Welcome to another edition of theÂ Game Ranter Banter.Â Five of our writers take a few minutes out of their busy schedules to give their opinions on some of the most compelling and controversial recent news storiesÂ of the game industry. This week, theÂ Game RantÂ team discusses the recent DLC issues of Arkham City, an early review of Skyward Sword, used game sales, an addition to Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and a brand spankin’ newÂ PokemonÂ game.
Our readers are asÂ knowledgeableÂ and opinionated as our own writers, so here is the place for all of you to discuss these stories as well as any others that may have piqued your interest throughout the week.
The Case of the Complicated Catwoman Content
Regardless of how people feel about special season passes or “VIP” passes that allow gamers to access exclusive content, these features are going to be a part of gaming until the market decides otherwise.
If developers and publishers are going toÂ implementÂ these systems then they should also have ways for consumers to get support should things fail. The issue with theÂ Batman: Arkham CityÂ VIP passesÂ is an unfortunate one, but the wayÂ Warner Bros is dealing with the situationÂ is cumbersome to those who already shelled out their hard earned cash for this content.
It’s understood why they are making consumers take photos/scans of the blank vouchers as well as provide other forms of identification, but this is a complicated process to get something that’s already been paid for.
This is my personalÂ opinion, but Catwoman (and Robin) areÂ integralÂ parts of the Batman mythos and should be part of the game instead of beingÂ exclusiveÂ DLC. Providing exclusive content is all fine and dandy, but holding out content that should be in the game â€” orÂ that’s already on the diskÂ â€” is nothing more than a money grab.
Luckily, with this situation there are some who have had GameStop come to their rescue – they are giving the Catwoman DLC for free on used game purchases, much to the dismay of other retailers..
Compliments Only Please
Thereâ€™s a part of every gamer that loves to read reviews, and loves to read them as early as possible â€“ thatâ€™s why publishers send out review copies and thatâ€™s why game journalists ferociously absorb as much game content as they possibly can. But, every once in a while, a review, usually a lone review, pops up before any other publicationsâ€™ review, and itâ€™s usually an absolutely glowing one. ItÂ happened withÂ LA NoireÂ earlier this year, it happened withÂ Batman: Arkham City, and it happened a couple of days ago withÂ Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
While the review may be valid, and may be filled with adequate justifications for its over-the-moon score, it still makes one wonder that if this same publication had put out a bad review would it be released so early? Are we living in a world where sins like breaking embargo are forgiven if they are in service to oneâ€™s own betterment?
Now, Iâ€™m not saying thatÂ Skyward SwordÂ wonâ€™t be a great game, or that Official Nintendo Magazine didnâ€™t get a much earlier embargo. Iâ€™m just curious to know how things would be different if the game was considered a dud.
So NOW Consumers Care About The Impact of Used Games?
It seems that any time a story comes up about a publisher enacting some sort ofÂ Online Pass’ or paid multiplayerÂ to curtail used game sales, another wave of publisher-bashing begins with renewed vigor. I’m not happy about having content restricted if I rent a game, but only looking at one side of an issue doesn’t solve anything. Used games didn’t just come out of nowhere over the past few years to become the sales juggernaut they now are. It happened because retailers (namely GameStop) made it their strategy to sell and re-sell every copy of a game multiple times before selling a brand new one. TheÂ publishers were getting screwed overÂ by the entity that was only supposed to act as middle man, since they neither create or serve anything but their bottom line. For years, nobody cared, since the consumer was getting a deal. Then the publisher screws over the retailers who’ve been screwing them, and their customers get screwed over from it, so they attack the publishers and are outraged.
I really do get both sides, and would like things to go back to the way they were, but nobody gave a damn when GameStop made this situation by making it company policy to try to maximize profit by keeping people from buying new copies, and offering credit for trade-ins that was short of the game’s actual value. They pushed publishers into doing this, and considering how GameStop doesn’t put their customers above profit (as they continuously show) it’s difficult for me to ever look at them as working in the consumer’s best interest. Because they aren’t. That isn’t their job.
Nor is it the publisher’s. Let’s not kid ourselves here; GameStop acted in an ethical grey area to make money, so the publishers have joined in. I understand both sides, but consumers who only now care about the financial reality publishers are faced with because it’s affecting them aren’t going to be getting my support automatically (and for the record, stealing from someone who has a lot of money still isn’t right, sorry). This issue has two sides, and the one that isn’t offering you cheaper games is taking all of the attacks.
Evolve Or Die
I’ve been an avid enthusiast of theÂ Marvel vs. CapcomÂ franchise since its conception. I remember when I was a wee lad going into my local comic shop, I would relentlessly shove quarter after quarter in that machine until I was broke poor.
Today, almost a bajillion years later, we have come toÂ Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3Â and with it comesÂ a most excellent DLC in the form of Heroes and Heralds mode. This awesome new mode in theÂ MVCÂ universe allows you to collect cards in order to upgrade and add abilities to your fighters. Heroes and Heralds mode will drastically change the wayÂ MVCÂ loyalists will play when up against invisibility, invincibility, etc.
In the ever evolving world of the gaming industry, if you don’t evolve you die. Just look at the newÂ Mortal KombatÂ game and how many awesome things you can do other than just your standard 1 vs. 1 campaign or multiplayer. With the addition of H&H mode inÂ MVCÂ the floodgates are open to a whole new realm of possibilities for the series. I can’t wait to get my grubby little paws on it.
What I’m really interested in seeing is how professional gamers will take it and how they would utilize the new abilities in an H&H tournament.
Feeling the Opposite of Gray
As many loyal readers probably know by now, I’m theÂ PokemonÂ guy. I’m traditionally at the butt of every Pocket Monster-related joke here atÂ Game RantÂ (all in good sport, mind you), but I’m more than okay with that if it means I get to write up all the news and review all of the games. The most recent news that popped up involves the registration of aÂ Pokemon GrayÂ web domain, which was conveniently registered by the same company that applied for the officialÂ Pokemon BlackÂ andÂ WhiteÂ website.
There are many reasons this could have been done, but it seems more than obvious that Nintendo plans on releasing a third game in theÂ BlackÂ andÂ WhiteÂ saga â€“ a move that isn’t uncommon for the franchise. What will really be interesting is to see which portable this game will appear on. The Nintendo 3DS is undoubtedly in need of a realÂ PokemonÂ game, because of theÂ series’ ability to sell absolute gangbusters. It wouldn’t even have to take full advantage of the 3DS’ tech, just enough to clean up a few pixels and give gamers a few mild 3D effects.
Pokemon GrayÂ isn’t official yet, but that should change very soon.