The RPS Bargain Bucket: Obviously Not

If you think 2012 was a good year for cut priced gaming, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The competition for access to gamers’ wallets between all the different players is heating up more than ever before, and in 2013 it’s you that stand to benefit. Read on for the first bargain bucket of the year, and you can get the lowdown on the latest gaming deals across all platforms any time over at

Rage – £3.24/€4.99/$4.99
Rage wasn’t the outstanding return to form from id that I’d have liked to see, but it’s certainly worth playing, especially at this price. Here’s Adam on some of the best things about Rage:

But in those tracks and corridors, and the hubs that give the world so much of its character, there are enemies that squirm and crumple in just the right way when you fire both barrels into their chest. There are a hundred bits and pieces to collect, and sights to discover, all the detritus and decor of a scrapyard future.

More here, and read wot Alec thinks here.

End War, H.A.W.X., Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter & Rainbow Six: Vegas – £5.99/€7.49/$7.49
A host of games about men using guns to stop other men from using their guns. My favourite here has got to be Chaos Theory, still the strongest Splinter Cell for my money. It’s got the best level design in the series, a superb electronic soundtrack, and some fantastic moments of both levity and tension. There’s also HAWX, where the guns are attached to aeroplanes. Find out wot Jim thought of that here.

Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition – £11.19/€13.77/$17.99
Registers on Steam. This is from Amazon US, so you’ll need to enter a US billing address.
My shame with Dark Souls is that whilst I have scratched the surface of it, and I absolutely admire it’s purity of design and how it’s system fit together, I’ve not yet even begun to master it. I need to spend much more time with it. Here’s what Adam says:

I was trapped for hours, too afraid to go deeper, too weak to ascend. It’s the closest I’ve come to feeling completely lost and doomed to eternal death in a game for a long, long time. Curses, like so many boosts and buffs, do not immediately explain themselves and nor is a solution or purpose directly communicated. Experimentation and exploration are the key to discovery and victory.

More here.

The Darkness II – £4.66/€5.73/$7.49. Registers on Steam. This is from Amazon US, so you’ll need to enter a US billing address.
John was all for The Darkness 2, as is evidenced by all the complimentary words he wrote about it:

I was genuinely expecting a brash, stupid shooter, noise and bluster and shooting at heads. That it’s so smart is a fantastic surprise. Without this, I think the game’s frustrations might have pushed it too deeply into a crowded crowd. But it’s not without this – and it’s enigmatic with it. I’ll obviously not spoiling the endings, but that ‘s’ just there tells you something. And I’ll say that they’re brilliant which is a rarely used word when talking about how games end.

Deal of the week
Sine Mora – £1.60/€1.99/$1.99
Apply coupon “GMG20-PJFEW-Y16HK”. Registers on Steam.
Bit of an odd shmup this, it’s certainly got all the visual flair you’d expect from a Grasshopper Manufacture game, but it’s also got a funky time rewind thing. I’ll let Adam explain it:

Each level has a time limit and taking damage knocks seconds off that limit, while extra seconds can be collected from destroyed enemy waves. The standard temporal power is a bullet-time sort of thing, which is most welcome, but arcade mode allows actions to be reversed and bullets to be reflected back at their source. I don’t know how time manipulation informs that last ability but I have learned not to question the happenings and reasonings in Grasshopper games.

At full price, I’d understand being a bit wary of an oddity like this. But for a bit of spare change? I reckon everyone should give it a try.

Also of note:
Devil May Cry 4 – £1.36/€2.71/$5.43. Apply coupon “GMG20-PJFEW-Y16HK”. Registers on Steam.
Crysis Collection – £9.99/€13.73/$17.49
Batman: Arkham City [Goatee Edition] – £4.99/€7.49/$7.49

There’s more cheap games over at


  1. Hoaxfish says:

    as a side-note, the Steam sales have apparently been extended to the weekend so they can repeat some of the more popular sales

    • mwoody says:

      Which strikes me as a move calculated, for some reason, to infuriate their customers. I know many people who waited until the last day to buy games whose sales they missed at a partial discount. Having them then put these games back on sale is a bad idea. It’s like they’re training people to never hit “buy” until a game is at least 75% off, and I can’t imagine that helps their bottom line.

      On an unrelated note, these deals are getting sort of ridiculous. I used to buy games at launch if I really liked the developers and had confidence in their products – I have the disposable income and I like to support gaming – but with the exact same game 75-90% off mere weeks later, it feels like the studio thumbing its nose at me.

      • Malkara says:

        They’re not lowering the prices on any of the games, they’re just putting them back up at the lowest price they were during the sale. Waiting until the last day to see if your game becomes a daily, community, or flash deal is still the best choice. And complaining about prices being too low too fast is ridiculous. You paid the early adopter tax. Just like anyone who buys any piece of tech first day does.

        • brulleks says:

          I wouldn’t be so sure about that first point – I just bought Sleeping Dogs for £2.69 from Steam. Great for me, but I imagine anyone who bought it for £10.00 is going to be pretty narked off.

          Edit: It’s now back up to £10.16, so I guess it was a mistake and I was lucky enough to get in before they amended it.

          • JoeyJungle says:

            Yeah that price was an error. Once a game gets highlighted on the front page of steam as a deal of the day or as a flash sale, that’s the max discount it will have for the rest of the sale (aside from errors in pricing, like the Sleeping Dogs one).

          • paolonisa says:

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      • SkittleDiddler says:

        It’s obvious to me why they’re extending the sale: virtually every game they’ve been selling at discount has been price-matched or price-beat by their competitors. I’d be interested in seeing Steam’s sales figures this time around in relation to previous season events.

        • ThinkAndGrowWitcher says:

          That may or may not be the case – what you have to also allow for is the sheer volume of brand new Steam users looking to purchase from them during each new sale. Many of these don’t have a clue about finding the ‘best’ Steam deal elsewhere.

          I’d love to see the overall sales figures, because I’d bet that the sheer volume of new-user-purchasers heavily outweighs the drift to the competition…

          …especially as the core bargain hunters are tiny in comparison to those happy to get 50%-ish percentages off, rather than the previously trained 75% many of us were trained to expect (there seems a very definite move to *not* go to as many 75% reductions this time around).

          Either way, it’s a fascinating era we’re in regarding digital platforms, digital pricing, and the perceived value of digital products.

        • RobF says:

          Except they haven’t. Only a small handful of the games (admittedly headline titles but still) have had their discounts beaten by other outlets. Steam have had pretty much their entire catalogue going from 40p upwards apart from maybe 5 or 6 games and a lot of those titles have been the cheapest they’ve been (outside bundling in a fair few indie cases but y’know).

          Watching how people react to, say, GMG selling Steam keys for 5 or 6 big names in a row with a discount voucher (and clearly being unable to service that demand promptly in a lot of cases also) is fascinating. Or to Amazon repeating a number of the same deals.

          Don’t get me wrong, it’s fab that other stores are doing this and I’ve happily taken advantage of it to polish up the gaps in my game stash but for sheer scale alone, Steam sales still crush the other stores. And the other stores are feeding the Steam beast too because they do most of their sales selling Steam keys. Maybe if you just want XCOM and Spopsline for less than £20 and be done with, but if you’re interested in more than that? There’s still pretty much no competition.

          Which is kinda awesome and terrifying in equal measures.

          • b685759 says:

            That happened to me. I was called into the bank office and had to explain it. I felt like I had been caught buying furry sex toys. :(

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            You weren’t shopping around enough if you came to that conclusion. Amazon was easily beating Steam on games like Scribblenauts, the Double Fine Bundle, Alan Wake, Fallout, and quite a few others. GMG (lack of keys aside) were offering 30% off in addition to their seasonal deals, and they utterly trumped Steam when it came to discounts on newer releases. Even GameFly and GameStop were offering better discounts on a number of games. I know all this because I spent an inordinate amount of time looking for the best deals due to my limited holiday budget this year.

            The Steam Christmas Sale didn’t really “crush” the competition this time around. Maybe next holiday?

          • RobF says:

            What about the other 1,800 games though?

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            What about them? At the very least, all of Steam’s major competitors were price-matching virtually everything Steam had on sale (not including exclusive games obviously). Not only do I think digital retailers are getting smarter about their sales, but publishers are starting to realize that Steam is slowly losing ground as the premier distributor — that means better deals all around, not just those limited to Steam like in the old days.

            Since I’m assuming you have a Steam account, you may want to join a community group called Hookups. They post legit bargains and discounts daily, and I’ve found some fantastic deals with them. Highly recommended if you’re a penny-pincher like me.

          • RobF says:

            I don’t get it. What do you mean “what about them?”. There was around 1,800 games on sale at Steam starting from 40p upwards. Most of these games, the vast majority of these games were not price matched elsewhere, not even close to it. There’s only a relative handful of them that were and an even smaller handful where the discounts were deeper still.

            “Virtually every game they’ve been selling at discount has been price-matched or price-beat by their competitors” is simply not true.

            The discounts we’ve seen across the past two major-ish Steam sales (Autumn briefly/Winter) have seen the widest range and the deepest discounts across the largest amount of titles ever and no-one else is even in a position to compete with that yet. No-one else drives the numbers Steam do and no-one else has that depth of catalogue and the clout to get so many games on sale all at the same time.

            Yet all it takes is a select few titles not having discounts as deep for people to yell “shit sale” and I find that amazing to watch because why is that. y’know?

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            How many different sites did you shop at to compare prices? I stand by what I said: almost every game Steam had on sale was price-matched by other digital retailers.

            I hate to say it, but your apparent Steam fanboyism is coloring your opinion. You keep claiming that Steam’s competitors have yet to equal or beat Steam’s sales, but all you have to do is track about a year’s worth of former deals at websites like (not a complete retailer list, but it will give you a good idea of what I’m talking about) to see that this is absolutely not the case. Steam’s massive catalog aside, they offer nothing more these days than a handy way to store all of your games in one client.

            Anyway, I’ve made my point and I’ll leave you to your delusions of Steam grandeur.

          • RobF says:

            Yes, obviously it’s Steam fanboyism because it couldn’t possibly be anything else. You daft loon. Don’t be so silly.

            All statistics seem to point towards Steam gaining not losing ground, titles increasingly becoming bundled with Steamworks or Steam-features does not happen by accident, that there’s a sales cliff on the PC so massive it’s hard to comprehend between Steam and not-Steam sales on the PC and that other sites are having to drag customers in using Steam keys as bait (and perhaps not buying enough Steam keys because as long as the promise is there…) and for bonus points that loads of people outside of the mega pubs are eying up Steam in the same way they once eyed up console dev as the first port of call, this isn’t fanboyism.

            It’s a whether I like it or not, this is what’s on the plate right now and trying to deny it, trying to pretend (hope?) Steam are losing ground or that they haven’t just ran a sale which outperforms, undercuts on the -majority- of titles or whatever else has nothing to do with fanboyism, it’s just weird given the evidence. One flash deal on the front page for a lot of titles equals more than lifetime on any other distributor. Despite all this, you’re sitting there telling me it can’t be so. It isn’t so. That publishers might be looking at Steam thinking “oh aye, they’re not so good anymore” when the sales are going up, not down. I’d be understating to suggest that this is a hopeful view you’ve got there.

            Boggling, man. Boggling.

            And that I find this both fascinating and terrifying somehow I’m a fanboy. Mmm. Nope. I’m just a guy sitting here going “where the fuck is this leading then?” because I sell games, my friends sell games and especially when the response to massive sales selling games for next to nothing en masse, when that response from a vocal quarter is “shit sale, needs moar”, I have an interest in that, y’know? What is that more? Ensuring that they get a price match on competitors? Free games and coal? Clearly 1,800 games on sale for cheap isn’t it, right?

            Is all it takes to distract from Steam a few deals for a week or two? If so, amaze! That’s easy then, fickle folks. It’d be perhaps easier to parse if it weren’t Steam keys on sale there, y’know? At least then you could have it down as people jumping ship but no, it’s just a cheaper way to feed the Steam beast.

            I mean, it’s encouraging that sales are going up, more people are buying more games and Steam sales still work contrary to internet think and that other DD outlets might be picking up the slack finally but yeah, christ, scary too because what about everything else, y’know? If the other outlets are having to rely on selling Steam keys too which is pretty much how 2012 ended, then 2013 is going to be odd. And probably no better a time for something like the Hundle Store to propogate, y’know?

        • Jason Moyer says:

          Looking at my receipts from 2012, I bought nearly all of my “Steam” games from Amazon, Greenmangaming, Gamersgate, and Getgamesgo this year. Both the summer sale and the Black Friday/winter sales were overshadowed for me by the deals on Steam keys from other retailers, as far as marquee games go. Yeah I’m sure it’s nice Steam had Zeno Clash for 99 cents for the 5 people who didn’t buy it 4 years ago, but for everything else, eh.

          • RobF says:

            I’m in a similar boat with regards to the marquee games but there’s still, as I say, around 1,800 games to account for and whilst it’s easy to think that everyone already owns Xeno Clash or whatever smaller title because we’ve already bought it and it’s been in a bundle and stuff, luckily, we’re not the be all and end all of the chain here. Nor, if sales figures are anything to go by, are we in the majority when it comes to purchases either when we shop elsewhere for Steam keys.

      • KDR_11k says:

        Steam always does a re-run on the final day, the only difference is that it’s now two days.

    • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

      Since when was this “extended”? It has said “December 20 – January 5” since the start, and this repeat of popular dailies has been standard for the last bunch of big steam sales. No surprises there. In fact, I’ve been counting on it.

    • Chizu says:

      which is pretty much just what they do at the end of every sale cycle, just instead of being the last day, they’ve made it the weekend.
      Which is all the more weakened by the fact that most stuff has in the sale has been a daily deal/flash deal more than once already.

      Honestly this sales felt kinda weak cause of all the repeats and stuff.
      They shoulda made it shorter.

      • woodsey says:

        You’re right, but let’s take it further. Why not one day of sales a year, and we have to fight each other Gladiator-style to be allowed access to the deals?

        (On a side-note: I can’t believe we’ve now started complaining that sales are too long and hold specific deals for longer.)

    • dE says:

      This years steamsale was weird. As in, previous sales showed they could do better. Not just prices, where they were beaten almost every single time by the competition but presentation and execution as well. The continued repeats (while wanted from the community, lead to a “meh, seen that deal already” feeling upon looking at the daily deals), the community choice votes which often brought a game down from its 50% reduction to a… 50% reduction. The frequently wrong percentages on daily deals that took about 20 minutes to fix after they were shown as “THIS IS IT, DOESN’T GET CHEAPER ON STEAM THIS SALE. OOPS WE WERE WRONG LOL”.
      There was also a lot of missed opportunity with the lack of community stuff. Although I kinda understand that they ditched that after the mess some folks made last year (using achievement unlock hacks to continously get games on different accounts. Some nicked up to a 100 games using this method – not exagerated).

      • Baines says:

        Yes, a 2 day extension seems a bit redundant when the deals were already being repeated during the regular sales period.

        The same games were getting Daily Deal (which was really a two day deal), Flash Deal, and also showing up in Community votes.

        At the same time, other games were getting ignored because they didn’t have the temporary boosts to put them to front page status. It’s a bit of a shame that a game could get more publicity by being 50% off for the whole sale with a temporary jump to 75%, than the same game got by being 75% for the entire sale. (Unless it was part of a franchise. Then Steam would front page that 75% as if it was a temporary boost even when it was the normal Winter sale price.)

    • ShineyBlueShoes says:

      Also look at any game that’s not featured on the front page, they’re all back up to normal price. This is the normal end to a Steam sale and the thing even said it went through January 5th for the last two weeks.

      • f1x says:

        but but… steam is mainstream…we must find some way to hate it :(

  2. Taidan says:

    You say that Rage has “enemies that squirm and crumple in just the right way when you fire both barrels into their chest”.

    My question is: Does the version of Rage that is on sale through Steam actually include the Double-Barrelled Shotgun, or is that forever consigned to be only ever enjoyed by those that pre-ordered back in the day?

    Y’know, because I wouldn’t want to to a game specifically to be able to fire both barrels of a weapon into peoples’ chests, and not have the option of doing so due to some very short-sighted marketing madness. (Even if that game is absurdly generously priced.)

    • wyrmsine says:

      I’d yet to see a double-shotty by the time I stopped playing, at about 80% through the game.

      It’s also an odd game – astounding art direction, utterly uninspired, lazy gameplay. It’s a bit like iD decided to remake Borderlands, but thought it was just too much fun. It’s another one of those games that would have been GOTY if it came out around Half-Life 2, but now seems to have stubbornly refused to learn anything about game design in the last seven years. It’s also 17 GB, which is pretty amazing for such thin work.

      • CantankerousDave says:

        No double-barreled for me either, and I played (and finished) it for the first time a couple weeks ago. It was a weird series of mood swings: from fun during the shooting bits to aneurysm-inducing rage (hur hur) during the unavoidable driving sections; from gawping at the sharp, colorful outdoor vistas to WTF-ing over why some indoor levels looked good, but most were a blue-tinted, pixellated mess.

        My install was *21*GB, not 17. Factor that into your decision if you’ve got a slow connection or have a low data cap. It also took a *lot* of tinkering just to get it to run. Factor in at least an hour for googling things to find out why it crashes to desktop when it plays the Bethesda intro video right after you click Play, as well as minimizing (not fixing) the notorious texture pop-in every time you turn.

        I’m still pissed at the effing driving controls. A and D to turn? No mouse control? Really? Switching from mouse-controlled freelook to this was like suddenly having my head clamped into a vise. And even though the mouse is essentially disabled at that point, you still have to use it to fire and switch weapons.

        • Svant says:

          Using the mouse to turn in games is probably the stupides thing ever. Especially in games were people have guns since you really want to be able to look around. Turning the vehicle to were the player is looking is horrible horrible design.

          • Arglebargle says:

            No, not allowing your players the ability to change the settings to THEIR PREFERENCES is perhaps the most horrible, horrible design for a GUI. And sadly, one ignored by far too many developers.

          • gmillar says:

            I would not want to be friends with someone who uses the mouse to steer a vehicle.

          • CantankerousDave says:

            I had just come off of Borderlands 2, which uses mouse driving, and I’m a pretty damn good driver in that one. It was definitely one of those “Oh, people will be playing this with a gamepad” design decisions.

      • KDR_11k says:

        You get that thing from the start if you inputted the code. It’s not all that useful, especially with the alternate ammo types (the first shot knocks the aim off and the second just goes wherever) and once you have the proper shotgun (which is also when you get shotty ammo regularly) it can safely be ignored. You also get the option to ignore the “classes” and just get all the benefits but I avoided that since it felt too cheaty.

      • AngusPrune says:

        As someone suckered in to pre-ordering rage (I needed something to satisfy my dumb shooter lust while Space Marine wasn’t available on steam UK) believe me, you aren’t missing anything. The double-barrelled shotgun is utterly useless, while the normal shotgun is pretty much the mainstay of your armament.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      I dunno how it is outside the US, but the normal retail version on DVD here came with all the anarchy pack preorder stuff, and as it’s Steamworks anyway I just get a somewhat shorter install time.

  3. Pcvwruip says:

    Lewie, “My favourite here has got to be Chaos Theory, still the strongest Splinter Cell for my money. It’s got the best level design in the series, a superb electronic soundtrack, and some fantastic moments of both levity and tension.”

    I have to ask out of curiosity, did you ever play old-gen Splinter Cell: Double Agent for the XB1/PS2? Because I personally feel that it was just as strong as Chaos Theory. Remember that old-gen Double Agent was the one actually developed by the Chaos Theory team whereas the new-gen (current-gen consoles and PC) one was done by Ubi Shanghai of Pandora Tomorrow fame.

    • tobecooper says:

      Not answering for Lewie but PC port for Double Agent is awful – buggy and crashy. It was also the game to introduce day missions, and made Splinter Cell more story-driven. So it’s always treated with utter contempt in the PC parts of the stealthy internet. I haven’t played it yet, but do intend to soon. It’s nice to read some nice things about the game, though, because it gives me hope that it will be enjoyable.

      Also I’m rather surprised about the praise for Chaos Theory, it’s definitely better than the first two games, but not by that much – it’s a proper evolutionary change, and perfecting of the formula. But the formula was there from the start. (Though I do love the soundtrack for Chaos Theory, the music theme during the bank heist was perfect. I felt like going out and robbing a bank myself.)

      • DPB says:

        The Xbox/PS2 and 360/PC versions are actually completely different games, rather than being ports of the same game. The wikipedia article goes into the differences in some detail, they don’t share much other than the same basic plot and concept.

        • tobecooper says:

          Oh, I didn’t know this, but it’s very very interesting.
          (And I misread Pcvwruip’s post. Sorry about that too.)

      • KenTWOu says:

        Also I’m rather surprised about the praise for Chaos Theory, it’s definitely better than the first two games, but not by that much – it’s a proper evolutionary change, and perfecting of the formula.

        IMO the difference between Chaos Theory and SAR/Pandora Tomorrow is astounding. And obviously you forgot about innovative co-op campaign.

  4. Post-Internet Syndrome says:

    Does the GG copy of AC register on steam? I’m guessing not. Might get it anyway.

    • TNG says:

      None of the Assassin’s Creed titles on Gamersgate register on steam. Even if they did, from ACII onwards, all are uplay games, so you have to run them through ubisoft’s application even if you bought it on steam.

      • tobecooper says:

        I wouldn’t buy any Assassin’s Creed through Steam. All of them are cheaper on GamersGate, and they don’t make you go through magic hoops to just play the game. Steam’s AC2 automatically installs a wrong version of uplay, and it uses some modified version anyway just to not register on your Uplay account, and to always require Steam. It’s DRM extravaganza.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          This. The fact that Ubisoft titles sold on Steam use a segregated Uplay client is annoying. Best to skip the middle man and buy them Steam-free.

    • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

      Haha sorry, meant Arkham City, didn’t think of the other major game series with those initals. :P Anyway, the rerun sale on steam is now almost as cheap, so I bought it there.

      • tobecooper says:

        Oh, you villain!
        (And Arkham City’s got a multiple-DRM sandwich too! :D
        But you’re Batman now, so you’ll deal with it.)

      • f1x says:

        Yeah, Arkham City is one stupid thing, so much DRM and for what? it got cracked just like the rest
        actually I’m sure it plays with less problems on the cracked version, which in the end means that they probably lost more customers this way

        On the other hand, myself I had the major problems with GFWL, because the thing didnt want to connect properly to my account so in the end I made an offline profile and at some point which I dont remember it seems that I introduced the CD-Key to that offline profile, so when I managed to log with my online profile (needed to reinstall GFWL apparently) the CDKey was in use,

        I still can play with the offline profile, but hell, its so stupid overall

  5. aliksy says:

    Dark Souls is more annoying than hard in some places when the checkpoints are too far apart. Sen’s fortress, the catacombs, and the new londo ruins especially come to mind.

    Also sorcery was far, far, far, far easier for me than trying melee. It’s like, “I can stay back here and shoot the giant slobbering demon… or I can practically climb into its mouth for it.” Right. In NG+ this got worse, where I was able to one or two-shot some bosses with magic.

    Spells per day is also a terrible system in every incarnation.

    Also the controls are kind of awful. You can’t sidestep or backstep unless you’re locked on to something, and you have to be pretty close to lock on. You can dodge-roll, but that’s not always what you want to do. That got me killed a few times.

    All of that said, I did play it for maybe 60-80 hours. I enjoyed parts of it. Worth it at $15, I guess, if you already have a gamepad.

    • dE says:

      “Spells per day is also a terrible system in every incarnation.”
      Beats running in circles waiting for Mana to recharge, every day.

      • fish99 says:

        Whoever waited for mana to recharge in Demon Souls? You ran around with giant stacks of health and mana regen items.

        • dE says:

          He said “every incarnation” so chances are that I’m not talking about Demons Souls in my reply but rather a general point of view as well, don’t you think? But nice of you to mention it, because in terms of health and mana, Demons Souls was broken as hell.

          • fish99 says:

            Fair enough, but most RPGs I’ve played have mana potions and you can usually buy as many as you want.

      • aliksy says:

        Disagree. Stamina regenerates and is fine. How would you like it if stamina was per day? Besides, there are other ways to “balance” spell casting other than “spells per day” and “mana”.

        • dE says:

          Do you want magic in games to be something special or rather something mundane? The answer to that question is inherently linked to the question “do you want spells limited or unlimited?”.

          • jrodman says:

            Well per-day seems like a fairly clumsy way to limit them. What’s a day?

            Per trip-from-a-safe-place? maybe that’s effectively what it is?

            I sort of liked the Dragon Quarter system, where you had some magic that was very strong but made you creep towards a game lost condition.

          • Baines says:

            Spells per day bugged me ever since playing D&D as a kid. Anything rare, you end up hoarding like ammo in a survival horror game. And then at the end of the day, you find you’ve more than you need left unused.

            Worse, it doesn’t really make magic less mundane. It just sticks a different artificial restriction on it. I’ve got a spell that lets me alter reality on a planetary scale, and the only restriction is that I can only cast it once per day? That 24 hour wait might mean I can “only” cast it 200 times on this journey!

            Games wanted to emulate the massive powers of magic, but didn’t want magic to always be the solution. The problem is that a story could get away with a magic character using only a handful of uber-spells, and using each only once in a story. And they conveniently use it at the appropriate time. When you give those powers to a player, he doesn’t really know when you want him to use it. He’s also going to want to use it more than once.

    • NathanH says:

      I have no idea about the implementation in the game in question, but spells-per-day is most certainly not always bad. It allows you to It can create nice resource management questions between the “you can do whatever you want every encounter” of regenerating mana and “you only have x charges ever” of activated items and potions. It can create tense situations in long dungeons. When coupled with spell memorization mechanics, it allows choice between flexibility and specialization.

      It tends to work best in party-based games though, where you can have a balance between characters with always-available abilities and spells-per-day characters.

      • jrodman says:

        I’d say it emphasizes being concerned about survivability over the period until you can refresh, as opposed to just the one fight.

        I like that some games have that element, while some don’t. Variety of feel!

    • derbefrier says:

      It can be tough at times especially the places you mentioned to get through, though more often than not in the game if you find yourself taking too long between camp fires chances are you missed a shortcut somewhere or a hidden campfire(there is on one in sens fortress that i would have never found if a buddy didn’t tell me)
      I do like the magic system in dark souls though so there’s that. Also I had the complete opposite experience of you meaning I had a much easier time with my melee character than my magic. Hell with my night before I even beat the game the first time I had so much stamina I could literally block any attack the game threw at me with ease. I also thought the controls were perfect (with a controller of course :P)
      but its also my favorite game I have played in 5 years so its hard for me to look at it too critically since I loved it so much.

    • bigjig says:

      There are shortcuts that bypass the majority of Sen’s Fortress, New Londo Ruins and the Catacombs though. Spell management is a necessary element the gameplay too. I do agree that being able to sidestep and backstep when not locked on would be awesome, hopefully they add that for Dark Souls 2

    • Filden says:

      I agree that sorcery in the game is not as well designed as melee combat. I started as a sorcerer, and found the game more tedious than interesting because it allows you to bypass the well designed melee, which is the most rewarding part of the game, in my opinion. Enemies simply became a use of a consumable, rather than an obstacle to overcome with skill. Challenge was also an issue, as the game occasionally made you pay for being a glass cannon, but not nearly as often as it made otherwise challenging encounters trivial. Sorcery, and archery for that matter, both feel like a cheat.

      I didn’t enjoy the game until I re-rolled a melee character. The game is designed and balanced around the melee combat, and it is a viscerally rewarding experience. I didn’t mind all the repetition as much with the melee character, because the melee combat itself was appealing, even when dispensing with trash mobs.

      I disagree about “Spells per Day” however. I like the idea of a spell system that treats spells as scarce resources and that rigidly enforces the number of uses of a given spell over the course of a battle, or series of battles. It forces you to make hard decisions about which spells to equip, and when to use them. Difficult decisions and limited resources are vital for rewarding strategic thinking.

      That said, there are plenty of games where the spells per day thing doesn’t work very well, because there is little real limitation on where or when you can refresh those spells without consequence. It worked well in Dark Souls, because there are real limits on where you can rest, and real consequences for doing so. You always had to weigh the cost and risk of refreshing your spells against their usefulness. It made you make difficult decisions, like maybe doubling up on less powerful but more practical spells, versus loading up with the most powerful spells available to you.

      • f1x says:

        Thats actually the major charm of the game, when you are playing you are really thinking “should I go down there, its quite dark and probably some nasty thing is gonna pop and kill me”

        The game manages to introduce the sense of danger in every step you take, that your actions will have a consecuence (you died) and there is a lot to loose (souls, humanity, etc)
        So the spell system is made in harmony with that in my opinion, it adds to the overall design of the game
        I’m not sure if archers or sorcerers are that overpowered after all, its just more obvious where to take advantage when playing them I think

        On the other hand I understand that there was a major fan-cry when they spoke about an “easy” mode, it would kill all the magic of the game

  6. The Random One says:

    I never got anything from GMG, but I think I’ll risk it for the first time today. That’s a mighty cheap Sine Mora.

    EDIT: Aaaaaand it didn’t let me pay through Paypal! Hooray! That will teach me not to second guess my irrational biases.

    • JoeyJungle says:

      :( They’ve been having trouble with some banks denying purchases from them because they’re in the bank’s database as a gambling site for some reason. Hopefully they get that worked out and you can purchase stuff from them, they have some of the best discounts of any site. I got Xcom and Borderlands 2 from them for $35 each as a preorder

      • LeeTheAgent says:

        That happened to me. I was called into the bank office and had to explain it. I felt like I had been caught buying furry sex toys. :(

        Paypal eventually worked though.

    • Llewyn says:

      Assuming, since you mention Paypal, that this isn’t the American bank problem (which always seems to me more of an American bank problem than a GMG problem), are you using NoScript?

      It seems that at some point during payment processing something silently triggers NoScript’s XSS detection, causing the payment request to fail. Allegedly the only way around it is to disable NoScript completely while completing the transaction; there might be less drastic solutions, but this worked for me.

      It also seems that GMG arbitrarily refuses to work for some people using IE, obviously for different reasons.

      There’s much to dislike about GMG – the problems above, compounded by the slow, incompetent and downright dishonest ‘customer service’ – but they certainly have some good deals, occasionally even good enough to put up with dealing with them.

      • mwoody says:

        I can confirm everything from the above poster. The “some banks think we’re a gambling site” might be true – it certainly doesn’t paint them in a good light, so I’m hesitant to call it a purposeful mistruth – but every time I’ve seen that error, it’s been the result of a failed script and not an actual transaction.

        • LeeTheAgent says:

          For me, it hasn’t been a script problem, as I’ve said, it was brought to the bank’s attention, and when it didn’t go through, GMG’s website did bring up a notice about it, but I figured it was probably due to it being a European company while I use an American bank. Funny thing… now I can’t even get Paypal to work, so in this case, I don’t know… it worked last time and I have changed any script settings.
          Edit: And it still won’t work. Perhaps because I confirmed my bank account on Paypal since I last used GMG.

        • Llewyn says:

          There’s certainly a problem with some American banks refusing to process GMG transactions as well; the scripting issue is independent of/in addition to this. Some people are probably getting the double whammy.

          • LeeTheAgent says:

            So my bank just called me today… they say the debit card company they work with has gotten so many fraudulent claims out of the UK, that they have blocked that entire “country.” WHAT HAVE YOU PEOPLE BEEN UP TO? >_>

  7. Syneval says:

    FYI Sleeping Dogs is at -91% on Steam right now, I guess a fluke? Anyway just got it for 4.5 euro : )

    • tobecooper says:

      I got it too, thanks for the heads-up!

    • derbefrier says:

      its appears i just missed it. while it still says its 90 percent off in the cart it goes back to 66 percent off :(

      oh well i didnt want it that bad anyways

    • grundus says:

      Damn, I bought that on Get Games for £7.50 a couple of weeks back. I guess that makes me even for getting Far Cry 3 Deluxe plus the other two Far Crys for £4.94 in the Impulse pricing SNAFU of the year 2012, and the McLaren M23 on Simraceway for free on New Years Day due to a hilarious pricing mishap. 50% off, 100% off, who cares right?

      But yeah, Sleeping Dogs is great, I can’t wait to get into it properly.

  8. bad guy says:

    With Crysis Warhead (4,99€) you can play the excellent mod “Mechwarrior: Living Legends”

  9. fish99 says:

    It’s good to see Steam regularly getting beat on price these days, and hopefully people are willing to buy from these other stores. Competition is a good thing.

    • Advanced Assault Hippo says:


      90% of my games bought on sale this christmas were NOT from the Steam store.

      It’s a good thing for it to be spread around. Hopefully a sign of things to come.

      • leeder krenon says:

        So long as the game registers on Steam, that’s fine. I want all my games in one place and don’t mind paying an extra £2 for that to be the case.

        • Advanced Assault Hippo says:

          Who cares which delivery client you run them from?

          Mass Effect 3, Battlefield 3, FarCry 3, etc. All require their own client running and have been a huge commercial success. More and more big games will hopefully follow suit.

          Seems silly to me to stay loyal to Valve at the expense of missing out on other great games/bargains/etc.

        • fish99 says:

          There is a downside to having all your games on one client. Imagine if you wanted to lend one of your games to a friend. Kinda hard to do that if it’s on steam and you have a big library. You can maybe try something with offline mode, but it’s gonna get very messy if they already have a steam account, and it’s against the T&C.

          Anything else you buy you can lend to other people, including console games, but not anymore with PC games. No one seems to care though.

          Our house had to buy three copies of Skyrim, whereas with traditional boxed Oblivion one was enough.

  10. pupsikaso says:

    Ah, wish I could buy Sine Mora. For the full price I don’t think it’s worth it, but so cheap there’s no doubt about it, even if only to see a world designed by the creator of Blue Submarine No6. Loved that one.

    Unfortunately to buy it you have to register on greenmangaming and I am so sick and tired of registering everywhere…

  11. Asokn says:

    Hi guys,

    I can’t post this anywhere else but every time I try to post a new topic in the forums I get a message saying the topic needs to be approved by a moderator and then it never appears. Does anyone know what the problem is?

    • cptgone says:

      i had that happen to me recently when i tried to post in a thread, prolly cause my reply consisted of links only.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Its the RPS Frustrato-tron 2000 that Horace installed. It uses your mic or webcam to assess how impassioned / angry you were when you made your post. If you really, really, really felt incensed about something, the Frustrato-tron will consign your words to the internet ether, and then film or record your exasperated reaction. These are archived for RPS staff smirking purposes and later published.

      There’s currently a backlog of videos to watch from when Far Cry 3 was GOTY, causing the Irateness System Detector to overload, so it may be some months before you see your post

    • Asokn says:

      Thanks for the replies. My first attempt had a few links so I tried again with just text and that didn’t work either. Both of those efforts were on my phone so I tried on my PC and that didn’t work either. I just don’t know what to do to make a thread!

  12. Shepardus says:

    For anyone interested who hasn’t bought La-Mulana yet, it’s on a pay-what-you-want sale at Playism (minimum $1), with the OST as a bonus if you pay more. I think the sale lasts only 10 more hours, though, so act quickly if you want the deal.