Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pay the man!

I played Crimson Alliance for all of 30 seconds before I shut it off. I loved it and did not want to waste another second on the demo, though I do not know when I will get the chance to change my trial install into a fully functioning, achievement generating, loot hoarding one. The way Microsoft has priced this is absolute genius. The game is free, for the most part. You can play every character for absolutely nothing, you just don't get new equipment and most of the levels are missing. How is this different than a demo? You can purchase just one of the three characters for a discounted price. This is perfect for people like me who run through a game once and never touch it again. I can play the free version long enough to figure out which character I want to use, then drop 800 points on him instead of 1200 points on the whole deal. Now if the characters were 400 points apiece instead of 800 it would be perfect, but they are running a business, and all they really want is your money. Any enjoyment the consumer derives is a simple side affect of the man getting paid.

It is an excellent precedent and I hope more downloadable games use it.


I am only on the third chapter and it is already clear that Madness Returns to just too long. Each area could be cut in half and it would be much better for it. There is nothing wrong with fetch quests and jumping puzzles, I just don't want to do the same ones three times in a row before getting to something new. Back in college (when I used to be smart) it was very plainly stated that in music you can get away with doing the exact same thing four times in a row before anyone notices and it gets boring. Current pop dreck abuses this, but more often than not a song will operate in fours. (note: I may be full of shit here. This was a long time ago and a lot of drinking was going on at the time). Truth of lies, my point is that new or at least slightly varied versions on tasks must be introduced much more often in a game to maintain interest. I don't care how pretty a level is, when I have been in it for several hours with no variation I want to do something else.

No wonder Alice is crazy.

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