The RPS Bargain Bucket: Good Old Days

Man. Oh, man. There’s nothing quite like the early days of the video game industry, is there? When polygons were visibly polygonal and colors were an experience. Jokes aside, GOG.com, ignoring the rash of recent controversies, is doing a killer sale right now. It’s not exactly the most ground-breaking sale, but it does have so many wonderful, wonderful memories going for cheap. This week’s plushie comes again from rgk, who possesses quite the admirable collection.

Farenheit: Indigo Prophecy
$4.03/£2.66/€3.60
Love it, hate it, you probably have Opinions on this game. Visually, the game is unlikely to impress, unless you’ve been hanging out under a rock for a bit. The cult classic is unsettling, strange, rife with quick-time events, and would rather you call it an interactive film, thank you very much. I won’t go into too much detail. There’s a lot to spoil. Don’t forget the code: 20OFFM-ATTHEW-HATTON

Torchlight Complete Pack
$7.00/£4.74/€6.40
Every few months, the Torchlight pack comes on sale, and I find myself unable to resist jabbing fingers at it and going, “Oh. You should get that.” It’s a beautiful, exuberant specimen that absolutely luxuriates in its own particles. Everything you do sets off a veritable explosion of fireworks, and a subsequent cascade of loot. Deep? Not in the slightest. But it’s a fun and compulsive little set of games that you will likely enjoy to no end with your friends.

Final Fantasy XI: Ultimate Collection Seekers Edition
$9.99/£6.60/€8.92
An abashed confession: a good friend actually bought the core game for my birthday about a year ago. I installed it. Gawked at the registration screen. And then, never came back. Not because the game’s terrible, but. Actually. Why am I even confessing? ANYWAY. Point is I’m not 100% certain this is everything you need or want, but it does sport a pleasant little 67% discount?

Shelter
$1.76/£1.39/€1.89
You probably already know about Shelter. You have to. Cara Ellison wrote one of the most heart-wrenching previews for it ever. And while it isn’t perfect, it will likely tug on your heart strings if you so allow it. In case you haven’t heard about it, the game involves a mama badger and her entourage of helpless babies. Your job? To keep the babies alive long enough to reach adulthood. Which isn’t easy, given things like sibling greed and avian predation.

Also of note

Sim City 4: Deluxe Edition -$3.84/£2.54/€3.43

City: Skylines or Sim City 4? I vote for the former, for obvious reasons. But if you’ve missed the classics, and have had a hankering to visit a time when the series wasn’t horribly broken, now’s your chance. P.S: Apparently it works fine for PC despite being listed as a Mac version? Proceed with caution. Don’t forget the code here either: HUKD25-OFFBAN-KHOLVC

LEGO Bundle – $13.26/£8.76/€11.84

The LEGO games never really held much appeal for me, although the recent LEGO movie makes me want to reconsider my stance on the whole shebang. But I am told that the games are actually decent, and that this bundle is surprisingly worthwhile, all things taken into consideration. What do you think, Bucketeers?

Watch Dogs – $14.70/£9.71/€13.12

Flawed, okay, did-not-quite-live-up-to-the-hype. These are words that are bantered around about Watch Dogs, an urban fantasy for the modern era, an open-world action adventure that lets you take on the role of a hacker who is, to put it mildly, quite annoyed at the people who caused the death of his niece. The central hacking mechanic seems to have elicited a variety of responses, ranging from tepid looks to great delight. P.S: Do note that this is a Uplay thing, and that it is a physical copy of the game.

Quest for Glory – $3.99/£2.64/€3.56

Quest for Glory delights the way only old Sierra games can. If you haven’t checked it out just yet, you should. You really should. The writing is spectacular, the humour is spot-on, and the game’s use of the different classes? Elegant. It isn’t uniformly great over the entire franchise, but it’s cheap enough right now to throw yourself into yesterday.

56 Comments

  1. The Dark One says:

    It’s also the semi-annual “Go buy Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, it’s $5 on Steam” weekend.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Andy_Panthro says:

    A great weekend to stock up on Sierra classics, quite a lot of choice over at GOG.com (not so much on Steam, but a better price for the King’s Quest and Space Quest collections at £2.49 each).

    I’d agree that Quest for Glory is the pick of the lot, they’re the most consistently good and are a brilliant mix of adventure gaming and RPG bits. I’d put Space Quest in second place though, as I do love the humour and sci-fi references.

    • LionsPhil says:

      The first three Space Quest games are ace, and mostly a lot fairer than the usual Sierrarrrrrgh faire. (Just remember: save early, save often, save in separate slots—ScummVM raises the limited number of the original games, and unleashes the fancier multi-channel PCjr music to boot [I believe GOG’s version will already be using it, no idea about Steam]).

      • Premium User Badge

        Andy_Panthro says:

        I feel it’s a little harsh to say that Sierra have a particular issue with dead-ends or unfair puzzles, these things are quite common in the genre (or were, before Lucasarts-style no-death became more common, not that a lack of killing the player character necessarily leads to better puzzles).

        As for the SQ series in general, the first couple of games have quite a few of these unfair moments, worse perhaps than many other Sierra games! There are a couple of ways to completely dead-end yourself without realising in SQ1, and SQ2 has the infamous vine-monster puzzle (amongst others!). They did allow you to save almost everywhere in multiple slots for a good reason!

        • LionsPhil says:

          The vine monster is just a maze, like any number of Sierra cliff paths. It’s pretty obviously dangerous so you can save beforehand. A risk of death can be fun (and Space Quest made it a game in itself to find all the ways to make Roger snuff it, rewarding you with various quips about his demise). It’s the ha-ha-two-hours-ago-you-made-it-unwinnable that’s truly arrrrrgh, and SQ doesn’t have a huge amount of those that aren’t somewhat signposted. IIRC in SQ1 it’s possible to leave behind the data tape in a reader if you’re not paying attention but it does graphically show up. You could probably escape the first ship without ever retrieving it as well but the game’s not subtle about there being something there you need.

          The bit where you have to turn down purchasing a ship the first time was a bit too arrrrrgh, though.

          But they have nothing, nothing on that £$*(£$&£(^)£$&^£$^ bridge in King’s Quest 2.

          • LionsPhil says:

            (Replaying through SQ3 at the moment—which has some of the best EGA graphics going—and it’s just so kind. There are many opportunities to undo and redo things, and dead-ends are quickly converted into dead Roger. [For example, you can lose your ladder if you’re trying hard enough.])

      • Kempston Wiggler says:

        I’ve been playing the remake of Space Quest 2. Dear lord how was this ever considered fun? It’s trial and error repetition pain in the same mould as Out of this World/Another World. One sequence, I must have died a dozen time just learning the controls to swing on the rope and get to the nearby ledge, not including how many times I had to do it to get it right. The puzzles don’t make sense and god help you if you miss a vital object!

        “RESTART?” Nooooooooooooo!

        I’m going to try 3 next, because people seem to recommend that and 4 as highlights of the series, but if they’re anything like 2, which I’ve now given up on, I’m going to feel fleeced even at beer money prices. This is a shame as there were some great ideas in 2 and some decent writing.

        • Premium User Badge

          Andy_Panthro says:

          While I can’t defend any specific puzzles in SQ2, I do find adventure games fun, even if they are occasionally annoying or reliant on stupid puzzles. A lot of adventure games are quite short, and it’s only the difficulty (fair or otherwise) of the puzzles that increases the length. The first few SQ games can be finished in an hour or two if you know what you’re doing, so the puzzles are designed to make you retrace your steps, try new approaches and try and discover anything you might have missed. This can quickly become frustrating though, especially if you can’t even imagine what the designers intended.

    • Frank says:

      My soft spot is for KQ (again, behind the excellent QFG). KQ6 was the first adventure game I played, and was very engaging (what with audio, video and references to childrens’ stories I knew).

  3. James says:

    The Star Wars collection on steam is 77% off. Just sayin’

    • Jalan says:

      More importantly, and this is definitely of utmost importance since these titles so rarely (if ever) go on sale at all anymore, the LEGO Star Wars games are on sale (not part of the pack, but on sale individually – not at the lowest prices they’ve ever been but still… ON SALE, DAMMIT!) and if you’re like myself and have had them in your wishlist going back multiple years now patiently waiting for a period of time like this, you better buy those games even if it means you’ll have to eat your own toes for dinner in the coming weeks!

    • Michael Anson says:

      It is worth noting that these games are also on sale on GOG right now, and are arguably better deals, both for being cheaper (particularly the X-Wing series) and for being almost guaranteed to work. Remember, Steam doesn’t include the efforts to get old games working again.

      • Jalan says:

        Technically, neither does GOG (as their staff have mentioned more than once). It’s their contacts with developers/etc. that keep the games they sell running on current machines.

  4. defunct says:

    I haven’t had problems with any ‘mac’ game that unlocked on Steam. There’s a PC version as well. You can check yourself to see if it has one (I haven’t found any that weren’t but there may be some). It should be right on the same page, saying it’s downloadable for PC or Mac, and sometimes even for Linux! You only have to buy once. Some games I bought for PC were available after they did that big upgrade on Linux, so I got the Linux versions for free.

    • Moth Bones says:

      Just bought that Sim City 4 and it is happily downloading to my PC laptop

  5. LionsPhil says:

    GOG have put Republic Commando in the “saber” rather than “blaster” bundle, despite it possibly being the only Star Wars game that doesn’t have lightsabers in it (at the very least unless I’m really forgetting something you never weild one).

    • welverin says:

      The names of the bundles aside, they seemed to primarily be the FP(S) bundle and the space sim bundle. Each with one or two other things thrown in. Taken in that context the names make some sense, being inspired by the primary games (the FPS’ mostly being the Jedi Knight games).

  6. WibbsterVan says:

    Be warned that Simcity 4 can be rather cantankerous if you’re trying to get it working on newer computers. Fortunately, there are countless websites and forums where people have been through similar issues, so things are generally fixable.

  7. someoneelse84 says:

    QUEST FOR GLORY! *basking in nostalgia*

  8. klops says:

    Humble Store has Ubiweek. Rocksmith and Stick of Truth for €10, Far Cry 3 for €5. Too bad they need Uplay.

    • Jalan says:

      Most of the titles would need it even if you decided to buy them on Steam.

      • klops says:

        I’d say all of them need Uplay even if you buy them from Steam.

        Then again,
        At the moment most of the games are cheaper outside Steam
        so good night.

        • Jalan says:

          My reply was less dismissive toward the fact that they’re on sale outside of Steam and more addressing your “too bad they need Uplay” lament. Granted, I hadn’t looked at all the titles in the list when I wrote my first reply (I stupidly held the belief that the first Assassin’s Creed was in there DRM-free – I see now that I was wrong), so you’re right in that every title would require additional DRM fiddling if bought through Steam.

  9. Narg says:

    I feel the indiegala Mega Adventure bundle should be included in this list, for 3,99$ you get helluva lot modern adventure games. Including the really really really colorful The Last Tinker.

    Full list:
    The Journey Down chapter one & two
    Runaway: dream of the turtle, & Twist of fate & Road adventure
    Eidolon
    Last Tinker
    About Love, Hate and the other ones
    Venetica
    War
    Mushroom Men

    Not sure about the last few but other than that, for the price, really worth it!

    • Eiv says:

      Bundlestars also have an indie bundle right now. £3.19 for 8 games.

      Monaco: Whats Yours Is Mine
      Speedrunners
      SteamWorld Dig
      Gaucamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition
      Divekick
      Kingdom Rush
      Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams
      The Fall

    • Orix says:

      Aye, the Last TInker made this bundle an insta-buy for me, looks wonderful.

      Quite interested by Venetica, and getting a certain Grim Fandango vibe from The Journey Down.

      Already owned Eidolon, and not so bothered about the rest. Those Runaway games look pretty enough, but not many seem to like them that much in Steam reviews…

    • malkav11 says:

      Plus you get some really shit modern adventure games in the form of the egregiously awful Runaway games.

      • Orix says:

        What is so bad about them Runaway games?

        • malkav11 says:

          Well, to be fair I haven’t played the ones past the first (because I hated that one enough that why would I?), but that one was stupid, poorly written, kind of misogynistic as I recall, had really unpleasant characters that I would never want to spend time with, much less play, have crappy puzzles, etc. Literally the only good thing I can remember was it being kind of pretty. Also, I have read that in Runaway 2 you have an innocent bystander raped by a polar bear so you can take his stuff.

          There’s some telling commentary in the comments for this article (which is not itself about Runaway), not to mention the tweet linked at the top:
          link to rockpapershotgun.com

          • Risingson says:

            I always thought that the bear rape is a clear reference to this well known joke
            link to captaincynic.com

            This one is so in the pop culture in Spain that the catch phrase “you didn’t come here for the hunting, did you?” is recognizable in every context. Indeed, lately I’ve noticed we have a long tradition of very violent jokes that usually shock the foreigner…

            That doesn’t mean that Runaway is a good game, of course.

    • kalirion says:

      A week ago I reached 2k steam games and decided that from that point on I would only buy bundles with games I really want. Well, so far the IG Mega Adventure bundle has been the first one two fit the bill, with Journey Down Chapter 2 and The Last Tinker. Venetica looks pretty good as well.

    • alms says:

      Just a quick reminder for the bundle addicts there, that we have a nice thread, if I may say so myself, in the forums. Click my nick to pay us a visit!

  10. Gallandz says:

    Went to Nuuvem to check out the Lego Bundle and saw they also have all three F.E.A.R games for like $1.70 USD. Activates on Steam with no region restrictions.

    • malkav11 says:

      Yeah. That Lego bundle is quite decent, but they’ve had it cheaper before – around $8 when I bought it, which is just silly. $1.70 for the three FEAR games is amazing, though. All registering on Steam, none of them region-locked. People have shat on the latter two games in the past but they’re both worth it in their own rights. FEAR 2 because of its much more varied and creepy environments than FEAR’s rather dull office and industrial buildings, and although it’s not perfect, there are some genuinely neat/horrifying story beats. FEAR 3 because it is an absolute blast of a coop game and again has some great environments. It’s not really able to deliver the horror factor to the degree of the previous two games and the story’s kind of incoherent, but that asymmetric coop is frigging great.

      • Jalan says:

        The latter two F.E.A.R. titles just don’t have the satisfying gunplay experience the first does.

        • malkav11 says:

          I disagree. I think FEAR 2 especially has combat almost as good. The enemies just aren’t quite as smart.

          • Jalan says:

            The AI in the first game makes up part of the experience (in my view, at least).

            All this discussion is making me want another proper Monolith FPS. A new Blood title would hit the spot.

          • malkav11 says:

            Oh, it’s a big part of the appeal for sure, and I agree that it’s better in the first game (or feels better, anyway). I just don’t think it’s that much worse in 2 (or even 3, though that’s not Monolith anymore and is certainly the weakest of the three. Still worth it.). And 2’s environments and storytelling are enough better to make up the difference for me.

          • Jalan says:

            I can’t argue you with you over the environment(s) bit, since you’re dead-on about it. The office building(s) work the first time you play the game but upon repeated plays you begin to wish things were more varied than the at times too sterile even for a horror-centric FPS locale.

            The story I don’t know if I agree with – I’ve never been a great fan of the story from the first game anyway and a lot of it was pretty weak even then (I tend to tolerate it and view it more like a B movie plot that only occasionally shows a spark of sanity) but I guess I can see how it started to become a bit more… focused with the sequel.

  11. CookPassBabtridge says:

    For any Flare Pathers: ORBX are having a 37% off sale for the next month for their P3D and FSX scenery addons. Includes pretty much everything except newly released addons :)

    Now if only PMDG would have a sale too.

  12. Kefren says:

    I tried Lego Batman The Movie last week and couldn’t get into it at all. Uninstalled it at the end of the first level.

    Then I tried Lego Lord of the Rings, and am enjoying that (though just going through the story, not bothering with the “collect everything” killjoy aspect). I’m now near the end of the game. I may have another go at Batman after this, perhaps that first level was just rubbish.

    • superjag86 says:

      Most of the Lego Batman games have a bizarrely slow start that get much better as they go on.
      That Lego bundle is great value as it pretty much has the best Lego games made!

  13. akstro says:

    I preordered Arkham Knight + season pass for £25 based on Lewie’s find. Never bought from the site before but the temptation was too strong at that price. link to savygamer.co.uk

    • Jalan says:

      It’s hard to tell if your comment on his site is facetious or not. At least it’s on his site and not here, lest we see a re-tread of the ever so fun discussion about said retailers.

      • akstro says:

        It sounds more rude then I want it too but I would genuinely love to know how that site manages to sell the game for so (relatively) cheap.

  14. Monkeh says:

    Bought GUN myself (link to store.steampowered.com). Dunno why I didn’t own it already, since I loved it back when it first released and have re-bought almost every old game I loved on Steam. Got it now though. :)

    On a side note, I really wish there were more Western games out there.

    • Jalan says:

      RockStar could change the landscape if they spent any time trying to port the Red Dead series onto PC. Instead all we get are things like Call of Juarez and GUN from time to time.

      • commentingaccount says:

        Gun is practically Red Dead Redemption’s prototype that somehow got released as a full game back in 2006.

        Actually, that’s a pretty interesting hypothesis…

        Definitely seems more accurate than Red Dead Redemption being a sequel to Red Dead Revolver.

  15. derbefrier says:

    Its also free comic book day! Lots of local shops will probably be having sales. I know mine is.

  16. malkav11 says:

    From what I played, FFXI actually is kind of terrible. Super grindy, with some of the least sensible UI design I’ve ever seen and baffling decisions (which may have been reversed in the interim) about how to handle playing with friends and similar really important aspects of social interaction.

    But I know some people swear by it.

    • Molen says:

      That is a fairly accurate description, if somewhat harsh. XI is an old game and will not get a lot more updates. Square-enix are focusing on XIV nowadays.

  17. alms says:

    For anyone who has just got Torchlight 2 (and for everyone else too!) we’re trying to get a Gaming Club going over on the forum.

    Here’s the thread and here’s the Steam group, don’t be shy and join us in our quest to make everything that moves explode majestically under our crits!

    (This group wasn’t featured in the last community update because it’s so new!)

  18. Nosada says:

    I tried to purchase the lego pack, but that site’s registration service seems to hate me :/
    I just get stuck on “validating” … a pitty, my cousins would have loved me for this.

  19. Rikard Peterson says:

    You are aware that Amazon.com only ships software within the USA, right? Nothing wrong with listing that here anyway (a note about that to acknowledge that the rest of the world exists would be nice but is not essential), but listing the Euro and Pound equivalents of the dollar price is pointless at best. Often it’s misleading.

    So I’ll repeat a suggestion I’ve made before (but got no reaction to, so I don’t know if it was read): Don’t do the currency conversions. List the different currencies correctly for stores that sell in those currencies (and have different prices in different areas), but for others just list the price in whatever currency the store is using. The reader can probably approximate these three currencies into their own money, and if they can’t do that or want a more exact conversion… They’re reading this in a browser connected to the internet. Doing a currency conversion is a trivial exercise for the reader.