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My name is Wayne Chamberlain and I'm a geek daddy who is into Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, books, movies, video games and talking to creative people about their work in these mediums. And that's what you'll find here, along with news, previews and reviews. I'm a journalist, an editor and co-host of the Star Wars Book Report podcast. So come on in and feel free to geek out in a fun, friendly environment.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

DLC worth taking a look at

Downloadable content has certainly become prevalent in the gaming world in the past couple years and we’re seeing more and more use of it by publishers every day.
While some may look at DLC as a means of companies taking money from gamers for content that should already be included in the game you purchased, writing off all of it would be wrong. There are some excellent add-ons out there, including the much ballyhooed Mass Effect 3 extended cut ending for all those who complained about not liking how Canadian studio BioWare wrapped up the trilogy earlier this year.
But there are also some good games out there in DLC land to download. Here are some you may want to invest in:
* Fable Heroes (Xbox Live Arcade): This colourful, more animated take on the Fable role-playing game universe is aimed at attracting a younger audience. It’s a good primer for kids who might be wanting to dip their toes into the RPG waters, although the combat is a little wanting no matter how old you are.
* Euro 2012 ( XBLA, PlayStation Network): A downloadable only addition to Electronic Arts FIFA 12 game, this DLC features all the stadiums and teams from the recently wrapped up European soccer championship. So take heart, Italian fans, maybe you can capture the title on this virtual pitch.
* Batman: Arkham City: Harley Quinn’s Revenge (XBLA, PSN): If you love the Dark Knight’s two Arkham adventures, this is a must-play for fans.
The sexy and deadly Harley Quinn, also known as the Joker’s evil sidekick, has gathered a gang of baddies and put Batman firmly in her sights as she seeks to avenge the events of the main game.
Hey, any extra time spent in the awesome Arkham City universe is well worth the time, effort and expense.
* Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad (XBLA, PSN): A decent arcade-inspired racing game with loads of different modes to play with. The graphics aren’t anything to write home about, but that’s beside the point when you and a pal are tearing across various landscapes in all manner of offroad racing machines, or if you opt to do battle with online opponents. Thankfully, it’s pretty fairly priced for what you get, so the lack of ‘realism’ compared to some other racing titles where you can see every pristine reflection on the surface of your ride shouldn’t really deter you.
* Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut (XBLA, PSN): Personally, I don’t think BioWare had anything to apologize for when it came to how they opted to wrap up the game the way they did earlier this year (and I got the worst possible ending of all of them). But you have to give the Edmonton doctors, Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, credit for not only responding to the criticisms of ticked off gamers, but offering it online for free.
Not going to ruin how it now ends, but there’s another option available to you and it should satisfy the crybabies out there.
* The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Dawnguard (XBLA): The first official DLC for the outstanding role-playing game adds an interesting dimension to Bethesda’s signature title. The plot sees the Vampire Lord Harkon trying to destroy the sun in order to usher in an age where vampires can roam the world free from the ravages of those nasty ultra-violet rays. Standing in the way is the Dawnguard. Will you defend the sun and humanity or join the vampires and attempt to take over the world? The choice is up to you.
Other recently titles that popped up online include Dragon’s Lair, the second chapter of The Walking Dead game and, of course, the crazy popular Minecraft game, which my children are completely addicted to. I’ve now become one of those parents who looks at a popular game (with horrible graphics) and says, what the heck do you like about this so much? All you do is build stuff, dig holes and kill pigs and sheep? Apparently I’m not as cool as I used to be.
Maybe someone will let me download something to up my cool quotient again.

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