Bargain Exchange: Steam Summer Sale Day 7

The sale is starting to lose a bit of steam for many people at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any good titles available! Let’s take a look at Today’s Deals!

Yesterday’s Grand Theft Auto bundle isn’t the only fantastic bundle to make the daily deals. The Total War mega pack has a great 75% discount which makes every Total War title on Steam (excluding Shogun 2) very accessible to those with a budget. The Total War franchise, developed by Creative Assembly, is an amazing Real-Time Strategy developer. Now, if you can only pick up one title from the bundle, I heavily recommend getting Medieval II. At any rate, this bundle is a must have. 
L.A.Noire is a really interesting and relatively unique game. I thoroughly enjoyed this game, and with a 75% discount on both the game itself and the complete edition I also consider this game a must have. It could do a number of things better, and the world feels very empty, but with its really interesting story and intriguing gameplay, it’s really worth checking out. You can read a review here
Stalker is a PC gamer favourite. It combines survival and role-playing game elements with a first-person shooter. The game is notorious for the learning curve and not being casual friendly, but it’s a must have for any PC gamer – especially with the 75% discount on the bundle. In particular, you can’t go wrong by picking up the first ever STALKER: Shadow of Chernoybl, which is actually set this year! 
The Carpe Fulgur collection contains all of Carpe Fulgur’s titles released on Steam so far. Each game uses anime-esque graphics. The bundle itself has a 75% discount applied to it, but I wouldn’t bother with the bundle anyway. Instead, pick up Fortune Summoners and Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale. Both games are better than 2011’s Chantelise – A Tale of Two Sisters. Both games are fairly interesting and deliver a pretty unique experience for Japanese Role-Playing Games. I’d recommend them if you’re into the genre.
The Sins of a Solar Empire series is on sale, with Trinity receiving a 75% discount and the more recent Rebellion receiving a 25% discount. And I almost want to suggest you pick up Rebellion despite the low discount. These games are brilliant sci-fi strategy games, and I’d consider Trinity a must have if you’re a fan of strategy games. It looks great, feels great and plays great. Definitely pick it up. You can read a review here
A brilliant platformer up next. Super Meat Boy is a really tight and well designed platformer that, while a bit floaty, delivers an exciting and somewhat anger inducing experience. It’s one of those challenging games that’s out to get you, but unlike shallow and cheap games like ‘I Wanna Be The Guy’, with Super Meat Boy the blame rests entirely in your hands. The game is cheap, especially thanks to the 75% discount. If you’re a platformer fan then I heavily recommend this title. You can read a review here
Thief is a stealth and action franchise, as the name suggests. The games are quite old, particularly the original one that is rendered in the really early 3D style similar to Doom and Duke Nukem 3D. They’re pretty good games, all reaching a high metacritic rating. The bundle itself is pretty inexpensive, not entirely as a result of the 75% discount.  I definitely suggest you take a look at the bundle, and if you have to pick up just one: grab Thief: Deadly Shadows. 
That’ll do me I think. The indie bundle contains some great games, but they don’t really excite me. Meanwhile, Age of Empires Online is a free-to-play title anyway. It’s not astounding, but feel free to try it. It’s free after all.

Review: Catherine

Hi, have you met Catherine? She’s beautiful, sexy, blue eyed and blonde. And she would give anything to be with you. What’s that, you’re already seeing someone? Oh, dear.

Catherine is the latest game developed by Atlus, developers of the Persona franchise, and is also their first game to début on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms. The title is much unlike their previous titles, as it was a puzzle game rather than their usual role-playing game fare; although the game does feature some elements of role-playing in the story itself.

Publisher: Atlus
Developer: Atlus
Release Date: 10th February 2012 (EU), 26th July 2011 (US), 17th January 2011 (JP)
Platforms: PlayStation 3 (Reviewed), Xbox 360
Rating: 15 (BBFC), M (ESRB), 18 (PEGI)



The player plays protagonist Vincent as he struggles to deal with a pretty nasty situation. You see, Vincent cheated on his beloved Katherine, with another woman named Catherine. He finds himself in quite the predicament. On one hand he’s being drawn to the new and dangerous Catherine, but on the other hand Katherine is having his child. 

While the moral obligations are pretty clear, Catherine gives leeway for a more Vincent to follow his urges into a more free path. The game features moments where the player is questioned on their beliefs in regards to relationships. These questions ultimately affect Vincent’s judgement, leading to cinematic scenes playing out differently depending on your alignment, and ultimately leads to the multiple endings. Furthermore, the alignment towards either girl can also be affected by text messages that the player may customize before sending to one of the love interests. 

Catherine, the video game, can be considered relatively deep as well. Vincent is forced to experience nightmares – the core gameplay sections. He is told that he has been entered into this nightmare realm as a result of someone wishing him there, and he must climb to the top of a tower in order to receive his freedom. Others join him in this nightmare, all of whom are perceived as sheep to hide their identity. These entire sections are completely symbolic, much as his choice between the two girls represents two completely different lifestyles. It’s an incredibly well developed story that really stands out. Unfortunately, the game chooses to point out its own symbolism and metaphors towards the end, which I honestly feel depreciates the deep themes that the title portrays.

The gameplay is predominantly a puzzle and platformer. The player must move giant blocks to build a path to their goal at the top of the tower. Each stage has a different theme and escalates in difficulty. An example of one such theme is the ice stage, where Vincent runs the risk of sliding off of the tower and to his death. While these themes bring with them new challenges, they also breed new strategies. It’s an expertly crafted game, and the quality shows in these stages. This isn’t all there is to the game; however, as the player may explore the bar to converse with other individuals who are also suffering the same dreams. These individuals have their own plot threads in which Vincent can help guide them to overcome their own problems.

As per usual with Atlus’ titles, the soundtrack is brilliant, and the visuals are stunning and stylish – so long as you don’t mind the anime-esque appearance. Catherine sounds and looks beautiful, as do the rest of the cast. The English voice acting work is handled better than past Atlus titles as well. Everything is exceptionally well handed in the audio and visual department.

The title also features multiplayer components. The player can cooperate with a friend as they must climb the tower together, or compete against each other for the higher score. The game also features side challenges for the player that are unlocked by achieving a gold trophy in each stage. These trophies aren’t to be confused with the PlayStation Network trophies, of course.

Overall, Catherine is a great title that’s worth picking up. It’s everything Atlus does well in a game, and the experience is similarly as good. I would love to see what else Atlus could come up with should they ever return to the puzzle genre.

Catherine was beaten on Normal Difficulty, following the Katherine path, and the game was played through one and a half times. For those who regard score as an important factor to a review, Catherine obtains the 9/10 score. This signifies that Catherine is an almost perfect game as it achieves what it sets out to do exceptionally well, but may be held back by very minor gripes. 

CrashScreen is a regular author of GamingAdvance, who first established the website. You may contact CrashScreen, through the email address: crashscreen@gamingadvance.com

Trailer: Brand New Persona 4 Arena Trailer

Atlus have released a brand new trailer for their upcoming fighting game – Persona 4: Arena. The game exists within continuity, making it a very strange move by Atlus.

Teddie, a character from Persona 4, has gone missing. In order to find him, the cast of Persona 4 watch the Midnight Channel in order to, hopefully, find him once again. This leads to discovering him announcing a fighting tournament in which the cast all enter in order to reunite with him. The game also features characters from Persona 3. Persona 4: Arena is expected to launch on both PlayStation 3 an Xbox 360 during the Fall of this year, with Europe yet to even get a release date. Japan will be receiving this game on the 26th of this month.

It honestly does look fun. I don’t expect any incredibly serious fighting tournaments with the game, but I reckon I’ll pick this one up all the same. After all, games are about fun aren’t they?

Bargain Exchange: Steam Summer Sale Day 6

Today is probably the most underwhelming day for the Steam sale yet, but at the same time it also delivers one of the absolute best value offers I’ve seen. Contradictory, I know, but read on to find out what I mean.

We start off with Call of Duty: Black Ops, a First-Person Shooter that everyone who cares about it has the title. I wouldn’t call that an exaggeration either, being the best selling title at launch before the current record holder: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Black Ops already has a sequel on the way this year, so anyone who does lack this game may want to pick it up for that reason, but with it getting a measly 50% discount I would honestly suggest that you avoid it. You’re better off picking up Modern Warfare 3 for the same price, because I have little doubt in my mind that it will appear again in the final sale day. If you’re still interested despite my recommendation to avoid the title, you can read a review here. As a final note, many places gave Black Ops a score of 100/100, but this is just plain silly. I looked for a good balanced review, as per usual.

Best offer today. Railworks 3: Train Simulator 2012 boasts the largest downloadable content library which, even when the DLC is half price, costs £645.86. It’s absolutely crazy. Railworks 3 is the definite train simulator of last year and even features a Trains vs. Zombies DLC pack. Jest aside, the title does come with a 90% discount, but it’s less of a game and more of a simulator. The hint is in the name, I guess. This is an obvious avoid to be honest, unless you’re really into trains. Or you really, really, want to see Trains vs. Zombies. Now would be the best time for that given the discount.

Now we reach our real best offer for today. The entire Grand Theft Auto franchise – at least, the titles available on Windows – is on offer. Not only is every title discounted, but the bundle containing the lot is also on sale with a 75% discount. Here in the United Kingdom, the cost of the bundle containing: Grand Theft Auto, Grand Theft Auto 2, Grand Theft Auto 3, Grand Theft Auto Vice City, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto IV (complete with Episodes in Liberty City) costs a total of £5. It’s absolutely incredible. You’ll be a fool to pass this offer up. I consider this a must have. No debate.

Next on our list is Company of Heroes, a real-time strategy game set during the Second World War. The game is of incredibly high quality and delivers great value, especially with the 75% discount. The bundle containing all three titles costs the same as getting them individually, so I recommend getting the first two titles. Unfortunately, the third game was relatively weak; although, it may be worthwhile for those who want to complete the franchise or get more from it. I recommend picking at least the first two titles. You can read a review of the first game here, the second here, and the third one here.

The award winning Limbo received a 75% discount. Developed by Indie developers Playdead, Limbo is an adventure and puzzle game that’s widely regarded as genius. It’s disturbing and uncomfortable, but it’s a great game about a young boy entering Limbo to discover the fate of his sister, and I recommend that you try picking this up, especially at the price that it’s selling for. You can read a review for this neat little title here.

Whilst Wargame: European Escalation is considered a great real-time strategy game that also looks fantastic, it doesn’t deliver as great value for your money at a pathetic 50% discount compared to the other RTS game that popped up today. I would avoid it, although you could do worse than purchasing it. You can read a review here.

The sixth indie bundle contains some pretty good titles. In particular, I’m a fan of Defcon. Defcon is a relatively old title by this stage, but it’s still a good RTS game. Unfortunately, with one or two exceptions, this bundle isn’t as strong as the last few. I’d suggest contemplating it, as it does contain some good titles. We recently looked at Trauma in a past bargain exchange, and the great sports game with a ridiculous title – AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome. I hope I got the correct number of characters.

Stronghold 3, sequel of the pretty great Stronghold 2, sees itself receiving a 66% discount. Unfortunately, it also sees itself receiving an solid avoid. There’s a good reason that Steam doesn’t reveal its metacritic rating on its page. The previous game is definitely worth grabbing if you can find it, but this title should be left in the bin regardless of the discount. You can read a review here.

33% discount? Avoid. You’re better off saving your money for something else, frankly. There’s little else I need to comment. It’s not a bad game, but it doesn’t do anything spectacular worth picking up with such a pitiful discount. Wait for the next sale.

Bargain Exchange: Steam Summer Sale Day 5

That’s us halfway through the sale! Have you picked up much yet? I’m surprised that my low budget has survived this long, but we’ve only hit the halfway mark. I’m also halfway through my budget. Looks like I could be in a spot of bother. Anyway, let’s take a look at Today’s Deals.

First title I’m going to touch on is the incredibly well received Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Set long, long before the movie series, Knights of the Old Republic stays faithful to Star Wars lore as well as developing its own. It’s highly regarded amongst Star Wars fans and gamers alike. The game itself is a role-playing game developed by Bioware and released in 2003, so you can expect that classic Bioware flavour to the game. With the 75% discount, I heavily recommend picking this title up. You can’t go wrong at that price. You can read a review here.

Metro 2033, developed by 4A Games and published by THQ, is an atmospheric first-person shooter. Selling with a 75% discount and already being a relatively cheap game outside of sales, Metro 2033 is an incredible bargain for the budget gamer. The only draw is that it’s an incredibly linear game, but it doesn’t change that it’s a gem worth picking up. Especially at that price. I recommend grabbing yourself a copy. You can read a review here.

RAGE is a first person shooter that also follows the post-apocalyptic theme much like Metro 2033, with a rather unusual 67% discount. Set in a wasteland, there are plenty of quests to get involved in as humanity tries to rebuild as you play in an open world environment, complete with third person vehicles. The game itself seems to throw in everything that was popular for the past few years: guns, post-apocalyptic world, mutants, corrupt political movements, first person gameplay and an open world environment. I wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing, because you’re left with a game comprising of what gamers like to see. If you’re not sick of any of that, I suggest picking this title up too. You may watch the WTF is on RAGE here.

The entire Assassin’s Creed franchise is on sale right now, mostly at a 75% discount. The only exception is Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. That’s fine, because you should avoid Revelations. It’s not worth the price. I can, however, say that the rest of the franchise is worth the price including Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. The Assassin’s Creed franchise is a pretty great series of games with a unique and interesting conspiracy plot, well developed action elements and a decent stab at stealth. While it leaves room for improvement, it does deliver a pretty fun experience over all. My honest advice? I recommend purchasing Assassin’s Creed: Director’s Cut, Assassin’s Creed 2 Deluxe, and Assasin’s Creed Brotherhood separately. Don’t waste your money on the bundle. And for those who may only pick up one, get Assassin’s Creed 2. You may find a review on each title by clicking their name.

Men of War is predominantly a World War II real-time strategy series, but the Vietnam spinoff reaches into Vietnamese territory. The Men of War franchise are great RTS games that aim to be realistic. With the bundle selling with a 75% discount, I recommend picking that up instead of any of the single titles, as it isn’t that much more expensive than the high liner. You can read a review of the original here.

Age of Empires is a fantastic real-time strategy franchise; however, the third has aged poorly and isn’t anywhere near as great as the second title. Even with the 75% discount, I would suggest that you avoid this title and pick up its predecessors. While the game looks great and it’s not that bad, you can get a much better deal elsewhere. You may also read a review here.

A bit of a controversial game up next. Dear Esther has been the centre of debate as to what defines a video game. Dear Esther is more or less scenery with a strong soundtrack and interesting narration. It strikes me as more of a narrated virtual tour than a video game, but I digress. For those into experimental titles or willing to give such a game a chance, I suggest you take it out. But otherwise, it’s a solid avoid. Don’t expect much ‘play time’ either. You can read a review here. It’s for some, but not everyone.

Personal favourite of the hidden summer sale, Audiosurf makes an appearance in the fifth indie bundle. Accompanying Audiosurf is Ys: The Oathin Felghana, Gemini Rue, Greed Corp and The Tiny Bang Story making for a very solid recommend. This is a pretty brilliant bundle, and each title is worth the current price (given a 75% discount). Take a gamble and help the indie industry, there’s certainly a title in here for everyone. Promise.

Avoid.

Trailer: Zone of the Enders Comic-Con

Just released this weekend, Konami have set out their Comic-Con trailer for the action/mecha franchise’s HD remake – Zone of the Enders HD Collection. The trailer shows off the neat visuals, but also show off more of what the game is actually like. It’s enough to get anyone excited.

Zone of the Enders HD Collection contains both Zone of the Enders titles in 720p at 60 FPS (frames per second). They’ve been putting a lot of effort and time into this port, and it shows. The game has yet to receive an official release date, but is due to launch sometime this Summer. Given that we’re in July, that doesn’t leave a lot of time left! I’ve got this collection pre-ordered. Do you?

Activision Releases Comical Deadpool Press Release With Hidden Nuggets of Information

Activision just released the press release for High Moon Studio’s upcoming Deadpool video game. The press release contains small nuggets of new information hidden away. But what was even more interesting was that the press release was written entirely in first person. For full details, read after the jump.

Confirmed by Deadpool himself in the press release, Marvel writer Daniel Way has been hired to write for the title. Daniel Way is currently writing the current Deadpool comic book and has been since its inception back in 2008, so if anyone knows Deadpool well enough it will be him.

Deadpool also dropped a big hint that some X-Men stars will also be making guest appearances. I’m pretty certain one of them will be Wolverine, but I guess that is pretty much a case of stating the obvious. You can read the full press release below.

 Hey suits, listen up ‘cause I’ve got some pretty sweet news to break.  I, DEADPOOL, today announced that I’ve…(ahem…we’ve) …yes, right…WE’VE decided to make a kick-butt, butt-kicking new video game based on the awesome-ing-ist Super Hero ever known to man …(and woman, if you know what we’re sayin’) – starring yours truly,ME – DEADPOOL.  I know, I know…I pee’d myself a little with excitement just now too (you call that ‘a little?’).

Some of you may know me as the Merc with a Mouth, (or the mercenary for hire) – what can I say; I have skills!  (You know who else has skills?) High Moon Studios has skills, and I hired them to make my game, because they’re awesome, and so am I.  But they’re not as awesome as I am, if that’s what you’ve heard.  (Who’d you hear that from?)  (Wait, listen…you smell something?)

Anywho, where was I?  Oh yeah, ME, and my game DEADPOOL!  With some cashola I ‘borrowed’ (ha!!! riiight…‘borrowed’) from Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI(blah blah blah), and some of the big cheeses (mmmmm…cheeeeese) from Marvel Entertainment, my DEADPOOL game will feature all of my favorite things – katanas (check), big guns (and not just these amazing arm muscles) (check), crazy poop-your-pants action (check), hot chicks (check),  maybe some of myX-MEN™ friends (well, depending on what they’re wearing), burritos, bouncy houses and of course ME!!! (check)(check) And check!

And now, a quote from me about my game:
“I, DEADPOOL, ‘hired’ Peter Della Penna and his physically embarrassing team at High Moon Studios for two reasons.  First, because of their close proximity to Mexico so I can get fresh, authentic chimichangas delivered daily,” said DEADPOOL, newly self-appointed Head of High Moon Studios, and Supreme Commander of PR, Marketing, Legal, and just about everything I want to be in charge of at Activision Publishing, Inc. “Second, if High Moon can make an amazing game about big transforming robots look cool, then they can surely make me look amazing in a third-person action video game, from all angles (seriously Peter…my bottom is my good side, so don’t screw this up).”

And now, a quote from that other guy at High Moon Studios:
“We weren’t actually planning on making a DEADPOOL game,” said Peter Della Penna, formerly Head of High Moon Studios and now second in command.  “But,
DEADPOOL came by the studio one day, said he was taking over, and that if I didn’t h ir e Marve l writer Daniel Way p ronto and m ak e the most amazingDEADPOOL video game, he’d break both of our arms and beat us to death with them.  I have kids, so we’re making the game.”

Speaking of ME, for your viewing pleasure (or other pleasure – hehe) check out this awesome teaser trailer and find out more information for my newDEADPOOL video game at this web thingy www.deadpoolgame.com, and be sure to follow me on what’s-yer-face at www.facebook.com/deadpoolgame

(Image from Joystiq)