The RPS Bargain Bucket: Pushed Back

It’s bargain bucket time. This Saturday, like any other, there’s some special offers on games for your Personal Computation Terminals, and I’m here to help you navigate the best offers. I also go off on a rant about nuSonic. Sorry about that. For a regular dose of gaming discounts, delivered straight to your browser at your convenience, pop along to

Sonic Generations – £6.37/7.95/$10.19
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 – £3.12/3.89/$4.99
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 – £4.68/5.84/$7.49
These are from Amazon US, so you’ll need to enter a US billing address. They register on Steam.
Well that’s three Sonic games that aren’t really proper Sonic games. I wonder whether I’d have less contempt for the Sonic 4 games if they were called something else. For years now, Sega have put out games that are supposedly attempts to recapture the 16-bit Sonic formula, but they’ve never come close. Then with the statement of intent of carrying on the lineage of the Mega Drive classics, they put out a direct sequel to Sonic 3. Except they forgot to make it play like the original Sonic games. Superficially the presentation is fine, but the physics engine, controls, level design, tone and overall feel of Sonic is totally missing. Similarly with Generations, you’re getting half a terrible game and half a flawed one. It seems Sega can’t really capture any of what I loved about the original Sonic games any more. I am a bit of a stick in the mud with this sort of thing though, so if you’re not as much of a purist (fusspot) as me you’ll probably enjoy some of these games. At least you don’t turn into a “werehog” in any of these.

Batman: Arkham City – £9.36/11.70/$14.99
Also from Amazon US, so you’ll need to enter a US billing address again. This registers on Steam too.
Adam donned his cape and cowl to give us his assessment of the latest Bruce Wayne adventure:

The most exciting thing about Arkham City, beyond the sheer joy of actually playing, is that it’s not just more of the same. It’s more of everything else as well, which can be detrimental. But despite perhaps sounding overly critical of some aspects, I wouldn’t hesitate to say it’s one of the best games I’ve played this year. There is an enormous amount to do and now that I’m finished, I feel free to do it, no longer constrained by the fate of Gotham I can solve all those side stories. And even though I have a redwood-like backlog, I think that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Company of Heroes Gold, Darksiders, Homefront, Metro 2033, Nexuiz, Saints Row: The Third, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, Titan Quest Gold, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine & Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Complete – £31.51
Hey! That’s a lot of games. You’re paying a little more than £2.50 a game here. It says it registers on Steam, but I’m not sure if you get one serial for all of them, or if it’s one per game. I also know that all the games except S.T.A.L.K.E.R., COH & Titan Quest are Steamworks, but it is implied they all register on Steam. If anyone takes the plunge, please report back in the comments. Homefront was not really worth bothering with, Metro was spooky and atmospheric, Saints Row: The Third was good clean fun, Jim has an inappropriate crush on STALKER & Space Marine contains violence. Lots of bang for not a lot of buck.

Love – Free
I spent roughly 20 minutes agonising over whether to link to this or this, so I think I’ll just go with both. A good way to get some insight into Love is to sit yourself comfortably and watch the presentation it’s creator gave back at the (coincidently titled) World of Love conference in 2010, which you can watch over here. If you enjoy your time with Love, remember that he’s still accepting donations too.

Deal of the week
McPixel – Pay What You Want
A price that’s the same in any currency. You may have read about McPixel’s recent promotion earlier today on these very pixels, as Nathan explained why McPixel is doing the name your price thing:

Ultimately, that’s the point of all this for both Sosowski and The Pirate Bay: to deal with piracy on its own terms in a day and age where it can no longer simply be shrugged off or pushed back against – despite how desperately many people would like to.

Sounds good to me. Stock up on McPixel now, whilst it’s cheap.

Also of note:
F.E.A.R., Extraction Point & Perseus Mandate – £3.13/€3.89/$4.99. Registers on Steam.
F.E.A.R. 3 – £6.24/€7.80/$9.99. Registers on Steam.
Trine Complete Collection – £6.24/€7.49/$8.74. Also individually discounted.
Crysis Collection – £9.99/€13.74/$17.49. Also individually discounted.
Hearts of Iron 3 – £1.99/€2.49/$2.49
Hearts of Iron 3 Collection – £6.24/€7.49/$7.49
GOG Point and Click promo

For more Savy Gaming, go to


  1. alundra says:

    About Arkham City, be aware of this:

    Important information from WB Games if you purchased more than 180 days ago:

    “We do not replace codes beyond 180 days of purchase.

    Thank you,


    WB Games Support”

    That was the reply I got when I asked for new, working CD-key.

    link to

    • woodsey says:

      Well, what do you expect? The hamsters running the code-generator wheels will simply die of exhaustion if they’re forced to go on for any longer.

      (But really, if this happens to anyone then just pirate it. You’ve already bought it, and let’s face it, it’ll be a better experience then having to deal with GfWL.)

      • Rich says:

        How deeply ingrained is GfWL? If you installed the game through Steam, would you still have to deal with it?

        • tobecooper says:

          Warner Bros is very protective of Batman. If you installed trough Steam, you would just add it on top of limited-activations Securom and GfWL.

          • vvimina51 says:

            I think it’s a fair price for a game where you can spend over 100 hundred hours. Especially considering the fact that it does not have a subscription.

      • alundra says:

        What do I expect??

        A company **supporting** my purchase for more than 6 months?? To know that in 6 years when I want to revisit a classic I PAID MONEY FOR I will be able to ??

        But wait, the sarcasm is delicious, you blame piracy, and in such circumstance a person, because I will never touch a game tainted by securom…a person’s only resort will be piracy!!!

        Stupid fool, think before you open your mouth.

        • Llewyn says:

          Hang on, you’ll never touch a game tainted by Securom and yet you’re having a problem with your AC key? Or are you now boycotting Securom on the basis of this experience, despite the fact that Securom is the one element of AC’s diabolic DRM triumvirate that hasn’t actually contributed to your problem?

          Edit: Also, he didn’t blame piracy, he suggested that it might be the best solution to your problem.

        • woodsey says:


          I’m not the one who needs to think before he speaks – and I didn’t blame piracy at all. I said it’s a “fair enough” solution for anyone who gets caught in such a stupid system when all they’ve done is buy the game legitimately (as they should).

      • jrodman says:

        FWIW, in this specific case (read the steam thread) the problem of the key to link a copy of batman to a GFWL account involved something about multiple GFWL profiles, and was resolved:

        link to

        Of course, that GFWL / game publisher / steam could not help to solve this problem is pathetic. But expected. DRM has to be too hard to actually be useful to work, and no one properly understands the stuff.

    • malkav11 says:

      Wow, that’s an insane policy. Past 180 days is exactly when most people would need key replacement.

      • Dare_Wreck says:

        Just asking, because I’m honestly curious: what situations arise that would necessitate key replacement after 6 months? Are you referring to running out of SecuRom activations? Losing a piece of paper with the key printed on it? I’ve never needed to have a key replaced, so I’m wondering what you mean by “most people.”

        • malkav11 says:

          Losing a manual or keycode sheet in a move or reorganization, installing it enough to hit the install limit, etc. I’ve never actually needed to contact support about this either, but I’m far less likely to need to in the first six months of owning a game (when it’s freshly installed on my drive and I probably know exactly where any retail packaging is) than, say, four or five years down the line (when I could have reinstalled Windows and/or changed hard drives multiple times, moved, made room for newer games, etc).

          • Llewyn says:

            Malkav, none of your situations really applies here: we’re talking about a one-time activation code which ties the product to your GFWL account which you never need to know again after using it once. It’s not needed for reinstalls, and they’re not talking about Securom activations (although they may have a far worse policy around those for all I know).

            I have a lot of sympathy for Alundra’s position; after all, I too didn’t use my Steam-supplied AC key until I bought Harley’s Revenge and I’ve only ever used AA with an offline GFWL profile. But I also have some sympathy with WB’s position, because this is a game that hasn’t been activated within 6 months of purchase leaving them with little chance of knowing whether either they or Steam have genuinely messed up or whether the customer has given his key to someone else. I don’t think their policies here are so horrendous, although I would have thought the risk of supplying a new key to a pirate is outweighed by that of pissing off a genuine customer.

          • malkav11 says:

            Oh, I see. That’s…actually worse, because I picked up Arkham City some time ago myself and have yet to install it simply because I’ve been reluctant to do so before finishing Arkham Asylum. (Which I really need to do!) So it might bite me too. :(

    • Shortwave says:

      Thanks for that heads up dude.
      I was totally going to buy this game till’ you pointed that out.
      I sometimes forget to check for this crap and yea..
      One would assume you could ALWAYS at the VERY least always get a new key.
      That’s robbery and the only difference between these guys and the guy who mugged Granny is..
      The fucking BS agreement you have to check to cover their asses for when they decide to rob you.

      Oh well, I’ll manage somehow.

  2. The JG Man says:

    Here’s my take on those Sonic games (I’m sure the avatar suggests bias, but hey):
    Episode 1 – Don’t get. Episode 2- Maybe…ish? It’s very mediocre. If you want a 2D Sonic game though and you’ve explored all the originals and some of the fan games, then you may want this.

    Generations, on the other-hand, is a good game. Not just a good Sonic game, but a good game full stop. Classic 2D Sonic is flawed and doesn’t play exactly like the originals, but it’s still damn fun and pretty close. Modern 3D/2D Sonic is the best it’s ever been and controls well. Level design all round is good, presentation is stellar. A couple of blips late-game, but there’s tons of replayability. By the time you’ve completed it, it’s less of a platformer and more of a time attack game in the same vein of something like TrackMania (or Mirror’s Edge, actually). There’s also a budding modding scene growing for it too. Definitely get a controller though.

    (The edit was just for putting in some words I somehow missed)

    • Rich says:

      Maybe my brain has been cooked by too many legal, illegal and grey-area substances since my teen years, but newer Sonic games just don’t seem as controllable as the old ones. The physics just don’t feel right.

      Edit: Actually, I think thumb sticks might be part of the problem.

      • DPB says:

        Aside from the originals I’ve only played the demo of Generations, but I found it too fast. Obviously, Sonic was always known for its speed, but I think they’ve gone overboard with that aspect to the point that it feels like you’re no longer in control.

        • LionsPhil says:

          I remember Gamesmaster (…or possibly Bad Influence!, or one of the other myriad somewhat crap ’90s TV gaming shows) claiming that the point of the Sonic games was to overload the player with so much rapid motion that they can’t follow what’s going on.

          Perhaps the developers foolishly listened.

    • Carda39 says:

      Do keep in mind that if you’re a big fan of Metal Sonic (or Mecha Sonic, or whatever you prefer to call him), you have to own Sonic 4 Episode 1 to unlock his levels in Episode 2.

      Personally, I thought Generations was an absolutely brilliant game, and a sign that Sega is at least trying to fix the damage they did to the franchise back in 2006.

    • Dr I am a Doctor says:

      • jamesgecko says:

        Yeah, the physics in episode 1 are pretty iffy. Supposedly a lot of that got cleaned up in episode 2.

    • Pasco says:

      Generations is the best Sonic game since Sonic & Knuckles and is a good game.

      If Mr. Proctor would take of the rose-tinted spectacles and divest himself of the notion that not exactly copying the original Sonic games makes all newer Sonic games bad, maybe he could see that.

      It helps that Generations looks fucking beautiful on PC as well.

  3. Revolving Ocelot says:

    I await the day when Guild Wars 2 starts getting discounted.

    I’ll probably be waiting for a long time.

    • Unaco says:

      It’s an MMO… it’ll be F2P by the end of the year.

      • Rich says:

        …and completely dead within 18 months.

      • malkav11 says:

        Unlikely, considering it’s not a subscription game to begin with.

        • Unaco says:

          In case you missed that noise, here it is again:


          • Dare_Wreck says:

            I had the same exact thought as malkav11… what did we miss that went over our heads? You’re original comment doesn’t sound sarcastic at all

          • nearly says:

            what you’re missing is that the comment is intrinsically sarcastic.

          • malkav11 says:

            Yeah, on the internet, where I have had people say that in perfect seriousness, I’m afraid it doesn’t read that way.

      • Wodge says:

        it’s already sub free.

        • MadMatty says:

          And Guild Wars 1 was full of people like 5-6 years after launch, because of the no subs. If the original statement was sarcasm, then hes Doing It Wrong!

          Also they were slow, very slow infact, to discount Guild Wars 1, and it still sold well.

          The young ones lol

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      You’ll probably get a discount shortly before or after the first expansion is released.

      No idea when that will happen, though.

    • johnki says:

      You and I both. $60 a piece is insane.

      • Revolving Ocelot says:

        On Amazon UK, it’s £60. Sure is a fine exchange rate, huh?

        • fish99 says:

          It’s showing as £55 currently because amazon are out of stock, but a marketplace seller on the same listing does have some, but you can still back order it from amazon for £34. A week ago there was a hundred places selling it for £35.

      • Vinraith says:


        I mean, MMO’s aren’t my thing, but GW2 strikes me as the kind of game you’d end up playing for hundreds of hours if you enjoyed it. $60 seems like a pretty low price tag for that much fun, and it’s not like there’s a monthly fee in there.

        • FriendlyFire says:

          124 hours and counting here. I’d say it was worth the 60 bucks a lot more than many games costing only 5.

        • TillEulenspiegel says:

          GW2 is more than worth it if it’s a game you’re actually going to play. There are only a handful of games every year I pay full price for and really get into, and GW2 is one of them.

          I’m not a huge MMO fan myself, and it’s still too much like a typical MMO to become one of my favoritest things ever, but it’s a masterpiece of game design that’s constantly fun to play.

          • RegisteredUser says:

            Boy, have we ever not played the same GW2 (I partook in one of the last 2-3 beta weekends before release).

        • Tacroy says:

          If you paid $60 for Skyrim on release, why not pay the same thing for multiplayer Skyrim with better combat and less snow?

      • JackShandy says:

        It depresses me how little people are willing to pay for games.

        You’d pay $60 for a game in the 80’s. There were a lot of great games made in the 80’s, but they weren’t made by a hundred professionals working around the clock for more than four years.

        I guess people balk because they buy more than one game a year these days.

        • Dr I am a Doctor says:

          Games were mostly terrible before the 00s, though

        • Shuck says:

          It’s odd isn’t it? I’ve never seen so much complaining about game prices as I have in the last few years, despite the fact that game prices have stayed the same (thus not keeping up with inflation and dropping in price in real worth terms) and budgets have increased by at least a thousand times since the ’80s. Expectations (by the people who complain about the cost) for what that $60 game needs to include constantly increase, while any attempts by developers to recover losses through DLC, etc. get called “greedy” and “money grubbing.” Yeah, it’s depressing.

          • malkav11 says:

            Personally, I just don’t ever want to pay $60 for a game. I’ve done it grudgingly a few times (like with GW2) because of the obvious quality of the game, but that’s just too high. “But the budgets are so huge that they have to charge that to make ends meet.” Then make games that cost less. That are shorter. That don’t have full voice acting by famous people for every line of dialogue. That aren’t 100% top of the line ultra-shiny. Go ahead. I swear to you I will not complain. Really. Look, I buy Spiderweb Software games, okay? They’re made by one guy with graphics from the early 90s (I think there’s a few other employees these days but it’s still mostly Vogel on the actual coding and design). I can handle this.

          • jjman says:

            Where are you guys coming up with this $60 number for games in the 80’s?

            These are the prices I recall ($35): link to
            link to

          • Shuck says:

            “Then make games that cost less.”
            That’s a silly response, as those games get orders of magnitude fewer sales, because they’re much smaller, less graphically polished games (and thus have the same, or bigger, problems, as they can’t demand $60 for the game). If you want a game on the scale of Guild Wars, it’s going to cost a certain amount.

            @jjman: Console games. (Although there were plenty of $50 PC games then, too.)
            Also, a game with equivalent production costs would be sold for no more than a couple dollars now, assuming it wasn’t free.

          • malkav11 says:

            I don’t want a game on that scale. I’m never going to see anything like all the content they put into it. I want games that I have a reasonable chance of finishing, produced with a sane budget and production values that make them profitable at a lower, more readily affordable price. But I roll with the market I’ve got.

          • Shuck says:

            @malkav11: Fair enough, I’d like to see shorter games, too. (And as a game developer, I’d like to see lower budget games have a chance of actually making sustainable profits.) The market for those cheaper games is so much smaller, and coupled with lower prices means it’s much harder to develop in that space sustainably. The importance of marketing is a big part of this, since there’s a direct correlation between money spent on marketing and higher sales figures; marketing usually outstrips development costs. So you either go big or (very) cheap, without a lot of middle ground.

          • lurkalisk says:

            jjman, you seem to forget that $35 in the eighties had roughly the buying power that $80 does NOW.

            Games were ridiculously expensive.

        • Cytrom says:

          And there weren’t MILLIONS of people buying them either… and paying for DLCs and microtransactions on top.

          • Shuck says:

            There were, actually. (The original Super Mario Bros sold over 40 million copies in the mid ’80s.) The game audience hasn’t increased all that much, and certainly not by 200000%. The number of (competing) games is also orders of magnitude higher, so the same amount of money is being spread between more developers making more expensive games. In the US the industry has actually declined in revenue when adjusted for inflation compared to the heydays of the early ’80s.

        • jrodman says:

          I purchased games in the 80s. I remember 30 being the typical price.

          30 american dollars, anyway.

          (Adjusted for inflation, this is of course well over 60 today, and yes, not nearly as much game.)

          • Shuck says:

            There were certainly more expensive games than that in the ’80s. NES games, for example, were in the $40-50 range (with some higher). A few $60+ games appeared for consoles in the late ’80s. The early and mid ’90s saw $80 games.

          • zerosociety says:

            Man, I remember as a kid saving up enough to drop my $69.99 on Ultima 7 Pt1 and loving it. Same for most of Origin’s games in the early 90s. Strike Commander retailed for $79.99 PLUS a $20 speech pack.

            Games were hella expensive.

            But we complain today because we get 3000x the production value for the same price. Is there any industry that does that? (Though I’ll admit, not always 3000x the game… I spent a YEAR playing almost nothing but U7. )

      • Carra says:

        I think it’s a fair price for a game where you can spend over 100 hundred hours. Especially considering the fact that it does not have a subscription.

        But you’re free to wait a few months until it drops in price or buy another, cheaper game.

      • fish99 says:

        Would you rather pay $60 for a 5-7 hr console game? I can remember paying something insane like 70 *pounds* for Turok on the N64 which must have been over $100 and that was ages ago.

    • nearly says:

      actually, I’m pretty sure I saw it last night for 10% off on getgamesgo.

      yup, still listed as a special offer currently. they may or may not actually have keys available, though, so if you were to buy, you might not be able to access the game until ArenaNet starts allowing digital purchases again.

  4. djbriandamage says:

    Thanks to this tip on Gameranx I “preordered” Borderlands 2 yesterday from Green Man Gaming for just $36 USD. I say “preordered” because you only get the Steam code on launch day which, I assume, means you won’t get the preorder bonuses. The only really worthwhile preorder bonus is the Mechromancer class which will be available for $10 USD so I’m content enough with that concession.

    • mwoody says:

      Greenman’s website confirms that yes, the “premiere pack” – mechromancer and all – is included.

      It’s NOT included with the free copies being given out by various retailers if you purchase an NVidia GTX video card, however.

  5. Jad says:

    I still don’t understand how they messed up Sonic 4 so badly. I can understand some of the other recent Sonics, as Sega needs to cater to the younger generation of fans who have no nostalgia for Sonic 1, 2, & 3 and want 3D movement and combat and lots of characters. But Sonic 4 was explicitly supposed to be a throwback game, a game for the old-time fans, a direct successor to Sonic 3 only with nicer graphics. It was a cheaper project, downloadable, short, no pressure to cater to anybody other than fans of the originals. But they failed, miserably, at capturing the feel of Sonic’s movement. Which, frankly, was really all Sonic had, other than terrible 90’s “attitude”.

    Here’s the thing: it’s not like those old games are lost to the mists of time, which we can only get garbled glimpses through half-remembered oral history.

    Sega: Make a prototype of your new game. Then boot up an old Genesis (I have one, still functioning, I’m sure you do too) or load an emulator, play Sonic 2, 3 & Knuckles. Does your game feel like those ones? No? Then tweak it. Play the old ones again. Tweak some more. Get to know the level design philosophies of the old games. Make levels like that in your prototype engine. Compare some more. Playtest with old fans. Do it some more. Once you’ve got it right then throw some artists at it, and release.

    Game development is never an easy process, but this has to be one of the the more simple tasks any development team could have out there. They had carte-blanche to cheat on their tests, to copy their homework, to re-write the paper they handed in last semester for another class, and they couldn’t even do that right, while adding nothing new to the formula.

    It’s baffling.

    • The JG Man says:

      Actually it’s entirely understandable, even if it’s still at a high level of bewilderment. The team who did 4, Dimps, were the ones who dealt with all the handheld titles for Ninty upwards. They started using a different set of physics and level design as they went along, following Sega’s foot-steps that the game is about pure speed (it’s an element of it, but the originals cared more about momentum, not pure speed). If you compare Sonic Rush on the DS to Sonic 4, the similarities are obvious. Sonic Rush is not a good game.

      The thing is, they listened to some of the feedback with movement regarding Episode 2 and they were, by-and-large, mostly fixed. There’s still some obvious things, like spin-dashing/rolling slowing you down far quicker than you should do, but most of the physics were sorted, however the level design in it is mostly bad. On top of that, you have automated spring/boost-pad sections where you’re doing nothing. It’s ridiculous.

      To top it off, the re-release of Sonic CD late last/early this year showed up some recent first-party Sonic attempts, alongside some fan games/hacks.

    • Bobtree says:

      SEGA made Sonic Team exclusively slave away at Sonic titles so long that they hate it. Making the same game over and over endlessly drove them to ruin. It’s pure developer burnout.

  6. c-Row says:

    Don’t listen to this man – Sonic Generations is a very worthy entry to the Sonic franchise.

    • _PixelNinja says:

      I agree — it is the best Sonic game since the blue hedgehog’s glory days and runs remarkably well on PC.

  7. Kid_A says:

    I appreciate there being a need for a certain amount of opinion on each game, but posting what amounts to “these are all awful because I miss the Mega Drive/Genesis games” is hardly constructive. The continued insistence on ignoring retailers with excellent deals like GMG because of a few minor launch hiccups is also grating.

    • Jac says:

      Agreed re: GMG – have used them a couple of times now with absolutely zero problems. Just plug the game key they give you into steam.

      Their discount vouchers are excellent – there’s a 25% one this weekend that gets you hit man absolution for £20, which is pretty decent if you already know you’re going to get it.

    • ThinkAndGrowWitcher says:

      Seconded! (and, in fact, thirded to infinity [but not beyond]).

      Still, though the bucket itself is often topped-up with a bit of dishwater, thank Christ for the comments thread – it’s an extreme little treat to rummage through of a Saturday/Sunday.

  8. ScottTFrazer says:

    Note that the Arkham City sale at Amazon is NOT the Goatee edition, so it doesn’t include the US$32 worth of DLC currently available.

    If you want the complete package, it’s currently US$24 on steam. If you think you might want even half the DLC, you should probably get the goatee from steam.

  9. bad guy says:

    Mechwarrior Living Legends
    Mod of the year 2010
    €2,50 (Crysis Warhead)

  10. Carra says:

    Resonance in on sale on RPS liked it, I’ll give it a try.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Maltose says:

    If you’re looking to get Guild Wars 2 at a discount, try They have a 25% off voucher code (GMG25-1BW0K-K1A3G), and I’m fairly sure it works on Guild Wars 2. Beware, it took me about a week to get a working code (the first code was already used) when I preordered the game on greenmangaming, but at least gmg fixed the problem eventually.

    • JoeyJungle says:

      Unfortunately they’ve been out of stock of Guild Wars 2 keys since a couple days before launch, and they don’t have any ETA on when they’ll be getting more.