RPS Bargain Bucket: Gratuitously Saintly

Can you feel the winds of change? With the new look RPS comes a slight change to the Bargain Bucket. Now these words (the ones you are reading right now) are written by me (Lewie), whereas in the past one of the awesome foursome would be responsible for them. The deals will still be the same, but now I get to write more words for you. Identity crisis shenanigans aside, here are some good prices for electronic games of chance for your digital typewriters. Head to my site SavyGamer if you want more of this sort of thing.

Unreal Tournament: Game of the Year – £0.99/€1.99/$1.99
Unreal Deal Pack – £9.20/€16/$16
Unreal Tournament 3 – £5.60/€8/$8
Hands up who has bought Unreal Tournament 3 in a past sale, and still not played it? *Raises hand*. I think the reason I can’t quite bring myself to put any decent time into it is because it feels like it is basically a prettied up version of the previous games, except I don’t have any nostalgia for it. Plus I am too old now to play online shooty games. If nothing else though, UT3 is a good platform for all those sexy mods. For the minuscule price they are charging, I am going to buy UT99 simply because I have no idea where my disc is, I’ll see you on Facing Worlds, preferably in my sights. Unreal Tournament 3 is free to play this weekend, too. RPS coverage here.

Saints Row 2 – £5/$5
I picked this one out of the Direct2Drive offers specifically because it is one of those games that you can add the serial number directly to your Steam account, which I know you lot like. It’s an open world action game with it’s tongue firmly in it’s cheek. I’ve not installed it yet, and I think I am going to leave it til I get a new GFX card, because I hear it is quite system intensive. I have also heard varying reports about how bad the port is. Varying from “It’s not that bad” to “It is dreadful”. We’ll see I guess. Top tip: UK folk wanting to get this for £3 instead of £5, or indeed Euro folk want to get it at all, find a sympathetic yank to buy it for you, then get them to give you the serial number, which is region free as far as Steam is concerned. Although you will need it to be someone who doesn’t want to buy it for themselves, since D2D won’t let you buy a game twice on one account. Wot John thinks here.

Gratuitous Space Battles – £12.25/€13.56/$19.95
“Strategy + Spaceships + Explosions” says the Positech website, and that sounds like a delicious combination to me. This represents a saving of around 20% from buying it from the man himself, but this still gets you access to the rapidly moving beta. You can follow the development here, and more importantly, find out why Sisko is the man here. I’m holding off on this one for a while, Cliffski seems to be working very hard to improve the game based on how the beta is going, and if it pays off, the end result could be something very special. RPS coverage here.

Jedi Knight Collection – £14.99/€18.99/$19.99
I have an odd relationship with Lucasarts, I can’t decide if they are more like a good cop/bad cop routine, or an abusive spouse who never forgets my birthday. At least when they finally let us buy their excellent old games again, they charge us reasonable prices. These are the (mostly) first person games that largely follow the story of Kyle Katarn, Jedi and all round badass. These games were often slightly behind the curve technology wise, but you get to hurt a lot of storm troopers. It’s a mess of subtitles and colons, but this pack goes a long way to providing an interesting anthology of a series from a bye gone era. I dare you to try the demo of “Republic Heroes” on the 360 by the way, see if you can make it through the whole thing without vomiting.

Deal of the week
The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition – £3.49/€4.49/$4.99
Please don’t hurt me. I go this when it first came out (the Special Edition that is), and, well, I didn’t really like it. I can accept the dated puzzle mechanics, and the back tracking, it is after all a point and click adventure, I knew what I was getting myself into. But the real let down for me was that I just didn’t find it particularly funny. Maybe I’m broken, or maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind playing it, who knows. I will say this, it is a lovingly crafted “Special Edition”, and mapping the “switch to original graphics/sound” to a keyboard button was a stroke of genius. The iPhone version is on special offer too, and they are giving away episode 1 of the new telltale “Tales of Monkey Island” series for free for today (Saturday) only, direct your browser hither for details. RPS coverage here.

Also of note:
D2D 5 currency sale – UK/USA, notable games are Bioshock, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, and (USA only) The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena.
GOG Strategy Games promo
New LucasArts Adventure Pack. Games that were available previously, but are now bundled at a discount. This is a permanent offer it would seem.
Tropico 3 Preorder – 10% off
Scavenger – 50% off
Droplitz – 50% off
Aztaka – 50% off (tried to play the demo of this, but it corrupted both times I downloaded it, grumble grumble).

Also Also of note, I have compiled a list of all the games that could feasibly be in the D2D sale over the next three weeks. If you have any plans to buy anything listed here, maybe hold off to see if it is available for just five shiny coins in the near future.

If that lot’s not enough for you, do check out SavyGamer.co.uk for constantly-updated bargains across all formats.


  1. Psychopomp says:

    There’s one problem with Jedi Knight on steam.

    JK, MotS, and JKII have none of the in-game background music. Lucasarts didn’t go through the trouble of putting it in the files, and fixing the code to point at that rather than the CD.

    Fucking lazy.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Also, if you have a 64-bit system, don’t expect it to run.

      Lucasarts might as well just thrown the files a CD installed on the steam servers, with a modified executa-

      Wait, that’s exactly what they did. No effort at all to make this run decently on modern system, ect. ect.

  2. Vandelay says:

    It looks as if the Jedi Knight (as well as Mysterious of the Sith due to being on the same engine) re-release has been screwed up on many fronts. If the Steam forums are to be believed (which, to be honest, usually is a bit of a hive of scum and villainy) then there is no music, menus and cutscenes are only being shown in a window, 3D acceleration doesn’t work for a lot of people (think it has something to do with ATI cards), mulitplayer doesn’t really work because no replacement for MSN Gaming Zone has been implemented, and just generally a very buggy mess. Basically, no effort seems to have been made to make sure the game will run probably on modern systems through a digital download.

  3. Gurrah says:

    Bought the gratuitous space battles via Impulse. Sorry cliffski, but money is tight and the offer couldn’t be neglected. I usually buy indies directly when it’s offered by the dveloper. I hope you still get a good portion of that money.

    • Elyscape says:

      In my understanding, the developer gets 70% of the list price when something is bought on Impulse, even if it goes on sale. Yay Stardock.

  4. Stu says:

    *slowly raises hand*

  5. Smurfy says:

    The old “five minutes in MS Paint” logo for Bargain Bucket looks really out-of-place amongst the new, professional-looking RPS.

    • Persus-9 says:

      Well it is the bargain bucket, I think it’s very appropriate that it should have an incredibly cheap looking logo.

    • Jazmeister says:

      Agreed. It should be a pandimensional space bucket, and the deals should be high density data-crystals.

    • Arathain says:

      Leave Hobo Tycoon and Car Wot Goes Fast alone. I likes them. Grandma Shooter II is nowhere near as good as the first one, though.

  6. Tony says:

    Actually, that was something that surprised me – a lack of some of the more classic maps in UT3.

    I’m (fairly) sure there wasn’t a Facing Worlds III in there, and to be honest I don’t think there was one in 2004 either. Given the map’s popularity (or at least, it’s status as everyone knowing what it was – I mean, you might not remember the layout of Coret or November, but Facing Worlds was just idyllic) you would have thought there’d be something…

    And I was surprised to see Dark Forces and co. on Steam. They did NOT age well…

    • Kelron says:

      UT2004 has a version of Facing Worlds (egyptian themed). I’m pretty sure I’ve played it in UT3 too, whether it’s the same as the original map I can’t remember. UT3 does lack a few of my favourite deathmatch maps (mainly the ones from the original UT demo).

    • Droniac says:

      Hehe, maybe you ought to play UT GOTY again. Unreal Tournament 3 featured no less than six classic remakes, including a map based on CTF Facing Worlds! :o

      DM-Deck, DM-Turbine and CTF-Coret even carried the same named. CTF-Hydrosis was a dead ringer for CTF-Hydro16. And DM-Deimos was clearly a reinvisioned DM-Phobos. And then there was CTF-OmicronDawn, or CTF-Facing Worlds with bigger bases and a smaller mid section.

      And UT2004 actually carried two (or three) CTF Facing Worlds remakes. None of them any good. There was also a DM-Deck remake, but none of the other (outstanding) UT GOTY maps were featured in the UT2k* series. A pity, because all of the new maps, except for DM-Rankin and CTF-Orbital 2, sucked. No wonder everyone played Q3 remakes in UT2004.

    • Tony says:

      To be honest, that’s more of my testament of UT3 being less memorable, but whatever.

  7. Droniac says:

    Gratuitous Space Battles – sweet! But I already bought it before the Impulse weekend deal, from the Positech site :p

    It sucks to hear about the issues with Jedi Knight I & MotS, seeing as those are the only games of the collection I bought on Steam (already own all the others). It would be great if they could patch in the background music again, but I hear they ‘lost the source code’. Yay.

    Oh and saying UT3 is a touched up version of the previous games in the series is like saying Neverwinter Nights 2 is a prettier version of NWN 1, or Dawn of War 2 is a better looking edition of Dawn of War 1. Sure, it’s true on a very basic level… (they’re all arena shooters/rpgs/strategy games) but on every other level (you know, the actual gameplay) it is oh so very wrong.

    Anyway, UT3 is definitely a better game than those dismal UT2K* games… but GOTY is far and away the best purchase – and, amazingly, the most popular game – of the three. Can’t go wrong with that price for the Unreal Deal Pack either if you don’t own any of the Unreal games yet…

  8. Markoff Chaney says:

    It’s a bargain bin logo. It was gotten on the cheap.

    • Markoff Chaney says:

      Gah. I failed at my first attempt to reply. Let’s see if this fares better.

    • Blather Blob says:

      The replying seems to fail if you don’t have your name/email/website already set. If those boxes are blank, clicking on reply reloads the page but without the “Click here to cancel reply” link visible above the comment box. Once you’ve left a (non-reply) comment and a cookie with your details is saved, replying works just fine.

  9. Katsumoto says:

    I’ve been playing Dark Forces through (via my original cd!) recently, and it’s still utterly brilliant. But yes, for me one of the most overriding bits of awesome in these old Star Wars games are the soundtracks and it’s pretty awful that LucasArts didn’t even bother to find a way of getting the cd music into the re-releases. I think Quake/Quake 2 on Steam have similar problems. Very lazy.

  10. Paul Moloney says:

    Saints Row 2 is dreadful, even at a fiver. Bought it at €20 and played about 15 mins of it. Just go buy GTA4 instead, it does everything far better.


    • Heliocentric says:

      Tom Chick i will accept has non-standard tastes but he rated Saints Row 2 highly, and you admit to only playing it for 15 minutes.

      Just what did you experience to make you stop?

      Apparently there is a fan made patch which massively reduces the performance issues.

    • Dominic White says:

      While I did enjoy Saints Row 2 for its absurd sense of humor and the wide range of things to do (usually at the citys expense), I did find GTA4 to be a better game – it did two things significantly better, in my opinion, which were driving and shooting. If you’re going to be spending most of your time driving around and shooting people, those are important things to get right.

    • Paul Moloney says:

      “I did find GTA4 to be a better game – it did two things significantly better, in my opinion, which were driving and shooting. If you’re going to be spending most of your time driving around and shooting people, those are important things to get right.”

      Absolutely. Sorry, but the “cars” in it were laughable, steering them felt like trying to move a tricky blob of butter around a hot frying pan. It looks rubbish, and NPCs stood around stock still like something from a 10 year old game. Nothing to do with performance issues – in fact, I think it ran better than GTAIV for me. GTAIV was just far more satisfying on every level – and I would have been someone who criticised the wonky feeling of driving and shooting the GTA III era.


    • Clovis says:

      Do you mean quest-giving NPCs?? Because one of the first things I saw in the game was two pimps beating the crap out of a whore, one of which was using a fire hydrant!.

    • M_the_C says:

      I bought it a few days ago, I’ve only had a quick go so far but I don’t think it’s that bad.

      If you play it expecting a high quality game you’re out of luck, but so far I’ve found it is one of those games where if you don’t go in expecting anything more than a quick mess around (i.e. don’t expect GTA IV), you can still have a lot of fun.

  11. postmanX3 says:

    Didn’t like Monkey Island?! HEATHEN!

    Anyways, the Unreal Deal pack is probably worth picking up just for the amazing mods available for UT3 and UT2004. I actually just bought it myself, albeit in disc form.

    And seriously, you’d be doing yourself a serious disservice by not buying Monkey Island.

  12. LewieP says:

    Update on the free episode of Tales on Monkey Island.

    Apparently, if you have already bought episode 1, you can instead get any Telltale game for free instead. How nice of them.

    • Man Raised By Puffins says:

      Ooh, that is nice. Shame I’m not interested in any of their other episodes. I already own Strong Bad, Sam & Max leaves me cold and the Peter Sallis impersonation in Wallace & Gromit resides so far within the dark, clammy recesses of the uncanny valley that I can’t play the bally thing for more than five seconds without being taken by an overwhelming urge to hack my ears off and BURN IT WITH FIRE.

  13. Metal_circus says:

    “NPCs stood around stock still like something from a 10 year old game. ”

    Wrong wrong wrong. If you’d played it for more than 15 mins you’d have not said that. Be a bit more open minded, fella. It might not be up to GTA4’s standards but does it need to be? SR2 is great fun.

  14. Heliocentric says:

    After rereading Walkers W.I.T I feel confident that SR2 (WHICH UNDER ANY OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES WOULD MEAN SPACE RANGERS 2) is a title i want, but do I want a want 2 copies so I can play coop through the campaign with the missus or would it be too childish and make her tut at me.

    I must avoid scorn!

  15. Flappybat says:

    Has anyone found a way to get The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena for the $5 if you aren’t in the US?

    • LewieP says:

      I’ve thought and thought and thought, but not been able to come up with a solution.

    • Heliocentric says:

      US proxy, entropay and a false address, ask someone on your friends list you trust to borrow theirs.

      Not doing it myself, wouldn’t use a credit card over a proxy.

  16. MrWolf710 says:

    Sounds like there are still some remnants of the old shitty LucasArts in charge – the guys that churned out shitty games for the last few years instead of quality products like the early LucasArts. Whoever is pushing for new Monkey Islands and the re-releasing of old stuff on Steam hasn’t explained to the ones in charge how important it is that all the products be done correctly. Either take the time to make sure the stuff runs like it should or don’t release it at all.

  17. PC Monster says:

    I’ve bought Dark Forces from Steam. The game’s every bit as wonderful as I remember but reading the comments here I’m glad I have the original Jedi Knight/MoTS and Jedi Outcast sitting on my shelf: I’d have been well annoyed if I’d bought the digital copies only to find they didn’t contain the CD music!

  18. DeepSleeper says:

    Important note on those who enjoy SR2 and are using Windows 7: The game runs at about 1.5x speed for some reason.

    This is quite irritating.

  19. Will Tomas says:

    As regards Jedi Knight – is there any way of getting the CD music from somewhere else and then adding it into the Steam version of the game?

    • Psychopomp says:


      You might be able to mount a pirated ISO while running the steam version, now that I think about it. *Maybe*

  20. Clovis says:

    @Lewie: SR2 is a bad port, but at least the version I downloaded from Steam (with D2D key) is not a terrible port. You have to use the keyboard to navigate menus. The tutorial popups are all in keyboard/mouse even if you use a 360 gamepad. If you invert the Y axis it inverts the gamepad AND the mouse, which is really annoying.

    The game seems to be running very smoothly for me, and my system is a few years old. I have a 2.3Ghz dual core Intel processor, 2gb memory, and 8800 GT. I’m playing at “High” settings 4x AA at 1440×900 and everything is smooth. I did turn off HDR because it just makes everything glow and looks awful. The game does look like crap compared to GTAIV, but so far it is fun. You can rip parking meters out of the ground and smash people with them!

  21. Stabby says:

    To celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day, Telltale is GIVING AWAY the first episode of Monkey Island, for free. The FULL game. No strings attached. Just make a username and password, and you can download the game.

    link to telltalegames.com


    • Stabby says:

      I see that it’s already been mentioned in this thread, however it’s so awesome it probably deserves to be mentioned again anyways.

    • Vinraith says:

      That one actually got its own front page post as well, but it doesn’t hurt to bring it to as many folks’ attention as possible.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Requested & tried putting the serial number they e-mail you into Steam.
      No dice unfortunately but at least the e-mail has the download link for the game on it (188 MB).

      I’m a self-confessed Steam whore & I know it.

    • AlexW says:

      Malibu, you can always make non-Steam games accessible through Steam with the “Add a non-Steam game” dialogue. It means the game’s still accessible outside of Steam (handy for offline sessions and hte like), but you can enter within Steam for hours clocked in the Community and the In-Game overlay still tends to work quite well. Win-win (as long as you don’t mind doing the necessary back-ups or whatever).

    • JuJuCam says:

      Anyone else having trouble downloading this? It stops after 10 meg :(

  22. Nero says:

    Might finally pick up UT3, just to have it. And Dark Forces will also be mine, I remember so clearly when and where I bought it the first time and was blown away by it.

  23. Stense says:

    How disappointing, I was thinking of getting Jedi Knight and Mysteries of the Sith (I can’t find my CD of the former, having not played it in this century, and never had the latter). After reading about the problems with it, I’m thinking I won’t bother now. Perhaps Lucasarts will be nice enough to do something about the issues raised.

  24. cliffski says:

    Actually Gratuitous Space Battles is exactly the same price direct from me as it is from impulse…

    • Vinraith says:

      And if you buy it from Cliff:

      1) he (the developer) gets more money for his outstanding efforts and
      2) you don’t get saddled with the impulse client to update and install/uninstall the game.

      It’s win-win.

    • CMaster says:

      Impulse tells me they will charge me £12.25 for GSB.
      Your site tells me it wants £15.17
      Those don’t seem the same to me – even if the impulse price was actually + VAT (which I don’t believe they do – didn’t with Demigod), their starter price of £12.25 is still lower than your £13.19.
      This is being advertised at a discount mind, may only be a temporary sale.

    • Vinraith says:

      The US prices are identical.

    • LewieP says:

      Yeah, I seem to have been mistaken. Impulse appeared cheaper, but that’s simply because they don’t include VAT in the stated price, they add it later on in the checkout procedure.

      It should work out the same whoever you buy it from. The crossed out price that Impulse quote appears to just be the price that the game will be when it gets it’s release proper like, and the price they state is just a pre release discount (the same on Cliffski offers direct).

      Double check the various places selling it if you want to be certain you are getting the best price, but it should only be a difference of pennies, if anything.

    • Gurrah says:

      Not true, BMT-Micro adds VAT whereas Impulse never added VAT and I bought a couple of games from them.

  25. Daniel Johnston says:

    As an aside, the new ads that are meant to appear in the background are totally screwed. It looks like it’s meant to be Resident Evil, but both sides are pushed out by a couple of hundred pixels, which also has the exciting effect of making the page one and a half screens wide. Anyone else hitting this problem? FF3.5 w/ Adblock on 1280×1024, for reference.

  26. DrazharLn says:

    My screen isn’t painfully stretched or anything like that, however I see no RE ad at all
    Running Firefox 3.5, no adblock.

    I see 2 majesty adverts and a bunch of section 8 ones, that’s it.

  27. Kowalski says:

    Yeah, front page is borked for me.

    Everything pushed over towards the right….

  28. Miker says:

    Can anyone vouch if the D2D version of STALKER has mod support or not? I know that D2D versions of games need special D2D patches, and I’ve heard the biggest mods that come with installers don’t play well with it.

    And the Riddick deal looks great, but its 3-activations TAGES DRM is keeping me away.

  29. Vinraith says:

    I’ve been going back and forth on Riddick and Saints Row 2. Neither are high priority games for me, but I’m a sucker for these damn $5 deals.

    Riddick’s Tages 3-install limit is holding me back, but I keep debating with myself whether $5 isn’t a perfectly reasonable rental price (with no late fees) for a PC game.

    Saints Row 2’s reputation from a port standpoint has me held up, I’ve read the comments above and John’s review but I’m still unsure. I can’t believe it won’t run fine on my system, but has the driving control John mentioned been fixed at all? Any mods? I’m not a GTA fan, I’ve always thought the game (super arcady silliness) didn’t match the tone (SERIOUS CRIME DRAMA). This sounds like it might work for me, though, in the same way Mercenaries did (pity about the broken sequel).

  30. teo says:

    Error: Saints Row 2 is Country restricted on your IP.

    Thanks a lot

  31. Magnus says:

    The problems with the Jedi Knight + MOTS games are one of the many reasons I’m disappointed that they aren’t available through Good Old Games.

    Surely it would make a sensible partnership? Doesn’t help that I’m not fond of steam…

    Thankfully I have Jedi Outcast and Jedi Acadamy from years gone by.

    • drewski says:

      I’d be surprised if LucasArts ever let their games onto a site offering DRM free downloads.

  32. Sam C. says:

    I’d agree that the shooting and driving feeling more solid in GTA IV, but there’s still a lot of fun to be had with Saint’s Row 2. I have the crippling stuttering whenever I drive around, but apparently that’s due to my specs (AMD64X2 3800+, Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT, 2 GB RAM). But even with that, it’s a huge toy box filled with fun activities. The story’s silly and trite, and the comedy’s a little crude, but it’s still tons of fun. Almost everything you’d do to mess around in GTA has been turned into a minigame with rewards and prizes at the end. Driving in the wrong lane? You get points for that. Want to mow people down from the comfort of your car? There’s a minigame for that. So if you played GTA by starting random mayhem and screwing around, SR2 actually rewards you for those activities, and makes them a core part of the game. I’m happy with my $5 purchase, anyway.

  33. Buemba says:

    Great, all the games I’d love to buy on the D2D sale aren’t available to my country.

  34. Blather Blob says:

    Chronicles of Riddick is the deal of the week for me. It has the nonrevocable install limits, but they aren’t that hard to subvert. I’m having a lot of fun, and am still just on the (included, updated) original game. When I got it from D2D I noticed there was a “buy this game as a gift” option, so that might work for people in the imaginary lands outside the states, if they have a friend who can buy it for them. Might work for Saint’s Row 2 also, even if the friend already owns it.

    Saint’s Row 2 isn’t too bad of a port, or rather the gameplay makes up for a lot of it. But it is a pretty bad port. Like, when Clovis mentioned that you have to use the keyboard in menus, he forgot to mention you have to use CTRL AND SHIFT FOR LEFT AND RIGHT. And it’s not so much that it’s system intensive, it’s more that it’s system wasteful. I’m able to run it on a GTX 260, with a 3.0GHz quad core, and 4GB of RAM, but I have to turn it down to low-to-medium graphics quality, making it about equivalent in graphics to one of the GTA 3s. And it’s still jittery when driving at high speeds as it streams in new parts of the city. But, it is as outrageous and absurd as GTA used to be, and it has coop. And the coop is really well integrated, too, with nearly every minigame and mission accounting for the possibility of another player and spliting things up intelligently. I got it from an Amazon seller for $8 plus S/H, and I’d say it was easily worth that, much less $5. Plus, the first time I got on a moped, the radio started blasting The Final Countdown, which is just awesome.

    I also picked up Garry’s Mod this week. This appears to be Second Life, except without the tutorials and with guns. Every server is full of people arguing about blowing up each other’s stuff. One server was a desert island with someone asking every 30 seconds “I start fire now?” while another player chased him around, hitting him with a wooden crate.

    • Dirk says:

      That seems to sum up BBQ Summer ’09.

    • Clovis says:

      What’s up with that performance? Did you see my numbers? Maybe you’re a much higher resolution or something? Your system sounds a lot more powerful than mine and I’m running it on High. It is a bit stuttery when driving and stuff is blowing up or driving very fast cars.

    • Blather Blob says:

      1920×1200, and it started out ok but as I got further into the game it got slower and slower and I had to turn it down from near-max on everything. It’s maybe a little higher than low-to-medium — medium view distance, simple shadow maps, 2xAA, dynamic lighting on all. Ambient Occlusion is very definitely off, that made it have occasional slowdowns even in the prison hospital at the beginning. And I’m also playing it coop, as a host, though the speed is the same if I load my saved game into singleplayer. GTA IV runs better, and with much higher settings, almost max except for lowered water effects, textures one click from the top, and the view distance at about a third of the way up. But the problem in SR2 seems to mainly be the speed of streaming while driving around, so it could just be I need to defrag my hard drive. Or reinstall my OS (but I’m waiting for 7!) since it seems to have reached the time for that.

  35. Jim Rossignol says:

    Hmm, i totally though i fixed it, but it’s borked again.

  36. sinister agent says:

    Dagnabbit. I’d snap up Saints Row 2 for that – I’d pay that much for the original, frankly. They’re the most fun GTA games to come out for about six years. But I’d much rather play it on a console. It’s just that sort of game, far more fun to take turns with a couple of mates in the front room. Sigh.

    Still, strategy games, eh? To gog!

    • malkav11 says:

      It’s misleading. It’s actually a sale on three specific strategy games: Celtic Kings: Rage of War, Original War, and Haegemonia.

      All are distinctly B-list.

  37. malkav11 says:

    The Saints Row 2 port is a dreadful port. I own both the PC version (now, since it was $5) and the 360 version. The 360 version controls like a dream and looks great. The PC version has framerate issues, is next to impossible to drive in, especially with keyboard and especially in fast cars, crashes, and has a ridiculously counterintuitive, dumb Gamespy-based multiplayer setup despite being a Steam-requisite game and Steam having perfectly adequate matchmaking facilities. WTF. If they didn’t want to use Steam, I would have preferred GfW Live.

    I know people bitch about Games for Windows Live, but I would just like to contrast my “getting into coop” experience between Dawn of War II and Saints Row 2. In Dawn of War II, I click my friends menu, click my friend, click invite to game. In Saints Row 2, I have to manually sign in to my Gamespy ID, come up with a session name (every time) and password, then load into a saved or new game and wait for my friend to try and locate my session, input the password, connect, all that. Furthermore, although Saints Row 2 offers drop-in drop-out coop, there’s no way to set up half of the necessary settings while in a session on PC. (There’s no need to set anything up on the 360 version. I just invite my friend to my game. Poof.)

    By the way, it’s a significantly worse port than GTA IV’s. After a couple of patches, GTA IV is far more playable on PC than it ever was for me on 360. Better shooting, better driving, better looks. SR2’s been patched by the developers and although it performs better, none of the key issues are gone. It’s a shame because SR2 is enormously more -fun- than GTA IV (which is still a good game, don’t get me wrong), and the support of full coop throughout is brilliantly executed (except for the PC version’s Gamespy issues).

    I mean, you can probably get $5 worth of entertainment out of it. I just weep for what could have been. (Any chance of a link to that fan patch? I’d love to see if that helps.)

    • Blather Blob says:

      I definitely agree on the comparison to GTA4 on porting and gameplay, but just wanted to point out that for LAN coop SR2 works exactly like you’d want it to. Click create game on one computer, choose the game on the other, no logging into Gamespy. GTA4 is much more clunky, with its demand that you log in to GFWL (or create an offline profile) even to do singleplayer and then an additional game load to get into the multiplayer mode. Of course, that logging in is fixed by GTA4 + xliveless, but if you aren’t doing internet multiplayer it’s much nicer to find that the default instead of having to discover a 3rd-party add-on.

    • malkav11 says:

      That’s as may be, but I don’t have a LAN and so online coop (at least, for PC) is the order of the day.

    • Elyscape says:

      Set up a virtual LAN over Hamachi with your friends. Problem solved.

  38. Heliocentric says:

    I’m eventually going to invest in a media centre pc probably, but i’m pondering the concept of a front room pc, nice wireless mouse. A few wireless 360 pads and a remote. But it strikes me that after all of the expense a console is a much wiser platform.

    I may never get to play splunkey on a hdtv, but i can dream.

    • CMaster says:

      Helio – yeah, I was thinking of all that.
      Then I thought of all the stuff the PS3 can do media-centre wise and would let me play a different set of games. Have to say it looks a much better deal.

      Also, isn’t Spelunky getting a XBLA launch? So that dream shouldn’t be too hard to realise.

  39. invisiblejesus says:

    At the risk of sounding like a raving loon with no taste, have a look at Madballs in Babo: Invasion over on Steam, too. $10, and on sale this week for $8. I saw it and figured it had to be crap, but it has a free demo so I took it for a whirl anyway, and believe it or not it’s really, really good and stupid cheap. I haven’t delved into multiplayer yet, but from what I’m hearing that’s surprisingly excellent as well, though it could use more people playing.

    • Dominic White says:

      A lot of people have completely overlooked Babo Invasion because of the Madballs tie-in, which is weird, as the Madballs stuff was only added in the last couple of months of development.

      It’s actually just a straight sequel to the (remarkably good) freeware shooter Babo Violent (google it), with a kitsch 80s toy lisence tacked on.

  40. Dominic White says:

    So, as the thread about the broken ads is gone, I’ll repeat it here:

    Zavvi.co.uk currently have the PC version of Resident Evil 5 going for a mere £17, which is way, WAY cheaper than the 360 version.

    The PC version is effectively identical, but prettier and has proper mouse/keyboard controls (which makes normal mode too easy, apparently). They’ve lost one feature, the Versus mode that was in a DLC pack that nobody liked, but gained one – a variant of Mercenaries (arcade/survival) mode with triple enemy spawns, so you get to mow down whole armies of mutants and monsters. Something that the consoles would have just choked trying to render.

    • Tei says:

      Yea, I have buy that one too. It feels like a AAA game, so for 5 is a bargain. Anyway I don’t know how long is, and is a bit cheesy to have a long life as a game.

  41. Heliocentric says:

    I want resi5 pc, but i need rps to tell me how i feel about it first.

    • Little Green Man says:

      All I can say is it got a very high score in the new issue of PCGamer.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Did you like Resi 4?

      You’ll like Resi 5, as its 4, with tweaks, improvements.

      However, there are a grand total of ~5 QTE’s in the whole game, bar the bossfight ones, and it takes itself *much* more seriously than 4 ever did :(

    • Dominic White says:

      A proviso: Do you have a buddy to play with? Either local (via a 360 controller) or online? If yes, then get it now. If not, then get a buddy and get it now. It’s built for co-op from the ground up, and it’s just not as fun with a bot as Player 2.

    • Psychopomp says:

      And completely impossible without a second person on the harder difficulties.

    • Vinraith says:

      Co-op is lovely. Co-op at the expense of a good single-player game is demonic.

    • Dominic White says:

      A good singleplayer came with optional co-op is going to give largely the same experience either way. A good game DESIGNED around co-op (seriously, the whole thing is a cheesy buddy-movie, and almost every setpiece is built around working as a pair) is absolutely just golden if you’ve got someone to play with.

    • Vinraith says:

      Perhaps, but it’s useless when you don’t. That means for most people, most of the time, it’s a broken piece of slag. You’ll notice no-one ever advertises their game as “co-op only.” They know it wouldn’t sell. They just half-ass the SP component and trust that people will buy it not knowing any better.

    • Psychopomp says:

      As opposed to what they normally do, and half-ass the selling point?

    • Vinraith says:

      I’m having a hard time coming up with an example of a game with good SP but half-assed co-op, whereas I can think of several games with half-assed SP and good co-op. It’s possible I’m just a bit hazy at the moment, I’m certainly open to being proven wrong on this one. Ideally, I’d like BOTH components to be strong. Co-op is a lot of fun, it’s just not that often that I’m able to coordinate to play a game with friends (and even less often that I’m able to coordinate playing with more than one at a time, so games that require 4 people to play properly just don’t work at all).

    • Dominic White says:

      Left 4 Dead? It feels hollow and empty with bots, and generally naff on the higher difficulties. Hell, Trine springs to mind – it’s decent enough in singleplayer, but multiplayer is a whole different game.

      It’s not like there’s any shortage of singleplayer games available. A handfull of co-op centric ones aren’t hurting anyone.

    • Vinraith says:

      I think you got things turned around Dominic, L4D is most definitely an example of a game that’s great with four people and total crap by yourself.

      I’m saying I can’t think of a game that includes co-op where the SP is great and the co-op is crap. I totally agree with you that there should be more co-op games, I just don’t see any clear reason why a good co-op game must of necessity be a bad SP game.

    • malkav11 says:

      Saints Row 1, for one. The singleplayer is a sprawling GTA clone full of vaguely psychotic stuff to do and people to shoot. The coop is approximately 4 tiny bits of that with a lame mission tacked on to each.

      And then somewhere between Saints Row and Saints Row 2 the developers figured out virtually every one of their sins and fixed them. The difference between the two games is -astonishing-.

  42. Paul Moloney says:

    The Chronicles of Riddick sale is crazy. As in, I know that I and many other people have tried to order this online since release, at full-price, without success. And now they’re selling it for a fiver (unfortunately, not in Europe).

    There is something seriously wrong with their retail publisher.


  43. DarkNoghri says:

    I would have purchased Riddick if not for that Tages 3 activation crap. I will NOT support a non-revocable license, not even for 5$.

    SR2 (which, yes, I immediately thought of Space Rangers 2 as well, Helio) just sounds like a really, really bad port. That and I don’t know if the content is quite up my aisle, but a 360 port that doesn’t play well with a 360 pad (I seem to remember that from the review)? That’s inexcusable.

    • Blather Blob says:

      It’s the keyboard driving controls that are messed up. Like they didn’t take into account that a keyboard is digital instead of analog and smooth out the steering. But the 360 controller works fine, everything’s premapped and seems to work. It’s just a pain switching between it and keyboard/mouse when you get out of a car. Not enough of a pain to contemplate trying to aim with the joypad, though.

    • malkav11 says:

      In my experience it still doesn’t drive smoothly with a 360 pad, although it certainly works better than the keyboard does for driving. I go from executing unintentional 90-120 degree turns into concrete walls to merely having significant trouble steering.

      Now, I don’t claim to be good at driving in these games, and I’m sure that’s a factor, but I can manage it a heck of a lot better on the 360 version than I can with either control scheme on PC.

  44. solipsistnation says:

    So, uh, you post a bunch of games and then why you’re not playing them and how much you don’t like them? I realize this isn’t paid advertising or anything, but why bother posting them as deals with commentary if you’re not going to be vaguely positive about them? “I bought this and I’m not playing it.” “I have this but it’s not installed.” “I didn’t like this, but it’s on sale. Whoo.” I dunno.

  45. Oak says:

    Say, would you folks be interested in hearing about all the fun I’m not having?

  46. invisiblejesus says:

    I’d rather hear about bargains on games LewieP doesn’t like and make up my own mind about them than only get news on games he likes. The fact that he didn’t bother with Saints Row 2 didn’t stop me from grabbing it, now that I know I can add it to my Steam account (wasn’t aware of that before).

    • Vinraith says:

      Agreed, I’d prefer he kept the filtering to a minimum, as he’s been doing.

      Incidentally, let me know what you think of SR2. Our tastes seem to be quite similar so if you enjoy it despite the flaws it would almost certainly be worth $5 to me.

    • solipsistnation says:

      Yeah, I don’t want him to go and say “WHOO HOO THIS GAME IS GREAT!” if it’s not, but honestly, I don’t _care_ if he bought it and didn’t play it or didn’t buy it or what. This is a bargain roundup, not a short-review roundup. I often have a pretty good idea if I’m going to like a game or not already, but I’m waiting for it to get cheaper. Sometimes I’m not sure, though, and if the post says “Well, this isn’t so great, but it’s cheap, so whatever” and I was already on the fence about that game, the post might convince me not to buy it, whereas if the post just says “This game is cheap this week” the price drop might be enough to convince me to go check it out and then maybe I’d like it.

      Those are all very personal reasons listed there, too. I guess if this is supposed to be a set of reviews or a more personal blog post thing, that’s great, but it’s sort of off-putting. I’m not asking for filtering (you know, only seeing things Lewie likes), just less editorializing.

      Maybe I’m just in a bitchy mood today…

    • LewieP says:

      I generally try to give the best opinion I can about a game, but the reality of how the world works is that (sadly) I simply cannot play every game ever. I’m limited to picking which games are on special offer any given weekend, and it’s not like I could attempt to play them in advance, since most deals aren’t announced beforehand.

      Also, “I didn’t like very much” does not equate to “this is not worth playing”, and it would be arrogant of me to assume that just because I didn’t like something, no one else will find value in it.

      I’m not going to try and review games I have not played, and I am not going to restrict the games I post in the bargain bucket to ones I played and utterly loved, or it would be a very anaemic selection.

      You folk are all competent enough at making up your own minds (or so the comments on RPS in generally lead me to believe) that I think just presenting the bargains to you, with any relevant commentary I can muster, and links to more in depth RPS or other coverage when it exists should be more than enough.

      Also – if someone wants to give me a new graphics card with lots of terraflops, I will happily play Saint’s Row 2 right now.

    • Chobes says:

      I kind of always found the appeal of RPS was in that objectivity is the last virtue on the list. Things are just more interesting when you talk about how you interpreted something, even if it’s just a round up list of sales. Worst case scenario you’ll just have to ignore the small block of text after the title and price.

  47. Archonsod says:

    GTA IV might look better, and it might have a better storyline. In fact, it may well play better all around.

    GTA IV doesn’t let you storm the local courthouse to save a buddy while dressed as an Irish Leprechaun and shouting in a dire cockney accent, nor does it let you lead a gang of same who do a little hornpipe as their gang greeting.

    GTA IV is all the worse for that.

    In fact, you’d be better off comparing Saints Row 2 to the original GTA. It’s what GTA III would have been if Rockstar had retained a sense of humour.

  48. invisiblejesus says:

    @Vinraith: Played through the tutorial and the first couple missions, and so far I dig it. It’s pretty much exactly what people say it is, a really crassly funny GTA clone with a great character creator. Personally I’m enjoying it more than the GTA games for exactly the reason John said in his review: it’s just plain fun, and you can get away with all kinds of awesomely stupid stuff that would have gotten you arrested in a GTA game. Driving isn’t great, and performance could be better, but I didn’t find either to be nearly as bad as I’d heard. Graphics aren’t up all the way, but it looks good and gets playable framerates. If you’ve got a reasonably fast gaming computer I’d say go for it, it’s well worth 5 bucks.

  49. JonFitt says:

    By my calculations this Bargain Bucket is twelvety-two percent different from the norm. Or 3.45 Peggles.

  50. Matzerath says:

    In a rare move, I bought one of the more expensive games on this list, Gratuitous Space Battles (Beta!), and not from Impulse but from the developer’s site, which indeed is the same price. I’ve been eyeing this most wonderfully named game since it first came up on RPS, and it is exactly what I was hoping it would be. Gratuitous. With lots of components to play with. It’s almost like a simpler version of all those robot-programming games of yesteryear — you put your ragtag fugitive fleet together and then when in-battle simply sit back and root and fret for your ill-conceived creations. Awesome.