A Paladin’s Buyer Guide for Steam’s Summer Sale. Well, It Has Arrived. Day One, June 11th, 2015.

First Day

First Day

Newly updated format! The buyer’s guide to the Steam Summer Sale is on now!

Theme of the day seems to be a variety of different games. By the way, A Paladin’s Journey Through Steam series will be on pause during the Summer Sale. Mostly because I don’t think anyone will be insane enough to launch a game during this time. Even then, I can’t do both of these series at the same time. Takes too much time. Ok, enough about time. For those that don’t know: this series is for looking at the latest sales on Steam and giving my opinion on each game on the front page. I don’t look at Flash Sales because they come and go way too fast (frankly, it would take way too long to type out opinions on an additional 15 games). I’ll also include other side games that aren’t on the front page for your consideration if I have the time.

As for the mini-game Steam is doing this time around, I’m still collecting my thoughts on it. You’ll see my opinions on it tomorrow.

As a general reminder, you should wait until the game is on a daily feature sale, flash sale or on the monster community choice. When they’ll be the cheapest. All of which can be seen on the front page of Steam. You should also keep an eye on HumbleBundle.com, Amazon.com and GreenManGaming.com as they will sometimes do even better sales than Steam for the same copy. I will try and make you aware of any significant ones I see. So, without further ado, let’s begin.

Games You Should Get

Classic RTS Space Game for Windows

Homeworld Remastered. For myself, I’ve put in a few hours before I had prioritize for other titles. What I did play of it though, it was a very worthwhile remake of the classic RTS. Beautiful music, heavily upgraded graphics, audio remastering, UI updates and multiplayer. I didn’t play the original but I do appreciate that this doesn’t feel like a lazy remake. Everything feels modern despite its old school roots. The game has been getting steady updates from Gearbox Software since it’s release with fixing bugs and issues. I hope they continue to keep updating it. If you already own the game, you should probably buy the OST because at $4, that’s dirt cheap. It’s an old school RTS which means it’s a bit slower and maybe “creakier” than most modern RTS titles but I’m getting the impression that it’s worth playing.

Early Access turn-based RPG for Windows and Mac

One of the few early access games I actually own and I can recommend it. With the usual caveats that it is early access so keep in mind that this game may never be finished. But it feels like it’s so close to finishing that I’m not too worried about that. This dark, dreary turn based RPG is so much fun. So much pain. So much frustration. I put in five hours of gametime before putting it down. But this gothic horror title with a psychological stress system, brutal difficulty and so much delicious grammar usage is just too fun to pass up. Even if it can feel way too brutal at times, losing your entire party because the RNG just screwed you over. I guess that’s how Rogue-likes work. I’m planning on returning to Darkest Dungeon after it leaves early access and giving it a review. Until then, if you want a good early access game, THIS is the game to get.

XCOM Franchise for Windows and Mac

2K’s reboot of the XCOM franchise has come with a lot of expected controversy. For myself, I have a lot of mixed feelings on these games. Feelings I’m hoping to put to writing here in the coming months.

  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown. A lot of conflicted feelings on how they handled this game but I’m planning on returning to it and giving it a real try for a review. I mostly have issues with how they handle the AI and the limits on number of squad mates. There’s also a multitude of odd line-of-sight bugs. Still, probably worth it for the $9.99 pricetag. Flaws and all. The only single piece of DLC that’s actually worth the asking price is the expansion: XCOM: Enemy Within. Enemy Within adds new multiplayer maps, new enemies, weapons and soldier abilities to use to fend off the invading alien forces. I think that’s the cheapest the DLC has ever been.
  • The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. I can definitely recommend The Bureau at 80% off. It’s very similar to Mass Effect in story and game design. Which is both good and bad depending on how you see it. The XCOM aspect of it is limited to the combat, names and faces but I still think the game is pretty good. It has a good story with twists and turns and the combat system isn’t that bad. It’s not that great but it’s not that bad. The DLC isn’t worth it though so just avoid it. Hoping to have a review of it soon(TM).
  • The rest of the XCOM franchise: I don’t have an opinion on them. I generally avoid giving my opinion on old-school games because I didn’t grow up with these titles. And I tend to approach games from a modern-perspective, which I don’t think works. I recommend looking up someone else who reviews these titles. But $7.49 for the entire pack is probably a good price.

Games I’m Mixed On

Isometric Rogue-like for Windows, Mac and Linux

One of the most popular rogue-likes I still haven’t played. Rebirth is a new version of The Binding of Isaac that came with a new soundtrack, an improved engine to run at 60FPS on PC systems and a changed graphic style. I have no real opinion other than I don’t particularly like how disgusting the game can get. I get that it’s the point of the game, but it’s just not my thing. But there’s probably a good reason this game is so popular in the rogue-like genre.

Top-Down Ultra-violent Shooter for All Platforms

Hotline Miami’s sequel has gotten a lot of controversial opinions. It launches with an odd storyline, bigger levels and some of the previous game’s problems seem to be exacerbated. I didn’t really like the first one, I felt the difficulty curve was a bit steep and was constantly frustrated with the unpredictable AI. But, it seems that if you do like Hotline Miami 1, then 2 is what you like and more. So, its hard to criticize. Not surprised that the sale price is so low as it was released a month ago. Frankly, I’m surprised it’s even on sale. I don’t think it was necessary to put it on sale but what do I know.

Story-based Episodic Game for Windows and Mac

One of the many episodic games that Telltale has been working on. So far, only the second episode has been released and my recommendation still remains to wait it out until all of the episodes have been launched. That way you know what you’re getting. I feel that the episodic business model is a little bit too similar to pre-ordering. So, I’ve been buying these games after all the episodes have been released and find I prefer it that way. Other than that, I’ve heard some pretty good things about the story from those that are playing it. Will I ever play it? I don’t think I will. I never got into Borderlands or the mythos. Mostly because I wanted to play with others and no one has been all that interested. As I have a lot of priorities, tackling this one really doesn’t rank up there. Pretty good sale though.

Early Access Racing/Destruction Game for Windows

Looking for a game with a really advanced damage model for cars? Wreckfest is that game and not much else. (But really, who wants anything outside of wrecking cars for fun?) It’s still in early access but getting some good reviews. I might pick this up at some but probably after it leaves early access. Usual warning about early access games apply here.

Action Anime RPG for Windows

This has been on my radar but I don’t know much outside of a few positive Steam reviews from my growing friends list. It’s an older RPG from…I want to say the PS3 that was ported to PC recently. It’s set in a fictious Europe of the 1930s and it’s a turn-based RPG. I don’t know why, but it’s long been intriguing me.

Isometric Survival Crafting Title for All Platforms

Main thing I don’t like about Don’t Starve is how harsh the perma-death system is and how much time it takes to get back to the same point you were at. You can potentially spend a lot of time repeating the same content and skill trees only to die because of bad luck. That being said, Don’t Starve has a great graphics style and an intriguing survival/crafting system. One of the better ones to come out of this genre. You should pick up the DLC as well as that is dirt cheap for the additional content.

Sniper Elite Franchise on Sale

Oh boy, this franchise. I’ll break it down like this:

  • Sniper Elite: Released back in 1999, I have no idea what this game is about or how it plays.
  • Sniper Elite V2: Meh game with a unique kill cutscene and X-Ray vision. Too many scripted events and nonsense pull you out of the game and I quit playing over it. I might return to give it a proper review but I haven’t decided.
  • Sniper Elite 3: Sounds like they fixed a lot of the problems V2 had. I’ve been contemplating trying the series again. The 70% sale for Sniper Elite 3 is actually pretty good.
  • Sniper Elite Nazi Zombie Army Trilogy: Based on the same engine as V2, these games have held zero interest for me. The last thing I wanted to do when I played V2 was be attacked by tens or hundreds of zombies.

FPS Linear Survival Game for All Platforms

I’ve got a lot of opinions on this series, so, I’m just going to let my reviews talk for me. Said review of Metro 2033 Redux is one of my most controversial too, with 167 of 274 people finding the review helpful. The Steam sales are pretty good but I feel like they’ve had some better deals in the past. Here’s some quotes:

  • A Paladin’s Review: Metro: Last Light Redux
  • I can’t recommend Metro: Last Light Redux for new or returning players. Additionally, if you already have the original edition of Last Light, play it instead. Otherwise, you’re basically paying for an overpriced patch. To be frank, I feel cheated for having bought the Redux editions when compared to the original editions that I own. After all, it seems like they didn’t even take the time to make sure all of the bugs and glitches of the original were fixed. Worse still, is that the Mac and Linux versions haven’t been released yet. Granted, we’re still within the stated release date of “later this year” but we’re getting into November now. Combine all of those issues with the issue that is Metro 2033 Redux version and its not hard to imagine why I feel cheated.
  • A Paladin’s Steam Review: Metro 2033 Redux: My Unhappy Thoughts On This Remake.
  • This remake/redux is an avoid. If you want to experience the best of Metro 2033, the original is the better way to go. The graphics are better, sure, I can agree to that and the optimization is much better than the original. I can definitely agree with that assertion. But the downgraded stealth system, same amount (if not possibly more?) of bugs, less enjoyable combat and quirkyness caused by the port to the new engine doesn’t make it worth it. There are a other changes that I didn’t talk about that don’t fit well or bring the game down. I was willing to overlook some of these problems until I ran into the game crashing bugs. At which point, I figured I was better off investing my time into finishing the original rather than dealing with this port that could have used a few more rounds of QA and playtesting.
  • A Paladin’s Steam Review: Metro 2033 (Original)
  • Be warned that the game is filled with optimization problems and bugs that can ruin the experience entirely. Being a Russian post-apocalyptic FPS survival game, I really enjoyed it, despite all the frustrating problems I encountered. It says something about a game that I am willing to hazard the game issues to enjoy the content of the game because I do not tolerate bad games bugs or no bugs. It’s why I quit the Metro 2033 Redux edition because of how far backwards it went mechanically. I definitely recommend this version over the Redux edition because the stealth system, combat and lighting system in the original is much better. With that said: good luck in the Metro, you’re going to need it.

Games To Avoid

Grand Theft Auto Franchise on Sale

Looks like Rockstar is pulling some possible slimy actions with their franchise. This game gets demoted for it. Currently investigating. https://www.reddit.com/r/Steam/comments/39gzqb/developers_who_raised_their_price_then_slapped/

Do I have to cover the GTA franchise? *someone in the background talks*. Really? It’s in my contract? Fine….. I haven’t played a single GTA game, DLC or otherwise. I’m most definitely not an expert or have an opinion on them. What I do know is that Rockstar has long had a shaky relationship with the PC community. Most games including DRM, questionable porting and other various problems. Grand Theft Auto IV and others even have multiple forms of DRM with: Games for Windows Live, SecuROM and Rockstar Social Club. GTA V just has Rockstar’s Social Club but it should be noted that if that server goes down, you won’t be able to play the game on your own. Even recently, they’ve been banning users from GTA5 for using a mod that improves the field-of-view. The company isn’t on my priority list to play because of all of that. I’m sure they’re great games in their own right. I just don’t have the time to deal with it.

Open World Simulation for Windows and Mac

I’ve heard conflicting reports on this game. Many reporting lots of bugs and issues that haven’t been patched out. While other’s say it’s good to go. For now, I think you can buy better games in this franchise. The sale isn’t that good at a measly 33% off. For a sequel, this one has a lot of new features with better multiplayer (up to 15 players), a new game engine with an improved physics system and plenty more to keep your farming habits enjoyable. In contrast to the actual hard work of the real thing. Yes, I own Farm Simulator 2013. Haven’t played enough to get an opinion on that one.

Fighting Game based on the Anime for Windows only

I’m against this one because it’s locked at 30FPS. There is no way I can recommend a fighting game locked to low of a framerate on modern systems anymore. Outside of that, some people seem to enjoy it. I have only recently started watching the Naruto series so I don’t have an opinion on the franchise as a whole. I additionally don’t know much about this game in contrast with what has come before. That’s what I got.

Realistic Open World Simulator for All Platforms

It’s getting a lot of mixed reviews,though I’m not sure why. Steam Reviews (and the Steam store in general) is having a lot of loading problems so I can’t find out why. I’m not super thrilled by the over $600 worth of DLC they have for sale but it seems to be pretty common in the simulation genre. Outside of that, I don’t know anything about the franchise of X-Plane. Super hardcore flight sims aren’t my bag. Sale seems pretty decent though.

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any feedback for this series.


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