Tag Archives: DLC

Physical Media: A Link to the Past

I have an entire wall in my living room filled with video games from every era of history. All three PlayStations, both Xboxes, most of the Ataris (including the Jaguar CD), nearly every SEGA console, every Nintendo save the Virtual Boy… If you’re in any mood, chances are I have at least one game that you’d like to play, or maybe even something you could discover for the first time. It can be overwhelming, though – sometimes I can’t decide what I feel like doing today and end up aimlessly poring over old instruction manuals for an hour. But have you seen some of these older manuals? They’re like works of art.

Do I want to shoot aliens today? Command a classic civilization? Make music with plastic instruments? It doesn’t matter; I have an abundance of choice, and just looking at this wall of history – this shrine to our digital past and present – I immerse myself in where I was in my life when I first acquired each particular game, what it meant to me, how it felt learning to play it. I think about how pumped I was when I found Shining Force for $2 at a pawn shop in the middle of nowhere, in some 1,000-population town in Northern Minnesota. I remember rediscovering the feeling of being able to reward myself by buying Chrono Trigger off eBay after a particularly low point in my life. These physical things are much more than pieces of plastic filled with thousands upon thousands of lines of code, waiting to be pulled out for a few hours of entertainment once every few years (if that). They are windows to my past, and every single one has a story.

I don’t get this feeling from digital media. Continue reading

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Review: Skyrim: Dawnguard – Is This Worth $20?

The biggest question that needs to be answered with Skyrim‘s first 360-exclusive-for-a-long-time-then-finally-hits-PC-but-we’re-still-waiting-on-the-PS3-version DLC expansion, Dawnguard, is, “Is this worth $20?” The intended audience has likely already invested dozens – if not hundreds – of hours into the world of Tamriel. And the game’s infinite procedurally generated quest system means that you’ve already been blessed with all the extra, non-essential game content you could ever need.

But then you remember The Shivering Isles, Oblivion‘s $30-and-worth-every penny DLC expansion. You recall Sheogorath, the Sean Connery-esque god of craziness. You remember the two distinct questlines, each offering a completely different experience for those forward thinkers with multiple save files for easy backtracking. Dawnguard has none of that. Dawnguard has vampires – creatures without souls. How fitting for an expansion lacking that same valuable asset. Continue reading

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