The RPS Bargain Bucket: Love At First Fluff

Avast, ye – no, I’m not even going to try. But, it is apparently Talk like a Pirate Day and I won’t judge if you fill my comments with growly, ocean lingo. As some of you might already know, I had the distinct pleasure of having fellow columnist Cara Ellison over in Malaysia for a few weeks. I also played host to Aaron Souppouris, a colleague from the Verge. Naturally, both brought plushies to the altar. (P.S: I haven’t figured out a name for the cozily-garbed bear. If anyone would like to contribute a ponder, go right ahead.) Personal updates, enjoy this week’s bucket of bargains.

Steampunk 3 Groupees Bundle
$2.00/£1.23/€1.56
Windforge is the standout name for me in this bundle. Why? Because most games won’t let you excavate dead, flying mammals. Windforge will let you cut holes through flying whales, and build a life from a strange, aerial world filled with steampunk aesthetics. Of course, that’s hardly the only intriguing title in this nest of bargains. The bundle also comes with a score of other video games, comics, one ebook, and a lot of relevant-sounding music. Will it be excellent? Maybe. It will certainly be very indie.

Age of Wonders III
$19.99/£14.99/€19.99
I have a confession. My first experience with the game involved a pirated edition, a good friend, and a bottle of cider. Age of Wonders III is almost frustratingly good at inciting that “one more turn” itch, and it had me playing for more hours than I ever imagined possible. To be fair, however, Age of Wonders III isn’t a fast game, or even a game that would be universally beloved. It is a game that demands a love for conquest, dragons, and global do – actually, you’d probably like it plenty, wouldn’t you? Yeah, of course you would.

Far Cry 3
$5.69/£3.49/€4.43
I don’t know if I like Far Cry 3. I mean, I think I do. I have memories of interviewing one of the people involved in its creation, and asking them why they wanted to make another FPS game. It has unusual ideas, some good and some bad. Weirdly, my biggest beef with Far Cry 3 is, I think, with its naming convention. Rakyat means “people” in this here parts, and the idea of calling an indigenous people just “people” just seems peculiar. That said, Far Cry 3 sort of makes up for this misdemeanor by allowing me to visit tigers on my enemies. I’m not usually a forgiving person, but I can make exceptions.

The Book of Unwritten Tales – $2.49/£1.53/€1.94
I feel like I spend an absurd amount of time discussing the Book of Unwritten Tales, almost as much time as I spend complaining about the abundance of Rockstar bargains. But, we’re allowed our little weaknesses, aren’t we? I love The Book of Unwritten Tales passionately, in spite of the fact it isn’t incredibly hard. It is a graceful nod in the direction of the old LucasArts games, a pretty experience, and ever-so-slightly sly. Definitely something to consider. (But you already knew that.)

Two Worlds: Epic Edition – $0.99/£0.69/€0.99
It feels like the Internet’s response to Two Worlds can be summed up in a word: eh. Shrug. Okay. Flippant sounds, and careless indifference that doesn’t necessarily translate to “bad.” I haven’t played Two Worlds, personally, but it’s 90% off right now, so I might be forced to change that. (Does anyone here play it? Anyone have input on it? Anyone at all?)

85 Comments

  1. Funso Banjo says:

    How is this not the top topic, considering it’s the latest post?

    I didn’t know WordPress actually had the relevant option.

    • NightOwl says:

      Because supporting RPS is more important.

      • Melody says:

        Also, Supporting RPS is the best gaming-related bargain out there at the moment ^_^

        • gadalia says:

          Better than the Humble Bundles?

          • JFS says:

            Come on, do the Humble Bundles give you royally oversized badges?

          • Melody says:

            Considering I was joking, yes, it’s better than the humble bundles.
            The humble bundles don’t give you Horace hats for TF2 that you can sell for 19£ on Steam. (I wasn’t joking there)

          • Premium User Badge

            AndiK says:

            How can I sell it? I’ve managed to have it show up in my inventory (started TF2 once), but when I click on it in the Steam client it says “(Nicht handelbar)” (= not tradeable). o.O

          • Jebediah Adder says:

            Heresy! Anything of Horace, even a novelty hat, is immeasurable in value.

          • Melody says:

            @AndiK I don’t know… I didn’t start TF2, but putting another TF2 item on sale made it show up in my inventory anyway, and I had two hats (bought 2 subscriptions), gifted one to a friend through trading and sold another one through the steam inventory page as usual, haven’t had a problem. I don’t know, maybe it only locks to your account if you start the game? I have no idea, sorry i can’t help :\

          • Premium User Badge

            AndiK says:

            Shame. Thanks for trying, though! :(
            I can’t find any info on how others do it, sadly. The Steam market is usually something I ignore completely, only having free achievement cards that sell for ~15 cents.
            What currency are you using, i.e. what region are you in? Maybe it’s because I’m using Yuros?

          • Melody says:

            Although I’ve lived in a Yuro country for a few years now, since I opened the Steam account while in the UK I still see all the prices in pounds. Don’t know if that affects it.

          • Saarlaender39 says:

            @AndiK:
            Do you usually trade items, or do you buy games on that account on a regular basis?
            Because, I didn’t until some time ago, and therefore I also wasn’t allowed to trade.

            I had to buy something first on my (second, aka Laptop-) account, and 30 days later I was allowed to trade items.

          • Premium User Badge

            AndiK says:

            I don’t buy items, but do buy games regularly with that account. I *can* sell regular items such as cards, but none of the TF2 stuff, for some reason.

  2. Raztaman says:

    I’d also like to know if Two Worlds is worth it.

    • Tatty says:

      Think Tesco Value Oblivion and you’re half way there.

      Massive open world, tons of quests, interesting crafting system. It’s also got some of the worst voice acting I’ve ever heard.

      Extremely rough but worth a punt at that price.

    • Scytale says:

      Only if you really have exhausted all the other RPGs out there. It is one of those that all the ingredients to give you a really good game but leaves you going: meh.

    • Saarlaender39 says:

      Two Worlds is definitely worth the 99ct.

      I remember playing it – enjoying it (some time) – finishing it.
      But – I also remember it “overstaying its welcome”.

      After ~25 hours playtime, I got really bored by the ever same scheme of its sidequests: you get a quest, and the place, where you can solve that quest is always one or two villages, caves, etc. back to the point, where you get the quest – so you’ve a lot of backtracking to do.

      After the aforementioned 25 hours, I said “screw the sidequests” and went straight to the final fight. Won it, game over, I was happy.

      Of course – YMMV…but I’d say: for 99ct, you can’t do wrong.

  3. Stellar Duck says:

    I played a bit of Two Worlds 2.

    It’s… a game? I mean, it’s not outright bad, I think but on the flip side, it wasn’t really interesting either.

    The world seemed pretty well made and the game was nice to look at with some good level design or world design or whatever.

    Ultimately I gave up after some hours as it didn’t catch me at all.

    • Arona Daal says:

      I played a Ton of Rpgs,and TW2 gets a Medal for having the weirdest Control Scheme *ever*.
      Everything else is “okayish” if uninspired. But the Controls…. brrrrr.

      • Stellar Duck says:

        Oh, yea. The controls were proper funky.

        It was a weird game in general. When playing it I kept thinking that there was a decent game here, only it was buried beneath another game that wasn’t nearly as good.

    • Raztaman says:

      Ah well, can’t go wrong for 70p so I guess I may aswell give it a try.

      • Stellar Duck says:

        I would agree.

        You don’t need to play it a lot before having gotten 70p worth out of it.

        And it does have some interesting bits.

  4. melnificent says:

    Far Cry 3, isn’t that Watch_dogs without the hacking, or was it Assassins Creed without the historical setting.
    Maybe it was The_crew without the cars…
    Ubisoft open world games seem to have just bled into one giant reskin of an existing base. With one unique feature in each different ip.

    • djbriandamage says:

      It’s the same game as all of those. It’s a game where you delete icons from a map. It’s defrag the game.

      • melnificent says:

        I always imagined that defrag the game would be a kind of linear version of snake.

    • laiwm says:

      It’s a solid fps and one of the better examples of the “predatory stealth” style of game (e.g. Arkham City, Splinter Cell: The Second Most Recent One). Install Ziggys mod to make it a much better game, and be able to enjoy it without needing to endure the story to unlock the islands and equipment. I’d highly recommend it.

  5. Ed Burst says:

    The ‘Rakyat’ thing seemed pretty plausible to me. Explorer arrives at an island, says “Who are you?”
    The locals say, “We are the rakyat of this island.”
    The explorer, not knowing that’s the local word for ‘people’ assumes Rakyat is a proper noun and writes it down on his map. Happens all the time.

    The problem with Far Cry 3 is that they thought they could get away with anything because the whole game was, like, ironic, failing to realise that compared to the silliness of other open world games (GTA, Saints Row, etc) it was practically gritty social realism.

    • Cassandra Khaw says:

      That’s a fair point. I guess that’s a fair point, except:

      “We are the rakyat of this island,” sounds weird because it’s randomly inserting a foreign word into the middle of a sentence. If they were communicating in the same language, it’s likely they’d try to find a word that meant “people” instead of just shrugging and using their own noun? I don’t know. I will definitely admit this is a private point of contention. (I might be a bit sick of how the media portrays this part of the world as unbearably exotic. GRUMP.)

      Also, yes. That too. u_u

      • suibhne says:

        While orientalism is a worthy target and I think your frustrations are generally on the money, this is a point about Far Cry 3 that didn’t bother me. Through a combo of self-identification and colonialism, many indigenous tribes in the Western Hemisphere ended up with names that were simply a variant of “people”. Many Australian and Pacific indigenous communities are also so named (tho, admittedly, often with another designation as well – like “river people”, “clay people”, etc.). This was a detail that told me the game writer(s) may have actually known something, even if they didn’t always show it throughout the rest of the insufferable main narrative about spoiled white people.

        • malkav11 says:

          Yeah, pretty much. And where they -didn’t- get tagged with the local word for “people”, they often got labelled with something derogatory because the white guy asked their enemies what to call them and never figured out the difference. Especially in the US, where for many, many years the commonly used name for most tribes was actually an enemy tribe’s name for them. I’d give examples, but I run into the thing that probably prompted that nomenclature over the proper one, which is that I can neither remember nor spell the proper name.

      • Premium User Badge

        SuddenSight says:

        I will point out that the origin of many names is far, far stupider. For example: no one knows the origin of Kangaroo. Example number two: Mandarin (as in mandarin chinese) is actually from mandarim, the Portugeuse word for “official,” and it refers to the dialect of Chinese that the officials spoke. Example number three: Iroquois probably comes from the Basque words hilo and koa, meaning “killing people.”

        Then again, my favorite quote from Tom Clancy is: “The difference between writing fiction and non-fiction is that fiction must be believable.”

        • Shadowcat says:

          no one knows the origin of Kangaroo

          Well, when a mummy almost-a-kangaroo and a daddy almost-a-kangaroo love each other very much, and the ensuing genetic recombination contains a particular error which the homologous recombinational repair mechanisms are unable to correct, then you get a Kangaroo.

          • Premium User Badge

            SuddenSight says:

            I cannot refute the veracity of your claim. I have seen… I feel tarnished. I will never see words the same way again.

        • badseed says:

          Just to correct something: “mandarim” is *not* the portuguese word for “official” (that would be… “oficial”). It may or may not, however, be derived from the portuguese verb “mandar”, which means to rule or to order.

      • Saarlaender39 says:

        It’s pretty common, really:
        – Kanaka: a word, meaning ‘people’ or ‘person’, used by various Polynesian people to refer to themselves.
        Fun fact: here in Germany, the word “Kanake” is used as a derogatory term towards turkish people (or people with a mediterranean appearance), so our homebred dumbasses offend people by calling them people.
        – Yanomami: a word, meaning ‘people’ or ‘human being’, –> used by a tribe of brazilian indians refering to themselves as Yanomami or Yanomae.
        – Orang Utan: The name “orangutan” (also written orang-utan, orang utan, orangutang, and ourang-outang) is derived from the Malay and Indonesian words orang meaning “person” and hutan meaning “forest” – thus “person of the forest”.
        Another fun fact: Orang Hutan was originally not used to refer to apes, but to forest-dwelling humans.

      • Siimon says:

        Would a 100% made up name have been better? Maybe, maybe not.
        Personally I liked their use of Rakyat.

        First off, it makes them “Generic video game population #1297579” instead of saying that they are in fact from a certain ethnicity or geographical region.

        Second, I felt the natives (and Dennis) using Rakyat as a descriptor of themselves gives it more of a capital T, capital P “The People” vibe (sort of like saying they are “The Chosen Ones”) which makes even more sense that they’d starting taking pride in being The People when all the drug dealing foreigners come in.
        Did they speak English and could have said “people” instead of “Rakyat”? Yes, but saying the English word “people” would have lost some of the meaning (and pride) they wanted associated with it – thus Rakyat.

        On a side note, I personally think you undersell FC3 in you description of it :)

        • welverin says:

          I’ve noticed this in a number of fantasy settings as well, you have some race that refers to themselves as The People in their own language.

      • Banyan says:

        Most groups start out calling themselves “the people” or “human beings” in translation, until interaction with other groups confuse the issue. E.g. in Australia, the name of the Anangu translates as “human being”. As time goes on, groups normally claim some special quality that makes them better than others: the Hopi name for themselves is “the Peaceful People”, the Cherokee call themselves as “the Principal People,” China means “the Central Country”, ancient Greeks referred to anyone not Greek as “barbaros.” A lot of “advanced” names are given by some opposing power. “Africa” is “land of the Afri,” a tribe in Libya. “Germani” was a name given by the “Gauls”, which itself is derived from the Germanic term for “foreigner”, both terms written down by the ancient Romans as fact.

        My favorite is mzungu, the term for a white person in East Africa, which translates as “one who wanders about aimlessly” because for while every white person who came through appeared to be an explorer walking in circles.

    • Gap Gen says:

      Many rivers in England are called Avon because that was the Saxon word for river. People just pointed at it and the locals replied river.

      • MartinWisse says:

        “Your finger, you fool”.

      • sinister agent says:

        My old home of Stratford-upon-Avon is great for that. It literally means “street crossing the river on the river”.

        Stupid Saxons.

        • Premium User Badge

          tigerfort says:

          And of course we have Scafell Pike (hill hill hill), which is close to lake windermere (lake lake lake lake).

          But yes, the English “name” for a almost any indigenous group will turn out to be either that group’s word for “people” or their worst enemy’s worst term of abuse.

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          OK can I join your etymological enoutrage? “Aber”, as in “Aberdeen” and “Aberystwyth” means “joining place of two rivers”.

          Yes.

      • badseed says:

        The same thing happens in the Iberian Peninsula, where there are various rivers (the biggest of which are the Guadiana and the Guadalquivir), “Guadi” being a corruption of the arabic term “Wadi”, which can (and in this context, does) mean river, and all are referred to as “river Guadi-whatever”.

    • dsch says:

      It’s not just exotic islanders. “Deutsch” and “Dutch” both come from words meaning “people.” That comment is kind of exemplary of a certain uncritical mindset on RPS.

      • thebigJ_A says:

        This (except the ‘critical mindset’ bit).
        People have called themselves “people” in their own language for ever. (and been called it in the languages of others)

        If “Dutch” is ok, so is Rakyat.

        • dsch says:

          “Uncritical mindset”: they don’t really think hard enough about their positions.

          I mean, you may not agree with that either, but just to be precise.

  6. thekeats1999 says:

    The Valiant Book Bundle is worth a look this week as well. The pay what you want level has a lot of good titles in it. Plus a copy of the Shadowman game, which doesn’t seem to have a lot of fans but I enjoyed it.

    Beat the average and you get access to some of the original series these reboots are based on.

    • El Goose says:

      Yeah, I was wondering about this, have recently got back into comics in a major way (after the Image Humble Bundle actually) and this piqued my curiosity. My only hesitation in buying it was that, judging from the covers (I know there’s an old maxim about that, but what the hey), a lot of them seemed to be kinda superheroey/men-punchingy. Now I don’t necessarily object to that particularly, but would the bundle be of interest to anyone who doesn’t really know much about or follow superhero comics (apart from Batman obvs. He’s like, really dark and edgy.)

      • Jalan says:

        My only hesitation is that no matter how many times it climbs out of its own ashes, Valiant has always sucked. At least this time they don’t have Acclaim attached to them like some weird third arm on a carnival sideshow act.

        • El Goose says:

          So that would be a no, right? Thanks then, there’s a lot of stuff that looks interesting at the moment, so if you’ve saved me a $15 dollars purchase (I almost always get the top tier in these things, can’t stand to think I’m missing out) I appreciate it.

          As a somewhat related aside, to both the topic at hand and the header image, if anybody ever comes across those hardback collections of Moomin comics that you can sometimes come across in bookshops, you should totally buy them, they’re the best.

          • Jalan says:

            Just my opinion on Valiant (as a whole). Honestly if you’re not at all familiar with the company and its titles (I’ll even concede that some, not all, were good at certain points) then definitely save the money (or go for the lowest tier you can go for if you’re really curious) and spend it on something you know you’ll like.

      • Person of Con says:

        I’m familiar with a grand total of one of the titles, but for my money, Archer & Armstrong (especially in the early volumes) is the best buddy comedy on the market. It’s a superhero comic, but a good one. The basic premise is that Archer is an eager super ninja kid trained by fundamentalists and sent to kill Armstrong, who’s basically an immortal Hercules with a pot belly. Archer quickly realizes the world’s more complicated than he was raised to believe, and Armstrong’s long dormant moral responsibility is reawakened. The series is written by Fred Van Lente, who was also the writer for a fan favorite Incredible Hercules run at Marvel, and Archer & Armstrong is basically an extension of that dynamic.

        I can’t speak for any of the other titles, but A&A just being in the “pay what you want” tier made it worthwhile for me.

        • tobecooper says:

          Yep. Valiant bundle may be a mixed bag. IMHO, some of their superhero books are really shoddy, but Archer & Armstrong is awesome. Definitely worth a dollar to check it out.

      • welverin says:

        You don’t need to follow superhero comics in general to read a superhero comic. The problem with reading one when you don’t have any history with them is the staggering continuity some of them have build up over decades that could potentially be reference, and there’s simply no way to be caught up on all of that.

        So, if you see something that seems interesting, find the start of a storyline and just start reading. The internet is rife with places that histories if you have an interest or want to understand a reference. Wikipedia be a good one stop shop.

  7. Rich says:

    Honestly, how much sneaking is in Far Cry 3? I have the sneaking skills of a rhino with an inner-ear infection, which is why I couldn’t get on with Crysis. It’s clearly in the jungle, so will I have to spend all my time crawling around in the mud for fear of being blown away by someone I never actually see, or can I blunder around happily without getting overwhelmed?

    • mr.black says:

      Blunder to your heart’s content. You can become OP fairly quickly, just carefulish find few towers, climb them and you’ll get new better guns for free in markets. FC2 was full of hidden dangers and never ending stream of respawned enemies. Once you clear an outpost in 3, enemies stop being an issue in that area.

      • Rich says:

        Sold!

      • Jalan says:

        I still want the mod that enables you to become a tiger with the sole objective of demolishing every outpost you come across.

    • Martel says:

      It can be worth it to try the stealth for some scenarios, like a personal challenge for outposts because it’s really easy to just wipe it out if you mess up. Sort of a way to practice your stealth without the frustration of reloads. Plus then you can see things like the aforementioned tiger mauling the enemies in a camp while you sit on a hill and watch through your scope.

  8. Freud says:

    I wouldn’t trust a mumin around a teddy. They can get frisky.

    • Shar_ds says:

      MoominPapa was certainly a bit of a rogue in his younger days…

  9. Colonel J says:

    Book of Unwritten Tales is wonderful, if you’ve ever enjoyed a point-and-click it’s a must have. I generally steer shy of generic fantasy as genre and I expected the Pratchett-esque humour might grate, but it proved to be so charming and the voice work is so good I was immediately won over. Yes it is fairly easy but a lovely relaxing way to spend a few evenings and it was refreshing to have puzzles with a clear, sensible logic and no pixel hunting. No cat hair mustaches here.

    Critter Chronicles is the same price, grab that too, I must get around to playing that as I also have BoUT2 chapter 1 waiting on early access from the Kickstarter.

  10. Geebs says:

    Errrrrmmmmmmm…..I spot a double entendre. Probably shouldn’t mention it.

    • Azmodhan says:

      Thank you! I can’t believe no one else seems to have spotted, or at least called attention to it. I seriously did a double-take when I saw that headline.

      • Premium User Badge

        SuddenSight says:

        I actually hadn’t read the headline until I saw your comment. I wonder if Cassandra intended to include a double entendre? Probably not.

        • Gilead says:

          I don’t know, I’ve always felt that when you’ve got a double entendre, it’s sometimes hard to resist slipping it in.

  11. mineshaft says:

    Simple formula, filled a car trip for hours once:

    What is a pirate’s favorite financial strategy?
    ARRRRRRbitrage

    What do pirates major in / read at university?
    ARRRRRRchaeology

    What convinces a pirate?
    Sound ARRRRRRgumentation

    What part of a driving test does a pirate excel at?
    Parallel pARRRRRRking

    Why does a pirate love this column?
    BARRRRRRGAINS

    • Premium User Badge

      RaveTurned says:

      How to pirates pay for their grog?
      With BAAAAAAAR-nickles!

  12. DrScuttles says:

    When Moominpapa is around, all is well in the world. Though he may have had a turbulent youth, he’s settled down to be a family Moomin now. Perhaps he’ll even finish his memoirs some day?

  13. Kefren says:

    Tidying up on a Sunday… I have two computer games if anyone wants them – but not for PC PC, only Mac PC.
    – Penumbra Collection
    – Fate Of The World
    Both are GamersGate gifts, so you would need a GamersGate account for me to transfer the game to. Get in touch via one of the options on my website if you want either game for free and I’ll transfer them. Both are good games! Just depends if you like horror and puzzles, or politics and strategy. [Just to be doubly clear – Mac-only!]

    • Kefren says:

      They’ve gone now, but I also have Bastion and Dance Ejay 6 for PC PC if anybody wants them.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        I wouldn’t mind getting Bastion if you still have it.

        • Kefren says:

          Still have it, just get in touch via email (or Facebook). You’ll need a Gamersgate account for me to transfer it to.

          • Darth Gangrel says:

            My mail is hurvl@hotmail.com. I created a gamersgate account just now (just for you :P) and decided to call myself Darth Gangrel there as well.

        • Kefren says:

          Check your email, hopefully it transferred okay!

          • Darth Gangrel says:

            Thanks for giving me Bastion, I really appreciate it. I can’t say when I’ll play it, though, because my backlog is a bastion that is hard to crack. Nevertheless, Bastion is a game that I’ve had my eye on for a long time, but I never got around to buying it, because I had so many other games. It’s also great that it’s DRM free, I prefer not having to start a program just to be able to start another program, i.e. the game.

          • Kefren says:

            No problem at all. And I agree about DRM!

  14. Hypocee says:

    Be informed that Gamesrocket, the host of the Far Cry 3 deal, either has some ludicrous policies or is actually an identity theft engine.
    —–
    Dear customer ,

    Trust and Security for all parties involved

    Due to persistent fraud cases with online payment services, it is necessary to execute a one-time payment check in individual cases. In order to protect you or an uninvolved third party from data abuse and a possible damage, it is required that you verify yourself before your order can be processed.

    Please send a copy of your id-card or passport and an id-shot. An id-shot is a picture with your id-card next to your face.
    Example: link to gamesrocket.com

    This verification is voluntarily. For objection or questions please confidently turn to our support at support@gamesrocket.com or reply to this e-mail.

    We would like to expressly point out that no data will be given to third parties.

    After successfull verification, your order will be processed and completed.

    You will automatically be verified for following orders.

    Thank you for your cooperation. Thereby, we can guarantee even more safety for our customers and our company.

    If you want to withdraw from the purchse, please contact our support team and answer on this email.
    —–

    Not going to happen, sweeties. Not for anything, and certainly not for five bucks.

    • fish99 says:

      Holy cr**. Never ordering from those clowns.

      • Melody says:

        I bought from Light in the Box, and they required me to take a picture of an ID and of the credit/debit card I used (I could of course delete most of the info in paint, just had to show the name and the last 4 digits). It is unusual but it doesn’t mean they’re trying to steal your identity or anything.

        Your best bet would be to do some research and see if other people have bought from them, and what they have said.

  15. thedosbox says:

    I haven’t figured out a name for the cozily-garbed bear

    “Cara” is too obvious?

    Yes, posting this very late, just to check if the little supporter badge is present.