The RPS Bargain Bucket: After Consumerism

How did you spend your Valentine’s Day, Bargain Bucket-eers? I spent mine nose-deep in Bravely Default. Also, today’s Bargain Bucket plushie is courtesy of Rachel and Sophie, who are nine and four respectively. Its name is Emma. Now, go. Perish from cute that is the idea that a pair of kids submitted a photo via proxy. Those who survive should then grab some hot cocoa, hunker down, and mill through today’s collection of underpriced goodness.

Dungeon Keeper + Dungeon Keeper 2
First one’s free, the next one’s a measly $1.49/£0.89/€1.09

I don’t think it’s possible to think about what EA Mythic has done to the Dungeon Keeper franchise without shuddering a little. How, I ask you, how could anyone be so inclined towards flippant brutality? How can anyone do such a thing to a franchise? While the flaming trainwreck that is EA’s attempts at “remakes” screeches on, no classic can sleep in peace. Still, a ray of hope persists. If you’ve been desperately scrambling for a way to explain to your younger relatives that Dungeon Keeper is actually quite great, direct their attention to right now. The real Dungeon Keeper, the one we all fell in love with years ago, is free. And, if that wasn’t enough, the sequel’s 75% off too. How’s that for a post-Valentine’s Day delight?

Analogue: A Hate Story

Nothing says the afternoon after Valentine’s Day like a game about mysterious ships and potentially evil artificial intelligences, eh? Christine Love’s Analogue: A Hate Story is a fascinating exploration of human values, vengeance, love, feminism, patriarchy and intergalactic awkwardness. While the central narrative is sharply scripted, there are plenty of ostensibly inconsequential sidequests to browse through – something I thoroughly recommend doing if you pick up the game.

Crusader Kings II Collection
I can almost picture it: One day, a few nights before the annual single person’s nightmare, a bunch of high-ranking officials over at Paradox Interactive looked at each other and said, “We need to do something nice for strategy-loving geeks everywhere.” So, instead of shipping mail-order bridges across the world, they went ahead and made sure the price of Crusader Kings II was lowered everywhere. Seriously, it’s Crusader Kings II bargains all the time everywhere right now, I swear. The Humble Bundle Store has 22 DLCs and the core game lumped together, however, something that may appeal to those looking for a one-stop answer. Unfortunately, “The Old Gods” and “Sons of Abraham” are not included in this package.

(P.S: Crusader Kings II is 75% off on GreenManGaming. You can apparently also use a 20% off code for purchases of $10 or more. Keep that in mind too! )

The Witcher 1 + 2
Free(?)-to-play till Sunday 1pm, 80% off for both games till then too

Oh, hello there. Didn’t you see you over there. The Witcher’s 2 a grand old game which will have you taking on the role of one Geralt of Rivia, a white-haired chap who’d make dudes like Mario faint with disapproval. The enhanced version is nicely packed with a lot of additional content, including new adventures. Currently, it’s part of Steam’s free weekend special which means you can play both games for free until Sunday 1pm. (You can also purchase either game for 80% off) After that? Everything goes back to normal. Get crackin’, folks.

System Shock 2

System Shock 2 is, to put it mildly, really good. The much-beloved spiritual predecessor to the also much-beloved BioShock series, System Shock 2 had it all: open-ended gameplay, an amazingly creepy soundtrack, and one of the most intimidating evil A.Is ever. Happily, in spite of the fact it’s a terrifying little romp, System Shock 2 allows you to bring friends. Two of them, in fact. If you’re willing to overlook the dated graphics and have a fondness for sci-fi horror, System Shock 2 will make for a great weekend date.

Also of note:

HAWKEN – $29.99/£22.99/€27.99
Here’s the rub: HAWKEN’s supposed to be a free-to-play game which means that everything you see here, give or take a few credits, can be acquired for free at some point. But, do you want to wait? If not, the Nemesis Bundle’s an okay pack with 750 Meteor credits, 6410 HAWKEN credits, lots of big robots and some extras. How much do you like giant robots?

Mad Moxxi and the Wedding Day Massacre – Free?
Um. So, Game Agent is a site I’ve never heard about but the RPS hive mind seems to believe that they are very legit. Which is good. Anyway, it looks like they’re offering members a free copy of the new Valentine’s Day-themed Borderlands 2 DLC. You can apparently sign up using fake information.

Destination: Dungeons & Dragons -$21.10/£12.60/€15.40
Look. Guys. I won’t lie. I really like Dungeons & Dragons. I live for the day where I’ll finally find friends that are as obsessed with the franchise as I am. In the meantime, I’m going to go ahead and flail excitedly over this excellent retro Dungeons & Dragons bundle. Diamond edition of Neverwinter Nights? Planescape: Torment? The Complete Baldur’s Gate 2 collection? Yes. Yes. Sign me up right there.

Shiny Loot’s Forever Alone Sale – 170 single-player games discounted between 20-80%
Oh, sheesh. I don’t even know where to start here. The contents of this massive sale vary significantly in quality. However, there’s a veritable treasure trove of games to browse through. So, if you have time, poke around and see if there’s anything you like.


  1. Jalan says:

    “nose-deep in Bravely Default” – that some sort of new euphemism the kids are using these days?

    • Cassandra Khaw says:

      …. I hate you. D:

      • Jalan says:

        Someone has to be “that guy”. I don’t know why it’s usually me, but it is.

      • Premium User Badge

        syllopsium says:

        well done that person! ;)

        Really Bravely Default? So far the combat is sending me to sleep.. Then again I tend to find JRPG and all the Final Fantasy combat a bit tedious too. I’m hoping Fire Emblem is a bit better.

        Otherwise loving my 3DS, though :)

  2. DanMan says:

    I see a plushier dog throwing up into a bucket. Is there something wrong with me?

    Oh, and there’s a Valentines special on Origin: 50% off everything, where everything is not actually everything. The promo code is “LOVE”. The ad comes up when you log into the client, in case you don’t believe me (at least here in Germany). Which means we can not be friends, unfortunately.

    • thedosbox says:

      I see a plushier dog throwing up into a bucket.

      You’re not the only one. I’ll leave it to the hive mind as to what that says about us…

    • Colonel J says:

      Keeping up the tradition set by Lewie.
      The Bargain Bucket: hungover on a Saturday morning since 1873.

  3. Jumwa says:

    I was all excited to try out Bravely Default. Then I got the demo. Then my party wiped on every battle I tried and I turned the thing off and never want to see it again because it was mean to me.

    • Cassandra Khaw says:

      I absolutely hated the demo too. Spent 10 minutes going, ‘Wut.’ before I ran away in a huff. The actual game, however, has a better sense of momentum. YOU ACTUALLY GET TOLD WHAT IS HAPPENING. Which is awesome. x.x

      • Jumwa says:

        You’re the second person to tell me the demo was awful in comparison to the actual game, so I’m tempted to try. The tedious difficulty there really did scare me, and I’m starting to get mopey about the big list of games I’ve bought but given up on for similar reason.

        Also, I’m reminded I should give A Hate Story another try. I really did enjoy “don’t take it personally, babe, it just ain’t your story”, but Analogue just didn’t click with me right away.

        • Cassandra Khaw says:

          Bravely Default seems to be a huge time investment, though. I’m about seventeen hours in and I’m sort of hovering around Chapter 2 and being a bit amused by it all. It’s a very, very classic JRPG in many ways. (Also, its usage of social functions is really frackin’ neat, imo.)

          I loved Analogue: A Hate Story for various reasons. Firstly: it’s disarmingly accurate in its portrayal of Asian society. Sure, there are bits which are exaggerated. But it was unnervingly correct in tone. *flails* I need to run out and do things, but I may come back and edit this for better clarity later.

          • AngelTear says:

            Re: Analogue; The “inconsequential sidequest” bit of your description may be a bit misleading, especially for the (unfortunately ever-growing) “not a game” crowd. It’s more that, there’s more to read and immerse yourself in than what it is required to make the storyline advance – and yes, that bit of detective work and “cheating” to get the special ending :D

            I adore how Christine always puts some kind of different spin on the visual novel style since Digital.

          • Jumwa says:

            The time investment thing gets me these days. I was a big JRPG fan back in the SNES/PSOne days, but lost my taste for them before the PS2/Gamecube era came along. I thought I had just burned out on them, but in retrospect I think it has more to do with my life getting busy. I always get distracted and have to put down the games for long stretches only to return and having forgotten entirely what was going on.

            Being a handheld title alleviates that a little, as I can squeeze in play time in short bursts more easily.

            And I never got far into Analogue, what turned me off was that I was expecting a more human-interaction setup like in Christina Loves previous games I played. I’ll give it another whirl though. I have so many steam games these days I just skip through them the moment a game grows dull or loses its appeal to me. Steam sales have helped ruin so many games for me.

        • Tacroy says:

          I’ve finished the demo and I’m getting the full game, but it’s despite the demo, not because of it.

          The demo just pops you into the world and shoves you out to gather ten beast widgets with nary a hint of advice, which is absolutely wrong in terms of design; there’s an intricate system of command abilities, passive abilities, equipment proficiency and purchased spells that you’re supposed to figure out on your own. I simply can’t fathom why they would leave half of the game’s combat completely unexplained, but there you go.

          If you want to play the demo and actually enjoy it, here’s some things they should have told you but didn’t:

          1. All of your little mans currently have the Freelancer job. This is bad, because Freelancers aren’t particularly good at anything. Go into the Job menu and make Ringbael a Valkyrie, Edea a Knight, and Tiz and Agnes Red Mages. Play around with the job command option – it lets you pick the job command of a different class, which is fun.
          2. Go into Equip, and hit “optimize” for every character. You might need to do this twice in order to get your equipment properly shuffled, as optimize won’t steal already equipped items. Tip: you can hit R and L to switch between characters without changing your cursor position.
          3. You have no spells. Go to the store marked with a staff and purchase Cure, Poisona, Blizzard and Fire.
          4. The game literally never tells you this, but if you go into Tactics -> Config -> Difficulty, you can move the encounter rate between “no encounters” and “monsters every three steps”. This is useful when you want to harvest beast widgets.
          5. Time only passes when you’re outside, but it always passes when you’re outside, even if you’re standing still. The encounters outside change when it’s dark.
          6. Restore your village! There is a full game reward for taking every building to level 3, it takes a couple of days though.

      • Philotic Symmetrist says:

        Get told what is happening? I know exactly what’s happening in the demo: there are job classes and abilities to assign and play around with and that’s all I need to know.

  4. Jalan says:

    Taking the completely opposite direction of my other post, IndieGameStand also has a sale going through the weekend – link to

    ~80 or so games discounted. Not quite the number Shiny Loot is boasting but there’s a few good ones in there.

  5. Moni says:

    I have never played System Shock 2 because I tried once, got to the bit where a ghost appears, shit my pants and turned off my computer straight away.

    I might have another try at playing it.

    • DrScuttles says:

      Well, literature may call them ghosts. I call them self-hypnotic defects in the R-grade unit. Don’t let them distract you from the job at hand.

      • tetracycloide says:

        In the contrary, bask in them. They are one of the most honest sources if information in the game.

  6. AngelTear says:

    Valentine’s day? What is th- Ooooh, you mean Single Awareness day. Right. Yes, I celebrated it properly. I was aware, very aware.

    • Anthile says:

      Nothing a cold beer can’t fix. Very temporarily, anyways.

    • tetracycloide says:

      National chocolate and orgasms day, a 1 to anything payer game.

      • Llewyn says:

        Some people might think you’d accidentally omitted an ‘l’ there…

  7. Anthile says: have some pretty good deals but you’ll need an US address. For the Origin games you’ll have to choose PC Download instead of PC Instant Access if you wish to activate it from outside the USA. Worked for Crysis 3 and I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for the other games as well.

  8. Phoibos Delphi says:

    Mailorder bridges? I want one! My own bridge, crossing rivers with elegant arcs of stone… a dream come true!

    • Cassandra Khaw says:

      I hate you so much but that is a hilarious typo so I’m leaving it there. Goddamnit, you guys are just mean this week. D: D: D:

      • says:

        Wha..? I thought that was supposed to be like that! Geeks – bridges – computers, everything logically connected here! Well, if you consider bridge builder puzzle sub-sub-genre..

  9. Ein0r says:

    So… Hawken was in a nearly endless F2P open beta but is now on Steam Early Access, where they (have to ?)charge money for the Early Access? And once the game is fully released it is going to be F2P again? Not sure if this is correct. Nonetheless i am confused. But the stuff you get with this bundle, especially 9 Mechs, is pretty decent. Still a hefty increase, from 0€ to 30€.

    • Gargenville says:

      If you were in a Hawken beta at any point they mailed you a steam key, which is nice of them.

      • Ein0r says:

        I expected something like this anyway, especially when you already bought stuff with real money. I am just curious how they are going to handle it. Will it be F2P after the release? I play it from time to time, but with Titanfall bein only some weeks away from its release, i rather doubt that i can encourage my friends to play hawken, if it is not goin to be f2p.

        • Baines says:

          Who knows. Some games seem to stay in Early Access indefinitely. Others leave it properly.

          I wonder if Valve requires publishers charge for Early Access games, because Early Access free-to-plays all seem to require buying into to play them via Steam.

  10. Geebs says:

    Dungeon keeper is free on GoG at the moment.

    Also, Game Agent are part of Aspyr, so I think they’re legit

  11. Colonel J says:

    if you want to add The Old Gods to Humble Store’s CKII pack (and you should, it makes the game MOAR PAGAN), GMG has it for 75% off. Current code OQE4LG-WEQPSE-SMCME1 I think works for another 20% off that.

  12. sincarne says:

    GameAgent is the store of Aspyr, the company that does a lot of the Mac ports. Not surprising you wouldn’t have come across them, but they’re the real deal. Most of their stuff is sold through the Mac App Store as well, and many of the ports on Steam are theirs.

    • Cassandra Khaw says:

      Thanks! I have never owned a Mac in my life. I’ll make an edit to reflect this.

  13. lowprices says:

    Four and nine year olds read this site? I’m going to have to start watching my fucking language.

    Wait, I meant f*cking, F*CKING!

    Phew,that could have been awkward.

    • Cassandra Khaw says:

      Hahaha. Their mom does, it seems. As far as I understand it, she tunes in weekly for the cheap(ish) deals while her kids clamor around here for a glimpse of the week’s plushie. Apparently, they demanded she send pictures of their plushies to me. And, well, how could I NOT put at least one photo up? :D

      • lowprices says:

        RPS’ future is crowdsourced plush. I approve.

      • MarkB says:

        That’s just too cute.

      • melnificent says:

        Yeah, that’s pretty much it. We try and find real life versions of the plushies (if they are real animals) and learn a bit about them. Or we find the game they are in if it’s age appropriate and play them for a while.
        Except this week when they went wild when they realised it was their photo and dragged Emma the plushie through to see it on the computer.

        Rachel has read everything now and is clamouring for money for CKII, not sure if that’s a good idea, but how can I refuse knowing that she’ll not ask for anything else for months. :)

        • Cassandra Khaw says:

          I think I may have just exploded from cute. Good god, woman.

          Also: Starting them on CKII at that age?! Parenting done right!

  14. Eight Rooks says:

    Annnnnnd nope, that’s still not enough to get me to buy Analogue. :( I want to be the sort of person who likes this stuff, really I do, and I just spent half an hour um-ing and ah-ing but I just shy away from the thought of spending six hours of my life reading someone’s essay on why Joseon Korea was bad and should feel bad, all wrapped up in a fairly pointless UI. Nothing I’ve read suggests either game is essentially anything but. I have no problem with someone attacking historical examples of patriarchal oppression, but anyone doing it this way makes me feel deeply uncomfortable, and not, I think, the good kind of uncomfortable.

    (Also Digital was mediocre at best.)

    • malkav11 says:

      I think characterizing Analogue as “someone’s essay on why Joseon Korea was bad” is pretty far from the mark. Yes, Love bases the failed society of this generation ship on Joseon Korea, but that’s context, background. Not A-plot. The game is a story, and it’s in significant part the story of a couple of women you also directly interact with, whose letters you’re discovering via archaeology of a damaged data archive that can’t be searched conventionally. If that doesn’t sound interesting to you, fair enough. It’s not going to be something everyone gets into. But it’s not some dry historical essay.

      • AngelTear says:

        You said what I wanted to say but didn’t end up saying because I sounded too confrontational.
        100% agree. The story cannot be reduced to the core message/background of the story.

    • Vinraith says:

      I’m actually somewhat intrigued by the premise, but I can’t get past the art. Anime is bad enough in general, but the “AI” with the micro-miniskirt and stockings is just too much for me. It’s a particularly funny thing to find in a game that RPS advocates for, but then I suppose we all have our blindspots.

      • malkav11 says:

        I’ve never really understood people being put off by anime art, but in this particular case you’re talking about a game where you spend 90% of your time reading data logs and maybe 10% of your time talking to the characters being displayed in anime style. It’d be a shame to miss out just because of that. The character you seem to be talking about is established as being (having been) a teenage girl who enjoyed cosplay and is taking the opportunity to do a little of it after some remarkably horrifying experiences, so I didn’t feel like begrudging it to her, personally.

        • Scumbag says:

          Some people are just put off by certain things. The best game of all time could be a game relating to football, but I wont ever play it because its about football.
          Hate Story has anime stuff and, well, if you don’t like anime stuff regardless of how good it is it still has anime content.

        • Vinraith says:

          Underdressed and a teenager. That… doesn’t make it better. Ick.

  15. SkittleDiddler says:

    Regarding the Mad Moxxi giveaway: good luck getting that to work. Seems like those who got in early have already received their key, but the rest of us are having to deal with 505 errors, registration not working, and keys not arriving at all. At least on guy at the Steam forums had to call GameAgent directly to get his info to register. Sloppy.

    Really not worth it for a product that normally costs $2.99.

    • Martel says:

      Looks like the site is back up, and they’re completely out of keys now :(

  16. TWChristine says:

    Either CookPassBabtridge has:
    A. Not seen this article yet.
    B. Does not approve of the above plushie, or
    C. Is too busy finding a way to combine a Horace plushie with a onesie..

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      An infinitesie.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      Hello there. You know, I STILL don’t have a Horace plushie. I’ve written it that many times that my galaxy s3 predicts it after just writing “hora” into it. Why will RPS not start selling RPS themed tat? I presume it’s a journalistic integrity thing, but I don’t see how cuddly faux-infinite bears and y-fronts with RPS logos could dampen the site’s gravitas in any way. Imagine an army of readers sat at home in their RPS pants hugging a horace plushie. What’s not to take seriously about that?

      Also: A :)

  17. TechnicalBen says:

    “Here’s the rub: HAWKEN’s supposed to be a free-to-play game which means that everything you see here, give or take a few credits, can be acquired for free at some point. But, do you want to wait? If not, the Nemesis Bundle’s an okay pack with 750 Meteor credits, 6410 HAWKEN credits, lots of big robots and some extras. How much do you like giant robots?”

    Has it changed since early beta, as it was cosmetics were not F2P attainable. They were pay for. Though there was also a short spot of additional consumables for paying customers too…

    • jnqvist says:

      Went to GOG to try and get ahold of TW2 on their sale,but still did manage to get it cheaper because I visited RPS seconds later and found out it was on sale at Steam. Thanks again for the heads up and for saving me a handful of money RPS!

    • Geebs says:

      It seems odd that they decided to use their transition to steam to make everything for-pay. I mean, the news made me think “hey I might give that free game a try”, and then it’s only available for pay so that people can show their commitment or some bullshit. Not very clever.

  18. malkav11 says:

    Worth noting, the followup to A Hate Story is also on sale.

  19. J. Cosmo Cohen says:

    I want to get the Dungeons & Dragons games, but not all of them. I really wish GOG would put them on sale individually at those prices…ah well.

  20. kalirion says:

    Groupees Steampunk 2 bundle contains Bionic Dues for $1! You know, this is the game Adam raved about :)

    No tiers, $1 gets you:

    -Bionic Dues
    -Airship Dragoon
    -Syberia I & II
    -Steel & Steam
    -Telepath RPG: Servants of God

    Graphic Novels::
    -19XX Book One: Rise of the Black Faun
    -Blood of the Innocent 1-4

    -Tales of Jack The Ripper
    -Cities of Ether
    -Wildside Press Megapack 1
    -Discovering Aberration

    -Johnny Hollow Collection
    -Sxip Shirey – Sonic New York
    -Spiky – Carnival Symposium
    -This Way To The Egress – Caged Bird EP

    • d32 says:

      So, I managed to buy nothing this week til this point! And now you’ve ruined it! Thanks!

      • Martel says:

        Hah, same here. I ended up getting the other Groupees bundle while I was there.

    • Llewyn says:

      Argh. Or at least, Oh. I only bought Bionic Dues and Syberia a few weeks ago (also on sale), and haven’t made time for either of them yet. Not that I resent paying what I did for either of them, but at times it feels like the industry’s trying to condition me to ignore even deep sales in favour of holding out for bundles.

  21. cpt_freakout says:

    A capitalist pig-dog plushie

  22. MarkB says:

    My copy of Bravely Default came in the mail yesterday! I’m super hyped but I’m not letting myself play it yet because I’m still not done with 4 Heroes of Light…

    Unlike most people here I really liked the demo. Sure the story was non-existent and they didn’t really explain how to play the game, but the combat was really fun and the game is insanely pretty. I’m also a huge sucker for anything with a jobs system.

    • Philotic Symmetrist says:

      Ditto, although my backlog (and other stuff) has meant I haven’t actually bought the full game yet.

      I also get rather confused by many common responses to the demo; upon starting a game that has job classes the very first thing I do is see what classes everyone’s in, whether I can change job classes etc. I don’t need the game to tell me that looking through the menus in a JRPG is a good idea…

  23. JanusForbeare says:

    “You can apparently sign up using fake information.”

    Oh, RPS. You understand me.

    Will you be my belated Valentine?

  24. GunnerMcCaffrey says:

    There are definitely a few gems at ShinyLoot: One Finger Death Punch for $1, Escape Goat for $2.50, Creeper World for $5 and Creeper World 3 for $7.50.

    Dead Hungry Diner’s also surprisingly good (and challenging) for a casual puzzle game, and $5 hovers near to reasonable.