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Black Friday and Cyber Monday may
have passed, but the holiday spending season has only begun. Whether purchasing
for yourself or gifts for others, this fall many recent games released bundles
packaging the game with all of its DLC while costing less than the base game had
on day one.
Many gamers are cash strapped for
various reasons, and disabled gamers' extra funds are often soaked up by
out-of-pocket expenses related to their disabilities. Luckily, many developers
have released fantastic games bundles that offer more bang for the buck. If the
next generation is beyond your wallet's capacity, new game purchases are still
possible this fall.
Free avatar outfits! I refuse to buy clothing for my avatar but I love freebies!
Halo 4: Game of the Year Edition, released on October 1, 2013
Available on Xbox 360
343 Industries inherited Bungie's
Halo franchise. Halo 4: GOTY Edition
includes a multitude of additional digital content, including a new Master
Chief Avatar Cloak inspired by Halo
for Xbox One, the War Games Map Pass including nine multiplayer maps, and over
fifteen items from the single player campaign from in-game items to Xbox Live
avatars and themes-not to mention the Halo
4 Champions Bundle including four packs with multiplayer maps, armor, and
skins or weapons and armor.
The Xbox's flagship franchise is a
beloved sci-fi first person shooter, but each iteration has continued
inaccessible features such as a lack of comprehensive subtitles, an emphasis on
twitch based gameplay, and a chaotic and frenzied screen. With Halo 4, 343 Industries has finally ended
the franchise's noticeable lack of in-game subtitles. The gameplay remains
twitch based, and there is an overabundance of onscreen commotion, but different
controller customization options are available. Checkpoints remain difficult,
and the new multiplayer approach with Spartan Ops contains cut scenes without
subtitles. With the bundle, disabled gamers who are willing to contend with
possible disability-based barriers can access the franchise's revival with an
See DAGERS' previous review here.
Can't go wrong with game featuring a creepy face mask.
Dishonored: Game of the Year Edition,
released on October 8, 2013
Available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
my day one purchase in fall 2012. The blend of stealth and action resulted in a
player-determined approach complete with the option for a nonlethal play
through, which appealed to me. The new bundle includes the base game along with
both its challenge pack and its in-game item DLCs, as well as the two episodes
of single player content that expand on the narrative for Daud, an opposing
assassin. The assassination abilities provide multiple gameplay options for
disabled gamers. Viable stealth mechanics result in deep sneaking possibilities
or a direct assault providing more than first-person gunplay. Aggressive
gameplay provides accessible gameplay options such as freezing time to plant
explosives or releasing rat swarms for help. Player combat choice even impacts
the game's environment with the chaos dynamic, resulting in enemy patrols and
rabid rat swarms giving gamers indirect control on the game's world and
ultimately on the ending.
See DAGERS previous coverage with a
review here and a nomination for 2012 game of the year here.
Now I want to replay the game despite all of the free time that I don't have.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution: Director's
Cut, released on October 22, 2013
Available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, PC
Deus Ex: Human Revolution: Director's Cut is a unique bundle because the base
game is retouched. In a pattern typical in games with accessible gameplay, this
game provides both stealth and aggressive combat options. The game's most
common complaint was its unbalanced boss battles. Boss battles are inherently one-on-one
fights, and previously the boss battles in Deus
Ex: Human Revolution effectively punished stealthy gamers. In my original
play though, my first boss's combat style focused on various direct attacks. Due
to my personal preference for stealth, the only weapons I had on-hand were a
tranquilizer gun, a pistol, and a handful of grenades. My winning secret? I scrambled around the
level until the boss's AI glitched into walking in place into a wall where his own
grenades bounced back and exploded on him.
With boss battles newly balanced and
the DLC The Missing Link tucked into its chronological place in the main game,
the bundle is practically a new game. The game gives disabled gamers equal
access for combat choice and even includes a discussion on disability in the
game's narrative, as the game considers the impact of "bettering" humanity with
augmentations to the human body-both for the disabled and the able bodied.
See DAGERS' previous coverage in a feature about accessible games here.
Tough games but a successful boss battle sure is satisfying.
Castlevania Lords of Shadow
Collection, released on November 5, 2013
Available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2 releases in February 2014. This collection includes Castlevania: Lords of Shadow along with
its two DLC releases, Reverie and Resurrection, as well as Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of
Fate, a console port from the original game released on Nintendo 3DS. The
bundle also includes access to an exclusive demo for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 in anticipation of the game's
The bundle gives gamers access to the
complete Lords of Shadow arc thus
far. Both games are action oriented, tasking the player with combinations for
oncoming enemies and bosses with multiple forms. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow does require numerous quick time
events and puzzles that include precise gameplay. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate features more
forgiving gameplay and rewards players who seek out its hidden secrets with
additional checkpoints. The complete game series allows new gamers to catch up
in time for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
2 which (if the demo is indicative of the final game) will include a
setting for turning off the quick time events.
I loved my initial playthrough and featuring even more of the fun stuff is hard to resist.
XCOM: Enemy Within, released on November 12, 2013
The base game, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, pits the player against an alien invasion, whereas
the new expansion, XCOM: Enemy Within,
adds new combat options to both forces as well as a rogue human entity seeking
to aid the aliens. XCOM: Enemy Within
is available on PC as an expansion or on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as a
retail purchase including the original game, the expansion, as well as the
previously released single player campaign and cosmetic DLC.
Its turn-based squad-combat gameplay
is unique among console games. Turn-based squad-combat is very accessible for
disabled gamers, granting all of the necessary time to survey the battlefield,
review options, and assign the squad's moves for the next turn. In fact, limitations
on player action are based only on the number of "moves" needed to complete
activities such as obtaining new rare material, melding, or assisting a squad
mate who is bleeding out. This interface gives disabled gamers equal access by
providing a set number of moves with which to complete the objective instead of
requiring frantic gameplay alongside a timer. Additionally, resource management
allows the needed time for decision making by granting the player freedom to
pause and think so that they spend moves only when they have determined the
best course of action. The expansion adds to the game's complexity of managing
resources and preserving humanity from the alien threat-all while maintaining XCOM's renowned difficulty without
hindering accessibility for disabled gamers.
See DAGERS' coverage of XCOM: Enemy Unknown with a review here,
nominee for Game of the Year here, and 2012 winner of the Editor's Choice Award here.
Nothing compares to a superhero beat down. I am going to feed my opponent's to Aquaman's shark.
Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate
Edition, released on November 12, 2013
Available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PC
Fighting games inevitably have DLC and
ultimate editions nowadays. New characters expand the gameplay options and Injustice: Gods Among Us includes all
six additional fighters, thirty more skins, and sixty new S.T.A.R. Labs
missions. Akin to NetherRealm Studio's 2009 Mortal
Kombat reboot, the game features multiple options for fighting modes,
whether story mode, S.T.A.R. Lab missions, or various multiplayer modes.
DAGERS' previous coverage at the
game's original release in April 2013 noted the game for its accessibility for
disabled gamers, especially as an arcade fighter. See our review here, and take
a look at the follow up feature regarding the game's accessibility here.
Following the initial game,
NetherRealm Studios upgraded the game's accessibility with a patch including an
"Accessibility Mode" that responded to requests from the visual disability community
for improved sound cues, such as when players are near to interactive items in
the environment. For disabled gamers interested in the fighting genre, NetherRealm
Studios released an accessible game and continued their post-release support by
responding to requests from the disability community.
December 2013 is ticking away. Where is the first episode of Season 2?
The Walking Dead Game of the Year
Edition, released on November 19, 2013
In 2012, Telltale Games' The Walking Dead built momentum over the
release of its five episodes, culminating in winning the Game of the Year in
Spike's 2012 Video Game Awards. The newly bundled edition includes the complete
first season, all five episodes, as well as 400
Days, the prologue for the upcoming second season. Additionally, it
includes digital content such as the original game soundtrack and a behind the
The Walking Dead revived and transformed the concept of a point-and-click game-a kind of gameplay
not often available on consoles-and it also revealed the possibilities for
episodic releases. The majority of the gameplay involves selecting
conversational options with brief sequences of action gameplay in which the
player fights zombies. Disabled gamers observe that the conversation options are
often accompanied by a timer, but also note that not responding is a valid
choice. The action-oriented combat sequences are typically quick time events
coupled with scrolling for a point-and-click object, all of which must be
completed within a set timeframe. A free demo gives disabled gamers access to
the game to determine if the gameplay meets their disability-related needs.
With the bundle, the entire game is available as a single purchase.
As is the usual lately, this article was originally posted to dagersystem.com and thank you for reading the piece here. Here is hoping that your VGX angst has quieted down and that you are counting down to marathon game time during your holiday vacation. Until then work hard and maybe forgo simply sleep just to game a little bit longer, I know that I will.
Have you purchased any of these bundles?
What bundles have you picked up?
Are you waiting for any games to release a bundle before buying the game?