BlazBlue’s Makoto DLC is worth the $8
There has been some controversy regarding BlazBlue: Continuum Shift’s downloadable content. Aside from all the whining on forums, there was an article I found on N4G that really annoyed me. Especially after reading the comments section.
Now don’t get me wrong, most of the DLC for the game is indeed garbage and overpriced. Why should anyone pay $5.99 for an additional announcers voice? That just seems wrong. The extra colors for $4.99 seem a bit iffy as well, but it’s similar to Street Fighter IV’s alternate costumes, and those are unnecessary and purely cosmetic (although to Capcom’s credit it’s more than just a palette swap). You can also purchase hidden character Mu and the Unlimited versions of the entire roster. Don’t be alarmed though, you can actually unlock those characters through gameplay.
The issue was mainly with Makoto, a completely new addition to Continuum Shift’s roster. She’s available to purchase on the PSN for $7.99. It does seem pricey, there is no doubt about that. However, one quote in particular left me confused.
Aksys Games’ Makoto character of BlazBlue CS costs not 1…2…3…or 4 dollars, hell it isn’t even 5 dollars. For a title that just released, Aksys has the nerve to charge you $7.99 for Makoto, which (in my opinion) should be free.
Realistically, I’m not exactly sure why Makoto should be free. Just because you bought the latest edition of a game that doesn’t mean that you’re entitled to use her. The contents inside Continuum Shift were well known before the game hit store shelves. Makoto was not a part of it nor was she included on the disc itself (not like that matters).
Let’s get some facts straight. Makoto isn’t an $8 skin of a pre-existing character. She’s a completely original and unique character that further diversifies the roster. For those that don’t know, Continuum Shift has 15 characters to chose from. It’s really easy to throw that number around as if it’s a bad thing, but for those that actually have played it, you’ll know that each character is incredibly unique and that’s what makes the series special.
Makoto’s price is justified by how much she brings to the game. It’s true, she can’t be used in Arcade mode, Legion mode, or in Story mode. Her omission from Legion mode is perplexing seeing as it doesn’t involve any sort of dialogue, but it’s not that big of a deal. She is, however, usable in Versus, Training, Score Attack, Challenge mode, and Online. These are the modes that actually matter and will help you improve. Her inclusion can’t be viewed as a simple costume or a new vehicle. The core gameplay is influenced by Makoto as long as you’re playing as her or against her (which is free if you’re playing online and someone picks her).
I purchased Makoto despite my initial bitterness mainly because I thought she looked interesting from the gameplay videos I’ve seen. My bitterness disappeared once I actually got my hands on her. Believe me, if there is an excuse for me to hate on BlazBlue, I’d take it. There isn’t one here though. Simply put, Makoto is really fun to use. Her Drive attacks take some time to get adjusted to since they can be charged, unlike anyone else in the game. Her gameplay options open up tremendously though once you get the timing down for her level 3 Drive attacks. She’s also packed with tons of funny references. If you’re a fan of Fist of the North Star then you’ll love her Astral Finish. Her random ‘SPOOOOOOOOOOOON!’ battle cry is also greatness.
I struggled to find a character in Calamity Trigger that was all me. I eventually settled on Hakumen but I was never happy with that choice. Litchi was my second pick and that’s who I ended up using in Continuum Shift. Makoto though, she completely blew my mind with her awesomeness. Everything just clicked and I couldn’t be happier. The nods to Street Fighter help, too.
If you’re into fighting games then you know how much of an investment these games tend to be. The amount of time you can spend on Makoto alone is incalculable. Some players can easily spend hundreds of hours training nonstop in an attempt to perfect her playstyle. The worst case scenario is that you never end up using her, essentially wasting your money. Regardless, you can choose to not purchase the DLC and be done with it. Continuum Shift has enough content to satisfy fans as it is. You aren’t missing out on something absolutely essential if you don’t buy her.
The Makoto DLC includes three new trophies, 10 new Challenge mode missions, her Unlimited form, and 24 costume colors (instead of the usual 12). It should be clear by now that there is a lot of value here. Referring to this as DLC “abuse” is just one possible argument, but it’s also one that is easy to blindly make.
I’m nowhere near the biggest BlazBlue fan, yet even I can admit that this DLC is actually very worthwhile. You certainly aren’t getting “screwed”, that’s for sure. That’s not to say that I’m against the idea of pricing the DLC more appropriately. There needs to be a standardized pricing for items like costumes, voices, and characters so that everyone is happy. Additional characters are relatively unseen in fighting games though. Aside from Soul Calibur IV’s console “exclusive” characters, there hasn’t been anything like this done before.
It’s ridiculous to expect content like this to be free. Developers and publishers should get something out of releasing DLC. Where do we draw the line though on the pricing?