After the fiasco with Demons’ Score, Square Enix remains undeterred and decides to, once again, put their hands into consumers’ wallets by publishing yet another freemium title that requires in-app purchases in order to get the most out of it. This time, however, it seems like the IAP model is the same across the board so Japanese players are also subject to the madness.
One main difference with Theatrhythm is that, unlike Demons’ Score, it’s a port of the $30 US 3DS game. I’m not going to go into detail about the changes since you can read about them at Joystiq but I WILL write about the sheer insanity of the pricing scheme.
Squenix graciously includes a whopping total of 2 musical tracks: One-Winged Angel from FFVII and Zanarkand from FFX. If you want more you must pay either $1.99 for individual tracks or $4.99 for 4-song bundles. Note that the store menu for songs includes tunes that are NOT among the bundles so if you want all music from each series, you’re looking at at least $7 US for each one. Multiply by that 13 titiles + 1 FFT track, 1 FFX-2 track, 1 FF: CC track, 2 Advent Children tracks + 1 from Type-0 , and 1 FFXIII-2 and you’re at $98 US.
In contrast, $30 US on 3DS will get you over 70 tracks. Of course, if you factor in the DLC, which cost 99 cents each, it’ll probably be another $50 US. But still, it’s not hard to see that the better deal is on the Nintendo system.
The iOS version also keeps a few of the unlockable 3DS characters out of reach by placing them as IAP with a price tag of $2.99 slapped onto each one.
Here’s a brief overview of what you’ll find at the store.
Note (added 11:08 PM EST):
Here’s the story behind the screenshots: I downloaded the game from the Japanese App Store because I thought it wasn’t available in the Canadian one. I also thought the prices reflected in the in-game shop were the actual localized prices. It turns out that the IAP amounts were simply conversions of the yen prices. I didn’t realize that apps now do this because I’ve purchased things from within Taiko no Tatsujin+ and Puzzle & Dragons before and they always displayed in yen prices.
I might replace the screenshots later.
$1.99 $0.99 Each:
Not listing all 59 of them but tracks like Dancing Mad, which is a normal unlockable tune in the 3DS version, is among the list.
Song Bundles –
$4.99 $2.99 Each:
FFI Basic Bundle:
Battle, Main Theme, Mt. Gulg, Matoya’s Cave
FFII Basic Bundle:
Battle Theme 1, Battle Theme 2, Main Theme, Tower of the Magi
FFIII Basic Bundle:
Battle 1, Battle 2, Eternal Wind, Crystal Cave
FFIV Basic Bundle:
Battle 1, Battle With The Four Fiends, Main Theme of Final Fantasy IV, Within the Giant
FFV Basic Bundle:
Battle 1, Battle at the Big Bridge, Four hearts, Mambo de Chocobo
FFVI Basic Bundle:
Battle, The Decisive Battle, Terra’s Theme, Searching for Friends
FFVII Basic Bundle:
Let the Battles Begin!, Fight On!, Main Theme of Final Fantasy VII, Cosmo Canyon
FFVIII Basic Bundle:
The Man with the Machine Gun, The Extreme, Blue Fields, Ride On
FFIX Basic Bundle:
Battle 1, The Final Battle, Over the Hill, Dark City Treno
FFX Basic Bundle:
Battle Theme. Fight with Seymour, Mi’hen Highroad, Movement in Green
FFXI Basic Bundle:
Battle Theme, Awakening, Ronfaure, The Sanctuary of Zi’Tah
FFXII Basic Bundle:
Clash of Swords, Esper Battle, Giza Plains, The Dalmasca Estersand
FFXIII Basic Bundle:
Saber’s Edge, Fighting Fate, The Sunleth Waterscape, March of the Dreadnoughts
$2.99 $1.99 Each:
There are 25 in total so far. iOS exclusive characters include:
- Celes from FFVI
- Tifa from FFVII
- Rinoa from FFVIII
- Garnet from FFIX
- Auron from FFX
- Balthier from FFXII
- Hope from FFXIII
- Serah from FFXIII-2
- Ramza from Final Fantasy Tactics
- Cosmos from FF series
Since the game is stupid unstable on my iPod touch 4G, I can’t even play any stages. However, even if I could, I’d be stuck playing Zanarkand forever since aside from avoiding One-Winged Angel like a plague, I wouldn’t bother spending any money to get more tracks. After all, it’ll only encourage Square Enix to continue with their idiotic gouging on this platform.
Edit at 10:35 PM EST:
Square Enix lowered the prices for all categories? Now singles cost $0.99, Bundles are $2.99, and Characters are $1.99. So the new total will be $147.03:
I do wonder about something though — when I originally got the game, it was off the Japanese App Store because I thought it wasn’t out in the Canadian one. Could it be that the yen prices were auto-converted to Canadian because a single is ¥170 which is like $1.99 Canadian. However, the bundles are ¥450 which comes out to $5.28 Canadian. (Conversions are done with http://xe.com/). I suppose Apple’s got its own conversion thing going. Weirdness.
Oh well, the zany overall price still remains but it’s no longer near the $250 mark. 😛