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CONSOLE: PC DEVELOPER: Going Loud Studios PUBLISHER: Going Loud Studios
RELEASE DATE (NA): March 18, 2013 GENRE: Adventure/Platformer
// review by EscapeRouteBritish

How else are they gonna make money off pre-owned?

Downloadable content, they call it. You mean nickle-and-dime content, surely? When we buy a game, we like to think we're getting it all. The disc is ours, and so is everything on it. We get to choose how we enjoy the product we just bought—well, that's how it used to go. But then came the dark times, living under the tyranny of DLC. One game is standing up against those practices. One game is telling developers "NO!", in the loudest squeak it can muster. That one game, my friends, is DLC Quest.

This is one of those games that needed to be made. DLC Quest is a piece of satire so blatant you'd think Going Loud Studios do not understand the meaning of the word subtle. They do, though—how else could they offer us the subtle parallax background DLC?

Every single joke in this game is a direct stab at the heart of these terrible business moves that gamers have been accepting for years or a dig at certain gaming clichés. Getting ripped off for in-game purchases despite having already bought the game sucks, so DLC Quest has every right to take the piss. Starting as it means to go on, DLC Quest begins without several features that come as standard in videogames. There's no pause menu, no music or sound effects, no jumping, and you can't even go to the left. No, all of these have to be bought as DLC.

Yes, it's an over-the-top scenario, but it's feasible, too. Modern games are missing so much, even difficulty modes, language selection and more behind a pre-order pay-wall. I'm glad someone is standing up against this! What used to be unlocked through skill, is now unlocked with money.

The content is bought using coins collected in the game. If you actually had to buy proper DLC, the game would be less fun, and a hypocrite. The number of coins in the game, DLC upgrades and features are measured carefully to make sure the game cannot be broken. This also means the experience is quite linear, but I doubt you'd want to play through it a second time. It's a game that relies on its humour, without which the game would be relatively bland and valueless.

DLC Quest is a vessel for chuckles. A snigger vase.

The game is riddled with jokes pertaining to pop culture, video games, and bad business practices. You may encounter a character who resembles a certain RPG hero with amnesia, blond hair and a permanent scowl. He goes by the name "Random". Get it, it's a Random encounter. Narf. This is the quality you can expect.

NPCs will tell you they have no relevant dialogue or will ask the player to do outlandish things that they cannot achieve. It's nice to see some traditions getting a kick while they're down, not just the DLC itself. I like it when games make reference to some of the dumber staples we've come to endure throughout the decades, but Dot Game Heroes did similar jokes to a better standard.

Despite the humour, there isn't much else of substance in DLC Quest. It's like watching a cartoon parody, but it's a game. So you're essentially playing through a parody that only really serves as a vehicle for the jokes. This is fine considering the budget price, the fact it's an indie game and that the game comes packaged with a second quest, Live Freemium Or Die.

Freemium is a longer and more fleshed out experience; it is further separated from the previous quest with different gameplay mechanics. Instead of a double jump, you're required to buy and use a wall jump power instead. Each quest has bonus stupid DLC which has to be found before it can be purchased. The first quest includes Horse Armour (a stab at Bethesda if I ever saw one), zombies and sexy outfits DLC. The second quest has a practically useless health meter and DLC that adds parallax scrolling to the background.

The sole point of playing the game is to appreciate the humour. Besides that, there's no real reason to play through. I wouldn't suggest watching a play-through because you'll have many more jokes ruined for you. If you despise money-grabbing DLC and in-app purchases with a vengeance, hate always online DRM so much it makes you want to tweet cuss words, and you wish it was legal to rip out the throat of the admin who just gave you a ban, I think the humour is right up your alley.

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