With the current high price of some fun, and the anticipation and expectations that go with that price….what will we play?
New years, 2013…what’s to say? The world didn’t end, despite some people giving their crap away in fear. (seriously, why do that? If there isn’t going to be another world, why bother?)
So, it’s a new year today, and new games await. I grabbed Avatar Legends from the XBLA indie category last night, for 80 points ($1). While it is not my dream game, there is fun to be had, and currently for $1, well…. one’s expectations are set low enough as to not be too critical.
It is a mini-mmorpg, with an adventure (solo play) and co-op for up to 6 players online at once, all bashing monsters in the “multiplayer” aspect, where the maps change via host choice (16 total), and your avatar levels up, and the monsters come in waves. There are 4 difficulty levels, (easy, normal, hard, insane) and about 6-7 skills (strength, endurance, wisdom, etc.). Weapons, shield and magic are purchased in tiers, where you must buy one to get the next one unlocked, and the price increases dramatically. It’s repetitive, but at the same time, there is fun to be had, especially for $1.
For such a small cheap game, it also has a map editor/creator, where you can create your own quests/adventure, or multiplayer maps. So, for $1, you get quite a lot, and in hosting a game, many people crammed into my session right away, surprising me. Sure, they quit because I was a ‘noob” and on easy, first level, but it amazed me that so many people were playing what otherwise might be a considered a “lousy” game.
It’s nearest competitor is likely “Avatar Adventurers Online” which seems similar, but costs $3. I haven’t tried it. Here is the link to Barkerscrest (forums)
and, to (xbox.com) the game Avatar Legends.
While I see a number of posts where others have made adventures, (and etc.) on these forums, no one says HOW to “get them” other than contacting the person who created them…does that work like the old far cry way? (Shared via play and connection) Or, maybe they have to send them to you somehow? I don’t know… I can’t find any specifics.
But there is an amount of solo stuff that is created already, but I didn’t look deep enough to find any MP/co-op stuff. In some ways it is sad that the adventure doesn’t allow co-op…but, well, maybe that would not be as fun as it sounds.
Anyways, still quite a bit of game for $1. There is a similar one in the indie dept. (Avatar Adventure) for $3, but I noticed it was not only more cash, but had worse reviews.
High expectations from a high price
Of course, this brings up a major point that many people easily overlook, along with the game industry that is ever profit seeking, ever price hiking, ever fixated on money. And that is game expectations from a customer in regards to cost. In the quest for ever-more-money, game developers and publishers have managed to do several things:
1) Go out of business in a bad economy, because of low product sales (blaming the customer, like Eurocom did)
2) Try to find new ways to block used game sales (forcing new, again, blaming the customer).
3) Give us useless demos to hide how lame their game is,
4) Force beta testing onto customers by shipping without enough testing, and;
5) Shipping lousy games with such a low budget that we are appalled we purchased it, because all the ad’s made it look “awesome.”
In the end, developers/publishers always manage (typically) to blame the economy or the customer, never taking responsibility, and often showing outright negligence (works for people when they crash their car!) when it comes to outright responsibility in business.
By having a high price point, and all the initial outlay (PC or console, cables, controllers, maybe special connectors, etc.) to play games, our expectations can be VERY high. Ever wonder why we gripe? Low price points lower expectations, (as long as the game is not too broken) and decent indie games not only make for some cheap fun, they help us to be less frustrated with games overall, when some far pricier games received multiple patches and updates with the first few weeks of release.