The RPS Bargain Bucket: A Few Bob

By Lewie Procter on January 23rd, 2010 at 3:41 pm.


Another day, another dollar. Another week, another bargain bucket. That’s how it goes. Everything is really cheap this week, nothing for over a tenner. We’ve got one game that just came out, one that was made back in 1991, and one that started nearly 2,300 years ago! For more savings on your games, direct your browser to SavyGamer.


Bob Came In Pieces – £4.89/€7.50/$5.25
I first checked out this game because it has a delightful trailer, and it is also nice and cheap. It comes from Swedish indie studio Ludosity Interactive. I played the demo this morning, and enjoyed it enough that I am planning on giving the full game a go. It’s a 2D puzzle game where you pilot a modular space ship, and have to use different parts that you collect to complete physics based challenges. It looks nice and bright, even if some of the graphics are a little basic. They are apparently planning to add “Metal Gear Solid VR Missions” style time trial challenges, and a level editor for them. It’s discounted pretty much everywhere (except for directly from the developers sadly) so pick your favourite/the cheapest for your region: Steam, Impulse, GamersGate or D2D (UK/USA). Demo here.

1C Racing Megapack – £10/€15/$15
Works out as £2 a game, great value for fans of the video games about the racing of cars. Included in the package is: 4×4 Hummer, A.I.M. Racing, Classic Car Racing, Death Track: Resurrection and Streets of Moscow. Jim and Alec have some thoughts on Death Track: Resurrection, and A.I.M. Racing looks like it is plenty of fun too, if a little garish. This is another offer that is available from several places, so check which is cheapest in your region, or just go for your favourite. Steam, Impulse or GamersGate.

Cyan Inc Games – 25% off
Looking back a how people have played Myst is a good way of getting a slice of PC gaming history. First, people had to upgrade their PCs by buying an expensive compact disc drive. Then, later on when 3D graphics cards were up to the task, they could play Real Myst, in fancy 3D-O-vision. Now, we buy it for a bit of spare change, and download it in half an hour. Or play it on our mobile telephones. Can’t wait for the future where I can play Myst on my hoverboard on the moon. On sale at GOG are three of Cyan’s games: Myst: Masterpiece Edition, Riven: The Sequel to Myst, and The Manhole: Masterpiece Edition (which I hadn’t heard of before, it looks a bit kooky). Sadly missing from the sale is the aforementioned Real Myst, which is probably the version of it to play these days. The Myst games are puzzle centric adventure games, with a surreal sense of place. Definitely worth your time.

Rome: Total War – £5/$5
Of all of the Total War games, this is the one that has absorbed most of my time. I think I lost interested in them because my favourite aspect of them is the campaign game, not so much the battles, and it seems like such a waste if I am going to auto-resolve battles all the time. I never did play the Barbarian Invasion expansion though, how is it? This is a big huge epic massive strategy game, set in the times of Ancient Rome, and it was so good Sega gobbled up the developer. I do wish D2D would stop their £ = $ nonsense, but it’s still a pretty good price on either side of the Atlantic. Kieron Eureviewed it back at release. Demo here.

Deal of the week
Company of Heroes series – 75% off
Now the numbers here are a little complicated, so bear with me.

UK
Company of Heroes – £2.49
Opposing Fronts – £2.49
Tales of Valor – £2.49

Company of Heroes + Opposing Fronts – £3.74

If you want all three, it is cheaper to buy Company of Heroes + Opposing Fronts at £3.74, then Tales of Valor Separately at £2.49, making it £6.23 for the entire series.

Europe
Buying Company of Heroes + Opposing Fronts together is cheaper than buying either one of them separately. Even if you already own one, and just want the other, buy the pack of both for €3.74.

Tales of Valor – €8.74
Company of Heroes + Opposing Fronts + Tales of Valor – €11.49

USA
Company of Heroes – $4.99
Opposing Fronts – $4.99
Tales of Valor – $7.49

Company of Heroes + Opposing Fronts – $7.49
Company of Heroes + Opposing Fronts + Tales of Valor – $12.49

Right, that should get rid of any confusion regarding regional pricing. Now about the games.

Beware, having the Steam version means that if there is ever another patch again, you will have to redownload the entire 9gb game. Although it’s probably unlikely that there will be much patching going on at this stage in the game. If you are only interested in multiplayer, Tales of Valor has everything for multiplayer. The soundtracks are free on Steam. Also, Steam versions will play nice with retail versions if you want to mix and match.

That’s the technical stuff about the games. My copy is still installing, so I refer you to comrade Kieron, Alec and Alec for thoughts on them.

Also of note:
Those of you with the Xbox three hundred and sixty might want to try and win a copy of Bayonetta.

For the constantly updated guide to maximising your Gaming:Spending ratio, head to SavyGamer.co.uk.

.

48 Comments »

  1. TCM says:

    Hm, didn’t know that Steam would play nice with retail. I have the boxed copy of CoH+Opposing Fronts, and if I wanted Tales of Valor, now would probably be the time to get it, huh…

    • Blather Bob says:

      @TCM: My understanding is that any version of the game includes (after patches) all the content of all the other games, it’s just a matter of which keys you have entered into your Relic Online account that control what gets unlocked for you to actually play. So if you already own any/all of the keys, you just need to buy a single one of the games (like ToV, if that’s the one you don’t already own) on Steam, just to get it to download everything.

      But it’s not 100% perfect, you’ll be doing some copying back and forth of files (voices for some units were mentioned, and I imagine some singleplayer assets too) from your CD copies to the Steam directory to get it all working, but I think I’ve seen step-by-step instructions on the Steam forum. On the other hand, having to install and update (and download the several gigabytes of updates for) a CD copy, and then download and install a Steam copy too would probably be enough to push me into paying the extra $5 to own the Complete package on Steam instead of just ToV.

      But I only just bought it from Steam, so I could be completely misreading what other people have said, and I don’t own a CD copy anyway.

      I’ve also not seen anything about ToV providing the full multiplayer experience if you only own a ToV key… surely you still need at least Opposing Fronts if you want to play as the two new forces it adds?

    • Bonedwarf says:

      Bob is right. Like Dawn of War Soulstorm and… Whatever the hell the second expansion was called, you only need ToV. Enter your CD keys and it has all the content of the other games. Even the single player campaigns seem to be included as I bought ToV off of Impulse on release day and entered my codes and have everything.

      You MIGHT want to check into how Steam is dealing with the patches as Impulse has had MASSIVE issues due to the way Relic their titles.

    • TCM says:

      Actually, I did the reverse: I put ToV’s CD key on my existing install.

      I didn’t actually need to download anything, just started the download, got the CD Key, entered it, and deleted local content. Works perfectly fine.

    • Adam Whitehead says:

      Yup, all the content in ToV was patched into the game when ToV was released. The ToV DVD key simply unlocks the content.

      The CoH deal is worth it at the moment as the EASTERN FRONT mod (adding the Red Army) has also just been released and is very tasty indeed. Quite overpowered, to be honest, but I guess it’s better to be overpowered and reduce later then underpowered and bring it up later on.

      The T-34 rumble tanks that can carry a bunch of men into battle AND capture territory and are pretty tough themselves (the upgraded versions can go toe-to-toe with Panthers), but it starts getting a bit silly when you bring in the Stalin tanks, which are the equivalent of Tigers/Pershings, but you can build them at will. The new Russian ‘God of War’ artillery barrage is also slightly ludicrous. But a lot of fun. They need to nerf some of the Russian stuff to make them a proper competitive side later on though.

      To be honest it’s worth getting just for the 20 new maps, some of which are very good.

  2. Nobody Important says:

    Slightly related: GOG.com has a countdown timer on their front page that’s leading up to next Thursday. What could that be?

    • crumbsucker says:

      @Nobody Important

      Let’s hope it’s System Shock 2. If that starry blue background is any indication…

    • mroaes says:

      My best guess: Deus Ex.

    • Premium User Badge

      Carra says:

      It’s probably not going to be Planescape Torment as they just re-released it in retail. The Baldur’s gate games are probably out of the question since Bioware is now an EA company (although I have no idea who owns the rights these days).

      Oh well, I hope for Baldurs Gate but System Shock 2 would be a good guess.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Watch, it’s just Starcraft :P

    • Bhazor says:

      “Prepare for the Unexcelled”
      Unexelled sounds like a clue. I just have no clue what the clue is about.

      Personally I’m hoping for Outcast which is a long shot given how much work it would need (I heard it would have to be remade in direct X to get it working properly on todays machines) but it’s been in the top 10 most wanted for a year now.

      No doubt it will just be Linux compatibility or something.

  3. Blather Bob says:

    Bob Came In Pieces is $7.50 (give or take a few cents) at all of the sites in the US. Also looks like the developers have added some Steam-specific features (to the Steam version only, obv), while the D2D version seems to be the only one that’s DRM free (short of getting it straight from the devs, possibly)

  4. Premium User Badge

    James G says:

    Brought Bob Came in Pieces direct from the developers when it was released, and its a pleasing little puzzler. The ship design does make a nice difference to handling, and although there are a few core designs the work well, the game tweaks conditions enough that you’ll have to tweak these basic designs regularly enough.

    The game isn’t as innovative, or as unique, as something like World of Goo, but it keeps its design varied enough that it never feels like it drags too much. The levels have enough variation and features that they don’t feel as though they’ve just been knocked together out of a few building blocks.

    Its not a hugely long game, 5-6h to get 100%, and is geared up more for relaxation and experimentation than providing a huge challenge to the experienced gamer. If you’ve got kids though, or just someone who isn’t hugely familiar with gaming, I can imagine it’ll be very successful.

    It was easily worth the ~£6 I spent on it, and is a definite purchase at the lower price. The version direct from the developers is DRM free, I’m not sure this will be the case from the other portals. Got an E-mail this morning advertising the first patch, although I never really noticed any bugs in the initial version,

  5. Heliocentric says:

    “AIM racing” not actually “angry internet man racing” in stolen acronym shocker.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Heliocentric: That should have been the RPS game. It’s kind of like Grayhound racing, but with AIM chasing after whoever put DRM on Bioshock 2 or something.

      KG

    • MajorManiac says:

      With ‘Flaming Tourch’ and ‘Pitch Fork’ as weapon pickups.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      I would totally play such a game.

  6. Homunculus says:

    In a weird display of serendipity, the Eastern Fronts mod for Company of Heroes was released this weekend as well, adding the Red Army as a playable multiplayer faction.

    This requires that Tales of Valor is installed.

    • Lack_26 says:

      Actually, it doesn’t , it just needs any copy of CoH patched up to (2.6 I think), when updated the game folder contains all the info, but the content of each game is blocked off until you enter the correct CD key.

      I quote: “You only need a single copy of either CoH, OF or ToV. Having two or more of them is fine as well.”

  7. Paul Moloney says:

    I already had a retail copy of Company of Heroes Gold, but bought it on Steam for €3 simply because it’s an absolute *$%*)(£” to patch. There’s no single uber-patch file; instead you have a series of patches. On top of that, it’s easy to download to the wrong regional versio of the patch. Well worth €3 of my time to avoid that fuss in future.

    P.

    • Bonedwarf says:

      I spent one day last week with my Impulse bought COH trying to get it patched and working.

      THREE HOURS IT TOOK ME!

  8. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    and there is also a deal until the end of the month over @Telltale:
    Strong Bad Complete for 15 dollars…pretty good if you ask me

  9. moyogo says:

    The Manhole: Masterpiece Edition

    I played this on a Mac in the early nineties. It’s a fun children’s game – basically you go around exploring and talking to people. There is no way to win, eventually you’re just like “I want to go play legos” or “I have to see my uncle who is visiting now” and you stop playing.

  10. Dean says:

    The real offer in that Cyan promotion is Riven. Myst was alright but the puzzles were really quite bad in most places. So once Riven came out it was mostly ignored by ‘gamers’. Which is a shame as it’s ten times better. It’s hard though. Be prepared to take notes and really think your way through it. But the puzzles (of which there are really only two, hugely complex interlocking ones) are the best I’ve ever seen. There’s a true beauty to the puzzle design there.

    Shame the interface is so bad and dated. I honestly think a Real Riven in real-time 3D would be one of the best games ever.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Riaktion says:

    I picked up Medieval Total War 2: Kingdoms for 47p today. And it was from crappy PC World, that was the most suprising thing.

    Thought I would share a bargain.

  12. Alexej says:

    thx very much RPS! I was looking for a version of Riven that could easily run on xp/vista, for 3 euros it’s a real deal!

    (well i hope it runs, downloading…)

    (anybody already tried this?)

  13. Lucas says:

    Why should patching Company of Heroes on Steam require a full redownload? That makes no sense at all. I just deleted around 3.5GB of retail patches because I bought the Complete bundle on Steam.

    IIRC, Steam does not make incremental changes to files, but just redownloads anything new or changed. The retail CoH patcher now torrents the incremental updates. Why don’t they use this updater on the Steam version?

    And this is on top of the patched version including ALL the expansion content with the exception of the keys that unlock it. Ridiculous.

    • Tei says:

      Since a “binary diff” feature is simple to implement, lets suppose that wen you work with the ammount of data Steam work, all CRC / MD5 / and other hash functions fails short and you have to rely on either magic of download full files. I can also be something about available diskspace (?) or other thing. I doubt is because can’t write a “binary diff” tool. And probably is a huge problem. Binary diff protocols like rsync are amazing fast.

    • Lucas says:

      Now that I think about it, the manual Company of Heroes patches did require 5GB or so of free space, which was the size of the entire game, even just for a 100MB patch. Still, something is fishy about the whole situation, and it stinks.

    • Bonedwarf says:

      I had this issue last week when I manually patched my version after giving up waiting for Impulse to sort it out. (Ironically they DID get it sorted a few days later.) An utter nightmare and I had to clear a ton of space just to patch it.

      The entire process is BEYOND moronic.

    • lintman says:

      I don’t get it, either. Other games on Steam seem to get patched regularly without needing to be re-downloaded in their entirety. Is there something different about these games specifically?

      I’m really curious, because Relic games usually are a real pain in the arse to patch because you need to track down all the separate patches. Patching something like Dawn of War (original) can be a nightmare to find them all.

    • Tei says:

      Maybe the need of a special tool start because the patcher need to “update” savegames to. Or something like that so the “native” updated can be used, forcing to use the original from the game that could be terrible. Maybe is that.

  14. Alexander Norris says:

    Considering Tales of Valour doesn’t add anything to the multiplayer, I refuse to shell out £8 for it. I’d've gotten it for £2.50, but not for that price. :/

    • Adam Whitehead says:

      Agreed. The new mp modes in ToV are pretty much pants. The new units are okay – the M18 Hellcat is a great Allied light tank for dealing with early-game Axis armoured car spamming – and the new maps (of which there are not many) are decent, but overall it’s not really worth any more than about a fiver.

      The totally free EASTERN FRONT mod is considerably better. In fact, if it had a SP campaign, it would probably be better and OPPOSING FRONT as well :-)

  15. Will Tomas says:

    PC World’s funny – many of their games never deviate from full price, but occasionally you get absolutely fantastic bargains in there. Atari Pack for £9.99 and rFactor for £0.01 were special highlights.

  16. Miker says:

    I am oh-so-tempted by the Company of Heroes Complete Pack on Steam, but I already picked up Gold from Direct2Drive for $5 last year. Also, Relic’s auto-patcher for the retail version ain’t shabby at all.

  17. Wulf says:

    I pretty much have all of the Myst games, including Real Myst (which is undoubtedly the definitive version of the game, it has a great atmosphere to it), but I’m tempted to pick something up as it means that some money might get thrown Cyan’s way, but I’d rather just donate money to Cyan. >.>

    Hopefully Cyan is going to get around to open-sourcing Uru one of these years. They’re still working on it, but it’s probably still a long way away. That’s going to be wonderful when it happens though, and finally I’ll be able to take my friends into the Cavern.

    Miss you, Cavern.

  18. Diziet says:

    Haha, I was anticipating commenting on the CoH pricing weirdness knowing it would be in this weeks edition. You beat me to it, I spent a few minutes totting up the various combinations (well 3) and found that to be the cheapest too. Now all I need to do is buy them tomorrow… err today.

  19. Kakksakkamaddafakka says:

    You know what I just realized?

    1. I’m drunk.

    2. RPS has the same design as hawtness.com.

    3. This amuses me.

  20. Sovietmudkipz says:

    RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSRTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTS RTSs

    • Kakksakkamaddafakka says:

      Ok, you’re druink (yreah, I spelled that wrong on purpuse).

  21. Glove says:

    This is completely off-topic, but I just noticed the Evony ads peeling their way into the next realm of hilariousness. They have now reached the “breasts flashing different colours” phase.

  22. Risingson says:

    I always thought of Myst as the beginning of the end of adventure games: thanks to its success, the storytelling and the accesibility were secundary aspects to pendantic narrative and morose rhythm. The good: it made that lots of people jumped into the adventure design which caused a bunch of really good games inspired on it, like Amber or Obsidian. The bad: everything else and its consequences, like people fleeing from really good adventures later like discworld 2 or toonstruck.

    I recently played realMyst and Riven. realMyst is interesting though its mechanics are not based on using your intelligence but your patience, which reminds me of Final Fantasy (pushing a button once, go there, back, push the button again, go there… BAD DESIGN), and riven could be much better if it had not that but pedantic feeling all over it.

    What most amazes me about Myst is how 7th guest, made one year before, was much better in all aspects. Yes, even acting. Well, I always preferred trashy camp over empty intellectuality, anyway.

  23. Nelson says:

    Barbarian Invasion had me extremely frustrated at first, but that was because I totally misunderstood the concept. Once I got it, it turned out brilliant! Basically they totally made you rethink the way you play the game. The whole point is to take your barbarian tribe roaming about Europe and sacking and destroying everything in sight. Once you’ve amassed a nice fortune then you can start to settle in a weakened Rome and look to completing game objectives. It threw me at first because it’s so contrary to how you play the vanilla game by capturing and building up your empire, but I came to find out that total destruction can be just as much fun!

  24. malkav11 says:

    I like things about the Myst setting and stories, but the only one of the games that has ever made any intuitive sense to me in the puzzle design is the one game that Cyan didn’t make: Myst III: Exile. (Made by the Journeyman Project people instead.) I think it’s easily the best game in the franchise for that among other reasons.

  25. ZIGS says:

    It has to be at least one game from the top ten. Either SS1/2 or Outcast would grant an instant buy from me

  26. Cooper says:

    The Alexander pack for Rome:TW is better than barbarian invasion I think. At least if you prefer the battles. I’ve been playing through the ‘historical battles’ recently – and they’re really nicely put together with full introductions to the military setup to the battles and the progress of Alexander’s conquest. Much better than pissing around on the campaign map – just straight in to great battles. The AI’s still a bit wonky though.Also, not much on his prediliction for young boys for some reason.

  27. Lucas says:

    I disabled Steam updates for all 3 CoH games, and I noticed that running the Steam CoH versions DOES launch the Relic Downloader in the background. So I grabbed a manual patch from the CoH website just to test, and it doesn’t detect that CoH is installed. It appears they COULD patch the Steam version this way, but don’t.