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20 January 2014 @ 07:47 pm
Game Review: DLC Quest  
DLC Quest has been sitting on my Steam log for a long time and I hadn't played it because I wasn't sure how far it could carry the joke. And now, having played it, I can say the answer is, "Not as far as it wants to."

Sure, there are some funny moments. The "Grindstone" was amusing, and when I bought the "High-Def Graphics Pack!" and all it did was layer the screen with a muddy brown filter, I laughed out loud. Most of the time, though, DLC Quest relied on jokes that were as clever as going "AN ARROW TO THE KNEE LOLOLOLOLOLOL." Merely referencing something else is just borrowing the humor of the original situation unless the context adds any value, and that's not the case with most of the jokes they borrow here.

Though I did feel old when I realized that some of the people playing this game might not realize what a small tunnel with two doors on either end with circular locks right before a boss was referencing.

The other problem is that in order to be good, satire has to be at least as enjoyable (or whatever the appropriate equivalent is) as the material its mocking. DLC Quest is precisely as annoying as the material its mocking, but that means that it's exactly as annoying to actually play. It was around the time when I was running all around the game trying to find the last few coins I had missed that were somewhere in the level in order to unlock the door to the boss that I contemplated just turning the game off and watching the ending on Youtube. I didn't, because I'm mad for achievements"Awardments" even when they have essentially no value or reason to exist--I was in the top-10 on my World of Warcraft server for achievement points for basically the entire time I was playing--but I don't think I actually gained anything of value by doing so.

I guess that feeds into the larger point the game was trying to make, but that realization doesn't retroactively make it fun.

Rock Paper Shotgun had a good argument about how the game doesn't quite achieve its goal--it should have charged for the DLC. Make the game free and then charge $0.05 or whatever for each in-game unlock such that the total you pay adds up to $2.99, which would really make a statement about widespread monetization of everything under the sun. I get that they can't do that, because anything that cheap wouldn't make any money because the processing costs and transaction fees would be more than the price they were charging, but it would help make their point. As RPS states, spending in-game currency to buy in-game things is the game. It's not the kind of DLC that people complain about. It'd be like complaining about having to backtrack in a Metroidvania game.

I don't really want to say that was an hour and a half of my life that I'll never get back, but, well... If you want to get pretty much the same message--and the same quality of graphics and gameplay--without having to spend a dime, play Achievement Unlocked and Upgrade Complete.
Current Mood: aggravatedaggravated
Current Music: The Tolkien Professor podcast