The RPS Bargain Bucket: Demand Perfection

I failed to compile a bargain bucket as early as usual this week. I did however succeed in helping my Sister move house, so that’s something. I was absent last week too, since I was no way near a computer. I still love you though! My sister asked me to find some cheap games for her as a moving in present, and I though I might as well share them with you lovely people. I’m not going to be around next week either, since I am at pax (PAX!). If you’re going to be there, make sure to tell me via twitter and you can say hello, and punch me for my constant assault on your bank balance (please don’t punch me). SavyGamer, as always, is you hub for cheap gaming. Onto the bargains.

Kane & Lynch: Dead Men – 125.73 Mexican Pesos
Sorry, is Peso not a useful currency for you? Here, let me make it easier for you:
33.0650 Malaysian Ringgits.
Still no good? gosh you are hard to please. How’s this:
1 pound, 12 shillings and 11 pennies
I’ll convert it to something useful, hang on:
0.124 barrels of crude oil

Bad Microsoft, no working link for you.

EverQuest Starter Pack – £1.99/$2.50/€1.99
Of course I’ve never played this, I don’t like MMOs, and I certainly didn’t when I was 12. I know what you are thinking, you’re thinking “I am considering this, but it probably comes with 14 expansions or less”. But no sir/madame, you are incorrect. This small chunk of spare change gets you the original game plus a whopping 15 expansions. It doesn’t contain all of the expansions, since Wikipedia tells me that there has been 16 expansions released. Someone who cares more will probably point out what is missing in the comments (please).

Europa Universalis: Rome Gold – £3.33/$5/€3.69
This pack contains the original game, and the very Roman sounding “Vae Victis” expansion. It’s a grand strategy game from Paradox, and if you like grand strategy games from Paradox, you’ll probably like this. If you don’t, you probably won’t. If you’re unsure about them, you’ll probably be unsure about this, and if you are still reading this paragraph you should probably move onto the next one.

Sanitarium – £3.32/$4.99/€3.69
I know very little about this one, but I’m intrigued. I think videogames are potentially a fantastic medium for dealing with insanity and mental illness. When games do a good job of creating a set of consistent rules, and break them in the right way, it can have a pretty profound effect on the player. Any fans out there?

Deal of the week
The Longest Journey – £3.32/$4.99/€3.69
The big surprise here is that I actually beat John to posting about it. Last year he told us about how this game went a long way to making him:
“It wasn’t perfect. But it was human. So incredibly human in a way I’m not sure any other game has come close to. You may have been playing a stroppy late-teenage girl who was friends with a talking crow… in the future. But you were playing a real person, interacting with other real people, in real ways, despite the hover-cars, alternative realities, and rubber-duck-themed puzzles. April’s stroppiness was a facet of her complex character – a person also capable of enthusiasm, love, fury, fear, joy, optimism and a wry, sneaky humour. She was someone with whom I engaged very strongly.”
Sorry, no sale. I DEMAND PERFECTION.
You should also check out his retrospective here, and see Kieron’s making of here.

Also of note:
Sega impress no one by reducing the Steam price of AVP to what it has been available at (Steamworks) retail since launch.
World of Goo – £6.62/$9.97/€7.36

Either of these could have been deal of the week if EA wanted dirty foreigners’ money:
Mirror’s Edge – $9.99 (North America only)
Mass Effect 2 – $29.99 (North America only)

For for cheap games, go to SavyGamer.co.uk

78 Comments

  1. RLacey says:

    I ordered Kane & Lynch the other day, but for the princely sum of £1.98 at Amazon.

    Ordered Sanitarium yesterday. Not quite sure why I didn’t buy it when it first came out, since it looked intriguing then.

  2. FunkyLlama says:

    It looks to me like The Longest Journey is $9.99. Although I’m sure I’m making an arse of myself by missing something obvious.

  3. Thirith says:

    Is Sanitarium one of those games that comes through on its promise, or is it more compelling in theory than in practice?

    • Risingson says:

      Sanitarium is a very interesting game at least. I liked it a lot because it tells you what’s happening through symbols. So you play the game, you finish it, see the final video and then you start to understand what you have played. Very clever.

      The puzzles are quite easy, IIRC. The controls are a bit akward, but you get used to them.

  4. terry says:

    K&L is 800 points, whatever that is. It’s ridiculously obtuse to have to install this dumb client just to find out the price and even then it’s still in moonbucks. The experience depressed me so much I don’t even care how much it is, I am now not buying it.

    • Mac says:

      Strange … MS put the price in real money £ last time for Batman aswell as moonbucks … strange backward step.

      They do need to show prices on webby – so you don’t have to go through their crap’tastic GFWL shit’ware.

    • PHeMoX says:

      Not strange at all, as people tend to buy sooner when confronted with non-real currencies.

      I’d save your money towards K&L 2 though.

  5. Risingson says:

    The Longest Journey, I remember back in the days blah blah blah blah. I said it first this time.

  6. TenjouUtena says:

    The missing Expansion is EverQuest Underfoot.

    I don’t recommend going back and playing EQ. I tried a few years ago, and they don’t go back and redo the starting areas, so they all look like the late 90s.

  7. PDF says:

    Sanitarium is easily one of the best games ever made. Excellent story, great setting, real characters. It is a game everyone must play; of course, I think everyone knows that. It is impossible not to like it. I don’t think it is possible to compare it to any other game; the closest modern example would be Heavy Rain, and of course, that would be insulting.

    • MWoody says:

      I can’t figure out to whom you think it would be insulting: Sanitarium or Heavy Rain?

  8. Tom OBedlam says:

    Bought Longest Journey, I had a pirate copy in the time before a got a conscience. One of the best games I’ve ever played.

  9. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    Getting Sanitarium, I suspect, for educational reasons…after I calculate if I can afford to foot the bill to Vodafone…

  10. IdleHands says:

    Hm I’m tempted by The Longest Journey since all I ever hear is how bleeding marvelous it is, but I know if I get it and love it (as I suspect I will) I’d want to go straight onto Dreamfall, the next in the series (like I did with the penumbra games) which would probably be cheaper to buy both on steam for £15 (as opposed to buying one then the other seperately). Dammit somehow I’ve changed the deal of the week into something more expensive, curse my strange train of logic.

    • Wulf says:

      You’ll love The Longest Journey as much as you think you will, it’s main appeal comes from being a very intelligent and artsy game from an era where those were much more rare, but even today it’s refreshing taken for what it is. It’s made even better (immersion-wise) by the protagonist we get to play, who’s an intelligent, artsy woman who tends to have particularly interesting things to say about everything she encounters. I don’t know how much you know about The Longest Journey, but I think it’s safe to say this: She encounters some fairly intriguing things, of the sort most people would only dream of.

      As for Dreamfall, you’ll really like that too, I think. It’s not going to hit home as well as The Longest Journey did because it has less of a sense of direction. The thing is, The Longest Journey is part of an ongoing story, clearly, but it wraps up beautifully and is a complete story unto itself, but Dreamfall ends on a massive and painfully nasty cliffhanger, and since Ragnar’s now working on The Secret World, I don’t actually know if there’s going to be a sequel. The way it ends is… well, you’ll want to know what happens next, as with all the greatest cliffhangers, and knowing that it might never be continued is painful.

      So you might be better off just getting The Longest Journey now, and then waiting to see whether a sequel to Dreamfall is ever announced before buying that. That’d probably be the best advice I could give. But if you absolutely have to experience Dreamfall (and it is a good game) then prepare yourself for that. I figure it’s better that you have some warning, you know?

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      But if you don’t play Dreamfall you’d miss out on the awesome moment when you realise the area you’ve just been hanging around in is the previously inaccessible back room of the Journeyman Inn, now in beautiful 3D.

      Also, my Favourite Moment in Any Game EverTM, when April and Kian get to examine Crazy Clara’s hovel minutes apart, and the game tells you more about the importance of worldview in one instant than a thousand cultural studies lectures.

    • HarbourMaster says:

      Played both games on the basis of RPS words; neither really grabbed me. Well written and not embarrassing like many other titles in Komputer Gamez World but… never got me. I don’t know whether I’ve been saturated with Buffy-a-like shows over the years – not that either game is really Buffy, but they are a little of bad-ass woman embroiled in fantasy/SF – and so when it came to both I couldn’t quite make a connection. Many others have though.

      The closest I’ve ever come to tears for a game is Planescape: Torment. All I will say is Deionarra.

    • jarvoll says:

      If it’s even half as good as Planescape, it’s worth a lot more than $5. I also totally agree: many of TNO’s pasts were tragic, but oh man, Deionarra!

    • boldoran says:

      Was considering to buy it but now it seems to be 9.99€ again? Am I missing something?

    • Mr_Day says:

      @boldoran

      Once you get to the checkout, the discount is applied. This is the same for both games in the gog.com offer.

    • boldoran says:

      @Mr_Day
      Thank you good Sir!

  11. abigbat says:

    Sanitarium is fantastic. I remember playing it when it came out, a genuinely scary adventure game.

  12. Fetthesten says:

    Sanitarium is brilliant, but severely bugged – even post-patch. Not sure if they’ve delved in and fixed that in the GOG version, but my advice is to save to a new file upon starting a new chapter, in case something goes awry and you need to go back to the start of the chapter. I know of at least two puzzles that are bugged in a way that makes it impossible to click on stuff you really, really need to click on in order to progress.

  13. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Sanitarium was the first game that stumped me and had me scouring for a walkthrough. All because of the damned bug-mashed-against-control-box puzzle.

    Still, very interesting game.

  14. invisiblejesus says:

    ME2 is also on sale on Gamersgate for the same price. No idea if it’s discounted outside NA or not.

  15. ZIGS says:

    Gameplay-wise, is Sanitarium in the same vein of The Longest Journey or similar classic adventures? Because that’s not my thing at all but the game sounds pretty interesting. How “classic adventure” is it?

  16. Lorc says:

    Two bargains I recently noticed on amazon.co.uk.

    Universe at war for £1.47: link to amazon.co.uk

    Space Siege at 89 pence: link to amazon.co.uk

    And for some reason they both qualify for free shipping.

    • RLacey says:

      Hmm… okay, they can have 89p from me for Space Siege.

    • Wulf says:

      Space Siege was exceedingly dull from the demo I played of it, and the 5/0 Eurogamer review seems to be incredibly damning, too. So in this case, I think I’ll keep my 89p as I was never fond of Dungeon Siege, either (one of the few games I’ve had to play from a giant minimap).

    • Mac says:

      Space Siege wasn;t as bad as made out by the journo’s – it wasn’t the best game in the world, but I played it to the end, enjoyed the journey and never went back.

      Well worth 98p though :p

    • PHeMoX says:

      Actually, Space Siege really isn’t all that bad. It definitely has it’s quirks and you’ll have to be able to forgive it for the more annoying issues, but in general it’s a good game.

      In very much the same way as Rebellion’s commercial misfire ‘Gunlok’ if anyone remembers…

      I think Space Siege is somewhat underrated, although definitely no gem.

  17. Wulf says:

    I want to rush over to GoG right now and buy Sanitarium, and some people here have damn nearly convinced me to do that. I wanted to do it when I saw the email, and I’ve wanted to do it every time I’ve seen that game on sale.

    There’s one thing that holds me back: I’m very easily squicked by gore and gross things, and whilst I’m of the attitude of ‘more power to them!’ if it provides more atmosphere, I’m not sure it’s something I could personally enjoy. One thing I could never get an answer on is the only question I’ve still got: Just how gross in Sanitarium?

    You might want to keep in mind that I had huge issues with Dark Seed and almost didn’t complete that for much the same reason. Yes, yes, I’m a wuss, and that really is my loss in regards to a lot of great games/movies which have had me hiding under a nearby pillow.

    • Calabi says:

      @wulf

      I wouldnt say it has gore persay, from what I can remember, and you are dealing with quite low res graphics(but they are good). It just sort of has stuff going on thats not quite right, that you may find gross, but not in a ooh his guts are hanging out way.

      Gross as in what is this horrible creature transforming these poor trusting innocent kids into(slight spoiler, but it doesnt ruin anything so dont cry like babys).

      It has its flaws as many things do but its worth it just for the experience, of something unique, well thought out and put together.

    • Gumbomasta says:

      Sanitarium’s gore factor is about on part with the medical level of Bioshock, but obviously lower res and less claustrophobic. The high-water mark for gore in a videogame is Dead Space and Sanitarium is nowhere near as brutal as that excellent game. Consider “Sanitarium” ‘comic-book’ gore.

  18. Andy_Panthro says:

    Atari week over at GamersGate is also worth a bit of notice… link to gamersgate.co.uk

    includes: Alone in the Dark (new one!) £7.47; Riddick: Dark Athena £9.97; Ghostbusters £9.97; NWN2 Gold (inc. Mask of the Betrayer) £9.97.

    NWN2 Gold is the stand-out offer for me, even if the main campaign leaves a lot to be desired. Shame they aren’t including Storm of Zehir in that pack, assuming they’ll release that later?

    Universe at War: Earth Assault is £3.73 for one day only, anyone know if that’s worth it?

    • MWoody says:

      Hrm, Ghostbusters eh? Wait, wasn’t there something wrong with the PC version? Like they cut co-op or something?

    • Nick says:

      £7.47 is a bit much for one of the worst games ever made…

    • Mac says:

      No MP in Ghostbusters – also, it has the consoly auto-save point thing – but there is no indication on screen when it has saved – so you can spend 20 mins capturing a few ghosts, walk on for another 5 mins, go through a couple of cut scenes and then exit the game to find that when you next come to play it you have to start at the capturing a ghost thing again ….. fooking insane

    • archonsod says:

      Ghostbusters isn’t particularly a bad game, but it’s not brilliant either, and they cut multiplayer.

      Same pretty much applies to Universe at War. They try some interesting things but it’s still a by the numbers RTS.

  19. Carra says:

    Looks like I can leave my pockets closed this time.

    I’ll throw in my two cents for the longest journey. Played it two years ago and I have to see, it’s one of the best games I’ve ever played. The graphics still look OK, only the character graphics look old.

    Already had Sanitarium during the christmas deals… just have to find some time to play it one day.

  20. somnolentsurfer says:

    I just re-read that TLJ ‘making of’ of Kieron’s and was slightly creeped out. Was it originally written for somewhere else (Gamer?) or is it just a sign of how this site’s evolved since 2007? It doesn’t read like an RPS piece at all.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Surfer: Pretty much all the Making Ofs were written for PC Format back in the day. I normally mentioned it in the intro, but since they were going up one a week for a good chunk of time, I didn’t always.

      EDIT: And re-reading that one, it’s not even one I’d edited particularly much for RPS. When I was doing the ones for PCF, I was in the incredibly awful habit of using every synonym under the world for “said” rather than repeat it. Amateur hour shit, frankly.

      KG

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      So I see… Ragnar does quite a lot of explaining in there. ;-)

      Anyway, I was nearly right. In that, both their names start with PC. I actually read PCF a lot more than PCG in my youth. For some reason I think I didn’t want my friends to think I only bought the mags for the gaming news.

  21. Alexander Norris says:

    Worth noting that Kane & Lynch is literally unplayable (freezes every one out of three seconds) if you own certain brands of USB keyboards. If you have a 360 pad you could always unplug your keyboard before launch but if you don’t you probably want to check the publisher’s forum to see if there’s a lit up.

    IIRC the most affected ones were Saitek Eclispes and some Logitech keyboards.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Since edit has been removed again (whyyyyyyyyyyy? :( ): anyone know when the Rome Gold deal ends? D2D just says Friday but I’ve no idea if it was this Friday and it’s run over or if it’s next Friday. I’m not used to weekly deals actually running for a week.

    • Oak says:

      Next friday.

    • Oak says:

      it’s not bad, also.

  22. Vandelay says:

    Might also be worth noting the Bad Company 2 deal on Steam, which is one of those four pack deals. It is basically buy four copies and get one free, which equates to £22.49 each. A good reduction on the Steam price, but only a couple of quid cheaper than the Amazon price of £24.99.

  23. malkav11 says:

    Sanitarium is awesome, as is The Longest Journey. $2.50 is a price at which you should at least try Everquest if you have any reason to believe you may enjoy the experience. …you probably won’t, because the game was designed in 1999 before many modern MMO niceties and expansions and patches can only rework basic mechanics so much. But I for one will be poking at it just in case. Can’t hurt.

  24. chad says:

    I’d recommend Kane & Lynch for one of the same reasons people are lauding TLJ– characterization. K&L is about a 40-year old guy, estranged from his family, fallen out with his work associates and stuck in a dead-end situation.

    Additionally, he’s made a lot of Bad Decisions.

    His buddy, Lynch is a little cartoony but has the zest of being a character with semi-undiagnosed mental problems, stuck because his criminal associates don’t know how to help him, or just won’t. It’s a buddy movie where everybody hates their buddy– the gameplay is solid and the ending packs a brutal punch.

    • Alastayr says:

      Very well put, the game is £1.98 on amazon.co.uk right now, so people, no excuses here.

      It’s one of the best games I’ve played last year and it’s a shame the whole Gerstmanngate detracted from it so much. Really wish I’d have played it sooner. While lacking in execution and direction, the overall pacing and design was very promising and showed a very consequent evolution from their Hitman games. Personally, I found it to be a lot like the first Hitman game, a daring title that could be positively improved on all accounts if revisitited.

      And the ending… just the ending. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t…

  25. Tei says:

    Yea, the Longest Journey is one of the best adventure games ever made. A classic.

  26. steveballmer says:

    My favorites!

  27. Shalrath says:

    Not sure if anyone here has an EVGA 2xx geforce card, but if you do, you can get cryostasis for free. I just randomly noticed when I went there to see if they recommended the new drivers for my 280. So yeah, free game, heard mixed things.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      If you can get it to run smooth, it’s a very cool game.

  28. Vinraith says:

    The Longest Journey is the only real temptation here. I own a copy (bought it back when it was new) but I can’t seem to get it to run under XP. I don’t really remember the game very well anymore, I played through it when it first came out and thoroughly enjoyed it (to the point of writing to the developer to beg for a sequel, which I’ve done for perhaps 3 games in my life).

    My hangup is that lately, I seem to have lost all patience for adventure game mechanics. I’m not sure buying it and attempting to replay it would do anything more than spoil my dim but affectionate memories of the game.

  29. Gumbomastaq says:

    Sanitarium is a fantastic adventure game. Graphics are circa ’98, but are still loaded with painterly, disturbing detail. Puzzles are just the right balance of difficulty for the more casual adventurer. The plot is memorable and the voice acting more than serviceable. If you like adventure games and psychological horror, you owe it to yourself to play this one on a rainy weekend with the lights low. Yes!!

  30. Luggage says:

    Just played the “The Longest Journey” demo (tells something about the age of a game, when there is a demo) of Steam and remembered how everyone always mentions the main character maturing throughout the course of the game.

    So, does this mean she’s actually not a selfish and freakishly stupid cheerleader archetype anymore when the game ends?

    I still am really considering buying that game down the road, but the demo didn’t do a very good job of creating empathy for or bonding with the main character.

    • Wulf says:

      That’s exactly what it means, April starts off a rather closed-minded character who has the occasional intelligent insight, but there’s someone who sees potential in her and proves to be the catalyst, changing her outlook and opening her mind.

    • Luggage says:

      Sounds good…

      Great, you just cost me another 5 bucks. ;-)

    • Mac says:

      Having probs running TLJ – read up on GOG forums and i’m not on my own.

      it appears as though the Forceware drivers have broken it slightly so you have to run it in software mode, which looks Pug Ugly.

      Tried running with AA on, which worked in hardware mode, but the way the engine is built you lose some visuals which again makes it unplayable with AA.

      So i’m left playing a low rez game with massive pixalation exacerbated by the software mode.

      You can always roll back drivers – but that’s a real pain and fooks up other games I play.

      Hopefully GOG will fix this – but it doesn;t appear as though they are in a rush to do so.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      It’s not a problem with the Forceware drivers, it’s a problem with the game. ATI cards have it too. It was introduced in one of the later patches to the game, some feature that I can’t remember now (which shows what an awesome feature it is) was incompatible with AA.

    • Wulf says:

      …it amazes me, sometimes.

      Okay, so, I have an 8800M and it looks like I can play it without any issues, and not in software mode either, I just launch the game after installing it and it works.

      Sometimes I wonder if my computers are built on fairydust, considering all the problems others see that I never do. Or it could be Windows 7. I don’t know! Well, this is a sort of confirmation that it might work on Windows 7? Since I haven’t got a clue whether it’ll work for the next person running Windows 7 or not, seeing as my computers always seem to be able to do the impossible.

  31. ArtyArt says:

    Another sale: Tale of Tales celebrating the first anniversary of The Path, discounting stuff.

    link to tale-of-tales.com

  32. Malcolm says:

    The real bugger of course, is that you can only purchase moonbucks in denominations of 500, so you have a to make a contribution to the Microsoft saving fund of at least 200 moonbucks on top of the purchase price until you get around to buying something else from the moonstore (which will invariably also be priced at 400/800/1200/1600 points thereby ensuring a permanent positive monetary balance).

    (ps. I’ve tried to login to RPS three times today, yet still the reply form requires me to prove my humanity)

    • Malcolm says:

      Arrgh! – this was a reply to terry (all the way up there).

  33. Toby says:

    As for the NA only EA deals, the EA US store can be circumvented via proxy without too much difficulty. I did this with dead space when it came out because I was impatient…

  34. terry says:

    I played a bunch of Sanitarium and have got my money’s worth even by the creepy punkin village. (Actually I think I had my money’s worth the moment the voice-over kicked in). It’s the sort of adventure Richard Curtis would’ve written back when he wasn’t shit.

    • Wulf says:

      That and the promise that it won’t squick me too much (from numerous sources) is good enough for me.

      Sold! You may have another of my printed monies, GoG!

  35. undead dolphin hacker says:

    Sanitarium’s a sweet game, but for some reason it kept crashing on me back when it was released. I ended up shelving it for that reason. Maybe I’ll repurchase it.

    The Longest Journey? More like The Most Overrated Journey. It’s next to impossible to give a shit about this game when you have to figure out to use gum, a paper clip, a note, and a balloon to get past a locked door (that’s something close to what I remember at least). You’re always alt-tabbing to read through every puzzle solution, and honestly, when you’re reading through all the solutions, why not just save yourself the alt-tabbing grief and just read a bloody synopsis of the story instead?

    Bad, bad, bad. Just another reason supporting my June 26th ‘Dance on Adventure Games’ Grave’ holiday.

    • Wulf says:

      I think it’s funny that you named the only puzzle in the entire game that I had to look at a spoiler for, and everyone likely feels that way. But your approach is flawed, because one poor puzzle does not a bad game make. In fact, I’d imagine that someone with average problem solving skills would b e able to get past every puzzle without help, except that one.

    • phlebas says:

      A tip: close the walkthrough. Maybe don’t even bookmark it – you can google one in seconds if you really need it. If you keep it ready to alt-tab to it any time you get stuck, you’ll keep looking to it any time you’re not sure what to do next and your vanity will tell you that the puzzle must have been too hard to be possible to solve without cheating. As you say, you might as well just read a synopsis of the story rather than pretending you’ve actually played the game.

    • Zerotonine says:

      I agree, the puzzles were a lot more logical and just made sense with some exceptions. I didn’t even have to look up a walkthrough for that puzzle, I just did a lot of trial and error. However, that puzzle on the island with those pillars was a PITA the first time, on subsequent playthroughs I just get the walkthrough out so I don’t have to deal with it.

  36. MadMatty says:

    I´ve found nothing interesting on sale for the past two weeks-
    Fortunately i was around at the mad Steam Indie sale 2-3 weeks ago, where i got 6 good-great games and 1 slightly so-so (Space Giraffe, i was never a fan of Tempest) for 10 quid.
    Still playing them…. i´d say it probably was deal of the year 2010 (and 2009!)
    Get Galcon Fusion- its bloody addictive, but cheaper than Heroin!

  37. Rikard Peterson says:

    Sanitarium is great. One of the greatest adventure games. (And in reply to ZIGS: Yes, it is a classical adventure game in its gameplay.)