I got done with work a little early tonight, so I may be able to get the recaps done before midnight for a change. Riiiiiiight.
I have this album on vinyl. I'm not sure if that's awesome or if it's just another sign that I'm horribly old.
There were a couple of blogs today that were inspired by the recent decision by Capcom to charge extra for the multiplayer mode in Resident Evil 5.
It got me thinking about the ongoing debate and if you'll permit me, I'd like to add my two hundredths of a dollar.
For me, premium Downloadable Content falls into one of 4 categories: self contained, cosmetic, game extending
, and... well, I was going to say rape, but let's just call it predatory
. I realize those are broad, so let me break it down a bit. Self contained
DLC refers to entire downloadable games, like Braid, PixelJunk Eden,
and Bit Trip Beat
. These games aren't really the cause of the debate, so we'll set those aside for now. Cosmetic
DLC is fairly self explanatory, and includes everything from avatar clothing in XBLA or Home to LittleBigPlanet costumes to alternate costumes in Street Fighter 4. It's sometimes free or can be unlocked through other means, achieving challenges or collecting widgets or whatever. This is the easiest DLC to ignore since it has no effect on the gameplay whatsoever; it exists purely so that the purchaser can show off a bit. In this respect, it is not entirely unlike fashion in the real world. Game extending
DLC is that which enhances the original game by adding additional missions, a new way to play, or more options in general. Some examples of this include the story extension from Fallout 3,
extra tracks for Rock Band,
and the ability to play as Protoman in Mega Man 9.
To me, this is the best kind of DLC, because those who loved the original game can pay to get something more out of it, while those who bought the game but aren't enamored with it don't miss out on anything substantial... the self-contained game that they bought does not suffer because they aren't willing to drop an extra couple of bucks. The problem comes when the game extending DLC starts to spill over into the final category.
DLC is that which occurs when game manufacturers put their profit margin ahead of their customer's goodwill and best interests. There are many examples, some of the more egregious include Namco/Bandai's baffling decision to lock away the majority of the most recent Katamari
game, and the "true ending" of Prince of Persia
being lopped off the retail version and set behind a metal gate, a heavyset bouncer outside demanding an additional $10 if you want to take a gander. I also include in this category gamebreaking downloads like a faster car or a more powerful gun-- in my opinion, multiplayer gaming should be about skill and practice, not how much you can spend (or talk your mom out of). These are the stories that infuriate us, and rightly so-- it's hard not to feel taken advantage of when you hear about this kind of thing. I think the source of this debate is trying to define where the line between game extending and predatory DLC lies. This is extremely difficult to nail down, and I suspect it's a different line for everybody. We've heard about so much predatory DLC in the past, thought, that we get leery when we hear about a major upgrade to a game coming out directly after its release... shouldn't that content have been on the disc? It can be tough to determine just how long a game company has been working on their "extras." And when the DLC is something that would have been on the disc as an unlockable in years past, it's absolutely understandable that people start to get up in arms.
The simplest reaction to this is, "if you don't like what they're doing, don't buy it." And the argument of "Don't buy it" is fine-- but the reason people are upset about this stuff is, at least in part, because it's a new technology and a new method of game delivery. Anything that happens here and now in its infancy is likely to have repercussions for years to come-- if we put up with this crap now the game companies will think it's acceptable and continue to ram it down our throats.
I've rambled long enough, and I've already missed my midnight target, so no change there, I guess. Anyway. Lots of great Monthly Musings tonight, and just a sprinkling of fail to keep things honest.
*-GrumpyTurtle will be one of the first inductees into the Topsauce hall of fame, once we get the money and the zoning permits squared away. That last picture of Toad and Luigi is priceless. *-EX35 went into serious detail about Harmonix's humble beginnings with Frequency and Amplitude-- and gradual rise to prominence (while subtly calling Activision's business practices into question). Solid blogging, sir. *-MegaStryke's monthly musings have graced the front page a couple of times before. Click here to see why, and Beat the Rush once it hits the front page. Oh god, a pun. The lowest form of humor. How low have I sunk? And not just one, either. Well, that's it. (Sounds of sucking on a shotgun) *-John Johnson's Monthly Musing salutes you. Normally that'd be fine, but in this case it means that you, personally, are about to die. A-Cavalier reflects on how far graphics have advanced in so short a time, and wonders what the future holds. Me, I think true 3d graphics are the next step towards the Holodeck. M-Scientist TZ's Monthly Musing wonders why the woefully outclassed enemies in games persist in attacking you? They must be getting Chocolate milk. M-There have already been some stellar blogs for this month's theme, and Shinryu108's tribute to the Colossi is one of the best I've seen so far. A-Blehman looks into the chilling facts behind the world's most popular console. It is said that he wrote this entire blog with his tongue pressed snugly but firmly into his cheek. Also, Hiltz knew you liked blogs, so he blogged inside this blog so you can read while you read. M-DaedHead8 let the RED team's engineer ghost write his monthly musing about the low-down, no-good, snake-licking BLU team. P-Failcast episode 32 is now available for your aural perusal. M-Fogo's musing focuses on a yellow circle's nemeses, the ghostly quartet of Inky, Pinky, Blinky, and Clyde. A-An epic genre deserves an epic list, and YaMissed2 showers love upon RPGs with this list of his 50 favorites. C-Does Bwark-Kupo's narcissism know no bounds? Hey, the price is right. Draw him as Link and you could win a downloadable game of your choice. S-You ever get to feeling... not so fresh? S-New, Summer's Eve internal IRC. D-TheBigHurt wondered where Electro Lemon's been lately, and had a few choice words about DLC that inspired my rant at the top up there. S-Clance is back and looking to gun down some space Nazis. N-Unangbangkay brings word from Atlus that the sequel to Steambot Chronicles will be hitting the PSP sometime in the next year. Did you know the game's original title was Bumpy Trot? Doesn't that sound like some sort of horrible fecal disease? Thank god for competent localization. N-There was a lot of ire directed at Nintendo last night when the news broke that Fatal Frame 4 wouldn't be getting an English localization. Pedrovay2003 was riding the last of that irewave. N-RobotFar... ah, Puppy Licks brings us word that the Neo Geo fighter Garou: Mark of the Wolves has been rated for a potential XBLA release. There's a joke about red rings and wolves dying here, but I can't quite get my mind around it at the moment. R-Ygro Wok posted another of his reviews for the ancient predecessor to the Master System, Sega's SC-3000. This week, it's Champion Golf. T-Ygro Wok also had some thoughts about the recently confirmed Shadow of the Colossus movie. T-Wan Sum Dung did a contrast and comparison between Earthbound and Mother 3. I still need to play through the latter one of these days. N-Gen Eric Gui still had some hope until Kyosuke tried to crush it out of him. R-EternalDeathSlayer does a quasi-review of Half Dollar: Hemoglobin on the Crushed Rock. Gamefly's starting to sound better and better. D-JT706 collects the updates on several fan projects you may have forgotten about. Cloud vs. Sora... no matter who loses, we all win. T-Arch649 wants to define "Art" before we decide that's what games are. T-Dexter345 raises an interesting point in this article about Mirror's Edge. How does Faith's city compare to those found in classic dystopian literature? T-Terpitude wrote a bit about the ongoing DLC debate. $-If you have a PS3 and would like a free digital copy of WipEout HD, then SantanaClaus89 has your hookup. A- Exceptionally talented artist and community member Togail is now accepting your filthy lucre in exchange for his game-related artwork. A-Sadly, he'll also be cutting down on his art posts due to a project that'll be taking up more of his time. Here's one for the road, though. M-Novakaine points out that the leaked music from SMT: Devil Survivor is pretty freakin' metal. Are we back to making the subtitle start with "DS" again? 'Cause I'd still like to see someone make "Gargamel's Adventure: Death Smurf." F- Apparently this year's WrestleMania was not up to par. I don't know jack about pro wrestling, so I'm gonna take KilledbySmarks' word for it. L-BluDesign demonstrates Japanese wackiness at its finest with these Dole commercials from the far East. Say what you want about them, they work; I want a damn banana now. R-Furious Tuscadero writes from the perspective of a non-vault-dweller NPC in this Wasteland Diary. C-Sukes thinks Konami is like a high school Bully. Or maybe not. I'm not seeing what the title has to do with the content. S-This was a little late to qualify as news, sorry. F-This just doesn't make any sense out of context, and there's no context (or content) to give it a frame of reference. F-F is for Forums, in this case. Please take your silly-ass question down the hall etc etc. F-Didn't we go through this last week? F-I have to believe this was intentional. The name is sort of a giveaway.