With a little factorization, we come to the fraction, 1/4, or 25%. That’s right. Activision feels that this map pack consisting of 5 NEW MAPS!!! three new maps and 2 maps from the original Modern Warfare, are worth one quarter (another way of saying 1/4) of the game. People will still buy it, because the 16 maps included in MW2 get stale after a month or two.
DLC has become a joke. I can see why PC players resent console releases like these. They can mod their games and play any maps people have created for the game for FREE. Now don’t get me wrong, DLC has brought wonderous games like Braid, World of Goo, and Geometry Wars among several others. And DLC can make games better in rare (extremely rare) instances (i.e. Burnout Paradise). But when we are going to be charged for content that was originally part of the game, you can count me out. Game companies need to take the route of developers like Media Molecule, and Valve if the their consumers to come back again and again.
I like video games. You may like video games. However, it’s not always easy to afford gaming especially nowadays. That’s why I’ll have an upcoming regular feature on my blog called Cheap Cheap Gaming. It’s really easy and affordable to play a generation behind on gaming consoles. There are tons of great games for the PS2, Gamecube, and PC that you can find quite affordable. Hidden gems if you will. So if your interested, I’ll whisk you away to 5 years ago (and before), when the world was simpler, the grass was greener, and double jumping was NEW!
When I first heard about Shadow Complex, I just heard it was a game from Epic (makers of Gears of Wars). I said okay. Then I heard it was a 2D platformer shooter. My interest was piqued. Then I heard it was very much in the style of Super Metroid. At this point I wanted to subscribe to all and any newsletters and blogs regarding the subject. When I heard that the developers all played Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion before starting, I was enraptured. When the game finally came out at the end of Microsoft’s Summer of Arcade, I played the crap out of it and beat it in a matter of days. Few games have captured my attention and time like this one has.
So by way of Kotaku I saw this video (see below) about how a kid was asked to play a retro game and evaluate it. The game of choice was Contra for the NES. Among the questions asked were the difficulty of the game, the graphics, the music, and the willingness to try to beat such a difficult game. The outcome? The kid didn’t really like it. I didn’t find it surprising, but it seems like geeks were in an outcry all over Twitter. Notably, some friends of mine as well. I am having a hard time grasping why people are outraged at one kid.
I think the interview/evaluation with the kid was flawed. The kid didn’t strike me as an avid gamer. He listed three games that he plays: Halo 3, Call of Duty : World at War, and NHL. Some first person shooters and a sports game. When we were kids we had friends like this – the friends that only played NBA Jam, or Mortal Kombat. Fighting and sports. But some of us played all kinds of games and subjected ourselves to such masochist games like Contra. All of this is anecdotal evidence. I personally overheard two kids at Red Lobster talking about Super Mario World for the SNES and how much fun they were having. This study also doesn’t include Erica’s cousin who plays Contra 4 for DS (not exactly the same, but the music, graphics, and difficulty are not much different from the original) and loves the game.
The point I want to convey is we shouldn’t make assumptions based on the opinion of this one kid. If someone were to provide me a valid poll with a proper sample size (1000 kids of varying demographics) then we could worry about kids and video gaming. There is a plethora of good video games today, and several opportunities for kids to play classics by way of DLC. The biggest problem is exposure to such games. Kids aren’t rocking out to Mega Man 2 or Tetris like we did. They aren’t advertised and aren’t sold on store shelves.
Two last things. I didn’t like Contra when I was a kid. The difficulty was too high for me. I didn’t appreciate the game until college. Also I know people that haven’t played half of this awesome list of 16 bit classics (the best generation in my opinion).