Looking forward to March 5th, there are reasons why it’s great to be a gamer: SimCity, Tomb Raider, baseball games if that’s your thing. Looking at the releases this week, it’s all DLC. While DLC offers modern day gamers the chance to extend the life of their game, those of us who played games pre-Internet connectivity remember the days when all you got was what came in the box, or an expansion set if we were lucky.

For better or for worse, DLC is here to stay. It’s also on the move, mutating into new forms, like microtransactions and game-of-the-year bundles. Thoughts?

Friday, 7:56 am – Ricky

I have to say, consoles are getting in on the digital game. Thanks to some generosity from matt, I was gifted Resident Evil 6 as part of the ongoing XBox Live daily deals celebration thingy. It was super easy to download, just like on PC, and it’s now installed on my 360’s hard drive for easy access. No disc switching or storing required.

I will step in and say I’ve played a few hours of DotA2 and while I’m BY FAR NOT AN EXPERT, the game is pretty easy to get in to. There’s an amazing spectator mode where you can observe others through the game client, plus there are bot games you can set-up for practice, and the bots aren’t half bad! Plus, there are recommended items in DotA2, just like in LoL. I’ve also been under the impression that the community at LoL is pretty god-awful, but Albert has assured me it’s friendly. I doubt any MOBA game’s community is truly “friendly”, though…

I’ve been on a mobile game kick as well, playing some Dungelot. Think minesweeper meets RPG. I’ve also booted up and played through the first couple levels of Mark of the Ninja. It’s a beautifully stylized game with some great stealth mechanics. I truly felt like a bad-ass ninja slinking around in the shadows, plotting my course, leaving some enemies untouched and stealthily disposing of those who got in my way. It’s on sale on Steam this weekend and I’d recommend picking it up. The $5 price tag is an absolute steal.

Thursday, 4:08 pm – Albert

Can I chime in? PC is the nuts. I have a PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, and PC and I use my PC far more often. I find that the graphics are generally better (esp. in the late console cycle) and that it’s more convenient for me to get cheaper games on Steam. It probably helps that I have been a long fanboy of PCs since it’s “been” around the longest. Throw in the fact that I can use a controller anytime on the PC and there really is no point of me even being on a console unless its exclusive. Also I hate Gamestop/Eb Games and their terrible customer service and their lack of PC games, it made the sense to just use PC e-commerce exclusively. I recently moved (as you might have noticed my absence) and it was a pain to ship my console, controllers, wires, and esp. games. There are some overlaps with my PC rig, but the one part that was convenient was that all my games are on the Steam cloud. God that makes it easy. Now that i’m in a new place, my apartment isn’t full of games that i’ll never play again. I honestly sometimes just sold my old games just because they were overflowing the section that I was keeping my games in.

Let’s see…

Zelda… have not really played any of those games…

Dead Island… still have to finish the game but there are other games i’d rather play…

RIGHT. I have been playing minimal games but I have been playing League of Legends (LOL). Anyone familiar with the Dota franchise will know exactly what i’m talking about. Instead of telling you about the game i’ll tell you my experiences. I tried Dota 2 but couldn’t really get into it, it was complicated and the learning curve was huge (I have played original Dota). When I played LOL I immediately noticed a more streamlined yet complex game. It had recommended items which are very important as items play a crucial part of adding value to your character (damage, armor, movement speed, etc). In Dota 2 it was more of a “Well, try and see… asshole”. Both games are highly competitive but for some reason i’m drawn to LOL. The game is free and they give you about 12 characters (there are so many) to try for a week. After that week is done they revamp the characters and give you access to another 12 chars. IF you really liked one of those characters you tried before you have to buy them with either in-game currency (which you earn through playing) or through real money. I put $20 dollars in the game to buy a couple of characters which I was getting good at. Needless to say, that when your team is victorious the amount of satisfaction is huge. The loss only makes you want to play again and practice more. Give it a shot if you’re bored and want some MOBA fun!

Weekly Kairosoft Report: Pocket Stables has been released… Buy it now! (I do not get paid for these ads)

Also if you’re in the mood for mobile (which is all the time I have): Pen and Paper Knights (rpg/D&D goodness), Quest Lord (FPS rpg), Funky Smugglers (awesome casual), GunSlugs (aka Metal Slug), Cyber Knights Elite, (Syndicate) and Pirates and Traders (think trading sim…with booty) have been admirable companions on my journey to work.

Thursday, 11:02 am – Gavin

In the console vs PC debate, I think it’s worth mentioning that they’re only really comparable for multi-platform games. There’s no point in comparing Sim City V to Mario Galaxy or Sound Shapes if the latter two aren’t also available on the PC – you may have more fun with that type of game regardless of the platform, so you go for wherever you get it.

You may spend more on a PC, but you get more out of it. What do you spend on a PC to get identical performance compared to a console? It’s probably not far off comparable price either. But if you spend $1500, you’ll get graphical performance that obliterates a console. And when that console’s life span is up, if you spent $1500 on your PC on launch day of a console, you probably won’t need to spend all that much to keep it running top-notch. Also, consider that pretty much every household that plays games will also have a PC of some sort. Perhaps consolidating could get you a better experience on one system?

And then there’s Nintendo.

Thursday, 10:00 am – Ricky

Dead Island had an insanely odd, lackluster and uninspiring ending. That said, I can’t wait for Dead Island: Riptide later this year. The game still offered a fresh take on the zombie genre, and I was addicted to the weapon making mechanic. Can’t wait for more in new locales.

I don’t remember why, but matt and I were “reminiscing” about an old PC game we used to play: Omikron. It had David Bowie, which is pretty much all you need to know. I stumbled on a recent gameplay video on Giant Bomb (part of their Random PC Game series, where they dig into the archives and play old games), and the nostalgia is still washing over me.

Wednesday, 3:40 pm – Ricky

Hello, HTML5 online MMO Bomberman. Goodbye, productivity.

Wednesday, 2:33 pm – matt

I forgot to mention I beat Dead Island joining ricky and preezie in finishing that weird one up. it was a very fun game to play and certainly a interesting experience with other players, but man was the end of that game a rushed P.O.S?

and why did they pick on that one girl (jin) so much? its like the developer decided any bad thing was just going to happen to ONE single character so we only had to feel bad for one person instead of four.

she was basically a toilet to dump all the shit into…

ricky and i have spent a considerable amount of YEARS debating the merits of P.C vs console, and I think we’ve learned the most calming way to aproach the topic is to each their own. The costs of a rig compared to a console are high, but games are generally cheaper. Console games you can rent at least and trade back for value as oppopsed to steam sales, but steam sales are always going on and save a considerable amount of money. Generally P.C’s are hooked up to smaller monitors than consoles television (but not out of the question, as I am someone who has had their computer on a tv for over 10 years now…)

But ricky’s point about console trying to cash in on downloading full games directly to the system, yet still charge full price? Thats gotta be fixed!

Wednesday, 1:00 pm – Ricky

And this is why everyone loves Steam. Think about how matt feels right now with all of these console sales – now consider that Steam has a new sale EVERY DAY. Plus mid-week sales. Plus weekend sales. Plus at least a few blow-out week-long sales each year.

It’s a conundrum I alluded to an last week’s podcast: If a new console costs $500 and games cost (generally )$60, even months after their release, but a new high-end PC costs $1,500 and newer games can cost significantly less, significantly sooner than their console counterparts thanks to digital distribution sites like Steam, GOG and Amazon, then what’s the right cost-driven choice? Over the course of console ownership, you’ll buy many new games. I’ve purchased many more games on PC since November 2010 than both consoles combined, and if I could be bothered to calculate my total costs for each, I’d estimate that my PC game collection cost me only a marginal amount more despite the much larger catalog.

Still, I think that what we’re seeing with the Vita (digital-only releases, day and date with retail, and overall cheaper prices) and what we’re seeing with the PS4 announcement, console manufacturers are taking notice of the trends and adjusting their marketplaces. Sounds like wins all around for consumers!

What have I been playing, you ask? Still plugging away towards level 50 in Borderlands 2 – it’s become the thing I can play and not even put my full attention to, watching TV shows or movies, or listening to podcasts at the same time. I’ve also been into some mobile gaming with the rogue-like minesweeper-esque game Dungelot. Great game, and super addictive. Seriously, rogue-like minesweeper. Check it out.

Wednesday, 10:00 am – matt

and the sales keep pouring in! in addition to the xbox sale currently underway (today the assassin creed games are available heavily discounted, with several other classics like BioShock, Rainbow Six Vegas, Virtua Fighter 5 and a bunch more for only $4.99) Sony has a somewhat big sale of their own celebrating the one year anniversary of the vita launch. there are a ton of great games available from the heavily touted gamentary favourite Sound Shapes, Escape Plan, Smart As, and more. The games are even cheaper for ps+ subscribers.

http://blog.us.playstation.com/2013/02/26/playstation-store-update-280/

Tuesday, 1:40 pm – matt

i agree with you Gavin, Wind Waker was a great title, but theres the other games that need a new release as you had mentioned. Regardless if it is a re-make, Nintendo still needs to put in a great deal of effort and man power in making the new version, effort that could/should be put into a new Mario or Metroid.

And talk about timing! Sony has just announced that the online mulitplayer mode from Uncharted 3 is now available for free!*

*free of course being you are giving access up to level 15, and need to pay cash in order to start unlocking more aspects of the game. my god…

Tuesday, 11:40 am – Gavin

Wind Waker HD was announced a while ago. They announced that they were releasing it while they were also working on a new title. While I anxiously look forward to a new title, I don’t quite get the rush for a new Zelda, or the criticism for re-releasing Wind Waker. A) Skyward Sword was just released at the end of 2011. It’s not even a year and a half old yet, and Twilight Princess came out in 2006, so it’s not unprecedented to have a long wait between Zelda titles. Look also at Link to the Past vs Ocarina of Time. B) Wind Waker was a GameCube title, and while the cel-shaded graphics were charming, it was still restrained by the power (or lack thereof) of the GameCube. You can retain cel-shading while also employing more power, which is what they’re doing here. And Wind Waker was a beloved game that you can’t play on the Wii-U because it doesn’t include GC backwards compatibility, so why would anyone complain about an HD re-release of a beloved game? Skyward Sword isn’t even two years old yet. It’s Zelda, not fucking Madden.

I’m much more interested in a new 3D Mario as Galaxy 2 came out in 2010, and a new Metroid, as Prime 3 came out in 2007, and there haven’t been any other Metroid games since.

Tuesday, 10:14 am – Ricky

Gametrailers released their Games of March 2013 video this morning. That’s… a lot of games. I didn’t even know a bunch of these existed, let alone that they’re coming out in the next 30 days. Such an interesting change in the industry from even 5 years ago, where the holiday season is no longer the only time of year where we can expect massive franchises to release their games.

Looking forward to SimCity!

Tuesday, 8:30 am – Ricky

I can’t comment on the Zelda remake (though, I’m pretty sure this was announced back in January during a Nintendo Direct, and Gavin mentioned he hasn’t played it yet so he’s excited… but I’ll let him chime in). I can comment on free-to-play: I love the concept. What matt is referring to is a horrible practice, and one that’s often exposed by gamers in the reviews. Another concept I hate from the F2P arena is “pay to win”, where a player can get an immediate leg up by paying more than another player.

I’m really loving the look of Tomb Raider – matt, if you’re looking to get it, maybe I should consider asking for it on XBox 360, because I’m pretty sure there’s a multiplayer element to it. Notice I said “asking for it”, because, you know, Challenge.

Here’s a really entertaining review by Conan. I laughed. Out loud. A few times. Note: It’s not really a review.

Monday, 4:45 pm – matt

NEW ZELDA GAME FOR WII-U ANNOUNCED!!!

oh wait, no its just another re-make, this time the Wind Waker gets the “new” treatment, and I for one cant think of any title LESS in need of a re-make. Wind Waker was an absolute joy to play when first released – with very few complaints from series faithfuls (aside from the unwarranted critism of the cel shaded graphics of course)…

simply put this is NOT the Zelda titles fans (like Gavin?) are waiting for. this game has most likely already been re-played several times over from those fans, who are looking for a BRAND NEW FUCKING GAME ALREADY!

Monday, 4:30 pm – matt

How about the supposed “free to play” games on smartphones and tablets that give you shell of a game, and up the consumer to actually buy gameplay elements in order to actually make the game playable.

Tomb Raider reviews are looking very positive and simply cannot wait to dive head first into that game, being the long standing fan of the series that I am.

Monday, 2:25 pm – Ricky

Well looky here, if it isn’t an early batch of reviews! I’m sure I’m not just speaking for myself when I say that I’ve grown a bit tired of release day review embargoes. Square Enix has decided to go against the trend, and Tomb Raider reviews are dropping today! In a word: Stellar. Take a look at the review round-up for PS3 and Xbox 360. Looks like PC reviews are still pending though…

Monday, 6:00 am – Ricky

Hey, look! I remembered! Go me.

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