Fighting games are prime candidates for unlocking. It’s easy for companies to squirrel away characters or costumes and hide them behind objectives. SNK’s The Last Blade: Beyond the Destiny is a game that is constantly offering people things to earn and uncover.
For context, The Last Blade: Beyond the Destiny is a 20 year old handheld game. (It launched in North America and Japan back in 2000.) Even still, it has extra endings, additional characters and two minigames to earn. All of which are tied to systems that look at the time you’re playing, factor in what you’ve done in terms of which character routes you pursued and require you to earn currency and spend it on Gallery items to acquire some of those things.
With the characters, it’s like we have a sense of really earning things as we go. Every character’s storyline unlocks an ending scroll in the gallery you can buy. Buying more and doing more involves a second, complete ending. To get extra characters or Kaede’s alt, you need to completely see certain characters’ stories. So “different” Kaede is awakened by finishing his original story. These tend to make sense. Let’s use Hibiki as an example. She’s the daughter of Amano’s friend. So completing his story and buying his ending unlocks her.
But while unlocks like more characters require time and in-game money, the minigames are more like a fun bonus. The Last Blade: Beyond the Destiny keeps track of how long you’re playing. After you hit certain times, you unlock the Juzoh in HR Competition and Mukuro in The Great Escape. Though, if someone has a lot of extra points, those can go toward things like profiles, New Fates, and additional endings too.
"'No problem,' as the Americans say." pic.twitter.com/PgFfNvLaqp
— Jenni Lada (@JMariye) October 29, 2020
Is it all frustrating? Perhaps a little. After all, you do have to unlock the variants for Akari and Kaede and the other playable characters. Seeing so many empty spaces, needing to buy so many endings and having to make that time investment being active to make the Gallery sell new items is a lot. If someone finds it exhausting, that’s valid.
But considering the age of the game, it’s great to see how much is there. The Last Blade: Beyond the Destiny was clearly designed to take up a lot of people’s time and be something they could keep coming back to. While unlocking can be a lot of work, it is a great motivating factor to keep playing.
The Last Blade: Beyond the Destiny is available for the Nintendo Switch in the NeoGeo Pocket Color Selection and NeoGeo Pocket Color.