Floodgates open

September 1, 2014 by Tim

I’m generally on board with DLC. I know a lot of gamers like to villify the practice, cling to the notion that DLC is content they were entitled to get with their initial purchase, but whatever. If a game interests me, I’ll buy it. If it’s good, if I enjoyed playing it, I’m going to be naturally inclined to want more of it. And if I can get more without waiting for a full on sequel, that’s okay with me.

But that’s not to say that all DLC is created equal. It’s certainly possible to go the wrong direction with DLC, and Mario Kart’s Mercedes-Benz update, free or not, rubs me the wrong way.

If there were other real-world car models in the game already, it wouldn’t seem so out of place. But in an otherwise cartoony and colorful game, a gray luxury SUV creates an uneasy juxtaposition of aesthetics. In single player, you can just pretend it isn’t there. There’s no escaping it in multiplayer, though.

Nintendo recently reported an operating loss of like $90 million dollars, so I understand how tempting it would be for them when a company offers to give them a bag of cash in exchange for product placement.

But Nintendo has always been a company that dances to their own tune, and so they’re relatively new to the DLC game. When you think of Nintendo, you think of first-party. Purism. Which makes it all the more head-spinning when they jump right to what many view as ‘selling out’ with some of their first DLC.

DLC should add to or enhance a solid game. I feel like the Mercedes does the opposite. The other DLC for Mario Kart appears to be headed in the right direction; new characters, new tracks, new race modes. That’s all well and good, as far as I’m concerned.

I just don’t want to see “Old Spice Fresh Link” as a playable character in Hyrule Warriors, or “Drano” powerup items in the next Super Mario.

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