Retro-gaming = no download content

By: 
Joshua Waddles
Staff Writer

Would you buy a cheese burger from a place that only sold the buns for the price of the burger, then required you to buy the meat, cheese and tomato afterward?

That’s the meme that’s going around the internet these days referring to downloadable content, and this is one major factor in why I, and a lot of other nerds, have been buying older games instead of the new.

The newest game I’ve bought is Super Smash Brothers for the Nintendo 3DS. It’s a very good game and not too long ago, they added Ryu, a character from one of my favorite franchises. Awesome! It’s for another $10. Not awesome, after I’ve already paid $50. I’d get it anyway, but you have to download it off the internet and I have limited data, living out in a rural area.

The limited data issue is also why I’m probably not going to get Starcraft II. I’m getting another computer soon which should be compatible, but I’ve just read online that the physical disk doesn’t do anything other than give you an installer app. You have to download the entire game off of the internet, and the file is probably huge. I like the franchise so much that I’d probably take that deal anyway, just sit at McDonalds for a couple of hours, except I’ve heard that you can’t play the game unless you install every patch that comes out.

I’ll pass, thank you.

If we were only talking about multiplayer mode, there’d be a reason for that. Games require all players to have up-to-date patches to be compatible. But Starcraft II requires it for offline play and there’s not a sane reason in the world for that.

And another thing that grinds my gears is these pre-order bonuses. What a lot of these new games do is offer free downloadable content, but only to people who pre-order the game online and pay for it before it’s even out. I’m not paying for a game no one’s ever played before, because I’m not going to gamble $50 on a game that might be terrible, and I’m not going to buy that same game after it comes out because I’m not paying $50 for a game that won’t let me have that downloadable content. Although I might make an exception and buy it after it comes out if the pre-order bonus is lame and the game is really good.

But for now, the next thing on my list is an expansion that came out in 2007. The other bonus to retro gaming is that you get a very good price for these games. I got one particularly old game, the original X-Com, which came out all the way from the dark ages of 1994. I got this game on Steam and although Steam is all internet downloading, the file was so small that it didn’t make too much of a dent in my data. The graphics are a little retro, but I don’t think this game suffers at all in quality due to age.

Not a bad option to have in your back pocket if you ever get tired of blowing $300 a new console every four years. Nintendo is coming out with yet another new game console, I’ve still got a list of games I plan to get on the original Wii. I probably would have got a Wii U because of one game that looked absolutely amazing, but requires internet.

This really makes me think that game developers are shooting themselves in the foot with all of these extra requirements. Not everyone has high speed internet, it’s not even available everywhere. Game developers may assume that people who don’t have high speed internet can’t afford their products anyway, and this is certainly wrong. I choose to spend less on older games because a lot of them are very good. But if Nintendo was willing to make more than one Legend of Zelda game available for each $300 console, assuming they didn’t choose to add internet requirement, pre-order bonuses and a ton of download content, I’d get the new system in a minute.

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