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The price tag of Limbo, DLC and XBLA arcade games. A debate.

So here we are, discussing something that has been bothering me quite much lately ; XBLA / DLC pricing.

I'll say it right now, if you're the son of a rich dude, or you're unemployed and living at your mom's, never mind this post.

There's a lot of heat going on wether or not a downloadable experience is worth the price tag. On one side, you'll have those who are not taking the dive, saying that downloadable games shouldn't cost their actual price tag.

On the other hand, you'll have those guys who'll make the famous comparison with fastfood lunches and stuff. '' Hey you'll play 15 bucks anyways for an hamburger and french fries ''.

I think it's wrong. Simply because most people have a budget. Even if you don't realize it, you may unconsciously decide to hold off on something to pay something else, which is a form of budgeting. And budgets are a way to help you invest your money in certain domains without risking to fall in a bad situation.

Let's get back to the main subject. DLC/ XBLA games and as an example for now ; Limbo.

Limbo is basically a platformer with light puzzle elements that uses a lot of physics. The price asked is 15$ for this 3.5 hours long game (unless you are physically disabled and have to use a wrench and metal hooks to use the controller ).

Question is, is it worth it? Fifteen dollars? The answer will often be '' no '' and for various reasons. But the main reason is this one.

Most of us, adult gamers have to be careful for our video games purchases. Simply because there's so many good games released every year that we have to make choices. Most of us have to decide, way before the launch of a said game, if we're getting it or not, and if that's the case, it'll fall into our budget, thus limiting the amount of money left we can put into games.

Limbo, like many other XBLA games, aren't in our main '' choices '' for video games. XBLA games and DLC are often things we buy without really taking care if or not we'll put ourselves on a tighter leash for the rest of the month. These games are always sneaky little bastards that eventually gets us to bleed more money for them.

Limbo costs fifteen bucks of our entire video games budget. Is it worth fifteen bucks of entertainment? No. It's not. Because in the end, you'll get an experience that'll last you one afternoon, unlike most of your games that you'll spend 60$ on. Usually, when you buy a game at that price, you're fully aware of what you're buying, and you know that you'll try to get the most out of it, unless you're an idiot that buys stuff out of impulse.

So is Limbo 15 dollars just like going out to McDonalds for 15 dollars? No. Because you probably already established that you'd take about 15 to 45 $ out of your pay check every month to get restaurant food with friends and such to get your social life going on.

Unfortunately, for Limbo's case, paying 15$ for this downloadable game isn't worth the investment. There's absolutely no direct replay value like good achievements, or difficulty levels or side-challenges unlike most 60$ games that'll usually get you 20 to 45 hours of entertainment as a whole experience.

XBLA titles like this shouldn't be higher than five bucks. And i'm thinking the same for outrageous DLC in the likes of MW2's map packs. On the other hand, DLC games like Plants vs Zombies ( on steam and soon on XBLA ) can be played for over 70 hours, and are really worth it, especially if you want to get all the achievements and content out of it.

Alan Wake is one of the most refined gameplay experiences i've had in years.

Right along Half-Life 2 and its episodes, God of War 2, Uncharted 2, Psychonauts, Brutal Legend and Batman AA.

Alan Wake is, for me, one of the most well crafted games i've laid my hands on in a long while. I play about everything on the market, and I have, unfortunately, really high standards, because I buy games about every week to sink my greedy teeth into.

To my surprise, I realize that i'm one of the few who actually loves this game, at least on gamefaqs/gamespot forums. Most people tend to find it boring, repetitive, and ugly looking. Maybe i'm growing too old with my 23 years of age? Maybe my tastes are just super weird?

I found the forest setting to be superb, and unlike most people, I enjoyed the fact that most of the game evolved around it. I hate it when a game teleports me from one local to another without any sense of travel to it. And I hate especially when a game has a lot of different settings, and only one of them is good that it makes you wish for its return during the whole experience.

Gladly for me, Alan Wake's setting stayed right on the sweet spot the whole time through.

I was also surprised by the fact that people called it linear - Alan Wake has to be one of the most opened linear games i've played in years. You have a ton of reason to explore this superbly crafted town of Bright Falls ; collectibles. Yet once again, it annoyed people to death.

Another point is that people found it to be a boring TPS action title. Not enough weapons is the main argument. And seriously, i'm an action game junkie, and this game gave me everything I needed. I don't need 50 guns to enjoy a game, and sometimes it can be so overwhelming, like MGS4's insane amount of weapons, that you'll stick with the same ones anyways.

I found the game to be able to refresh its experience pretty well, constantly giving you new objectives, stripping you of your weapons, making you use your environment to defeat your foes. Yet again, people screamed of boredom. Perhaps Alan Wake should have had 245 pounds of muscles and some fancy QTE's close quarters kills to satisfy them?

It had me scratching my head. What the elf is wrong with you people? Good games should only be first person shooters or RE4 and GTA4 clones? Because that's what I'm seeing with today's twisted breed of impulsive gamers.

I too am a writer, in my mother tongue, but it doesn't change the fact that I would have loved Alan Wake just has much of I had pursued another career path.

All in all, i'm eager to replay this fantastic experience, to plunge myself once more into one of the most wonderful video game scenery ever made ( the other being Half-Life 2's ). I'll be more than happy when the new chapters will be released.

Part 2 book cover.

Note that both books will be out at the same time. Third one will be a little later this summer, and the fourth, well, is being written at the moment. For your information, in english the title would be '' Ixzaluoh's Particle''.

Here's my first book's official cover.

For those of you who speaks english, the title would be :

The Chronicles of Victor Pelham : The Mechanical Flower.

You can see my full interview, sadly, just in french, at :

So people are complaining about how Kratos is a bad, bad character.

I'm sorry, but if there's one videogame character that can be labelled has unique, it's goddamn Kratos.

'' He's such a dick, he's a villain, he has a one-sided personality, he's mean, he's blah blah blah''.

What the hell guys? Which other videogame protagonists are like that? Uh? Sorry, i'm dead tired and completely over-saturated with goody-two-shoes JPRG's heroes or the USA boot-licking super action hero. I'm so done with melodrama and cliché crap. Why don't you just enjoy the fact that, for once, we've got something different?

I bet half of you would like to see Kratos with spiky, JRPG-ish hair.

Look, I get it that you think it's overkill that Kratos pummels Poseidon to death, or that he slaps Hera's face off.

'' It's so wrong!!! '' I hear you squeal.

But that's the problem. You take it on the wrong level. The point isn't for you to see a cohesive character drama, it's about getting from point A to point B while laughing around at how awesome Kratos is. Does that makes us bad, evil people? Hell no. I'm one of the nicest guy around to people, but I can make the difference between video games and reality.

And for you who thinks that Kratos is just a villain, well seriously, you must not have comprehended the ending of GoW3.


Kratos returns hope itself to mankind, something that was forever locked inside a box created by greek gods to assure their perfect dominion over everything.

If you think Kratos is a villain, then I suggest you to replay the ending movie.

Games these days are gamers' condoms.

It's sad that for a lot of gamers these days, games are like condoms. Use it once, then toss it to the garbage bin.

How many times have I seen people dissing out SP games because it lacked MP, or because it had a 8 hours long ( oh my god, it's SO short heh? ) campaign.

Gamers craving for MP are ruining most action games, especially shooters.

See, they only want it to be an excellent way to buff up their man-cred online in some macho competition with lots of swear words. Thus, sending a very clear but unfortunate message to developers :

'' Screw the campaign and give us MP with DLC maps, and we'll make you rich. ''

So that's why we get FPS' that doesn't hold a candle to those SP games we had back in the 90's to the early 2000.

Another funny fact is that most MP games ( 95% of them, and you know the exceptions ) have a sword of damocles hanging above their head. In other words, a death timer. After its prime period, it'll just die and be forever forgotten.

Games like Fuels of War, for instance.

When I like an SP experience, for instance, Brutal Legend, UC2, GoW3, Batman : AA, and now Metro 2033, I keep my games. I'll most certainly play through it again in the following months.

And I like having good SP games in my collection so I can chill at home after a hard day of writing.

FF13's writers should be fired 13 times in a row.

I love the combat, really, but right now, i'm in Gran Pulse, and I swear to god I will start skipping cutscenes if this crap keeps going on. Look, this must be a cultural thing and i'm definitly not japanese, but I really can't get into the storyline or the character's completely random motivation and reaction.

This is borderline immature/insane.

Oh and, seriously, 85% of the cutscenes is just about :

- let's do this!

- let's not do this anymore, i'm doubtful/angered! Let's whine!

- vanille- idiotly smile/moan/squeal/wets herself with her g-unit handsign

- snow- fistsbumps too many times and looks at crystal tear for manbuff.

repeat x 142 times = storyline of this game.

Dante's Inferno comparison to God of War ; an analysis.

The big talk about Dante's Inferno right now isn't about it's gameplay or it's features, no. It's about how it ripped-off another game. One party will bash on how copy-cat it is while the other party will defend it.

It also floods the forum. So let's see!

Dante's Inferno is based on the poem written by the dude whom I just named who was in fact ; a poet.

Not a Templar. Not a dude who'se wife was killed. No, just a simple poet.

Visceral decided to take the poem, and adapt it into a vengeance/redemption story about a guy who ( don't tell me you haven't guessed ) commited all 9 capital sins and must redeem each and every one of them to finally get to his love. And let's all guess that it won't be a happy ending.

Reminds you of someone? A guy named Kratos? No? Okay. Let's keep on.

To fuel the informative background of the main character, they decided to add some '' cartoon cutscenes '' at key moments to unveil Dante's oh-so horrible past. Like Santa Monica's way of unveiling what Kratos did in05'.

I remember seing an interview where one of the producer of Dante's Inferno said that, while creating the game, they didn't take blueprint from any game, and that comparing it to, for instance, God of War, was a pure honor and coincidence.

We all laughed. Real hard.

Now to the gameplay. Something wich, in truth, we haven't seen until this summer. Because if you remember, Dante's Inferno was only screenshots for a good while. At first glance, we saw how the finishers presented in the trailers were made in god of war's fahion.

A couple of months later, we saw that everything about this game is a complete replica of God of War, but set in The Divine Comedy's book.

The controls are exactly like God of War, minus the grab and magic, and the character behave exactly like Kratos. Double jumps, mixed ( and somewhat open ended ) light and heavy attacks combos.

Whenever you finish an enemy, you have the same slow-mo whenever you have to press a button, wich, till now, was God of War's trademark over QTE's. The aerial juggles are identical to GoW and even the block/counter system.

Is Dante's Inferno a rip-off? It's a perfect replica of God of War set in a different scenery. From the ground up, everything has been built upon Santa Monica's design.

Now, is it a bad thing? Hell no.

It's actually the point of my post. Dante's Inferno will be fun. Because it mimics God of War to perfection ( whitout the pretty graphics ) and that is something no other game achieved. And currently, God of War is one of the best series of the decade, so it's about time someone tried to do something very alike.

Sure, Visceral could have tried and experiment with their own ideas a bit more, but that could have strayed them off the path to glory beaten by God of War.

Will it be better than God of War3? Of course not. Nothing can ever touch the original foundations of a groundbreaking genre, and in this case, established by God of War's new era of beat em ups.

It's the same thing with Mario 64 and Goldeneye. Superb titles that people still play to this date. They were pioneers of the modern platformers and shooters respectively. And how many times did developers took these formulas to try and make something better? Countless.

The way I see it ; Dante's Inferno is probably going to bea very nice game ( from the demo's experience )that'll just elevate God of War to even higher grounds.