The RPS Bargain Bucket: A Bucket of Joy

So, I found out the other week that burgers aren’t so much fast food as they are culinary adventures in Britain. Bone marrow, brisket, and fine-cooked beef served in outlets that utilize bodyguards and queues. Is this true, British people? (Tell me about your favorite place to eat. You don’t have to be British.) If so, I need to move. This week’s Bargain Bucket isn’t quite as delicious as one of those fabled burgers, but it does have more than a few meaty surprises. (P.S: That’s Bloop, Oliver and Kristoff in the bucket. And a nameless plant.)

Dungeon Defenders
Remember when tower defense was the buzz genre on everyone’s lips? Those days are gone now, wiped under the carpet to make way for the deluge of procedurally generated sandboxes. Dungeon Defenders is a brilliantly colored game which pits adolescent protagonists against waves upon waves of enemies. It’s a third-person game, with a seemingly endless collection of upgrades and character variables to tweak. Saccharine? Maybe, but it certainly kept us busy for a while.

Retro City Rampage
Did we like Retro City Rampage? I can’t tell. It bled so much manic color that Alec Meer needed time off from it. But, it’s an interesting game, if nothing else. Which makes me want to say, “Sure, why not? Go ahead. Give it a whirl.” If you’re the sort who like your parodies on overdrive, this might be an interesting diversion. Otherwise, Hotline Miami is on sale and that makes infinitely more sense. (Somehow.)

Orcs Must Die 2
Are we still talking about tower defense games? Yes. Yes, we are. Orcs Must Die was a game I truly enjoyed but it lacked something important: a co-op mode. The sequel, obviously, fixed that. While shorter than I would have liked, Orcs Must Die 2 is a silly, fast-paced romp which will require you to defend various locations against an onslaught of ugly critters from beyond. I haven’t had anything to do with its DLCs, but the core game comes with my plush-mendation.

$7.49/£4.49/€7.49 for a four pack.
So, real talk: I like Starbound more than I like Terraria. But that is probably because I’m a little allergic to giant, red-veined eyeballs that want me dead. But, I’m digressing. Terraria, which is far more action-packed than its intragalactic competition, has grown considerably since it was first released so many years ago. And this might be an exemplary time to get your hands on a 4-pack to investigate the world if you haven’t already. (Happy third birthday, Terraria!)

Abbey Games’ Reus is a quiet, low-key god game that doesn’t promise huge ideas but still succeeds at delivering some kick-ass moments – at least, if you appreciate games that demand calculation. Reus looks cutesy, but it is more than capable at taxing the noggin. You’re going to need to balance human greed, available resources, and godly powers even as you stare adoringly at all those little cartoony humans. An awesome game, even if no one really talked about it. Remember, it’s okay to smite unbelievers.

Also of note:

Indiegala – $1.00/£0.59/€0.73 for the first 24 hours
Indiegala’s Greenlight Bundle costs about a dollar. A single, American dollar. And it is rife with games that a whole mess of people believe in. Get it before the price goes up.

Blood Bowl: Chaos Edition – $8.40/£4.99/€6.11
Blood Bowl: Chaos Edition I’m picking up because I keep meaning to but continuously forget. Madden meets Warhammer? Let’s get it on.

Amanita Collection – $9.60/£5.70/€6.98
Has anyone out there not played all the Amanita games? I mean, they keep on discount every other week. On the off-chance that you haven’t (or know of someone still oblivious to the beauty of their design), this bundle may be of interest.

Avernum: The Complete Saga-$2.99/£1.78/€2.18
The Avernum franchise is not Dragon Age. It’s not jaw-droppingly beautiful, not lushly informed with photorealistic cinematics. The games are, however, clever, tactical and meaty. If you like your RPGs old-school, you may want to dive into Avernum. (Bring a parachute.)

Darksiders Franchise Pack – $14.99/£12.49/€13.74
Death’s no kitten-loving psychopomp in this game. Darksiders II might not be the best port, but it is amazingly good at repurposing an old formula for its own intentions. Combat is sharp, the voice acting delightful, and there’s a slew of patches for you to work with. Best of all? This actually comes with the first game, which everyone says you should play prior to tackling the sequel.

Ajay’s Bundle – Pay at least $3.00/£1.78/€2.18 to get it all.
Outside of the Cat Lady, which is darkly wonderful and depressing, I haven’t heard of the other games in the bundle. Nonetheless, they seem intriguing enough to cough up a few bucks for.


  1. Duke of Chutney says:

    Do you just own lots of plushies, or does bargin bucket subsidize and justify the purchase of more on a weekly basis?

    I’ve never seen a body guard or bit of bone in a burger in the UK personally, but i’d be surprised if we produce the best burgers.

    • Vandelay says:

      I’ve seen plenty of MacDonald’s with bouncers outside in the evening, so I guess that counts as bodyguards. And of course, we are British, so use any opportunity to queue.

      • Gap Gen says:

        It’s worth pointing out that having a bouncer outside a restaurant is not a good sign.

    • Ross Angus says:

      Anyone can submit a plushy / bucket photo for Cassandra’s approval. But she’s hinted that her army of plushies is mighty. Do not cross her, lest you incur their wrath.

      I’ve seen many a bouncer outside the restaurant “Ronald McDonald” in Edinburgh. Tends to be at night though.

    • Cassandra Khaw says:

      I own a considerable number of plushies, yes. *coughs* Half of which are rescues. (I don’t have the heart to see plushies left unloved in the back of a closet somewhere.)

      • evileeyore says:

        You Plushist! Uncaring of the feeling of the poor plant forced to live out it’s life as a captive to your whims and social cruelties!

        “Why yes, this is Bloop, Oliver and Kristoff. Eh, the plant? The plant doesn’t matter…” [and the plant silently weeps it’s soul crushed once again.)

        • Darth Gangrel says:

          Yes, poor plant indeed! This unfortunately isn’t unheard of. It makes me think of that small episode in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy where the bowl of petunias think “Oh no, not again”,

          So there you see it, widespread neglect and mistreatment of plants is all too common.

          • Arren says:

            I, for one, love plants incomparably more than I do plushies. No disrespect intended, of course.

        • Rikard Peterson says:

          Let’s agree to call it Robert.

      • Xyvik says:

        My wife and I have an active Buddy Rescue Program for our plushy friends. They need love and rescued too!

  2. thedosbox says:

    Why hasn’t RPS been renamed to rockplushieshotgun yet? Why? WHY? WHY?

    As for eateries, the Queen and Beaver is my favourite place to take people when they’re visiting Toronto.

    I’m not a burger eater, but the Burgers Priest is supposedly the high temple of minced beef in this town.

    • Prolar Bear says:

      I’m looking to move to Toronto from the old continent – but I can already mention Butter Chicken Roti (exactly what it says on the tin) and Chako (korean BBQ) as quality places. Also, Smoke’s Poutinerie (artery clogging and proudly so) and Il Fornello (wasn’t expecting a good Italian restaurant with decent prices, but I was surprised).

  3. CookPassBabtridge says:

    I live in Aberdeen. The recent oil rush (new companies buying up the old-guard platforms) means a lot of good / flash restaurants have opened up but with fairly high prices. You can still get a good old elephant leg slice on pitta bread though, if the pavements on Saturday morning are anything to go by.

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      I had my one and only Cullen skink in an Aberdeen restaurant. I forget the name but the skink was lovely. And don’t Brew Dog beers hail from those parts ? Lovely drop. Don’t think much of your beach, mind

      • yogibbear says:

        I went to one of those whiskey places in Aberdeen which was pretty good. The beach however was a good laugh. I was walking along it (this was summer last year, blue sky day, warmest day of the year for Aberdeen, all the locals kept harping on about how good the weather was) with my 3 layers on and freezing to death and it was threatening to rain. But there were people jogging along the beach in just footy shorts or the thinnest of gym clothes. Felt like I was definitely in a climate shock despite it only being ~10 degrees celsius max before wind chill. However, I did enjoy the daylight from 2:30am till 12am. Which meant when you went out at night for a drink you might not ever notice it get dark!

  4. GameCat says:

    There’s a free Plants & Zombies on Origin.

    • Philomelle says:

      I’m not sure it counts as free when it involves installing Origin.

      • Baines says:

        These days Origin appears more stable than Steam, arguably has better customer service than Steam, and is at least no more dishonest than Steam.

        Well, not much more dishonest. Origin did keep selling DarkSpore for a while even after Valve woke up and pulled it from Steam, after all.

        • Philomelle says:

          Origin is also a living nightmare to use anywhere outside of USA and UK because its regional detection system is incredibly bonkers and will forcibly redirect the entire client to somewhere near your physical location, regardless of whether you speak the language it adopts or can use the currency it requests.

          Spoken as someone who keeps getting Origin in Russian and all pricing on it in rubles despite having not been to Russia in some twenty years and not having touched a ruble since the collapse of USSR.

          • The Random One says:

            I’m in Brazil and I’ve never had that sort of trouble using Origin, even though its language can sometimes randomly change between Portuguese, Spanish and English while I’m using it (an article in Brazilian Kotaku cleverly said buying games on Brazilian Origin was ‘a multicultural experience’).

          • HadToLogin says:

            But can you buy using russian prices? If yes, then you might be in luck, as they are 2, 3 sometimes even 4 times smaller.

          • Philomelle says:

            @The Random One:
            I’m in Ukraine, working as a translator over the net (meaning I make most of my salary in dollars and euros). Needless to say, I haven’t seen a ruble in a very long time, meaning every time I even consider a purchase on Origin involves spending d a lot of time on doing currency exchange calculations. It’s incredibly frustrating and why Origin is the worst of the whole “Steam-a-like” fad for me.

            Whoever told you that must have been drunk off their gourd. Origin prices, once translated into rubles, are the exact same 60 dollars as everywhere else.

          • malkav11 says:

            I can’t say if Origin’s Russian prices are any cheaper, but they absolutely don’t have exactly the same prices in every region (once you account for currency conversion), considering that one of the core tricks for getting cheap Battlefield 4 or Titanfall has been to VPN into the Mexican version of their store. (Where the Deluxe editions of both games were/are the equivalent of 50 USD, and the regular versions were cheaper than that, versus 80 USD in the US store.)

      • Bull0 says:

        Yeah, you don’t have to pay for it, so it’s free.

  5. jarowdowsky says:

    Reus is a masterpiece and for that price everyone should pick it up. It’s a game that is rewarding, relaxing and taxing.

    This best god game of a generation.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I was quite impressed with Reus as well. The core gameplay is pretty solid, but they need to allow players to start straight off with an everything unlocked, unlimited time mode.

    • AngoraFish says:

      Reus is not a god game, it’s a puzzle game, and very quickly gets bogged down in set-collecting, mathematics puzzles that very quickly distract from the freeform creation that is the point in true god games. I’m a god game fan but not a puzzle fan, and similarly minded individuals are best advised to stay the hell away.

  6. Sian says:

    I will fight Dungeon Defenders tooth and nail wherever I see it – by writing down what annoys me terribly: The devs don’t care about good localisation. Now, that might not be an issue for you, since you’re obviously capable of understanding written English, but it is for others.

    The German localisation, at least, looks as if it’s been done with Google or Biing. Almost every word in the options menu has been mistranslated to the point of it being gibberish. They didn’t even deem my complaint worthy of an answer, even when I offered to at least fix the worst mistakes for free.

    I’m a language nerd, but I don’t usually comment on people’s mistakes. I do, however, think that demanding a game be at least capable of being deciphered should be the bare minimum of standards.

    • Ross Angus says:

      That’s a shame Google translate != a replacement for a native speaker. It’s a shame they didn’t take you up on your offer.

    • dE says:

      I’ll never forget “Ausfahrt” to close the program. You know, the road you use to leave the Highway? Yeah.

      • Rizlar says:

        Picked up the habit of saying ‘arsefart’ as an expletive. Now I know where it came from!

    • Cassandra Khaw says:

      That’s horrific. D: D: D: D:

  7. Shadowcat says:

    That’s Bloop, Oliver and Kristoff in the bucket

    I think you mean “That’s Bloop, Oliver and Kristoff hiding in the bucket as you salivate over the prospect of dismembered animal parts.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      This is a psychological phenomenon that needs a name. It happens every week on BB and ive seen it before IRL: Mention something cute, and someone will feel compelled to talk about eating it, killing it or stamping on it. Pet bunny? That’ll make a lovely pie. Cute puppy? Careful it doesnt choke on the Andrex. Is this some kind of borderline psychopathy? An appalled dismay at open displays of nurturing? Embrace adorability. Buy yourself a diggle. Resist the urge to talk about laying down poison and traps.

      EDIT: though to be fair cassandra did preface it with talk of burgers

      • AngelTear says:

        You can’t! Especially if you’re male. Your friends will call you gay and stuff.

        Sad thing is, I’m not even entirely joking. From my experience at least, the cultural and social pressure on men to look tough and not go “aaawww” at cute things, even though you may want to, is pretty big.

        • evileeyore says:

          A real man will own as many plushy as he wants, his pure manliness slapping the disdain from mouths of his detractors before they can even speak.

          Yes, I have plushies. Many, many bunnies accumulated each Easter from my Mum. She still thinks I need a basket of chocolate eggs and a plush easter bunny even though I’m 40, and so the new one joins the others on the ever growing “shelf of bunnies”.

          • CookPassBabtridge says:

            I… I want my own shelf of bunnies. Occasionally I might put them all on the floor, and then just launch myself into them.

          • evileeyore says:

            My neighbor’s grandkids come over occasionally (brought in tow by said neighbor when he’s growing tired of them – he’s 80, so keeping up with a 3 and 6 year old is tiring) and the youngest plays with all the bunnies (the 6 year old plays all my Adventure Time video games).

      • Bobtree says:

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          Know the clip, cannot watch because will laugh out loud in middle of cafe

  8. InternetBatman says:

    Argh. I loved the Avernum remake so much. It’s easily in my top five RPGs. But the old ones are so ugly. Now I’m stuck waiting for 2 & 3 to be ported to the new engine before I can play 4-6. I know they’re only sort of related and that your actions don’t carry over, but still….

    Also Orcs Must Die 2 is a step back from the original. Many of the singleplayer levels are designed for co-op play and many of the levels prevent you from building complex labyrinths of traps. Either one would be fine on its own, but combined it becomes quite annoying. The game was a race to build the right trap system using shooting to ameliorate the gaps in your defenses but it turns into a perpetual back and forth. Also the skull system requires heavier grinding instead of better performance.

    • Vesuvius says:

      Counterpoint: if your intention is to play it as co-op, you will not be disappointed at all.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      In regards to Avernum, that’s pretty much my exact situation. I loved the original Exile series SO MUCH. And I love the recent remake-of-a-remake Avernum: Escape From The Pit. But, for whatever reason, the ‘first’ Avernum series just turns me off so much. I can’t explain why. So now I’m waiting for the ‘new’ Avernum 2, very, very impatiently. Crystal Souls was far and away my favourite Exile. :c

  9. Gilead says:

    Hitman: Contracts is currently on sale on the Humble Store for £1.24 — this is the one that comes before Blood Money and wasn’t available digitally for ages because of some idiotic music licensing dispute, so if anybody wanted to collect all the Hitmen this is probably a good time.

    Also, I the last time I had a burger it was in, erm, Burger King. I suppose there probably are places that serve fantastic burgers, just not around here. Did have some really nice Thai food the other day, though.

    EDIT: Hitman: Contracts was a Humble Daily Deal, which has now been replaced. On the bright side, the new Shadow Warrior is down to £5.99 today in their new set of deals, which is the cheapest I’ve seen it.

  10. J Arcane says:

    Guild Wars 2 is half off until tomorrow if you buy direct from their website.

    Still €20, but it was cheap enough I finally bit. Wound up overshadowing the Wildstar beta even.

  11. Rizlar says:

    Noone mentioned Dragon Age: Origins 75% off on Steam yet? All the DLC and the main game for about a fiver.

    Play a dwarf character, the dwarf areas are the coolest.

    • AngelTear says:

      Cassandra almost never mentions Steam sales, I’m guessing because they’re too obvious, she seems to prefer more hard-to-find offers.

      • Cassandra Khaw says:

        Correct! And I’ve already mentioned two this week, anyway: Darksiders II and Terraria. Both are somewhat less popular than Dragon Age: Origins, and I think deserve more of a mention. >_>

        • Gilead says:

          Although if you count the mobile versions as well, I think Terraria has sold over 3 million copies, which is pretty good going.

        • Zafman says:

          I love Terraria so much. Until Starbound escapes it’s early access shackles, I recommend giving it a go if you haven’t done so yet. 75% off is an absolute steal, especially after all the major updates it had. There’s so much to discover and every discovery changes the game and gives you new goals. So addictive!

      • Wulfram says:

        What’s less obvious is that this is the cheapest way to get the assorted DLC, even if you’ve already bought the Game and the Expansion

  12. Brinx says:

    The Blood Bowl sale sadly doesn’t work for Germany.

  13. YogSo says:

    Ok, those kind of mega-pack collections are almost irresistible for me, especially when they have a big discount, but, about the DarkSiders Franchise Pack: am I right in thinking that, since it includes the Season Pass (which apparently gives access to “The Abyssal Forge” and “The Demon Lord Belial”), and also includes those same DLC packs as separate items, they are in fact making me pay twice for them? I know, I know, the savings -considering the whole pack- are so big that I could consider any of those items as virtually free, but this kind of bad practice rubs me in a very wrong way.

    • lomaxgnome says:

      If you already own the first Darksiders, you’re better of with just the base Darksiders II and the season pass, the rest of the DLC is just items for early in the game.

      • YogSo says:

        I don’t have the first Darksiders, that’s why I’m looking at this deal with quite a bit of interest. Even if most of the DLC extras are just of the useless variety (weapons, armour, etc) I’m a sucker for this kind of Complete pack. The only thing stopping me from getting it (apart from that detail I commented about earlier) is that I’m not going to play the games right away, and I don’t want to fall back into my “hoarder” tendencies again.

        • Lemming says:

          The gear-related DLC is just filler, but the Death Rides, Argul, Abyssal Forge and Belial packs are worth having as they are content. The former unlocks new side quests in the main game, and the rest are designed as post-game secondary adventures once you’ve finished the main story.

          Darksiders 1 is solid enough, but may appear very linear compared to DS2 if you’ve played that first.

  14. welverin says:

    For fence sitters on the Humble Image Comics Bundle last week, Saga vol 2, The Manhattan Projects vol 1, and Invincible vol 1 got added to the beat the average price, for which the two Saga volumes are worth the price all on their own.

    • Shieldmaiden says:

      Agreed. I’ve been greatly enjoying the comics and I’ve fallen head over heels for Saga.

    • Martel says:

      I did the low end part of the bundle, mostly because I’m not sure how I’m going to read them. Any suggestions from those that are already into digital comics? I started reading one on my computer, which has real nice 24″ monitors, but it just doesn’t feel right.

      Hoping to figure it out before the sale ends as that’s my primary reason for not beating the average.

      • welverin says:

        I put pdfs on my ipad and read them with GoodReader.

        If you don’t have a tablet or ebook reader you can do that with, I’m of no help to you since I don’t read digital versions of comic except in rare cases like this. Though if you have a widescreen monitor and can turn it sideways, try that with the comic fullscreen.

        Though I will again, suggest upgrading so you cna get those beat the average books.

      • malkav11 says:

        A large tablet with a good screen like the iPad is probably the best way for digital comics. GoodReader is a strong choice for iOS PDF reader if that’s how they come, but if there’s .CBR/.CBZ/RAR/ZIP packaging instead (CBR and CBZ are literally just a way of tagging a RAR or ZIP as a comic book file for comic reader apps so if you have it in either of those basic formats you can just edit the RAR or ZIP extension to CBR or CBZ, respectively) there are a bunch of pretty good comic apps – the one I use is called ComicGlass although some people swear by ComicZeal or ComicRack, I think. Finally, you won’t be getting anything you can use with this through the Humble Bundle, but Comixology is the biggest digital comic store as far as I know and they have an iPad app.

        There are Android PDF readers and comic viewers and an Android version of Comixology, but I don’t have an Android tablet so I can’t recommend them.

        Honestly, though, I read a lot of comics on my monitor these days. HD comics look fantastic filling a 24″ screen.

        • Martel says:

          Once again, RPS commenters to the rescue. Not sure why I didn’t think about tossing them on the tablet, and the directions you gave malkav11 helped me find some reader apps so I can use the CBR/CBZ format. Going to give those a try today.

          Thanks again to both of you.

        • Gargenville says:

          Perfectreader is the one to have on Android, and completely free (as in no ads, though a donation version exists with some esoteric bonus features). Very fast after its initial directory scan and perfectly usable even on garbage hardware (I used a 1GHz single core tablet until recently because all I did on it was read comics and PV ran fine, even though Youtube would take like a literal minute to load).

          • Martel says:

            Assuming you meant Perfect Viewer, I gave that one a whirl based on your recommendation (couldn’t find one called Perfect Reader, but Perfect Viewer had the features you listed) and I really like it. Enough that I yanked the other ones already in favor of Perfect Viewer.

            This is it in case anybody else is interested
            link to

        • Vandelay says:

          I bought the pack the other week (only read the first 4 issues of Chew, which is absurdly great.) It is available in all the formats you mention. There are also instructions on which ones to download and what apps to use to read them depending on your device.

          Strangely, the iPad instruction tell you to use an app called ComicFlow, but to download in PDF format. I imagine any PDF reader would work.

  15. Viceroy Choy says:

    I will take any chance to extol Amanita’s Botanicula because it’s truly lovely (and finally came out on iPad!).

    • Paul B says:

      It is indeed a lovely game, and the perfect way to renew your love of games after a 50+ hour modern blockbuster. I haven’t finished it yet, but there’s something about it’s charming animation, and relaxing point & click atmosphere, that makes me think I will finish it one day.

      (I didn’t know it had come out on iOS, hope it gets ported to Android too).

  16. CMaster says:

    There’s a place here in Manchester that does indeed put bonemarrow in their burgers to make them jucier. I think they end up a little too greasy, but some love it. Took a friend there recently who had their “Mac Daddy” – a burger where the bun is replaced with deep fried circles of Mac and Cheese.

    There’s also the notorious Almost Famous, which reguarly has both bouncers and queues.

    • Rizlar says:

      There is a really great asian-y burger stall outside Gosh! comics in Soho most lunch times. They do an ox heart burger which is both amazing and amazingly greasy.

      That Mac Daddy sounds like the stuff of nightmares though.

  17. lomaxgnome says:

    All of those humble deals are dailies and will be gone tomorrow, replaced with new ones as part of their current sale.

  18. defunct says:

    I got Terrania in one of those bundled sales. I liked it until I got overrun by goblins and then, adding to the insult, zapped by a big eye. Both fights were impossible for me to win (without dying MANY MANY times), and I uninstalled the game after that. Starbound, I read in places, is more of the same impossible battles to overcome. One guy in some forums complained he got overrun too fast to build anything of consequence. So I never got it for the same reasons I uninstalled T. I like the building and exploring. Not so much the dying repeatedly.

  19. PopeRatzo says:

    Darksiders I and II are a blast.

  20. Sigh says:

    Can anyone advise on the Gothic/Arcania bundle on the Humble Store for $12.49? Is it worth it? I’ve been a bit tempted by it today.

    • dE says:

      It shows up as 25€ for me, so I’m not sure it’s the same one. But generally, the gothic games and semi-gothic games go like this:

      Gothic 1 – Great
      Gothic 2 and Addon – Great
      – Everything after 2 doesn’t exist.
      Gothic 3 – Some claim it approaches playable with the latest fanpatch. Not in my opinion. But, well some like it. Mileage may vary. Greatly.
      Gothic 3 Addon – Not even with a ten-foot pole. Not even from orbit, with a nuke.
      Gothic 4 / Arcania – Kill it with fire.

      Risen 1 – Some claim it’s a decent effort. I’ll give it that it actually tries and looks like it might get there.
      Risen 2 – Nope. Noooope. Pirates that teleport back to the beach when they touch water. Animations out of Poser. A story as idiotic as it can be, Combat dumbed down to hilarious one button levels. Nooope.

      • Sigh says:

        Thanks dE,

        I already own the Risens, so maybe I will give the first one a try. Perhaps I will pick up Gothic 1+2 separately at a later point. Thanks again for taking the time to provide an informed comment.

      • HadToLogin says:

        I’ll add from myself – Gothic 1 and 2 have IMO one of the worst fighting system ever. I totally bumped from game when I had to press left and right arrows on keyboard repeatedly for 5th time.
        My brother found fix – he cheated, gave himself a god mode or some one-hit-one kill weapon or something like that and just started to wander around the world.

        On the other hand, my cousin says nobody made better fighting system then pressing those arrow-keys.

        • rei says:

          It takes some getting used to, but it’s actually a pretty good system at that point.

        • Sigh says:

          Thanks all, I appreciate it! RPS commenters are the best.

          Also thanks to Cassandra, for doing a great job continuing this column. RPS is still the first site I check on Saturday mornings because of it and your commentary is great.

      • InternetBatman says:

        I love Gothic 1 and 2. They are the best open world arpgs out there. Everything is densely and meaningfully placed, exploration is a joy. The terrain is unmatched in its complexity and realism; this comes from them making physical models of the gameworld rather than digital maps. The AI was lightyears ahead of its time (raptors flank you, wolves will stop hunting you to hunt giant birds if your run into a flock). Combat is fluid and relies on chains, something that was rare in arpgs of the time.

        That said, prepare to get the crap kicked out of you if you play them. It’s not a theme park like Bethesda games.

        You start on the lowest of levels. Gothic 1 has you start weak and unskilled. You hold a one handed sword with both hands and hack like an axe at the lowest level. Skills and especially equipment are rare enough in the early game that each piece (and you get several through stealing) feels like a major upgrade. The first third of the game is spent in the incredibly detailed and quest dense cities. You stay near the city walls, and try to steal enough to get some decent beginning gear or you run monsters to guards, hoping something will die and give you enough to sell. You run errands and learn what you can. You find ways to try and cheat against the bullies in town. You crawl forward, advancing by inches. Then there’s the holy shit moment when you realize that you can kill wolves with some ease.

        That’s when the exploration starts in earnest. In the second third of the games you’re already one of the toughest people around. You want to be a sneaky bastard, you don’t want to fight, and you always are dancing on a thin line between death and power. Almost everyone else stays in their walled cities or in huddled farms. The wilderness is deadly, but you can now travel through it. There are plenty of rewards to be gained if you approach it like a puzzle. You pick out a class and advance the story forward, but really that’s just means of letting you explore more.

        The final third of the games are notable because you shift from exploring the world and finding the inevitable nooks and crannies that hold small rewards to finding isolated places of power with rare items and abilities. Its more of a dungeon crawl, but its interesting to see your character get near invincible.

        Gothic 3 kept the terrain complexity, but combat sucks and you ramp up in power too soon. The spells are awesome (you can see arrows slow in the timestop bubble) and graphics neat, but the combat is so boring. It’s an ugly chimera of Gothic and Oblivion. They listened to players and made the game more mouse and keyboard oriented rather than keyboard alone, which was a huge mistake.

        Risen is a wonderful half game. Play it until you’ve picked a class and explored to your hearts content. Combat still suffers, but the terrain is interesting and the first half plays like a gothic game. Then it just dissipates into a slow and boring dungeon crawl.

        Risen 2 is a joy to play. It’s not as open as previous Gothic games, but they really take the theme of pirate and have fun with it. There’s a skill you can get that lets you shoot people in dialogue. You can brew rum and train a monkey to steal. I actually enjoyed it more than Risen, but less than Gothic 1/2.

        • Sigh says:

          Well you certainly have me intrigued about the early Gothic games and I have been looking for an rpg that breaks from the usual mold.

          Your opinion on Risen 2 is interesting, that game seems to really divide opinions…but I have always been willing to give it a try due to the theme and apparent presence of humor.

          Thanks for your lengthy and passionate observations.

  21. Moraven says:

    GMG Coupon ALFIS4-GRATZ0-025GMG 25% off

    TESO, WildStar, Wolfenstein, Dark Souls 2, Tropico 5, Last Federation, Age of Mythology EE and a few others.

    Not the best bucket deals but coupons for newer games is always nice to have.

    • Philomelle says:

      I bought WildStar off them. They gave me a key for the EU service despite me having a NA account (which means it cannot be redeemed), then refused to refund or exchange it under the excuse that I had already seen the key and might try to resell it.

      So really, only use that website if you want to be scammed out of your money.

    • Jalan says:

      Some decent deals but they’ve imposed a choice against that code in that you can use that code OR any existing account credit(s) you may have accrued but not both at the same time to buy game(s) on that list.

  22. Frank says:

    indiegala is such a mess. they said “thanks for buying this bundle” on the password reminder screen! anyway, please say what’s in the bundle next time. i’m getting it for that ico-like with a robot.

    edit: oh, nice. the reset link just redirects to the bundle page. their site was never good, but i remember it being better when they started out.

    • Jalan says:

      You must be remembering some other site, since you were correct the first time – they were never good.

  23. malkav11 says:

    I’ll just mention that one of the things in the GOG sale is a bundle of the first three DROD games: King Dugan’s Dungeon, Journey to Rooted Hold, and The City Beneath. These games used to cost $20 a piece and you can now get the lot for $4. That is an incredible deal for three of the finest puzzle games ever made and they are so, so content dense. If you somehow manage to beat all three and are looking for more there’re already tons and tons of user created levels. But I would be very impressed – those games get -hard-. There’s also one more current game in the series (Gunthro and the Epic Blunder), a final game in beta with a Spring 2014 planned release (The Second Sky), and a spinoff with a different puzzle format (DROD RPG: Tendry’s Tale) if you get hooked.

    Oh, and several Smitemaster’s Selections, which are sizeable addon level packs (“holds”) designed by members of the community in coordination with Caravel and considered official parts of the story. Mostly these are very challenging and probably better saved for when you’re a DROD Smitemaster, but there is one that’s kind of a training ground.