Street Fighter 4 is (or will be?) selling costume packs for around a buck per character. While I appreciate the option to unlock new costumes, paying for things that a game used to give out for free is utter nonsense.
In Dead or Alive 1 through 3 you have to play through the game again and again on higher and higher difficulties to unlock different costumes for characters. In Tekken 5 you play through the game to earn game-money which you can use to spend on unlockable costumes. In Virtua Fighter items are unlocked in a somewhat similar manner, with some being paid for and others being won via matches.
I like the old system. I don't want to be forced to pay for new content. This is especially true for fighting games where the gameplay is rather thin outside of having friends over. Sure there's online play, but I've never found it terribly satisfying. Unlocking goofy hats is pretty much my only reason to play 1p fighters. I'm good enough at the ones I feel like getting good at, and playing the computer's never been very much help in that regard anyway.
My only problem with this old system is that it gets to be a huge pain. Beating DOA 3 on some super high difficulty is next to impossible for me, and while I can fight all day in Tekken 5, the money you earn is middling at best. I get bored of unlocking stuff. At that point, I become completely okay with paying real, actual cash to have all the costumes and customizations unlocked in my game. My time becomes worth more than my money.
What I'd like to see is a hybrid of the two systems. Allow me, should I so choose, to unlock everything without paying money. Let me slog through as much of the game as I want. When I get bored of that however, let me pay to unlock everything.
This would be a great system for every game. I don't have the patience anymore to unlock everything in most games anymore, but I would like to feel like I'm purchasing a whole game. Adding $5 downloads onto a game shortly after it comes out only serves to give the impression of nickel-and-diming the consumer.
"Here's your 'Street Fighter 4 Basic' game, please pay another Twenty Bucks to get 'Street Fighter 4 Complete'."
I think most people will still end up paying for DLC, but no one would feel taken advantage of. I know if I could pay another $5 or $10 to unlock all the things I haven't in my copy of Tekken 5:DR, I would do that. I wouldn't have done that the day I bought the game, but now I've had it long enough that spending more money on it isn't offensive to me, and I just don't have the desire to fight enough matches to unlock all the hairstyles for the characters I don't play. read