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Xbox Live Indie Games price drop

A while back Microsoft restructured the pricing of the indie games. Where it used to be 800/400/200, it is now 400/240/80. When the price restructure happened, they said that all 200 point games would eventually revert to 80, unless the developer decided to bump it up to 240, and that has just happened.

This means a bunch of games previously available for 200 are now only 80 points.

Here are some games which are now 80 points that you might want to check out:
Alien Ambush
Bullet Trap
Halfbrick Echoes
Johnny Platform's Biscuit Romp
Miner Dig Deep

And then as well as that lot, there is the phenomenal Groov. By far my favourite game on the service, for 80 MS Points it is an absolute must have. I don't want to spoil the surprise, but it i a very well made dual stick shooter with an emphasis on synaesthesia. If you get only one Xbox Live Indie game, make it this one.

If there are any newly reduced Indie Games I've missed, then please point them out to me.

Uncharted 2: Amongst Theives, PS3 - £29.99

Uncharted 2: Amongst Theives, PS3 - £29.99 delivered

Thanks to everyone who sent me the tip to this, there was a lot of you. Never heard of this site before myself, can anyone vouch for them?

Heavenly Sword, PS3 - £6.99

Heavenly Sword, PS3 - £6.99 delivered

Pro Evolution Soccer, Xbox 360/PS3 - £29.18

Pro Evolution Soccer, Xbox 360/PS3 - £29.18

It's £29.71 on both formats in Asda, and £34.99 at PC World, so get it for this price via PC World's pricematch policy.

Wet - Review

Review by Will Templeton (

In movies, the best characters are those with which the viewer can sympathise; a character that, while flawed, can be enjoyed and identified with by the viewer. Considering that Wet draws so heavily from cinema, to the extent of running it as a motif throughout the game, it seems somewhat out of place that the protagonist is as blank a slate as she is. Rubi is a humourless, callous bitch, an outcast with only the pursuit of money on her mind and nothing interesting to say, and I simply do not identify with her, nor do I want to.

It seems that the characters in Wet are torn directly from a film-makers’ archetype handbook, with a broad smattering of accents and each one firmly in the roles you’d expect from a movie of its type – the old crime syndicate boss struggling to keep up with today’s business, the wisecracking but streetsmart contact with his ear to the ground, or the slightly crazed henchmen who specialises in one particular brand of combat to the point of excellence. It’s all here, and it brings to mind the thought that Wet perhaps wants to be a film more than it does a game.

A case in point - the idea of quicktime events is to allow a cinematic sequence to be interacted with in some way, to allow the player to have some element of control over something that ordinarily they would not be able to do. The car chase sequence, present early on in the game and in the demo, is a great example of how QTEs can work in this context, with free aiming and combat around a core mechanic that is nothing more than the game being on rails with the odd button prompt. It’s exciting, cinematic, and skill requires concentration and skill in order to pass the sequence. Later in the game, however, there’s a transitional cutscene in which Rubi shoots a window in order to jump through, with no controller input at all. It’s not as if the action is even far out of reach of the usual mechanics in the game, either – it appears perfectly possible for the player to be able to shoot the glass and leap through on their own, but one many occasions Artificial Mind and Movement have opted for the non-interactive, film-like approach.

This motif of film and of traditional cinema underscores every aspect of Wet, from the film grain running over the visuals at every point to loading screens ripped straight from pre-screening lobby advertisements - after one particularly bloody sequence, the player may be invited to hop to the concession stand and grab a Chilly Dilly: "No muss, no fuss; the ideal snack for all of us!" - a constant reminder that Wet is aware of its own ridiculousness, that it's intended to be tongue-in-cheek and that some of its more elementary missteps should be forgiven. It's hard, however, to write off certain aspects of the game as intentional missteps. The fact that the voice acting, while excellently performed, never quite matches up with the animation of the characters on screen is distracting, and that the combat system and collision allows for an unexpected fall from a ledge during combat more often than can be blamed on the player.

It's unfortunate, because otherwise, Wet's combat system is its crowning jewel. In many ways, the game seems to be constructed to allow bridging points between combat arenas, locked-off warehouses or courtyards where enemies stream at Rubi continuously until their entrance doorways are blocked. At all points in Wet, killing enemies provides a points multiplier, but in these areas, managing this multiplier is critical to survival - the higher the multiplier, the faster Rubi's health will regenerate, and therefore the most efficient way to ensure survival is through flamboyant, acrobatic and consistently violent play. As the game progresses, and the player comes across more complicated and challenging combat arenas, unlocks for both Rubi's weapons and abilities become available, which slowly moves the bar from simple jumping and firing in slow-motion into (for example) a slide, to wall-running, strafing along the wall, leaping off to a horizontal pole and chaining two swings together, constantly firing the whole time and landing gracefully on a platform with destruction behind you.

Nothing is quite so satisfying in Wet as these perfectly-executed moments of fluidity, especially when using the incredibly well-chosen soundtrack as a backdrop, but they're infuriatingly hard to accomplish due to the aforementioned unforgiving control - there are far too many moments in which a planned run through a room will fail multiple times through no apparent fault of the player. One particularly consistent frustration is Rubi wall-running horizontally because the wall was approached at anything less than a 90-degree angle, ruining any route that was planned and invariably dropping the character into the middle of three enemies she was trying to shoot. It's a problem that could be overcome with any other mechanic than the aforementioned kills-to-multipliers-to-health scenario - without the perfect run, Rubi dies almost immediately due to the lack of opportunity to learn multipliers in slow motion acrobatics, but with a well-executed performance throughout a run the player loses very little health and as a consequence the room seems far too easy. There's very little middle ground, which leads to an odd set of difficulty spikes, in which any given area's difficulty relates directly to whether or not the game interprets the player's actions as expected or not, which ultimately leads to irritation.

Every now and again, these combat arenas are altered slightly, providing a cel-shaded, viscerally themed stage for Rubi to rip apart enemy after enemy in a blood-fuelled rage. These moments could easily become tedious were they over-used, but they’re placed in such a way that they are a relief and a pleasure to unwind with after a particularly lengthy platforming section or gunfight. The simplicity of the environment and colour scheme lends itself very well to enabling the fluidity and constant motion that Wet relies on, to such an extent that every rage-triggered scene rides that edge of difficulty and cinema almost perfectly. It’s unfortunate, then, that there doesn’t seem to be any way of replaying these sections after completing the game, because they seem ideally suited to speed runs.

That's not to say that the game's difficulty is entirely scattershot, however. As the game progresses, Rubi is introduced to various different archetypes of enemies to fight, such as the swordsman who can block bullets, or the bullet sponge with a minigun, and in order to combat each of these, the player has access to an upgrade system. The points that are earned for stylish kills and kill chains can be spent on new acrobatic moves and health for Rubi, or for upgrades to damage and clip size for each of the four weapons available - unlimited pistol, SMG, shotgun and crossbow. While leaping through the air and landing on an enemy sword-first is visceral and appealing, the practicality of it is that once Rubi has the ability to shoot from anything she's moving across, the combination of acrobatics and pistol is adequate for most situations, even without augmenting the damage or capacity of the gun. It’s just another thing in Wet that seems like a nice idea, but not quite well-rounded enough to be of any use.

That’s Wet in a nutshell - a game that seems to have missed its potential due to good ideas implemented without enough thought about the whole experience. At its best, it can be a game that just works, a rhapsody of violence and acrobatics, and at worst, its clunky controls and inconsistencies in plot and difficulty will drive you to frustration or confusion. At its core, Wet wants you to enjoy it, and it’s clear that there is something there to enjoy, but struggling through the interface to get to one of those rare moments of bliss almost isn’t worth the effort.

The Red Star, PS2 - £3.33

The Red Star, PS2 - £3.33 delivered

I plug this whenever it is available for cheap. It is a very kickass game, great coop too.

Trauma Centre: New Blood, Wii - £9.97

Trauma Centre: New Blood, Wii - £9.97 delivered

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, Wii - £14.98

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, Wii - £14.98 delivered

The Club, PC - £4.55

The Club, PC - £4.55 delivered

Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker, DS - £6.99

Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker, DS - £6.99 delivered

Death Jr: Root of Evil, Wii - £5.99

Death Jr: Root of Evil, Wii - £5.99 delivered

Megaman Starforce: Dragon, DS - £5.77

Megaman Starforce: Dragon, DS - £5.77 delivered

Stormrise, PS3 - £6.77

Stormrise, PS3 - £6.77 delivered

Geist, Gamecube - £6.77

Geist, Gamecube - £6.77 delivered

Possible SavyGamer downtime

I'm doing some complicated behind the scenes stuff that may result in some downtime at some point in the near future. If I do go away, it won't be for too long (hopefully). You can just fill your time by buying some games at RRP or something. <3

Edit: Right, that should be it, went down for a little while, but we're back in business now.

Also, Some of you who tried to email me might have noticed my email being broken, should be fixed now.

£3 off £35 at Zavvi mark 2

Update: I've reposted this with a bunch of great new deals added.

There is currently a £3 off £35 code for Zavvi, add promo code "ZWalk" to any order totalling £35 or more to receive your discount.

Here are some games which you might want to consider getting with this discount:

Xbox 360
LEGO Rock Band - £32.95
Borderlands - £29.95
Dark Void - £28.95
Dead Rising 2 - £27.95
Red Faction: Guerilla - £17.95
2,100 MS Points - £15.95
Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena - £15.95
Tomb Raider: Underworld - £8.95
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames - £8.95
Skate - £5.95
Stuntman: Ignition - £4.95

LEGO Rock Band - £32.95
Borderlands - £29.95
Dark Void - £28.95
£20 PSN Card - £15.95
Disgaea 3: Absence Of Justice - £14.95
Fuel - £12.95
First Encounter Assault Recon 2: Project Origin - £11.95
Overlord 2 - £11.95

LEGO Rock Band - £27.95
MadWorld - £11.95
House of the Dead: Overkill - £9.95
House of the Dead: Overkill Hand Cannon - £8.95
Minon: Everyday Hero - £7.95

World of Warcaft: Cataclysm - £24.95
Dark Void - £23.95
Batman: Arkham Asylum - £23.95
Resident Evil 5 - £17.95
Tropico 3 - £17.95
Ghostbusters - £17.95
ARMA 2 - £15.95
X3 Gold Edition - £12.95
Dead Space - £7.95
Civilization IV: Complete (Missing Colonization) - £7.95
Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor - £7.65
S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Clear Sky - £5.95
Crysis - £5.95
Blacksite - £3.95

Gran Tourismo - £17.95
Motorstorm: Arctic Edge - £17.95
Dissidia: Final Fantasy - £17.95
Little Big Planet - £17.95
Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny - £16.95
MGS: Portable Ops/Silent Hill Origins - £14.95
Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters - £7.95
Killzone: Liberation - £6.95
Every Extend Extra - £4.95

Phantasy Star Zero - £24.95
Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days - £17.95
Space Invaders Extreme 2 - £12.95
Lock's Quest - £8.95
New International Track and Field - £5.95

2 for £25

Pretty good selection of games for 2 for £25.

Dawn of War Shenanigans on Steam

In case anyone is thinking of buying the Dawn of War complete pack on Steam, I'd suggest you take pause for a moment.

The pack costs £32.46, and comes with DOW1: Gold Edition, Dark Crusade, Soulstorm and DOW2.

The individual components bought separately cost:
DOW1: Platinum Edition (Gold + Dark Crusade) - £8.49
Soulstorm - £8.49
Dawn of War 2 - £9.99

A total of £26.97, a whole £5.49 cheaper than buying the package deal.

I think THQ need to hire a new person to be responsible for their Steam pricing. Cheers to @Driaden for the tip off on this.

Fallout 3, GOTY Edition, PS3 - £28.99

Fallout 3, GOTY Edition, PS3 - £28.99 delivered

This includes all 5 pieces of DLC, which cost roughly £30 separately. I can vouch for at least 3 of the 5 being great (Operation Anchorage is only OK, and I've not played Mothership Zeta).

Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure, DS - £8.78

Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure, DS - £8.78 delivered

Stormrise, PC - £4.49

Stormrise, PC - £4.49 delivered

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - £34.73

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - £34.73 delivered

Apply code "HWalk" to get £3 off.

£3 off £35 at Zavvi

Updated post on this can be found here.

Fallout 3, GOTY Edition, PC - £17.48

Fallout 3, GOTY Edition, PC - £17.48 delivered

This includes all 5 pieces of DLC, which cost roughly £30 seperately. I can vouch for at least 3 of the 5 being great (Operation Anchorage is only OK, and I've not played Mothership Zeta).

Maths with THQ

Red Faction Guerilla is this week's weekend special on Steam. This game normally costs £34.99/€49.99/$39.99 on steam, but the weekend special has brought the price of Red Faction Guerilla down by 25%. It is now £26.24/€37.49/$29.99. The UK and EU price of the game is still higher when it is on weekend special than the standard USA price.

To add insult to injury, Saints Row 2, a game by not only the same publisher, but the same developer, is priced much more sensibly at £14.99/€19.99/$29.99.

This table shows the prices for the two THQ/Volition games on Steam in the three regions and three currencies:

The astronomical inconsistency in international pricing between these two games is certainly frustrating. You have to assume that THQ have chosen this pricing strategy simply because it will make them more money. It is essentially price discrimination, the equivalent of looking at customers walk into a shop, and gauging how much to charge them based on how rich they appear.

I don't know exactly what we should be doing here. How steam used to work, where everyone paid in dollars exchanged into their currency at the exchange rate when the transaction occurs seems like it might be better for most people outside of the USA, although as SR2 proves this is not always the case.

How steam currently works is that the publisher sets a specific price for each region. These prices are generally roughly comparable to each other based on exchange rates at the time, however, if the publisher wants to charge more in one region, they are completely allowed to do so.

Were it up to me, I would still allow this practise, however, I would also regulate it a bit more. I would say some kind of rule where no game was allowed to be sold for (say) 10% +/- the price of the same game in another region, and could be reviewed monthly with regard to currency fluctuations. This would give publishers a margin for error, but prevent them gouging different regions just because they can.

Perhaps the whole thing is academic anyway, since RFG is far cheaper to get at retail:
Red Faction: Guerilla, PC - £17.99 delivered

Prototype, PS3 - £23.80

Prototype, PS3 - £23.80 delivered

Ninja Gaiden, DS - £5.99

Ninja Gaiden, DS - £5.99

Rainbow Six: Vegas 2, PC - £3.99

Rainbow Six: Vegas 2, PC - £3.99 delivered

LEGO Batman + Pure, Xbox 360 - £14.95

LEGO Batman + Pure, Xbox 360 - £14.95 delivered

Spyborgs, Wii - £12.95

Spyborgs, Wii - £12.95 delivered

Cheers to Opium for the tip off.

Xbox 360 Elite, Pure, LEGO Batman & an extra controller - £127.02

Xbox 360 Elite, Wireless Controller, Pure, LEGO Batman - £127.02 delivered

Add the Xbox 360 Elite and Wireless Entertainment Pack to your basket, and at checkout, the price will resolve to £127.02.

I believe the reason this happens is because the site is coded to deduct the price of the Entertainment Pack from the price of the console, but the Pack has been mispriced. As retailers aren't required to honour misprices, this order is likely to be cancelled. Undoubtedly worth it if it isn't, though.

In light of the postal strike affecting the UK within the next week, I advise anyone who hasn't already signed up for the free trial of Amazon Prime that they offer at checkout to do so, or to pay for faster shipping in addition to the console price in order to ensure reliable delivery. If you do sign up for Prime, ensure that you've unchecked the rebilling option in the settings, or after the trial is up you'll automatically be billed.

- Will Templeton

Saints Row 2, PC - £3.75

Saints Row 2, PC - £3.75

PSN £20 card - £15.73

PSN £20 card - £15.73 delivered

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, PC - £4.13

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, PC - £4.13 delivered

Amazon have dropped the £5 minimum spend for free P&P, now all items get free super saver delivery.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, PC - £1.66

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, PC - £1.66 delivered

Amazon have dropped the £5 minimum spend for free P&P, now all items get free super saver delivery.

Alone in the Dark, Xbox 360 - £3

Alone in the Dark, Xbox 360 - £3 Preowned in GAME

It wasn't this price on the system, but it was stickered at this price. Not sure if this is nationwide or not.

Picross DS, DS - £6.99

Picross DS, DS - £6.99 delivered

Excellent little puzzle game this, bizarrely addictive.

Advance Wars: Dark Conflict, DS - £6.99

Advance Wars: Dark Conflict, DS - £6.99 delivered

Saints Row 2, Xbox 360 - £8.99

Saints Row 2, Xbox 360 - £8.99 delivered

Civilization IV [Complete], PC - £12.49

Civilization IV [Complete], PC - £12.49

This includes all three expansions. Part of THQ's week of special offers on Steam.

Bionic Commando, PS3 - £9.89

Bionic Commando, PS3 - £9.89 delivered

Section 8, PC - £13.89

Section 8, PC - £13.89 delivered

Virtua Fighter 5, Xbox 360 - £6.99

Virtua Fighter 5, Xbox 360 - £6.99 delivered

Weapon of Choice, Xbox 360 - 240 MS Points

Weapon of Choice, Xbox 360 - 240 MS Points

Permanent price drop from 400 MS Points.

The Void, PC - £17.50

The Void, PC - £17.50 delivered

Rhythm Paradise, DS - £10

Rhythm Paradise, DS - £10 delivered

World of Goo, PC/Mac/Linux - $Whatever you want

World of Goo, PC/Mac/Linux - $Whatever you want

I just got it for $0.01 (It's not that I'm cheap, I already own it on the Wii and on Steam, but now I can get the Linux version too)

One of the best games in a very long time. My review here.

Stuntman: Ignition, Xbox 360 - £4.95

Stuntman: Ignition, Xbox 360 - £4.95 delivered

House Of The Dead: Overkill, Wii - £9.95

House Of The Dead: Overkill, Wii - £9.95 delivered

Advance Wars: Dark Conflict, DS - £9.99

Advance Wars: Dark Conflict, DS - £9.99 delivered

Disgaea, DS - £9.95

Disgaea, DS - £9.95 delivered

Lumines Plus, PS2 - £2.24

Lumines Plus, PS2 - £2.24

Spend £5 or more for free p&p

Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Wii - £10

Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Wii - £10 delivered

Wii Music, Wii - £10

Wii Music, Wii - £10 delivered

Mario Strikers Charged Football, Wii - £10

Mario Strikers Charged Football, Wii - £10 delivered

Warioland: The Shake Dimension, Wii - £10

Warioland: The Shake Dimension, Wii - £10 delivered

Mirror's Edge, Dead Space + Mercenaries 2, PC - Free

Mirror's Edge, Dead Space + Mercenaries 2, PC - Free

Seems like there is a problem with EA Store at the minute. Add these three games to your basket, and it should come up free.

Mirror's Edge
Dead Space
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames

In my experimentation, I can find only these games that work, let me know if you find any more. Enjoy, the first two I can vouch for being excellent games.

I'd download and activate them as soon as possible, who knows if EA will revoke them.

Update: Just in case anyone from outside of the UK is trying this, it appears to be only working in the UK store.

Update2: Seems that the download for Mirror's Edge includes the soundtrack too.

Wolfenstien, PC - £16.99

Wolfenstien, PC - £16.99 delivered

Sam & Max: Season 1, Wii - £7.99

Sam & Max: Season 1, Wii - £7.99 delivered

God of War: Chains of Olympus, PSP - £6.49

God of War: Chains of Olympus, PSP - £6.49 delivered

First Encounter Assault Recon 2: Project Origin, PS3 - £9.99

First Encounter Assault Recon 2: Project Origin, PS3 - £9.99 delivered

Atomhex, Xbox 360 - Review

Atomhex, Xbox 360 - 80MS Points

Review by LewieP

Dual Stick shooters have seen a bit of a wonderful resurgence in the last few years, and you can very easily track it back to the release of Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved on the Xbox Live Arcade.

A guy called Marco Incitti decided to make a clone of Retro Evolved for the PC, and make a freely downloadable title on his web site. I played it, and it was pretty damn good. Whilst at a cursory glance it did look feel and play in a very similar fashion to Retro Evolved, there was actually a lot more to it, with new and different mechanics that massively change how you play the game.

Then, quite possibly since there was a PC port of Retro Evolved in the pipeline, Bizarre contacted him saying:

"We're beginning to feel the effects of the Geometry Wars clones on our sales via Microsoft now and are beginning a process to begin to more robustly protect our copyright and intellectual property.

Therefore, I'd like to ask you in an amicable fashion to stop infringing our IP and pull the game 'Grid Wars' from the internet for download.

I hope you understand and are able to do this without us having to take further steps."

Which was a pretty big mistake in my opinion. They were right to defend their IP, but they missed an opportunity by not offering him a job.

Marco did the right thing and took Grid Wars down (but if you interested, I bet you can find it somewhere in the internet's shadier corners), and set to work making his own completely original game. Atomhex is the end product.

It is a pretty crowded market place, and to stand out you need to have a least one major unique selling point. Atomhex has several, but quite possibly it being only 80 MS Points is the biggest. Frankly I think Atomhex is largely under priced. 240 would still be an excellent price for it.

It's a thinking persons dual stick shooter, which is essentially code for meaning "Shooting everything is not the best route to success".

The gameplay is about as complicated to describe as it is to play. There are several types of "enemies" all with very specific behaviour.

Firstly, there are atoms, these are innocuous floating things that if you touch, bounce off you. You get a few points for shooting one of these. If two of them touch, they will transform into a nasty enemy which will (temporarily) remove your ability to shoot if it gets you, then set a trap.

Then there are Hex. These are coloured dots with a small force field. If you shoot its force field, you can then absorb it for points, and it will also change your bullets to be the same colour as it. If a Hex absorbs an atom, it will then emit enemies.

The more atoms a hex absorbs, the nastier the enemies is shoots out. A hex that has absorbed at least one atom is only vulnerable to bullets the same colour as it.

Also - when a hex absorbs 6 atoms, the whole screen is cleared, and you zoom in to it for sort of a boss battle, called going "subatomic".

That lot all sounds fairly convoluted, because it is. I've not even touched on the powerups, chaining, or multipliers.

Don't take that as a complaint though. It's a solidly made shooter that does take time to learn how to play, but the important thing is that it is still fun to play even as a dumb shooter. You could switch off the mathsy high score calculating part of your brain and still have a lot of fun with Atomhex.

It is pretty, sounds great and costs 80ms points. I swear if I see anyone with Avatar clothing they have paid for who has not bought this I'll probably cry.

It's everything the Xbox indie games should be. Original ideas, well executed, and lots of personality. Give the demo a go at least I think.

Motorstorm: Pacific Rift, PS3 - £14.73

Motorstorm: Pacific Rift, PS3 - £14.73

Xyanide Resurrection, PS2 - £2.99

Xyanide Resurrection, PS2 - £2.99 delivered

Nintendo Wii - £139.99

Nintendo Wii - £139.99 delivered

Cities XL [Limited Edition], PC - £25.49

Cities XL [Limited Edition], PC - £25.49 delivered

God of War: Chains of Olympus, PSP - £6.95

God of War: Chains of Olympus, PSP - £6.95 delivered

Civilization IV [Complete], PC - £7.73

Civilization IV [Complete], PC - £7.73 delivered

Comes with Warlords and Beyond the Sword, but not Colonization.

Dead Space: Extraction, Wii - £25.95

Dead Space: Extraction, Wii - £25.95 delivered

Chrono Trigger, DS - £16.95

Chrono Trigger, DS - £16.95 delivered

FIFA 2010, PS3/Xbox 360 - £23.47

FIFA 2010, PS3/Xbox 360 - £23.47

Tesco are selling it for £24.97, PC World are selling it for £39.99. Get it for this price using PC Worlds price match policy.

Update: Currys should do it too.

Update2: Asda and Toys R Us are selling it for £24.97 and £24.95 respectively in case your local Tesco is out of stock.

Brütal Legend, Xbox 360 - £34.85

Brütal Legend, Xbox 360 - £34.85 delivered

Brütal Legend, PS3 - £34.85

Brütal Legend, PS3 - £34.85 delivered