The RPS Bargain Bucket: Otherwise Engaged

By Lewie Procter on September 24th, 2011 at 12:41 pm.


Since the rest of the hivemind have absconded to comrade Walker’s wedding, I’ve taken responsiblity for getting this posted, but it’s actually my Savy-minions Will and Tony who put together this week’s bargain bucket. I’m too busy playing games and drinking all the free tea I want (press perks!) at the Eurogamer Expo. I shall leave you in their capable hands:

We’re always a bit nervous when we’re given the reins of the Bucket. This weekend is a busy one for the world of RPS, as the staff split their time between their love for videogames at Eurogamer Expo and their love for one another at John’s wedding, and so any grave mistakes we make might not be noticed for a couple of days. We decided that to keep any craziness at a minimum, we’d stick with tradition. It might be a silly outdated practice, but at least when we screw up, we can blame the past-people who started the traditions in the first place. For more of our stick-in-the-mud ways, don’t forget to visit SavyGamer.

Something old: DnD classics – ~£22.38/~€25.64/$34.61 (or ~£2.58/~€2.96/$3.99
each)
If you just want to jump in on the heavy hitters, you’d be forgiven – for $12 you can get Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment, and there’s a hefty chunk of game in there. And that’s without Neverwinter Nights. Or, hey, all the other games in the bundle. It still pales in comparison to tabletop DnD, of course, but you can’t rustle up a few friends and a chestful of miniatures and dice in the time it takes to load.

“Planescape often feels like the world’s biggest choose-your-own-adventure book,” said Kieron in his retrospective. “Planescape Torment looks at the videogame, understands its structure, realizes what’s laughable and notable about it… and then takes it as far as the developers were able. It’s even got a gleeful, intelligent post-modern edge.”

Something new: Serious Sam: BFE preorder – £21.59/~€24.74/~$33.39 (with coupon EGROCKS)
Croteam had me worried for a second – the footage of Sam using his iron sights and sprinting in a war-torn non-specific Middle Eastern city, while getting jam on his face, had me thinking they were taking notes from the po-faced blockbuster Modern Warfare: Evil Foreigners franchise. It all seemed a bit too… sober. Thankfully, it looks they were mostly poking fun and are more interested in the simple pleasures of shooting large guns at larger enemies out in the open, preferably around pyramids. The scaling co-op mode will allow you and fifteen of your closest cannon and shotgun wielding friends to play through the campaign, which can only mean an awful lot of headless screaming kamikaze enemies to shoot. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Something borrowed: OnLive full PlayPass – £1
OnLive has just launched in the UK, and as a result they’re offering your first game for a pound. You probably already have a strongly-held opinion about OnLive already, but while you’ll need an above-average connection to play pretty much anything, with this offer applying to any title from their library (including Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Mafia II, and STALKER) you could come out of this very well.

Something blue: Sega Collector Pack – £59.99/€74.99/$79.99
Sega have splashed their iconic mascot all over Steam for this weekend, as well as what seems to be every one of their other games you’d want to play as well. If you don’t want to plump for the entire pack, there’s more than a few gems in there that I’d recommend picking and mixing, especially the criminally underrated Sonic 3D Blast (yes, really). There’s also a Dreamcast collection available for cheaps.

Deal of the week
The cake: Alpha Protocol – £1.50/€2/$2
‘The Espionage RPG’ promised under the Alpha Protocol logo is a misleading boast. You will – as agent Michael Thorton – travel around the world, gather intel and uncover conspiracies. However, you seem to have attended the same ‘violence of varying volumes’ spy school as James Bond and will spend your time introducing men to bullets or karate chops. This is a spy game where stealth is, at best, a different kind of combat.

The AI dances from hilariously inept to infuriatingly superhuman – you are just as likely to be able to walk up to an enemy and be blankly stared at as you are to get your head blown off by a distant marksman who instantly knows where you are simply because he is facing the same general direction as you.

So why is this worth playing? There’s a genuine feeling of altering the game through your actions. You can customise the guns you carry and how you look, which is great for facial hair enthusiasts, but more interesting is how much of your game is defined by your choices.

Everything you do seems to have rewards and consequences, the chop or shoot choice above is ultimately a different way to make an obstacle-man lie down for you but how you approach the action will effect how you spec your character. This is also true for your relationships. The conversation system allows you to alter how you are regarded, shift allegiances and even change the fate of characters in surprising ways – I found it far more enjoyable than any of the action. As John said:

Conversations are another highlight, and a significant one, since there are hundreds. How you choose to conduct yourself, picking a mood in which you want to reply while the other character is speaking, defines how you get on with people. This can have minor impacts, such as changing a perk you might receive depending upon their feelings about you. Or major impacts such as determining who will be willing to help you out, send in reinforcements, or provide you with necessary details.

Alpha Protocol has interesting ideas and real possibilities for player interaction but botches most of the basics. It’s buggy, often infuriating and occasionally down-right broken but you should still buy it. Why? Scope, ambition and beards.

Also of note:
Company of Heroes Complete Pack – £5.39/€4.99/$9.99
In deciding to emphasise individual squads of units over the resource management meat-grinder of the traditional RTS, Relic drew the player into atmospheric and believable World War 2 France, made every battle for every metre matter and revitalised the tired setting and genre.

Dawn of
War II Complete Pack
– £24.99/€28.63/~$38.65 (Registers on Steam)
The Relic once again reinvent the RTS, taking lessons from the first Dawn of War and Company of Heroes to create a squad and hero based RTS concentrating on tactics and cover, completely immersed in the enjoyably bonkers Warhammer 40k universe.

To make sure you’re up to date with all the best deals, don’t forget to hit up SavyGamer.

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150 Comments »

  1. Devenger says:

    The Warhammer 40,000k universe, eh? War. War NEVER changes.

    • Lewie Procter says:

      I have no idea what you mean.

    • Devenger says:

      War may never change, but Bargain Bucket posts change quickly to eradicate errors pointed out by annoying pedants in the comments thread. Good show.

    • Giaddon says:

      Worth noting that the Dawn of War 2 Complete collection is $29.99 in the US. Not thirty-whatever.

      And also, Retribution alone is $15 on Direct2Drive, for those that already have DOW2/Chaos.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      According to the end cutscene on the Fallout Vegas Lonesome Road DLC, “War never changes, but women do.” No doubt implying how different things get after marriage.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I’m sure my Fallout 1 character would respond to that particular narration with a targeted groin shot from her turbo plasma rifle. Followed by a targeted eye shot if a good critical to the nads wasn’t enough.

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    • GloatingSwine says:

      War may never change, when there is only war, as in the grim darkness of the grimdark etc, one learns to appreciate the subtle variations.

    • Thermal Ions says:

      DOW2 complete pack in Australia $59.99 USD.

      Gamestop can go suck …

    • Robmonster says:

      War! Never been so much fun!

  2. Spinoza says:

    Our dog died from licking our wedding picture.

    • Abe says:

      Fun fact: the Swedish word for married, ‘gift’, is also the same word used for poison.

    • Xerian says:

      Well, both the Swedish, Danish and Norwegian, actually.

    • Balobam says:

      Are you saying a Scandinavian poisoned his dog?

    • sekullbe says:

      German too (well, ‘poison’, not ‘married’). When on a school trip with a German exchange student, he found a little shop called “Das Gift Haus” hilarious.

  3. Pike says:

    Can someone familiar with the Sega classic games make some recommendations please?

    • Hatsworth says:

      I haven’t actually played them, but I have read about them. Also going by developer cred:
      Alien Soldier (Treasure)
      Gunstar Heroes (Treasure)
      Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole (dev went on to make Alundra, a really good 2d Zelda clone for the PS1)
      Ristar (platformer from Sonic Team)
      Shadow Dancer (NINJAS)
      Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (NINJAS)
      Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair (auto-sidescrolling arcade action)

      Around half of the rest seems interesting, though I’m not personally about to play mega drive rpgs. I’d say the 4th pack is definitely the best one, I’ll probably get that and Ristar if I get anything. I wonder if the original developers get anything… Toejam and Earl was removed from Steam for some such issue I think.

    • Xocrates says:

      Amongst the Mega Drive/Genesis classics, Streets of Rage, Golden Axe, Shinobi, and Comix Zone are my favourites and they should still hold quite well in this day and age.

      Amongst the rest, Vectorman, Ristar, Ecco, are also quite good though they never really clicked with me.

      I really didn’t play many of the remaining.

      EDIT: Oh, and get the 2D Sonic games, obviously. Sonic 3 and Knuckles is easily my favourite game on the Mega Drive

    • icupnimpn2 says:

      Gunstar Heroes – absolutely awesome action platformer.This game does something so very right… Almost ever 30 seconds throws a new challenge or experience at you. Throwaway enemies and mechanics abound. The board game level will make you squeal. You’ll wish all games were this exciting. Find a second player.

      Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine – This is really Puyo Puyo in a Sonic wrapper to be made palatable for western audiences. It’s a great competitive puzzle game with fun mechanics. It is the clear inspiration for Capcom’s beloved Puzzle Fighter and some good times can be had.

      Shining Force and Shining Force II – Very simple tactical RPGs. For many of us, this is what gave us a taste for the genre. While the games haven’t aged as well as some, they still have a certain addictive and cheerful quality to them. Shining Force combined JRPG-style towns and NPCs with Wesnoth-ish battle maps.

    • Jenks says:

      If you like SRPGs, Shining Force I & II are fantastic.

    • Bobtree says:

      I’m tempted to try Bonanza Bros, having loved the Retro Game Master episode on it: http://kotaku.com/5819025/episode-3-bonanza-brothers

      Apparently this is only viewable in North America, sorry about that.

    • DrGonzo says:

      EEEEEEEEEEE-SWAT(!) and Bonanza Bros are the two best games of the 16bit era I think. I used to own a rediculous amount of Megadrives from different regions and have a silly amount of games. Ah those were the days!

    • Nick says:

      E-SWAT is a terrible game, but Bonanza Bros is excellent coop fun.

    • Wulf says:

      Shining. Force. II.

      That is all.

      (Also, where icupnimpn2 sees something simple, I see something with all the incredibly pointless bloat and micromanagement that makes strategy games so terribly nerdy and amazingly unfun stripped out. Had to be said. There needs to be more ‘simple’ strategy games. Using ‘simple’ in this context is sort of like saying that Power Stone II or Super Smash Bros is ‘simple’ when compared to Mortal Kombat.)

    • icupnimpn2 says:

      I wouldn’t have mentioned them if I didn’t love them. The Shining Force games to me are in that place somewhere between chess and D&D Gold Box game combat. There’s not a lot of character customization. You can select which characters you bring into battle and equip some items. Spells and ranged attacks have very particular patterns of which map squares they affect, like five squares in a + shape or any one square in a circle shape two blocks thick. Some characters fly, some can hit a melee attack within two spaces, some in one. The games are fairly linear and there’s no real “strategy” portion since the battles progress from the story line.

      I rented Shining force like 10 times back in the day since my parents wouldn’t give me more allowance but would rent a game for me each week. I coulda bought the darn thing if they’d have been more reasonable.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      Emulators FTW.

      If sega wants to charge for their old genesis games they are going to have to offer them at reasonable prices and throw some added value in.

      They don’t, however, so I say just use emulators and roms.

    • Koozer says:

      Is Shining Force 1/2 anything like Shining Soul 1/2 on the GBA? I loved those games.

    • Mman says:

      Maybe a little late, but here’s quick opinions on the Genesis/Mega-Drive (hereafter the latter) games in the list I’ve played and can remember enough to judge:

      Alien Soldier: Maybe my favourite pure action game of all time. It’s sort of a boss-rush game, with very short levels with weak enemies, and most of gameplay being in the bosses. The controls take a little getting used to (they’re extremely tight and responsive, but have quite a few functions you need to learn) and it’s very difficult at first, but it’s full of great battles and is incredibly fast paced. The weapon choices and time-attack nature also leads to tons of replay value.

      Alien Storm: Decent scrolling beat-em up, although not up with the Streets of Rage games.

      Altered Beast: Was an impressive show-case of the Mega-Drive when it came out as a launch game, but isn’t an especially solid game, and age certainly hasn’t helped that.

      Bio-hazard Battle: I don’t really have enough experience with horizontal shoot-em ups to judge it compared to that genre as a whole, but I like it quite a bit, and it has a very unique theme and style.

      Comix Zone: Good beat-em up with an interesting “playing a comic book” design.

      Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine: A Poyo Poyo clone with a Sonic aesthetic/story over it, it’s the only game in that style I’ve played so I can’t say if it’s lacking anything, but I like it.

      Ecco the Dolphin and Tides of Time (Ecco 2): A very original theme and premise, along with brutal difficulty and a surprising amount of storytelling (atmospherically they’re very ahead of their time in some ways). They’re somewhat divisive games due to being so completely different (along with the aforementioned difficulty) , but they’re some of my favourite Mega-drive games.

      ESWAT: This game leaves a bad first impression as you start off as a puny Human with sluggish controls and limited attack variety. It picks up a lot from the third level as you get a robot suit that makes things much more responsive and varied, and also leads to some interesting level design due to the fact you can hover/fly for limited periods of time.

      Eternal Champions: Was a decent beat-em up at the time, but you can get better ones now. Also, the Sega-CD version was supposedly massively improved, and this seems to be the inferior version.

      Golden Axe: Good early scrolling beat-em up, although it was surpassed by Streets of Rage.

      Gunstar Heroes: One of the best action games on the system, with a weapon system that allows for lots of experimentation and a great co-op too.

      Kid Chameleon: A massive platformer (100+ levels) that gets incredibly difficult later on and has an interesting ability switching mechanic. It’s not among the most solid platformers (although it’s decent enough), but it’s sheer size demands some attention.

      Landstalker: Pretty much the closest the Mega-Drive got to Zelda (with the exception of Crusader of Centy/Soleil). The isometric angle makes platforming arbitrarily difficult, but outside of that it’s excellent, and is actually more challenging than most Zelda games puzzle-wise, and with stronger RPG/character interaction aspects.

      Shining Force 1+2: I’ve played very few SRPG’s so I can’t really judge them within that genre, but I enjoyed them a lot. Despite it being a better game I recall feeling the second one felt a little stretched towards the end, but maybe that’s just me/being burnt out from playing two large SRPG’s in a row.

      Shinobi 3: An excellent action/platformer.

      Sonic 1-3 & Knuckles: All must-have platformers, with Sonic and Knuckles being a contender for my favourite in the genre.

      Streets of Rage 1+2: Really you should just go for two as it’s a massive improvement on the first, and probably the best scrolling beat-em up on the Mega-Drive (and one of the best games for it in general).

      Vectorman: Good action/platformer with somewhat interesting visuals and character transformation power-ups.

    • Brumisator says:

      @ Juan Carlo: IF 0.60€ per game is not “reasonable” to you, you are deluding yourself.

    • Carra says:

      Nice list, mman. I’m gonna buy a few of these.

  4. pandora says:

    I hate how gog’s pricing makes you feel worse for buying only some games than for skipping the promo altogether.

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      Exactly… I do like the promos where it doesn’t matter and the saving is fixed (e. g. 60 percent).

    • cptgone says:

      i agree. would have bought some of the discounted games if the price reduction had been linear.

      also, much as i appreciate gog.com’s efforts to make old games ready to play out of the box on new machines, their games are overpriced. often even when they’re on sale. i guess most of their customers don’t mind, but i do.

      my wallet says no to gog.com.

    • LionsPhil says:

      >several dollars for the likes of MoO1
      >overpriced

      What do you want, 200% cashback and a complementary happy ending?

    • Valvarexart says:

      OVERPRICED? Oh dear, I always thought the games were very cheap…

    • Froibo says:

      Nearly 10 bucks for a digital copy of a game that is over 10 years old? As great as these games are I would rather just rummage around for my CDs. The 5 games that I want on there I would be willing to pay $15-20 which is probably what I would get if they didn’t try and pawn the other 4 games on me. But nope $27.50

    • pandora says:

      Well, you look at 10usd pricetag differently when you live in .pl and remember the same folks selling the same games to you through other channels (mags and budget boxed editions) for 3-8 today’s usdollars. Also, however great the games are, they are still old games, the original developers most probably get nothing from gog’s sales, and you can get some great new indie games cheaper than their “promos”. And even most high budget games quickly drop to the point of 10 or less usd.

      Anyway, this time there is simply too big difference between per game price when buying 3 and 9 titles. It feels wrong, even if buying discounted still is the rational decision to do. Why would you even want to buy 8 games when it isn’t even half a dollar cheaper than 9 games? 3 games costing half as much as 9, come on?

      And don’t get me wrong, I still love what gog does.

    • Carra says:

      Expensive?

      I just paid €16 for Neverwinter nights, planescape torment, the temple of elemental evil, icewind dale 1 & 2 & d&d dragonshard.

      I like their new promo system. It gives me an extra bonus since I already had 4 of the games. Plus, adding one more game came down to adding $1.30…

  5. Zanchito says:

    Alpha Protocol was a GREAT RPG, DX:HR feels much like a close cousin to it. I didn’t find it all that buggy or broken, I enjoyed it very much and recommend it thoroughly.

    • Koozer says:

      I concur. The thing I liked the most was how your conversation and plot decisions could give you little stat bonuses, not to mention your decisions could alter the plot quite a bit.

    • abremms says:

      AgreedIn true obsidian fashion, AP was littered with bugs on day one, but quickly patched up to a reasonable state where most games will be able to play it without issue.

      bad AI and limited options beyond “shoot” and “punch” are still issues, but the game runs great and is absolutely worth playing if only for the conversation and story.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Are you serious? Alpha Protocol was horrifically bugged and didn’t work. I played it at least a year after release and nothing had been fixed. The bosses were still crazy difficulty spikes. The acting and the plot was still guff, even if it was well told. The shooting was still terrible.

      Deus Ex was a much less ambitious attempt, but it also worked as a game. I love Alpha Protocol for its ambition. But better than Deus Ex? No, though they both did suffer the problem of being really quite bland.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      I loved AP right after I added a crack that slowed down the mini game timers. Awesome game after that.

    • 7Seas says:

      Alpha Protocol is in many ways a far superior game to Deus Ex HR. It is far more ambitious, it has a less silly story line, it has more humour and more interesting characters, and most importantly it gives you a palpable sense of a believable world that you change through your actions, something almost never accomplished by any game. It does all this despite a fairly awkward engine.

      I argue that AP is much closer to the original Deus Ex than DE:HR is. It’s a true RPG, in that you can’t shoot straight if you don’t put points in it.

      It has been given short shrift by the kind of people who rate polish over substance, but if you truly love games you owe it to yourself to play AP, and at a price of $2 it’s almost hypocritical not to.

      After all, it was written by the guy who RPS said ” is as close as we’ve come” to ” a Tolstoy or a Dostoevsky” (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2007/09/25/retrospective-planescape-torment/). Also, play as a pistol/stealth guy, it works well.

    • LionsPhil says:

      So kind of an Invisible War, then? DX-y feel, godawful tech/mechanics, but this saggy, flabby mess is propped up by good narrative-level decisions/writing and ambition?

    • malkav11 says:

      I guess maybe? I didn’t think either game was particularly broken on any level, although Invisible War did obviously suffer from being designed to fit onto a console with sadly lacking RAM. Alpha Protocol’s much more dynamic and has fewer questionable design choices overall. I loved both, but AP more so.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      Alpha Protocol is awesome. I don’t understand when people bitch about bugs. Apart from frustrating controls in one of the hacking minigames, I didn’t experience a single bug.

      THe gameplay isn’t revolutionary, but it’s fun enough.

      The real reason to play it, though, is for the dialogue, storyline, decisions, and writing (which is generally pretty solid).

      As to how it compares with DX:HR, DX:HR has better gameplay and level/world design, but AP has better writing (the converstaions in AP are 100 times better, it doesn’t compare) and implementation of decision making.

      So I’m not sure which is better–but if you combined the gameplay/level design from DX:HR with the writing, dialogue, and sense of real choice of AP, you’d have the real successor to DX and possibly the best game ever.

    • Milky1985 says:

      What was great about AP was how the order you did stuff in mattered as well, because that altered who you had a good/bad relationship with and so affected the game as a whole.

      “The bosses were still crazy difficulty spikes. ”

      This was true in places, but i only found out after i finished the game that if i did things in a different order i coul dhave made some of htem a lot easier, the one most people complain about was hte coked up russian dude with the stupid disco ball, turns out if you have done enough missions to get on stephen hecks good side he can sabotage hte guys drugs, to make him WEAKER rather than stronger when he takes em, making the fight a damn site easier!

      Stuff like that made hte game, unfortantly it got panned by people expecting to be able to shoot at pointpoint accuracy from teh get go, despite the thing being based on the mass effect engine and it was perfectly fine ot not be able to shoot your mass effect pistol until you put points into it!

    • KenTWOu says:

      @Juan Carlo
      Technically DE:HR conversation system during duels is 100 times better! At least you can see whole phrase which you choose.

      AP implementation of decision making is awful too. Cause the moment of choosing is very obvious! And consequence are very obvious too. Both Witchers and Deus Exs made both things much much better!

      For example, I hate the moment like when I’m sending an e-mail with discrediting evidence to Scarlet Lake (she is a journalist) and already see the pop-up screen with +1 reputation from her. But I only sent this e-mail, Scarlet doesn’t read it yet. This is the perfect example of awful implementation of consequences in AP.

      But I agree that you must buy this game during that Steam sale and that dialogues, storyline, decisions and writing of AP are pretty solid.

      @7Seas says:
      I argue that AP is much closer to the original Deus Ex than DE:HR is.

      How so? AP made only one thing right! It is nonlinear script. DE:HR made almost all things right! DE:HR is definitely closer to Deus Ex than AP. Even VtM:Bloodlines closer to Deus Ex than AP. Admit it AP fans! AP doesn’t even have city hubs only primitive safe houses. The game without city hubs and with awful stealth, shooting and incredibly linear level design can’t be closer to Deus Ex!

    • Vandelay says:

      “The game… with awful stealth, shooting… can’t be closer to Deus Ex!”

      Well, that actually does sound a lot like Deus Ex. The other things I’ll give you though.

      The best part of Deus Ex was the openness it allowed you to approach (most) of its levels. In no way does AP let you do that. DE:HR doesn’t quite meet the same standard either, but it gets a whole lot closer than AP ever does. I also found the much hated boss battles in DE:HR much more bearable than the horrific ones in AP, even though most of my skill points were in hacking and stealth for HR.

      Another thing I note is pretty much all of the supporters saying you should pick pistol skills. That’s because all other abilities are completely hopeless.

      It is incredibly cheaper and a lot of people on here seem to like it, so you might as well give it a go. However, it really is not a good a game at all. Some nice elements, but certainly not enough to make me want to play it for the whole game (I stopped at the coked up Russian boss, at 11 hours, according to my Steam time.)

    • KenTWOu says:

      @Vandelay says:
      Well, that actually does sound a lot like Deus Ex.

      No, it doesn’t! : ) You can drag bodies in Deus Ex and these bodies don’t disappear right infront of you! You can play Deus Ex like a decent stealth game. While AP stealth was like continually using exploit in broken stealth mechanics.

      I stopped at the coked up Russian boss

      Not enough infromation for the game where after initial missions you can choose your next destination between three key locations: Moscow, Rome and Taipei : )

  6. sinister agent says:

    I only played Alpha Protocol on the funsquare, but it was novel and well worth playing, especially for that price.

    FACT-BLIM! “Scope, ambition and beards” is actually my family motto.

  7. MythArcana says:

    Alpha Protocol for $2. Console port shovelware anyone?
    Man, let me steer you all to some sheer perfection. A REAL PC game which kicks serious ass and won’t let you down. Ever.

    SPACE RANGERS 2 REBOOT – $.9.99
    http://www.gamersgate.com/DD-SR2R/space-rangers-2-reboot

    • MSJ says:

      Yes, a Space Rangers 2 is indeed a good game. However, the style your post is a bit like getting a pretty good advice on proper diet from Dr. Mengele.

    • Nick says:

      Alpha Protocol is far, far from “console port shovelware”, its one of the best games released in 2010.

    • 7Seas says:

      How can you be so wrong and so right in one post? Alpha Protocol is excellent and well worth playing.

      Space Rangers 2 is also superb and well worth playing.

      Both are great gaming deals at their respective prices, and indeed, at full price.

    • johnpeat says:

      I loved SR2 until it started to make me play a crap RTS/Robot combat thing which was clearly designed to drive me mad/give me a headache – so I stopped…

      Thing is tho – I’d bought it from GetGames and they’d slightly goofed and sent me a duff key (or the DRM was having a bad day) and as a thank you for waiting a whole 2-3 hours for a fix they refunded all my monies…

      I’ve always felt a bit guilty about that – I’ve been treat worse by people I’ve spent more money with for sure – but at least the crappy Robot RTS didn’t spoil my day :)

    • Kryopsis says:

      He’s a halfwit, that’s why he can be both right and wrong.

    • RogB says:

      @johnpeat. Go and try it again!

      If I remember rightly, Space Rangers 2′s RTS mode is entirely optional. I think it asks you early on if you want to bother (like an admission of shonkiness)

      i tried the tutorial, decided that it was crap, and turned them off.

      fair play to the devs for giving the option.

  8. Abe says:

    Aren’t the Dreamcast Collection games crappy ports? At least for Sonic Adventure and Crazy Taxi…

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Aren’t they just emulated versions of the original Dreamcast games?

    • magnus says:

      Indeed they are and it’s impossible to save any changes to the settings, even altering the config. file doesn’t help.

    • Taidan says:

      Your mileage may vary with that pack.

      Crazy Taxi worked perfectly for me, (XBox360 pad too) but I had to do some mucking around (creating folders and copying config files to the right place) with SonicDX to get the game to work fullscreen in my chosen resolution.

      Once it was sorted though, it stayed sorted.

      And yes, they’re pretty standard ports/high level emulations. (Not sure which, but the originals kinda ran in a bastard version of WindowsCE anyway, didn’t they?) They still play as well as ever, but they are only higher resolution versions of Dreamcast-era games. There aren’t any other improvements in there.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I believe Crazy Taxi has also had some iconic music replaced for licensing reasons or something. Be cautious, go research.

    • Hatsworth says:

      Crazy Taxi is missing a lot of music unfortunately.

    • djbriandamage says:

      I bought Space Channel 5 Part 2 and although the game looks and sounds beautiful with (relatively, compared to the DC version) sharp graphics, the input timing is completely broken and out of sync. I’ve gone through the whole Steam forum looking for a fix but nobody’s got one. Button presses are out of sync with the music and get worse and worse as you approach the end of a level so that you have to press a button almost a half-note early.

      This is one of the incredibly rare times I will go ahead and use the word “unplayable”. I only paid $2.30 for this game but I’m going to get a refund – not because I need the money but because I don’t want Sega to have it.

      I’m fairly certain it’s a true port and not an emulated version, though. I own this game for DC and PS2 and no emulator looks or sounds as nice as the PC version. My love for this game makes this the epitome of disappointment.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Buy Crazy Taxi 3 on PC. I have it and it comes with Crazy Taxi 1, 2 and 3 all as one package.

      Space Channel 5 was great fun, but Space Channel 5 pt 2 was pants. Sega Bass fishing is no fun without the motion controller it was designed for. As for Sonic, I’m not sure but once again you can buy a boxed copy of it that works fine.

    • zino says:

      @Taidan: No, they are not Windows CE games. Windows CE was available as a development environment for Dreamcast, but most choose to use Segas Katana SDK.

    • Taidan says:

      @zino: Ah, yes. I just looked up a list of which Dreamcast titles were WinCE, and none of that collection appear on it. Most of the games on that list appear to be PC ports that were done for the DC, obviously enough.

  9. Aninhumer says:

    I really like that GOG makes the offer flexible and doesn’t penalise people who already bought some of the games.

    EDIT: Oh apparently it’s new for this promo.

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      It shouldn’t be

    • Navagon says:

      The percentage discount being so variable is new. They never did penalise people for owning games already though. It’s just that before with many sales you got a smaller discount unless you bought every last game in the sale (that you didn’t already own).

  10. Moni says:

    I’m considering skipping Alpha Protocol for now and looking for a similarly dirt cheap copy for the console-box, because it seems like the PC version is more broken than the console version.

    Yay or nay? Are the mouse and keyboard controls bareable? Does it have a tendency to cause computers to make horrible gargling noises?

    • Flint says:

      There’s nothing wrong with the mouse/keyboard controls at all. As for the bugginess etc, it seems to really wary – I always get a bit baffled at how people say it’s very buggy and such because it’s ran perfectly through all the times I’ve played it through, but obviously there must be something going on or people wouldn’t say it. Nor can I agree with saying that basic game mechanics in it are broken etc, it plays excellently in my opinion. It’s a bit divisive.

      But personally I think it’s an amazing game, one of my biggest favourites of the recent years, and for pocket change it’s well worth the price. I doubt you’ll be able to scavenge it for a console for similar money.

    • Koozer says:

      I only had one major bug: my game kept crashing just before Mr. Russian so I had to redo the level. I feel like I robbed them getting AP for £5, £1.50 is ridiculously good value.

    • indigohjones says:

      Worked absolutely fine on my bog-standard PC. Much like Mass Effect, the action is underwhelming compared to the conversations. The sense of having a genuine impact on the world, people and allegiances is really fantastic, and only enhanced by the checkpoint system and timer, which forces you to both make snap decisions and think intensely about how you want to approach a given situation or person while they’re speaking.
      As a big Mass Effect enthusiast, I was surprised to find myself much more engaged by AP’s conversation system than I had been with ME’s Shepversations. Anyone who ends up buying this should put as much points as possible into stealth, as gunplay is needlessly frustrating.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yahtzee generally reviews console versions, I believe, and mentioned bugs. So I would guess they’re universal. I would expect port-specific bugs to be things like crashing out, performance, or control insanity, not dialogue wigging out.

    • abremms says:

      it was buggy at release, but patched up pretty well since. I’v had no issues with it. its a great game well worth the time to play. it does “consiquences for choices” better than almost any game I can think of. Conversation choices anyways, you might have to swallow your pride and suspend your disbelief to get through some of the mission bits. This is not the stealth game it wants to be.

      still, fun game and I would absolutely recomend getting it on the PC, it was developed PC lead and ported to consoles (I believe, pls dont crucify me if i’m wrong). M&KB controls work great and it looks better on PC too.

    • Casimir Effect says:

      I’ve heard many bad things about the console versions such as bugs, ridiculous texture loadtimes/pop-in, and bad framerate. Unlike the PC none of these things were patched either, so I really would not recommend going down the console route with this one.

    • Pardoz says:

      KB+M controls on AP are acceptable, with the glaring exception of the minigames (especially hacking, which is just awful).

    • Keeper_Deven says:

      I thought the minigames, including hacking, were well done. As did Yahtzee.

      It’s a really divisive game.

    • malkav11 says:

      The only significant issue I’m aware of on PC is that there seems to be some sort of bug with the keyboard and mouse controls for certain people. My experience with keyboard and mouse was that the only thing that was at all problematic was hacking (and that didn’t take too terribly long to get the hang of, although it remained my least favorite minigame and I skipped it regularly with EMP charges), and I would hate to do much shooting with the gamepad. Also, lockpicking is almost trivial with M&K. But either way, gamepad controls are supported on the PC version, so you are definitely better off with a $2 PC purchase than whatever you could get it for on console.

      I have no idea what people are referring to when they say it was patched. There was only one patch and the only thing it did was turn off the DRM.

    • DrGonzo says:

      No it is actually unplayable with a mouse and keyboard. The hacking game was completely impossible without a 360 pad and the shooting was more than a little awkward with a mouse. I can’t believe other people are claiming its ok. I honestly couldn’t play it at all without a pad, it has the worst controls of any port I’ve ever played.

      I don’t know if those who claim the hacking game is playable with a mouse have tried it with a pad, if they haven’t they should so they can see how trivial a challenge they are really meant to be.

      Oh, also I encountered lots of bugs, certain missions I had to retry after triggers didn’t trigger. The game crashes lots, and has weird performance issues all over the place.

      I honestly can’t try and steer you away enough. I picked it up in a sale for 5 pounds and still felt ripped off at the quality of the game. It probably would be good if it wasn’t broken in every way a game could be broken.

    • Zwebbie says:

      Moni: Mouse and keyboard are fine. They are, admittedly, a pain during the minigames, but those are so easy once you get (player) skilled at them that it’s more of an annoyance than a problem. And they can be skipped with EMP grenades if you’re willing to spend money.
      I would, however, sincerely recommend you turn off mouse smoothing (which requires editing files). That makes the game a lot more playable.
      Also, I didn’t come across any bugs, but those things are always highly dependent on your computer and the alignment of the stars, so that doesn’t say a thing.

    • Nick says:

      “No it is actually unplayable with a mouse and keyboard. The hacking game was completely impossible without a 360 pad and the shooting was more than a little awkward with a mouse. ”

      Uh, the hacking game is not impossible at all.. I don’t own a gamepad and was able to complete the game multiple times and hack everything I came across.

      It did suffer from a bit of jerkiness when turning fast and mouse smoothing in the shooting respect, thankfully these can be mostly rectified with ini tweaking (which is tiresome but at least it works)

      Only trigger issue I noticed in my multiple (3, if you care) playthroughs was that the game mentions you killed some military NPCs at the embassy, even if you didn’t.

    • malkav11 says:

      Like I say, there seems to be a mouse & keyboard bug for certain people that makes that control scheme problematic. I played the entire game through without ever touching a gamepad and the only place I had any trouble was the hacking. Which, yes, is wonky and designed for gamepad, but since I only had to do it a couple times per area I didn’t feel like swapping over to a completely different control scheme just for that.

  11. endintears says:

    How good a deal is the DoW 2 complete pack? Has it been discounted cheaper than this before in Steam sales? I don’t know whether to pick it up now or hold out for a cheaper price.

    • Beeblebrox says:

      I got it for 15 quids at Game sale, few months ago. So you will probably find it cheaper than this price some time soon, on sale somewhere.

  12. Big Murray says:

    So has anybody tried OnLive and care to report on their experience?

    • kwyjibo says:

      OnLive actually works, which to me is amazing. I thought the latency would be too poor, but it actually works.

      Try it out, download the client, and you can play games instantly. You get a 30 minute free trial with most of the games.

      I’m on an 8mb line.

    • Redem says:

      It works. It even works well. I was rather impressed, and I live out in the countryside of NI, so my connection is rather ropey (The OnLive launcher warned me of connection instability issues when I installed and ran it). I played the Borderlands and Alpha Protocol trials (30 minutes of play time for free, and you can start again afterwards for another 30 minutes, but you start from scratch again). Games were stable, without lag, glitches or anything of that sort. Except for once, when the video wouldn’t download in real time and I had to quit out. I am seriously tempted by the £1 game offer, but I worry about my connection not being stable enough in the long run and getting seriously irritated by the whole thing.

      If your connection is at all decent, I would suggest you download and try it out. Nothing to lose, not even massive download times, given the nature of the service.

    • Jorum says:

      Well tried it yesterday on my non-gaming laptop over wi-fi and it worked pretty well.
      Quick points:

      1) The biggest issue first up – resolution is low – stuck at 1080p (I think) so it looks worse than it would on a decent PC.

      2) however it does works very smoothly and impressively actually. Logged in hit button for Space Marine free trial and was playing within 30 secs. Control lag not too bad given that I was on wifi.
      This obviously also depends on lag tolerant game is.

      3) It’s a really nice way of demoing games – quick and easy. Graphics not as nice but can get a feel for if you like it.

      4) I can see really big potential here. All that is holding it back I think is the bandwidth issues limiting the resolution they can stream.

      5) having said that 1080p is console level so if you just want to plug into your HD TV and play games their “onlive console” could be a threat to XBOX and PS

      6) it will also appeal to people who just want to play a game and not worry at all about their PC setup or graphics options etc (people like my dad)

    • iniudan says:

      720p is console resolution, 1080p is the most common resolution among PC gamers and less then 10% of those on steam use a resolution higher then that on a single display and almost all of those 10% are simply 1920×1200.

    • EOT says:

      @Jorum: Firstly, there isn’t (as far as I know) a single console game that plays at 1080p they are alomost all at 720p, secondly most people here probably don’t have a monitor capable of displaying past that apart from those with WUXGA 1920×1200 screens which are relatively common or people with too much money who may have WQXGA screens. Also (and lastly) if the data being sent to you is in 1080p ie. 1920×1080 to your LAPTOP screen (1360×768 or somesuch) which has a fixed pixel display you will lose some visible detail and sharpness due to trying to display something higher than the screens native resolution.

      The more you know.-

    • johnpeat says:

      I’d like to evade the PC cockendery about resolutions etc. but I will report what I found.

      It works – I have an 18Mb connection so you’d expect it to BUT it still moans about latency from time-to-time (I’m assuming it’s at their end or somewhere inbetween).

      The games appear to be playing at 720p – playing them ‘in a window’ they look fine but when you go fullscreen it just stretches that and therein begin the issues for people with decent monitors (and even nicer laptops).

      The games work tho – latency isn’t an issue for single-player games and even something like Tropico (where you’re reading a LOT of text) is OK. I went from signing-up to playing Space Marine in less than 2 mins!!

      Worst game I tried was Ego Draconis but that’s mainly down to the low settings they’ve chosen and the crazy-small text (which is also unreadable on 360 to be fair to them).

      One thing I did notice tho – some people’s Brag Clips and./or spectating often shows horrendous clipping/tearing/artifacting – it’s so bad I’m assuming it’s just on the spectate/video and not something the play is seeing because in some cases they’d not be able to play!?

  13. LionsPhil says:

    Congratulations to Comrade and, er, Comradess(?) Walker!

    And nice touch on the old/new/borrowed/blue bargins.

  14. Similar says:

    Just a FYI, if you buy the CoH pack and are desperate to play it right away, you may not be able to; I get a ‘Can’t connect to key server’ error when I try to start Tales of Valour and it seems I’m not the only one.
    I’m hoping it’ll be fixed soon.

  15. Rao Dao Zao says:

    I’ll raise my hand and be counted for Sonic 3D: FLICKIES’ ISLAND too. Possibly the best Sonic game soundtrack ever, assuming you get the original Mega Drive version. Controls are a bit squiffy but it’s still no bad.

    Alpha Protocol also excellent, not perfect but still excellent. And you can make the main man look precisely like me (if I was a buff super-spy).

  16. Matt7895 says:

    Alpha Protocol ran fine on my machine. The problems I had with it were more of the gameplay variety, and not technical. It is definitely worth buying for £1.50 or whatever it is, I bought it again even though I have the DVD. Digital backups are always nice to have, especially at that price. It is a very flawed but still intriguing game. A modern spy-themed RPG hasn’t been attempted before, and it makes a nice change from the typical fantasy fare *coughSkyrim*. It is let down by lazy sub-Splinter Cell level design, though. In some missions, notable the mansion of a European millionaire playboy, you can’t help but think you’ve played it before. The conversations and the amount of choice stop it from being completely rubbish, though.

    The Company of Heroes offer was a very nice one, I’ve had the first two games for years and now thanks to this I’ve got the third too. The game is simply awesome. In my opinion RTSes had been stuck in a rut since Age of Empires. Start the game with a base, train troops, attack the enemy. CoH changed that. The campaign is good too, very Band of Brothers-y.

    I’ve also bought Dawn of War II Retribution from Play.com and I’m going to try to play through that, I didn’t enjoy the previous campaigns as much as I did CoH (too much repetition to perk my interest), although the main story about the Blood Ravens is quite good.

    The DnD games have been done to death by much more qualified reviewers than I. I would just say buy Planescape Torment, download the mods linked to on the GOG page, and ignore the others. I just didn’t see what was so great about the BG/IWD games (unless you like awkward hack ‘n slash fighting).

  17. Gnoupi says:

    Yesterday, Renegade Ops (not especially bargain bucket, but cheap enough) released on Steam. For 5 minutes. Because someone at Steam”s forgot to change the release date.

    Like an idiot, I rushed to buy it, thinking I would have fun with it this weekend.

    Then, the release date changed for “some time in October”.
    Meh.

    • johnpeat says:

      You realise that as it’s a pre-order you can cancel it and get your cash back anytime yeah?

      European Distance Selling Regs mean they have to do this – if you’ve received nothing, you get a refund at any time.

  18. Hatsworth says:

    Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes can be had at 11.19USD, even if you live in Europe. This is close to half the price on Steam. Played the demo yesterday and it seems like a competent port apart from a minor alt tab bug that’s easily solved, and an animation issue when moving on the map(probably has to do with scrolling, it’s fine otherwise). The DS game was a pretty good puzzletactical game hybrid, this is basically an improved version with online multiplayer. No Ubi DRM. Got the key within 2 minutes, downloaded by the time I typed this basically :).

    http://www.getgamesgo.com/product/might-and-magic-clash-of-heroes

    • Arathain says:

      I see your “pretty good” and raise an “excellent”. Clash of Heroes is one of my favourite DS titles. It has a very clever, engaging puzzly-battle system, a great campaign and a charming and engaging aesthetic. It’s up there with Puzzle Quest, for me.

  19. Velvetmeds says:

    I’d like to point out that the info on GoG prices are wrong. “for $12 you can get Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment”. Nope, that’s $21. Almost double the price of what is written.. There isn’t even anything you can get for 12, 2 games cost 15 dollars, 1 costs 7.5.

    This is only a “good deal” (in terms of saving money from off percentages) for people that buy almost all of the games. The more games you “tick off”, the less % you’re saving

    • Will Templeton says:

      Oh, whoops. That’s me not realising it was breaking down the pricing dynamically based on how many you buy. I’ll let Lew know and he should be able to correct it soon.

  20. WillX47 says:

    Love the Dr. Who reference ;)

  21. Xercies says:

    I loved Sonic 3D yes! Though I kind of liked Sonic R as well(most awesome soundtrack ever!) so take that as you will.

    Someone convince me why I should get Company Of Heroes please, I like RTS games but I don’t know my backlog is quite big.

  22. Shadowcat says:

    In USD at least, the Company of Heroes Complete Pack is rather bemusingly [i]more[/i] expensive than purchasing its contents individually.

    • johnpeat says:

      2p more in UK money too

    • LionsPhil says:

      ‘Tis baffling.

      Also, apparently the games are tied to an online account system even for singleplayer, and it is tempremental in accepting Steam’s offline mode. So, fuck it. It can wait until they rip the extra DRM out or not at all.

  23. Freud says:

    I played through Alpha Protocol twice. Deus Ex: Human Revolution once.

    Don’t get me wrong. The latter is by far the better game but AP was a game where I wanted to play it through twice just to see what changes (sadly not as much as you are led to believe during the first playthrough).

    Still well worth playing through once. The writing is fun, characters ok and the stealth is satisfying enough. Just boost stealth and pistol skills and you’ll enjoy the game.

    Personally I didn’t really encounter any bugs. I think most of the complaints seem to be from people that see the name Obsidian and make assumptions.

    • Keeper_Deven says:

      I’d say that it’s during the second playthrough that Alpha Protocol’s strength–the choices and consequences–really show. Which isn’t to say that the first time isn’t fun, of course.

    • KenTWOu says:

      @Freud says:
      Still well worth playing through once. The writing is fun, characters ok and the stealth is satisfying enough…

      Stealth of Alpha Protocol is satisfying enough? What? Dead bodies disappear right under your nose. You can’t drag them, you can’t even use human shield for this (like in Splinter Cell: Conviction). Level design is awful in terms of stealth and the most important thing is your invisibility skill. This isn’t satisfying stealth at all, this is a joke.

  24. MSJ says:

    Here’s a thing: if you own all the games in the GOG sale, you can gift individual games at the minimum price. Maybe you can work out a transaction with a friend?

    • Rehykja says:

      I actually bought all of them, so if anyone’s interested in getting them gifted at the full sale price feel free to hit me up.

  25. Temperance says:

    I’d probably snap up that CoH offer… If my overdraft wasn’t maxed.

    • johnpeat says:

      Since we’re talking bargains and money saving, can I just point out that Overdrafts are the single worst way of managing your money that there is bar none (yes, including loan sharks).

      No-one should ever have one (other than the emergency ‘no fees if you forget something’ idea some accounts come with perhaps).

      Seriously – before you buy cheap games, get rid of the leech on your money that is the ‘overdraft’.

      Next week, I’ll explain why credit cards are the work of Elder Gods sworn to scourge the earth…

    • Temperance says:

      They forced it on me by charging me £200 in overdraft fees for an overdraft I didn’t have and money I couldn’t have possibly ever of taken out my account, so now I am living £200 down with no other choice but at at least have an arranged overdraft.

  26. drewski says:

    Bit harsh on the Baldur’s Gate series to put it in the same breath as the far more simplistic Icewind Dale games, I think.

  27. Froibo says:

    Curse you reply button.

  28. stratala says:

    I would not bother with Onlive at the moment, website keeps crashing and if you do get an account like me you will be waiting hours (6 so far….) for it to activate. The deal is just a bit better than their servers can take….. Such a good sign for the future!

  29. Solidstate89 says:

    I very nearly pre-ordered Alpha Protocol back when it came out, but resisted getting it for fear of how it might turn out (the curse of Obsidian if you will) but hell, for 2 dollars I’ll try it out.

  30. Namos says:

    Amazon.com digital download has the Witcher 2 for 24$. Does anyone (preferably an international customer) have any experience with the Amazon service? I’d rather know what I’m buying into.

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      I’m in America, but I’ve had no issues with. It’s similar to GoG’s client in that it’s just a downloader. It puts the files in a location and then (iirc) runs setup.exe. Very light and unobtrusive (and you don’t need it running or anything to launch the game).

      I will say that it will likely be the unpatched version of the game, so you’ll need to hunt down the latest TW2 patch for yourself.

    • Scandalon says:

      Be aware that Witcher 2 will be on sale from GoG directly soon (and be patched!):
      http://www.gog.com/en/news/the_witcher_2_version_2_0_coming_to_gog_com_on_the_29th_and_were_celebrating

    • Vinraith says:

      Amazon’s system is NOTHING like GOG’s. GOG is 100% DRM-free, Amazon’s system has a client that requires you to phone-home on install, and (last time I tried it) a glitchy one at that.

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      When was that?

      I bought MnB: Warband a few months ago and there was no phoning home.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Spider

      It was at least a year ago, so it’s possible they’ve changed their system. That would be good, the old one was pretty bad.

  31. johnpeat says:

    Just a heads-up about CoH on Steam – unless they’ve fixed it recently, it has this knack of redownloading itself completely, whenever there’s a patch.

    Patches are obviously fewer these days – but it’s a SCORCHING big download so those on McInternet may want to consider their options(*)

    (*) that said, retail copies need GBs of patches – at last count, an original retail-> latest patchset was about 6.5Gb!!!!!

  32. Biscuitry says:

    Strongly-held is right. I strongly believe that I don’t care one way or the other about OnLive, and nothing any of you say will make me feel differently.

  33. BarneyL says:

    Ice Pick Lodge’s Cargo is half price (£7.45) over on Green Man Gaming and if you’re in to using the trade in system you can get £5 back at the moment when you’re done.

  34. Llewyn says:

    No (specific) mention of the Total War savings on Steam, even in the comments? For a complete novice, which one of the series would RPS readers recommend? I played a little of the original Medieval when it was new, I wasn’t very good at it. Not very good at all. I think it’s fair to assume that I wouldn’t be much better now, but it’s something that I’d like to have a go at while they’re cheap enough to be impulse purchases.

    • Solidstate89 says:

      Rome and Medieval II are easily my favorite. I couldn’t get past 30 minutes of play-time with Empire: Total War. I just didn’t like it.

      I haven’t played a ton of Shogun 2, but that’s only because of time constraints and the sheer back-catalog of games I need to play through. I enjoyed the 2-3 hours or so that I played of Shogun 2 so far.

      Between Rome and Medieval, I’d say Rome: Total War is easily my favorite. I’m a little biased, because I love reading about the history of the classical age, and especially as playing one of the other factions besides Rome makes for an interesting challenge since you’re facing the world’s first Super Power instead of playing as them.

    • Bob_Bobson says:

      Actually Persia (or to be more specific the Achaemenid Empire) was the world’s first super power. In 480BC it had more land area than the Roman Empire ever acheived and a whopping 44% of the world’s population within it’s borders, a feat that has yet to be matched. It spread from the borders of India in the East and to Libya and the borders of Greece in the West. But history, at least as taught to me in the UK, is so deeply eurocentric that Roman’s were presented at the first empire builders.

    • Llewyn says:

      Hmmm, interesting point there Bob. However, while the commonly ‘accepted’ estimate of the population of the Persian empire under Darius is indeed around 50% of the widely accepted estimate of global population in that era, it’s harder to believe that 44% of the world’s population lived in an expanse from Macedonia to the Indus than to believe that the two – entirely unrelated – estimates are based on fundamentally different methodologies, and that at least one of them must be wrong.

      However there’s no Total War: Babylon, so this doesn’t help me so much as Solidstate’s reply.

    • Solidstate89 says:

      I was just sure someone was going to reply and explain to me why Rome wasn’t the first. I’m sure there were massive empires before even Persia that I either forgot about, or wasn’t aware of.

      My point still stands though, that playing AGAINST the Romans in Rome: Total War is more exciting then playing as the Romans.

    • johnpeat says:

      Total War has had better deals before – the Nap/Emp Goaty was £6 at Xmas, for example.

      If you’ve never played a TW before – erm – erm – I’d say Med2 wasn’t a bad place to start UNLESS you’re a historical accuracy nutter (Napoleon) or modding fan (Empire)??

    • Bob_Bobson says:

      I can believe the world’s population was very unevenly spread, with places with developed agriculture and city states massively outweighing the population density of everywhere else. And the fertile cresent and the nile represent a significant proportion of the argrarian world at Darius’ time. But estimates will of course be very… estimated given that much of the world was pre-historic at the time.

      On the TW subject, my personal favourite is Rome, although I haven’t played either Shogun, because I find the battles of that period have a good and interesting balance of unit styles. The musket v musket of Empire bored me so much compared with a good cavalry, infantry, archery, skirmishers set up. And yeah, taking down Rome as a weaker nation is great fun. Hard to say why I prefered Rome to Medieval, just one of those things I guess.

    • Llewyn says:

      Thanks for the feedback. I’d assumed the newer games might be better but as Medieval II has more appeal for me I’m happy to here it holds up well.

  35. OneStrayBullet says:

    For any who are interested, GetGamesGo has Red Orchestra 2 on sale for 20% off, however they also are selling it for the a lower base price of $29.99, so it comes down to $24 instead of $40.

  36. Grey_Ghost says:

    When I read “DnD Classics” games like Eye of the Beholder, Ravenloft, and the like popped in my head. I guess some of us are getting pretty old now, and I suppose those are more like DnD Artifacts nowadays.

    • Vinraith says:

      I have to admit, I was momentarily really excited because I thought GOG had finally gotten the gold box games. Not that the Baldur’s Gates and Icewind Dales aren’t great, but they don’t feel old enough for the “classics” label to me. Damned kids.

  37. hnnnng says:

    I was thinking of picking up some of the D&D games from GOG. What’s the general consensus on Temple of Elemental Evil? It’s hard to find proper reviews on it, since it supposedly has had many of its bugs fixed with fanpatches (as at is with any Troika-game).

    • malkav11 says:

      It’s the best commercially produced computer rendering of D&D combat ever made. The rest of the game’s kinda eh, but it’s pretty combat-centric so you spend most of your time with that.

    • Demiath says:

      Best computer D&D combat ever, indeed. The fan patches are as comprehensive as you could possibly hope for and fix everything the reviews complained about. TOEE is definitely not a game for those who care about story, dialogue and choice/consequences, though, and for the majority of players (myself including) the learning curve is going to be pretty steep. Thus, having patience and not being too easily frustrated is also important.

  38. MrTambourineMan says:

    I just came home drunk and bought Redneck Rampage Collection on GOG. Good times!

  39. HotSake says:

    FYI, Serious Sam: BFE is only $31.99 on Steam if you own the previous Serious Sam games on Steam as well.

  40. Phoenix says:

    Huge recommendation for Alpha Protocol. I bought it for 5 of my friends today, as long as they promised to play it.

  41. RegisteredUser says:

    What about that Rusty Hearts F2P steam is promoting, is it any good or the usual bash n grind?
    I wish the thing were single player/offline with optional online multi..