Steam Halloween Sale 2017: 5 cheap games you might have missed
The Steam Halloween Sale kicked off today and I always go diving into the catalog to see what good games didn’t get the front page’s spotlight. This time I decided to compile a small list of cheap stuff, as everyone needs some more vidya for their backlog. Game award season is coming and we all need stuff to take our minds off the fact that we don’t have a Switch as Breath of the Wild wins its 27th GOTY award.
(Disclaimer: Prices might be a bit off since the third party trackers for prices didn’t register the sales yet and I couldn’t get the USD prices anywhere else)
Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition (75% off, 5 USD)
“But Watsu, you said you were going to talk about hidden gems, why is DMC3 in this list?” Yeah, ok, stay with me for a second.
Devil May Cry 3 released on PC in a time where Capcom didn’t really know what they were doing regarding ports. Devil May Cry 4, Lost Planet 2 and the Resident Evil games have great ports but earlier games like Onimusha (which isn’t even available on Steam anymore) and DMC3 suffered from their lack of experience. However, the community came to the rescue, Bethesda-style, and DMC3 is now playable in all its glory via fan patches. Even better, there’s a mod to implement DMC4’s style switching, elevating its skill ceiling and replayability.
Otherwise, I don’t really have to sell you on DMC3, do I? It’s considered by many the pinnacle of character-action games with immense gameplay depth and one of the most iconic and likable protagonists of all time. Just go play it already.
Momodora: Reverie Under The Moonlight (40% off, 6 USD)
Momodora is a game where you explore a mysterious world. The gameplay is focused around learning enemies’s movesets, dodging attacks and striking at the right time. Exploration is punctuated by checkpoints that refill your health but make enemies respawn. Its difficulty can feel brutal at times but it’s tough but fair and it has excellent boss fights. Yes, it’s just like that game.
It’s just like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
Jokes aside, Momodora is a fantastic metroidvania with tight controls, charming visuals and a world that sucks you in. With multiple difficulty settings and exclusive rewards to players that defeat bosses without getting hit, Momodora adds a lot of replayability to its six-hour runtime. You play as a priestess traveling the land, chasing the cure for a curse that will soon reach her village. The story is simple at first but it gains depth as more information is delivered indirectly to the player, just like that game.
It’s just like Metroid Prime.
Ikaruga (50% off, 5 USD)
While developing Sin and Punishment for the N64, director Hiroshi Iuchi spent his free time working on another game. Utilizing some mechanics from another great Treasure game that less than a dozen people played (Silhouette Mirage), he came up with the idea for Ikaruga.
The game is a 2D vertical shoot em up that uses a polarity system. Changing the ship’s polarity between black and white lets the player absorb bullets of the same color, turning it into sort of a puzzle instead of relying solely on the player’s reflexes like most shmups Treasure was famous for. 13 years after its release, it was ported to Steam.
Ikaruga is extremely challenging but somehow also welcoming to non-shmup players (like myself), as there’s no powerups to manage or impossibly fast projectiles to dodge. If you are looking to get out of your comfort zone without doing anything crazy like ordering at McDonalds without rehearsing your order thrice in your head, Ikaruga is great.
Lisa (50% off, 5 USD)
(I originally had Shantae in this spot but didn’t want to recommend two metroidvanias and now I’m struggling to describe the game I put in its place, yay me.)
Lisa is a turn-based RPG where you play as Brad, a martial artist in a post-apocalyptic world trying to rescue his daughter Buddy. Lisa’s battle system values strategy and status effects instead of simply powering through enemies. Combined with grim story beats that can permanently reduce your fighting abilities and even kill party members, it’s a harsh game to play but it blends perfectly with the story and tone.
It has an underground following and the main reason why it’s still relatively unknown is because it’s hard to talk about. It’s not even something I should blindly recommend but I think it’s worth the shot. Lisa has themes of physical and mental abuse, drug addiction and suicide. It depicts violence ranging from slapstick to straight up gore. Essentially, Lisa is a game about pain.
I can’t talk much more about it as it’s a game that should be experienced as blindly as possible. It’ll probably make you feel uncomfortable but it’s a good pick to balance out all the happiness from people playing Mario Odyssey.
Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition (85% off, 5 USD)
It’s sad when a game’s marketing makes something unique seem generic. This is specially common with open world games with crime stories, as they all tend to be compared to GTA. I mean, I’ve avoided the Yakuza series as a teenager because gaming magazines kept telling me it was a “Japanese GTA”.
I fell into the same trap with Sleeping Dogs and, oh boy, what a mistake that was. You play as an undercover cop in an incredibly crafted Hong Kong, trying to dismantle the Triad from inside out in a game with fun combat and a delicious kung-fu movie vibe. It’s not a high-budget game and the tone can be a bit inconsistent but it would be a crime to pass on 30 hours of content for the same price of five Overwatch lootboxes (and you don’t even get the feeling of emptiness after getting a dozen sprays for heroes you don’t play as, either).
There are thousands of games in every Steam sale and most of them don’t get the attention they deserve so I hope I can balance things out with this list and show some good games to more people. If you disagree with anything in this list, feel free to yell at me on twitter, I’ll yell back at you for your unrefined taste in videogames.