Hey guys! I'm glad I got some good comments for my review. I'm editing a Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts review right now, which should be up later today, and I'm filming a You're in the Movies review later possibly
In the meanwhile, I decided I'd post some rants I made a little while back for FreezeCracker, hope you guys like them. Thanks again!
(I know how some of you guys feel about the advertising in blogs, so I thought I'd give you a heads up that some of the links in my rants may link to a FreezeCracker article that I wrote, so sorry in advance if that annoys you.)
Remember back in the Atari, NES, Sega, and PS1 days? When games had to pack in as much in one punch as possible to keep you as interested as can be? Well gone are those days and now are the days of downloadable content.
Downloadable content, the ability to buy more content for the games you like. Whether it be multiplayer maps, new game modes, more story, more weapons, anything. Sounds like a good thing up front, but then this is abused by developers, it becomes a burden on your wallet.
No Bungie, not even a Lockout remake will make me pay you.
Let's start off with the most infamous multiplayer maps. The recent trend on the Xbox 360 has been 3 maps for 800 points, or $10. Now, why is it that maps like these cost so much? Now, I'm guilty of this back in the Halo 2 days for purchasing $24 worth of maps. These days though? Fast-forward to Halo 3 and Gears of War 2, and that's just stupid. Let's look at the face of Halo 3. 11 maps at launch, ok, whatever, they weren't really great maps, but something is something. Heroic map pack, $10, 3 lame maps. Ok, fine, whatever. Legendary Map Pack, $10, 2 remakes and 1 original. What's going on? Mythic map pack coming up, 3 maps, best to guess it's $10. Seriously, Microsoft, you want us to pay $30 for 9 Halo maps about 17 months after release? $90? Seriously? Ok, well the Legendary map pack dropped 200 points, so let's be fair, oh wait , no screw that, what am I saying? I bought the Special Edition, isn't that enough?
Ok, now for Gears of War 2, I've told you about the matchmaking bugs already
, and have stated my dislike for the Combustible Map Pack very discreetly. Again, $10 for 3 maps? When the game is broken, you expect us to pay $10? When the game has been out for one month, you expect us to pay $10? One thing that really irks me about this, are the achievements involved with them. It's all good when you add achievements, ok fine, but when you only offer achievements and certain playlists for ONLY people who buy the map pack, it's just annoying.
Oh Sandvich, how I long to use you.
Like in Team Fortress 2's case. Valve has been releasing free updates to TF2 session after session for the PC. The 360 seems to have been forgotten, but really it hasn't. Valve has these updates available, but haven't released them because Microsoft wants to charge money for our update. So this is getting postponed because Valve doesn't want to charge multiple times, at least there's a developer trying to help us in that way. Couldn't Bungie or EPIC release 4 or 5 maps for $10 instead of only 3? Now I'm locked out of game playlists and stuff like that because I can't afford to be buying map pack after map pack for $10.
Microsoft isn't the only one responsible for this. A recent game, Space Invaders Get Even for WiiWare is responsible for this also. It's a $5 initial download, pretty cool, right? Oh, well it's only 3 levels, and I also forgot to mention that there are 3 more downloadable packs, for $5 each of course. So what is this? I couldn't get a $10 with at least that all packed in? I'm buying the game for $5 which is really only initially 1/4 of the game? Why?
Cool concept down the drain.
Now, let's take a step aside. There's DLC that is only for special editions/events. Let's take what Battlefront: Bad Company wanted to do
. Offer special weapons and levels to people who buy the Special Edition. There's the problem again, in other form, $10 for extra content that's obviously in the game? Well at least that was able to get patitioned. Gears of War 2 did the same with the Flashback Map Pack, which, wasn't as bad because to receive that code, you just had to buy the game new. Alright, that's a little more respectful, a thanks from EPIC for buying it new, thanks! Oh wait- you just made them available
? For $5? Thanks! The one time 5 maps costs $5, they've been available for about a month or so, and you end up turning your back on the offer you gave the fans.
Finally, let's look at two examples of games getting the DLC concept down:
<3 you Harmonix.
Rock Band, ah, what a fresh breath of air. We understand how hard it is to get these songs out in the downloadable store. And for an average of $2 a song, it's not screaming money. Especially since you buy individually, and for what you want, not in mandatory packs that involve you possibly being disappointed in a portion of your purchase. Even the occasional free song, with stuff like Stephen Colbert or the Portal song.
I can dig it.
Burnout Paradise, what an unexpected game to offer DLC easily. There have been 3 updates to the game, involving one that includes bikes for the first time in the franchise. Now, even though they'll be offering some updates in the game still for free, like the ability to restart a failed objective, they'll be selling DLC like Big Surf Island in Paradise City
. Ok, great, you offered me all of this additional content for free, sure, selling me more is perfectly fine now!
With the downloadable future of gaming coming soon, companies like Microsoft need to encourage more free updates and content. Is it because there are more used game sale now-a-days? If so, the reason is because of how expensive everything is becoming. Charging is fine if the timing is right, but to charge as much as you are for certain content and when the game didn't come out too long ago, it's really, really disappointing. read