The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

The Problem with Nintendo DLC

Photo From
Photo From

Nintendo is known for consistently publishing games with an emphasis on fun. Their commitment to this causes their games to be mostly viewed in a positive light. I, for one, am inclined to agree. I never really have a “bad time” playing games published by Nintendo. Yes, some games are better than others, and some are real stinkers, but overall, they’re a really solid company when it comes to making games.

But not DLC.

For those of you who don’t know, DLC stands for “downloadable content.” Basically, you can download data off of the internet (usually for a price), and your game will update and expand with that extra content for you to enjoy. This can range from cosmetic items to new story expansions.

Most game companies dabble in DLC, and Nintendo is no exception. They release DLC for mostly all of the games they publish, with a few exceptions here and there. It’s not the idea of DLC that I have a problem with (though it does have its fair share of issues), I instead have a problem with the content the Nintendo DLC contains.

Whether it be story content, new playable characters, or something else entirely, Nintendo DLC always seems to be infinitely worse than the game it’s meant to accompany. It’s such a stark difference that it almost feels like an entirely different game at times. To better explain what I mean, I’m going to outline a few games and their DLCs and why they are  dumpster fires.

Fire Emblem Engage

The Fire Emblem Engage DLC was released in waves. Over the course of a few months, new content would be added, finally wrapping up with an expansion of the story. The waves before the story expansion were fine. They added new maps to battle on and new emblems to use in battle. I didn’t really find this all that interesting, but it wasn’t necessarily bad. That all changed with the release of the final wave, though.

Whoever designed the story expansion needs to go back to elementary school. The writing is abysmal, the gameplay is mindlessly boring, and it feels like one giant waste of time. For a game that had its fair share of problems, to begin with, this DLC makes it look like a masterpiece. The story revolves around two new characters from an alternate reality, and I find them incredibly basic. Their motivations and dialogue are awful, and because of that, the entire story falls apart. It feels very rushed and not thought out. To be completely honest, this DLC is not worth it in the slightest. It’s one massive turd with a $30 dollar price tag.

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield

This DLC was released in two parts, each adding a new area to explore with a new story that takes place in that area. Not only are the areas pretty boring to look at, but the stories are worse than the main game, and that’s saying something.

The first part of the story seems like something written by a five-year-old. It has no stakes and nothing to peak interest. It only exists to introduce a new Pokémon named Kubfu that isn’t even that good. The new area gets incredibly old fast, and it just seems like a chore to get from one place to the next.

The second part has a story about catching legendary Pokémon. Normally, this would be fine if not for the fact that it completely ignores everything and pushes all the focus on just one of the new legendaries. Once you catch that legendary, everything else seems like an afterthought. It’s incredibly underwhelming. It also doesn’t seem to be getting any better, as the DLC for Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet appear to be just as bad, if not worse. 

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

When I heard that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was getting DLC in the form of 48 new tracks, I was ecstatic. When I finally got a chance to play those new tracks, however, I was disappointed. The new tracks (which are mostly remade from past games) look and feel worse than they did in the past. Many just seem like they were implemented within the game in the process of five minutes. Some tracks look beautiful, while others just don’t. This inconsistency is frustrating, as the base game never had this problem. A lot of the DLC tracks just are not fun to play on, unlike the originals.

Xenoblade Chronicles

Like Fire Emblem Engage, the DLC for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was released in waves, with the final wave being a story expansion. What’s also similar is the fact that the story expansions are rotten. Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s story expansion is pretty good, except for one majorly infuriating roadblock. In order to continue the story, you have to do a bunch of mind-numbing side quests that make you want to snap your Nintendo Switch in half. I understand that doing quests for characters builds the stakes for the final battle, but by the time you’re done it means nothing. You’re so frustrated that the stakes go out the window. It’s an awful design choice that ruins a great DLC.

On the other hand, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has a story expansion that gives context to why certain characters are missing from the main game. It lets you play as the protagonists from the first two games, but to be completely honest, I wasn’t a fan of their writing. This is especially true for the protagonist of the second game. It seemed like they just forgot about the events of the previous games and had their IQs dropped by fifty. It’s even more infuriating when you have already played the other games. It kind of ruins the experience and makes it feel like it was written by people who just didn’t care.

Free Updates

To end this, I’m briefly going to mention the free updates that Nintendo releases for a select few of their games. Unlike the other games mentioned, these don’t cost money, and they add content like new characters rather than stories. I won’t go into much detail, but games feel pretty incomplete when these updates are announced before the game even releases. It’s like I’m paying full price for a game that isn’t finished yet. It completely kills any excitement I have and makes me think that Nintendo doesn’t really care about their players. Recently, they’ve been getting better with this, but it’s still something that grinds my gears.

So if there’s one factor that ties this all together … it would be that Nintendo likes to rush things. I believe the biggest problem with Nintendo DLC is that they like to pop out content without giving it the same care and attention that they would with the main game. They make DLC without considering what was great about the game they’re making it for, and they release it ASAP so they can get a quick and early payday.

I really wish that Nintendo would give more care into the DLC for the games they publish. Yes, you could say that the fault lies with the companies who actually made the games, but Nintendo has their eye on everything that’s part of their brand. They aren’t exactly innocent here. It’s time for Nintendo to give a bit more thought into their DLC, otherwise, it’s best if they don’t do it at all.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

Any comments that are considered racist, sexist, using expletives or slurs, based on factually inaccurate information, or are derogatory in any way will be deleted.
All The Comenian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *