Welcome to another edition of the Game Ranter Banter. 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 stories of the game industry. This week, the Game Rant team discusses Capcom’s disturbing announcement, the possiblities of episodic DLC, inspired titles selling poorly, Freddy Krueger’s invasion of Mortal Kombat, and the long wait before Skyward Sword.
Our readers are as knowledgeable 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.
Ultimate Double Dip
In an announcement that many saw coming, but didn’t think Capcom would have the gumption to actually pull off, the publisher announced Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 — an upgraded version of MvC with a few extra characters for $40. Instead of going the more tolerable DLC route, Capcom decided to take some of those characters fans requested, and they themselves mentioned as ending up on the cutting room floor, and put them in this “new” version. It’s a tough pill to swallow, having to pay extra for additional characters, and one that makes any purchasers of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 pretty angry.
While gamers shouldn’t be quick to write off the game until we know what makes up the retail disc-only package, things aren’t looking too good. Whether it was because of poor or tremendous sales from Marvel vs. Capcom 3, this Ultimate version definitely has rubbed a ton of people the wrong way.
Just Chill… Until the Next Episode
Episodic DLC for video games has proven successful for a few titles as of late and some games can benefit heavily from it, depending on the presentation. Most recently, L.A. Noire included episodic DLC that could have been acquired in bulk via the Rockstar Pass, granting gamers access to all of the game’s DLC and adding a bit more to the base experience.
Is DLC necessary? Absolutely not. Does it add something more? Definitely. The recent announcement of Batman: Arkham City episodic DLC does pique some certain interest in me, though. Judging how the original game was a very self-contained story in a small area and how the follow-up is essentially a larger version, will Batman benefit from it?
I’m a huge fan of Batman. With Paul Dini on the writing staff and Rocksteady Studios delivering another pristine and crisp Batman experience, I couldn’t be happier with the announcement. Although, I am hesitant to think how the developer will work it in. Is it going to be similar to the Resident Evil 2 A/B stories? Catwoman’s already in the mix, so will we be playing Batman’s POV when she’s doing her thing and vice versa?
I have faith in Rocksteady, but there’s still a part of me that is a bit worried.
Money Spent, Not Wasted
These days more than ever, it seems that each and every game in development is bet against since the outset of production. With games being judged by the internet and outside sources since the first-look images or gameplay videos make their way to the masses, it’s never too soon for the online gaming community to decide that a game isn’t worth a second of their time. This is why Bulletstorm‘s failed to reach the level of profitability that Epic Games had hoped is particularly distressing.
All things considered, People Can Fly brought the most creativity and innovation to the standard gameplay of the FPS out of any shooter in the past few years, all while telling a fairly entertaining and comedic story. But the game’s inspired Skillshot system wasn’t enough to convince gamers to pony up the necessary cash, as Epic recently revealed that while the game was a quality product, it ultimately didn’t make them any money. I’m certainly impressed with Epic not voicing any disappointment since they believe in the product they put out, but gamers failing to reward a team for trying something new is not good in the long run for an industry arguably lacking originality.
There are a few times a year when a hardworking team is rewarded with impressive sales, encouraging the right kind of development. But too often, inspired game design like that seen in L.A. Noire, Bulletstorm, and Child of Eden fall short of publisher hopes. The worst case scenario is a future where the only games made are bankable ones, so hopefully more publishers will share Epic’s optimism.
Krueger Invades Kombat
It was announced at this year’s Comic-Con that Nightmare on Elm Street’s very own Freddy Krueger would be making an appearance as the final character added to Mortal Kombat, and a lot of fans made sure to voice their opinion on the latest roster addition. Quite a few fans were satisfied with the addition of Freddy Krueger, but there are still many who thought otherwise.
There is some debate that Freddy Krueger doesn’t deserve to be in Mortal Kombat when there are still a few established characters from the series who have yet to make their return. These seem like legitimate concerns, but they are actually quite frivolous. The addition of Freddy isn’t something that would have pushed out the addition of another character that was created for the series.
If it wasn’t Krueger then it would have been Jason, and if it wasn’t Jason it would have been Pinhead. There were never plans to include another character, so nobody should think that their favourite got screwed out of a playable appearance. It was Krueger or nobody, and there were never plans for anyone but a horror movie icon.
Reach for the Sky
For many of us, The Legend of Zelda games were the series that brought up many of our traditional feelings of love, courage, hope… and frustration when Ocarina of Time was introduced. It was the series that set a lone hero against countless minions, gave him the tools to defeat evil, save the princess, and win back the day.
It’s a simple formula when you look at it from this side of the fence, yet Nintendo has been able to consistently bring a new adventure, a new game, and a bigger hit with every iteration. If Twilight Princess was any indication, the series still has a long way to go, and plenty more to show.
So with San Diego Comic-Con wrapping up, the next installment, Skyward Sword, was up for scrutiny. Getting word that major menace Ganon won’t make an appearance, weapons can be upgraded and combined in a new system, and seeing the new combat mechanics gives hope (and a lot of anticipation) that Nintendo has done it again. It’s going to be a long time before the holiday season…