DLC Quest

I realise that a good portion of reviews I’ve done lately have been games that have been a satire or a parody of their own genres, such as Sequence and Half Minute Hero. I’ve also realised that these games ultimately failed since they fell into the very traps and problems that those genres provided while mocking others. Sequence and Half Minute Hero were both repetitive and too long, their appeal waning about half-way through.

DLC Quest is the 3rd game from Going Loud Studios and, while only being an hour and a half worth of gameplay, seems to finally be the ironic, self-parodying game I’ve been searching for. This is probably helped by the fact that it didn’t have time to become boring and repetitive. Also, the key component of this game was that it wasn’t a parody of a particular genre, but rather parodying the idea of DLC in modern games.

Gee whiz! Horse armor for that horse I can't even ride. Thank you game developer... thank you.
Gee whiz! Horse armor for that horse I can’t even ride. Thank you game developer… thank you.

There is a story-line which I’ll call the ‘Mario Complex’. Your a guy, there’s a princess that needs saving, enough said right? Oh, the bad guy also killed your uncle so you want revenge, maybe I’ll call that the ‘Skywalker Complex’, or maybe the ‘Reverse-Hamlet Complex’… I’ll think of a better reference later for that one. And the bad guy also weed in the water-supply. But anyway, asides from this explanation at the very start of the game, that’s the last you here about princess or bad guys.

DLC-Quest-The-Bad-Guy
Hang on? What ever happened to that guy? There was a princess? Do I know her?

The gameplay itself is very simple being a side-scrolling platformer (as soon as you unlock the ability to jump and move left) and very much resembles the old-school Mario games.

I can't turn left...
I can’t turn left…

The game is constantly poking fun at and making references of other games and trends in games. There’s the gaining the achievement: “Everyone gets this one.” when you gain a sword you need to progress in the game. There’s also a DLC pack which pokes fun at the current mainstream gaming trend towards adding zombies to EVERYTHING (Call of Duty, Red Dead Redemption, Sniper Elite, etc.) Or there’s an area called the Dark Zone, which plainly states it’s there because shadows and silhouettes are cool (Deadlight, Limbo, etc.). There’s even a point later where you’re denied access and so have to pay collected coins to change your name and gain access (there’s no way I’m paying over $10 to the Microsoft Corporation to change my X-BOX/Windows Live gamer tag ox shit).

The humor is consistent and often moves in the zone of meta-humor. Finally, I advise you buy the full version on PC just so you get both games including DLC Quest and Live Freemium or Die. They compliment each other and the second one contains an unforeseeable twist that rivals Bioshock in cleverness (though not in magnitude since it only takes about 45 minutes to get there).

DLC Quest is available on Steam, the Mac Store and Desura for $2.99 and both the original DLC Quest and Live Freemium or Die for 80 points each on XBLA.

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