The RPS Bargain Bucket: Arachnophobia

By Cassandra Khaw on August 16th, 2014 at 12:30 pm.

Guys, I have a confession. I spent so much of last week being excited about creating silly YouTube videos (which you can watch here, if you missed it the first time) that I completely forgot to tell you this: someone is making a Horace plushie. Not because we asked her to. Not because it was sanctioned by the editorial overlords. But, because that person is absurdly awesome. I’m absolutely thrilled, and you should be too. However, in the spirit of rambling introductions, I’m going to let you wonder among yourselves who this mysterious person might be while I arrange this week’s deals in the Bargain Bucket. (This week’s adorable plushie comes from MadKatrina.)

The Night of the Rabbit
$8.49/£6.10/€7.61
My memories of The Night of the Rabbit was hazy and golden, like a summer holiday now long forgotten. I can’t quite remember exactly what I felt and thought about it. Possibly because it’s a Daedalic Entertainment game and all of their titles are gorgeous, unusual, and just a bit off. Still, nostalgic rambling aside, The Night of the Rabbit is definitely a more-than-adequate little adventure game which will, as an added bonus, likely charm with its abundance of anthropomorphic critters. (Actually, have a Wot I Think.)

The Witcher 1 and 2
The Witcher 1 ($1.99/£1.19/€1.49) / The Witcher 2 ($3.99/£2.39/€2.98)
The Witcher, in case you somehow missed the memo on this sometimes-controversial franchise, is a fantasy for adults. And not always in that NC-17 way, either way. Where most epic fantasy seems focused on grand quests and analogies for religious ideas, the Witcher is gritty, awful, and filled with people who make sense for setting. Every third person you meet is a bit of a jerk and also in need of a bath. However, that’s also what sells the series. It isn’t afraid to get dirty, which makes the environment entirely more believable compared to some of the more high-minded ideas floating around the industry. But, what I am telling you that for? You probably know more about it than me already. (Seriously, they’re awesome albeit flawed games. Go grab them, if you don’t own them already.)

Valdis Story: Abyssal City
$4.99/£2.99/€3.72
I love Valdis Story. I really do. What it lacks in the jaw-dropping fluidity that defines other action-platformers, it makes up for it in sheer beauty. The characters, the environments, the intricate detailing, the sometimes-spectacular visual animation? All very, very pretty. The game also features a decent amount of replayability, as it ships with the option to unlock characters and investigate different nuances of the story. Much heart. Buy it please. (P.S: An appreciation for cartoony, manga-style artwork is necessary.)

Sanctum 2
$2.24/£1.64/€2.24
Believe it or not, the lads who produced Goat Simulator are actually more than a one-trick ungulate. Long before they shocked the Internet with the oddball sense of humor, Coffee Stain Studios worked on the Sanctum franchise, which we’ve famously compared to a penis. Why? Because it’s better when it’s harder or some such. Genitalia jokes aside, Sanctum 2 is a tower-defense-slash-first-person-shooter-game that builds on the ideas delivered by the original. If you enjoyed the first, you’ll probably delight in Sanctum 2. And even if you didn’t? It’s 85%. What’s the worst that could happen? (Asides from the game transforming into an entry into the free-to-play market, thereafter rendering your purchase completely moot and and and – )

Also of note
A New Beginning: Final Cut – $1.49/£1.07/€1.34
An ecologically-minded adventure pitched as a “cinematic adventure-thriller?” Sure. Why not? Those who might have been curious about the game but were put off by the reviews might want to take advantage of this opportunity right here.

Awesomenauts – $1.99/£1.39/€1.99
Awesomenauts is, hands down, my favorite DotA derivative. The over-the-top sense of humor and zany character designs mix perfectly with the arcade-y feel of this fast-paced, 2D — man, I sound like a press release. But, sometimes, just sometimes, buzz words are the only way to express your love.

Sniper Elite III - $33.37/£19.99/€24.91
I don’t know anything about this game, except that it most likely involves long-range shooting and gruff men in military outfits. However, I also caught a few people being inordinately excited about it so I passing on knowledge about its existence to you. Enjoy.

The Humble Boom Bundle - Pay $15.00/£8.99/€11.20 for everything
Boom. Cool comics.

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84 Comments »

  1. phelix says:

    Also worth noting is the Total War sale on the Humble store this weekend, with up to 80% off for the older titles and 60% off for Rome II.

    • Andimar says:

      I’m on the fence of buying Rome II. So I’m wondering about something: has the game been seen at any lower prices than this lately?
      If not, I’ll probably buy it there.
      So thanks for the tip anyway.
      (gosh, this is my first post and my email avatar is ugly! I’m disappointed. :( )

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          RedViv says:

          Note: The UK is the ONLY country to get it this low because the full price dropped to 30 quid. For everybody else, this is the best (a whopping 67 instead of 66 percent off!!!1) deal yet.

        • jonahcutter says:

          I second this.

          The first Europa Barbarorum (for Rome Total War 1) is a masterpiece of mod-making. They place a supreme emphasis on historical accuracy. So you get actual “nations” that existed at the time, as well as legit names, units, weapons, armor, etc. There are pages upon pages of flavor text to enjoy. They even recorded audio snippets in the languages of the time. It’s quite an amazing piece of work and worth getting a copy of RTW 1 to experience.

          EB 2 is due out this month and will be the first public beta release. So obviously it will be incomplete and there will be bugs. I’m guessing it will be pretty great still, and only get more so as time goes on. It’s a great time to pick up Medieval 2 Total War and the Kingdoms xpac (both are needed for the mod) at a discount.

    • TehK says:

      Anyone got some info about if this game has improved with patches since its release?

      Never played a Total War Game. I thought I’d try Rome 2 but when it came out, there seemed to be a lot of technical issues with it.

      • Capt. Raven says:

        The game has become A LOT better with recent patches and the devs are actively working on further patches.
        The game is defnitely alright and if you enjoy this particular historical era, you’ll have your fun with it. That said, the game is far from perfect, the AI has become better at what its doing, but it will still occasionally run in circles, dance around in front of your archers or do nothing at all.
        If you’re not too specifically interested in the roman setting, I’d say get Shogun 2, which is arguably one of the best Total War games. Rome 2 is good, Shogun 2 is better, spoken strictly from a gameplay point of view.

  2. unit 3000-21 says:

    Wait, isn’t Horace like infinite or something? Is this person being punished? Like Sisyphus?

  3. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Aaaaages ago I remember having a conversation (read: I may have begged a bit) with RPSers about making a Horace plushie, after badgering everyone from John to Alec to Alice to Graham to The God of Sadly Ignored Internet Commenters for a production Horace. MadKatrina happily suggested she may put us out of our misery, so if I had to guess I would say RPS’ foremost knitting aficionado is man/woman-ing the needles once again to bring us a Horace-a-like :) Maybe we can have a plushie-acted announcement trailer next week?

    I may have just shouted the word ‘squee’. I don’t know, sometimes its involuntary.

  4. LionsPhil says:

    If you enjoyed the first, you’ll probably delight in Sanctum 2.

    Personally, I liked the first and do not like the second.

    Beware that grind. By Steam’s notoriously inaccurate count, I’m 25 hours sunk into it, have completed all but that bastard last level, and done a fair bit of replaying the others. I’m level 22 out of 40. Much of the DLC content from the season pass is locked out, and honestly looks like it forever will be to me. I’d probably be livid were it not a gift from the friends I play it with (some of which are only levels in the tens, and thus get even fewer options)—you may just be buying padlocks if you spend on this.

    • Premium User Badge

      Morph says:

      Agreed. Played Sanctum 1 a fair amount, co-op and solo and was a great game. Sanctum 2… solo was practically impossible after a while and all the various changes seemed to detract from the fun of the original. Even in co-op we gave up after only a short while.

      • AlexW says:

        As always, your mileage may vary with Sanctum 2. I know I and a couple of friends have spent 80+ hours on it each, playing every level in just about every conceivable combination except for all the feats of strength (which is really really hard guys, and you don’t need it merciless for it to be fun). If you enjoy ridiculous, fun weapons in a sci-fi setting and a nice combination of strategic tower placement with FPS mechanics, all with such a wide variety that you’re pretty much bound to find a playstyle you enjoy, it’s definitely worth that pittance. The DLC is also pretty great, with everything from infuriating zombie hordes to orbital strikes powerful enough to vaporise a boss, plus it maintains a really great level of art and interesting story-things going on in the background. The DLC final level is nowhere near as good as the main game’s final level, though.

        It’s really clear when you’re playing it that it was made by developers that care, so yeah, plunk down on it. There’s good odds you’ll enjoy it for much longer than you’ll enjoy Goat Sim.

  5. Premium User Badge

    RedViv says:

    I recommend Valdis Story as well for its delightful Dark-Souls-ness. It’s one tough ‘vania.

    • dE says:

      Fair warning for anyone that has played Dark Souls and had their interest piqued because of this comparison: Valdis Story is in no shape, way or form similar to Dark Souls. RedViv probably made the comparison because of the difficulty, the one part of Dark Souls everyone seems to latch on when looking at it from the outside.

      Here however, I’d say it’s closer to Super Meat Boy. Those timed sections require pitch perfect platforming to pull off. Similarly, it’s very reflex oriented gameplay. Thus physical dexterity is more important than mental brainpower/preperation in Valdis Story. Complete opposite of Dark Souls.

      It still might entertain you, but don’t expect anything like Dark Souls from it.

      • Premium User Badge

        RedViv says:

        I find it Souls-y due to exactly that reflex- and tactics-oriented approach to platforming as well as combat. Granted, it is not heavy on the restep-with-better-knowledge part that seems important about Souls to many.
        BUT the game has a demo available, so people can see for themselves.

        • dE says:

          Oddly enough Dark Souls isn’t even remotely about Reflexes though. And no, restep with better experience isn’t the point of Dark Souls either. I don’t mean this as an offense, simply out of genuine curiosity: Have you played the game or do you base your statements on what you think it’s actually about? Because the game suffers from a massive case of mis-advertisements and people sorely missing the point of it.

          The lure of Dark Souls lies in the Worldbuilding and the Lore, in the storytelling through environment and the atmosphere, in exploration that is rewarded with unique items, enemies and sights and a fitting soundtrack that is used sparsely but to great effect, in offering an experience that isn’t focused on the player seeing it all. The non reflex based difficulty of the game is the smallest part of it. An integral part, but simply one of many gears in the machine that make the game tick.

          So it’s a bit of a pet peeve of mine when people say something is like Dark Souls when it really bloody isn’t and they really mean it’s just a difficult game.

          • DarkSaber2k says:

            This just reads like you are taking why you personally like it and are trying to say therefore that is why ALL the fans like it.

          • dE says:

            /edit: Oh well fuck it, you got me with your bait. Congratulations.

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            SuddenSight says:

            Cool your jets, dE, no one is trying to troll you here.

            I understand the frustration when terms are overused. My personal least favorite term is “Metroidvania” (my argument: exploring + power ups is not unique to metroid, nor is it the most significant feature of metroid; we should find a better term for that gameplay style).

            However, even though you are completely correct that Dark Souls is an over-used comparison, that doesn’t give you sole understanding of what makes Dark Souls unique. The Dark Souls approach to difficulty is quite famous. What different people mean *by* difficulty is also difficult to quantify.

            Is Dark Souls a worth while comparison here? I have no idea (I haven’t played dark souls). I will say that Valdis Story has some lovely world building, and an enjoyable difficulty curve (even though, as I mentioned, some of the boss fights can be a little long – but that might just be because I am a newb).

            Please express your opinion on why DS and VS are or are not comparable – that is useful information for all who read this. But try to leave a little room for disagreement – we are all humans, after all, and no one likes agreeing with anyone else.

          • dE says:

            No need for me to cool down, given past posts from DarkSaber2k here and elsewhere, I’m simply done dealing with that person. Also I’m not dealing in absolutes other where applicable.

            Dark Souls not requiring fast reflexes and not requiring learning through repetition are objective facts. I’ve got a nerve injury that makes for extremely slow reflexes and I beat the game. Some of the bosses first try. The game does NOT require good reflexes and is NOT reliant on twitch reflexes, not even in PVP. Valdis Story on the other hand is incredibly fast and requires high dexterity to pull off. Especially with the timed platforming sections. Similarly, environmental traps in DS are all telegraphed and require no memorization either. This has no counterpart in Valdis Story but was brought up as seemingly being part of DS, the learning through repetition part.

          • Philomelle says:

            @SuddenInsight:
            No, it’s not even remotely a worthwhile comparison.

            Valdis Story is Devil May Cry in 2D. It’s been described by developers as Devil May Cry in 2D before and functions exactly like it, though without mission-based progression. Vicious combat, character progression focused on tailoring your stats to your particular gameplay rather than growing stronger, puzzle-based exploration that is rewarding but not very necessary, grumpy but charming protagonist, gothic aesthetic, story concerned with war between demons and angels, very flashy graphics. It’s a love letter to Hideki Kamiya’s work to the highest degree.

            If you enjoyed Devil May Cry and Bayonetta, you are 100% guaranteed to enjoy Valdis Story unless you are for some reason allergic to 2D games. You are, however, not guaranteed to enjoy it if you enjoyed Dark Souls because their gameplay flow is nothing alike.

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            SuddenSight says:

            I feel like I’m in highschool. “The Great Gatsby is about the futility of American opulence! Interpreting the text as an anti-adultery fable is just wrong!”

            Thanks for the DMC reference. I may try it now, given my enjoyment of Valdis Story.

          • Baines says:

            I enjoy Devil May Cry and Bayonetta, and enjoy 2D games, but found Valdis Story disappointing and kind of annoying.

            Of course that is just because people’s opinions can vary even inside accepted comparisons.

          • SavageTech says:

            I’ve got a nerve injury that makes for extremely slow reflexes and I beat the game. Some of the bosses first try. The game does NOT require good reflexes and is NOT reliant on twitch reflexes, not even in PVP. . . . The lure of Dark Souls lies in the Worldbuilding and the Lore, in the storytelling through environment and the atmosphere . . . .

            What’s great about Dark Souls is that it doesn’t require good reflexes but it does reward them. If you’ve got reflexes like a ferret on cocaine then you can get away with a lot of crazy builds because you don’t really need a strong shield/armor. If you’re not crazy fast then you can still get by just fine by using whatever combination of defensive items/stats/moves that works for you. And, no matter what you build, if you’re having trouble with an area you can always just grind souls until that area becomes a joke.

            While I’ve always appreciated the understated beauty of From Software’s lore in the King’s Field/Dark Souls series, you’ve gotta understand that the gameplay is the main draw for some people. The mark of a great series is that it’s got so much good stuff that people can like it for completely different reasons, and I think that’s the case with you and RedViv. I’m certainly far more entranced by the gameplay than the lore (exquisite as it is) but that doesn’t mean Dark Souls can’t be mostly about the exploration and lore for you.

            For what it’s worth, I’ve found it best to avoid telling people that they are wrong for enjoying a piece of media in a particular way. It’s not an argument that you can win and it doesn’t help them to see why you enjoy it the way that you do. You can still disagree and offer your view without insulting them, and I think you’ll find that’s more productive than shutting them down. Cheers :)

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      Anthile says:

      I think I will mostly remember Valdis Story for its diabolical poison mechanic. Otherwise it’s a decent game though.

    • Premium User Badge

      SuddenSight says:

      I too enjoyed Valdis Story. A nice cross of action-game, metroidvania style gameplay, with enough RPG elements to be fun but not force me to spend ages reading about the effects of every skill and perk.

      The later boss battles are straight up exhausting, though.

    • Quiffle says:

      I backed Valdis Story through Kickstarter mostly as an afterthought – I wanted to support the developers, as they were from around the same neighborhood as I, and I found their designs and sketches to be a bit refreshing, which was a bit odd, since I’m typically not a fan of the style. What came out of it really impressed me for such a small dev. They handily took the greatest things from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Why the hell was Dark Souls ever mentioned over this is anyone’s guess) and improved upon it by offering a semblance of difficulty (something entirely missing from SOTN), a load of style, and just enough customization and loot tweaking to make multiple playthroughs worth it.

      The controls can be a little bit janky, and I highly recommend finding a decent controller to play the game. I really enjoyed the boss battles since it can reward both patience from playing the fight from within its patterns to going all out experimenting in attempts to achieve that S class rank on the fight.

      tl;dr: Fuck yeah it’s worth $5

    • Geebs says:

      Having looked at the character portraits in Valdis story – does the plot adequately document the time when the wind changed?

  6. RARARA says:

    The Pasta Don video was weird.

    I like it.

  7. Commander Gun says:

    Awesomenauts is great. It might be a bit of a learning curve at start, but it is a very good platform take on the moba genre. If you don;t have it yet, get it!

  8. Muzman says:

    That thing is friggin’ horrific.
    Being large and arachnoid is bad enough, but the powder pink stitches take on a sort of knotty, sinewy flesh finish making it some Giger-esque nightmare of a thing.

  9. Boult Upright says:

    Is there a better opening cinematic in gaming than Assassins of Kings? It perhaps alone is worth 3.99 greenbacks….

    • DarkSaber2k says:

      Not to mention all the permutations the game can end on, I’ve set up several different files to transfer over to Witcher 3, all of which promise to affect the game substantially more than merely giving you a vague “war asset” worth “some points” *cough*Mass Effect 2/3*cough*

  10. Premium User Badge

    Melody says:

    The Humble store also has Papo & Yo and Richard & Alice heavily discounted. I’ve only heard good things about them, especially the latter, so if you like good narratives and the “feels” in your games, you shouldn’t miss them! I bought them myself =)

  11. sinister agent says:

    Awesomenauts might have a cringeworthy name, but it’s pretty great. The only DOTA-alike that I’ve ever enjoyed playing, to the point where I didn’t even realise it was one until I’d been playing it for a couple of hours.

  12. Risingson says:

    I should remind the love to groupees: the remute2 bundle, https://groupees.com/remute2 , has now “Life of Pixel” which is a piece of pure love to the old gaming machines. Really worth of it.

  13. Premium User Badge

    J. Cosmo Cohen says:

    Tropico 4 Special Edition is a price error on Steam at the moment for .39 USD. If you hurry, it’s probably still there.

    • Vinraith says:

      Thanks for that. It’s probably worth noting that it’s specifically the Tropico 4 complete bundle that has the pricing error.

    • therighttoarmbears says:

      Wow, you’re right! Thanks for the tip! Always been interested on the series, and a $0.39 entry point is precisely enough to force my hand. Will I like it? I don’t know, but it was $0.39 so I could spend 20 mimutes figuring it out and never come back if I don’t care!

  14. Vinraith says:

    For those interested, the Kalypso sale include a steep 80% discount on the outstanding Hegemony: Rome.

  15. ikehaiku says:

    Boom! Comics!
    That, if shredded, make confetti!

    Boom! Confetti!

  16. squareking says:

    Oh my god.

    I want that plushie so badly.

  17. Premium User Badge

    Jackablade says:

    Is it possible to buy one of those plush spiders? Living in the city here in Australia, we just don’t get the big fuzzy huntsman spiders that we used to out in the country. I kind of miss them.

    • jonahcutter says:

      One needn’t miss spiders. Just take a moment to breathe and calm your nerves a bit. It steadies your aim.

    • MadKatrina says:

      The Spider pattern is from a book called Amigurumi Knits by Hansi Singh (who is amazing). Unfortunatly the designer states that selling items from her designs is prohibited.

      Therefore anyone who would like an eight-legged fluffy friend I recommend you learn to knit, or track down a friend who can.

      Thanks for using my plushie :)

      P.s. For some unknown reason I call her Persephone, it just seems to fit!

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        Very snuggable, in a terrifying way :)

      • pepperfez says:

        I learned to knit from that book, so adorabizarre plushy creation is within anyone’s reach.
        (Persephone is both very cute and very nice knitting)

      • Premium User Badge

        J. Cosmo Cohen says:

        Love the plushie and the name is perfect.

        What if someone gave you money for materials and shipping costs, plus for your time…would that count as selling it? ;-)

    • eotheod says:

      As someone who is looking for a new knitting project and would be willing to give away a spider knit from that same pattern, we should find a way to exchange info. (Note: I’ve never knit this particular pattern, so it might not be perfect)

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