Ask CVG Anything: Is there a lack of innovation? Will next-gen block pre-owned games?

All your questions answered in a succinct and heartwarming fashion. Probably.


Ask CVG Anything does exactly what it says on the tin. We ask followers on the CVG Facebook page and forums to send in their best game-related questions, and as long as they're legally sound we do our best to answer them.

If you missed last week's batch of questions you can have a read here, but for now here's this week's selection. If you want to see your question featured in a future edition of Ask CVG Anything, either add it as a comment in this article or keep an eye on our Facebook page or this forum thread where we'll be regularly asking for more.

What was the worst console you had to review? At the time of its release and in hindsight? - Jamiu Balogun
Chris - It's difficult to 'review' new consoles as such because it's impossible to tell how good a console is until its game catalogue is established (obvious exception: redesigns of existing consoles like the PS3 super-slim). That's why even when we do review consoles, we don't give them scores.

I haven't reviewed many consoles in my career but looking back on my gaming life I think the original Game Boy Advance is my own personal least-liked system. I know that's controversial but I get easily aggravated by niggly things (dead pixels have me genuinely sweating with frustration) and the screen on the GBA was atrociously dark. When the SP came out the difference was almost literally night and day.

Tamoor - I haven't ever had to review a console but I know just how difficult it can be, especially in the modern day when consoles can change so drastically.

When is Shenmue 3 out? - James Lawson
Rob - April 22nd, 2001.
Chris - Let it go, mate. It'll only hurt more.
Tamoor - Half-past never. I don't think Sega is in a position to make a game of that scale again; they recently refocused on mobile, downloadable and smaller scale console experiences. If it did happen, I think it would have to involve partnering with another major dev/publisher, maybe Sony?

Is DLC becoming too overpriced? Are season passes really worth it? - illage
Rob - Yes DLC is overpriced, absolutely - your reward for buying an expensive game shouldn't entail the chance to buy more expensive content. And season passes are no way near reasonable enough in terms of the discount you get for buying all content, but then again they're a terrible idea in the first place. Trust me though; this price hiking is only short-term money making; it cannot sustain itself in the long-term.
Tamoor - I must say I don't buy a lot of DLC. I have picked up characters for fighting games, some campaign DLC here and there. For the most part I've felt satisfied with my purchases. I've played Street Fighter for more hours than I can remember using additional content, absolutely love Mass Effect story DLC so from that perspective I don't think it's overpriced.

I do think it's a little disheartening that people are paying £40+ and then are bombarded with extra content with price tags attached on day one. Online passes are quite pricey too. It's important to remember that these initiatives are also designed to recover costs from pre-owned sales (on top of just generating additional revenue). It'll be interesting to see what happens to the price of DLC and if passes survive should next-gen platforms eliminate the pre-owned market.

Do you think Capcom have lost their way, in terms of their recent DLC on disc (and saturated digital DLC) and recent releases such as Resi 6? - richomack360
Chris - I don't think Capcom's lost its way, I just think it's been making some odd decisions. It's still doing some great stuff - DmC is great and Resident Evil Revelations will be fantastic in HD - and the retro nerd in me likes the look of Capcom Arcade Cabinet (even though I'm worried about the potential cost). But yes, I do disagree with its on-disc DLC policy and I do hope it pulls the finger out and makes more of an effort with the Mega Man anniversary celebrations (no, a fan-made game doesn't count as effort).

Tamoor - I wouldn't say it's lost its way; Capcom has become the company everyone loves to hate, forums are choked with anti-Capcom sentiment. But it's important to remember that they have created some great games recently. DLC issues aside, their fighting games have been excellent, DmC is freaking brilliant (as you'll know if you read my review). They're one of the few companies that's treating its heritage with respect; look at the care and attention given to SF2HDR, Third Strike Online and Bionic Commando Rearmed.

Obviously, its DLC strategy hasn't been very popular, and I won't try to defend them on that. I definitely don't think Capcom has lost its way though. I haven't played Resi 6, I doubt I ever will. There were flashes of brilliance in Resident Evil 5 that I just didn't see in the bits I did play. I think that series suffered due to a combination of Resi 4's success and the popularity of the movies.

Do you long for the days when games were released complete, hardly any bugs, there was no DLC and getting three mates round for pizza, beer and splitscreen action was still around? - richomack360
Rob - You can still do this! I still play 'Vodka SNES' with a close group of friends on the weekends. Retro games are great for partying, modern stuff is good for me-time.

John - It's pretty easy to get nostalgic about the so-called golden days of gaming, but to be honest, I don't think we've ever had it so good. Some older games were riddled with game-killing bugs or you had to go through hoops to manually patch them.

DLC done well is a good thing, letting you extend and enjoy more of your favourite game. If it looks like it sucks or is a cynical cash-in, quite simply, don't buy it.

That said, I do miss the split-screen days and LAN parties when you all sat around together, got trashed and played deep into the night. They're easily (and lazily) replicated nowadays by firing up a Google Hang Out on iPad, while you play on your main telly on PS3/360.

Tamoor - Hardly any bugs? Games launched with bugs ALL the time and for some people their fondest gaming memories involve bugs. The amazing speedrun community probably wouldn't be as fascinating as it is without bugs. Street Fighter's move cancels are the result of a bug, look what that one bug did to an entire genre of games.

I've never been forced at gun point to buy DLC and I can count on one hand the amount of games experience that I felt have been very obviously marred by DLC, so I don't get up in arms about it. I do wish more games had local multiplayer, but we're not starved though, I get my fix from Halo, Gears, CoD, lots of Nintendo games and fighting games.

Chris - I think John and Tamoor have more or less exhausted the opinion that old games had bugs too so I thought I'd give a personal example that affected me. I remember buying the N64 classic WWF No Mercy on day one, only to realise the first batch of games in the UK had a crippling bug that wiped your save data from the cartridge every time you switched it. I had to wait a month for the second batch to be released then get the train back to Glasgow to swap my copy at what was then Electronics Boutique for a bug-free second batch copy. Based on that, the modern era of regular patches is definitely a good thing.

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