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Monkey Island: Special Edition Bundle

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Eurogamer


Welcome back to Cheap this Week, our round up the best deals in gaming every Wednesday. Here you'll find all sorts of delicious discounted gaming treats, compiled for your consideration. If one dose of cheap games a week isn't enough for you, SavyGamer.co.uk is constantly updated with offers plucked from bargain bins the world over.

Here are this week's deals:

Crysis 2 - £14.99 on PC, £22.99 on Xbox 360.


I'm in the camp that preferred the first of the two Crysis games, but stomping around New York City in a power suit in the sequel was still hugely entertaining, and a league above most other FPSs.


I was just disappointed that the huge open levels and the chaos they led to were missing in favour of very wide highly detailed corridors. Likely a concession to get the game running on today's aging consoles.


See the Digital Foundry Console Face-off and PC Tech Comparison, and Simon's review for more.

Video: Shooting men.

Plain Sight, PC - £2
Hot off the press, this deal will be going live at some time just after 6pm. I'm not sure if they will be discounting the 4 Pack too, but it seems likely.


This discount coincides with an update released yesterday, with numerous bug fixes, tweaks to the perk system, and balancing. Patch notes here.


Quintin gave this a solid 8/10 when it came out a year ago. He said:


"There's nothing for it but to accept Plain Sight for what it is - a fun, smart, inventive action game that comes with a big grin and a cheap price tag."


And since that price tag is even cheaper than usual, I'd say it's time to get your robot on.

Splinter Cell: Conviction, Xbox 360 - £6.99 delivered


These are unsealed, but new. Not my favourite of the Splinter Cell series by a long shot, but at this price it's worth a go. Simon wasn't massively impressed when he reviewed it either:


"Where once players were free to tackle Splinter Cell's enemies in myriad, improvised ways, now the options are more limited, traded for an upped tempo that's more Arkham Asylum than Metal Gear. At its best, Conviction is played as a high-stakes puzzle game, taut and thrilling when everything is going your way. But when cover is broken, the floodlights go up to reveal a mediocre shooter. Perhaps the greatest irony of all is that Splinter Cell: Conviction appears brightest in the dark."








The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, Xbox 360 – 400 MS Points (Xbox Live Gold subscribers only).


Classic point and clicker that, er, I didn't really like. Perhaps I need to give it another go, but it didn't really tickle my funny bone. Dan had this to say of the modern prettied up remake in his review:


"These bare bones form the skeleton of a truly marvellous game, however, and one that everyone should play. While it would be nice to have a more robust package, simply having such an unmistakable classic back in active circulation where new players can discover its dazzling inventiveness and giddy humour is victory enough."


This offer is available until next Tuesday, and if you're in need of MS Points, Amazon are currently doing 2100 for £14.99 delivered.

Video: The making of the remake.

Deal of the week

AI War: Alien Bundle, PC/Mac – £16


Here's the complete version of the dead clever intergalactic strategy game, AI War. Included is the original AI War: Fleet Command, and the three expansions: The Zenith Remnant, Children Of Neinzul and Light of the Spire. Everything has been individually discounted too (see here).


You can either download them straight from Arcen's website, or the serials will optionally register on Steam.


Phill had this to say of Fleet Command in his review:


"The heart of AI War is in its asymmetrical nature, but that uniqueness permeates the entire game, from the way each fight works to your overarching strategy. There's an element of discovery in it that is partly due to the procedural nature with which the galaxies are created, but also down to the incredible amount of options each time you create a game."

Also of note this week...


Visit SavyGamer.co.uk for your gaming bargain needs throughout the week, and hassle me on Twitter if you ever want a particular game for cheap.

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to PC Gamer US’s Games of the Year Awards">



Each year, our staff plays hundreds of games as we separate the good from the bad and the great from the good. Now, we separate the year’s truly exceptional from the rest, and crown our singular Game of the Year. Drumroll please...





Game of the Year/Realtime Strategy Game of the Year

Starcraft II - Wings Of Liberty







Years from now, PC gamers will remember 2010 first and foremost as the year that StarCraft finally returned. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty hasn’t just wowed the hardcore PC faithful, it’s a beacon that’s drawn hordes of gamers back to their PCs, and reminded them what they’ve always loved about the kind of gaming experience you can only get here.



Its accomplishments are dazzling. With outstanding and innovative campaign mission design, and a meticulous, artful graphical update to its classic factions and multiplayer battles, it’s revitalized and restored confidence in the traditional resource gathering, base building realtime strategy game formula. We’ve heard suspicions voiced over the years that this formula had become outdated or in need of reinvention to be relevant, but StarCraft II has proven that the old-school model didn’t abruptly become un-fun five years ago.



What’s more, by applying the between-mission story mode (which harkens back to classic PC games like X-Wing and Wing Commander), to realtime strategy, Blizzard has cracked a problem that has plagued the RTS genre since its inception: making the characters who appear tiny on the battlefield feel like larger-than-life heroes, and bringing us in close to immerse us in the universe we usually only get to see from far above.







Finally, the spectacular multiplayer action is so exciting that it doesn’t even need to be played to be enjoyed—StarCraft II has successfully introduced gamers to the idea that games can be enjoyable as a spectator sport. In just a few short months, the audience for commentated professional-level matches and tournaments has exploded from a small and dedicated niche to a thriving community of hundreds of thousands of viewers who regularly tune in to view games on YouTube, GOMtv.net or Major League Gaming, and follow their favorite players.



In those ways and more, StarCraft II is a monument to PC gaming. It’s a game that can be enjoyed by everyone, from the newest and most inexperienced players to the gamer’s equivalent of the world-class athlete—and even those who’d rather just sit back and watch.



Next page: PC Gamer US's choices for Shooter, Puzzle, and Free-To-Play Game of the Year.





Shooter Of The Year

Call Of Duty: Black Ops







The unrivaled control of our mice and keyboards demands high-skill, athletic multiplayer experiences. Some of the PC’s finest multiplayer shooters (Tribes, Quake III, Team Fortress Classic) earned our respect by offering brutally uncompromising arenas that demand pixel-point accuracy and to-the-nanosecond finesse. Anything less is a waste of the agility and precision that we’re able to manifest with these devices.



Despite being designed as a cross-platform game, Call of Duty: created the kind of hyper-competitive itch that our trigger fingers love to scratch better than any other shooter this year. Its breakneck-paced, kill-or-be-owned multiplayer modes have an arcade feel to them, but Treyarch’s rejiggering of CoD’s multiplayer formula hooks us right in the competitive center of our brains. Being a successful player means summoning every ounce of marksmanship skill and tactical battlefield awareness that you can muster while allowing physics and playful weapons, such as an RC car bomb or a crossbow with exploding bolts, balance that tension with entertaining doses of dumb luck.



Technologically, Black Ops’ integrated video replay and sharing system sets a precedent in post-game enjoyment. Revisiting game-saving headshots or how-did-that-possibly-kill-him Tomahawk tosses in slow-mo with a free camera grant the same StarCraft II provides players to revisit, analyze and share your best moments. We don't forgive Black Ops’ botched launch or brain-dead single-player campaign, but it celebrates a style of multiplayer that belongs on the PC--a speedy death-go-round we can’t get enough of.

Puzzle Game Of The Year

Puzzle Agent







There's more than one way to tell an adventure story--we just didn't realize it until Agent Nelson Tethers showed up with Puzzle Agent. Telltale replaced the usual pixel-hunting, inventory management and object-combination puzzles found in adventure games (which can all too often rely more on guesswork as to which items can be worn as hats than puzzle-solving techniques) with real brain scratchers. Whether we were bouncing Nelson’s snowmobile to safety, calculating the cargo capacity of swallows or solving word problems, Puzzle Agent’s puzzles added great gameplay to Tethers' surprisingly edgy saga and elevated a young genre--the puzzle-adventure.

Free-To-Play Game Of The Year

League of Legends







2010 saw games lining up around the block for the opportunity to entertain PC gamers for free, but none could match League of Legends’ steady stream of high-quality updates. The content machine at Riot churns out new champions every two weeks, along with new maps, items and meta-game systems. This year’s Season One update both opened up competitive play for top-tier players and strengthened the tutorial elements for newcomers. League of Legends continues to prove that a dedicated independent developer can make the free-to-play model shine.



Next page: PC Gamer US's choices for Roleplaying, Action, and Adventure Game of the Year.





Roleplaying Game of the Year

Fallout: New Vegas







Fallout: New Vegas shows us how great things can be accomplished by standing on the shoulders of giants. It demonstrates that the defining characteristic of a great roleplaying game isn’t flashy, state-of-the-art graphics; success as an immersive adventure depends much more on creating an irresistible, fantastical world, filling it with interesting characters— and then letting us mess with it.



Obsidian’s writing sparkles with fascinating characters and quests that pay loving homage to the franchise’s PC roots at every opportunity. Its main quest begins as a small-scale tale of personal revenge in the Mojave, but blossoms into an opportunity to decide the outcome of a wide-open conflict that will upset the balance of power of an entire region. Nothing empowers us as players more than seeing the effects of our choices play out, and Fallout: New Vegas’ conflict can be resolved in so many ways that it gives us a feeling of freedom and control virtually unprecedented among modern games. Roleplaying games don’t get a whole lot better than this.



And while it’s a cross-platform game, Fallout: New Vegas reminds us why the PC is more often than not the best place to experience an openworld RPG like this one. It looks far better on the PC than any other platform, and mods step in afterward to unlock its full potential. Fallout: New Vegas is truly our adventure.

Sports Game of the Year

NBA2K11







Sports games saw a resurgence on the PC this year, defying the perception that great sports games show up only on consoles. Leading the pack is NBA 2K11, a brilliant homage to basketball’s greatest hero, Michael Jordan. Its sharp AI and crisp visuals are good enough to fool you—just for a moment—into thinking you’re watching and somehow controlling a live game between the very best players in basketball history. NBA 2K11 proves the PC’s strength as the most versatile of all gaming platforms—the perfect place to play any kind of game.

Adventure Game of the Year

Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge







A great joke never dies. LucasArts proved that again by bringing Guybrush’s sophomore mix-up with LeChuck into the modern era gracefully with Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck’s Revenge. The artwork has been reinvigorated, new voiceovers give each character even more style, and the new interface is expertly tuned for adventuring. The most interesting new feature is the commentary by the original creators (Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman) who chat casually with each other as you play. It’s the sort of fun behind-the-scenes look usually reserved for film, and it injects an already great game with plenty of fresh hilarity and insight.



Next Page: PC Gamer US's choices for MMO, Strategy, and Simulation Game of the Year.

MMO of the Year

Lord of the Rings Online







A lot of MMOs thrived this year, but their success was dampened by a lack of major updates or innovation. When it came to keeping us entertained all year long with small updates, plus throwing us the occasional party with huge loads of free content, LotRO treated its fans the best. Two new Epic Books’ worth of quests alongside the franchise’s memorable characters and two new regions were added; character creation and starter regions were completely revamped, in-game events were expanded and UI elements were improved—and then the game went free-to-play in September.



Turbine’s signature hybrid free-to-play subscription model proved to be a great success, generously letting curious players browse Middle-earth and sample the content before deciding whether or not to open their wallets. It’s quickly redefining the way a successful subscriptionless MMO is run.



The future’s looking good for LotRO—even with this year’s huge additions, it’s wisely pacing itself to avoid burning through the books’ story content too quickly. There’s a long road ahead before we’re knocking on Mordor’s door with the One Ring, and that road is lined with good friends (LotRO’s community is one of the most friendly and enthusiastic around), excellent gameplay and free updates, and at the rate Turbine is going, we’ll be enjoying the journey for years to come.

Strategy Game of the Year

Civilization V







It’s no surprise that Civilization V wins this award—Civilization has been one of the PC’s definitive names in turnbased strategy for almost two decades, thanks to the deep, addictive turn-based experience that you just can’t get anywhere else.



With Civ V’s reinvention in particular, Firaxis has demonstrated that the series—and the entire genre of turnbased strategy—is teeming with new ideas. Its revamped tactical combat addresses a long-standing weakness of the series and made the inevitable wars between nations more engaging; its colorful graphics and redesigned interface reach out to gamers intimidated by complexity, grab them by their eyeballs and, before they realize what’s happened, pull them into all-night gaming sessions that don’t end until one nation rules the world; and its in-game mod browser opens up the world of user-made content to gamers who would’ve otherwise never known where to look for it or how to install it.



Wherever the series goes next, we’ll be able to look back at Civilization V and say that it took us somewhere new and enthralling.

Simulation of the Year

Lock On: Flaming Cliffs 2







An expansion pack for a 2003 flight sim might not seem like a slam dunk for Simulation of the Year honors, but Eagle Dynamics’ expertly crafted Lock On: Flaming Cliffs 2  is a truly exceptional revival of an existing favorite. By taking a strong but datedlooking sim and turbocharging it with a modern engine, an impressive international collection of warplanes, detailed cockpit renderings and freshly upgraded terrain graphics, FC2 delivers one of the best combat flight experiences that sim fans have seen in years.



Next page: PC Gamer US's choices for Action-Adventure, Mod, and Innovator of the Year.





Action-Adventure Game of the Year

The Ball







A masterstroke of minimalism, The Ball was the best gaming vignette of the year. There’s no dialog, sweeping cinematics or tacked-on multiplayer mode to burden The Ball—just a lightweight, focused, gameplay-driven short story. It benefited from this simplicity by giving us a campaign that felt paced and personal. As you kick the multiton marble around with your ancient Mexican gravity gun, it somehow makes the transition from object to character. You develop this subtle but strong relationship with the object—it doesn’t change or communicate, but it takes on the feeling of a pet following you through lava-soaked corridors.

Mod of the Year

Nehrim: At Fate’s Edge







It’s a total conversion for a four-year-old game (The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion), but Nehrim is so impressive that it was a contender not just for best mod, but for best RPG. Nehrim is massive, witty, occasionally vicious, incredibly ambitious and tremendously successful at injecting new life into a game that many of us have already played so much that we could scarcely imagine seeing anything new come out of it. Its world is wonderfully resolved—settlements look sensibly planned, residents have purposeful vocations, forests are dense and geography looks natural.



The dedication shown by the modders who took Nehrim from concept to realization is astonishing. Only on the PC do gamers have such power to shape their experiences.

Innovator of the Year

Minecraft







An unfinished, hyper-simple, low-fi independent game captured the imaginations of PC gamers more than anything else in 2010. But it isn't technical excellence that makes Minecraft the PC’s brightest innovator (although there's plenty of that). Rather, it's the way that it reveres players’ ideas. Minecraft doesn’t provide any goal, story or explicit reward for digging in the earth. Instead, it allows players to cultivate their own experiences out of the simple tasks of digging and building, punctuated by a few monsters every now and then. Players approach the blank canvas in different ways: erecting world-spanning railroads or waterfall wonders; strip-mining the ground for rare ores; exploring dungeons; creating multiplayer metropolises or hidden fortresses; using in-game tools for bizarre science—making each player's experience necessarily unique.



Minecraft also demonstrates that word-of-mouth on the PC is still the surest route to indie success. Minecraft sold more than 700,000 copies in 2010 by way of players sharing their creations and discoveries on YouTube, Reddit.com and forums. This remarkable popularity is only possible on an open platform like the PC, where Minecraft creator “Notch” can deploy weekly updates to the game and collaborate directly with fans on content and bug fixes.



While we wouldn’t expect Minecraft’s financial success to become commonplace, it opens up a new business model for self-employed developers: selling before official release in order to finance development.
Product Update - Valve
Updates to Monkey Island™ 2 Special Edition: LeChuck’s Revenge™ have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. The major changes include:
  • Adjusted timing delays for certain puzzles
  • Fixed missing music in Dinky Jungle
  • Fixed music synching issue with the Bone Dance sequence
  • Fixed various music cross-fading issues
  • Addressed Cursor issues when using an XBox360 controller
  • Added intro and outro credits sequences to the Classic version
  • Added acceleration curve to cursor speed
  • Increased volume level of "Classic" Chester
Product Release - Valve
Monkey Island™ 2 Special Edition: LeChuck’s Revenge™ is now available on Steam!

Expanding on the highly successful The Secret of Monkey Island™: Special Edition in just about every way, fans will now experience new unique special edition features and interact with the world of Monkey Island like never before.

Kotaku

You Can Play The Secret Of Monkey Island Inside This Post Online gaming innovator InstantAction may have just changed the way games are distributed on the internet, with the introduction of a service that lets publishers embed games like The Secret of Monkey Island as easily as a YouTube video.



InstantAction's new service uses thin-client, in-browser, and progressive downloading technology to allow publishers to stream video games directly to clients. Games like LucasArts' The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, seen below, can then be embedded anywhere HTML code is accepted.



"It was only a matter of time before the Internet disrupted the extremely limited distribution channels available to game creators, enabling direct-to-consumer access and more control over sales performance and profits," said Evan S. Wilson, senior research analyst of Pacific Crest Securities. "The InstantAction platform virtually obliterates the obstacles to game distribution by making it possible for anyone to embed any video game anywhere on the web, just like embedding a video. For game creators, this opens up distribution channels that haven't previously been an option – especially for console-quality games. For consumers, it creates endless possibilities for game discovery, risk-free trial, and faster downloads."



Right now the service only works on PCs, but support for Macs and mobile devices is planned for the future.



The potential of such a service is mind-boggling. I mean, look at Monkey Island down there. LucasArts provides players with a 20 minute timed demo of the full game, after which they can unlock the full version for a modest fee. I'd imagine the need for distribution channels would quickly fall off, once people start embedding full games directly into blog entries, Facebook updates, or say, Kotaku posts.



"The InstantAction platform provides a brand new way to get games from their creators to customers, thus avoiding obstacles to publishing and discovering new games that are inherent in the traditional brick and mortar model," said Louis Castle, CEO of InstantAction.



"We give game creators a secure way to offer free trials, item purchases and pay-as-you play options, with a broad range of monetization formats and platform compatibility," continued Castle. "Gamers not only get the try-before-you buy and rent-to-own benefits; they can easily embed full games into their social networks, accessing their friends' lists and adding social features to games where they may not have existed. InstantAction not only changes how games are distributed and discovered, but how they are enjoyed."



For more information on this compelling new technology, visit InstantAction.com. Otherwise, enjoy the game!




The Secret of Monkey Island:SE powered by InstantAction


Kotaku

LucasArts celebrates the summer release of The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition on the PlayStation 3 with enough virtual goods to recreate the game yourself in PlayStation Home.



Fans of the Monkey Island series patiently awaiting the PlayStation 3 release of the remastered adventure game classic can now show off their pirate pride in style, letting their skull and crossbones flag fly high over their very own pirate ship. Spruce it up with an assortment of Monkey Island-themed accessories and furnishing, pick up one of the nifty new costumes, and invite over your friends to roleplay your own Monkey Island adventures.



Just don't tell us about them. We really, really don't want to know.


Avast! A Monkey Island Pirate Paradise For PlayStation Home

Avast! A Monkey Island Pirate Paradise For PlayStation Home

Avast! A Monkey Island Pirate Paradise For PlayStation Home

Avast! A Monkey Island Pirate Paradise For PlayStation Home

Avast! A Monkey Island Pirate Paradise For PlayStation Home

Avast! A Monkey Island Pirate Paradise For PlayStation Home

Avast! A Monkey Island Pirate Paradise For PlayStation Home

Avast! A Monkey Island Pirate Paradise For PlayStation Home

Avast! A Monkey Island Pirate Paradise For PlayStation Home

Avast! A Monkey Island Pirate Paradise For PlayStation Home


...

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