The RPS Bargain Bucket: Booze Tales

Listen up kids, here’s a cautionary tale of The Man Who Drank Too Much Alcohol And Then Had A Hangover And Then Wanted The World To End An Then Had To Write Words About Video Games. Hang on, I think the title actually contained the whole story. Basically I’m doing my best, OK? Leave me alone. I’ll probably eventually feel better, and then I’ll get back to updating, but I’m afraid the selection of cheap games listed here is all you’re getting out of me today.

Oh, I should address the thing about the no colon. I’m borrowing someone else’s laptop and what. Needs a bit of a clean, too, I reckon.

All of the Bioshocks – £12.48/€14.78/$19.99
This is from Amazon US, so you’ll need to enter a US billing address. Registers on Steam.
Here’s a series of games that are equal parts incisive social commentary, murder simulator and dumpster diving. You play a dude who communicates with blunt instruments, bullets, and magic superpowers, and you have to go from a to b, trying to avoid any instances of ludonarrative dissonance. They’re a bit scary at times, but it’s ok because if it gets too scary you can stop playing it and play something else instead. The first one has the best story, the second one has the best shooting, and the third one has the best utter crushing disappointment at how not very good it is compared to the first two.

All of the Metros – $19.99
Deep Silver love a bit of regional pricing discrimination, so as part of their policy of charging “as much as we can possibly get away with”, these are region locked to the USA. It’s an extremely consumer hostile set of policies, but it probably helps them maximise shareholder wealth, and that’s all that really matters, right? Here’s some words that tell you if the games are any good (they are), but if you happen to be too foreign to be worthy of this discount, maybe just go climb a tree or something.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted – £7.49/Possibly similar price in other currencies.
Did you like Burnout Paradise, but thought it was too colourful and not quite corporate enough? Then this will be right up your street. Street! Like a car analogy. John played it, and was kind enough to share his feelings about it.

A vast city, ridiculously detailed and lovingly crafted, packed with races, cars, jumps, barriers and advertising hoardings. You have a huge array of cars very quickly available to you, all of which drive ridiculously fast (0 to 60 in around a second, generally), skid splendidly around corners, and hugely varied in handling.

More this way.

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified – £9.99
It took XCOM: Enemy Unknown more than twice as long after release to drop to this sort of price range. I wonder if we’ll see other publishers cynically cashing in on this trend by making cerebral strategy spin offs of their dumb ass cover shooters. This XCOM is the one that is a Gears Of War ‘Em Up, and here’s your man Adam telling you why you should probably only buy it out of morbid curiousity than out of thinking it will be a proper XCOM game.

Deal of the week
All of the X games – £3.75/€4.44/$6
I’m sorry I’ve not played any of the X games, and there’s not even a review of any of them in the RPS archives for me to lazily copy and paste from. Maybe you can just buy them speculatively, or maybe kind people in the comments will say whether they are funtimes or not. I think they are games about space ships.

And with that I’m done. Please visit my website about cheap video games.


  1. LTK says:

    Can’t say there’s a lot of interesting stuff here, so I’ll point out that there’s still 4 days left to get the Humble Indie Bundle 9 which includes Trine 2, Mark of the Ninja, Brütal Legend, FTL, FEZ, Bastion and Limbo. It’s a killer deal, except most people probably already own all these games, but I picked it up for Trine 2 and FEZ.

    Also, is giving away Flight of the Amazon Queen, a point-and-click adventure from 1995.

    • Gerbick says:

      Thanks for that LTK. I bought FoftAQ on release back in-the-day, and it crashed everytime I had to put in a certain one of the 11 disks. And now I get to finish it!

    • Petethegoat says:

      I bought it mainly for Mark of the Ninja, which I have played through twice since. It is good.
      It reminds me a bit of Stealth Bastard Deluxe, which is also stealthy, though more about puzzling than action.

      They’re both pretty lovely.

    • Alien426 says:

      FOTAQ has been freeware since 2004 (ScummVM), but it’s appreciated nonetheless.

      • jrodman says:

        There’s something to be said for a mildly more convenient install and exposure. Agreed.

      • The Random One says:

        Almost all games that are free on GoG are games that were already freeware. It sure is convenient to get it from them though.

        • syllopsium says:

          s/Freeware/Abandonware. The games that are truly freeware on they’re giving away, the rest were never free.

    • suibhne says:

      I posted this in the previous discussion on the Humble Bundle, but it bears repeating: take note that this bundle includes multiple SPECTACULAR soundtracks, not just games. (See, I put it in capital letters so you’d be convinced!) Seriously, a few of these are among the best soundtracks that our medium has to offer – especially Bastion and Fez, but also Trine 2, Brutal Legend, etc. Even if you have most of the games, beating the average price might be worth it just for the music.

    • Kefren says:

      Also, Stargunner is free on GOG: link to

  2. rei says:

    “maybe kind people in the comments will say whether they are funtimes or not”

    The X-games are funtimes. At least Albion Prelude is. The older titles may or may not take one a while to get used to the systems, but it’s no Dwarf Fortress either way.

    • stambo says:

      Albion Prelude is basically the same as X3 – Terran Conflict. That makes it an amazing game.

      I consider myself a big fan of the franchise, although I have to say that I don’t enjoy anything before Terran Conflict (so a big fan of the franchise and I only like 2 games in it, how does that work exactly). I tried to get into Reunion in 3-4 separate times, however I absolutely hate the UI in the game, I just couldn’t get into it at all. In my opinion Terran Conflict solves that and is an amazing game because of it. So if you’re going to try anything, try TC or Albion Prelude. Don’t go for the older stuff, it’s really dated.

      Oh and X-Rebirth will soon come out and it’s looking amazing.

      • WrenBoy says:

        Am I right in thinking that you can easily get official nosteam exes for those games?

        • trjp says:

          If the bundle doesn’t contain the DRM-free version I’ll be surprised if it exists/is legit – Humble are big on ‘DRM-free’ if it’s available.

          p.s. just peeked, on the X3 Superbox is Steam only, everything else is marked as available cross-platform without Steam.

        • rustybroomhandle says:

          Egosoft do supply official nosteam exes, so yup.

      • Kefren says:

        The music in the X2 trailer is amazing. Blade Runner-esque. I could imagine just flying round while that plays. Is it actually in the game?

        • Osdeath says:

          I think the exact piece in the trailer might be 2 seperate pieces in game, but yeah that’s pretty much what the music is like, most of the music from X2 is carried forward into Terran Conflict as well. (Haven’t played AP properly yet to comment on that)

          Just to give my brief opinion on the X series, I started playing at X2 and I dont think i’ve ever reached the end game, it’s entirely true that it will swallow up a large amount of your free time but I still feel the early game is highly entertaining.

          Whilst I’m sure it’s wonderful to romp around the galaxy in a capital ship or 10, being a fighter pilot just wandering the galaxy looking for a fight has its own charms, as does being a lone trader in a ship, and it’s always satisfying to realise about 20 hours later that you aren’t just a lone trader in a ship any more as you look at a sprawling factory complex that you own, and to realise that is the first complex of hundreds you’ll probably have to build over the course of the game in order to see you through the storylines.

          Yeah it’ll munch your time like nothing else but it’ll be a lot of fun on the way, hell of a lot of fun.

    • Stardreamer says:

      I would only consider buying these games if you like the idea of your free time being like your time at work, and if you like slow, tedious Capitalism so much that you like your games to be dominated by it. Albion Prelude – the latest iteration – brought Stocks and Share trading into the mix. Because that’s what MY space dreams have always been hankering for, woohoo!

      These games require mammoth investments of time to get to their end-games, and are glacially slow-paced up until then. They scratch the space-game itch but not in any way that’s intuitive or convenient.

      I own every one of the X games already but only because for a while they were the only major space game being made. Now that Elite IV and Limit theory are on the way Egosoft may be out of a customer.

      • realityflaw says:

        Strange that you mention your disdain of the stock market, and then your dislike of how long the power curve is when the stock market seems to have been designed primarily as a method to skip the first dozen or so hours of trading in energy cells and pirate scout ships.

      • vecordae says:

        Fiscal system additions aside, Albion Prelude also adds several useful new ships to the mix along with simplified ways to get a hold of some of the better ships in the game (like OTAS and ATF designs), and less-tedious ways of accessing some of the more interesting plot rewards from Terran Conflict. Also of note is that the recent updates filled out the ship roster a bit, meaning Terrans now have a proper fighter tug and there are light frigate-grade carriers available for most races/ship lines.

        It also makes sure the AI uses its missiles properly now, which can be an enormous and unpleasant surprise to those unaccustomed to them. Before claiming and repairing an unoccupied fighter, it behooves one to check for any incoming torpedoes launched from across the sector. I neglected to this and received a spontaneous matter/antimatter enema.

    • Premium User Badge

      Maltose says:

      Even if you don’t play the x-games at all and hate space sims, the games are pretty enough to be $6 screensavers.

  3. Cytrom says:

    Bought Bioshock Infinite for 8 pounds this week at gamefly which i believe is the lowest it has ever been, but that sale is over now, so… trololol

    Although I think its still for sale at 15£ (12 if the coupon “GFDSEP20UK” still works), which is also decent.

  4. jaronimoe says:

    well, there’s also a new bundle in a box: link to
    and a new indieroyale: link to

    though both are not particularly compelling to me.

    • Alphadrop says:

      Bundle in a box has a few interesting gems in it though. Hack, Slash Loot, Frayed Knights and Call of Cthulhu: Wasted Land are all meant to be pretty good.
      Indie Royal is just meh.

      • trjp says:

        The Indie Royale is – essentially – free. 2 keys have been sent to everyone who’s subscribed to the mailing list.

        It’s churlish to complain about ‘free’ – and if you didn’t sign-up for the emails you must know someone who did (I someone seem to have received 3 or 4 emails/sets of keys already so you should be able to wangle a set easily).

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          So the games being free automatically precludes them from sucking? Okay then.

          • trjp says:

            Of course not – but it does mean that this IR doesn’t really compare with other IRs or other bundles which cost monies – perhaps…

            Quite a few people have grumbled about that bundle and they are apparently unaware that it’s essentially a ‘thanks for being on the mailing list’ bundle.

        • Baines says:

          I can only guess that Indie Royale unsubscribed me, because not only did I not get any free keys, I didn’t even get notice of the bundle existing.

          • trjp says:

            Sending a million emails is a tricky business and it can take time if you’re near the end of the list – that said most people seem to have received their emails yesterday…

            I only subscribed once – to the first ever bundle – and once you’re a customer you get updates unless you ask for them to setop – have you checked your SPAM folder??

      • MattM says:

        Didn’t like hack, slash, loot. Just too simplified.

  5. timethor says:

    Most Wanted for 10 euros looked nice.. but then there are 13 different DLC packages. Apparently, only 3 of those contain gameplay (and the rest just unlocks stuff? I think?), but combined those 3 already cost 20 euro. So then you have to figure out which of those packs contain significant gameplay justifying the high cost compared to the base game, instead of just 4 reskinned cars, and…

    I was in the mood for an impulse buy. That mood has been killed. Same went for Crusader Kings II a while back by the way. It was on sale, I was in the mood to grab a bargain.. and then I spent the next half hour figuring out which of the 30 DLC packs I should buy. Ended up buying nothing at all.

    • lowprices says:

      The base game is a lot of fun. As Lewie says, it’s basically Burnout Paradise 2. As for the dlc, you can happily play the main game for a long time and get your money’s worth without buying th dlc, but if you were to buy some only the Terminal Velocity pack is worth it, as that adds a new area.

    • trjp says:

      Forget the DLC – most of it is lazy unlocks.

      The game itself is Burnout Paradise but with real-world cars/better and more varied handling and – and this is the biggie – an online mode which is head-shoulders-arse-and-elbow better.

      In fact it’s bordering-on one of the best online games I’ve ever played, it’s bonkers…

    • timethor says:

      I went ahead and bought the base game.. and was then prompty presented with in-game tickers telling me to buy the dlc, progress-meters for the dlc, numerous in-game links to the store..

      ugh. What happened to the good old days where you could just buy a game and then enjoy it without being advertised to death?

      (ok, cheapskates who only buy a game when it hits $10 happened. Sorry guys >_>)

      edit: oh, and apparently some of the “just pull up next to a car to jump into it!”-cars lead you straight the “lol no you gotta buy this first”-screen. o_0

    • Leb says:

      While it probably is too late for your decision on CK2.. there are only a handful of DLC that add a plethora of content (and when these were released, the games were patched with loads more free content even if players did not buy em)
      – Old Gods, earlier start date and playable vikings
      – Sword of Islam, Playable Muslims (diff mechanics than Catholics)

      Less grand in my opinion, but still adding content are
      – The Republic, playable republics, largely different to play than rest of game
      – Legacy of Rome, adds features to Orthodox/Byzantines

      All said though.. I put around 40 hours into the game with no DLC. And say, if you are only really interested in playing Catholic nations (e.g. the actual Crusader Kings), that’s all you really need

  6. Rublore says:

    There is also an RPG sale on GOG this weekend:
    link to

    A fair few titles for 60% off.

    • Morte66 says:


      I finally got around to “the other Vampire the Masquerade RPG”, at 60% off.

    • malkav11 says:

      Importantly, including just-recently-added Wizardries 6, 7, and 8. (6/7 bundled together, 8 by itself.)

      • LionsPhil says:

        And yet even this is insufficent to rouse Wizardry from his slumber and return him to us. :(

        • The Random One says:

          He shall return to us when he is needed!

          Also, worth mentioning that System Shock 2 is part of this sale as well, as if there was anyone in here that didn’t buy it at full price as soon as it landed on GoG.

          • drewski says:

            …there are people who don’t own it from the boxed release?

            I mean, just build a time machine already, people who weren’t old enough for SS2 then! Lazy goddamn kids.

          • malkav11 says:

            I do in fact own boxed copies of all three of those Wizardry games, but GOG is an easier way of playing them. Also I don’t think WIzardry 7’s floppies work anymore even if I had a floppy drive.

            Oh, you meant SS2. Yeah, never found a cheap box of that one.

          • jrodman says:

            Why don’t wizardry 7’s floppies work? Or do you mean your copy?

          • malkav11 says:

            I mean my copy, yeah. At this point it wouldn’t be surprising if they didn’t work in general, though. Floppies gradually stop working over a long enough period of time and it’s been many years since they were a going concern.

    • Revisor says:

      This is the deal of the week. I don’t know why Lewie hasn’t even mentioned it.

  7. KwisatzHaderach says:

    Mhhhh… Metro or Infinite?

    • Eight Rooks says:

      If Infinite’s the only Bioshock you haven’t played, then I’d say the Metro pack. If you haven’t played any of the Bioshocks, then I’d say the Bioshock pack.

      On the other hand, Bioshock 2 is one of my favourite games of all time and I thought Infinite was largely mediocre at best, which is the sort of opinion that’ll get you locked away in a nice padded cell for your own good around these parts.

      • DrScuttles says:

        Heathen. I mean, you’re absolutely correct and I couldn’t agree with you more, but I preface my sycophancy with an insult so as to blend in.
        Infinite wasn’t a bad game, but it was the first Bioshock to make me feel bored halfway through. I can’t speak for Metro other than that I’ve tried the start the first one twice, didn’t get into it, and forgot I had it on the go.

      • KwisatzHaderach says:

        Thanks for the input!
        I played both Bioshock 1 and 2. I liked 1 okay, 2 not so much. I overall disliked the enemies. Splicers, splicers and splicers…
        I think I will go with Metro then. Played the first and really liked it up to the part where the Librarians appear. For some reason I quit the game there. Twice.

        • fish99 says:

          Bioshock 1 and Bioshock Infinite were both made by Irrational, but Bioshock 2 wasn’t. Also there’s no splicers in Infinite.

          • drewski says:

            Still Irrational, just not Levine. 2K Marin is an Irrational spin-off.

            I’d get both packs, personally. They’re all fine games in their own way.

          • fish99 says:

            The point being, Infinite wasn’t made by the guys who made Bioshock 2, so not liking Bioshock 2 isn’t necessarily something worth considering when thinking about picking up Infinite, especially if you did enjoy Bioshock 1. And technically speaking 2K Marin aren’t the Irrational Games studio.

          • drewski says:

            Well originally Irrational had 2 studios, their main Boston one, and a spin-off in Australia. Then they spun off their California campus as well, then when 2K decided to rebrand all of the Irrational studios, they became Boston, Australia and Marin respectively. But they were still all Irrational Games.

            Then Marin took over management of Australia, then Boston decided to go back to the Irrational brand. But it was all the same studio essentially up until the development of the new Xcom game, and 2K Marin worked on Infinite, too.

        • Eight Rooks says:

          It’s surprisingly – and worryingly – easy to make the Metro games seem very hard on you without realising what you’ve done. The main thing a lot of people seem to miss is at the normal difficulty setting it is nigh-on pointless using the good, military-grade ammo in the game on anything other than bosses. Conserve it with this in mind and you can turn most of them into mincemeat fairly easily. Do not do this and, well, I quit at the library the first time through, and I actually managed to run out of ammunition entirely on a sub-boss in Last Light and had to restart the game. Yet when I got to the same enemy the second time I finished it off in seconds.

          People also say the aiming is tough and the enemies don’t go down easily enough – I dunno, I never had this problem in either game. I suspect it may be partly due to the fact the common monster enemies like to swarm you at certain points, and given they’re so low to the ground it’s easy to panic and start spraying bullets everywhere. But health kits are so plentiful on default difficulty it’s perfectly acceptable to just grit your teeth and take a few claw swipes to the face so you can mow them down efficiently – they may look like the mutants out of Far Cry #1, but they’re nowhere near as deadly.

      • trjp says:

        I played Bio1 and whilst I liked what it was doing – it does that “do you want to buy ammo then?” thing which pisses me off and so I walked-away after a few hours (I’m not playing “guess what ammo I will need next” in a game)

        Never tried Bio2 – assume I need not try Infinite either?

        • Eight Rooks says:

          I’ll hazard a guess as to no, unless you really like the idea of Republican Heaven as a theme park ride. To be fair to Infinite it’s a lot easier than 1 or 2 for the most part – you don’t have to think nearly as much, if at all, about what weapon you’re using or what ammo. But the basic shooting and the way firefights play out is fairly similar to 1, and it’s still got the supply kiosks everywhere, so I suspect it’s probably not a game you should be desperate to play.

          • Jason Moyer says:

            Republic Heaven? You realize that during the time period Infinite was set, the Republican party was the liberal one and the Democratic party was full of KKK members, right?

          • drewski says:

            Infinite can’t be divorced from a modern context, though, and the concept of American exceptionalism has been more thoroughly embraced by the Republican party than by the Democrats.

        • Ragnar says:

          To be fair, I beat the Bioshock without using any of the special ammo. It’s pretty flexible for how you want to play.

          If you want to shoot your way through, and toggle between different ammo types, you can. If you want to cast your way through with fire and ice, you can. If you want to sneak around and hit things in the back of the head with a wrench, you mostly can.

          Me, I like using telekinesis for ripping splicer’s masks off and repeatedly shooting them in the face with said masks.

      • Eight Rooks says:

        I basically disagree with pretty much every point here – of course you knew that, but in the interests of maybe enlightening people like the guy who posted below, even if it’s just so he has a reason to think I’m nuts:

        Combat in Infinite is pathetically simplistic on normal difficulty. Other than a couple of fights with Handymen and the awful final battle there’s no need whatsoever to use anything bar the machine gun and one set of tonics – maybe switching for elemental resistance, but even that’s still not a given. Set ’em on fire, Murder of Crows, you’ve won. Enemies for the most part do not use any tactics bar rushing you, they do not present any interesting strengths or immunities that can’t be overcome by pelting them with everything you’ve got and money and ammo are in such plentiful supply that is not a short-sighted tactic. I never used Elizabeth’s tears once other than for the final battle! Skylines are pointless except where you’re forced to use them, awkward to control and will lead you to falling off the side more than anything else. Back-tracking is tedious – I’m hardly going to enjoy wandering around through this place if I don’t believe in it – and rarely nets you anything properly useful.

        Columbia is a poorly realised, empty parody of right-wing extremism that never really progresses beyond “Racism is bad, mmmkay”, and other than a couple of pretty set pieces never once felt like a place people would actually live. Both sides are cartoons without the slightest trace of real human emotion, vulnerability or anything to feel sorry for them over. The story is entirely weighted towards a twist you can see coming a mile off – much of it arguably from the opening scenes. It insults my intelligence (come on, it has someone explicitly divulging the damn twist to the main character and he still doesn’t get it?). It relies on my sympathy for a character who’s practically a non-entity and tries to make me doubt myself while giving me absolutely no real reason to do so (there is practically nothing to Elizabeth bar “Boy, I sure do hate being locked up/Yay, Paris!”, and why should I care what anyone in Columbia thinks about me stealing her when I never see any of them talk about her as anything but a flimsy icon?). It talks about redemption using the tropes of muscular Christianity without any real indication Levine has a proper understanding of what these things mean, it dresses up simplistic plot points with silly technobabble, it… God, how I hated that story.

        I wouldn’t hold up Bioshock: Infinite as a high water mark of anything beyond Ken Levine’s hubris. I thought “Perhaps I was just missing a bunch of stuff in the first game” and gave him the benefit of the doubt, but no, other than the fact Bioshock 2 wouldn’t exist without the original and that it’s tied to some slightly creaky tech, it blows both Levine’s games out of the water in every respect. It’s a better shooter, a better realised world (even if it had help to do it), a better story, and a better experience all round. I’ve beaten it twice already and look forward to doing so again. I have no intention of ever going back to Columbia, other than if it’s to reassure myself I was right the first time.

        But, y’know, opinions and all that. Carry on. :-)

        • aldo_14 says:

          Columbia is a poorly realised, empty parody of right-wing extremism that never really progresses beyond “Racism is bad, mmmkay”

          I think the thing is, “racism is bad” is a tautology anyway; it’s established simply by presenting it.

          The thing is, do you choose to view it as a parody of modern times, or a reflection of historical attitudes. From what I understand, it’s intended as the latter; the fact that it seems like a parody is simply that we’re temporally distant from those attitudes. In reality, it’s not a parody in intent or execution – it’s tame compared to (for example) some adverts from that time.

      • jonahcutter says:

        I largely agree with your sentiments on the Bioshocks.

        1 was great. 2 managed to both mix up the mechanics and improve them. Except for perhaps the narrative and theme. Putting the results of a misbegotten “philosophy” (Objectivism) up on display in the first game was a stronger story to tell than the ongoing debate between that philosophy and another in the second game.

        Infinite is a deeply confused game. A few sublime moments, amidst a wash of confused and outright silly story and gameplay elements. They set themselves up with powerful themes (religion, racism and imperialism) but ended up telling a personal redemption story. It was not necessarily bad itself, but infinitely less powerful than what they threw away.

  8. Noviere says:

    On Steam, Scribblenauts: Unmasked is 10% off if you pre-purchase, +25% more if you already own Scribblenauts: Unlimited.

    So $25.99 vs $39.99

    • mwoody says:

      Hrm, thanks for the heads up; that’s very tempting. It’ll be hard to tear me away from GTAV, though. I know we’re not supposed to mention the dreaded consoles, but DAMN is that game a return to form after the terribly disappointing GTAIV.

      The line “Included with every purchase on Steam!” in the description is a little weird, though. I bet the original description had “Included with every purchase on Steam:” and a list of features, and they misinterpreted it.

      • fish99 says:

        Can I ask why you disliked GTA4 so much, but love GTA5, because mechanically they are pretty similar games. Sure the vehicles are a bit easier to drive, you don’t have friends phoning you to go bowling (which you could ignore), and there’s more non-mission activities in 5, but other than that I find them pretty similar at the core.

        • nrvsNRG says:

          erm…possibly because the storylines and characters are so fucking entertaining in GTAV, which a lot of ppl including me didnt find at all entertaining in GTAIV (I tried playing it 3 times now and got bored outa my brain each time). Personally i dont much like the slow & frustrating player movement/shooting mechanics, which sometimes make me feel like I’m a big fat Halibut flopping around on the deck of a boat, but holy shit, the characters and plots have gripped me and kept me playing which i cant say the same for GTAIV.

        • mwoody says:

          One word: Trevor. The first GTA protagonist where the shit you do outside of a mission is entirely in character, no matter how insane and depraved.

          • fish99 says:

            Ok, I’m only 3 hrs into GTAV so I haven’t met Trevor yet or seen much of the story. Personally I enjoyed the dark story of Nico in GTA4, and even if you didn’t, there were plenty of other entertaining characters in the game (Elizabeta, Roman, Jacob, Packie, Brucie, plus Luis, Tony and Yusuf from TBoGT etc).

            TBH my main thoughts about GTAV so far have been that’s it’s really fun, but that I wish it was 1080p and running at 40-60 fps instead of 20-30 (PS3) /sigh

  9. trjp says:

    As much as I always look-forward to the Bargain Bucket, the weekly format allied to Lewie’s apparently ‘leaving it until the last minute and then doing it hungover’ isn’t really doing much for us bargain hunters!

    The PC gaming world is awash with bargains 7-days-a-week – many lasting only a short time – so just in case some folks don’t realise it – we have stuff going-on in the forums here constantly.

    2 threads deal with bargains and bundles respectively – the former is a group-effort, the latter is really the insane obsession of the man they call ‘Alms’…

    link to
    link to

    That should keep your pockets empty

  10. MeestaNob says:

    Could someone explain this business of people saying Bioshock Infinite is crap?

    I thought the ending was amazing, and that the game itself was the best of the series. What are people honestly expecting from it???

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      People were expecting a carbon copy of Bioshocks 1 and 2. That’s the problem.

      FWIW, I am not the biggest fan of either of the first 2 games — grade-school philosophy, clunky combat, needlessly complex gameplay mechanics, and a horribly ineffectual use of the Unreal engine . Infinite pruned all that down to a more streamlined experience, although the story could have been a little less hamfisted.

      Infinite’s the better game for me.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Yeah, I don’t really get it either. The setting/writing was far better than the first one (seriously, how can *anyone* think the first one had a great story when it was a 1:1 copy of another game) and the shooting is as good as the second. Only thing that still annoys me about the series is the continued over-reliance on bullet sponges for the tougher enemies instead of coming up with something interesting.

      • dE says:

        Bullet Sponges are enemies with absurdly high Hitpoints. They can take quite a few bullets and seem to soak them up (like a sponge does with water). Their difficulty usually doesn’t come from clever mechanics or interesting abilities. So basically, a bullet sponge enemy is an obstacle you need to poke quite a lot for it to move away.
        You don’t need to play smart or creativily but instead just keep on shooting and shooting and shooting and shooting and shooting and shooting and shooting and switch weapons, you’re out of ammo, keep shooting, keep shooting and shooting… you get the idea.

        • dE says:

          I see I walked into a trap there. I don’t play Bioshock Infinite, won’t do. Not now, not ever. Don’t care. However you explicitely asked for the meaning of Bullet Sponges and that’s what I provided.

    • Cytrom says:

      People are tired of playing in cities floating in the sky with exceptional art design, revoloutions breaking out in front of them, unique time periods, traveling beetween alternate unverses, bending the fabric of the universe, strong characters, great stories etc. Its just so clishé and generic.
      Also the shooting mechanics aren’t revolutionary, thus the whole game is SHIT. With no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Its the skyrim of 2013. Total garbage.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I think Lewie summed up what many of us (well, some of us) felt was disappointing about the game:

      You play a dude who communicates with blunt instruments, bullets, and magic superpowers, and you have to go from a to b, trying to avoid any instances of ludonarrative dissonance.

      We were shown this amazing setting, with great artwork and a potentially interesting storyline… and the only way to interact with the game was by shooting people in the face, while the Elizabeth character drags you by the nose through the storyline. There was no feeling of player agency, just one shooting gallery after another. It felt like a wasted opportunity. Probably worth buying on sale, but I regret paying full price.

      • drewski says:

        If only you could talk to the monsters, eh?

        I think the criticisms of Infinite are a little like the infamous Edge review of Doom – ok, fair point, but also kinda missing the point. I’m not convinced Irrational were ever trying to make something other than a linear shooter, they just dress their linear shooters up differently to your CoD-alikes. It’s a bit unfortunate they get marked down for essentially not bowing to conventional expectation.

        So yes. It’s a pretty, wonderfully realised world which your character interacts with largely by shooting things in the face. That either represents a great missed opportunity, or a great experience, depending on your perspective.

    • denizsi says:

      I have only seen official gameplay videos of the game and initially, I literally thought that it was a shoot-em up as the player movement seemed way too smooth and completely on rails with repeating movement patterns through the same scenes without the usual irregularities of movement real players tend to make and with way too much nausea-inducing jumping and zipline sliding. After seeing some more, turns out thankfully not but still close enough for my taste. That and the enemies looked braindead and inconsequential and the entire game seemed to be full of shallow action made to fascinate and not to challenge. A kiddy’s console game, basically. After checking out more videos, I see that I wasn’t completely off the mark. I would have to play it to call it crap and sleep with a clear conscious, though.

    • drewski says:

      I think people are disappointed it’s still basically an action game. The fact Levine gives a shit about world building and atmosphere and culture and politics (and etc.) leads people to want to interact with those themes in his worlds in ways other than doing violent things to them.

    • fish99 says:

      I loved the game too. On closer analysis the story may not hold together 100% but really… what fictional story ever does, and the Infinite story is still way way better than you get in your average computer game. Where’s the mountain of criticism of the dire story in Skyrim? (great game, but oh man the writing, dialogue and quest logic are atrocious at times).

      I also think anyone who didn’t like the fact that the Bioshock Inifinte story was attached to a shooter, wasn’t paying attention. Booker had a very bloody past, he’s basically a psychotic bloodthirsty killer, and he’s in the middle of a violent revolution, and people expect him to solve problems by negotiation? TBH you’d think the word Bioshock in the name would have given them a clue it was going to be a violent shooter, given that the previous Bioshock games involved lots of shooting people in the face.

    • Lewie Procter says:

      I didn’t want to repeat myself, but I went into a bit more detail about my problems with it in this bargain bucket:
      link to

    • jonahcutter says:

      This is a great review of Bioshock: Infinite by someone very impressed by, but even more deeply disappointed in, the game.

      link to

      Warning: Extremely long.

      (No really, it’s EXTREMELY long. Some of their reviews are amongst the longest I’ve read. But even if you end up not agreeing with them they are very interesting. If you can muster the time and energy to read the entire things.)

  11. Seraphithan says:

    gog had a sale on Wing Commander this week (already over) and like everytime they have a sale on the series I sat in front of my monitor and wondered if I should get it.

    Since I have zero nostalgia for the series I fear that I will run head first into a wall made of early 90s game design and graphics. I’m not [i]too[/i] worried about the graphics, they didn’t stop me from enjoying Schleichfahrt (which is still a year younger than Wing Commander 4) and I’m reasonbly sure I could adjust to them.
    I’m not so sure I could adjust to gameplay “deficiencies”. I know it isn’t fair to judge games more than two decades old by modern standards but that would probably not stop me from doing so anyway. Of course it’s entirly possible that the games have barely aged and still play top-notch but I fear that is an assessment that only works with nostalgia.

    So next time they are on sale, or I just stumble over them, should I get them?

    Joystick (Sidewinder PrecisionPro) is available so that’s no hurdle.

    • welverin says:

      It’s completely fair to judge a two decade old game by modern standards if you’re going to play it now. I am not a retro gamer, because I can’t stand archaic gameplay, even with games I liked when they were new.

      As for the whether it’s worth getting the WC games now, I can’t really say, I haven’t played them since they were new and can’t tell you if they’d hold up now.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I have some nostalgia for Wing Commander, but I think it’s mainly for the way it hit so many “firsts” in that genre. It came along at just the right time, when the technology was ready to support the ideas. The storyline is juvenile, and the space combat was mostly about just surviving multiple waves of enemy fighters. Having played through it once, back in the day, and then playing most of the follow-on classics like Freespace, Tie Fighter, I-war, etc., I haven’t felt a strong urge to go back.

      If you want to play one of the older classics, I’d recommend picking up Freespace 2 (if you don’t already own it, it’s on GOG), and then install the Freespace Open stuff for higher resolution textures and large screen support::

      link to

      Also, if you haven’t played Independence War 2, I think that’s probably the best cockpit-level space game made to date, mainly for the flight/combat engine they used.

  12. Muzman says:

    For years now I’ve said almost annually “Hmm should I play that -latest X game- I wonder?” and never done anything about it.

    With the next one looking like I will actually get it no question this time and this deal popping up, the old question is now ‘should I get All the previous ones now’? Any unmissable ones in there?

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      I’m a huge fan of the series and my would say just skip it all and play Albion Prelude. The backstory is not that great and the sandbox/sim bits that are good really only get their best around about Terran Conflict-ish.

  13. fish99 says:

    “and the third one has the best utter crushing disappointment at how not very good it is compared to the first two.”

    It’s a better game than Bioshock 2, it also way more consistent that Bioshock 1 which falls apart in the last third, has a terrible end boss and poor ending. And Infinite has a better story than either. Of course none of them hold a candle to SS2. TBH to have such an extreme view (I define an extreme view as one which is way out of line with the metacritic user and critic review scores) on a game which at the very worst is ‘good’ is a little bizarre. I guess something in it offended you.