When I bought my PS5 it came in a bundle with the Ultimate Edition of Miles Morales. I was fine with that because it had the PS5 remaster of Spider Man 2018, and I hadn't played that game's DLC yet. I did so soon after I got the PS5 and now I'm making my way through the main Miles Morales game, which is just as good as everyone said it was.
But the Ultimate Edition came with some other extras as well. A few cosmetic unlocks, which are fine, but also early access to one of Miles' gadgets and some extra skill points. I found that very annoying.
Good games should be balanced for the average user, and that's true not just for difficulty etc... but for progression. In a well-designed game you should get gadgets and skill points at a satisfying pace that both matches the challenges the game is throwing at you and also allows you to unlock new abilities at a pace that keeps the game feeling fresh and fun. There's also the small sense of accomplishment you experience upon leveling up and getting access to new stuff. Progression skippers let you bypass this in exchange for money, which feels both yucky from a "microtransactions are bad" perspective and counterproductive. Why not just give me a code that lets me skip to the final cut scene in the game? Or better yet, sell me access to that cut scene and I can just never launch the game at all.
That's obviously extreme, but my point is that the game should be balanced for optimal progression. Obviously there have always been cheat codes, like for extra lives in Contra/Gradius or extra money in Sim City, but those were generally used either in games that weren't actually well balanced (Contra and Gradius were balanced for the arcades, which is to say they were designed to suck quarters not for optimal home console fun) or that were fun to mess around with outside of normal progression (Sim City is a great mess around game for a lot of obvious reasons.) A lot of cheat codes would lock you out of story progression or give you bad endings or otherwise indicate that they weren't really the way the game was meant to be played, they were just there as a fun bonus.
Skill point cheats don't fix pre-existing balance issues or create new fun, they just make the game easier, and they also screw with the pacing of the later game. In Miles Morales you are supposed to get the gravity well gadget at a certain progression point, but if you got it through the Ultimate Edition you just don't get anything there. It takes away a reward beat from the design. Likewise it's easy to max out the skill trees for what's available (because skills are also level gated) so you end up with very bad pacing of skill points vs available skills and it can reduce the fun of leveling up later. You're downgrading the difficulty early, when the game is already very easy, and also messing with progression later on. Joy.
Who is this stuff really for? Who likes this stuff? Are there people who are like "oh boy, I get some extra skill points to start with, that makes me special, better drop $20 extra"? I have bought other Ultimate and Deluxe editions in the past but it was always for other content, like DLC, or soundtracks, or whatever.
A lot of games have these little perks and they always suck. At best they're irrelevant. Sometimes they're annoying, like in Miles Morales where I haven't spent the extra skill points so the game bugs me every few minutes saying I have unspent skill points. Sometimes you can turn them off in the menu, and you can always just not download the DLC if it's separated out from something you actually want (like extra costumes or other ultimate edition content) but if you start a game with it installed you've just got those points now. At worst it feels like the main game has hampered progression to make it more appealing. I love the Forza Horizon games, but the VIP pass (which gives you extra spins for cars in various ways in different games) often makes the game feel more in line with how it should be, rather than just feeling like an extra.
These are bad bonuses and they should go away. That's not even getting into repeatable progression boosters like Ubisoft has put in a number of their games, which are much worse and more predatory. Game progression is a core mechanic and it shouldn't be something that's carved up for extra cash. There are lots of other things that can be sold as microtransactions or deluxe edition content etc...
This ain't it, chief.