If there's anything that irritates gamers, it's extra costs in games. Hardly anyone has unlimited disposable income in this day and age to drop on all the additional content they can come with. Gamers are often left waiting for “Game of the Year” editions of their favorite titles to drop months or years later, so they can have everything at once. If you buy right at launch, you're going to be forking over serious cash, in some cases, to have the full experience.
One such example is the Metroid: Samus Returns game coming to the 3DS. It's an awesome layover title for fans of Metroid who really want to play something new without have to wait for the upcoming Metroid Prime 4. However, it would seem that you're going to do a lot of buying and/or begging friends. Metroid: Samus Returns as a full experience will not be possible unless you have four different amiibo. Two already exist: the Super Smash Bros. series Samus, and Zero Suit Samus. The final two will be releasing September 15: a new Metroid, and Samus Aran amiibo.
By their powers combined, these amiibo will unlock things like the art galleries, a music player, and in-game bonuses like a Metroid Marker that allows you to find nearby Metroids, and reserve tanks for Aeion, missiles, and energy. Oh yeah, the harder difficulty mode, “Fusion Mode,” will allow only be unlocked with an amiibo. Talk about a tease. All of this stuff that they're saying will be in Metroid: Samus Returns sounds like things that would normally be included in a regular release. The in-game bonuses, like reserve tanks and Metroid Marker, make sense as special unlocks with amiibo. But seriously, the art gallery, music player, and Fusion Mode require a figure?
Most every game that I know and love to play that has bonuses like this is awesome. Usually, you have to complete some kind of in-game task or tasks to unlock them. You have to work for the special features. Once you've unlocked them, you feel good about yourself. The rewards are worth the work you have to put in to receive them. Here, Nintendo is planning on just giving this stuff away to people, but only if they fork over the cash first. Why not just call it paid downloadable content and be done with it? Sure, you could borrow amiibo from a friend or two, but that's relying on the others' kindness.
It used to be that you'd buy a game and it would come complete with all these cool extras that showed the developers' love for the title. I know for a fact that I'm starting to sound like an old-timer, but games used to be all inclusive experiences. All the little things that made them feel special used to be right there at your fingertips when you first popped the cartridge or disk into whatever system you played on. I loved finding games that had special features hidden within them. It felt similar to finding a jewel that you felt like no one else knew about. Now you can still get that jewel, but there's the added nuisance of paying for something.
Why do we have to have paywalls for things that should just be a part of the game? Why should I buy a Metroid amiibo just to play through an extra mode in Metroid: Samus Returns? Yeah, the amiibo is super cool looking, and if I were in the business of collecting, I'd love to have it on my shelf. But I shouldn't have to buy your danged plastic figurine just to play a mode that almost always comes standard in video games. Since when do we lock difficulty levels behind paywalls?
Nintendo has really let me down in this specific case, but they're not the only ones forcing players to buy things to enjoy the full experience. How do you feel about sections of games being shut down by extra purchases? Do paywalls need to disappear? Or do you think they should stay? Let me know in the comments!
Image Credit: reiq