Cars 2 Video Game Suckers Parents In, Exploits Kids

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Parents of Cars-adoring little ones were probably pleased to see the Cars 2 video game was only $50 (at launch) on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. What a bargain since most of these games cost $60, right?

It's never that easy though, is it? See, Cars 2 is a shell of a game, a loosely connected series of race events that, even with the character staying power, isn't about to keep your kids attention. Disney, in their infinite wisdom, decided to make their money on downloadable content after the fact.

Much like purchasing your kids individual toys, stuff like Space Mater or some other ridiculousness, Kabuki Mater will run you one dollar in Microsoft Points/PSN Bucks. Tokyo Mater? One dollar. Mater the Grater? One dollar. Mater as Ivan? One dollar.

If you've noticed this is getting a little ridiculous, join the club. In total, there are a dozen different characters to download, also available in various packs. However, the Maters are split up across these little multi-car bundles, so if your Mater-loving eight-year-old wants to dress 'em up, you have to pay for all of them. The packs are only $3 each though, so you save a couple of bucks if you buy them all. How kind of them.

All of this isn't even including the plethora of expensive dashboard themes and Avatar-related items, all ranging from a buck to $3 each. That $50 purchase isn't saving you anything.

It's hard to say what's worse: what they're doing for Cars 2, or what they did for Toy Story 3's video game adaptation. There, Disney decided to make a console exclusive character, Emperor Zurg, only available on the PlayStation 3. Yes, because every eight-year-old understands the concept of system exclusives, right?

It's one thing to sell stadiums to fans of Madden, extra map packs for M-rated first-person shooters, but pulling this garbage on children? It's exploitation.

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Matt Paprocki is a 13-year veteran of the video game, movie, and home media scene. He has written thousands of reviews, has been published on a variety of websites, and contributes his thoughts daily on a diverse range of topics.

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