The RPS Bargain Bucket: Left Wanting

By Lewie Procter on February 9th, 2013 at 4:00 pm.


I got a big old bucket full of cheap games. Would you like a look inside it? If you’re willing to drop a few coins into this bucket, legend has it that some games might just jump out. Magical. As ever, if you’d like even more cheap games than are included in this roundup, you can find them over at SavyGamer.co.uk, the constantly updated record of gaming deals across all platforms.

Anachronox – £1.89/€2.24/$2.99
There’s a whole host of Square-Enix games on sale at GOG this weekend, but many of them have been cheaper elsewhere fairly recently. Not Anachronox though. This is a real oddity. It’s an RPG that’s mechanically very much structured like the traditional Japanese RPGs, but it’s got a sci-fi setting, with noir elements. It’s also genuinely funny, packed with interesting characters. It’s not in the same league as Deus Ex, but gun to my head it’s probably the second best thing to come out of Ion Storm.

Mass Effect 2 [Digital Deluxe Edition] – £3.99
Apply coupon “GFDFEB20UK”.
I think this is probably the series’ high point, although I say that having got bored a few hours into ME3. I’d probably have preferred if they’d have tried to improve more of the flawed aspects of the first game, rather than simply amputating them. It’s less of an RPG than Mass Effect 1, but it’s also a far tighter polished experience. John said this:

It’s a stunning thing. There are so many stories I’m left wanting to tell. So many situations that merit discussion afterward. So many characters I’d love to talk about in more detail. It’s been agony not to give anything away. But you should go find out for yourself. If you’ve not played the original Mass Effect, don’t be put off by talk of the clumsy combat. It’s definitely clumsy, and I’m quite certain if you played the sequel first you’d not put up with it. So go play the original, then come to this. It’s worth it. If there’s anyone who did play the first game and for some reason hasn’t yet picked this up, for goodness sakes get on with it.

Yeah, play the first game first. The rest of Johns words are contained here.

Stealth Bastard Deluxe – £3.33/€3.33/$4.75
Apply coupon “elder-geek.com”. Registers on Steam.
I’ve not yet played the deluxe edition of Stealth Bastard, but to be honest the free version would have been worth your money at this price, regardless of the many improvements and additional content in this commercial release. I thought it was stylish, smart, and different enough to all the other platformers and stealth games to properly stand out from the crowd. It’s as much thinky as it is twitchy, it’s as much about reading the levels and planning an optimum route through them as it is nailing the precision timing of your movement. Read Adam’s words on it here.

Hitman: Codename 47, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Hitman: Blood Money & Hitman: Absolution – £11.99
Registers on Steam.
Somewhat mis-sold as “including all 4 games”, since it doesn’t include Contracts, but this is still a decent deal. I don’t think anyone would argue that Absolution was the sequel everyone wanted, but if you’re new to the series, here you can see the progression from inception to it’s sandboxy high of Blood Money, before making up your own mind of the latest entry. This is part of why Adam felt disappointed by Absolution:

There are entire missions with no choice at all – walk to door, open door, perform prescribed action. One is about buying a suit and it took almost as long for the game to tally up my score at the end as it did for me to complete the level. The very fact that buying a suit doesn’t take place in a cutscene but several of the actual kills do is surely cause for dismay.

Read the rest here.

Deal of the week
Dear Esther – £1.38/€1.18/$1.38
A beautiful video game poem, a solitary journey across an island, with only a raving inner-monologue and subtle evidence of something gone horribly wrong to keep you company. Alec said this about it:

My only interaction with this place was to look at it, to experience it. To react to what my own mind summoned in response, not to on-screen prompts or physical reflexes. Dear Esther is, in a very real sense, boring. It is supposed to be. Lonely tedium, that slow, slow walk through a stark land, leads to subconscious introspection. Ever walked along an empty beach at night? Sat alone on a hillside on a cold winter morning? Where did your mind go? Wherever it was, that’s where Dear Esther can take it. If you let it.

The rest is here, and read John’s take on it here.

Also of note:
Test Drive Unlimited 2 – £3.74/€4.99/$4.99
The Showdown Effect – £6.39. Apply coupon “GFDFEB20UK”. Registers on Steam.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution [Ultimate Edition] – £5.94/similar prices in other countries. Apply coupon “elder-geek.com”. Registers on Steam.
Deus Ex Collection – £7.13/similar prices in other countries. Deus Ex: Human Revolution registers on Steam.
KRUNCH – Pay What You Want

SavyGamer.co.uk is a website where you can find cheap games.

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51 Comments »

  1. Alexander says:

    I still wonder why are SE are giving DX3 away for so cheap. did it sell so badly? it’s appalling sometimes seeing it for 3 euro while something like cod still sells for 20-60.

    • woodsey says:

      I think it sold pretty well. Don’t forget that it’d been long enough since the last entry for it to be considered a new IP by pretty much an entire generation of gamers.

      And CoD exists in its own self-contained and disgustingly popular bubble. Not the fairest of comparisons.

    • JD Ogre says:

      Probably because they’ve made their money back, made a decent profit, and there’s not much else to further drive sales of Human Revolution due to lack of replayability (you can maybe play through twice, once stealth and once assault style, before you run out of new ways to play), multiplayer, modding, or DLC expansions (rather surprised there wasn’t more than just Missing Link – an ML-sized expansion following, for example, Tracer Tong joining up with the Triads in Hong Kong after Adam Jensen rescues him would go down great, IMHO, even so long after the game’s last update).

    • Alexander says:

      I wasn’t comparing the two series, I was just asking why are SE giving it away like that.
      And I’ll disagree on the replayability point, the two major ways to play it would be indeed combat and stealth, but there’s tons of other small occasions to modify your play style. I’ve almost finished it for about 3 times now and can’t wait to jump back in once I can upgrade.

      • Saiko Kila says:

        I see two points here: you think that such a price means the game didn’t sell well or it’s a shame. As far as I know, not many people think so. You also insist that there is ton of replayability in that game. As far as I know, not many people think so. In fact, I’d say that there is not enough to actually try/finish it more than once, but there are different tastes. You know, there are plenty of great games there to try something really different…

    • InternetBatman says:

      Remember that Square just bought Eidos outright when the game was under development, so they might have spent less funding the game. They can probably sell it for whatever they want and make a nice profit.

      • Alexander says:

        That might be true, I don’t know when exactly SE bought EM. I thought it was long before DX3 was finished. But if so, okay. it’s still a bit of a shame, though.

    • Low Life says:

      As the game isn’t something everyone’s constantly talking about (compared to, say, COD), they’re probably selling it cheap because they want as many people as possible to play the game before releasing a sequel.

    • killias2 says:

      http://www.gamesradar.com/deus-ex-human-revolution-tops-square-enix-sales-218m-copies-moved/ – Based on this and stuff I remember reading back after release, this did very well for Square. Much better than expected.

      I think it’s cheap just because the game has been out for a year and a half at this point. I mean.. that’s the PC. Other than a few rare titles (Blizzard’s games, Call of Duty, maybe Skyrim..?), this is what always happens. I’m actually surprised that anyone would consider this a sign of failure.

  2. misterT0AST says:

    http://blog.greenmangaming.com/2013/02/the-grand-playfire-gmg-giveaway.html

    Greenman Gaming is giving away these games for free, although there is more than one catch (no Steam keys, you must use their client, the service you subscribe to is annoying).
    But still, for people like me, who can’t afford things and don’t feel like pirating, it’s nice.

    • dE says:

      Everyone, just please be aware what kind of service you’re signing up for here.
      If you read about how they operate and you don’t mind, and your friends don’t mind either, then by all means, grab those games. But please google playfire before you do.

      • Martel says:

        Agreed. I’d say it’s not worth it, especially for the games they’re actually offering. Remember, there’s no such thing as free!

      • ShineyBlueShoes says:

        I’m really not sure to what you’re referring. Is it something with their capsule software? Purchased plenty from them the last few months and had no issues, though it was all Steam key stuff. If it’s some reason to avoid non-Steam games from them please share it so we can all be aware.

        • caddyB says:

          He means Playfire. They’re known to send unauthorized messages to your friends, inviting them to join the service as well.

        • dE says:

          Yep, pretty much about Playfire, not GMG. Sorry if it seemed like I was talking about GMG. Here’s breakdown on what made me say this. It’s essentially a couple of bad business choices that led to a shitstorm in the past. It was a friend invitation system gone wrong.

          It starts like this:
          People signing up and linking their windows live account, found out their friends had been spammed with Sign-Up Invitations, with data gathered from the windows live friendslist and messages send in their name, through x-live. The System also automatically reserved nicknames, so if a friend was called “Cookiemonster” the E-Mail read something like this:
          “The following account has been created for you blablbla.com/Cookiemonster. Sign in to verify”. Upon following the link, people were asked to login with their Windows Live Credentials, through the Playfire Site. Which they then used to confirm ownership of the account. Here’s where things get foggy, some claim the service used this to further spam the friends of the new signup, in their name. Playfire denied that and claimed it was merely for authentication.
          As this got a bit of traction, playfire tried to maintain damage control. Some official people replied and several 1 post, fresh to sign up yay sayers heated up the discussion as well. It’s the way of the internet. Basic Shitstorm 101.

          As far as I know, no long term damage ever came from logging in with windows live credentials. They are in the Microsoft Partner Program after all. Also, they might have changed methods in the meantime (although wanting you to link your GMG Account made me wary) All in all, this is also why I didn’t say “stay clear at all costs” but instead suggested people look up stuff and see if they agree with it. And if they do, that’s cool. Free games for them.

          Let me link one example thread amongst several:
          http://forums.xbox.com/xbox_forums/general_discussion/f/341/t/135600.aspx?PageIndex=1
          Please Spambot Filter, don’t eat my post. I’m sorry, I know I’m not supposed to link things but it’s for a purpose, I swear.

          • ShineyBlueShoes says:

            Ah well that is certainly ugly. I suppose that makes me glad that I didn’t link anything other than my GMG account to it.

      • trjp says:

        Aside from some people who were surprised a social network (which is what PlayFire is) used email to contact them and bug them to invite their friends etc. – I don’t see anything – certainly nothing ‘malicious’.

        If that turns-out to be the case, it would be bad for GMG as people would just block that email and ignore anything sent there (including GMG’s mails)

        Entering your other network IDs is optional (tbh, it doesn’t work anyway – the scanning for games has been broken for MONTHS)

        As with anything ‘free’ – you’re the product of course.

        • jrodman says:

          The question would be: how does playfire get ahold of the email addresses of your friends?

          If it’s what I think it is, my response is: don’t be a dick and hand out email addresses of your friends to web companies. Ever! Don’t EVER do that. Did you ask your friends? Do you friends like spam? WTF people.

          if it’s something more sophisticated than that, then it might be malicious and I want to hear more.

    • Hunter says:

      While I don’t know the exact sales numbers, I was under the impression that DE: HR did quite well for Square-Enix.

      In any case, the price of a certain game, and it’s relative cost in relation to its original MSRP, is no indication of the success of a game, its quality, the intelligence of the audience or the greed of the publisher/developer. All that the price indicates in context is that Square-Enix and Activision have two different business models for selling their games, and these models are probably adjusted according to the particular game that they’re selling. Hope that helps!

    • sweetjer says:

      I attempted to purchase dishonored on a huge holiday sale from gmg and less than an hour later the email I used had an attempted access from china.. Coincidence maybe, but considering they also failed to sell me the product they advertised after capturing my email, my scam alarm sounded..

    • Lewie Procter says:

      I didn’t include this (or post it on SavyGamer) because I have absolutely no desire to promote offers that have a requirement of social media engagement, be it liking something on facebook, retweeting something, or whatever the hell you do on bebo/myspace/google+.

  3. Ice-Fyre says:

    Don’t forget the warner bros sale, lego games are cheap!

    http://getgamesgo.com/category/warner-bros-sale

    • Xercies says:

      Those prices can’t be right £4 for Arkham City! Sold!

      • Colonel J says:

        Thanks for that one, at last picked up Harley Quinn’s revenge for £1.99 to add to my old non-GOTY edition/ Yes, many opportunities to rebuy the whole GOTY for £5 or less but it felt wrong doing that. I’d given up on on the DLC but for that money, yeah let’s have it.

  4. InternetBatman says:

    Don’t forget about the Greenlight bundle.

    http://thegreenlightbundle.com/index2.php?utm_expid=62937003-1

    Been playing megabyte punch all night. It’s a cross between Megaman and Smash bros. with destructible environments.

    Depth Hunter is pretty, but it needs more fish. So much more fish. Also to you should be able to pet them instead of shooting them. Basically it needs to be Endless Ocean, but it’s half way there.

  5. Martel says:

    Anybody played Anachronox lately? How is it holding up, especially on newer systems? I’ve never played it but for $3 I’m thinking I should, assuming it’ll run. I’ve had some extremely bad luck with older games lately, which has made me gun-shy on spending money on them.

    • kalirion says:

      Anachronox runs well on my Windows 7×64 laptop with an IGP.

    • jrodman says:

      The main schtick of gog.com was ensuring the old games actually run correctly.
      Sometimes there can be issues though, like maybe they get a 1992 DOS game running on XP in 2007, and then by 2012 win8 breaks it again. For best results, check the gog forum for the game. But generally, things will all painlessly work.

  6. Saarlaender39 says:

    There is another Deal out here in Germany:

    http://www.mcgame.com/de/

    Lots of games for €3,- each. Mostly a little older titles (i.e.: World in Conflict: Complete Edition, etc.).

    But be aware: for some (well,…most) of the games only the german language might be available (just look at the Games-Info).

    Account creation is easy (only an email-address and password needed), payment possible per Credit Card, PayPal, Amazon Payment, Click and buy, etc.

  7. Lemming says:

    I’ve been expecting you guys to react to the new Wasteland 2 footage but surprised that this has been the only post all day!

  8. malkav11 says:

    I still think ME2 is easily the nadir of the Mass Effect experience. Mass Effect has a classic and very well told space epic storyline, strong quests, and a hell of a conclusion, and there are some stunning locations to visit. The combat’s a tad wonky, but it’s at least not a paint by numbers Gears of War clone, there’s some variety to the combat and enemies, and it actually matters which companions you use. The inventory system needed some significant streamlining but the loot was more compelling as a gameplay system than the occasional ostensible 10% upgrade to numbers you’re never actually allowed to see.

    Mass Effect 3 has a terrible ending, and there’s some inconsistencies with prior established aspects of the universe, and they simplified dialogue and so on, but there are some incredible character beats and a real sense of onrushing apocalypse throughout. The combat’s easily the best in the series (strong enough to stand up in a story-free coop horde mode), and the excessive pruning ME2 did is toned down a bit.

    Meanwhile, ME2 has an incredibly brief and narratively incoherent main storyline, existing primarily as a collection of (admittedly strong) NPC-centric sidequests that frequently have little or nothing to do with the overall narrative. It strips systems other than combat and conversation down to essentially nothing, but has nothing interesting to do in combat. It has areas that while occasionally scenic generally consist of little more than a series of waist high barriers. It’s got some great characters and dialogue, so as long as I put the combat at a level where it doesn’t dominate play time it’s still a moderately enjoyable game, but it makes so many missteps it did a lot to erode my confidence in Bioware. (Dragon Age 2 was another nail in that particular coffin.) And I really wish they’d stuck to one head writer throughout – if ME2 had been consistent with the universe, themes and plotlines established in the first Mass Effect (and then ME3 likewise) I think the entire trilogy would have been so much better.

    • killias2 says:

      I agree with at least some of your discussion here. I played through, and loved, ME1. Sure, it had warts and pimples. It wasn’t perfect. But I still thoroughly enjoyed it. ME2, right out of the gate, seemed better in every way.

      But I stopped playing it halfway through. The sidequesty main quest really took a lot of momentum out of the story, and the lack of real RPG elements made it all feel sorta empty. I don’t know. I liked it fine, but it didn’t set a fire in me. I have yet to return to the franchise, although I did buy ME3 cheap over the holidays. I’ll catch back up eventually, but I think you’re right that ME2 has some real issues.

  9. kalirion says:

    No mention of Groupees Digital Tribes Bundle? Has about a day left to go.

    $1 gets you Section 8, RooGoo and Monster Madness (64-bit systems may have issues on this one)
    $2 more to also get Cargo Commander and Hotel Giant 2.

  10. stahlwerk says:

    The Sims 3 and all expansions are 50% off on Origin until Feb 13, can somebody please confirm this for international origin? I’m redirected to the german store and my url-fu is weak against EA’s prowess.

    That’s a pretty good deal, considering EA’s usual pricing regarding this 5 year old game.

  11. Tacroy says:

    Are there any “must-have” fan-made mods out there for Anachronox?

    • Srethron says:

      Prior to the GOG version coming out, yes there were. They were all mods and unofficial patches to get the game to work nice with modern OSes, so presumably the GOG release has done all the work collecting and installing them for us.

      I’m not aware of any actual extensive mods for Anachronox. There is an editing tool (basically it’s the Quake 2 editor), and seeing how clunky that editor was to use gave me even more respect for the in-engine cinematics. The guy who did those had *talent.*

      • ShineyBlueShoes says:

        Well if I’m not mistaken in my remembrance there were a lot of talented people involved with this game but it fell victim to many of the issues that beset Ion Storm games stemming from mismanagement. In many way it’s amazing that Deus Ex didn’t become an all but forgotten foot note of the generation as well since it’s development had a lot in common with Anachronox. Both were delayed endlessly, wound up using slightly clunky implementations of all but outdated shooter engines and were bugtastic. The brilliance of Deus Ex just managed to show it’s brilliance through the issues a little better and got enough people to really latch onto it.

  12. abandonhope says:

    Don’t forget Startopia is also 50% off ($2.99) on GOG through the weekend.

  13. kupofatu says:

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  14. Terry Wogan says:

    Suppose I ought to grab Dear Esther, then.

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