Give me back my unlockables!

This is something I’ve been thinking about for quite some time actually. When I bought Street Fighter VS Tekken, it had been a while since I had played a fighting game so I was expecting to see some blank spaces on the fighter roster. Much to my surprise however, every single character was there. Even the boss characters that in previous games were more difficult to unlock than others.

Now, if you’re like me you will remember a time when fighting games did not have a full roster when you loaded them up. You had to play through Arcade mode (or story mode) to unlock various characters. It wasn’t as simple as just playing through with the same character either, you had to unlock these new fighters with a new team every time. There were certain restrictions on who you could unlock with which characters. This added an element of fun and surprise to my gaming experience. Dare I say it made me want to play it with all the characters so that I could find all of the unlockables and fill my roster with even more formidable foes.

This is not what I want to see when I first play a game

This is not what I want to see when I first play a game

It seems now though, that all the characters are there, and the only challenge lies in achievements. Instead of getting a new character and an achievement every time you kick the boss into the ground, you only get an achievement. While I will admit that I do like the achievements, in a fighting game I really would like to have some other form of in game reward. There is no excitement left, no thrill when you unlock a new fighter. The only thing you seem to unlock in game now appears to be new outfits for your character. I’m a sucker for customisation, but come on now, a new outfit? This isn’t barbie doll hour.

This isn’t just restricted to fighting games though. When my boyfriend sent me a link to a new video for the new Need For Speed game, I also noticed how every single car was unlocked from the very beginning. This has really decreased my desire to buy this game. I will get it, just to drive really fast cars around a city and destroy things, but that was one of the best things about Need For Speed Hot Pursuit; as you got better, you unlocked better cars. The thrill of unlocking a new Hyper Series car was amazing, but now I do not see how I will have any desire to play with anything aside from the best car.

Play with a crap car? No thanks, I'll take the shiny one.

Play with a crap car? No thanks, I’ll take the shiny one.

This seems to me to be another situation where achievements have taken over and somewhat destroyed a small piece of my love for gaming. Where character and car rosters have become much larger since their first installments, the joy of unlocking them appears to have vanished. Are there any other games people can think of that are guilty of this? It doesn’t even have to be a fighting or racing game, any culprit will do!

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