736 Hired Goons

For as much shit as John gives Ed they get along pretty well. I think it probably comes down to tone. When some people give you shit you can tell it’s all in good fun, but with others you can tell they mean what they say. But enough about that.

My Fable 2 introduced me, much more than any game previously, to the idea of downloadable content. Commonly referred to a DLC. Now, I’ve added on stuff to pokemon games, and Ipod, and gotten full games as well, but it’s not quite the same thing as getting it on the Xbox. Since Fable 2 had been out so long already all the DLC there is ever going to be was already there, most of it on my disc, but it all clearly felt like bonus material. What I particularly liked about Knothole Island was the almost game breaking weapons you could get. I really like getting overpowered weapons way too early. Firearms bristling with 6 augment slots fit that bill nicely. I certainly don’t mind paying a little extra if it means I get to hold my weapon aloft and say “THIS IS MY BOOMSTICK!”

In the last generation of gaming I was all about the Gameshark, Gamegenie, or whatever cheat device was the newest thing. Their ability to make terrible games tolerable was not to be underestimated. Games like Final Fantasy 2, with it’s bullshit leveling system. A system, I might add, that they steadfastly refuse to fix. Even though they fixed the original game’s crap magic system in later versions. Another game that springs to mind is a really obscure title from Konami called Azure Dreams. The RPG side of the game was a tedious pokemon mutation that would take forever to suffer through. The other side of the game was essentially a dating sim that was unique, at least in America. Your character only leveled up inside this tower that you had to go into over and over. Once you left you were level one again and had to start over. The monsters you took with you retained their levels. The floors were randomly generated and totally uninspired. The idea was that you would train monsters to fight for you and then you’d slowly get further and further by training them and finding better ones. Fuck that noise. Maybe if the action side of the game had been really inspired I could have tolerated that kind of drudgery, but alas it was not. Wooing the various love interests was the only bright spot in an otherwise dismal game. Getting to those parts with as little misery was KEY. If I remember correctly you could even date the game’s Reggie. Which I think I did once. I don’t even remember how I ended up with Azure Dreams. In any case, without cheating that game would have been a total loss.

Anyway, the Fable DLC fills, on some level, the role of tedium breaker. As much as I enjoyed Fable 2 parts of it are quite annoying that are offset by having really entertaining weapons. The ability to buy real estate is as close to an infinite money code as you could ask for while remaining legit. Plus the acquisition of property is reasonably entertaining. Being able to own most of Albion before you’ve completed 50% of the story is also a bonus as far as I’m concerned. I can be poor in real life. Why the fuck would I want to struggle for money in my off time? There’s a balance between feeling like your struggling for cash and always having just enough that most games fail to achieve. Given the choice I’d rather have it broken in my favor. Fighting 100 annoying imps for an iron sword is BULLSHIT.

Obviously the cash thing is not true of all games. Plants VS Zombies stakes a lot of it’s replay value on the acquisition of money to buy new plants. Which is fine. In fact I’d be happy if they added in even more insanely expensive things to buy so I’d have a reason to obsess about it again.

Anyway, I’ll continue this line of thought on Friday…

18 Comments

Hench 4 Life, yo. Hench 4 life.

I remember Azure Dreams. As I recall you found some ad for it someplace, but it never came out in our area. I got one on a trip to Colorado, and I thought you ordered yours. Then again, I was in Colorado for like a month and a half, so I can’t say which of us got it first, really. And yeah, I remember trying to play that piece of gibble without cheats… The gameplay was just plain awful. The dating sim section was fun, though. I still laugh when I think about the scene where the Reggie hits on the glasses chick at the pool (where she doesn’t have her glasses).

And I loathe DLC. I already paid $50.00 for the game, and now you want me to pay another $10-$20 a shot for extra junk that should have either been in the game in the first place, or left to the sequel?? And you want me to do this again a few times, depending on how many new missions/maps/other junk comes out????? FPS are the worst for it, making you shell out for maps, paint swaps, etc… And don’t get me started on the whole Gamestop purchase giving you extra crap (so long as you go online and download it)… At least with cheat devices you call it what it is: cheating. I’m fine with that, really (and Azure Dreams is a great example of it), but that doesn’t mean I wanna lie about it.

As for FF2… Beat it, repeatedly, without cheating. At least that system made more sense than the psychotic draw method they had in FF8.

I’ve got to stand up for FF8 here. The Draw method may have been new and different, but it was a great way to power up your characters long before levelling would have done. With other games you would have to level up for hours to get enough MP to cast your spells about 5 times between character rests. In FF8 a little bit of hard work at the beginning and you’ve got 200 copies of each of the basic spells.

New and different I am fine with. Obnoxious and time consuming not so much. Add to that how attaching spells to abilities changed them and you have the potential for wildly fluctuating stats, having a spell you can’t cast because it’s keeping your stats up, or other assorted chaos.

Of course the real problem with 8 was the Chocobo summon requiring a Japanese memory card/game-boy thing that wasn’t even available in the U.S. (at least not directly…) in order to level up. Yeah, i had fun with FF8. No, I never finished the sucker. Not that I couldn’t, mind. I had the eden summon (was it Eden? Whatever the thing from Ultima Weapon was that was hard to get and live through getting. Or was the problem the whole money being all but useless? The whole pay/raises/not money loot thing was new, too, and less frustrating than the draw system, with about as much detraction from gameplay.

Either way it WAS new and different, but it was NOT a benefit to the game. Of course someday I gotta go back and finish this one. As of right now it’s the ONLY Final Fantasy game I haven’t finished, although I haven’t really enjoyed any since X and X-2.

FF8 was my first ever RPG, so I didn’t know of any taboos the Junction system was breaking. I tend not to use magic anyway in RPGs (In the vast majority because I save MP for healing spells) so the ability to Junction Fire magic to my attack when in an arctic environment and such WAS a benefit to the game.

I also greatly enjoyed FF12 and FF13, because they stretched so far from the traditional RPG that it kept my interest.

I was also unperturbed by the lack of the Boco summon (The one you mentioned).

(Although by far the most fun thing to do was to Junction Sleep to Squall’s attack. With a little patience, each attack has a 100% chance to knock the enemy asleep. No other game lets you do that.)

I should also qualify that I don’t think you’re wrong. Individual enjoyment of Computer Games is inherently opinion-based.

Well, we know why Thomas thought it would be a good idea to pair up Wesley with Reggie — Mutually Assured Destruction. Considering that he was setting up an Epic FAIL, he probably should have briefed John; or at least gloated a little. I’m sure Carol knows what’s going on, even if Mike’s clueless, because, well, Mike’s clueless.

Waiting to see it all come tumbling down (we are talking about Reggie, here),

–Perfesser

Okay, finally caught up through the archives (thank Carl for sending me here, and go draw him some filler strips, wouldja?), and I have to say (insert picture of man slowly clapping), “Well done, sir.” Your dedication to a well-written plotline, lovable characters, excellent dialogue and consistently intriguing visual style has made this a new favourite. I’ve read your commentary and know that you see this as a script for a movie that plays in your head, and since I appear to have received the same movie from Netflix, I’d say “Mission accomplished.” I look forward to reading the continuing adventures of the Megatainment crew, and hopefully, seeing the eventual movie.

Was this the Azure Dreams game on Gameboy color? If so I didn’t know there was a dating sim on it. But yeah that game was really disappointing because they never really answered the questions they put forth in the storyline like why Kewenes were special and so on. I also hated that they stopped letting you build stables for your creatures or that combined creatures were creatures you could find on later levels.

Original Playstation. Don’t remember the GBC version, although I might have to look for it, now. Strange what nostalgia cond do for even mediocre and bad games.

Plus Selfy or Selfie and her Catawhomp (or whatever those things were called) really creeped me out. They showed it sitting on here head for Pete’s sake.

DLC is cool when it balances the game. If you played Fable II with all the DLC, it’s a much better game. The DLC gave players big weapons, more control over aesthetic choices, exclusive previews, ways around annoying mechanics of the first game (like removing augments), and even the ability to resurrect your dog if you didn’t choose that option. Plus, the achievements and colosseum are very cool and fit right in with the game.

Granted, I wouldn’t have paid for it in Fable’s case, since it’s not a whole lot of content for your money. But what’s there really enhances the game.

Things like Borderlands, though, have great DLC.

If the DLC is so good, why wasn’t it part of the original game? Now, if the DLC is free, that’s fine (it can add to the game all it wants, I can keep on not getting it just the same). But you don’t know until you get the content. Worse happens when you get the game new, get the DLC as it comes out, then they put out a Game of the Year edition with all the DLC at about the same cost of the original game.

And Borderlands is better than most with the DLC. Admittedly, though, it’s kind of annoying when you shell out for the extra levels, content, etc, and then they release new content that includes an even higher level cap whether you bought the previous level cap or not.

Simple aesthetic choices (like alternate paint jobs, aura effects, etc…) can be pay options without too much fuss from me. By this I mean simple things that don’t affect gameplay (say, turning your power weapon bright purple instead of green or whatever).

There again, my big complaint against DLC right now is the sheer prevalence of it. Remember not so long ago that it was only MMORPGs, and the occasional ‘epic scope’ game that had DLC? And now everything has it. As though sixty bucks for a game isn’t enough, you have to shell out ten to twenty every few weeks/months/whatever to get the whole game.

Henching is a 2 year degree upside you get healthcare while in school for it (no point getting you killed before those student loans start getting paid)

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