The RPS Bargain Bucket: Triple A Threats

We’re about three weeks into 2015, and I’m already bristling with things to tell you about. So many things. All of the things, in fact. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you anything till March, at least. Such an unfortunate thing. Have I abused variations of the word ‘thing’ enough yet? Okay. I thing so. Okay, okay. I’ll stop for real this time. Sure thing. (P.S: That’s a Maneki Neko plushie!)

The big ones:

Indiegala: Humble Store lookalike Indie Gala has an interesting array of titles this week, including Journey of a Roach, Patrician 3 and the Double Dragon Trilogy.

GOG.com: You can always count on GOG to provide some quality entertainment. This weekend, they have Leisure Suit Larry, Overlord, the Creatures franchise, and more.

Humble Stuff: I really, really like the Weekly Bundle this time around. It features an exorbitant amount of punching despite looking rather cutesy. More importantly, you should consider nabbing the latest Book Bundle because it is absolutely rad. I personally endorse Elephantman, The Wicked + The Divine, Walking Dead, Sex Criminals and SAGA. Good grief.

The regular stuff

Civilization: Beyond Earth
$29.99/£19.80/€25.94
Love it, hate it, think Endless Legend is the superior game, Civilization: Beyond Earth is one game you can’t pretend isn’t there. You’re going to have to try the latest installment in the long-running series eventually, which puts you in control of a fictional Terran faction, one that is usually cobbled together from a mix of cultures. As always, there’ll be diplomacy to consider, political rivals to compare genitalia length with, and land mass to conquer. Unlike previous games – and like Alpha Centauri – this one adds angry sand-worm-alien-thingies to the mix. Happily, BE is currently available for free this weekend so you won’t have to commit unless you like the game.

Tomb Raider
$3.81/£2.52/€3.30
I spent a long time not really liking Tomb Raider. In part, I’ll admit, because she was more bountifully endowed than I could ever hope to be. (Tomb Raider envy was horrible for teenage me.) But this recent installment offers a different, grittier take on this pop-culture heroine, a take that I loved to no end. True, there’s something to be said about the pageantry with which Lara meets her demise in this game, things that more articulate people than I have already commented on. But it isn’t just a game about violence. This origins story is taut, commendable, and – actually, just go read our Wot I Think.

Saints Row IV
$4.99/£3.29/€4.32
More deals? What’s with you people and cheap deals? Oh, all right. Have another. Keeping to our unofficial triple-A-theme, let’s move on to Saints Row IV. If Grand Theft Auto V is a wish fulfillment fantasy, Saints Row IV is a teenage gamer’s fever dream. There are many, many games which attempt to be irreverent but Saints Row IV has them all beat. It’s energetic and manic and completely self-celebratory, so much so that it’s hard not like this crazy little game.

Also of note:

Kerbal Space Program – $17.99/£13.79/€17.79
Everyone knows that Early Access games are plagued with bugs, risks, and other reasons to hang to your purse strings instead of allowing your money to come out and play. But Kerbal Space Program is a good bet to hedge on, in my opinion. The game has been out for a couple of years, is already robust and fun to play, and continues to be updated at a reasonable speed. Plus, honestly, don’t you want to blast cute little things into space?

Designers, Dragons, and More – $21.49/£14.19/€18.59
With 2014 only recently transformed into a memory, I can’t help but feel nostalgic for the old days. Which is why I’d like to call your attention to this interesting little bundle, a trip down memory lane condensed into literary form. Ever felt like sitting down with several good tomes on the history of RPGs? Well, now’s your chance.

25 Comments

  1. amateurviking says:

    The Wicked and the Divine? CORRUPTION!

    Seriously though. I got the trade for Christmas. It’s really good. You should buy it.

    • welverin says:

      I’ll second that and everything Kassandra mentioned except Elephantman, which I have not read yet. I’d also recommend Velvet and The Manhattan Projects (though I warn you this can be rather out there). The Fade Out and Wytches are cruel teases with only one issue each.

      Other things that are at least worth reading are Alex + Ada, Deadly Class, Genius, The Fuse, Southern Bastards, and Shutter. That a mix of stuff I had gotten previously and read due to this bundle.

      Though, honestly, $18 for 18 issues of Saga is a steal, and then you get a bunch of other stuff on top of it for free.

      • Matt_W says:

        18 issues of Saga and 45 issues of The Walking Dead, plus all those other awesome titles. I can additionally vouch for Stray Bullets, Deadly Class, The Fuse, and Shutter.

        • Lagran says:

          45 issues of The Walking Dead

          Correction — 48 issues (6 issues per volume, and the first compendium compiles the first 8 volumes).

          For people who enjoy the first compendium, the second is available on the Google Play store DRM-free (states will work on Android, iPad & iPhone using their books app, read on computer in browser, and copied to compatible e-ink devices). I don’t know how much it is for people not in the UK, but for me it’s currently £24.67 full price with a current discount to £16.04 (around a third off).

  2. Premium User Badge

    Matchstick says:

    Nice to see Bundle of Holding getting a mention on here – they also have a large (currently 16 books) bundle of bundle of drm free source books for the early 90s RPG Torg on offer till Friday.

  3. LionsPhil says:

    KSP is worth it even if Squad never update it again (which is how to appraise all Early Access offerings).

  4. Kefren says:

    Free: Magical Diary: Horse Hall (link to rockpapershotgun.com)
    Single copy I don’t need. Just email me (address on my blog) if you want it.

  5. Ross Angus says:

    IndieRoyal’s Mystery 3 bundle includes Depth Hunter, which Craig told us to wait for a sale to buy.

    I always do what Craig tells me to do.

    • welverin says:

      Craig, abuse this for evil!

    • Nereus says:

      It’s definitely worth picking up on sale. I killed a few hours just enjoying the pretty scenery. I do have a higher than average appreciation for the ocean, though.

  6. malkav11 says:

    I know the general RPS wisdom is never to preorder, but it still seems worth mentioning that (at least in the US, no idea about other regions), Gamestop has a Steam key preorder for Saints Row: Gat out of Hell for $5. It looks like they’re doing the same 75% off the Saints Row franchise sale that Steam is, except unlike Steam, they did it on the one that’s not even out yet, quite probably by accident, although if so no one has yet noticed.

    link to gamestop.com

    • Jalan says:

      Won’t be long until it’s either fixed or completely unavailable to buy for a short period, I’m guessing.

      Says “To US addresses only” which I assume means “just circumvent that restriction by listing your address as a public toilet in Alameda California”.

      • malkav11 says:

        It’s been up for at least 16 hours. (I was alerted to it at 7 PM CST yesterday, and it’s now almost noon CST.) I suspect someone is asleep at the wheel over at Gamestop HQ.

        • malkav11 says:

          Still up as of 10:15 AM CST. I think everyone at Gamestop.com must have gone home for the weekend.

      • lomaxgnome says:

        No, unlike Amazon, on Gamestop, you actually have to have a legitimate US purchasing source to make the order, not just an address. In addition, the key is likely to be activation locked to North America.

        Plus, since this is a pre-order and doesn’t get billed until delivery, there’s a pretty high chance that once they notice, they’ll just cancel everyone’s order.

        • malkav11 says:

          Quite possibly. But these things do get honored some of the time, and I figure it’s worth a punt. Pity about the region nonsense, though.

        • Jalan says:

          I haven’t seen any mentions of the game being region-locked but then again, most of the people I’ve seen mention they’ve pre-ordered it just add “I’ve pre-ordered it”. You’re probably right though.

          Also, care to elaborate on “US purchasing source”? As in “US banking establishment”?

  7. boo01 says:

    Skullgirls is on GOG for £2.31 with code : SAVE23-PEROFF-MOSANT
    It’s meant to be a great fighter.
    link to greenmangaming.com

    • Bugamn says:

      On GMG, man. For a moment was ready to buy a second copy just to have it on GOG.

  8. kalirion says:

    This bundle’s still running and I still say it’s the best value of any other bundle out: link to bundlestars.com

  9. Kefren says:

    Free: Dark Strokes Sins of the Fathers (John liked it link to rockpapershotgun.com)
    Single copy I don’t need. Just email me (address on my blog) if you want it.

  10. gwathdring says:

    I found Sex Criminals really disappointing, as a fan of Fraction’s Hawkeye and Invincible Iron Man. I was hoping him stepping into a story that wasn’t about traditional Super Heroes would be really cool since he does such a lovely job re-imagining super people …

    But unfortunately it’s a mess. The first issue felt really, really backwards at a number of points. I felt rather uncomfortable with some of the viewpoints that seemed to underlie the comic. The art is nice–I like the lighting effects particularly much; it has that Abrahms Star Trek thing going, but it’s a comic and somehow it works really nicely here. It still manages to be cute and silly here and there. But I can’t shake this uncomfortable feeling about it’s attitudes towards sex (or for that matter mental illness) and even if I ignore that discomfort, I don’t think it finds the right balance for just how absurd it is and how Real Talk it thinks it is some of the time.

    Compared to Saga, it’s particularly striking. Saga has plenty of sex, silliness and absurdity in it but it doesn’t feel the need to … well brag is the best word for it. It doesn’t feel the need to brag about being “mature” and it strikes an impeccable balance between it’s various conceptual spaces allowing it to be silly, sentimental, dark, sexy, violent, and critical without feeling disjointed and immature the way Sex Criminals does.

    • STJamie says:

      I’d like to respectfully disagree with on that one. I went into Sex Criminals having only read Hawkeye from Fraction and found it to take the best parts from that (the aloof and down-to-earth nature of extra ordinary people in (somewhat) ordinary situations), with less of the baggage from superhero comics in general.

      What issues did you have with the attitude it has towards sex? In the first issue especially I found it handled coming of age sexual discovery with a deft touch and in a very funny but human way. I agree that it has a good share of absurdity, but i feel that’s the extra spark of fantasy it needs to make it a good proper comic, as opposed to a quirky slice of life story. I do also agree it is a little immature, but i definitely don’t think to an extreme, and only really in the sense of general sex jokes. All in all i found it to be one of the best comics I’ve read in ages and relish getting my new paper copy every month because i know it never fails to make me smile.

      On the other hand i finally started reading Saga not long after I started Sex Criminals and found that to be really bland and boring in comparison. But hey-ho each to their own i guess, I would just recommend anyone who’s a little interested to give the first issue of Sex Criminals a read and see if they fancy it, it’s stayed within the spirit and tone it sets up in the first issue.

      • gwathdring says:

        It’s definitely much more consistent than Hawkeye, for better or worse. :)

        As for what I didn’t like about it’s attitudes … it doesn’t do anything particularly heinous, but I went in expecting it to be unusually astute so it being a teensy bit ahead of the curve was still a huge let-down and still left me a bit uncomfortable. I went in hoping for something a little more mature–here not meaning more serious or “adult,” mind–and it goes and does things like perpetuate hymen myth nonsense and some moments of hetero-sexism …

        It’s decently written and decently funny but the funniest part is that the sex related stuff is kind of it’s weakest point; it feels like it’s trying too hard to prove something and I can’t quite figure out what it even wants to prove. Maybe that’s my hangup. I’m probably being too hard on it, really, and I’d definitely recommend people pick it up. Fraction’s very talented and the art is amazing.

        But I was disappointed.