It has emerged that Microsoft’s saviour RPG, Tales of Vesperia, incorporates downloadable content in a heretofore unseen manner: in fact you can simply eschew playing the game entirely and shell out points/yen on Marketplace to obtain the money and gold, in a brazen imitation of classic MMORPG gold farming, except without the Chinese or eBay.
Some of those prices:
30,000 Gald: ¥450
Skill set for character: ¥120
+5 Levels: ¥300
Cooking recipes: ¥150
Since the usual Tales game can be walked through without serious opposition at around level 70, it looks like you can escape any levelling whatsoever for about $30. No word on whether this will be extended to the upcoming international release.
As the game is strictly single player, voices of criticism have not been too shrill, but the general opinion seems to be one of distaste.
It does seem a pretty tawdry move, little more than selling cheats, but it must be remembered that finding the time to grind through an RPG probably limits the audience (though the Tales series never really suffered from this), especially with obscure unlockable content in play, and the large size of games in certain genres has been seen by publishers as something of a liability, so this may represent an attempt to allow a broader audience to enjoy the interactive story telling aspect of the game, as well as a simple cash grab.