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by Ethos

Sunday Soapbox: It’s Only $15, You Cheap Mother Fuckers

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Hello website. Apparently you exist.

I’ve forgotten that most things exist. I’ve been working later than desired/expected this week and I’ve been doing fun, but time consuming things this weekend, so this is my first chance to sit down and write something when I’m not wiped from work or not somewhere else.

I heard a rumour that Lameish was going to post impressions of Fallout: New Vegas, but he’s caught onto one of the primary rules of the site quickly: Never follow-through on a promise. That’s our only unbreakable vow to you readers.

Anyway, I just played some Majora’s Mask music on the piano and it felt amazing but MAN is that music ever haunting and good at creating an atmosphere of loneliness. That’s usually the mood I like while playing the piano, but Majora’s Mask just took it to the next level. Song of Healing and the moody, slow version of Song of Storms are fucking beautiful and haunting as hell.

Anyway, I was going to write a Scatter Storming as you can probably tell from the rambles, but I have something specific to rant about.

Actual Editorial Starts Here

With the recent releases of DeathSpank, DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue, and Costume Quest, people have been complaining more and more that these games have the “hefty” price tag of $15.

Fuck the fuck off.

Obviously your money has value and you don’t want to throw it away, and the argument of games being overpriced as a whole might have merit somewhere, but complaining that “1200 Microsoft points is a little steep for a 6-15 hour game” blows my mind into pieces.

This is a good deal.

Considering the spectrum of pricing for video games, I – and many, many others – have no problem laying down full price for Uncharted 1 and 2. I beat both those games in a combined 3 sittings. I had a short, but very positive experience. I don’t even really want to replay the Uncharted games at all and I don’t have any interest in the multiplayer that was only available in the second one anyway.

Gears of War 2 is another example of a $60 game (more in Canada) that I beat in (essentially) one sitting, and it’s a game with broken multiplayer. That game has a bunch of fans and (too much) critical acclaim. And while you hear the issue of cost, “overpriced” is not the most common complaint issued against the game.

For some reason, when any game is released to the PSN or XBL at $15, the internet explodes with angered rants and comments that the price is practically robbery, and it’s almost the only comments heard about the title.

Perhaps it’s because the retail market pricing is a little more fixed, and because $15 was unheard of before Braid in the downloadable space. Still, paying a quarter of the price for a lot more than a quarter of a game isn’t “a little too steep” in my books.

$15 is a meal and a half at Wendy’s, it’s 3 round trips by public transit in Toronto, it’s the price of 3 cups of coffee if you go to Starbucks. It is not a whole lot of money compared to what most people spend on a routine basis.

Obviously games like Fallout 3, Dragon Age, and Mass Effect (to name only a few) can give 40-100+ hours of gameplay. But good games of such massive size aren’t common and are of incredible value. And that’s assuming I put hundreds of hours into these games. I often don’t have the time anymore.

Even if Costume Quest – which I’m playing right now and enjoying – does only end up being 6 hours if played once, that’s $2.50 an hour for a fun game. Even a 20 hour retail game ends up being 3 bucks an hour. And 20 hours is often considered to be a solid length for non-shooters.

And don’t give me the “I can trade in for retail games” argument. Not only can you trade in for points cards (at least in North America), that argument also doesn’t diminish nor change the value of the title itself. Sure, perhaps you can’t afford $15 if you’re unable to trade in for a points card, but that doesn’t mean that the game is too pricey.

Seriously, I’m over $15 downloadable games getting shit on for being a great deal.

Scatter Storming. Issue #039

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

It’s about time this shit came back. If you’ll notice, the logo for Scatter Storming still reads “Gaming Rambles”. Riddlethos’ slow changes don’t seek to replace our content but rather add to it. Anyway, our little behind the scenes week made me miss rambling about DeathSpank, so how about I do that!

DeathSpank! -
When did I become such a massive fan of this series? I was mildly interesting in playing the demo, then I tried the demo, liked it enough to consider buying it, and then BAMMO! I’m the biggest fan of the Diablo meets Monkey Island action RPG series. I have already bought and completed (with 100% trophies) the sequel, and now I realize I’ve been spoiled. With two titles in two months, I now expect my constant hunger for DeathSpank to be filled.

That being said, I didn’t love the second game quite as much as the original. It actually started off stronger and funnier, but in the end, it somehow got a bit too wrapped up in the ridiculous story. I mean, it’s still hilarious to defeat evil Santa in order to steal his corrupt thong, but the payoff didn’t feel the same. It also could have been because I hit the level cap in good time before beating the game and that took some of the satisfaction out of it.

In the original, I had to spend a while killing unicorns before I could reach level 20, and with Thongs of Virtue, it seems like just doing all the sidequests is more than enough to bring DeathSpank to max. I suppose these things are more difficult to balance in a bigger game (because Thongs of Virtue is bigger), but it was still disappointing.

But this is all relative! The game is still fun as all fuck, hilarious as all fuck, and my new favourite franchise. Nathan Drake, eat your heart out.

Playstation Plus -
Yeah, I got it. I’m not going to defend myself on this one. So far I’ve downloaded Mushroom Wars for free (or subscription-long rental), and beat that. That was fun. Did the same with Zen Pinball, but didn’t care nearly as much. I’m going to pay more attention to how many things will be discounted that I would have bought anyway.

Also, I guess the early God of War demo for PSP would have been cool if I cared about that series.

Speaking of Playstation… -
Looks like I’ll be going to a Sony event early next week. I’ll be there for work, so I imagine most of my time will be spent doing interviews, but I’ll try to play as many games as possible. After all, I expect Infamous 2 and LittleBigPlanet 2 to be there at the very least.

Professor Layton -
Did I talk about this game? I feel like it’s been so long, friends! I beat Unwound Future and fucking adored it. The biggest problem was that at the ending, I was actually so into the story, that I just used all my hint coins to zoom past the puzzles. In retrospect, that seems counter-intuitive to the point of the game. Oh well.

That’s all for now. Like I just said, I feel like it’s been forever, so it’s time to catch up, guys! There’s been 3DS news, so I’m sure I’ll get to that on Friday. I also want to write a Modern Family premiere review at the very least. Also, keep your eyes peeled for that Monday feature that Riddles’ pitched. I think you guys will approve.