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Topics - El Stevo

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Console Games / Xbox 360 Marketplace and your wallet
« on: October 25, 2006, 04:34:04 am »
After a wave of crazy, crazy announcements in the last few days/weeks, I have become really rather depressed by the way the Marketplace is going. EA seems to be leading the way in the battle for your cash by charging for the use of CHEAT CODES. These are cheats that can be accessed freely using button combinations in the PS2 version of the game in question. Or how about the amazing downloadable content in The Godfather: The Game? Here's the rundown:

Quote
Name: The Don Collection
Available in: All regions
Price: 800 Points
Dash Details: Become a "made man" with the ultimate collection of weapons, money and in-game items. You will receive all 5 Level-4 weapons upgrades, $50K, $100K and $250K in-game money downloads. Additionally, you'll receive the MobFace apparel bundle, Favor Pack with 3 new missions and the Buddy Crew upgrade. All items sold individually on Xbox Live Marketplace!

Name: Level 4 Revolver - Black Widow
Available in: All regions
Price: 100 Points
Dash Details: Get the ability to buy the most powerful revolver in the game. One bite from this beauty stings worse than any venom. Look for the special arms dealer at the Continental Club in Little Italy. At $300,000 it provides great bang for your buck.

Name: Level 4 Pistol - Herzstopper
Available in: All regions
Price: 100 Points
Dash Details: Your chance to get the most powerful pistol in the game is just one stop away. For $400,000 you can be a real Romeo, stopping hearts all over town. Rendezvous with the arms dealer at the Full Moon Nightclub in Brooklyn. Good luck, killer

Name: Level 4 Magnum - Annihilator
Available in: All regions
Price: 100 Points
Dash Details: You want the most powerful Magnum in the game? You have to get the right to buy it first. You won’t regret it, though. For $500,000 and a trip to Hell’s Kitchen you can pack some serious heat. Look for the arms dealer at Poppy’s Westside Nightclub

Name: Level 4 Tommy Gun – Spectre Minigun
Available in: All regions
Price: 100 Points
Dash Details: Get the ability to buy the most powerful Tommy gun in the game. It’s one of the best weapons you can own, but top-of-the-line firepower comes at a price - $750,000 to be precise. Only one arms dealer in the city sells this baby. You can find him at Jay Sizzle’s Steakhouse in Midtown.

Name: Level 4 Shotgun – Lupara Semi-automatic
Available in: All regions
Price: 100 Points
Dash Details: Be the proud owner of the most powerful shotgun in the game. The arms dealer who specializes in the Lupara hangs out at Joe Foley’s Bar in New Jersey, but it’s worth the trip out of the city. Bring $600,000 along with you to pick up this gun

Name: Hired Assassin
Available in: All regions
Price: 250 Points
Dash Details: Give yourself some extra muscle by getting the ability to buy the most powerful crew member in the game, regardless of your current rank in the Corleone family. It’ll cost you $10,000 to add him to your team, payable to special crew dealers

Name: In-Game Money - $50K
Available in: All regions
Price: 40 Points
Dash Details: Add $50,000 to your game portfolio. It’s not a fortune, but it’s nothing to shake a stick at either. The money will be added directly to your in-game bankroll once you return to gameplay. This is a one-time offer; it cannot be purchased multiple times.

Name: In-Game Money - $100K
Available in: All regions
Price: 75 Points
Dash Details: Fatten your wallet with $100K. Maybe that’ll help you on your way to buying that new Tommy gun you’ve had your eye on. The money will be added directly to your in-game bankroll once you return to gameplay. This is a one-time offer; it cannot be purchased multiple times.

Name: In-Game Money - $250K
Available in: All regions
Price: 150 Points
Dash Details: Add $250,000 to your game portfolio. Now we’re talking some serious cash. The money will be added directly to your in-game bankroll once you return to gameplay. This is a one-time offer; it cannot be purchased multiple times

Name: Level 4 Weapon Bundle
Available in: All regions
Price: 400 Points
Dash Details: Get the ability to buy five of the most powerful weapons in the game. You still have to buy the weapons separately in-game from arms dealers, but if you do, you’ll have one of the most feared arsenals in the mob world. Check the individual weapon descriptions for arms dealer locations.

Name: Favor Pack – 3 Favor Missions
Available in: All regions
Price: 250 Points
Dash Details: Favors are the currency of the mob world. You do something for somebody, they owe you big. Get three additional favor missions that are available exclusively on Xbox Live Marketplace. Get over 100% game completion! (Note: All three missions have in-game prerequisites which you can view at http://godfather.ea.com.)

CHARGING FOR IN-GAME MONEY. You're paying real dollars to change an in-game variable. Add to that the fact that EA will break 360 games into downloads that come out in complete form on other consoles and you begin to feel bitter about it. EA are charging for everything they can think of and get away with it because people pay - the market decides.

It's not just EA though. What about Lumines Live? Buy the 'full' game for 1200 points (in the UK that works out to about 18 or 19 US$), but wait! You're not done yet! You still don't have the full game! There's an extra pack for 600 points. Great, I have the lot now right? BUT WAIT!

This is rather unfair for anyone who bought Lumines expecting more than a trial version.

What of Lost Planet? On the day it ships - the very day - you will be able to purchase additional content from the marketplace in the form of new multiplayer maps. Is there any reason why these maps aren't already on the disc? Yes! It's because they want to make more money from people. It's that simple. Does the price of the game reflect that there is less content available? No. No it doesn't.

Now I'm all for DLC that is developed after the game is released that prolongs the life of the game, such as the GRAW Chapter 2 content. I appreciate that people worked hard getting that stuff together for release - that it took time to get together. But when there is content that they left out of the retail version at launch, despite the fact that it was all done and ready on time, well that is just a horribly transparent bid for your money.

Seeing as how they love to market this activity as 'promoting consumer choice' - I choose to not give money to these amoral profiteers. When content comes along that is reasonable I'll support it, but EA, Q entertainment and others can go jump if they expect me to pay for their nonsense.

I think that, if the situation gets any worse, it will cause goodwill towards Microsoft and the 360 to diminish. At this stage in their console strategy they can't afford to put a foot wrong like that. They need everyone to be enthusiastic about the 360, and not be hesitant about recommending one to a friend. Word of mouth is hugely important. Having said that, I doubt the PS3's equivalent will be any more bargainous.

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PC Games / Naked War - Excellent turn-based game
« on: August 08, 2006, 03:24:46 pm »
I haven't seen any mention of this on the forums so I thought I'd give everyone a heads up - there's an awesome turn-based strategy game fot the PC called Naked War. It's not rude at all - it's quite the opposite! Instead of dying your little guys lose their uniforms and so can't fight until they get them back.

The game itself is a turn-based 2 player strategy affair. You have limited movement points for each character each turn and a limited number of attacks. The presentation is really cartoony but it looks cool. It's a surprisingly deep game and is totally addictive.

The unique thing about the game is how you actually play it - the two players don't need to be online at the same time. One player makes his move and then 'sends' it via email to the other person. Next time that person signs in to their email inbox, they download the small attachment and watch the opponents turn play out in the game. They then move their guys, email it back and so on. It's a really cool system and it means you can be really flexible and just play a turn whenever you have time, I've spent the week sending off a turn before work and then I have my opponent's turn waiting for me when I get home.

You can download the game completely for free (it's about 50Mb) and the free version lets you play matches on one computer or play one free online match. You only have to pay to send 'challenges' to a friend and you can buy 20 game challenge tokens for $19.99. The developer guarantees at least one hour play per dollar or something like that.

Anyway, the official websites put it much better than I can, so I'll just post links. I will say that it's a really great game and worth trying out for free!

http://www.naked-war.com/hq/index.php
http://www.naked-war.com/instructions/index.php

PS join me in the blue army!

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