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LONG BLOG

Cblogs of 09/17/17, 09/10/17 & 09/03/17 - Downloadable Recap

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Lately I've been pondering about DLC. From the ones that are stand-alone due to their gigantic size, to the cosmetics, DLC has been part of my mind lately. Namely, I've been curious of their purpose and what expectations to hold. I should go back a bit.

A while ago, I reviewed Tyranny's new DLC Bastard's Wound. While I can't get into specifics, it was...Bland. The type you get when you make content, but it doesn't do anything new or change what is there. It just bolts on more of the same. At the time I bollocked it for such a practice, and I still stand by that bollocking (you'll see why by the end of the intro), but it does lend me to muse: What makes a good DLC and what makes a bad DLC?

We could go into the obvious parts: Is it functional? Is it substantial enough? Is it priced fairly? Does it contain sub-standard quality content? Is it offensive? We might even analyse the narrative, if it holds one, measuring it up compared to how the base game is. However, for me, there is a question that burns on my lips like fresh vomit:

What does it add to the base game?

Y'know, besides making you hate yourself for giving Konami money for cosmetics.

 

This is an intentionally vague question. Does it offer a new gameplay element that adds a twist (e.g. new weapons)? Are there new levels that lend new challenges (e.g. one requiring stealth)? Does it have a narrative that recontextualises what came before? I would even go as far as to accept DLC that offers a fresh new experience, allowing you to play more without retreading old territory.

So, what would be a good piece of DLC? Price aside (because that's a big barrel of pickled eggs), we could use Dying Light's The Following as a great example. It offers a new gameplay element in the form of driving, which coincidentally offer new challenges (e.g. trying to drive around at night as the beasts scream for your blood). Its narrative, especially the endings, offer a lot to the narrative that came before it and has a good amount of quality to it. In addition, the radically new setting offers a very fresh new experience with a lot of nice content.

Then we steer back to Bastard's Wound. Quite possibly the worst offence it does is offer nothing new to the table. We are visiting dungeons that are akin to visiting the Oldwalls again. We are fighting banes and humanoids. We are even dealing with the same quandary that dominates Tyranny: Which side do we go with? The fact that both major sides have lieutenants who are Disfavoured and Scarlet Chorus isn't lost on me, and in fact highlights how we're dealing with a very similar situation as the rest of the base game.

When you compare this to Obsidian's prior work with Fallout New Vegas (e.g. Dead Money), it really illustrates how Obsidian could have really done something interesting but simply didn't. Even a weapon pack that challenges players to play in an unusual fashion (e.g. grenades that lower damage but offer AOE damage) would have been better DLC, just because it would add something to the base game.

Fuck it, if Obsidian put something you'd find in South Park: Stick of Truth into Tyranny, I'd roll with that.

 

This is probably why I tend to be relatively kind towards Payday 2's DLC policy. Most guns offered something to the base game. Sometimes they wouldn't be simply worth buying on a mechanical standpoint, but usually they injected something new enough to be interesting. While Bastard's Wound offers simply more of the same content, which I don't think is enough to be good DLC. No matter how big “more of the same” is, it is still just the base game repackaged.

...Which speaking of more of the same, I am sorry for the huge delay. I'm still in the “balance work” stages of my full time job, so I'm doing three weeks this week. Then I'm off to cover EGX! Woosh! Let's do this! All three weeks!

 

* - One way to distinguish a good piece of DLC is the addition of an enemy that shakes things up. This would be an enemy that demands you to fight smarter, fight harder and fight in a new way. This is something made interesting as Dango chats about how enemy memorability can sell a game in of it self.

* - Back during my university days, I tried to introduce people to Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward (which has grown to be my favourite game). In the end, I managed to coax two people into playing it through, which watching them play through was simply hilarious. So thank you GiantTabby for reminding me of those warm days as you watch your friend lose their mind to Danganronpa.

* - Some rather interesting musings about how the limitless possibilities of games may not be good nor bad, just different, by manasteel88.

 

S – One of dem Comments of the Week by Perro.

A – Final Fantasy XIII has (somewhat fortunately) turned into the black sheep of the series. That said, Charlotte Cutts thinks there is still some value to be had.

A – Dere turns up to this shit-show of a recap with something above bog-standard: An article with a lot of toil(et).

S – Another crack of the pickaxe into the stone, as Sr Churros mines away in the mine that is his backlog.

P – IT'S A PODTOOOOIIIIDDDDD.

S – Lord Spencer finishes a new review of the top Wii games.

 

This week, I've been listening to two songs:

In Hell I'll Be In Good Company by The Dead South.

Are You Alright by Lucinda Williams.

 

S – When Flegma was a young boy,
ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum,
all day long he'd play edutainment games,
When Flegma was a young boy,
he'd play math games involving a monkey,
ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum,
all day long he'd play edutainment games,
yidle-diddle-didle-didle man.

I – Welcome to Destructoid Mordeth Kai. Feel free to share your tales of your experiences with games, wax armchair philosophy about them and banter about whatever floats your boat. Just stay away from the Reservist Shed and don't report the animalistic screaming to the police. They already know.

S – Sometimes walking away from something can teach you some sharp lessons about where you stand and who you are, so sayeth Metallion.

S – A small tale by bacon1eggs about vocabulary.

 

T – It's interesting how we'll usually dismiss a title due to just how it'll look, but by the end be excited about it. Criminal Girls 2 was definitely this last year, looking like something I'd easily tear apart but instead honestly dug it. For LaTerry, it was a long time coming but slowly they found their home in Hatsune Miku Project titles.

T – Similarly, it is easy to dismiss edutainment titles, but Bass mentions how Rayman Junior did what edutainment titles should do: Blend gameplay with learning into a lovely thick smoothie.

T – Ah, the famed favourites list. This time Cedi is doing a list of their favourite games, split up by genre.

R – Flegma reviews a... Cheerleading game? Did I miss something?

T – taterchimp offers some thoughts about XCOM 2

D – There's a new development blog by Donley Time of Boss 101, including a possible unstable release date. Huzzah!

T – Some thoughts by Pacario concerning the Vita.

 

A – Well, okay, I'm torturing what “art” is, but where else do I put someone who made their own card game? Oh. Yeah. Forgot to mention: Someone made their own card game, one based on fighting games. You can ch-ch-check it out on taterchimp's blog!

 

? - Y'know when you begin to read something, get totally in the zone and then get whiplash as you realise...That's it? Hhhmm, I honestly thought you were going to share a tale Pacario with the lead-up you provided.

 

F - Sorry GamerMum, but I'm not cracking my head on that wall of text at 1am.

 

- Riobux

LPotD.

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About CblogRecapsone of us since 11:27 PM on 07.02.2008

About Cblog Recaps

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Current "Bloggers Wanted" assignment

Villains that did nothing wrong

Villains in all media, not just video games, can end up being a dime a dozen. Far too often, a villain's motives boil down to "I am a bad, and so I do bad things. Fear me." While this format has worked for countless stories, at this point in my life (the ripe old age of 20) I’ve become jaded and grumpy, finding myself rolling my eyes when I see yet another antagonist wreaking havoc with no background or reasoning presented as to why they’re being such a butthole.

What’s far more interesting to me is when a villain’s motives or actions come across as justified, perhaps leaving you rooting for them to defeat the protagonist [insert Elder God Tier villain meme here].

My favorite example of this would be Meruem from the Chimera Ant arc of Hunter x Hunter. While he doesn’t necessarily fit the exact mold I laid out above, he’s easily one of the most dynamic and curious villains I’ve ever come across. For the sake of not spoiling what is perhaps one of the most exciting, action-packed, and tear-inducing arcs in anime history, I won’t delve into the details of what makes Meruem so great. Instead I encourage anyone who hasn’t seen Hunter x Hunter to set aside some time and plow through the series. Really, it’s that good.

But hey, that’s just how I feel. I’m sure there are folks out there who prefer their villains to be simple. If I ever met one of these theoretical people I might have a panic attack, but I’ll deal with that should the time come. I’m sure after some deep breaths we would get along. Maybe we could even snuggle, should my husband allow such an event to transpire.

All said and done, we arrive at the topic of this month’s Bloggers Wanted: Villains that did nothing wrong. Due to communication errors, this entry in the hallowed halls of Bloggers Wanted is a tad late. Regardless, all you have to do is head over to the Community Blog section of the site, and whip up a Cblog about a villain who you feel was secretly the good guy all along.

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