[Blog] Soapbox Alley (March ’11)

The 3DS, Dragon Age 2, and DLC? Oh, my!
Author: Marc N. Kleinhenz
Published: March 29, 2011

The oft-overlooked TotalPlayStation Blog has, of late, been a treasure trove of editorials and features penned by both site editors and special guest stars, such as Bitmob’s Rus McLaughlin and Podcast Beyond’s Jeff Haynes. This week’s launch of the 3DS, the divergent critical reactions to Dragon Age 2, and the ever-growing controversial role of DLC comprise the subjects of March’s entries.

Gimmicks and Advancements” – What’s in a name? And what’s in a gimmick, that oft-lambasted but usually-crucially-necessary component of the videogame world? The launch – not to mention, just possibly, the very existence – of the Nintendo 3DS might be dominated by them, but so what? The Rumble Pak was once a gimmick but has since transcended to the permanent pantheon of gaming fixtures; and even if Guitar Hero’s plasticy peripherals have not, they still provided literally hundreds of hours of fun.

As will, more likely than not, the 3DS.

Dragon Age 3: Legend of the Troll-slayers” – Dragon Age 2 has proven to be the Two-Face of gaming: constituted by two diametrically-opposed-but-equal halves and resulting in a schizophrenic identity in the critical videogame landscape. If only there were some Dark Knight to sweep in, defeat the deranged psychosis that grips the situation, and avenge the once-well-regarded Harvey Dent…

DLC: The Devil Likes Cash” – But who doesn’t? EA certainly does – it instituted the online pass – as does, of course, Activision, who also likes to release increasingly expensive map packs in increasingly shorter intervals. But there is a cost to such heavy-handed and ethically questionable downloadable practices: the gamer, along with his depleted pocketbook and his broken heart.