Square Enix is at it again. To them, the iOS is a battle of wills which is pitting them against every other developer out there while they wait for everyone to fall in line and start charging a boat load for games.
The latest game Square Enix is sending out into that field of battle is a port of the Nintendo 3DS rhythm game Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. This cute interpretation of the classic series recreates famous scenes with the aid of composer Nobuo Uematsu's most popular songs and basic rhythm-based gameplay.
The iOS version, which Square Enix launched today, is free to download. However, it only comes with two songs: Final Fantasy VII's One Winged Angel and Final Fantasy X's Zanarkand. All further characters, song packs and individual tunes must be purchased through micro-transactions ranging from $.99-$2.99. Those Final Fantasy fans who would go out of their way to download everything the game has to offer will be putting down a grand total of $143.03.
On the other hand, the Nintendo 3DS version might cost $29.99 for a physical retail copy, and that comes equipped with 76 songs and every character unlockable through gameplay. The 52 songs available through DLC at $.99 each will put the final product at $81.47.
The songs are one thing, but the free characters on the Nintendo 3DS version alone will run iOS gamers $45.75 for the entire cast, more than the full price of the physical game without any additional music. To be fair, the iOS has a few exclusive characters…though nobody really wants to download Bartz, Vaan, or Snow, right?
Don't be fooled by the prices, either. More money doesn't always mean more rewards. The song count favors the Nintendo 3DS version with a grand total of 128 songs as opposed to the iOS version, which currently has only 111 available. The Nintendo 3DS version also boasts cinematics not available on the iOS edition.
The option to only buy a fraction of a game is an interesting idea, but when you're expecting game completionists and the hardcore crowd to drop more money on less content is a little silly. Stick with Nintendo when looking for your Final Fantasy rhythm game fix.