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Capcom Releasing Mega Man X Costume for Zero

As you may or may not have heard, Capcom is releasing a DLC costume for Zero that will make him resemble Mega Man X.

I'm not here to raise a ruckus about paying for colors, as there appears to be at least some new modeling done making this a costume, but I do have a question: Does Capcom think that this is doing right by Mega Man fans? I have no real love for Mega Man outside of enjoying a handful of the games, but after the cancellation of two titles, one of which was highly anticipated, this seems like the (literal) least Capcom could do for Mega Man fans. But when you compound this with the laundry list of other poor decisions Capcom has made recently, this almost seems like a taunt and a tease.

What do you guys think? Does Capcom think they're genuinely going to make Mega Man fans happy with this announcement? Or has Capcom popped a gasket.


The New Concept of Ownership

This probably speaks more to my inexperience than anything else, but I can't recall an announcement that has raised this much ire this fast as the announcement of Freddy Kreuger as the 4th downloadable character for Mortal Kombat. 
Personally, I won't be purchasing him. I find his presence in the series unpalatable to my tastes and a potential beginning to a slippery slope of even more guest characters form Warner Brother's properties. Had another option besides "Spend $60(+) more on a new 360 controller with a not-terrible d-pad" been available to me, I wouldn't have had anything to do with Kratos either.  
But in reading the backlash and defense at various other parts of the internet, one thing that keeps coming up is the idea of ownership. The refrain on both sides of the argument is "Why can't I play the game that I paid for?" Which is a completely valid statement. But it cuts both ways. Why should someone be denied the right to use a component of the game they purchased, and conversely why should someone be forced to interface with a part of the game they deliberately choose not to purchase?  
In this age of interconnectedness, what does owning a game even mean anymore when the experience I have with it is influenced by the purchasing habits of people miles away? How do we reconcile this fundamental problem? Besides NRS making a matchmaking system that actually makes matches, rather than randomly paring two players together regardless of DLC. 


The Case for Death Penalties

Like I’m sure many of you did as well, I bought Terraria today when it went on (even more of a) sale on Steam. I didn’t go in expecting much and I knew well enough by now to know that this wasn’t simply 2D Minecraft, despite their similarities. What I didn’t expect, however, was the strong aversion I had for it.

The root of my problem with Terraria is the one thing most people seem to like quite a bit about it; the (relative) lack of a death penalty. Dying only results in a loss of some of your money, but you maintain your inventory.

I completely understand this features appeal. It’s beyond maddening to delve deep into a cavern in Minecraft only to fall into lava and lose your entire haul for that expedition. Hours are lost in an instant with literally nothing to show for it. And yet, for me at least, it was just that sense of risk that makes Minecraft so enthralling. Every monster becomes a major obstacle. Dark corners and crevasse can house creatures that can eradicate all your hard work in an instance.

It’s that hostility that’s missing from Terraria. Dying carries no real weight and as a result monsters are no longer a threat. The incessant slimes don’t fill me with dread but are rather just an infuriating annoyance. If I happened to stumble upon a cavern and died exploring it, not only do I keep all loot, but finding that cave again is simply a matter of remembering if it was left or right in relation to my house, not a desperate struggle to remember my footsteps and navigate a massive continent before my items disappeared.

Imagine any other persistent game if it lacked a major death penalty. Imagine an MMO that lacked the loss of experience or equipment. Players could just throw themselves at monsters well beyond their capabilities and wear them down though perseverance. And that’s what Tarraria sort of feels like to me. I’m just wearing down the world through attrition, not careful and measured play.

Now, I realize that there is a “hardcore” mode where death results in that world being wiped, and that the lack of a death penalty is by design and a fundamental part of the game. I also acknowledge that I’ve only played the game for roughly three hours and I plan to spend some more time with it before I write it off completely. I just feel like a game like this, a persistent longer-term world with a clear hierarchy of goals, needs some sort of harsh penalty for dying, because without one, I kind of feel like I’ve already beaten Tarraria, it’s just a matter of putting the time in. 


Make A Wish

So, I was just watching The Daily Show and the program turns to a discussion on the Supreme Court's ruling on the sale of violent videogames to minors. During the bit, John Stewart played footage of Noob Saibot's now somewhat infamous "Make a Wish" fatality (funny how it always comes back to Bi-Han) and for the first time ever, I felt kind of dirty for liking and playing a game. When you spend most of your time in regards to videogames surrounded by people who love and play them, it's easy to loose perspective. The rationalizations and arguments we make don't hold much weight with people completely out of the loop.  
I'm not saying that I suddenly disagree with the Supreme Court's ruling or that I'm going to get rid of my Mortal Kombat disc, I'm just saying that for a moment I felt a little grimy and I was wondering if any of you had the same/a similar moment. 


Actions Against Sony: Sound and Fury or Will They Have an Impact?

I'm sure by now that I don't fill you in on the details. To make a long story short, since PSN was breached Sony has been awash in a slew of   potential fines and  class-action  lawsuits, not to mention a  Congressional Inquiry and now possibly a  subpoena.

Initially, I was ready to write off the whole mess as a very unfortunate occurrence that would eventually fade into memory. But now it seems that the rabble rousing has picked up quite a large amount of steam, with some of it coming from surprising sources. I'm beginning  to wonder now if this is something that can be so easily recovered from, especially now with the hack of SOE.

I'm not positing that Sony is on the precipice of ruin. They have enough other arms of their corporation that have not been effected by this that can continue to support them. I am beginning to wonder though that, should things not go favorably for them for the rest of the PS3's lifespan, if we are looking at the last major Sony console.

This is hardly the first time Sony has had issues with security. The PSP was such and insecure platform that it was abandoned by developers. I highly doubt that the PS3 will the in a similar state now, but from a security standpoint, the Sony brand name has been severely damadged. Going forward into the next generation of consoles, Sony is going to have to crunch the numbers to see if investing in air-tight, bullet-proof security is going to be worth it. It doesn't make business sense to dump all that money into a product that won't turn a profit, and the improved hardware on top of the added security is only going to drive the price of the machine up further, which is the primary reason the PS3 has such a limping start. Combine a high cost of entry with a wounded brand name, and you're looking at a potential disaster. 

Sony is a corporation, and corporations have to make money. And I'm beginning to wonder if gaming is going to continue to be a profitable venture for Sony.