The VGH crew discusses the unofficially unannounced state of video game DLC and a conversation about the Xperia Play phone turns into something else entirely. Also, our listeners weigh in on their earliest gaming memories and Paul dreams of a world that more closely resembles Canada. Lastly, a new installment of Video Game Community Theater gets all “Buster Wolf” on your ass.
This week’s music:
“SEARCHING”, by Eric Skiff (glitchnyc.com)
“COME AND FIND ME”, by Eric Skiff (glitchnyc.com)
Referenced in this week’s show:
– Dates of DQIX events
– Nokia N-Gage Sidetalk
– Miguel Concepcion/bluedotlounge’s gaming articles on Examiner.com
– KC Munchkin
– The Art of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
– It’s not a motorcycle, it’s a chopper.
We stored this episode up our asses for five long years. Now we give it to you.
“You know what they call downloadable content in France?” “Du contenu téléchargeable”.
Great episode, guys.
I think the two worst types of DLC are 1) day-one DLC packs, which were clearly done in time to be a part of the base game and 2) DLC packs which are strictly cosmetic in nature, especially for single-player experiences.
In the context of EA’s “project ten dollar”, I don’t really have that much of a problem with day-one DLC. Granted, this type of DLC often still fits my description of ‘content whose development was completed at the time of the base game’s development was completed and could have been included’, but at least buyers still receive it at no extra charge if they buy the game new. I do take some exception to this practice though, because the publisher is trumping the content up, trying to convince the audience that it is some sort of added value. In reality, sometimes all they are doing is subtracting a small piece of content from the game and only awarding it to those who buy the game new. For comparison, imagine that you wanted to buy a new movie on DVD or Bluray. What if the movie was missing certain, less critical scenes if you bought it second-hand? Considering the sizable chunk that the used games market can take out of a publisher’s bottom line, I’d consider this a ‘necessary evil’ that I can live with. This really leads to a larger discussion of new vs. used, and physical vs. digital which is probably beyond the scope of this episode and my comment. In some regards, I view this practice as serving two functions: 1) it helps to convince gamers to avoid buying used games and 2) it lets the publisher metaphorically dip their toes in the waters of digital distribution of larger games, while beginning to get consumers accustomed to the concept too.
The second type of DLC that I have zero interest in would be that which is purely cosmetic in nature, particularly in the case of single-player games. The recent one that comes to mind the quickest would be the character skins for ‘Star Wars: The Force Unleashed’, a game which has absolutely no multiplayer component whatsoever. Why would I pay $5 just so that I can view a different skin on my player-controlled character as I run around killing stormtroopers? It would be one thing if these add-ons provided some sort of enhanced or altered abilities to your character, but they didn’t. In fact, in some ways it was completely non-sensical, because your character still retains the body posture and dual lightsabers, even if you dress it up like some wholly different persona from the Star Wars universe. For-pay cosmetic add-ons are much more attractive to me in multiplayer games, as it at least adds some perceived level of self-expression to the experience, albeit typically pretty minuscule. In some ways, picking a specific multiplayer skin helps you form some sort of identity in the game world or make an expression (even if that expression is “look at me, I paid $5 for skins!!!!1).
The two types of DLC I actually do enjoy are 1) map/mode packs which add an increased amount of variety to a multiplayer experience (provided that they are priced reasonably and well-implemented) and 2) add-ons to single-player experiences which either explore the same events from the perspective of a different character (GTA IV episodes, upcoming Dead Space 2: Severed) or that build upon the framework of the main game while offering new variations on gameplay or story (RDR Undead Nightmare, Bioshock 2’s Minerva’s Den).
Anyway, keep up the great work guys!
(This comment brought to you by Google Translate and way too much coffee)
I love you guys too.
As far as DLC goes. Screw it all, if it’s more story content then save it and give me a full sequel sooner. If it’s stuff like extra costumes/avatars etc, then screw them they’re just bending you over the barrel.
DS9 FTW! Weyoun!
Oh and for gaming session. Back in my teenage years we’d hook up some PCs and party the night away on Command & Conquer : Red Alert. I’d say 12 hour sessions were common.
Randy, keep the nGage! In 100 years it’ll be a collectors item!
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