Downloadable content. Everyone hates it — but everyone buys it. Yes, even you in the comments, smart guy. Here's a look at the latest package of extensions and pre-order bonuses designed to crowbar the last dollar out of your wallet. Can you still respect yourself if you buy it?
Asura's Wrath 'True Ending'
Available: April 24 Price: $US6.99 or 540 Microsoft Points
What You Get: The "Nirvana" Bundle, which comprises four episodes that Capcom has the gall to call "the true ending" of the game.
Why It's Evil: This game is drowning in Quicktime events, which makes it more interactive novel/anime than video game. That means the main story is really its only virtue and here you're told wait, that first ending? That wasn't the true ending. Now it's time to pay extra.
Evil Score: 4/5. More cynical than evil. This would be a 5/5 if there was anything but a shoulder-shrugging response to the original game. But you know Capcom is laughing at — or, worse, sharing notes with — the Mass Effect guys who are preparing their own rewrite.
UEFA Euro 2012
Available: April 25. Price: $US19.99 or 1,800 Microsoft Points
What You Get: An extension to the main FIFA 12 title that includes all 53 UEFA member national teams plus an all new "Expedition Mode" that "enables fans to build, manage and compete with a customised team against other European nations."
Why It's Evil: Because you must also buy FIFA 12 to play it. Past UEFA and World Cup editions have all been stand-alone titles that did not also require the purchase of the main game. That means you're looking at a hidden cost in the neighbourhood of $US40 if you don't have FIFA 12 and want to recreate the action of the tournament coming up in June.
Evil Score: 4/5. "We expect that some fans who may not have FIFA 12 will want to play Euro 2012 and therefore purchase both," a spokesman told Gamasutra, "but the bigger opportunity for us is to offer our loyal and passionate FIFA fans new content." Translation, EA Sports knew what it was doing from the get-go. That said, I have to laugh. Video gamers, every single day, complain that annual sports titles should be released less frequently, and supply new rosters, teams and events as downloadable content. Isn't that what's happening here?