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Downloadable Content: Worth it?

Online is making the big push in the console wars

By Troy Roberts     March 14, 2003


MECHASSAULT
© Microsoft Game Studios

Ever since the internet began to show up in most households, video gaming has begun to change. Obviously there are the multiplayer aspects that were never possible without some cords, two televisions and two game systems all connected together, but the internet makes it much easier. If you have an internet connection and a game that supports online play, all you have to do is get on the net and almost instantly you'll have someone to play against.


The internet really first kicked on the PC a little while back. I remember how great I thought it was to play over the modem - I was even more overjoyed when I found out that you could play with more than one person over the net! While playing on the net was great, one of the best things about it was being able to download add-ons for current games (one of my all time online favorites was X-WING VS. TIE FIGHTER, or even COMMAND AND CONQUER RED ALERT).


The new stuff that you could download would add life to a game that you hadn't played in months. While X-WING VS. TIE FIGHTER could possibly be considered a short game with a lot of multiplayer aspects, downloadable missions and maps made the game's lifespan a whole lot longer. And the world editor that came with RED ALERT was sheer genius. Nearly anyone can design a map and upload it to play on the internet. There were endless amounts of maps available online and it wasn't very hard to find them.


Now that the move to the next-generation consoles is almost complete, console gamers are finally getting a real taste of what the PC people have bragged about for years. Just check out Xbox Live! Microsoft apparently has something really good going here especially with the current number of subscribers in America alone. Microsoft currently has downloads and such for games like SPLINTER CELL and MECHASSAULT, and apparently a lot of gamers are already loving it (along with online play for a lot of the Xbox's games too, of course).


But is it really worth shelling out the cash for? The online services really aren't that expensive, although paying monthly for broadband service is still a tad expensive for kids and teenagers. Honestly, spending that much cash on downloadable add-ons is a lot cheaper than forking out 50 bucks every time you want a new game.


TIDBITS


Square has shipped over 1.8 million copies of FINAL FANTASY X-2 to Japanese retail stores...RUN LIKE HELL for the Xbox has gone gold and will be released next month...THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE WIND WAKER has broken all pre-order records and has already passed 360,000 pre-orders...Fox Interactive and Vivendi Universal have teamed up and now VU will release all Fox games...


PIGLET'S BIG GAME


ON SHELVES



There really isn't a ton coming out this week. But PIGLET'S BIG GAME gets the nod. Okay, not really but after seeing this game I couldn't help but mention it in this weeks Gamers' Thumb. Really, TAO FENG for the Xbox gets the nod from me just because from what I've seen, heard and played of the game. POKEMON fans are probably getting ready for the release of the RUBY and SAPPHIRE games.


Gamers' Thumb is our weekly Video Game column.

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