the world gets it (except EU, who get screwed as usual with a price of €25).

    I’m still wondering whether the DLC is worth it though… has anyone here played it and can you please share your opinion if you have? I realize it’s not very expensive but I just get the feeling that it isn’t worth it at all.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      @malkav11: I haven’t played through it myself (just got the game on the weekend deal, myself), but my roomate has it and likes it. That was good enough for me to drop the five bucks on it, YMMV.

  10. Heliocentric says:

    Scrapland is gta 3 for kids. Including all of gta’s warts, like being unable to progress after dying because you are too poor but needing to travel back to a save point after a mission to actually save. Complete a few missions and then die you are left with reloading and repeating the missions or spending time trying the scrape together money.

    But that never ruined gta and it doesn’t ruin this either.

  11. CMaster says:

    Lewie, did you get my email WRT Impulse discount code?

  12. Heliocentric says:

    The price isn’t mentioned in the post is it? But the fear 2 expansion is going for £3.

  13. Poltergeist says:

    You should praise the Penumbra games more, they are a lot better than you make them sound imo

    • LewieP says:

      They definitely are good games ™, but I do think my criticisms are fair. I would say that whatever shortcomings they do have, their strengths more than outweigh for me.

  14. user@example.com says:

    Renaming Dyson? I love that name. Far too few people have heard of anything named Dyson, other than the vacuums and the spheres.

  15. mcw says:

    I don’t know if it has been mentioned anywhere, but it seems that EA reduced the prices on a bunch of games on Steam for the Euro-Zone including Mass Effect (14,99€), Dead Space(19,99€) and Mirror’s Edge(14,99€).

  16. ChaosSmurf says:

    Are Scraplands controls as terrible as I remember them being the second time I played it? If I remember rightly, it didn’t even get mouse look right…

  17. RogB says:

    small sigh of relief that theres nothing in there that tickles my fancy this week. The amount of weekend impulse buys that I couldnt resist is mounting up!

  18. ZIGS says:

    Penumbra Overture and Black Plague are one of the best games I’ve EVER played

  19. LewieP says:

    Another last minute deal I just discovered (and what would have been deal of the week) 20% off everything at Impulse.

    http://savygamer.co.uk/2009/09/20-off-at-impulse.html

    That includes Scrapland too!

  20. Heliocentric says:

    Don’t pussy out, make it deal of the week!

  21. Colthor says:

    Hint for UKNians: Ordering from D2D US seems to work fine on the $5/£5 titles. You have to pay VAT on top of the US price, but it’s still only $5.75, which saves you a quid or so.

    (I got Titan Quest and paid by PayPal, if relevant)

  22. postmanX3 says:

    I love Titan Quest.

    I bought it from Steam ages ago, and was unable to stop playing for several days. It was unhealthy, methinks.

  23. Fat says:

    Had to pick up Titan Quest (never did get around to that one) and Penumbra (only played a demo i think). Bargains.

    Anyone else have a problem downloading multiple files from D2D? Twice i’ve tried to download these 3 files and they lock up randomly, though i can pause and resume to get them going again. I’m just downloading throught Firefox, not the download manager.

  24. ArtyArt says:

    What about that D2D Planetside deal? Worth picking up for 5$? Still any action on some servers or is this not worth bothering with any more?

  25. jackflash says:

    Arma 2 is available on GoGamer.com for only $29.90 for the next 60 some hours, as well.

    http://www.gogamer.com/ArmA-II–Ultimate-Military-Simulator-for-PC-Front-Page_stcVVproductId77101526VVcatId444710VVviewprod.htm

  26. Peace of Eight says:

    “…it is mostly competent.”

    That is snide and unfair. TQ is a fantastic game, and in many ways perfects the D2 formula. D3 is going to have a tough standard to live up to after my many hours of TQ.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Which would be fine if it actually worked. It doesn’t, it’s buggy, laggy and the performance is so bad, even on modern machines, that it’s almost unplayable.

    • Dave says:

      I’ve never had any performance problems with TQ, and I’m running the slowest Core 2 Duo ever sold.

    • Vinraith says:

      I have, quite literally, no idea what you’re talking about TB. It ran smoothly and beautifully on my old machine (3.4 GHZ, Nvidia GeForce 6800 XT, 3 GB of DDR2 RAM) and I’ve never encountered any noticeable technical problems. One certainly needs the expansion, but that’s included in the gold pack. What few glitches DO remain have been fixed in a fan patch, but to be honest I never noticed any of them on my first couple of play-throughs anyway. There are also some brilliant fan mods, including the “Lillith” fan expansion.

      I bought both the original and expansion at full price and was quite pleased with the purchase, both together for $5 is such an insanely good deal I can’t fathom why any action RPG fan would let it pass them by.

    • Vinraith says:

      To clarify, that’s a 3.4 GHZ P4 single core.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      I have a better system than you and it lags. I’ve also played it on my other machine, which is also better than that and it also lags. TQ has huge, documented performance problems which were never fully fixed. Go look up things like ‘Titan Quest Rubberbanding’ and see what I’m talking about.

    • Vinraith says:

      So your mostly talking about MP performance, then? I haven’t played it extensively in multiplayer, though the couple of sessions I’ve had the lag levels were acceptable (on 6 Mbps DSL).

      Anyway, I can vouch that it works great in single player at this point, especially with the fan patch.

    • JuJuCam says:

      I was about to say that I had performance issues with TQ too but then I remembered I was using that mod that increases the amount of monsters up to 10 times the standard. If I wasn’t so fond of ploughing through endless hordes it probably would have run a little smoothly…

  27. Carra says:

    The direct2drive bargains also has Drakensang for $5.

    A good RPG game and for that sum a real bargain.

    • Mac says:

      US Only though

    • Spoon says:

      I second this. It has a bit of a learning curve being that it is based off a PnP system, and the writing isn’t as great as it could have been (cheap localization), but it is thoroughly enjoyable. It’s got that oldschool Baldur’s Gate feeling to it, kind of.

    • Carra says:

      I suppose this means that as a European I can not spend my money on the US direct2drive site? And have to pay €8.00 instead of €3.40?

      That makes me feel screwed.

    • Vinraith says:

      Yeah, I picked that one up through the D2D sale and it looks really promising so far. I was a little surprised when it popped up an online activation thing, though, as I know the disc version of the game doesn’t have online activations. Does anyone know if there’s a limited number of these, or is it just an online validity-of-key check?

    • Clovis says:

      If you do get Drakensang, I hope you like math… or confusion. I actually wrote an excel spreadsheet to figure out why I was having so much difficulty picking flowers. You end up thinking through crazy things: My dexterity is low, so should I cast a spell to increase it? But wait, that spell partially relies on Dexterity itself, so I can’t increase Dexterity as much as I can Intuition which also affects flower picking. So, do I increase Dex a bit or Int a bit more? And Excel says…. probably increase Dex a bit. The game will not tell you ahead of time the “chance of success” for a particular action. It won’t even tell you the difficulty! I’m having to keep that in a little journal.

      I’m guessing you can just skip all that nonsense and just train the skills that don’t seem to be working so well until they work well and get on with enjoying the game though. Outside of somewhat getting a kick out of the math, the game itself is fun too!

      Reading is also required. Most dialogue isn’t voiced.

      Writing is very rarely required though.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Clovis

      Sounds like pen and paper role-playing, which I sorely miss. I’m glad I bought it. :)

    • Dave says:

      Hmm, I found the Drakensang demo unspeakably dull. I’m glad it has fans though.

  28. Lucas says:

    The Dyson demo was dull as dirt. It did not inspire me to spend money.

  29. TooNu says:

    I bought BLood Bowl on the PC for £16 this week from Amazon….beat that!

  30. surprise says:

    Yeah, saw Mass Effect for that price on steam and could not refuse the temptation after seeing the game at a friend this weekend for the first time !

  31. Vinraith says:

    I notice that Blood Bowl is once again $27.90 this weekend from GoGamer.com for US folks.

  32. Anthony Damiani says:

    Bah. I bought a TQ bundle last time it was on special. Not that good.

  33. The Innocent says:

    I got TQ on this sale, and I haven’t encountered any bugs, lag, or performance issues at all. It’s run smoothly the entire first 12 hours of the game (though now that I’m waking up out of the grind glaze, I think I’ll take a break for a while).

  34. malkav11 says:

    I really must disagree with the Scrapland lovefest. Talk about a dull, poorly designed game. I know, I know, McGee didn’t have much to do with it, but Alice is still the best game with his name on the box, and even that’s not saying that much.

    And Titan Quest is hands down the best Diablo clone I’ve played and after some patching I never had performance issues with it. I paid $80 for it back in the day (main game and expansion). $5 is crazy. The main issue seems to be that the multiplayer implementation was a bit awkward, but the thing is, I never play these sorts of games in multi anyway. Can’t comment on fan modules, as I haven’t played any.

    But, okay, apparently some people have performance issues. I don’t know, I think it’d be worth five currency to find out for yourself if you’re one of them.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      I’m sorry, but ‘it’s a dull, badly designed game’ and then not qualifying that opinion with any evidence is a waste of space.

    • malkav11 says:

      I played it like four years ago and didn’t like it enough to play long, nor dislike it enough to have vivid memories of how terrible x facet of the design was. What do you want from me?

  35. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    What about PlanetSide for 5 dollars? 30days trial for a pocket change seems fair enough in my book, I’m considering it…

  36. Martin K says:

    Also, Dave Gilbert’s highly satisfactory adventure game The Shivah is available for free from his website for this weekend only (it’s Yom Kippur!) if you use the coupon code FreeShivah when moving on to the purchase dialogue (being sure to select Credit Card Transfer in the Payment Options section).

  37. Michael PJ says:

    Have to agree with malkav11. I bought Scrapland on the basis of the comments here and it is really not very engaging at all. Far too much pointless wandering around, and the gameplay is nothing special. Hardly even tolerable. The ship bits were OK, but I found they reminded me painfully of Hardwar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardwar_%28video_game%29), a much, much better game.

  38. Samuelson says:

    Sorry, not sure if you already posted this here LewieP, but if you use the code: “SURVEY-2009″ you can get a further discount at Impulse.

    It was originally posted at SavyGamer here: http://savygamer.co.uk/2009/09/20-off-at-impulse.html

  39. vader says:

    I bought the Titan Quest bundle on friday, I loved the demo but never got around to actually buying it. I threatened a couple of friends with blunt force violence to the facial region if they didn’t buy it and now we’re having a blast playing it together.

  40. biscotti says:

    Great shout on The Shivah – I was looking at buying this only a couple of days ago. More adventurey goodness to go with all the recent Steam releases… except this is one I haven’t actually played through before.

    Cool beans!

  41. MrTest says:

    Scrapland = Crapland. Half the puzzles were broken! And the voice-acting was screech-owl academy of ear-pain.

  42. biscotti says:

    After I submitted the payment form the E-Mail with a link to the download arrived within a minute or two… Spam folder, maybe?

  43. biscotti says:

    Oh for goodness sake, what is the magical secret to getting a reply to function properly?!

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