Saturday, December 31, 2011

DLC: Hero or Villain?

Since DLC became a norm with consoles, many complaints have being made against it. People complain about pricing, content, form of distribution and the existence of DLC themselves. Let´s analyze each one with care.

Since DLC is something relatively recently, companies are still struggling to find how to price each piece of content. Is that new skin worth a buck? A dime? They don't know it. Yet. See, as DLC become older and older, companies will see how much is price against demand. If demand is high, prices usually goes higher. If low, they usually drop. It's how the Market works. If many people find a piece of DLC overpriced and don't fork the money, price goes down. If people pay for it, up the price go. In the end, the ones making the price is the people buying the DLC.

Now content. Many complain that many DLC have content that must be in the game anyway. Since I don't make and sell the games, it is not up to me to decide what should go on the released game and what should be sold separately. I agree that on-disc DLC is a dick move, as the companies doing this aren't having any extra cost here. No servers neither ISP costs here. DLC on-disc is stupid and looks like it is becoming less common.

But about what the DLC do. The best ones adds more gameplay time, either by extending the single-player or adding more content to the multiplayer. The acceptable ones are usually aesthetic, changing nothing of the game but adding some customization and flavor to it. They are usually cheap. Some can add weapons or perks for the multiplayer. If they give the guys with money any advantage in the game, they are awful. If they add variety to the game, they are ok. The bad ones are the overpriced, useless ones. They change nothing to the game and are asks too much. And the awful ones..

You knew it would appear here.
Now distribution. It come on-line. And how about people who don't have a internet connection? Well... Yep, they are fucked. And that is something I think the companies need to change. Make it possible to download it from PC, even for consoles. Create a tool where we can at least create an account on their services and save DLC (and patches, since we are talking about it) to their hard-drive. It must not be that difficulty.

Last, let's talk about their existence. Many people accuses DLC to be an unfair strategy where the companies hold content hostage. That they didn't existed before, therefore making unacceptable to exist now. Here is the thing, companies have the right to sell their products for the price and method they wish. it is their product anyway. Consumers have the right to not buy a product that they consider unworthy the asked price or by a method they don't like. It is a prerogative of both.

I don't think DLC is bad. Some are pretty great, like the Vietnam expansion in Bad Company 2. Lot's of content for a reasonable price. Others, like the infamous Horse Armor are just stupid. It is the consumer who decides if DLC is worth its price or its existence. If you dislike the practice, don't give your money to the companies. You don't need that Batman cartoon skin to live. No, you don't. Believe me.
I know it is damn cool. But you don't need it anyway.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Enter the Nerd!

When I was younger, being a nerd was not a cool thing. I loved every single thing a nerd would love. Comics, RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons, cartoons and anime, Star Trek and videogames. None of those things would make you cool at that time. Nor get you a girl.

But today we kinda live in a time were being a 'nerd' is at least acceptable. You can like Batman and Spider-man. You can read comics and play games in public without being considered a loser who lives in your parent's basements. Damn, people may even respect you.

The change is basically the fact that people otherwise considered 'nerds', like Jobs, Gates, the guy who created Facebook and the other guys who created Google are highly successful today. And let's face it, what society respects is success and money. If you achieve those, no matter if you barely now how to write your name or if you like My Little Poney, people will dismiss it as a eccentricity.

But as all things, this can be just a cycle that will pass. So, what to do? Be yourself is the best advice I can give. Don't follow 'trends' just because it is... trendy. Follow them if you like or don't if you dislike. Do and be what you want to. Maybe that is the only way to be really happy.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Farewell Old year. Give us a better one, Universe!

So, 2011 is leaving us. The world didn’t end this year. Hopefully the next one will not be the last too. I mean, The Mayans must just run out of stone to carve their calendar. But I am here to talk about my year.

I decided to blog. It started when the PS3 was jail broke and I saw a lot of people defending the practice as a right. I choose Destructoid at the time because it was a fun, intelligent site with good amount of traffic. My first blog sucked, because both my English sucks and I was still learning how to use the tools at my disposition.

It took time to find my way and decide how to do things. After some attempts, I discovered my pleasure in doing Top 7 lists, a thing I probably will start doing here at my own blog. Another was the PVC comics. I love doing those.

I left Destructoid after perceiving that they were not the same site I liked before. The community is great, mind you, but they are leaving a lot to desire about their main page and editorial side nowadays. Going there would mean generating traffic for the site, supporting their editorial line. Even if I only used the community blogs it would count to their general traffic. So I decided to leave.

After a while, and after trying 1up community, I decided to do my own blog. I know I will not have the same visibility, but at least I am more comfortable here. Thanks for everyone coming here.

Anyway, my gaming year was very good. Mass Effect 2 was great, as it was Catherine (my personal game of the year) and Battlefield 3 has being lots of fun. Sure, a lot of troubles too. On-line passes became a major issue for a lot of people, the PSN got hacked and down for almost a month (but hey, free games after that), and review’s systems have being heavily criticized. Busy year. People even started dooming gaming, which seems a little stupid.

Catherine is a great game. It is a combination of puzzles and dating sim elements. It deals with very mature themes, but mature themes that common people deals everyday, like marriage, fidelity and responsibility. I don’t know if the demo is still available, and I recommend trying it first. It is a great game, but no for everyone.

Battlefield 3. See the video. Enough said.

Mass Effect 2 was another good surprise. Great game, well done, with a likable cast of characters, many places to go, missions to do, a lively universe and good gameplay. I am eager to see what they will do for 3.

My greatest disappointment surely is LA Noire. I was expecting a great game, and while the missions and investigations where nice, it was boring to do it. Probaly very like real cop work. Well, not my cup of tea.

The PSN hack showed the worst side of gamers. People were in fact happy that it happened and rooting for the hackers. Of course, by their comments, they were not PSN users. They gloated in the misfortune of others. Except when every other game company like THQ, Square, Sega and even Steam started getting hacked. Then the modern Robin Hoods hackers were became a bunch of nerds living in their parent’s house who should get a life. Awful stuff. Hope 2012 they keep it quiet.

The last thing is about ‘reviews’. Here in Brazil we don’t use the word for review (avaliação) for things like movies, books and music. That is because a review imply objectivity and you cannot objectively review media who heavily rely on subjectivity. We call a text about music, movies and books a critic (crítica) and it is not supposed to tell how good or bad a music/movie/book is, but to the critic share his personal opinion.
I will talk more about it later, but a review is not about a personal opinion, but a objective evaluation of something. And videogames cannot be reviewed anymore.

On other front, the anime one. I saw several Gundam shows. Giant robots are great, but I noticed that Gundam follows a ‘same-y’ theme every show. The best I saw this year were Ben-to and The World God Only Knows.

Ben-to is about a guy called Sato, who in his foolish attempt to get a half-priced ben-to (a typical Japanese lunch box) is beaten by several fighters called wolves. They fight everyday in several markets for the half-priced food, following a code of honor made by them. It is incredible funny and surprising. It does not rely much on fan service; the fights are entertaining and the cast likeable.

The World God Only Knows is about Keima, a student addicted to dating sim games who, due a misunderstanding, is forced to hunt fugitive spirits who posses the bodies of several girls. To capture them, he must conquest their hearts and forces the spirit out. At first glance it seems like a typical harem anime, but it is very interesting, have several twists and have a great cast.

Movies this year… they sucked. I don’t now if it is just me, but it seems that is harder and harder to see a good, outstanding movie nowadays. Everything seems to follow a guideline and honestly? I haven’t seen a single movie in theaters this year. Most movies I saw were via blu-ray, DVD and cable. Hope 2012 gives me some surprises.

Well, that is it for my year. I intend to dedicate more time for my own blog, generating not only comics, but more impressions, reviews, Top 7 lists and opinion pieces. Hope to have a lot of people to share it with. And that lot of people to have a great new year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Popularity =/= Quality  yeah, really

So, I decided to transfer my comic posted on 1up here. This one is not the one that I will post on Friday, rest easy.

Do you guys remember the Spice Girls? They make a lot of success ten years ago and disappeared. Were they good? No. Were they popular? Insanely. But here is the only thing that matters. Something really good, like Mozart and the Beatles will survive the test of time. Everything else got forgotten.

The same goes to games. Is COD a bad game who is insanely popular? Not sure. Ask me ten years later and we may have an answer. The good things goes on and the bad ones disappear. Hopefully.

Also, if you had difficulty seeing this blog it is because Google bots marked it as spam, but apparently everything is fine again. Great!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Resident Evil Revelations Trailer is... Well... (My First Comic)

This is the video they are talking about (if still working)

Ah, my first comic... I decided to slowly transfer my old comics to my new site, once a week. This one was about how videogame developers put their priorities in a weird way. I have nothing against hot digital girls, but the character in the trailer is just a body with clay over her head. I believe that this kind of thing will keep happening because let's admit it, it sells. For more we want to believe otherwise there is a market for this kind of thing. Hopefully it will get better. Meh.

Oh, yeah, I will be able to post a new comic this friday! YAY! Hope you guys like it!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A New(er) Home

So, let's do this all over again. I decided to make my own private blog instead of relying on the services offered by the gaming sites. I will start moving my old comics here after the holidays. Let's see how it goes. Sorry for making everyone moving around. :)