JUST CAUSE 2: 2: Warner Bros. Publisher Weekend

I already covered Just Cause 2 a long long time ago when it was 80% off and nothing has changed. Check it out here. If you didn’t buy it then buy it NOW. The original Verdict: Buy it still remains. 

Anyways, there is also a Warner Bros Publisher weekend. If you’re like me you might think of the Warner Bros as a cartoon studio. Most likely involving some combination of Bugs Bunny and/or the Animaniacs. Also, the studio is located in Toontown and they are frequently made the subject of prejudice by an exploitative human hierarchy. Well that’s all wrong, because Warner Bros also publishes games apparently, and lots of them are on sale, except for the two featured ones, Gauntlet and Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. Which is a damn shame because Gauntlet is badass and due for a remake. Plus that Valkyrie is totally smokin’.

Something about wings and/or breasts, etc.

Look at those high heeled boots. Hilarious! If this came out now people would totally lose it on Twitter. They just don’t get that if you kick ass while also being scantily clad it’s twice as impressive. Am I wrong? Hello?

Let’s look at the games, because Gauntlet is out because it’s not on sale. The top five options are, in order of how they are listed on the sale page, are:

  • Batman: Arkham Whatever
  • Scribblenauts UNLIMITED
  • F.E.A.R.
  • Bastion
  • Mortal Kombat vs. Scooby Doo! and Looney Tunes Cartoon Universe: Adventure
This a pretty varied selection of games, and you’re bound to find something you’re interested in in this bunch. Apparently WB Games does make some good stuff but they only release something basically every 3 years. Anyways, let’s break it down. Batman is pretty fun if you like trampsing around a city in your underwear beating up criminals. Scribblenauts Unlimited is pretty fun if you like pretending to tramps around in your underwear beating up criminals with silly objects. F.E.A.R. was awesome back in the day and somehow scary while providing one of the first FPS experiences with Bullet Time But you need at least an x850 xt to run it. In Bastion you run around in a painting and smack people with a hammer. 
But we all know where this was heading, Mortal Kombat vs. Scooby Doo! and Looney Tunes Cartoon Universe: Adventure. If you ever wanted to know who would win a fight between Shaggy and Scorpion, or if Fred could take down Mileena (she’s a maneater but that ascot would melt a heart of coal), now you can! It’s not even close. Winner: Mortal Kombat vs. Scooby Doo! and Looney Tunes Cartoon Universe: Adventure.

Just Cause 2

The best way to describe Just Cause 2 is to call it by it’s true name: Just Cuz 2. Get it? It’s a play on words. As in Just beCause 2. Why does the main character, Rico Rodriguez, have the best stereotypical name and accent possible? Just Cause. Why does he work for a fictional CIA who thinks the best way to dismantle a tyrannical regime is to cause as much havoc in the general population as possible? Just Cause. Why did he attach a poor civilian just trying to ride home from a long day of work at the farm via grappling hook to the back of a jet and then take off with the jet so that poor civilian flew through the air at a dangerous speed? Just Cause. Why is there a massive, floating dance club hung by two air balloons that you can parachute on called the Mile High Club? JUST CAUSE. This game is BADASS.

 This game is so good, seriously. It looks like the stupidest game ever from first glance. Maybe it is. But in an Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando kind of way. But that’s not even fair because this movie blows every action movie ever made out of the water. What’s my evidence? Just Cause. OK I’m done. The evidence is that you can pretty much do anything you ever wanted to try in a video game as far as transportation goes. You have a grappling hook and parachute combo that essentially allows you to fly and makes you impervious to any kind of car/plane/helicopter/tuk-tuk crash. And it’s easy. All you have to do is mash the space bar right before impact and you fly away. What this means is you can get in any kind of insane situation and immediately bail out of it. If you are on a boat in the middle of the ocean and there is a North Korean chopper after you (editors’ note: they’re not actually North Korean) and the chopper fires some missiles, in about 1.5 seconds you can be out of that boat while it explodes beneath you and meanwhile you are grappling onto the chopper punching that commie in the face and throwing him out the window. Then you fly that chopper to the beach for some good old Texas BBQ with some jackass called the Sloth Demon. I can’t make this up and it’s not even the best thing that happens in this game.

There are so many moments that make you go HOLY SHIT it never gets old and the game encourages you to push the engine to its limits.

Press X to roundhouse kick a car into oblivion

As if you needed more reason to buy this game, some glorious man released a multiplayer mod for it that downloads through Steam as well and it’s free. The shooting is probably the least fun part of this game and it’s the least fun part of multiplayer too. But there is fun stuff like teleportation and races and griefing other players. More importantly there is a turbo button. And the turbo button makes you go approximately 10000 miles per hour and combining that with the game’s physics is obviously hilarious. Basically, boats can fly and other crazy things.

Just Cause 2 is currently on sale at 80% off for $2.99. This is a phenomenal deal. You know why you should buy this game? Just Cause. OK now I’m really done. Verdict: Buy it.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Welcome to XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Except we know the enemy, they are aliens. A bunch of jerk aliens that want to come over here to Earth and charge us taxes on necessities like tea. Well the humans of Planet Earth have had it with those imperialistic bastards and now we’re dumping that tea off of our ships. We refuse to pay your outlandish tariffs, you greedy aliens! XCOM is the name of the elite team of 6 people or from all over the world who are given the responsibility of protecting the entire planet. These 6 people are rotating in and out of a slightly larger group, depending on who gets killed or injured. Unfortunately, the shadowy “government” has only given the team a budget of a couple hundred simoleons a month. Which is just absurd considering you are the last line of defense for the entire world but whatever, that’s totally just like the government, always trying to screw us.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown basically plays like Oregon Trail. Except instead of your poor, loving sister who dies of dysentery, it’s Corporal Santiago who dies of a laser blast to the face. He was the heart of the team, dammit! I don’t see how we go on anymore. And for that reason I refuse to play the game for several weeks until I can forget about his poor, sad, dying face. I let him die. It was my fault, and I feel bad about it. And such is the XCOM experience. The key to the game is to name the people in your squad after your friends. And if you don’t have any friends, well, then your squad will become your friends. You will become emotionally attached and you will not what to put them in harm’s way. But you will have to and it’s pretty sad when they die, because ultimately IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT.

As long as your squad members survive, they will remain under your command for the whole game. They level up and you can give them special abilities and outfit them with cool new weapons and armor. Eventually you get to the point where each unit has a specific specialty, and this will give you a balanced attack. Until the sniper that you strategically placed on the rooftop to flank the enemy gets shot in the back by a half robot/ half corpse that just teleported behind you. Back in the day we called that cheesing. Now they call it artificial difficulty or some crap I’m not really sure. But it’s all part of the game, baby, because on the next turn with the way karma works that alien’s face is going to have a 3% chance of getting melted off but you’re going to take that chance anyways and BAM! Captain Michelle Rodriguez came through and blew him away, game over, aliens lose, you win.

This game is addicting which is a great quality, and it is difficult. You really have to be strategic with your moves. And make sure you have a support class with a ton of medkits, they are totally underrated. The problem is it’s only 50% off and it’s $14.99. This is a little steep- it was on sale for less than that several months ago. But the game is really good, so if you don’t want to wait and hope for the Summer sale then you should probably buy it. Verdict: Buy it.

Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

In Jedi Knight II you play as Kyle Katarn, a Jedi Outcast. He is an Outcast because he is a badass, and as we all know the Jedi don’t like badasses because anything cool is actually equated to the dark side of the Force. That’s why Han Solo wasn’t a Jedi, not because of midichlorians. He was simply too cool. Luckily in this game you get to have the best of both worlds.

Kyle Katarn has grey hair now, and though he is a grizzled veteran he still has to learn all of his Force powers. Thus, the first good chunk of the game is played with mostly guns. It’s the Quake III engine and without the force powers or the lightsaber it plays like an old school FPS. I guess it’s pretty old. Most of the guns are pretty bad. The stormtrooper rifle shoots lasers everywhere except for where the crosshair is. This makes for a surprisingly difficult experience.

The game gets great when the lightsaber and the Force powers make an appearance. Also Billy Dee Williams. You really feel like a total badass Jedi in this game. A Jedi that can take down anyone. And you pretty much do. Force pushing people off of ledges never gets old, nor does choking someone out with Force grip and then throwing them off a cliff. But it’s really all about taking people down in whatever way is the most entertaining.

Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast is currently on sale at 66% off for $3.39. It is totally worth it. You get to run around at super speed and have lightsaber battles. And what else do you need? Verdict: Buy it.

Frozen Synapse Free Weekend

If there’s one thing we can get behind here at Steam Daily Deal it’s free weekends. Because the weekend is the time for all of us to close the curtains and seal ourselves off from the harsh rays of the sun and the even harsher realities of an unforgiving public. Sometimes all a man needs is the cold embrace of his Fractal Arc Mini and the whispers of a 120mm CPU fan to keep him company. And speaking of cold, here we are with Frozen Synapse, on a free weekend!

Frozen Synapse is a minimalist tactical turn based strategy shooter, or a MTTBSS. Don’t worry, I just made that up. But that’s really the best way to describe the game. It might seem pretty confusing, and it kind of is, until you get the hang of it that is. At least in multiplayer they tell you what your opponents’ win/loss records are so you know just how dominated you are going to get. There are many different game modes but the general idea is, like any tactical shooter, to stay under cover while flanking your opponent. I ain’t much of a thinker so twitch-based FPS is more my forte but this game is relatively approachable.

I thought everyone agreed on Red vs. Blue.

The soundtrack is really good and there is a hell of a lot of replayability here. There are also some interesting features like YouTube integration and uploading as well as Twitter and Facebook if that’s your thing. But the real draw here is the gameplay: with infinite randomized levels and a bunch of different game modes you can mess around with this one for a while. Verdict: Free Weekend, download it, you cheapskate.

Beat Hazard

Beat Hazard is called a hazard because it might literally give you a seizure. It even says so. It can also be hazardous if your music sucks, because then it won’t be any fun to play. It’s your standard Bullet Hell/Shoot ’em up arcade style game with the added value of the actions onscreen happening at the beat of your music. More or less. Video is probably the easiest way to describe it.

You get the idea. You can also level your ship up with perks and whatnot, but the interesting part about this game is the incorporation of your own music. This isn’t a new concept by any means but it’s executed well enough here to make it interesting. Do you like visualizers and/or recreational homeopathic medicine? Well you will probably enjoy the this game. It stays interesting if your music stays interesting.

The ship you control is really a metaphor for your senses and as the ship is assaulted in the game so are you too IRL. Seriously the colors will destroy your eyes and if you have it loud enough you can destroy your ears too! The Flamin Hot Cheeto dust in the air is sure to destroy your sense of smell, and the more I think about it this game might be just as physically damaging as an addiction to World of Warcraft. And that is damn impressive.

100% true actual marketing quote.

However, if music really isn’t your thing, your hard earned Steam Bux are probably going to be spent elsewhere. This game is fun to mess around with but it’s really all about the tunes. The whole thing got made by one dude in his bedroom which is always hilarious. It is currently 50% off and $4.99. If you need justification, look at it this way…how much of the music that you will listen to did you actual pay for? Verdict: Buy it.

Alice: Madness Returns

Alice: Madness Returns tells the story of Alice returning to Wonderland, and by association, returning to Madness. See how that works? Me too. Chances are at some point you have probably heard of this mystical place. Maybe you’ve even rode the teacups at Disneyland or smoked an illicit, foreign substance out of a pipe with a giant caterpillar. Well, this game is like if you did both of those things together, for several hours, and then ate the caterpillar.

Well prepare to celebrate your/her unbirthday for 364 days out of the year. Actually don’t, because the unbirthday in this world is probably both sick and twisted. I don’t want to get into it but anything revolving around the word “unbirth” in this game is going to be disgusting. And there’s probably not even cake. Do you remember American McGee? I don’t. What happened to that guy? I guess it was that game Bad Day L.A. Too bad. They didn’t even let him put his name on this game. That’s totally his thing! Also he designed levels in Doom II? What! That’s the best game out of the series and it’s not even close.

Anyways, you’re familiar with the way Wonderland works. Well it works the same in this game. Drink stuff and get tiny or get huge and float with your dress. Also, stab people, a lot. The game adopts a pretty animated graphical style that is surprisingly faithful to the cartoon. Not shown: copious amounts of blood after Alice attempts to eat the still-singing flowers.

It’s hedge clippin’ time

Well, if you like Alice and/or Wonderland and/or American McGee this is probably a good game for you. The game takes around 18 hours to complete, which at $4.99 is a pretty good deal. It’s not quite the sweet spot of entertainment to time commitment ratio that I’m looking for but it’s certainly not a bad thing either. It’s current price is a little on the steep side…so you could go either way…but let’s just say verdict: Buy It.