User review spotlight: Carmageddon (DOS). Released in 1997.

DLC Quest (Windows)

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.1
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Pixelspeech (955)
Written on  :  May 06, 2013
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  1.33 Stars1.33 Stars1.33 Stars1.33 Stars1.33 Stars

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Summary

No DLC can improve this game.

The Good

The music is alright? I guess.

Graphical quality is not bad.

Some jokes are pretty clever.

The Bad

The game is hypocritical.

There is no story worth mentioning.

The gameplay lacks substance.

Very short.

100% completion can be achieved in 2 hours.

The Steam achievements glitched out.

The Bottom Line

Story

The story in DLC Quest is very basic: you are a hero, the princess got abducted by a bad guy, and you are going to save her. As the game starts, however, you lack the skills and equipment to take on such a task and thus you need to buy skills from the Shopkeeper with in-game money and seek out various tools and people in the world.

Zero effort has been put into making the story in any way interesting, which I think is a waste of potential. You could argue that the cliche 'save the princess' story is used for the purpose of parody here, but there is a difference between making fun of a trope and including a trope. Braid is an example of a game that uses the princess plot in an original way, which it does by never stating that the princess was abducted, but rather that she became the victim of something the main character did and that he now seeks forgiveness.

In short: DLC Quest has lazy writing. Moving on.

Gameplay

Whenever I analyze a game, I first distill the gameplay down to its most basic form, in order to determine what the core engagement should be. In Mario games you navigate through levels via series of platforms, Tetris asks you try to form rows of blocks and in Resident Evil you fight zombies with limited resources. All of those are good ways to engage the player and most of these games have additional mechanics backing it up. In DLC Quest you have to gather coins and that is literally all there is to it.

The gameplay is built entirely around gathering coins that lie around the overworld. These coins are then spend on new abilities that allow you to enter previously unreachable areas with more coins in it. it goes without saying that this isn't very engaging, since it's basically the opening to Ocarina of Time put on infinite repeat.

There are some opportunities to explore as well, but hidden passageways are blatantly obvious and as long as you pay attention you'll never miss any of the collectibles. Throughout the shallow two hours it took me to complete this game 100%, there was only one collectible that took me some time to find, which was hidden on a platform you could never see (a leap of faith).

Presentation

DLC Quest is a parody that mocks the downloadable-content practices of companies like Electronic Arts and Activision. It does this by exaggerating the concept to its extreme; starting the player of with little more than the ability to move to the right and having them pay in-game money for basic stuff like moving left, jumping, animations and the ability to progress the story. The philosophy is that companies shouldn't be allowed to charge money for stuff that should've been included in the game from the start.

The game also mocks the humor present in a lot of games, more specifically the inclusion of memes and references like "All your bases are belong to us". This is however where it falls flat, since the game uses the exact same humor that it seeks to mock. For example, a character whose sole purpose is referencing phrases like that (and who is used to mock them via the bored reactions of the game main character) at one point made a "calibrations" joke, which references the character of Garrus from the Mass Effect franchise. However, minutes earlier, the game referenced Mass Effect as a joke without any parody surrounding it at all. It is downright hypocritical and that severely hampers the enjoyment that you'll get from the humor.

I am usually not very fond of comedies, but the few that I can stomach always have subtle humor and never let it lead the game. Psychonauts has a lot of jokes in it, but it uses the jokes to give more depth to the cast of characters. No More Heroes is another example, and again, it uses the humor to say something about the characters and the world they live in.

Replay-value

>:(

Why should you get it?

The game highlights a very big issue in the current industry, namely the fact that companies hold parts of their games to ransom. It is very unethical and worth criticizing.

Why should you skip on it?

The game is content with just been a parody and puts no effort in actually being engaging itself. The gameplay is dull, the story doesn't exist and the humor is rarely subtle. As much as DLC is being misused nowadays, it isn't worth paying 3 dollars for a game that protests this practice. Instead, why not protest for real and just stop buying $60 games that release DLC almost immediately after launching?