Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review: DLC Quest (XBLIG)

Can the gaming industry still make fun of itself? No, probably not. But thankfully, we have Going Loud Studios' DLC Quest for that.

DLCQ is a purely satiric adventure. That's to say that there really isn't a whole lot going on with it other than the funny stuff. The entire premise of the game is to point out the ridiculous amount of downloadable content that we, as game players, purchase and use on a regular basis- and in that way, DLCQ shines.

It truly is amazing when you think about it. Not all that long ago, there really was no such thing as DLC. Console gamers never had to think about new content for already existing titles other than sequels. PC gamers really only had 'expansion packs' to pick up- and those were few and far between. Though they did have the unenviable task of 'patching' their games with decent regularity. As recently as the PS2 and Xbox generation though, downloadable anything just flat out didn't exist.




Now though, you can't play any new releases for all that long without having to update the game, and the issuing of new content via a download directly to the console is all but expected by both buyer and industry professional alike. And that's where DLC Quest comes in. Developer Going Loud Games has crafted a pretty sharp little commentary on the industry as a whole with this gem of a download (irony!).

There are no refunds for this item
If you're looking for something with cutting edge graphics, or even kitschy 'hip' looks for that matter, you'll probably be a tad put off by DLCQ right from the jump. The first thing that popped into my mind when I sat down to play was that Gamestop ad campaign with the bunny. 

You know, the one where their rabbit mascot (why is their mascot a rabbit anyway?) gets into all sorts of game related trouble? DLCQ kind of looks like that. Everything has a 'papery' look to it and the animation isn't really all that great either... actually, there is no animation until you buy the DLC pack for it.

DLC Hats seems vaguely familiar...
Yes, in DLC Quest, you have to buy (not with real money- no worries there) add-ons for almost everything. What's everything? Want to walk left. DLC. Want to jump? DLC. Want a hat? ...you get the picture. Now, thankfully the currency you use to get all these additions (gold coins) is in gluttonous supply. You're not really going to struggle all that much finding some cash to plunk down at the download station. And as you can tell, that's a good thing.

Story-wise... there really is no story. Rescue the Princess and that's about that. The game is also pretty short, it's easy with a capital 'E' to wrap this puppy up in an afternoon. But none of this really matters because none of it is what the game was made for or is trying to provide as an end product.

Ooh, sexy 8-bit outfits! Have to get that.

It's a quick, fun, romp through a land where you have to download (again, not really. You don't have to spend anything past the 80mspts for the game download) stuff just to play... including armor for your horse! So yes,  if you're thinking DLCQ is a a one trick pony- it is one.

The game itself doesn't have any delusions of grandeur, or try to make itself out to be anything other than a goof on the business of games. It is, without a doubt, a one trick mini-horse. But on the upside, admission is cheap and it's a really funny trick.

- Jason M




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