Steam Sale Day 7: Do You Really Need Both Kidneys?

Sure, there’s no legal way to sell a kidney, but are you going to let a simple thing like that stop you from gaming nirvana?  That extra 80 grand you could pull in by getting rid of a duplicate organ could easily fund you for the next two or three Steam sales, and when you’re recovering from surgery you’ll actually have time to play all the games you buy.

There’s really no downside to this arrangement. I’m not a doctor, so I’m not qualified to give out medical advice, but it does seem like a bit of a no brainer to me. Just something to think about…

Your daily reminder: If it’s not a Daily Deal or a Flash Sale, hold off on buying it until the 22nd. You never know what’s going to be on sale next, and when you buy something that’s not on sale Valve makes sure to put it for a deeper discount the next day.  They’re kinda cruel like that.

Here’s what we have today:

Age of Empires Online: Summer Sale Bundle – $2.49 – This bundle unlocks a few different items for the F2P strategy game that are sure to give you a bit of a leg up on the competition, at least for a while. The core game itself is pretty average though, it does nothing revolutionary and should serve as a reminder that not everything needs to be a MMO. If you’re intrigued, download the game for free to see if it’s something that could hold your interest long term before putting down you’re hard earned cash.

L.A. Noire – $4.99 – I’m sure I’m going to anger some people with this, but I really think the community got it wrong on this one. L.A. Noire was an incredible experiment, but it’s really not a very good game. Sure, it looks fantastic and the new techniques used to render the facial animations are absolutely amazing, but there’s not a lot of meat on the bones otherwise.

The story is extremely linear, most of the characters are downright unlikeable and the story has holes big enough to drive a truck through. If your detective skills aren’t up to snuff, you’re punished by the game withholding parts of the story from you, which seems to lead to players following a walkthrough religiously in order to know what’s going on. I’ve heard some people say they loved the game, but I can’t really understand why. If you look at it as an interactive movie, your five bucks could definitely do worse, but most people would be safe to pass on this one.

Super Meat Boy – $3.74 – Super Meat Boy is the video game equivalent of an abusive relationship; you know it’s only going to hurt you but for some reason you can’t leave. I can’t think of a game that has caused me this much frustration and brought on more noise complaints while still being fair.

The sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with beating this game is unmatched, outside of perhaps Dark Souls. If you’re the type to throw controllers and break things, you need to pass on this one. Everyone else should buy it and buckle up for one of the most tense platformers ever created. Do yourself a favor and don’t watch any speed run videos though, that just rubs it in a bit too much.

Carpe Fulgur Series – $12.43 – Don’t let the cartoony graphics fool you, Carpe Fulgur makes some phenomenal action RPGs. Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale is easily my favorite game from the bundle for its novel take on the dungeon crawler format. I mean, think about it for just a moment. In every RPG you’ve ever played, there’s always a few shopkeepers around with some pretty stellar loot. Now you finally get to play the game from their side and realize just how much work went into being able to provide that service. Having to take fill orders from your customers by hunting down monsters never got old, and the game’s sense of humor was a breath of fresh air. These games certainly won’t appeal to everyone, but I highly recommend downloading the demo and giving them a try for yourself.

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion – Sins of a Solar Empire stands up as one of the best space based strategy games on the market. The unique mix of civilization building and real time space battles offers something unmatched by anything else out there. Rebellion is a standalone expansion to the original Sins of a Solar Empire, so it may not offer enough to validate its price tag for the more hardcore fans, but those new to the franchise will find a lot of enjoyment here.

There are also a few AI issues as it seems to switch from insanely aggressive and intelligent to pants-on-head retarded several times through the course of a game. I would have liked to see this with a deeper discount, but considering the game has been out for just over a month I’m not surprised to see it only getting a 25% drop.

Thief Collection – $6.74 – Another member of video game royalty, the Thief collection brought stealth action gameplay into the limelight. The games do show their age a bit now with some dated graphics (with mods this can be adjusted a bit), but still, these titles are a must have for anyone interested in stealth games.

Thief 2 is easily the crown jewel of the series, but for a more modern gamer unwilling to deal with some of the idiosyncrasies of an older game, Thief 3 may be a better buy. The atmosphere, sound design and immersion still hold up almost 14 years after the release of the original title, something few games can claim. And with Thief 4 being talked about more and more, this is a perfect time to buy into the franchise and see what all the fuss is about.

Total War: Mega Pack – $12.49 – The Total War series includes some of the best strategy games ever developed. With fantastic AI and extremely detailed battles, it’s easy to get lost in the world you’re creating and forget you even own any other games. You honestly can’t go wrong with any of the titles in this bundle, which is actually its biggest downfall. It’s hard for me to recommend picking up the entire bundle when you could very easily be served with just one or two of the games. Total War: Shogun 2 isn’t in this bundle, but has already gone on sale once for $7.50, and I’m relatively confident we’ll see it pop back up before we’re through. It may be worth holding off for that one.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Franchise – $11.19 – The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games absolutely ooze personality. They’re dirty, grimy, and do a fantastic job of invoking a constant feeling of dread. At one point of walking through the wastelands, I was positive I was going to need a tetanus shot from just staring at the scenery.

While some games take the nuclear wasteland setting as an excuse to go wild with their imaginations, the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise is firmly planted in the harsh reality of the world they’ve created. You’ll never be the guy shooting weaponized plutonium eye lasers; you’re the nomad with a pistol made from junk parts.

I know I harp on modding a lot during these sales, but sometimes all it takes is one small community mod to make a medicore game a stellar game. The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Complete Mods are unparalleled in their ability to refine the games and iron out bugs without changing the director’s version. These are considered fairly “hardcore” games, so more casual gamers may not enjoy the series quite as much. I’d recommend picking up the original Shadow of Chernobyl if you were going to choose only one of the titles, but you can’t really go wrong with any of the games here.

Indie Bundle VII – $9.99 – Yet again, we’re faced with a bundle that has some great value, but won’t appeal to everyone. Avadon is an old school PC RPG trying to walk in the footsteps of some of the greats. Sadly, it’s not as good as any of the classics it tries so hard to emulate, and the lack of a soundtrack is outright jarring.

QUBE is yet another puzzle platformer that while is good in it’s own merits doesn’t separate itself from the crowd all that much. It’s definitely worth a look, but you should try the demo to see if this type of gameplay will end up annoying you within 10 minutes.

The star of this bundle is Dungeons of Dredmor by far, but since the game is usually only 5 bucks, I can’t suggest buying a bundle simply for just for this title. The rogue like RPG is everything I’ve ever wanted to be honest. Challenging gameplay, a great sense of humor and fantastic aesthetics blend together for a game that’s easy to lose hundreds of hours to. Pick up the Dungeons of Dredmore Complete bundle for $2.99 right now for what may be the best value of the day.

Remember to bookmark our page dedicated to the Flash Sales here. We’re updating it every two hours to make sure you know exactly what’s worth your money, and also because I’m slightly neurotic.