Friday, July 8, 2011

DLC still not impressive

According to several of my friends I need a permanent scheduale for my blogs and stuff so what was proposed was Mondays is politics, Fridays is games and at least once a month on a Saturday a new video. So since today is Friday I wanted to open up a discussion about Downloadable Content (DLC).

Never again-That is how I feel about DLC right now. I downloaded two new expansion packs this week, a decent one for Mortal Kombat 9 (I know I panned it earlier but what can I say?) The other the latest and last expansion for Castlevania Lords of Shadow.

MK9’s new character Skarlett is fast and fun to play as but her fundamental flaw is that she, like the other women of this game, looks like she was designed by a 14 year old. She’s the other side of Ermac. While Ermac is a red male ninja made from the souls of countless dead warriors, Skarlett is a red female ninja made from the blood of countless warriors. My frustration, of course, is the lack of respect for women. I am a martial artist, I know I don’t look it but I have been with Kung Fu Utah under Sifu Thatcher since I was knee high to a grasshopper… get it kung fu? Grasshopper? Oh come on that was gold! Anyway as a First Degree Red Sash (belt if you must) I fight with women who have trained with us on a regular basis and I have a great deal of respect for how tough they are… and downright scary. I wish fighter games would embrace that and take a much more realistic approach instead of continuing to objectify women to this degrading and disgusting level. So then you ask, why do I play then? Ummm… I kick butt as Scorpion. Look I like this game this is just one aspect of it I wish they would change, and Skarlett just typifies that refusal of the developers to get outside the head of a 14 year old who can’t get a girl friend and into the head of adult martial artists. A previous update did provide Jade, Mileena and Kitana more modest alternative costumes, but even though it would have made sense to include a red version of this costume for Skarlett she is not given anything more modest, or any alternative clothing at all… but Sektor and Cyrax get new costumes… And they charge $5.00 for this. I do feel a little ripped off especially since this new content added only a few minutes worth of game play to the game. There’s fun to be had here but one would figure they’d at least work her into story mode…

Speaking of being woven into the story: don’t waste your money on Castlevania’s latest expansion pack. The confusing ending of Lords of Shadow was rightfully deceived negatively as it darn near killed this otherwise excellent game. Rather that wait to explain the ending in a sequel Konami decided to address the question of what changed Gabriel Belmont into Dracula in a two part DLC. Both sucked. Resurrection corrects the unresponsive controls and sloppy graphics of Reviere and except for the final cut scene returns to the full CG sequences of the original game (thankfully). Where this goes wrong is that it was supposed to be a much longer expansion than Reviere, it is a great deal shorter, and it also lacks any recharge stations for health and magic which makes the boss battle insanely difficult well beyond what this expansion should have been. The short 2 levels boil down to a hide and go seek match exacerbated by quickly rising lava followed by that annoying and long boss battle. It gets your adrenaline pumping but the main game is actually a fairly relaxing affair and this might have been great for a more intense sequel but as part of this otherwise laidback game it feels out of place and also unresponsive to the difficulty options. It is equally hard on squire as it is on paladin. Because of the difficulty and shortness of the affair combined with the hefty $10 price tag and it’s cheap 2D hand drawn ending which was just as convoluted as the ending they were trying to fix I will have to recommend Castlevania Fans skip this expansion as well and wait for the inevitable sequel.

I enjoy DLC that is inexpensive and adds a good deal of extra content, like the expansions for Marvel ultimate alliance. $10 got me four additional characters, not just one. But from Oblivion’s $2.50 horse armor to $5.00 single character packs DLC seems a good device to milk broke gamers like me who simply can’t afford to buy a new game. Developers need to start doing more to earn my download dollars. Do any of you know any games that had decent DLC? Opine below in the comments section!

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