#5. Everything (Railworks: Train Simulator 2012)
There is a game called Train Simulator 2012 and that's not the ridiculous bit. It features incredibly detailed trains for train spotters, real routes for people who hate the way games take them to fantastic new worlds and a full driving simulation for people who dream of a career so boring that real drivers fall asleep even when they know that will kill hundreds of people. Again, not the ridiculous bit.
Imagine a life where you'd pay to do this for fun and WAIT TAKE THE GUN OUT OF YOUR MOUTH.
The ridiculous bit is that this is a game about simulating trains and you have to buy the trains. They're the whole point of a train simulator, if we didn't just blunt every needle in the world by using the word "point" like that, and they cost $20. Each. Railworks has already released over a thousand dollars worth of extra material (and now we've destroyed the economy by using the word "worth").
If you actually press the green button it sends a natural selection squad to your house.
It'd be cheaper to just go travel on the real trains. Hell, it'd be cheaper to hire a dozen prostitutes to cure you of your interest in trainspotting.
This P42DC Genesis costs more than a blow job.
#4. Color Pack (Street Fighter III: Third Strike)
Remember how you get a different color costume in Street Fighter by pressing a different fire button? Would you like to pay $3 instead? And did you know Capcom thinks your answer was "yes" instead of whatever obscenity you just called them? Street Fighter IV is already infamous for selling character costumes to the exclusive Beating People Up/Dressing up Barbies crossover market. Capcom made it worse in a recent release, because doing things again and more blatantly for extra money is Street Fighter's entire corporate strategy. At least they used to add things like characters. Now they're adding colors. Which is a total ripoff because acting like new colors are as good as new characters is Mortal Kombat's thing.
Character Design 101 = the color replacer tool.
The "Character Color Pack 1" for Street Fighter III: Third Strike makes Horse Armor look like a solid investment. They charge $3 for a new set of seven colors, and another $3 for a second set. Presumably because you have two kidneys to take the piss of. These aren't new costumes, they're palette swaps which took Capcom about negative one second to make. The best bit? These expensive new shades aren't visible to other players who haven't bought the pack. So when playing online, you're giving Capcom free money to pretend you're pink.
#3. Buying Money (Godfather)Godfather's "In-Game Money" lets you spend real money for fake money. This isn't even a multiplayer game like World of Warcraft, where (illegally) buying huge piles of cash gets you an advantage over other players. This is a single-player game, so you're giving real money to EA, then giving the fake money to fake shops programmed by EA. This reverse alchemy charges you twice and the second time you're giving up dignity instead of money. The 250k in fake money, which we won't dignify with a dollar sign, costs $1.875. That's 133 fake dollars per Microsoft point, and the ratio could be infinity per point and you should still get a free chewable drool-proof controller with every purchase.
Even I didn't rip people off this bad. I had respect.
There's no defense for this. If you bought it you are ruining games for the rest of us. Infinite money and unlocking all the weapons (another item you can buy) used to be achieved with cheats or options. Casual throwaways developers would include for fun because it takes more effort to program a microwave than add extra money to a game. But that system rewards intelligent players, and those are much harder to make money off of.
#2. Pay Instead Of Play (Tales of Vesperia)
Awesome games turn players into cybogs, but Namco has turned them into wallets wired up to dialysis machines. You give Namco a bunch of money to buy a role-playing game, then give them more money to buy the "Lv. UP +10" DLC to play it for you. You just flat-out buy extra levels instead of wasting time with that stupid "enjoying things" thing.
Yawn. Can't I just throw my money through Namco's open window instead?
The most terrifying thing is how there are six of these level-up items, because the Xbox Marketplace will only let you buy any item once to avoid players accidentally wasting money. So for players deliberately wasting money Namco included two +10 level DLCs and four +5 levels. You can even buy in game materials -- so you can pay real money to get fake goods, and then still have to spend your own time sitting at your console "crafting" items. They don't even sell you the finished items, just the material, because the only thing that makes free money sweeter is laughing at the people who gave it to you. There are people in sweatshops with better deals, because at least they're making net-positive money and real items.
#1. Snooki Hair (Avatar Item)
Xbox Avatar Items are a worse way to spend money than hiring a hitman on yourself, because at least then the world will be saved from having you in it. And a professional is being paid for actually doing something. The Xbox avatar is the most useless video game item since the "peaceful negotiations" button in Doom. It's a Mii except it was released later and isn't used in any (good) games.
Decorating a fake bobble head on your console shouldn't just be free, they should pay you for valuable data on the limits of human boredom. Instead they charge real money for items, and we've prefixed the word "money" with "real" again because we still can't believe this is really happening.
And for only $2 you can buy Snooki hair.
I preferred it when computers used nuclear weapons and killer robots to end civilization. At least then I wasn't ashamed.
This isn't just like Snooki, or preferably "oh shit we didn't notice it's like" Snooki, it's a licensed Jersey Shore product. It's a copyrighted simulated fake item based on a real fake person, and it costs real money. It'd be a less pointless spiral of financial insanity if you twisted dollar bills into mobius strips and set fire to them in pentagram, and the result would be less damaging to your soul.
For some positive aspects of gaming, read 5 Real Skills Video Games Have Secretly Been Teaching Us and 24 Video Game Covers That Will Double Your Testosterone.