This is something I have noticed since my early days of gaming and it has NEVER made sense to me.
Why make lots of good content for your game and then take it away from the player unless he beats the game or accomplishes some kind of hard goal or objective?
What if I don't what to do that? What if I don't want to grind through parts of the game that I don't like just to play that multiplayer map I am interested in? What if I just want to START THE GAME AND FUCKING PLAY ITS CONTENT???
Perhaps one of the best (worst?) examples of this are many shooters/action games that lock away entire multiplayer game modes and maps unless you do something to unlock them first, effectively stripping you of half the game for no reason.
I will admit that this pracice isn't as common anymore since most devs would rather just turn these things into paid DLC instead, but that's hardly an improvement.
So, what gives? Why do some devs do this? It makes no god damn sense.
I like it when games offer some incentive for doing crazy stuff. Some of the unlockables in, say, the Resident Evil games would be pretty stupid to have unlocked from the beginning (like the horribly broken M500 revolver in RE5). I like unlockables when it makes sense for them to be locked.
Technician said: A rewarding payoff for your efforts?
My rewarding payoff is knowing that I had a good time playing the game.
There have been lots of times where I have wanted to play some content of a game, but instead ended up just putting it on the shelf and not touching it again because I wasn't willing to grind in order to unlock it.
Playing the game should not be work. I already paid for the game, so I should get access to everything that is in it.
hardcore_gamer said: What if I just want to START THE GAME AND FUCKING PLAY ITS CONTENT???
> bought Super Monkey Ball back in the day to play multiplayer content. ONLY the multiplayer content
> have to play single-player a fair bit to unlock said content
> by the time this happened, fickle friends were no longer interested
Personally, I think only auxiliary things should be unlockable; luxuries like extra costumes, and maybe a bragging-rights title screen (a la some Nintendo games). Because my fucking money paid for all that content, I shouldn't have to work for it on top of that; makes me feel like the developers should be paying me a wage.
Theres different types of media for that. You can skip pages in a book or go to scene selection on a movie. In doom you have to beat level 1 before you can go to level 2. Games have always been like that. Theres an irish comedian I linked here once where he talks about that. I forget his name though.
40oz said: Theres different types of media for that. You can skip pages in a book or go to scene selection on a movie. In doom you have to beat level 1 before you can go to level 2. Games have always been like that. Theres an irish comedian I linked here once where he talks about that. I forget his name though.
No. In Doom you can configure your DM game to play any map you want, even if you've never seen it in SP and it's a shit DM map.
Games that make you do the equivalent of that gnome achievement in Episode 2 to access cool stuff are bloody annoying. Goldeneye: 007 was one of the worst offenders. Ended up being an an excuse to either buy a GameShark or invite the best player over for snacks and games just so we could have all the maps.
Why don't I have a custom title by now?!
40oz said: In doom you have to beat level 1 before you can go to level 2.
And this is something different anyway. I find the practice of unlocking content more than annoying and it only works if the player really likes the game. Otherwise you can be sure that casual players will never see the stuff unless some cheat gets published.
I was disappointed when I found out after I got Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition that you have all the characters already unlocked, I was hoping to have to work towards unlocking at least some of them.
If cheat codes somehow made a comeback then this would be a non-issue. Even back in the SNES and N64 days, I avoided using them because I liked the sense of accomplishment that came with beatinga game without any help. But if I got stuck or bored, nothing could keep me from trawling my Nintendo Power for cheats.
For modern games you'd have to void cheaters' Acheivements/Trophies until they beat the game in vanilla. Although honestly, I wouldn't care if cheating got you free cheivos. I only complete the ones that sound fun nyway.
I have to agree with hardcore_gamer's initial sentiment. Like most everyone else I like having locked content when it's something rewarding. Easter Eggs, ridiculously powerful weapons, a secret theme overhaul - I have absolutely no problem playing through a game and completing challenges, namely because they're intended as secrets which you get to discover through hard work/crazy objectives.
What is mind bogglingly stupid is having to play through for a feature that you shouldn't have to unlock - guns (not ridiculous ones, just regular ones), maps, and of all fucking things multiplayer. You don't place a barrier on a basic GAME MODE of a game and then say "Hey! This basic feature which is included normally in every other game is locked! Guess you'll have to spend 10 hours on the single player before you can have your fun!!!". It goes the same for the maps and the weapons - unless they're intended to be secretive (i.e. a fucking easter egg or some form of parody) where it would be rewarding to unlock them, WHY ARE THEY LOCKED IN THE FIRST FUCKING PLACE? It's like they ran out of ways to make the game challenging.
Having recently played Saints Row 4 I find its system to be the best. A ton of buffs can be bought with in-game monies, but for some wacky/overpowered ones and also some useless customization items you have to complete challenges which either involve grinding 250 kills with some weapon or completing large portions of optional gameplay.
OTOH, while Max Payne is one of my favorite game series, it always annoyed me how much of the content is unavailable before you beat the game for the first time.
My particular pet peeve is having the higher difficulty settings locked until you beat the game on normal or whatever. It doesn't make sense even in something like Hard Reset, where hardcore mode disallows saving mid-level. I'd rather just have a warning that this skill level isn't even remotely fair.
Why lock stuff? One possible reason is to reduce sales of used copies. If people are inclined to spend their time unlocking stuff, they are less likely to trade the game back and there'll be less used sales which the developer and publisher get no money from.
Games with locked/hidden content to which you gained access only after a period of "tribulation" is not something new, and not purely a side-product of modern gaming "marketing". E.g. TAITO was infamous for having games with multiple endings, multiple game modes, unusual bonuses etc. some of which could only be unlocked/learned how to access by finishing the game at least once, following cryptic hints or playing in a WAY too rigid and controlled manner (or knowing a code beforehand, heh heh).
Bubble Bobble/Rainbow Islands were some of the worst offenders in this respect, and those were pure arcade games from 1986.
The Mortal Kombat series were also full of secret characters, secret stages, and in MK3 they introduced a full-fledged unlockable feature system, controlled by codes which could be entered only in two-player mode (only one attampt at the beginning of each match -> quarter munching... ;-)
I think some of the people on the thread need to understand the difference between unlocking something that doesn't matter, like a skin, an extra bonus gun, and something along those lines...compared to whole multiplayer maps and game modes.
And even then, why lock away multiplayer content? What if I just don't want to play the single player?
hardcore_gamer said: ...compared to whole multiplayer maps and game modes.
And even then, why lock away multiplayer content? What if I just don't want to play the single player?
Bubble Bobble is guilty as charged in all those aspects:
It could be played as a single player game, but in retrospect this was futile, other than for training purposes: you could only get -potentially!- the "good" and the "true" ending by playing in "multi" (well, two-player) mode. It had something to do with the "power of friendship" or somesuch ;-)
Even in two-player mode, you had to beat the game twice (!). Once in "regular" mode (100 rounds), which would then allow you to unlock the "Super" mode (another 100 rounds, to be played on a different session). That is, unless you had a machine already hacked into Super mode ;-)
The map layouts themselves didn't change in "Super" mode, but the enemies did, which sort of changed the strategies you had to use on every map. OK, primitive, but still effective.
And all this is a 1986 arcade game. Then again TAITO was pretty much unique in not making it easy/obvious for the player to really unveil all aspects of its games, and shrouding its games with a veil of pseudo-mysticism.
Mortal Kombat is hard and i want so baddly beat shao khan in Mortal Kombat Trilogy.
In my opinion shao khan is a cheap ai and cheat character because the only
way i know to beat him is to uppercut him when he is using the rising knee attack aka anti-arial attack and also because he can slam you to the ground by just punching and kicking.
Well suck my knob and call me Charlie, that's TOTALLY something I've NEVER heard before! Mortal Kombat has cheap characters with cheesy moves? How preposterous!
Jokes apart, especially the boss characters in all MK games were so ridiculously overpowered and resistant to most direct attacks, that to win you essentially had to block and dodge all the time and then wear them down slowly by taking advantage of any momentary glitch, bug or even built-in weakness (e.g. Shao Kahn's and Kintaro's taunting, Motaro's stomping attack, etc.). That being said, Shao Kahn in MK3 got way too often into ridiculous taunting/laughing fits, and many times just ran to the player to pointlessly be uppercutted. Running also allowed you to uppercut or combo him just as he got up (I'm not sure if it was unblockable, but it worked most of the time)
As to how cheap they could get, I once saw Motaro do a 125% combo by simply firing 5 fireballs continuously and re-hitting the player in the air O_o
I was always pissed when Mortal Kombat had most everyone unlocked. It made me feel A overwhelmed and B lose interest really quick because I've seen everything right off the bat. I was happy with games like Tekken forcing you to enable characters.
Games need to have unlocks.
Kind of like video game systems shouldn't have an entire year's worth of games instantly at launch. Why will I keep playing the system in 6 months if I've played everything at launch?
FTL has unlockable ships and I fucking feel like I earned every one of them. Even their B layouts. In fact I'll get done with a 3 hour playthrough, earn a new ship and think.... man I really want to play that new ship! It makes me feel special knowing that while everyone can get that ship I'm one of the people that unlocked it.
Speaking of unlocking a ship.... Beat Trip Hazard has 3 new ships on Steam. These ships are unlocked by not in game, but buying Steam card collections. I enabled 2 of the damn ships and it probably cost me $5 to enable them. Could have just been DLC yes.... but I feel a sense of achievement having gone through and enabled them by buying the stupid cards.
Why would I want to play a game that doesn't reward me with anything? You know, cheat codes to unlock these things have pretty much always existed. I used to get frustrated with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater way back when, I wanted to explore the other maps, but I sucked at the game so I ended up just looking for unlockable codes online.
Problem solved dude. Other games would really suck if they gave you everything up front, there's a reason games are supposed to be a bit of a challenge.
it would make sense for a FPS shooter game like Far Cry 2 to have the better weapons locked away until you reach a certain stage in the game. But when you finish it for the first time; you should have everything then. You do not necessarily want to buy every unlock, but having something available is the point.
Paid DLC sucks. I bought the game I do not want to pay for extras. The modding community can make their own addons anyway. The Ballistic Weapons mod for Unreal Tournament 2004 is a good example.
I've no qualms with companies offering optional content for a nominal fee; it's stuff like "on-disc DLC" that the data is already there and you have to pay to unlock it that bothers me. Otherwise they aren't doing anything wrong by offering some extra content. They wouldn't offer stupid shit like extra skins and guns if people weren't willing to buy them, so the stupid customers are just as much to blame for nickel-and-dime tactics so I don't really hold it against the companies.
I have no problem with singleplayer unlocks, but multiplayer unlocks can be a real pain. I mean, I love getting rewarded for my hard work and whatnot, but it sucks when, say, you bring Smash Bros. over to a friend's house and then realize that because they don't have the game, they don't have any characters unlocked so everyone's forced to play as stock characters. Heck, right now I'm in the painful process of going back and having to unlock everything again after unlocking nearly everything in the game because my Wii crapped out on me and I had to get it replaced.
I guess it's a cheap way to give replay value to the game or to add challenge: kind of like how "achievements" give you a list of tasks to complete. Anybody can buy a game, play it for five minutes and potentially get bored of it. If there's some goal you're working towards (unlocking weapon X) then you have some incentive to keep playing, and dangling carrot of curiosity.
It's interesting to note that some other types of game have had this sort of thing as a norm for years. Beat 'em-ups for example often have unlockable characters that you can't play as initially. FTL has unlockable ships. These things seem perfectly reasonable. I think you can definitely take the concept too far into the realm of "annoying", though.
When iPhone Doom came out I was a bit disappointed to see that the menus had the option to choose any level to start on (and you would get the appropriate weapons for the level you chose). In a way that's kind of the opposite of unlocking: there ought to be some kind of progression, otherwise there's no challenge and it's no fun.