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karasu99
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"Hokuto and extra game content talk" , posted Thu 2 Dec 03:36post reply

I was surprised to see that not much talk accompanied either the US release of Fist of the North Star a few weeks back or the Japanese release, for that matter.

I for one have been loving the sheer beat-em-up-ishness of the game. It's like a distillation of the best parts of the Shin Sangoku Musou games with the added joy of a lovingly reproduced Hokuto no Ken world.

But in reading a few postings in various message boards everywhere, I was interested to find that the two 'extra' characters that aren't unlockable in the game, Mr. Heart and 'Outlaw', will be available for download for (allegedly) $6.99 apiece. Of course those who preordered the game got both for free (I did not).

This got me thinking about the nature of paid DLC, which is pretty regularly raked over the coals everywhere. Personally, I didn't bat an eye upon hearing that the BlazBlue DLC characters cost about the same amount, yet for some reason I choked a bit when hearing about Heart-sama and Outlaw, and as best as I can tell from really considering why that is, it's because Hokuto was sold at full game price, whereas Continuum Shift was sold for what, $40? Adding three characters at $7 each to that bring the price up to $61, which while higher than average retail, still felt somehow right, but $74 for Hokuto? It feels a little high.

I'm not sure really why I feel this way though; games stayed at $50 new for what feels like decades, after dropping from pretty outrageous prices for the time in the early 80's for Atari 2600 games (I saved for months and month to afford Defender's $70 price tag, and my parents still had to kick in a bit). From what I can tell, pricing for games in Japan is likewise pretty high, and there doesn't seem to be that $60 plateau equivalent there.

So what's the big deal? I sometimes feel after reading some message boards that people who are unlikely to pay $8 for DLC are just as unlikely to pay $1 or less for it, and for them it's the principle of having to pay at all that irritates. But no one is forcing anyone to pay-- Hokuto plays just fine without Heart-sama, and adding him... well, it just adds a little more to the game.

In a way, it's not too far off from Sonic and Knuckles adding content to the other three Sonic games. But, most DLC-haters would probably say, that content wasn't on the Sonic carts to begin with. That seems to me like really slicing the argument pretty thin. I'm not exactly sure how Sonic and Knuckles would be sold today, given the nature of game media.

So here is what I think. I cringe at DLC not because the developer are locking off content that's on the media already, but because games aren't less money to start with, on average, and then the DLC inflates the cost pretty high above that. It seems a bit like the grocery tactic of keeping the price the same but decreasing the package size by 30%, as opposed to raising the price and keeping the size the same. It's funny, since I don't think I have ever heard someone bitch about the price of games in general. So my question then is, is the reason why DLC is so popular in the industry today because players can be faked out by the seemingly constant up-front cost while prices really should be rising? And is offering the DLC for free for preorders a way of providing an incentive to buy, this driving those all-important week one numbers up?

I guess in short, why is it that so many people hate DLC? From all indications, it is the wave of the future in distribution of game content. Personally, I think I can put up with it assuming that it means that actual new content can be added much after the fact, but that's also assuming that we won't end up in a situation soon where the cost of a full game increases dramatically by having much more of its content available only as DLC.

Thought or comments? I look forward to many additional walls of text on the subject. Oh, and I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on Hokuto Musou as well!






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shin ramberk
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"Re(1):Hokuto and extra game content talk" , posted Thu 2 Dec 05:55post reply

The value of DLC is dependent on each person. I will not purchase the SSF4 costume packs because I think they are overpriced and some of them are just locked on the disc. If the price went down considerably, I would get the costume packs, but not the way it is now.

What is going on with Hokuto and DLC/pre-order bonus is just a way to create incentives to pre-order the game. Its also a way for the game publisher to make some money when the game is bought used. If you buy it used, well, you might buy the DLC and the game publisher makes money they otherwise would not.

Everything is on a game by game basis. If Capcom had put a whole bunch of "bad" DLC on SSF4-- I can bet you it would not have been as popular as it was. In fact, SSF4 is the best kind of "DLC". For $40 you get a lot of new stuff and improvements over SF4.





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"Re(2):Hokuto and extra game content talk" , posted Thu 2 Dec 09:45post reply

For me the whole DLC thing varies from game to game. For a lot of the extra content I view it as a nice little bonus for those who love the game but something I can probably live without. It's not like I get 100% completion in all the games I have so if I miss out on a couple of extra maps or costumes via DLC I figure it's no big deal.

The idea of DLC in fighting games, however, I find to be very annoying. With fighting games I feel that both players should have a level playing field. Holding part of the roster for ransom feels like one player is being rewarded simply for how much they are willing to spend. I've also become used to the idea that there are ways to tell fighting game upgrades apart. This is really helpful since not every upgrade is equal. For example, I like SFZ2 but can't stand SFZ2A. But the constant tinkering that DLC provides means that I can't keep track anymore. Is there any way to tell the versions of BB:CS apart or is that game viewed as being in a perpetual state of beta testing? DLC becomes a problem when it fundamentally changes the game.

As for HnK, I haven't been talking about it because I've been too busy playing it. Wandering around identical backdrops and pounding goons until they erupt is so relaxing it's almost theraputic. I did get Heart as a pre-order bonus but I'm not certain if having him there really makes the game any better. (Hmm... "I have your Heart but I'm not any better for it." There are some song lyrics in there somewhere, I'm certain of it.)





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"Re(2):Hokuto and extra game content talk" , posted Thu 2 Dec 13:17:post reply

quote:
In a way, it's not too far off from Sonic and Knuckles adding content to the other three Sonic games. But, most DLC-haters would probably say, that content wasn't on the Sonic carts to begin with. That seems to me like really slicing the argument pretty thin. I'm not exactly sure how Sonic and Knuckles would be sold today, given the nature of game media.

Actually, Sonic and Knuckles may illustrate the DLC resentment better than you know, what with it having resulted from Sega's halfassed Sonic 3 getting rushed out the door before it was finished in order not to encounter any delays. It was kind of a sham product resulting from splitting into two what should have artistically and mechanically been a single game...a lot like DLC, I'm afraid!

I think the DLC objection is based on the above, and a general dislike of getting nickle-and-dimed for something that should come with the original game for obvious design and content reasons. Like, a weird add-on or a new skin or something for a game would be one thing, but when characters are missing from a game, or when prices are obviously being inflated for items that were clearly being designed at the same time as the main game (or should have been), there are objections.

To my mind, if DLC exists it should be a radical reorienting, "expansion," or new "mod" with tweaks, so to speak. In other words, Street Figher II Dash would have been a reasonable DLC for SFII, or an expansion map for a Carcassonne-like board game, or even a new game based off of an existing same engine, like Half Life.





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[this message was edited by Maou on Thu 2 Dec 13:18]

Amuro Rei
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"Re(3):Hokuto and extra game content talk" , posted Fri 3 Dec 02:45post reply

quote:
In a way, it's not too far off from Sonic and Knuckles adding content to the other three Sonic games. But, most DLC-haters would probably say, that content wasn't on the Sonic carts to begin with. That seems to me like really slicing the argument pretty thin. I'm not exactly sure how Sonic and Knuckles would be sold today, given the nature of game media.
Actually, Sonic and Knuckles may illustrate the DLC resentment better than you know, what with it having resulted from Sega's halfassed Sonic 3 getting rushed out the door before it was finished in order not to encounter any delays. It was kind of a sham product resulting from splitting into two what should have artistically and mechanically been a single game...a lot like DLC, I'm afraid!

I think the DLC objection is based on the above, and a general dislike of getting nickle-and-dimed for something that should come with the original game for obvious design and content reasons. Like, a weird add-on or a new skin or something for a game would be one thing, but when characters are missing from a game, or when prices are obviously being inflated for items that were clearly being designed at the same time as the main game (or should have been), there are objections.

To my mind, if DLC exists it should be a radical reorienting, "expansion," or new "mod" with tweaks, so to speak. In other words, Street Figher II Dash would have been a reasonable DLC for SFII, or an expansion map for a Carcassonne-li

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yeah I gladly paid for the Read Dead Redemption Zombie expansion...but not for anew color for Cody in SSF4





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"Re(3):Hokuto and extra game content talk" , posted Fri 3 Dec 03:17post reply

quote:
Actually, Sonic and Knuckles may illustrate the DLC resentment better than you know, what with it having resulted from Sega's halfassed Sonic 3 getting rushed out the door before it was finished in order not to encounter any delays. It was kind of a sham product resulting from splitting into two what should have artistically and mechanically been a single game...a lot like DLC, I'm afraid!



That's one way to look at it, but every game has something that couldn't make it into the final product. How much of Sonic 3 do you think was planned to be included in Sonic 2? It's probably not zero.

It's always been a commonly [unfair] criticism against every game to complain of the absence of things that were never promised in the first place, and whenever a developer decides to make the process transparent it just reminds everyone. Now with DLC this kind of complaint has become more widespread than ever. "Listen to my complaint, because I know you can add this as a DLC/patch!" Now that this possibility exists, if developers don't do something it makes them look like they're ignoring the fans, but in doing it they also add fuel to the whole "well why wasn't it just in there to begin with" crap debate.

This is part of the reason why developers can and often do treat DLC as extra content and not integrated content, because if you don't have a completed game, what the hell do you have? If DLC contains a lot of content, it cheapens the original product and esssentially forces you to buy it. If it's cosmetic upgrades and extras, it's something that the player can decide to buy for themselves as a vanity purchase.

In the case of Hokuto, IIRC Heart-sama and Outlaw have no Legend or Illusion scenarios of their own, they're just characters that were added after the JP game's release. They're definitely not the only characters left unplayable in the game (there's still Juuzo, Yuda, Z, Shuu, etc) so I doubt that buying them would actually make the game much more complete than it already is. They are essentially extras, like the manga outfits and DLC missions.

On Hokuto itself, I've heard there were changes from the JP version, does anyone know everything that was changed? All I know is Toki can make a grunt's balls explode now, which sounds quite epic. I'm not sure I'd buy the game all over again, as much as I enjoyed it, but if the changes are interesting and the dubbing is cheesy enough I might take another look.





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"Re(4):Hokuto and extra game content talk" , posted Fri 3 Dec 09:30post reply

quote:
It's always been a commonly [unfair] criticism against every game to complain of the absence of things that were never promised in the first place, and whenever a developer decides to make the process transparent it just reminds everyone.


One complaint against DLC is when the price asked appears to be overly inflated versus its price to produce.

Yes, there are issues with that position. As not everyone will buy the DLC, each copy carries a higher recoup charge than the initial game. Companies will also sometimes look to DLC as a means of making up costs, where a game may actually be underpriced for its initial content on the hopes that DLC will deliver the profits.

But if the Call of Duty map packs, particularly with their amount of recycled content, aren't horribly overpriced then Activision is doing something horribly wrong. Activision knows a good portion of the already massive CoD fanbase will buy these map packs even at inflated prices, and sell the DLC accordingly.

When you consider the cost of Fist of the North Star, the total number of playable characters as well as the stages and other aspects, $7 to make another character playable appears excessive.

The Koei situation is stickier as, if true, it is charging a high price for what was a pre-order bonus? Quite possibly that is an attempt to make money from the used game market, as well as to push for more buys at release. That is a practice that could have some ugly repercussions down the line, as the people who are hurt most are the people who buy the game at full price but didn't go as far as to preorder it.





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"Re(3):Hokuto and extra game content talk" , posted Fri 3 Dec 19:00post reply

Same boat as Ishmael. Been playing the hell out of this game, approaching 50 hours and I'm going to finish it tomorrow... need to do Jagi's last dream mode mission and all of Raoh's, plus like 50 more Ujoken kills... aaaand then we're done!

I unfortunately didn't know about the Heart preorder bonus until after the game was out, though it doesn't make much of a difference to me. I'm not going to buy him because he's not really that interesting to me. Add Juda to the game and this might change, though!

I'm torn on the issue of DLC, honestly, because I buy a lot of it for games I really like. I could blow money on a number of worse things every day, and sometimes I do. As long as I get my money's worth in fun, what does it matter? On the issue of, say, Blazblue colors, I buy them because they're fun and because it feels kinda like throwing a buck in the tip jar at a favorite pizza place to me. It's like saying, "Hey, I like this, thanks!" Same reason I picked up BB avatars on 360, too. Well, that and I couldn't resist having a Torakaka pic up there.

The Hokuto Musou DLC is a bit different though. $5 for Rei, Mamiya and Raoh's manga costumes was totally worth it to me and I had a lot of fun using them, though I'm a bit irritated that there's no white-haired manga Rei. I was looking forward to seeing manga costumes for more of my favorite characters but when Jagi's came out alone with another challenge mission that I doubt I'll want to play for $5... I'm torn. I would enjoy using it, but that $5 could be half of, say, Pac-Man CE DX. And $3 for Kenshiro's outfit alone? No. Nothing doing.

quote:
Is there any way to tell the versions of BB:CS apart or is that game viewed as being in a perpetual state of beta testing? DLC becomes a problem when it fundamentally changes the game.


Neat thing about BBCS is that you can pick the patch version you play, either online or offline, so you can effectively kill all the DLC characters if you want. Haven't played in what feels like months, I've been so busy! I don't know that I've ever even played any matches after Valk came out. Need to get back into that and LP2 soon.





shin ramberk
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"SSF4 AE DLC" , posted Sat 4 Dec 05:03:post reply

So how much do you think it will be? Will you buy it?

I have no idea how much it will be. I've had a different opinion about DLC though. It maybe because I suddenly became more "mature" in the last 8 days or because I read a convincing argument here or elsewhere.

Anyway, I think that higher priced DLC (depending on the price) may not be a "rip off". Why? Well, for example, Capcom sold millions of copies of SSF4 at a $40 price point. Capcom is not going to sell millions of copies of a $10 or $15 DLC pack. They'll sell thousands. So, they have to make up what they lose in volume in price.

And I like having new content that is substantial like new characters. I will buy the Arcade Edition DLC pack when it comes out if its not absurdly priced. I want new characters added to the game. Its worth the money to get new characters.

You can argue that Capcom is milking its customers or will sell the content in the future at a cheaper price. Those might be valid arguments. I want new characters to be developed and released. I also know that I'm paying for the privilege of getting a new character earlier then other people who are waiting for a cheaper price. Sometimes I wait for prices to go down on new games, sometimes I don't. Its my choice.

When SSF4 was released by Capcom-- it was a COMPLETE GAME in my opinion. I want more characters added to the roster, give me more and I'll buy the DLC if its priced reasonably.

I would not be opposed if SSF4 got new characters every 6 to 12 months as DLC. I wouldn't be surprised if this did happen. The costume packs were a success-- there's a good chance this will be too.





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[this message was edited by shin ramberk on Sat 4 Dec 05:06]

Nekros
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"Re(1):SSF4 AE DLC" , posted Sat 4 Dec 05:53post reply

The arcade rebalancement plus Yun and Yang was a good point to start with dlc additions. At least is better than extra costumes (absolutely NO gameplay content, like colors for BB, soooo silly!).
But the last trailer for SSFIVAE is a tease.
It shows Satsui No Hado Ryu and Oni Gouki as new characters in the game.
Whyyyyyyy!!!! Terrible choice!
First reason: SFIV has a good selection of characters, most of them creative and very different among themselves.
Reason 2: too many shots (already 6) in the game!
Reason 3: waste of character slots from SF3
Reason 4: simply no one request alternative shotos... where are Rolento, Elena, Karin, Hugo...they're plenty of characters to choose from!

New characters sucks, nonsense in their existence.





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"Re(2):SSF4 AE DLC" , posted Sat 4 Dec 06:27post reply

quote:
The arcade rebalancement plus Yun and Yang was a good point to start with dlc additions. At least is better than extra costumes (absolutely NO gameplay content, like colors for BB, soooo silly!).
But the last trailer for SSFIVAE is a tease.
It shows Satsui No Hado Ryu and Oni Gouki as new characters in the game.
Whyyyyyyy!!!! Terrible choice!
First reason: SFIV has a good selection of characters, most of them creative and very different among themselves.
Reason 2: too many shots (already 6) in the game!
Reason 3: waste of character slots from SF3
Reason 4: simply no one request alternative shotos... where are Rolento, Elena, Karin, Hugo...they're plenty of characters to choose from!

New characters sucks, nonsense in their existence.



Yup, Evil Ryu and Oni Gouki were odd choices. Even because SSFIV already has an alternative Gouki as a secret final boss (same with Gouken). And wasn't Ryu supposed to have sealed his SnH anyway? (well, Capcom doesn't really care about continuity in the SF plot, so we should have seen it coming)

Nevertheless, if we ignore these two characters, the DLC pack still brings Yun and Yang and a rebalancing of the cast's abilities. Maybe the new outfits from the AE will also be in the pack (not really interesting, but a bonus anyway). So, overall, I'd say it is still worth it.





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"Re(1):SSF4 AE DLC" , posted Sat 4 Dec 07:15post reply

quote:
So how much do you think it will be?


If I'm optimistic, it's free. Too bad I'm not. I expect it'll be $20 for:
-Four new characters (Yun, Yang, Satsui Ryu and Shin Gouki)
-New character Vs. music
-New titles and icons
-New challenges and achievements/trophies
-All the character tweaks and additions from AE
-Whatever else is included (arcade story?)

Then they'll release the AE costume pack for $3.

Also, yeah I'll buy it, because who's still going to play regular edition SSF4 after AE comes out? It's not like there's a goddamn choice here. This isn't just an add-on, it's a complete update. You either get it or you won't be playing SSF4 against anyone but the CPU.

Incidentally I wonder how BB players feel about still having to pay for Platinum when they already know CS2 is going to have him/her/it for free?





shin ramberk
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"Re(2):SSF4 AE DLC" , posted Sat 4 Dec 08:11post reply

If you don't buy the AE DLC I'm confident there will be a free DLC pack so you can play against people who did buy it. Its similar to the situation with the new costumes. You don't have to buy the costumes but you can get a free DLC to play against people who bought the new costume pack.





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"Re(3):SSF4 AE DLC" , posted Sat 4 Dec 09:52:post reply

quote:
If you don't buy the AE DLC I'm confident there will be a free DLC pack so you can play against people who did buy it. Its similar to the situation with the new costumes. You don't have to buy the costumes but you can get a free DLC to play against people who bought the new costume pack.



It's not really the same thing. Costumes don't fundamentally impact gameplay, but this does. You can't make it optional for anyone. They might offer a mandatory patch for the original characters, but considering the severity of some changes (Seth loses jumping back HP, Dudley gets a new EX) I doubt they will. More likely they'll leave the original game intact and add AE as a new mode that can be switched on and off. And of course they won't interact with eachother, so you'll never see Seth's old jumping HP hitting Yun.





[this message was edited by Gojira on Sat 4 Dec 09:54]

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"Re(4):Hokuto and extra game content talk" , posted Sat 4 Dec 11:26post reply

quote:
That's one way to look at it, but every game has something that couldn't make it into the final product. How much of Sonic 3 do you think was planned to be included in Sonic 2? It's probably not zero.
Gojira, you have a good, fair defense of DLC, but the Sonic 3 bit actually still swings in my favor as far as that part of the analogy, I think: Sonic and Knuckles really was supposed to be part of 3...the debug level select has Sonic and Knuckles' zones (unplayable because they'd been deleted off), and I distinctly remember 3's promo materials mentioning the Flying Battery Zone, which never appeared until Sonic and Knuckles. It wasn't a matter of there being ideas in development that didn't make it till later, it's literally that Sega barged into the room and said This Game Is Too Large and We Are Shipping It As of Right Now, and thus the 25 second ending to Sonic 3 and the recycled music and sprites in Sonic and Knuckles!

Which is all like the worst type of DLC. I still want a new skin, a new expansion, more than anything. I think that maybe an integrated DLC would suit me best: like, make a full Championship Edition available that offers a fundamentally different thing, but in one item, rather than having people shell out for each new costume or patch that slowly trickles out carelessly without any eye for something beyond perpetual beta-dom, as Ish said.





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karasu99
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"Re(5):Hokuto and extra game content talk" , posted Sat 4 Dec 13:04post reply

quote:
Maou's railing against Sonic 3/Sonic and Knuckles


I've been struggling with what to write in response to all of the excellent talk in this thread, and I suppose what it comes down to is this: I love the freedom that the whole patch/DLC framework provides, in that a game can be added on to after the fact in a way that physical media doesn't afford (short of the 'game of the year' or 'international' editions that include extra stuff), but I also kind of hate the way that extra content has been marketed in a lot of ways, and the price points assigned to stuff that is desirable but not THAT desirable.

I think what it comes down to is that I just found Kenshiro's original outfit being prices at $3.99 to be just dumb.





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"Re(5):Hokuto and extra game content talk" , posted Sat 4 Dec 14:11post reply

quote:
Gojira, you have a good, fair defense of DLC, but the Sonic 3 bit actually still swings in my favor as far as that part of the analogy, I think: Sonic and Knuckles really was supposed to be part of 3...the debug level select has Sonic and Knuckles' zones (unplayable because they'd been deleted off), and I distinctly remember 3's promo materials mentioning the Flying Battery Zone, which never appeared until Sonic and Knuckles. It wasn't a matter of there being ideas in development that didn't make it till later, it's literally that Sega barged into the room and said This Game Is Too Large and We Are Shipping It As of Right Now, and thus the 25 second ending to Sonic 3 and the recycled music and sprites in Sonic and Knuckles!



True, if the zones were in a debug menu that would mean they were added and then removed, but that doesn't mean you know why. To me the clues you give make it sound more like they had it all done and ran out of space, which would make S&K actually a pretty clever way to overcome cart storage limitations. But nobody really knows for sure why it's like that other than Sega themselves. All you can do is guess, and without answers there's a tendency to assume the worst reasoning possible. In that respect, it certainly is like DLC.





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"Re(6):Hokuto and extra game content talk" , posted Sat 4 Dec 15:26:post reply

Fair enough! The thought process really does bring into light how not to do DLC, in my mind---if the stuff looks compellingly unique and finalized enough, it will really seem like a new experience rather than making the original appear rushed and slapdash, or the latter just like a cheap extension made for budgetary reasons or poor planning. I think it would be easier to give DLC the benefit of the doubt if there were more cases of it being innovatively and professionally done, somehow.


Edit: Ah, Naka Yuuji was so kind as to say it all for me in one place! This is just how not to do DLC, in my book: "Sonic 3 is literally half a game. Sega management back then wanted the game out at a certain time and we only had half the stages done, so we had to put the leftovers into Sonic and Knuckles. So when you bought S&K and attached it to Sonic 3, you got the whole of what Sonic 3 was planned to have been." Make it professional, kids.





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[this message was edited by Maou on Sat 4 Dec 16:56]

shin ramberk
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"Re(4):SSF4 AE DLC" , posted Sat 4 Dec 16:04post reply

quote:
It's not really the same thing. Costumes don't fundamentally impact gameplay, but this does. You can't make it optional for anyone. They might offer a mandatory patch for the original characters, but considering the severity of some changes (Seth loses jumping back HP, Dudley gets a new EX) I doubt they will. More likely they'll leave the original game intact and add AE as a new mode that can be switched on and off. And of course they won't interact with eachother, so you'll never see Seth's old jumping HP hitting Yun.



It will be interesting how Capcom handles this but are you implying that Capcom will force you to buy the upgrade or... ? I'm confused by what you are implying/hypothesizing.

Capcom is not going to serve two versions of SSF4 on their online match making system-- I really doubt this. They are only going to service the customers who have SSF4 AE for online match making-- its less work and easier to maintain.

Capcom cannot force you to buy AE in order to continue playing in their online match making system. It will be a forced upgrade that you can buy or download for free (if you desire to continue playing online).

If you don't like the changes in AE-- that's an entire different matter then what we're discussing here. You are raising a different issue altogether on how the community reacts to online DLC that changes gameplay. But this is not something new, except that the changes are delivered in the form of DLC. SF has always had revisions and upgrades, large and small.





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"Re(5):SSF4 AE DLC" , posted Sat 4 Dec 17:32:post reply

quote:

It will be interesting how Capcom handles this but are you implying that Capcom will force you to buy the upgrade or... ? I'm confused by what you are implying/hypothesizing.



When I say forcing, I mean the player base will force it, but Capcom themselves can't. Capcom will have to approach it with care and continue supporting the entire base.

quote:

Capcom is not going to serve two versions of SSF4 on their online match making system-- I really doubt this. They are only going to service the customers who have SSF4 AE for online match making-- its less work and easier to maintain.



Maybe, but at least for the first few months they will need to continue supporting the original SSF4 somehow. The balance changes might ruin saved match replays, for one thing, unless there's already a system in place to differentiate between old replays and post-DLC replays.

Edit:
quote:

Edit: Ah, Naka Yuuji was so kind as to say it all for me in one place! This is just how not to do DLC, in my book: "Sonic 3 is literally half a game. Sega management back then wanted the game out at a certain time and we only had half the stages done, so we had to put the leftovers into Sonic and Knuckles. So when you bought S&K and attached it to Sonic 3, you got the whole of what Sonic 3 was planned to have been." Make it professional, kids.



I take it back, then. That's just silly. Not surprising, though.





[this message was edited by Gojira on Sat 4 Dec 17:39]

Stifu
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"Re(6):Hokuto and extra game content talk" , posted Sat 4 Dec 20:06:post reply

quote:
True, if the zones were in a debug menu that would mean they were added and then removed

No. That means they were *planned*, but you have no idea how complete these stages were. So releasing S&K later also gives the dev team time to finish (if even started) all the stages.
(Edit: but Maou already made that clear in a following post)

I don't think it's silly, though. That's rather smart, if it avoided a rushed, incomplete mix of Sonic 3 and S&K on the same cart. I'd rather pay for 2 games and have a (more) complete, polished game.
On the other hand, Sonic 2 was great, and Sonic 3 alone was a letdown, so delaying Sonic 3 and releasing the equivalent of Sonic 3 + S&K as one game would have made it a worthy sequel on its own, and might have boosted sales overall. *shrugs*

And you could argue making S&K a separate game wasn't so useless, as you could also use it with Sonic 2 and other games (although that got boring fast)...





[this message was edited by Stifu on Sat 4 Dec 20:15]

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"Re(7):Hokuto and extra game content talk" , posted Sun 5 Dec 04:58post reply

Yeah, I should have said "could mean" instead of "would mean." Doesn't change much.

I meant "silly" as in knowingly releasing half a game. The kind of situation happens often I know, but most companies know better than to release a game in that state. And in terms of modern comparison, this kind of thing parallels more with post-release patching than DLC.





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"Re(8):Hokuto and extra game content talk" , posted Tue 7 Dec 03:15post reply

It occurred to me that I've spent very little time actually discussing my thoughts on the game itself with all the high emotions of DLC talk, so:

I'm really loving the game! It's a great stress reliever (like most of the Musou games-- and I have not shame in admitting I've played most of them), and strangely enough I'm finding the the music and sound to be perfect for the game (strange only because I rarely consider music in games at all).

This was clearly a well thought out game-- a fan's game, but very artfully made anyway. The number of named characters in the game makes me hope that a Hokuto Musou 2 will be made (but secretly I suspect they will just get dribbled out to one degree or another as DLC).

I'm a casual HnK fan, having only seen the 1986 movie and played a bunch of the games. Right after I got this game I rented the movie and watched it for the first time in probably 15 years, and found it to be... not exactly satisfying in terms of story (and not nearly as entertaining as I used to). I suppose I should track down the mange to read or even some of the newer animation.





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"Re(9):Hokuto and extra game content talk" , posted Tue 7 Dec 10:55post reply

quote:
I'm a casual HnK fan, having only seen the 1986 movie and played a bunch of the games. Right after I got this game I rented the movie and watched it for the first time in probably 15 years, and found it to be... not exactly satisfying in terms of story (and not nearly as entertaining as I used to). I suppose I should track down the mange to read or even some of the newer animation.

Or you could just watch the comedy highlights on YouTube. I like that you can easily find videos with titles such as "Ken-Oh crushes a pissant" or "Kenshiro sawing through some guy's head." On any other children's show these clips would be considered insane but it was simply another day at the office for HnK.





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"YOU WA SHOCK" , posted Tue 7 Dec 15:30:post reply

quote:
not exactly satisfying in terms of story (and not nearly as entertaining as I used to).

I like that you can easily find videos with titles such as "Ken-Oh crushes a pissant" or "Kenshiro sawing through some guy's head."

Ishmael is correct. But I should note that Karasu's enjoyment of Hokuto No Ken's story, art, pace, and his enjoyment of life itself would all increase exponentially if he has a version containing YOU WA SHOCK. I am literally incapable of imagining how or why this song is not included in each and every rendition of the series, and possibly why it is not playing every five minutes.





人間はいつも私を驚かせてくれる。不思議なものだな、人間という存在は...

[this message was edited by Maou on Tue 7 Dec 15:48]

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"Re(1):YOU WA SHOCK" , posted Wed 8 Dec 02:54post reply

quote:
Ishmael is correct. But I should note that Karasu's enjoyment of Hokuto No Ken's story, art, pace, and his enjoyment of life itself would all increase exponentially if he has a version containing YOU WA SHOCK. I am literally incapable of imagining how or why this song is not included in each and every rendition of the series, and possibly why it is not playing every five minutes.


Ho ho, that's delightful! I now think I have a pretty good idea of what I'm missing. Thank you both for providing some enjoyable moments!

Given how miserably animated some moments of the movie were, imagine my surprise when I saw the frame by frame disparity in the size of Kenshiro's pecs in the clip you linked to, Ishmael! Although I suppose it's not that strange to see a TV show having worse animation that a theatrical release, so nevermind. There are some truly awesome moments in there, like the Hokuto Zankai Ken, which makes a brief appearance in the movie, kinda, and is hilarious in the game.

Can anyone vouch for the manga? I would rather not go to all the trouble of finding it if it then ends up being only so-so.





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"Re(2):YOU WA SHOCK" , posted Wed 8 Dec 04:31post reply

quote:

Can anyone vouch for the manga? I would rather not go to all the trouble of finding it if it then ends up being only so-so.



One notable difference between the manga and the anime is that the anime is full of colorful jobbers that do not appear in the manga. NANTO DARK BELL KEN! The manga moves along at a much faster pace than the anime.

The draftsmanship of the manga is really quite terrific, and is worth looking at simply because it is one of the exemplary pieces of the hyper-detailed, hyper-macho style that is anything but mainstream today. Still, both are worth your while because the audio-visual experience of the anime really make a difference. Whether or not your eyes can handle the big 80s color palette is another question, though.

The manga can be roughly divided into 3 segments:

- the first part, ending with Kenshiro fighting Raoh
- the second part, with Raoh's secret identical brother and other such lunacy
- the third part, where Bat does his best Jagi impression, and is so hare-brained that even HnK devouts like myself think it's crazy

I remember once hearing that in an interview with Bronson, the second and third parts were not acknowledged (something along the lines of, "I don't remember clearly the events following Raoh's defeat..."). Strangely, all of the material in the HnK revival has been OBSESSED with the Isle of Shura, which was introduced in the second part.





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"Re(1):YOU WA SHOCK" , posted Wed 8 Dec 05:43post reply

quote:

Ishmael is correct. But I should note that Karasu's enjoyment of Hokuto No Ken's story, art, pace, and his enjoyment of life itself would all increase exponentially if he has a version containing YOU WA SHOCK. I am literally incapable of imagining how or why this song is not included in each and every rendition of the series, and possibly why it is not playing every five minutes.



TRUER WORDS NEVER WERE SPOKEN.

Not to mention that "Ai wo torimodose!" is possile the best ice-breaking device a man can find in Japan. Got trapped in a karaoke party surrounded by grey sarariman and chubby middle aged women? Don't sweat! Good ol' "You ha shock" will make you the king of the party in no time. Desperate because you don't find any suitable pick up lines to lure random schoolgirls? Well, no one can withstand a manly (and funky!) "You ha shock!" cry. Don't kow how to draw the attention of that elusive pedestrian to ask for directions? No prob, man! Shout "You ha shock" at the top of your lungs and you'll be the center of attention!

The best song in human history? I say YES!

P.S.
"Tough boy" is s not half bad either.





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"Re(2):YOU WA SHOCK" , posted Wed 8 Dec 08:54post reply

Ai wo torimodose is number 1 for me, Purple Eyes being second.





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"Re(3):YOU WA SHOCK" , posted Wed 8 Dec 11:02post reply

YOU WA SHOCK is great for being great, but Tough Boy is the one that I can listen to for longer stretches at a time.

Love Song is very memorable to me because in the ED animation, there is a moment where the Horsehead Nebula is shown, and if the first thing that pops into your head is Raoh's horse Kokuoh, that is a moment where you realize just how brainwashed you are by HnK. It also contains the memorable Engrish, "I don't like love/'cause I love you"





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"Re(2):YOU WA SHOCK" , posted Wed 8 Dec 12:23post reply

quote:
Not to mention that "Ai wo torimodose!" is possile the best ice-breaking device a man can find in Japan. Got trapped in a karaoke party surrounded by grey sarariman and chubby middle aged women? Don't sweat! Good ol' "You ha shock" will make you the king of the party in no time. Desperate because you don't find any suitable pick up lines to lure random schoolgirls? Well, no one can withstand a manly (and funky!) "You ha shock!" cry. Don't kow how to draw the attention of that elusive pedestrian to ask for directions? No prob, man! Shout "You ha shock" at the top of your lungs and you'll be the center of attention!

Maese, did I mention that I love you? I have like five end-of-year bounenkai, and you bet this will help at next karaoke session. Actually, the 80's are a treasure trove of good animation songs that everyone knows that spice up a party. With my voice, I think You Wa Shock (ach, Ai O Torimodose if you must) will go over better than Lum No Love Song or Choose Me from Kimagure Orange Road, even I love each of them like my own family.





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"Re(3):YOU WA SHOCK" , posted Wed 8 Dec 17:33post reply

quote:

Maese, did I mention that I love you? I have like five end-of-year bounenkai, and you bet this will help at next karaoke session. Actually, the 80's are a treasure trove of good animation songs that everyone knows that spice up a party. With my voice, I think You Wa Shock (ach, Ai O Torimodose if you must) will go over better than Lum No Love Song or Choose Me from Kimagure Orange Road, even I love each of them like my own family.



But... But... I'm the Sacred Emperor, I have no use for feeble feelings such as love!

Ah, Sauza sama... we should all bow before the true king of all tsundere.

Anyway, I'd suggest you to add City Hunter's Get Wild to your bounenkai musical repertoire. It also works wonders on any karaoke session: everybody knows it and is pure 80s sound as well!





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"Ramblings of DLC . . ." , posted Wed 15 Dec 16:14post reply

I can't say anything about Hokuto Musou right now. My brother got it in Japan really cheap and will bring it over when he visits for Christmas. He also got a PSN ticket so we can download that DLC.

But I guess I will discuss the topic of DLC.

*WARNING* Scattered Thoughts Incoming *WARNING*

I agree with Shin Ramberk that the value of DLC is dependent on each person. I don't think I've downloaded that much DLC since I got my PS3 2 years ago. I've avoided things like the Metal Gear Online expansion or the costumes from SFIV because I didn't think they were worth it.

I think my DLC purchases have been limited to the extra characters from Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (which I just bought because I heard they will be taken down permanently, but I enjoy them nonetheless)

For the games I play, I see DLC as a incentive for people to buy new (or more specifically preorder at certain stores). I have missed out on certain deals because I didn't preorder, but still got the game new like X-Men Origins Wolverine and the UFC2010 characters. I understand the desire for publishers to want to siphon consumers away from the used market, but some of these practices seem rather harsh to the consumer as well.

I preordered UFC2010 a couple of months before the release, but was out of state during its release and several months afterwords. I was only recently able to pick it up and much to my dismay the code to download the extra fighters expired a couple of months back. To me, it would be better for the publisher to maintain the ability to get the DLC with every new purchase whether it be preorder or not that way there is always the incentive to buy new over used. If I see a game that has interesting DLC that is usually attached to preorders and you have to buy separately afterwords and I miss the preorder I would wait for the game to become cheaper used to make the DLC "worth" it.

Of course I know UFC and other games have used the "online pass" to create another incentive to buy new over used which is something I don't enjoy one bit.

When it comes down to it though, I don't like DLC as preorder incentives. I actually prefer physical collectibles. I really enjoyed the Punisher shirt I got when I preordered the Xbox game and I have the Fatal Fury hat I got when I preordered Maximum Impact 2 hanging in my closet. I would have preordered the collectors edition of Arkham Asylum if the batarang wasn't plastic.

I also don't like how intrusive DLC has become while I am playing some games offline. Every time I boot up UFC2010 it asks me if I want to download the DLC fighters and DLC fighters are in the character select scree on Fight Night Round 4, but the game will not let me pick them until I get them from the PSN shop.

I feel DLC has a place in games today in the genres of music games and FPS games to allow more songs and added maps months after release. However, when I see DLC for games like Megaman 9 and 10 I can't help but roll my eyes especially when they are some rather basic modes like a harder difficulty. But I guess the simplicity of the DLC is offset by the relatively cheap price.

I think my biggest peeve with DLC is that I don't feel like I am getting the "complete" game when I buy it new, especially when DLC has an effect on gameplay (i.e. Shuma-Gorath and Jill in MvC3, which I will get since Shuma-Gorath is my fav character from MvC2).

When I see DLC like what is happening with MK, I don't think it is as bad as MvC3 since fatalities aren't really part of the actual gameplay of MK and the costumes are just superficial.

I really enjoy free DLC like the extra challenge maps in Batman Arkham Asylum. I would like more publishers to take that route in DLC, but I know that is very unlikely.

Well, those are my jumbled thoughts. I know DLC is here to stay especially in the age of farmville where people are willing to spend obscene amounts of real money for some rather silly things.





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"Re(4):YOU WA SHOCK" , posted Thu 16 Dec 02:21post reply

By now, I've spent about 50 hours playing this "Ken's Rage", and I must say that, in spite of being a bit lacking on the story mode's side (too brief to my taste, no Providence or Jackal, too many mid-tier minions absent), the "musouesque" dream mode evens the score and makes amends for the game's little faults.

I know that my opinion may sound biased (I'm a die hard Hokuto fan, after all), but I think that this game was made with an approach as reverent and true to the original source as any other Musou installment, and that is something to praise nowadays.

Koei knew they had to do their utmost to be up to the original franchise and modelled the characters (both graphical and story-wise) the best they could, and it shows: character intros, other cinematics, even dialogue scripts reflect the original personality of all the characters flawlessly, as if they had been written by Buronson himself. A true fan's wet dream...

The only technical issues that really bother me are:

- The background "popping" (is this the correct term?): objects generate too close to the camera, and it may get a bit confusing sometimes. Walking along a corridor, towards a distant clearing may result on a dead-end road too often if you don't have an eye on the map regularly, due to debris and other objects' drawing distance, which is a nuisance and hinders gameplay unnecesarily.

- The overall outdated, cheap look of the product: the graphic engine is either old or simply gone to waste because there are some physics issues such as clipping (Kokuoh and bikes get stuck on walls, carried beams protrude from the opposite side of walls you can't surpass...). Graphics, character modelling aside, aren't very impressive either (dull, tedious, barren sandy landscapes ahoy!), but who gives a damn, it's a nuclear postapocalyptic world after all, you moralfag!!. A bit of extra work on the gore effects (body explosions, blood stains, etc...) would have been great, though...

I knew that playing as Toki and Raoh was going to be great, but I never thought that Jagi was going to be so much fun. Since the beginning of the Dream mode until the ending sequence, I couldn't stop chuckling. Damn, Jagi, now I know why Buronson loves you so much!!!

Also, beware Mamiya!! She is a so-so character, only suitable/appealing to long-range type users but, when CPU controlled, she can be a real bitch!!

To me, Tough Boy and Heart of Madness will forever be the themes of Hokuto but, I must concede that the game's new tracks are quite appealing...

And now, escuse me dear sirs, for I still need to crush 2500 minions with "Ujoken Wisdom" (i.e. Toki style) to get my Platinum trophy (my first one ever, and probably the last one as well, lest Koei brings us a sequel...)





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"Re(5):I WA SHOCK" , posted Thu 16 Dec 15:54post reply

quote:
hokuto Musou stuff

I'm confused as to whether or not this game lived up to anybody's expectations. I know people love the Hokuto Arc systems fighting game even if it was broken as heck, but I've watch those Mahalo playthroughs and it really makes me want to pick the controller and start combo-ing the shit out of mooks for endless techniquespamming. And while I agree the die hard fan won't be pleased (you can only abridge/condense so much of the manga/series), I feel they got the real meat and potatoes of Hokuto even if they had to slice out some of the fat (Mr. Heart is still in it, though). Of course, the lines between meat and fat could be argued, but, for the most part I feel it is one of the more, if not most faithful Hokuto game adaptations out there.





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"Re(6):I WA SHOCK" , posted Thu 16 Dec 18:42post reply

quote:
hokuto Musou stuff
I'm confused as to whether or not this game lived up to anybody's expectations. I know people love the Hokuto Arc systems fighting game even if it was broken as heck, but I've watch those Mahalo playthroughs and it really makes me want to pick the controller and start combo-ing the shit out of mooks for endless techniquespamming. And while I agree the die hard fan won't be pleased (you can only abridge/condense so much of the manga/series), I feel they got the real meat and potatoes of Hokuto even if they had to slice out some of the fat (Mr. Heart is still in it, though). Of course, the lines between meat and fat could be argued, but, for the most part I feel it is one of the more, if not most faithful Hokuto game adaptations out there.



Yeah, that's true but, the matter is that it's been marketed by Koei as a Musou game. That means tons of characters, missions and grinding at the expense of subpar graphics and cheap physics. The latter are there obviously, but the amount of playable characters isn't that great.

Don't get me wrong: this is the Hokuto non-vs game with the highest char count till date but, in the end, only 8 of them are playable (2 chars less than Arc Sys' fighting game for a Musou!!), while the remaining 10 (Shew, Juza, Fudo, Ryuga, Uda, Heart, Zeed, Amiba, Uighur, Kiba Daioh) seem to be destined to become DLC fodder, which is a pity, as they should have been available right from the start. It's as if Koei would force you to buy Huang Zhong and Zhang Liao as DLC for Dynasty Warriors! I guess I should've waited for the GOTY edition... but I couldn't resist the charms of Hokuto!!

If only Koei was a bigger developer, willing to invest more time and resources on their products... how great their games would be?