The Cheap-ass Gamer
Continuing with a series of posts I have written on some quality games you can get at great prices to get the biggest bang for you buck (more great cheap games here and here), here’s another 5-set of great inexpensive games to check out. My rule is for a game to make the list it has to be readily available and easy to find as well as under 20 of whatever your country’s currency is in (dollars or euros). So you will see a mixed bag of great bargain bin console games, modern classics, free-to-play, downloadable titles, and cool indie games ranging between PC and consoles. And as much as I’d like to play every game ever made, I can’t, so if you know of any that belong on one of these posts feel free to give it a shout out. Enjoy! Peace Love and Metal!!!!
Anomaly: Warzone Earth
I’m a big fan of tower defense games, but with the exception of a couple (namely Plants vs. Zombies and Orcs Must Die!) there is next to no innovation in this strategy game sub-genre. Well Anomaly: Warzone Earth bucks that trend with one of the freshest takes I’ve ever played in the tower defense realm. How about instead of you playing on the defensive building and setting up a fortress, you get to play as the cannon fodder that has to make it to the exit point. Anomaly does this wonderfully as you play as a commander controlling a caravan of future military vehicles through alien robot infested city streets. You get power-up like decoys and heath regeneration and you can strategically control the path you caravan follows aiming for the best route and attack points to get yourself to the goal. It’s fast paced and the strategy is both simple, accessible, and deep. The British accents I find funny to my American ears too, as too many war based games are made from the tough-guy American perspective. It’s great hearing that dry U.K. sense of humor in a game that doesn’t take itself very seriously. The game is available for Ios, Android, and PC, Mac, and Linux. (I have both the Android and PC versions and found that while a great game on my phone for when I’m on the metro or on the can, the larger screen and being able to use the mouse a huge plus to the overall enjoyment of this game)
If you play this action RPG game for only one reason, it should be just for the amazing narration that drives Bastion’s unique delivery of presenting a narrative in a game. As you explore hand-drawn and colorful worlds the gruff voice of the narrator unfolds the game’s story by recounting your every move. It is truly a marvel in innovation and Giant Game Studios have pulled it off flawlessly. Screw Morgan Freeman or the action movie trailer guy narrating my life, I want the dude from Bastion (his name is Ruks, btw). Beyond the stellar voice work, the water painted, hand-drawn art style are a marvel to look at and the music is absolutely outstanding with this prog-rock acoustic/electric soundtrack filled with memorable tune after memorable tune. The gameplay is tight too as you can collect and use a wide variety of weapons ranging from a giant hammer to a mortar and also dual wield ranged and close combat options. A must-play game on the indie scene. Available for Xbox 360 and PC, Mac, and Linux(sorry, no PS3 option on this one :( ). (I have both the Xbox and PC versions, both perform identical from a tech standpoint. Do note: if you don’t have a gamepad for your PC, go with the Xbox version, the game is way too clumsy with a mouse and keyboard)
If you’re looking for an adult RPG to sink a ton of time into, The Witcher is your game. Based off a popular series of Polish novels, you control a demon hunter named Geralt as he returns from the dead to his former crew of fellow demon hunters, shit hits the fan, and he sets out to take care of those responsible for said shit hitting the fan uncovering a huge conspiracy along the way. The battle system is fun relying on you to execute chains of timed clicks to get the strongest attacks and a wide variety of magic spell and potions (that you make yourself by hunting for materials or looting dead enemies for). I really like that the game gave you an on-the-fly option to change gameplay perspectives allowing you to switch between a tactical overhead view with full mouse only controls to a 3rd person perspective that lets you get up close and personal with the action. When my ‘wasd’ hand needed to do something else or got tired, this option was a godsend. The story is also great if some of the voice-acting can get reeeaaaallllly hokey at times.
This isn’t a game for the kiddies as there is plenty of violence and strong language, and one thing Geralt must give up to become a Witcher (demon hunter) is his ability to reproduce, so he’s just shooting blanks. But he hasn’t lost any of his raging libido, so he bangs anything that has a hole and a heartbeat (sometimes not), so, yeah, boobs, butt, and beavers galore warning. While a few years old, this game looks great graphically, so a semi-decent PC is needed to play it. Anything decent bought/built from 2010 and up or running Windows7 should be able to pull it off or a high-end machine from around 2007. Available on Steam, GoG (which the games developers own), or retail.
Here’s a mindfuck of a game. You play as a witch named Bayonetta (who kinda looks like Sarah Palin) and you must do battle with the evil angels of Heaven using a variety of guns attached to and fired from all 4 of her appendages and a plethora of other melee weapons including a sword and killer ice skates. You can also summon gigantic stilettos, massive chain saws, demons from her hair to devour foes in a single bite or play ping-pong with. There is some kind of story in there but I lost track of what was going on amid all the WTF-ery going on. But don’t play this game for its, ummm, ‘unique’ concepts and off the wall, umm, ‘thingys’, play it for the non-stop, high adrenaline, Devil May Cry style game play which boasts playability and control that is absolutely sublime. Relying on quick reflexes and twitch reaction skills you do get rewarded with brief respite to collect your marbles as the game goes into a ‘bullet-time’ mode for a few seconds when you execute a perfect dodge. There is also varied gameplay other than the combo mashing battles as you go on crazy motorcycle chases and one section where you ride a gigantic missile (no, no sexual innuendo there ;) ). Available on Xbox360 and PS3. (note: the PS3 version has some horrible load times as well as a loading screen which pops up every time you need to access the ingame menu. If you have the option, go for the Xbox360 version).
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
I know I’ve drooled all over this game before in my review of it, but it’s so damn good I feel it deserves another mention. While cliché to the nth degree, Amnesia: The Dark Descent really makes the most of the overused plot device. You are put into the shoes of Daniel, a man who traveled to a Gothic mansion to help its owner ‘figure some things out’ during the 18th century. Daniel awakes at the beginning of the game bereft of memory and only a measly oil lamp as his only form of protection, which stays that way for the whole game. As you proceed deeper into the mansion crazy stuff starts happening and the story methodically unfolds until it chilling conclusion. I have never played a game that has ever had me on the edge of my seat with my hands quivering on the mouse quite like Amnesia did. The audio is beyond stellar and the dark and dreary graphical aesthetic really fits the horrifying mood of the game perfectly. If you’re tired of cheap jump scares in your games (or movies for that matter), you owe it to your self to play this game. Your nerves will not thank you. Amnesia is psychological horror at its best. The game also comes with bonus DLC that is short and great, playing out like an 18th century version of the film Saw, as well as a never-ending wealth of excellent user-created mods and stories for you to download for free. You can get yourself a copy of the game here. Runs on PC, Mac, and Linux. (Make sure your play this one in the total dark with head phones for bowel moving effects ;) )
Posted on September 5, 2012, in Videogames and tagged Amnesia, Anamoly: Warzone Earth, Bastion, Bayonetta, Budget Gaming, Cheap Games, Classics, Console Games, gaming, Indie Games, inexpensive games, Linux Games, Mac Games, Mobile Games, PC Games, The Witcher, Video Games. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.