Sunday, April 6, 2008

Putting Justice to bed, and GTA IV's DLC  

Games: I finally put Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney on DS to bed last night, so after this post I’ll stop complaining about it, I swear.

Out of all four Ace Attorney games, this one was by far the weakest. It didn't start getting interesting at all until former main character Phoenix Wright came back for a while in the fourth (and final) case, and that one was a confusing mess of quasi sci-fi with a lot of nonsense evidence-gathering in two different time periods, one in the present and one in the past.

Overall I found the characters in AJ:AA to be either dull or annoying (or both), and the cases were mostly absurd to the point that I couldn't become immersed or suspend my disbelief enough to ever get in the swing of things. By the time I was halfway through, I was clicking past the text as fast as I could and had given up trying to make sense of each case’s “logical” flow.

Capcom needs to remember that not every case has to be a four-part, multi-layered epic. Sometimes, it's fun just to unravel a standard murder without having too many outlandish tricks or ridiculous intuitive leaps. It's like the devs feel the need to keep pushing the envelope of reality with each game, and the formula really doesn’t need to be this complicated or overdone.

More tedious than anything, I'm hoping that the Attorney series doesn't end on this down-note.

In other news, Sony’s Scott Steinberg was recently quoted at GameDaily Biz as saying that the 360-exclusive downloadable content for Grand Theft Auto IV wasn’t going to be a big deal. My first inclination was to say that the man was smoking crack, but after further thought... I’m not too sure.

Pretty much anybody who’s anybody is going to play this game at some point, but since it’s going to be available on both PS3 and 360, that negates its potential status as a single-handed system-seller.

Then take into account that the downloadable content in question will not be available immediately (not to mention, it’s not exactly clear whether or not the small fortune Microsoft paid for the exclusive rights will guarantee that it’s exclusive forever) and I’m not too convinced that anyone who already owns a PS3 but not a 360 will refrain from picking up the game based on the knowledge that some sort of content will be coming to the opposition's box at some point in the future. It's a lot easier to drop $60 and say "oh well" than it is to save up a few hundred and buy a second console.

For people like me who have the choice to play on either the PS3 or the 360, the choice is a simple one; Since I don’t perceive the PS3 as having any real technical edge over the 360, and since the PS3’s online experience is complete crap, and since Live is as smooth as silk to use, and since I enjoy going for Achievements, and since I would most definitely download additional content when it’s offered, I’ll be going 360, no question.

However, I’m sure that the percentage of people who are in my same situation are probably a very small percentage of the overall market… it’s doubtful that we’d swing the pendulum very far in either direction, so while Microsoft’s decision to secure future download content is just fine with me, in all likelihood I would’ve bought the 360 version anyway. I imagine that other multi-console homes would likely do the same, for similar reasons.

Another thing to think about is that by the time the downloadable content is available, GTA IV’s status as the “it” game may have cooled down substantially to the point that an additional scenario may not matter that much to people who are already done with it by that point.

Or not.

I will admit that I’m a big fan of add-ons that give me a reason to dig out old discs… I did it for Overlord and for Mass Effect, and I imagine that I’d do it for GTA IV too. Hell, I'd do it for Viva Pinata if Rare offered a new animal or two.

I guess in the end, it remains to be seen what exactly it was that Microsoft paid all this money for.

Will the sum earned by downloading this content from Xbox Live make up for the fortune they spent? Probably not… Will it guarantee them a stronger position in terms of console sales? I doubt it. They’ve got bragging rights for sure, but add-ons are a new territory for consoles and I think that this is more a gamble on Microsoft’s part than an educated strategic maneuver, even with the juggernaut that is GTA.

It’s definitely something to chew on…

What next?

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4 comments: to “ Putting Justice to bed, and GTA IV's DLC

  • Anonymous


    Though I haven't played it yet, back when it was annouced I remember thinking it was nice to see Capcom not giving into their tendency to recycle/grind the same characters over and over again in multiple sequels (street fighter, megaman, etc) and give the world they created room to grow and change. It's a shame the new cast doesn't seem to be as interesting as the old though. Here's hoping part 5 will add a little color to the alledged blandness of the new cast.

    As to the GTA 4 DLC? Until I know for sure what it's going to be, it will not play a factor at all in my purchase. A whole new island to explore won't really impress me all that much if by the time it's released i've invested 100+ hours into the main game. By then i'll be looking forward to the next big release.


    I'm guessing it will probably be something pretty substantial given the alleged ungodly sum MS has invested, but we'll see....

    Thanks for your comments. = )


    The GTA series has yet to entertain me beyond the 2-hour mark so I won't be buying it on any system, but I think part of the reason for the huge sum of money MS through R* may have, in part, been to simply create a fauxe partnership and to perhaps buy some loyalty. Not necessarily in a sense that the consumers would see, but possibly just in the minds of the folks steering the ship at R* and Take-Two. And maybe not even for GTAIV, but for the inevitable GTAV or for other R* games.

    Just a thought.

    PS: Nice throwback Homestar pic. I miss that site. Do they still do Strongbad email? Forgot about that site.


    Interesting idea, but do moneyhats like this really buy loyalty these days? It seems like long-time partnerships get tossed out the window without a second thought when the profit margins shift... Still, you may be on to something.