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Game preorders are usually an interesting lot. More and more we see the incentives as simply in-game DLC but occasionally there’s a t-shirt, physical map, or poster available. Prototype 2‘s incentive from GameStop is of the DLC variety. But, it’s also not very incentivizing. Instead of a specialized weapon, playable character, or new area, they’re essentially offering an extra execution animation. The “Bio-Bomb Butt Kicker” looks like something the dev team put in for fun but pulled out because they were worried about offending someone or just making the game seem too silly. The move sees James Heller injecting a Blackwatch enemy with the Blacklight virus. The virus forces him to bend over, prompting a brutal kick in the ass. All things being equal, may as well pick this one up at GameStop and get the extra move. But, if you can find this on a discount somewhere come April 24th, you won’t be missing much if you skip this incentive.
I’ve mentioned Choplifter HD a few times as it’s gotten closer to launch but something has flown under the radar a little bit (pun intended). Is $15 a reasonable price point for a downloadable title? And are we going to see more games launching at that price? For a while it seemed the average price on a PSN or XBLA title was $5-10. A few came $15 and now we’re even seeing some at $20. With the Vita launching next month, sporting handheld titles at up to $50, how much value can and should we expect from downloadable games. In a recent interview, inXile’s Brian Fargo addressed the price for Choplifter HD: “[W]e spent well in excess of 1.6 million dollars to insure we could bring the strongest visuals possible…. In fact some people have warned us that we might well have spent too much but we did it because we believed quality sells and that gamers will notice. Some of the ‘retro’ games are indeed pretty inexpensive in their production but we went all out on this baby.” So is visual quality enough justification for what many expected to be a $10 game? Ultimately that’s 54,000 fewer copies they need to sell, but how many sales might they lose with that extra $5? Only time will tell. The important part of even talking about the game right now is that Fargo also mentioned he thinks “you will have a blast with the game and [they] also plan on free DLC to really make sure people feel they are getting the most value possible.” So there you have it, price questions aside, at least you know there’s going to be free DLC to continue supporting the game. It’s out today.
In the world of special collector’s edition releases we should have known one was coming for Aliens: Colonial Marines. Any fan of the series is going to love this first look at that set. The kit includes the basics of pretty packaging and fancy art displays. It also includes an extra game mode and some additional muiltiplayer weapons. The unique features to this kit are the USCM Dossiers and an impressive resin statue of a xenomorph attacking a powerloader. The kit hasn’t been officially announced (nor has a release date) so no pricing is available yet. Statue kits tend to run a little higher than standard collector’s editions, so I’m estimating it’s in the $90-120 range.
Another trend we see growing in gaming is the “Game of the Year” Edition that comes with a game’s post-launch DLC at a discounted rate. In the case of game’s that were no one’s game of the year, you get the the “Ultimate” edition, “Director’s Cut,” or the “Complete” collection. Actually, in this case, it’s the “Komplete” edition. If you haven’t figured it out from that clue hammer, we’re talking about the Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition. This version will include the four DLC characters (Kenshi, Freddie Krueger, Rain, and Skarlet), 15 Klassic skins, and three Klassic fatalities for Reptile, Scorpion, and Sub-Zero. So, all of the previously released DLC. As with the original release, Kratos will be an exclusive playable character on PS3. This edition will be available on February 28th.
In the same vein, the Homefront Ultimate Edition has also been announced. No official details are available at the moment, but it’s a safe bet that it will be the original game along with the DLC packs, Fire Sale and The Rock. Retailers are listing it as available on March 31st. The word of mouth I’ve heard on this one is that the single player campaign is quite short but the game is still very enjoyable.
With CES 2012 happening this week Sony has already had their keynote presentation. The highlights were essentially sales numbers and some hype for the upcoming PS Vita (already available in Japan). Kaz Hirai says the new handheld has now sold over 500,000 units in Japan, meaning week four’s numbers must have been significatnly higher than week three’s. In contrast, PS3 shifted about 6.5 million units over the holiday season. Hirai also stated that they are working with Netflix to have streaming video for the handheld on the North Americna launch date, alongside Sony’s own Music Unlimited.
In other PS Vita news, we finally have some answers about AT&T’s 3G service for the handheld. There are two options for customers. The first offers 250MB of monthly data for $14.99. The larger package offers 2GB for $25. Both plans will come with a voucher for a free downloadable game and includes access to AT&T’s 29,000+ wi-fi hotspots. Neither option requires a contract and can be purchased on a month-to-month basis. I’ve got to be honest, this is a better plan than I was expecting. But it still hasn’t sold me on the console, especially since I was only looking at the wi-fi version anyway.
The next map pack DLC for Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is announced. The Mediterranean Traveler’s Pack will include six maps, three new and three recycled from Brotherhood. The three new maps are Jerusalem, Dyers, and Constantinople’s Imperial district. The three classics are Firenze, San Donato, and twilight Siena. The pack is listed for $10 and will be available January 24th. 8812abc09 0111