Ah, cheat codes! Those magical sequences of buttons that granted us the power of infinite ammo, invincibility, and comically large heads. They were the secret sauce that added an extra sprinkle of fun to our gaming adventures. But alas, the industry grew greedy, and cheat codes became a relic of the past, locked away behind paywalls and microtransactions. However, with the rise of subscriptions and services, I can't help but imagine cheat codes making a comeback, not for their practical use, but as a nostalgic nod to simpler times.
A similar fate seems to have befallen New Game+. This beloved feature, allowing players to carry their progress into a second playthrough, has become a tantalizing treat hidden behind season passes and post-launch updates. And now, Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth is joining the trend, locking New Game+ behind its "Deluxe" and "Ultimate" Editions. If you want to take Ichiban Kasuga on another wild ride with all your loot and experience intact, be prepared to open your wallet wider.
Unsurprisingly, fans were quick to notice this questionable decision, and they are far from pleased. While the standard retail version of the game costs $70, the Deluxe and Ultimate editions of this RPG will set you back even more. Yes, they come with some launch bonuses, future DLC, and cosmetic goodies, but they hardly change the game in a significant way.
Now, such add-ons have become the norm in the world of downloadable content in 2024. However, when New Game+ is awkwardly bundled into this equation, it reeks of greed. It feels unnecessary, especially in a turn-based RPG where hours upon hours are spent leveling up your party and striving for completion. We shouldn't be held back from embarking on a new campaign just because of financial constraints. It's not the kind of reputation a cheerful franchise like Yakuza should be known for, yet here we are, facing a $15 price tag for a New Game+ mode.
Imagine if Dark Souls or Elden Ring were to launch without a New Game+ mode—mass chaos would ensue! Fans of the Soulsborne series would take to the streets, protesting the absence of a feature that has become synonymous with the franchise. I still remember tackling the Old Hunters expansion in Bloodborne on NG+2, turning what should have been challenging boss battles into a gauntlet that took me months to conquer. New Game+ adds a layer of difficulty, emphasizes the importance of equipment and character builds, and breathes much-needed longevity into games.
The same holds true for Like A Dragon, a game known for its melodramatic power fantasy, where you step into the shoes of a righteous gangster capable of moving mountains. New Game+ could introduce new characters, quests, and end-game bosses—features that often accompany such modes. However, Infinite Wealth has decided to charge us for this privilege. Some might argue that it's a trivial complaint, as Infinite Wealth likely offers a vast amount of content that most players won't even explore in their initial playthrough, let alone in New Game+.
But that's not the point. It's about setting a precedent where a feature once considered standard and taken for granted can suddenly be snatched away and sold to us on top of the games we already shell out our hard-earned money for. We can't allow this to become the new normal, because once it does, there's no turning back.
So, let's rally together, fellow gamers! Let's remind game publishers that cheat codes and New Game+ are cherished traditions, not commodities to be exploited. Let's demand that these features be included as part of the package, enriching our gaming experiences without emptying our wallets. We hold the power to shape the industry's future, ensuring that the games we love continue to offer us the full breadth of their adventures without additional financial hurdles.
Now, imagine a world where cheat codes are once again readily available, and New Game+ is a standard feature in every game. A world where we can revel in the nostalgia of invincibility and embark on new journeys with our hard-earned progress intact. It's a world worth fighting for, where the art of gaming thrives, and our wallets can breathe a sigh of relief.
So, let's reclaim the cheat code and unlock New Game+ without breaking the bank. Together, we can reshape the gaming landscape and preserve the traditions that make our digital adventures truly legendary.