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?
LittleBigPlanet Karting: Kevin Butler Sackboy Skin
Available: Later this year, when the game releases. Price: It's a preorder bonus What You Get: Your Sackboy dresses up like the KB, complete with lustrous coif, and will evidently get a golf cart vehicle befitting his executively eminence. Why It's Evil: Aside from the fact we're being asked to create content for a second Sony-exclusive cart racer in three years, folks, this is an ad. Yes, an ad. They're enticing you to preorder something that does not even have a release date yet with an ad. Sure, Kevin Butler is a clever character, but so is the Burger King, and no one was especially charmed by his appearance in Fight Night Round 3.
Evil Score: 4/5. Unlike the King, there is, presumably, some function provided by this golf cart, whatever the hell that is.
Tekken Tag Tournament: Early Character Access
Available: Whenever the game releases in the US, sometime in September. Price: Free with preorder. What You Get: Early and exclusive access to some of the game's characters, thereby incentivising early adoption. Why It's Evil: Katsuhiro Harada gave an interview to Eurogamer in which he "re-iterated his long-held commitment to providing all content up-front in order to preserve the chess-like nature of the character combat interaction." Then he said that those who preorder Tekken Tag Tournament 2 would enjoy preorder access to certain characters for a limited window. This content becomes free to everyone afterward.
Evil Score: 4/5. Come on. I don't play chess with exclusive pieces for a limited time, even if they're free to everyone after a month. Namco has created content for the main game and is setting it aside as an incentive to drive day-one sales.
Stardrone Extreme: Level Skip
Available: Now. Price: 99 cents. What You Get: Dawwww, is this PS Vita game too hard on you? Well, for a buck you can buy your way out of a challenge. The "Level Skip DLC" allows you to buy your way past a particularly vexing level. "Once purchased it lasts forever." You still have to finish a level to get full credit for it (in points and medals.) Why It's Evil: They're selling you a cheat and the download is 100KB. Case closed.
Evil Score: 3/5. "Once purchased it lasts forever," so it's not like they're gouging you on a level-by-level basis.