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Bayonetta - In Review

Those fingers through your hair. That sly come hither stare...

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Darksiders - In Review

War! Uh. Good God y'all!

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VGA 2009

Spike's choices... and ours.

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Dissidia Final Fantasy in Review

I think we have a different definition of the word "Final"...

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 PC in Review

I'm not sure how I feel about being with a guy nicknamed "Soap" in the showers...

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Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 in Review

Seriously, no jokes about my catch phrase. "Flame on!" isn't that bad, right?

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Beatles Rock Band in Review

There's nothing you can do that can't be done.

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ColorZ in Review

Look at all the pretty colors!

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Defense Grid: The Awakening in Review

What's worse? Aliens, smart ass A.I. or knowing your going to be dealing with both?

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Sacred 2: Fallen Angel in Review

You're a fallen diety? Well, so long and thanks for all the fish!

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Red Faction: Guerilla in Review

We've got knives, we've got guns, we've got sharp sticks! Now let's use 'em

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Velvet Assassin in Review

Death: It's not just for Nazis anymore.

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Night of the Living DLC! In Colorvision!

The Day of the DLC

More and more these days, I find myself lusting after a certain kind of game. Simple, earnest games that developers thoughtfully deliver straight to my console or PC with no shipping and handling or gas expenditure required. I’ll try and limit my topics to venues I’m currently familiar with, such as the Xbox Live Arcade, Wii Shop Channel and Steam.


Once upon a time, the Xbox Live Arcade was a den of scum and villainy the likes of which haven’t been seen since the early days of Newgrounds. But, like Newgrounds, lately many more titles are beginning to break the surface of this seething sea of amateur hour horseshit than ever have before. Many are even beginning to start the arduous crawl up onto land and staring right back into the burning hot sun instead of blinking and slithering back into the primordial soup from whence they came.

No longer is the Xbox Live Arcade a home for poor shoddy ports of old arcade games, it’s fast becoming a mecca for premium quality titles at value game prices. It cannot, and therefore will not replace the traditional big budget medium, but with the enormous amount of heart and soul to be had in some of these spectacular titles, I think their niche in the gaming market is growing wider by the day.

And not only only do I refer to original games, I also wholly support the notion of expanded content for retail games via DLC as well. The expansions to Fallout 3 were brilliantly thematic and thoroughly delightful playthroughs, well worth their weight in point value. I can’t tell you how much I treasured the hallucinogenic trip induced by punga fruit or the amazing alien scenery and weapons of Mothership Zeta. All in all I spent a hundred and ten dollars on Fallout 3, and I still want more to invest in.

But moving on to some more delicious solo titles… I’ve recently reviewed and raved over the sheer delight to be had in Shadow Complex and Defense Grid, so I won’t beat on that drum much more, other than to tell you to download the demos already, but I’d also like you to turn your eyes towards a couple of other titles that may have slipped below the radar for you.

The market is becoming incredibly robust, with even huge name companies like Square Enix getting on the gaming by porting some previously unreleased titles like Final Fantasy IV: The After Years to U.S. Viewers. My wife and I being avid fans of the original were all over that like funk on a gamers convention. (It was so intense that it actually nearly struck down one of the PAX hosts by turning virulent.)

Penny Arcades ‘Gabe’ and ‘Tycho’ combined with their fellow Decepticon combiners from Hothead Games to merge into Devastator, and spawn a delightfully offbeat, violent and crude game series set in a dystopian utopia beset by gaggles of evil mimes and evil automatons lusting after your fresh produce.

Also some unexpected players like the Brothers Chaps of Homestarrunner fame did just the same, creating a rather impressive episodic series of classic point and click adventure games.

And that isn’t even touching on the juggernaut that is Steam. There’s so much there to feast the eyes on I wouldn’t eve know where to begin.

If DLC continues on its course, it may very well become a gaming staple much in the same fashion that portable gaming became in the nineties. Already viable, as was handheld gaming in its day, DLC is starting to show that it’s not just a poor mans version of standard console titles, but that it can deliver quick and affordable entertainment on the fly for a fraction of the price of some of its disc based delivery compatriots.

I can only look forward eagerly to what the new year will bring to the DLC market and what it will mean to gamers everywhere in a cash strapped market and to developers of more limited means in terms of being able to deliver it to a broader market worldwide. Here’s to a bright future for the downloadable revolution.

Carpe ludus, my friends.

~ The Reanimatedfish

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