Don’t get me wrong. I really like DLC when it's done right, and it's something that I think is going to become a very vital part of the industry, if it hasn't already. (And really, I think it already has.)
That said, certain companies and their practices are really starting to piss me off.
In my mind, it seems to me that the proper role for DLC is to extend the life of a game after it's been out for a while and would ordinarily have been put aside in favor of newer releases. Perfect examples would be something like the add-on missions for Oblivion, Mass Effect or Fallout 3, each new piece of content able to reignite interest in games that would likely have been traded in or covered with dust on a shelf if not for the knowledge that something else would be coming down the pike. A trait common to all of these is that their core games were all unquestionably complete in and of themselves, including all the trappings we'd expect.
Update: Capcom has now stated that the PSN price for the DLC will be $4.99 and not the earlier stated $3.99
Christ, this looks like a video game site today. Capcom not only announced their Wii games this morning, but also dropped another bomb with the news that Resident Evil 5 will feature competitive multiplayer.
The new mode (called Versus) allows for four players to match up in two different game modes. In Slayer's Rule, players compete to earn points killing Majinis. In Survivors Rule, they hunt each other. I can kind tell which mode is going to be more popular…
The PVP content will be available on Xbox Live (400 MS points) and the PlayStation Network ($3.99) a few weeks after the game's release (which is tomorrow if you're not keeping track…).
We've all been waiting for the Resident Evil Wii news hinted at recently, and today we finally have it.
Capcom announced Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles for Nintendo's popular home console today. The Darkside Chronicles is a brand-spankin' new adventure, a sequel to Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles.
If that weren't enough zombie slaughtering news, there's more. Capcom also announced new Wii versions of Resident Evil Zero and the GameCube Resident Evil remake as part of a "Resident Evil Classics" line of titles.
Throughout my playthrough of Killzone 2's single-player campaign, I regularly found myself making comparisons to Gears of War 2. This might seem strange given that these are very different games, one being a first-person shooter and the other being in third-person. But they share a certain gritty meat-headed quality that made it impossible for me not to think of one while playing the other. And again and again, the resounding conclusion I kept reaching about Killzone 2 was that it was missing one very important ingredient: personality.
I've fallen into a routine of trying to update the blog at least once every two days, and I don't quite get how I end up having busy days and late nights every time I need to post something. Guess I gotta work on my timing. Still, the show must go on…
Started playing the new Tomb Raider Underworld DLC today, titled Lara's Shadow. In a neat twist, this time around players take control of the evil doppelgänger that's been causing Ms. Croft so much trouble, and I must say it's rather entertaining.
Virtual Finance Teaches Real Financial Skills in Second Life. Nathalie Caron of Game Forward writes of a Credit Union Island in Second Life which is designed to help teenagers learn about "real life financial decisions" such as taking out a college loan. While the Virtual Finance tutorial set up by Ohio University is not meant for people with disabilities in particular, something similar could help those with certain kinds of disabilities practice financial skills.
Xerte is a free, open source toolkit for creating quizzes, presentations and other learning applications. It was developed by the University of Nottingham. While Xerte's primary purpose is to make educational media, it's capable of making games (e.g. using Flash) as well. Xerte has many features to make applications accessible to people with disabilities. There's a choice of color schemes that provide good contrast between text and background colors and have been tested against many types of color blindness. It's easy to make applications controllable with the keyboard rather than the mouse, as well as to enable text-to-speech output.
7128 Software announces their top picks of websites for gamers who are blind, sites for gamers with mobility impairments and sites for gamers who are Deaf. (GameCritics is #8 out of 10 on the last list; though it lists our attention to games' accessibility for Deaf and hard of hearing gamers as "recent," GC has been doing it for years).
As a card-carrying lover of all things zombie, and a huge fan of the old 16-bit game Zombies Ate My Neighbors, I've been keeping tabs on Burn, Zombie Burn! since I first heard about it last year.
The game, from developer Doublesix, features a lead character named Bruce (hurray for more Bruce Campbell references in video games!) who works through multiple stages slaughtering hordes of cartoonish zombies. The title looks to feature parallels between not only Zombies Ate My Neighbors, but also the classic Robotron. The idea is to gather huge masses of zombie together and slaughter them all at once for huge scores and bonus multipliers. I'm so sold on this game that it's not even funny…
Doublesix has (according to Kotaku) planned a big celebration for the game's release—they've lined up competitions (with trophies) for high scores and prizes like "horror themed holidays" (no clue what that might be—but it sounds cool) and shirts, artwork and other prizes. The game will also feature some downloadable extra content such as a strategy guide, music, and an 8-page comic book.
Burn, Zombie Burn! is a PlayStation Network exclusive and will be available for download on March 26th. Expect a review sometime not long after that.
Developed by none other than Irem (makers of seminal shooter R-Type, personal fave Disaster Report, and others) this little guy and his hammer set out in an adorably irreverent and slightly absurd adventure.
This week, Polish developer CDProjekt announced, boastfully, that their 2007 role-playing fantasy game The Witcher had cracked the top 100 of the all-time best-selling PC games, having sold around 1.2 million copies. A reworked version of the game, called The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf, is on its way to consoles this Fall as well.
I had actually intended to do a review for The Witcher long ago when I first bought the game shortly after its release in October of '07. Unfortunately, after spending many, many hours with the game, I re-installed my operating system and accidentally deleted all my save games. I shelved the game for a long time, as it's tough to find the motivation to re-start such a deep and complex game, but CDProjekt's release of the "Enhanced Edition" content—which was a free download for all owners and is now the de facto version of the game—provided a nice incentive to do just that. But unfortunately, by that time I was quite backlogged with numerous other totally new games that I wanted to play. I've plowed through most of that now, and have been re-playing The Witcher with the new enhanced content. I may still do a comprehensive review one of these days, but for now this humble little blog will have to suffice.
After the launch of Sega's ridiculous Sonic and the Black Knight, it is fitting that I came across this video (posted on Sega's PR blog no less). It is a speed run done in Sonic Unleashed for the PlayStation 3, by an unknown Japanese gamer who displayed a level of skill and reflexes in the game that definitely deserved recording and saving for prosperity.
In the level, the unknown player puts Sonic through his paces at breakneck speed. From the word "GO!", he is a blue blur and more amazingly, the world around him is nothing but a beige blur. Okay it is just a speed run, but when you watch enough of them starring Sonic, and especially those taken from the new Sonic titles, if you're like me, you get an intense feeling of nostalgia.
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