The RPS Bargain Bucket: Unrelated Words

By Cassandra Khaw on November 23rd, 2013 at 11:00 am.

Ah, Thanksgiving. ‘Tis indeed the hour of luscious poultry and marshmallow-crusted sweet potatoes, a time to loosen belts and snipe jovially at family members you haven’t seen in years. Sigh. I can’t tell if I’m glad or disappointed that Thanksgiving isn’t practiced here in my corner of the globe. At least this means the Christmas pounds won’t be having playmates. Regardless of whether you’re voluntarily or involuntarily turkey-less next week, you’re welcome to come trawl this week’s — immediate gratification is always satisfying — Bargain Bucket for gloriously underpriced video games.

The Video Game Bundle 2.0
$3/£1.85/€ 2.21 for five titles, $10/£6.17/€ 7.38 for nine

Actually, forget video games. Let’s talk video games literature. If you’ve ever wanted to imbibe an eloquent love letter to the Dreamcast or chart the Rise of the Videogame Zinesters, now’s an excellent time to get out ye olde wallet. Spend a minimum of $3 to acquire five of the nine volumes available. Fork out $10 for the full nine (ahem!) yards. Go ahead. Indulge your inner academic.

Bioshock Triple Pack
$14.99/£9.25/€ 11.06

I’m largely ambivalent about Infinite, conflicted about Bioshock 2 and almost entirely smitten with Bioshock. Regardless of where you’re actually positioned on the matter, you most likely have an opinion on what is arguably Irrational Games’ most beloved series. And my opinion is that you need to capitalize on this 85% price cut. No, I don’t care if you’ve played through them. The season of commercialized giving is encroaching. Find a dewy-eyed, fresh-faced cousin to give Rapture to. (Wait, that could be construed inappropriately..)

Super Sanctum TD & Sanctum 2
Super Sanctum TD –  $0.99/£0.73/€0.61
Sanctum 2 – $3.74/£2.31/€ 2.76

I’ll never forget the day when a friend told me that RockPaperShotgun called Coffee Stain Studios’ Sanctum a dong. The Ghost of Spluttered Coffee reminds me of it each time I put on that one specific shirt. Months later, the Swedish start-up returned with not one but two games in the universe. Sanctum 2′s essentially the original Sanctum. Except with more guns, more characters, more awesome and more, well, everything, really. Super Sanctum TD, on the other hand, is an isometric, “retro”-styled tower defense game set inside an arcade cabinet inside Sanctum 2 — which is a tower defense game with guns. How meta. Both are 75% off. You know you want these mega-evolved peni — NOPE. Your mind can go there by itself, thank you very much.

Arma 2: Complete Collection
$8.00/£4.94/€5.90

It says a lot when the company describes the complete collection of an iconic title as, “Everything you need to play a mod.” Then again, Bohemia Interactive would be crazy to not use DayZ’s flabbergasting popularity as leverage over the penny-pinching masses. Sure, the standalone version is tottering somewhere on the far edge of release but do you really want to wait that long? Eight bucks is hardly astronomical especially when you factor in all of the gritty, uncomfortably realistic shooting involved.

Total War Sale
Empire: Total War Collection – $7.49/£4.62/€5.53
Medieval II: Total War Collection – $4.99/£3.08/€3.68
Napolean: Total War Collection – $7.49/£4.62/€5.53
Rome: Total War Collection – $3.24/£2.00/€2.39
Total War Battles: Shogun – $2.49/£1.54/€1.84
Total War: Grand Master Collection – $41.24/£25.45/€30.43
Total War: Master Collection – $22.49/£13.88/€16.60
Total War: Shogun 2 Collection- $12.49/£7.71/€9.22

Did you miss the recent Green Man Gaming sales? Yeah, I did too. Fortunately, there is a contingency plan. Get Games is currently hosting a massive Total War sale. If you’re a history buff with a predilection for turn-based strategy and leading pixel people through real-time, full-scale wars, you may find a soulmate in this sometimes fiddly but frequently awesome franchise. Although everything else is at least 50% off, Rome II only features a demure 25% discount. Boo. Hiss.

The XCOM Collection
$9.99/£6.16/€7.37

Save the world and save yourself from unnecessary expenditure all at the same time. Who said heroism isn’t practical? While impressive XCOM-related savings aren’t uncommon, few digital distribution sites provide such tempting access to the sum of the XCOM experience. With just $10, you’ll be able to saunter home with virtually every member of this deliciously sadistic turn-based, sci-fi series. Brash youngest cousin “Enemy Within” is, of course, absent from the discounted bunch. (He’ll join the brood after the new game smell wears off. Don’t worry.)

Portal & Portal 2
Portal – $2.49/£1.54/€1.84
Portal 2 – $4.99/£3.08/€3.68

You didn’t really need an introduction to the Portal series, did you? I mean, they’re only some of the most impressive puzzle games to have ever graced the PC. Entire countries of memes were built on these guys. They even catalyzed plushies. Plushies, I tell you. Of Cubes. If, for some reason, you still don’t own these two titles, you should really correct that right this instant. Both Portal & Portal 2 are going for amazingly cheap over at GameFly.

Also of note:

Europa Universalis IV – $19.99/£12.33/€14.75
The overlords waxed rather poetic about it.

Majestic Indie Bundle – $4.02/£2.48/€2.97
Absolutely mad little collection of indie titles. I’d buy it just for Shelter and Mount & Blade.

Humble Weekly Sales: Zen Studios - $6/£3.70/€4.43 to get all eight games
I’m not a big fan of digital pinball machines but if you are, you should think about snagging this.

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102 Comments »

  1. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Ahhhhh if only Europa Universalis had dipped below £8. That is my arbitrary emotional set point for buying that game. Roll on, steam xmas sale …

    Also bless tha widdle teddy with the bucket
    EDIT: And hello to Cassandra :)

    • Cassandra Khaw says:

      Actually, it’s a ginormous dog plushie. ;)

      Also, hello!

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        Ohhh ok. I thought it was a tiny bucket on a tiny thing. A plushtical illusion. Is it a bargain too? I want seven :)

    • phobic says:

      It’s cheaper on the humble store. Still not below £8 though, more like £11.

    • HadToLogin says:

      You’re talking about Steam Xmas 2014 sales, right?
      If nobody else has is cheap, there’s no way Steam will have it, as they proved in last 3 sales, where they had same, or even worse prices than other shops (Amazon and GMG-with-vouchers being first).

    • Trespasser in the Stereo Field says:

      There’s a Steam Thanksgiving sale, right? Or did I just make that up in my head….

      • Baines says:

        Valve calls it something like “Harvest” sale. I haven’t seen much mention of it this year.

        Last year, the Thanksgiving sale seemed pretty near identical to the Christmas sale. Or if you prefer, the Christmas sale wasn’t really any better than the Thanksgiving sale.

        Honestly, a Thanksgiving sale seems a bit redundant for Steam. It presumably exists because of Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. But it is only one month before the biggest sale (Christmas) of the year.

        Stores that ship physical products have reason to have their “big” sale a month before Christmas, but you could buy a digital download game the day before Christmas as easily as you can a month before. If Steam’s Thanksgiving sale doesn’t rival Christmas, then there is little reason to buy during the Thanksgiving sale, not if you think you can wait around three weeks and get a better deal. If it does rival Christmas, then it also takes away from Christmas. After all, why wait three more weeks just to get the same deals? (Holiday/sale events could give the sales themselves more individuality even with the same prices, but Valve has pulled back from holiday events, possibly due to how such events tend to get abused/exploited.)

  2. Rich says:

    Harrumph! At least Lewie gave us prices in other currencies.

  3. Anthile says:

    That bundle with the books is worth it for The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures alone. It’s from the guy from hardcoregaming101.net, one of my favourite sites on the web. You can lose yourself for hours there and emerge as an expert on Jackie Chan games.

  4. AngoraFish says:

    Although I’m a huge pinball fan from way back I’ve found digital pinball thoroughly forgettable, until now.

    The Zen Studios bundle is totally scratching my pinball itch, at least after I made a couple of essential video driver tweaks.

    Fantastic looking tables and very believable physics. And I’m getting a nice slapping feel out of whacking the flipper buttons (okay, shift keys) on my new mechanical keyboard.

    I think that I may be in love…

    • Stirbelwurm says:

      For anyone else, that is interested, there is already a thread in the RPS forum, where people can add eacht other, to compete for higher scores against each other ;)

      http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?12158-Pinball-FX

    • BTAxis says:

      Ooh, that’s a great deal on Pinball FX. I’ve been waiting for something like that, because I love the game but the regular steam prices are a bit steep for me.

      • Syt says:

        Indeed. I have the Star Wars tables and have great fun with them. Considering the normal price of the tables, this is too good to pass up.

    • The Tupper says:

      It also works very well with an XBox pad. I can’t remember if real pinball tables rumble but the rumbliness adds something important.

    • Shadowcat says:

      Although I’m a huge pinball fan from way back I’ve found digital pinball thoroughly forgettable, until now.

      You didn’t like any of the Pro Pinball series?! I’m completely gob-smacked.

      • Eight Rooks says:

        Eh: never played Pro Pinball, but from the looks of it I’m guessing these are fictional tables but ones that could easily exist in the real world? I can appreciate that Pinball Arcade is an excellent game, but if Pro Pinball is/was anything like that, I’m just not interested in a “pure” recreation of the real thing – I want crazy pyrotechnics, ball effects that (intentionally) defy the laws of physics, figures on the table that come to life, fly around and fight each other and so on. I don’t know if that’s so much what AngoraFish was referring to but I might well have described digital pinball as “thoroughly forgettable” before I discovered Zen Pinball/Pinball FX.

        Also, to repeat, go check out that forum thread! Eight Rooks needs more highscores, badly! Although, well, now there are a few people cropping up who can crush my feeble attempts quite easily, it looks like. Still, the more the merrier and all.

        • Stirbelwurm says:

          I played Pro Pinball: The Web as a child, and it really got me into pinball games (and rock music!).

          Yes, the table there was more or less realistic. But damn, the soundtrack was really really good. Just listen to the second track (after about one minute): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmO0QmW3RuY

        • AngoraFish says:

          You’ve summed my attitude up pretty well. There’s just enough ‘bling’ here for everything to be shiny, such as a light vapor trail here and there, but these are thoroughly believable tables where the motion and weight of the ball is exactly what I would expect from a real table – the ball can even get caught behind drop targets.

          The fact that my games are extremely competitive almost straight out of the box means those hundreds of hours practicing in video arcades hasn’t been wasted transferring to a new technology.

          I do miss the ability to tilt without having to press a key, however. :(

    • Phoibos Delphi says:

      If you like the graphics and happen to own a 3D TV connect the PC to it and let the TVs 3D conversion have a go… nearly perfect illusion.

      • mwoody says:

        Holy crap, why hasn’t someone converted one of these engines for the Rift yet? Imagine being able to, rather than pick some arbitrary camera angle, just LOOK at the thing as you play, actually glancing up to see the score.

  5. Snargelfargen says:

    Good god, that Majestic Indie Bundle is ridiculous. 7 medieval/fantasy games and a badger simulator.

    Rune is one of the best hack & slash games out there by the way, definitely a hidden gem. Skyrim wishes it’s combat could be that fun. Try the multiplayer for maximum dismemberment and funtimes.

    Edit: ooh and Forge is that newish thing styled on MMO PVP. Been wanting to try that for a while.

    • cpt_freakout says:

      It’s worth for M&B alone! I would get it but I already have everything in my library :D

    • DrScuttles says:

      It’s been a while since I’ve bought anything from the Bucket, but this bundle does seems deliriously appealing, even if I have just spent more money than I care to admit on a little plastic Paul McGann. Shelter certainly seemed like an interesting game when Cara wrote words.

    • Asherie says:

      //edit// Got the keys sent to me via email, just took 20-odd hours. Server issues and a lot of people buying I’d guess, anyway, all good now :D

      OLD: take no heed!
      Perhaps a little too good… I paid and haven’t received an email with access to the keys, or the password to my newly created account they told me I would get. Been hours now.

      Tried a ‘forgot password’ link, and it said it has sent an email with details on how to change the password. Nope, no email. Not in junk btw, I checked.

      • MartinWisse says:

        Me neither, but luckily the confirmation screen at bundle stars itself had the keys…

        • Asherie says:

          It didn’t for me. There was just a message saying they must wait for paypal to finish the bank transaction. Regardless I’ve received the keys via email recently, which is why I’m here to edit my wordsie stuff :)

    • FCA says:

      At least for Mount & Blade and Crusader Kings, it’s only sporting the old versions. Mount & Blade 2 and Crusader Kings 2 are not included, but are better in every way. Seems a bit disingenuous to me.

      • Gargenville says:

        I guess on some level I can imagine people who’ve heard either of those series mentioned in passing genuinely messing up but at the same time you sound like someone who’s angry the Terminator DVD doesn’t include Terminator 2.

    • Frank says:

      Agreed. That’s a crazy good deal

  6. Carra says:

    Nice to see a new bargain bucket. Now we just need an introduction post, or maybe I missed it?

  7. one2fwee says:

    Does anyone know when the Bioshock Ultimate Rapture edition content is coming to pc?
    (The Challenge Rooms and extra “Museum concept art level”).
    If it’s not happening then I really don’t understand why – all they have to do is plonk the content on the pc release versions, it’s only level code, not like they would even have to test really! So I don’t buy “extended testing needed” excuses.

    Also, doesn’t the “Ultimate Rapture Edition” include all the DLC for free? (Which i assume the pc releases do not).

    My guessing is that for some reason irrational now hate pc – at least it does seem rather shunned nowadays. Good old Take2.

    I would appreciate some journalistic types pressing the developers on this issue though, as it is rather a shame that there is no “full content” version on PC.

    • Jalan says:

      I think PC users got their URE when GFWL was yoinked out of BioShock 2 recently (just without the exalted title and Museum of Orphaned Concepts… and uhm, stickers). The first game hasn’t really been touched, beyond crippling bugfixes however.

      • one2fwee says:

        I thought that you didn’t get the Challenge Rooms either though? (And also the DLC like Minerva’s Den, although you can at least get that separately, but at extra expense).

        • malkav11 says:

          People who owned Bioshock 2 at the time got Minerva’s Den for free. Also all the multiplayer maps were integrated, apparently. Dunno about challenge rooms, can’t say I care much except in the “please don’t platform segregate DLC” sense.

    • Frank says:

      So many things deserve an “Ultimate Rapture” edition.

  8. cptgone says:

    RPS’ crusade against sexism has made me aware of things i wouldn’t even have noticed before.

    like, why is the newest writer female? did she get the job in an effort to start balancing the gender scale at RPS Towers?
    and why is she allowed to say “peni — NOPE”?
    ;)

    (please forgive me, Ms/Mrs Khaw, and thanks for bucket)

    • Cassandra Khaw says:

      Miss. Mrs makes me think of myself slightly hunched over, with bunned-up hair, scholarly glasses and crumpets. I’m not entirely sure why.

      And I’m only the latest female freelancer in a line of ‘em. I believe I’m predated by Porpentine, Cara Ellison, Leigh Alexander and so forth!

      • cptgone says:

        sounds like good company to me :)

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          FLOWERS TO WOMANS. Long may it continue :) All-male environments always end up smelling of farts and burp after a while anyway.

          • Stellar Duck says:

            Please.

            I know that FLOWERS TO WOMANS is referring to something I’ve forgotten. Would you kindly kick my brain in gear as I seem to recall it being hilarious and stupid.

          • The Random One says:

            Dude sends an email to Cara Ellison with a wild defence of GTAV’s mysoginy, even though Cara herself had barely commented on it. Cara posts choice bits of dude’s email on twitter, including the piece “This is a MALE CRIME SIM, what did you expect? FLOWERS TO WOMENS?” The rest is history.

          • Stellar Duck says:

            Yes! That was it. Thanks!

            It never ceases to amaze me what people will do when they feel they need to defend a multi billion dollar corporate entity.

      • Spakkenkhrist says:

        Woah hold on, what’s so bad about crumpets? They are delicious savoury butter sponges.

      • Gap Gen says:

        To be fair that sounds incredibly hot. Particularly the crumpets bit.

  9. drewski says:

    Think I can just about manage the impulse to buy EU IV at that price, given my backlog. Phew.

    Holding on for the inevitable complete edition.

  10. Tom De Roeck says:

    Welcome to the family!

  11. Shadowcat says:

    I just noticed that the Humble Store has a DRM-free version of Audiosurf available, and on sale for $1. I’m very glad to see this Steam-free (for the first time that I’ve seen, at least). Bought; played; works how you’d expect. Huzzah!

    https://www.humblebundle.com/store/p/audiosurf_storefront

    • Jalan says:

      It’s definitely the first time I’d seen it not being pimped out on the Steam storefront and there only. It seems weird knowing that it is available sans DRM given how tightly knit Steamworks is in that game.

  12. MajorManiac says:

    Hi Cassandra! Welcome to RPS.

    Seems like all my favorite PC Gamer writers keep appearing on RPS. Hope you get to do more articles outside of Bargin Bucket as well.

  13. Gilead says:

    It’s good that the prices listed have been updated to reflect more than US$, but unfortunately the Euro and £ prices don’t seem to match up with what the games are being sold for in those regions.

    (For instance, EUIV is listed here as $19.99/£12.33/€14.75 — that UK price is nice, so I just checked Steam. Apparently it’s actually being sold for £17.49, which isn’t so good.)

    • Creeping Death says:

      For a straighter currency conversion check it out on the Humble store. $19.99 converted to whatever local currency you have via paypal.

      https://www.humblebundle.com/store

    • bill says:

      I’m guessing Cassandra doesn’t have Lewie’s experience with the whole maze that is international pricing and currency conversions. That’s going to be a ‘fun’ thing to have to learn about. Er..

      Might have to invest in a VPN…

      • Cassandra Khaw says:

        T____T Indeed. Fortunately, Bargain Bucket people have been amazing at helping me out. I’ve already been educated on the joys of Hola.

  14. try_lee says:

    Just pondering whether anyone here has used the Bundle Stars site? I quickly snapped up that Majestic bundle, but since paying I haven’t been sent any keys or login information, and trying to reset my password apparently works, but I never get the email telling me what it is.

    Just me?

    • Nice Save says:

      No, I’ve had the same thing, buying both the Outer Limits and Majestic bundles. I’m about to email them about it.

      • mreeves791 says:

        I work for Bundle Stars. Sorry, there was an issue today with our email delivery system. This should now be resolved and the email backlog should be cleared by now.

    • Martel says:

      It’s been awhile, but I’ve purchased a few bundles from them with no issues. Already check your spam folder?

    • GameCat says:

      Same here.

      BUT FUCKING “CONFIRM NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIPTION” EMAIL INSTANTLY APPEARED IN MY MAIL BOX.

      Argh, my badgers are waiting for me, if they die it will be your fault, Bundle Stars.

    • DrScuttles says:

      My thumbs, they be a-twiddling awaiting a similar email. I’d shake my fists, screaming “Bundle STAAAARS!” to the highest of the heavens, but alas, my antsy thumbs preclude such frivolous acts of wanton emotion.

    • Stuie says:

      Same here. No emails to be seen.

      Edit: I got mine… thank you mreeves791 for the update.

    • Cassandra Khaw says:

      That is genuinely worrying. I’ll admit I’ve never purchased anything from Bundle Stars myself but cursory research suggested that it is a legit thing. It’s possible that there is some sort of extenuating issues but if you guys have yet to receive word by Monday, I promise I’ll start rooting out answers as best able. :/

      (The site says you can find your keys under ‘My Account’, incidentally. Let me know if you find anything there?)

      • DrScuttles says:

        They email you a password when you sign up / make your first purchase (as opposed to letting you create your own, which is odd) so until we get that golden email, there’s no way of even getting to the “My Account” page.
        It’s entirely possible that they do everything manually and as it’s the weekend, there’s nothing doing. Seems cackhanded, but possible nonetheless.
        edit: like Nice Save, got my emails now. They were probably just waiting for Dr Who.

      • Nice Save says:

        My registration and purchase emails finally arrived about 10 minutes ago, along with the 6 password reset emails I generated throughout the day trying to get in.

        Maybe they were having technical issues.

      • mreeves791 says:

        I work for Bundle Stars. Sorry, there was an issue today with our email delivery system. This should now be resolved and the email backlog should be cleared by now.

    • kalirion says:

      It’s a legit site, I’ve purchased two or three of their bundles and didn’t have any issues, so I’d believe them about the (resolved) technical difficulties.

    • GameCat says:

      Ok, I’ve got my keys. Shelter is a nice game but IMO one hour of gameplay is little too short.

  15. Pow pow LAZERS! says:

    I’m very disappointed that RPS is promoting The Video Game Bundle 2.0 when two of the books included have such disgusting sexist covers.

  16. kalirion says:

    In case quality casual games are your thing, there’s the
    Groupees (Build-a-) Mumbo Jumbo bundle

    Midnight Mysteries 1-4
    Samantha Swift and the Golden Touch
    Luxor: 5th Passage
    Reaxxion
    7 Wonders II (Steam version requires manual patching to work, see forums for dropbox link)

    Bonus unlocked so far:
    Little Farm

    $0.75 / game, 2 games minimum, less per game the more games you add so $4.92 for all 8. Bonuses added to every purchase. All games come with DRM Free downloads and Steam keys.

  17. RobF says:

    Charlie’s currently running a sale on Scoregasm for $1 or pay $20 and get a picture of a turkey engaged in the activity of your choice.

    http://www.charliesgames.com/wordpress/?page_id=283

    Scoregasm is bloody ace and well worth that and then some.

  18. KirbyEvan says:

    To be honest, I rather preferred Sanctum 1′s ‘Tower Defense with FPS aspects’ gameplay to Sanctum 2′s ‘FPS with Tower Defense’ aspects much more, but I could be rather biased as I have a love affair with well made tower defense games.

    • Vinraith says:

      Every subsequent patch and update has pushed the game further back towards the “tower defense with some FPS” balance of the original. I was very distressed with it at launch, but at this point it’s almost as good as the original.

  19. Borodin says:

    I was impressed by how much Lewie’s writing had improved until these comments revealed to me the awesome truth. Nice work Cassandra!

  20. Ooops says:

    “Replay: The History of Video Games” by Tristan Donovan is part of that StoryBundle bundle of books. I can’t praise that book enough. In fact, I just so happened to post a review a few days ago on VideoGameGeek: http://videogamegeek.com/blogpost/25039/replay-the-history-of-video-games-book-review

    Don’t buy the bundle just for that book, though: the Kindle version is $5 on Amazon and you have to reach the $10 tier in the bundle to get it (it’s a “bonus” book).

  21. psepho says:

    Rise of the Videogame Zinesters is absolutely brilliant — that story bundle is worth it for that book alone.

    • The Random One says:

      I have the dead tree version of that book and it you are absolutely correct. Anyone who has any interest in gaming culture needs to read that book, even if only to disagree vehemently.

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