Monday, November 11, 2013

Batman: Arkham Item Collection

I liked Batman: Arkham Asylum. It was a cool game with decent combat mechanics, decent graphics, and a fairly interesting story. But the best thing about it was the Metroid-style gameplay.  You can't get to this area with out this weapon or that item. It was Metroid - in 3D instead of first person (Metroid Prime was ok) and it was BATMAN! Can't go wrong, right? I liked it. I've probably played through the game 3 or 4 times by now. It was great.

Then I heard about the sequel, Arkham City - woah! More BatMetroid!  So of course I purchased the game and played through it. I played for about a week, probably an hour or two hours a night. Each time I'd play I noticed that the game had a completion percentage. As stated I played for a WEEK! I kept thinking "Man this game is HUUUGE!" I've logged about 8 hours or so and it's only at 35% complete! So one night I booted the game and I entered a door, or accessed a panel, or something. I can't remember. But I trigger this huge battle and then the Joker dies. I was like WOAH! They killed the Joker!? No way. I'm only at 35% so this crazy clown is gonna come back and surprise everyone!


WTF? I finished the game? I went back and checked my percentage and it was only at 35% again. I must have missed an entire area of the game! So I looked around the net and realized what had happened. The makers of this game decided that ridiculous ITEM COLLECTION was "part of the game."  This made me absolutely furious. Instead of creating more actual game, or story to go through, the game designers got lazy and decided to put these little Riddler trophies all over the game world. I'm the type of person that absolutely ignores stuff like that. If it's important to complete the game, like a weapon, a map, finding a location, etc then it's definitely in my span of attention. But if it's some little goofy trophy that will trigger a Riddler audio clip, I skip it. It's not essential for the game and in no way is it "fun." I was livid. I spent $60 on this game only to get about $30 worth of actual game.

That was the last straw. Arkham City was the last game I actually went out and purchased with my own money. After that, every other game I've played I've acquired by other means. I refuse to pay $60 for an unfinished product, or an unpolished product. This is what fuels piracy. These unfinished half-games with 'downloadable content' that is a required purchase in order to get the full story, or the real ending, etc are what cause people to say "screw this. I'm downloading it." The worst thing is when there is downloadable content that has to be purchased and then you hear that immediate sound of unlocking that tells you there was no actual download, it just unlocked what was on the disc - the disc you ALREADY PAID FOR.

I know I'm in the minority, but I really don't care for online multiplayer, so when I play games like Battlefield or Batman or whatever, I prefer the offline game. Single player. If I want multiplayer, I'll fire up my arcade cab and play a few rounds of Street Fighter with my friends. The best thing about that is that my friends aren't all prepubescent high-pitched idiots with a bad case of racist-mouth.  At least the trash talking during a match in Street Fighter is funny, and colloquial.

If game companies sold their game - IN ITS COMPLETE FORM, MIND YOU - in a stand alone version without the need for multiplayer, or whatever, and it was cheaper. Say $30 for a game with a COMPLETE SINGLE PLAYER  CAMPAIGN, then I'd be happy to keep purchasing games. Until then, it's Redbox, a friend's copy, or the game is totally "downloadble content."

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