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Wiggyman_basic Blog

DLC: The Silent Killer

DLC, "Downloadable Content", a promise and danger combined into one. The thought of an add-on coming to a game that already kicks major ass is so amazing that some people cannot contain themselves, but sometimes, it carries unforseen consequences with it.

Games that seek long playlife from their loyal fanbase or even from people who are just picking it up because it seems cool, use downloadable content or DLC to keep fresh material on the plate for the users. Games like Halo 2 and 3, Guitar Hero 3 and Rock Band try to keep their fans happy and extend the shelf life with new songs, new levels, new weapons or items and the promise of these things wets the appetites of the gamers. The first few downloads in the case of Rock Band or GH3 seem pretty cool, eliciting a, "That's cool, can't wait for better stuff", out of the gamer in question. However, as time rolls on, the songs get no better, the maps and new items become commonplace and the wait for what you really want becomes longer and longer.

I am not speaking or all games mind you, as some games cannot deliver more than expected as is the case with the Halo's. You can only create so many maps and really how much originality can a new map deliver from the old ones? The prime spreaders of the DLC disease are Team Fortress 2, GH3 and Rock Band. With TF2, the promise of new upgrades for character classes brings a foam to the mouth of the competitive multiplayer gamer, but they only give them to 1 or 2 classes, and not for the classes anyone really uses. The Medic achievement is decent, but the game has been out for 8 months and little more than an upgrade for 1 class out of 7 or 8 has come.

Secondly, GH3 and Rock Band have the ability to deliver songs, new songs to the users playing the games at a decent price. The problem is though, that they release crap over and over again, or too much of an okay group, but in need of better music in general. 14 songs from the Pixies? Was a whole album really necessary Harmonix? Songs from the Smashing Pumpkins and damned Weezer over and over again, but when does the classic stuff roll in guys? Bust your ass to get good music from the three decades where music meant something, the 50s, 60s and 70s and if the licensing is hard, keep trying, but don't keep putting the same crappy bands out there from the 80s, 90s and 2000s. True, there is 70s stuff in there, and some of it is really good, like Boston, but a whole Cars album Harmonix, really?

DLC is something that works its way into your system, lays eggs of hope and promise in your mind only to have you waiting and waiting for what was expected. These would be upgrades for used characters, good music and even more multiplayer modes such as an, I don't know, ONLINE BAND TOUR MODE HARMONIX! DLC is truly a silent killer, bringing up hopes, but slowly killing the enthusiasm over time from broken promises and crushed expectations.

Catchup AI

There has been a problem in video games for some time now and it has pre-dated what many people consider to be the beginning. Most people believe this problem to be known as "Mario Kart Syndrome", but I have noticed this for quite a long time. Yes, the problem does exist in Mario Kart 64, and two characters seem to be the most guilty, those being Toad and Yoshi. No matter how hard you hit them or how well you seem to drive, they always seem to be right there behind you and can steal the race away right at the checkered flag. As you have already noticed, I am speaking about Catchup AI in video games.

I first noticed this problem in sports games pre-dating Mario Kart 64. An example would be NBA Live 95 on the Sega Genesis in which the computer would hit 3 after 3 after 3 when the game was coming to a close and you could not seem to hit jack crap. They occur regularly in sports games and it is, quite frankly, pissing me off. I bring all this up in my first post due to an occurrence today whilst playing MLB 08: The Show. I am pitching quite the game against the Cubs with Brett Myers, but all the sudden in the 7th, the hit parade comes and the handle just flies off the faucet. They score 6 runs in 1 inning and this is inconceivable to me because I was hitting all the spots I had been and he was not tired, but all the sudden it all falls apart.

This is not the first time this has happened. I have taken perfect games into the 7th and then they get a hit. This bothers me somewhat, but perfect games are hard to throw and they can't happen all the time, but when that one hit comes, then another and another after that, suddenly they have scored 5 runs in the inning and have taken the lead. I find this to be a bit ridiculous honestly. The game seems to be programmed to give you a big middle finger and do what it wants if you're shutting it out or kicking its ass and I have umbrage to this fact.

If I had any voice in the industry I would insist that game developers somehow remove this possibility from video games and make it so that the AI cannot B.S. their way to a win through some unforeseen and highly unlikely circumstances all the time. Those are my thoughts, thank you for listening.