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The Catch-22 of Final Fantasy Dimensions - Editorial

InstaTrentInstaTrent OpinionatorRPGamer Staff
edited September 2012 in Latest Updates
Staff Editorialist Trent Seely details the current controversy surrounding Final Fantasy Dimensions' pricing. Should you avoid buying it because it breaks the traditions of the platform or give into the mobile Final Fantasy goodness?

http://www.rpgamer.com/editor/2012/082912ts.html
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Comments

  • Zeboyd GamesZeboyd Games Member Full Members
    edited August 2012
    I think less people would be upset if the game looked better. It might be long and play well, but compared to something like Final Fantasy 4 Complete on the PSP, Final Fantasy Dimensions looks like a bad RPGMaker game.
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  • retrodragonretrodragon Member Full Members
    edited August 2012
    Sqenix: if you want to make a buck, release a higher quality game on psp in NA (like...say Agito please?), and if you want to really break into the ios market, give us something more reasonable! I think this strategy is going to backfire, and leave us with fewer interesting releases as well as less cash in square's pocket. My 2 cents.
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  • PawsPaws Purr RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2012
    The problem that bugs me is now that they've set such a ridiculous price, my natural "relative cost" nature kicks in. If it goes on sale for say, 15$, dang that's half price! Forgetting the fact it's 14x (or 7x) more expensive than anything else I buy. Heck, I've balked at buying something for 2.99 because I'll know something will be just as good at 0.99 :/

    Also, there's an oversight in the ed. Purchased together as a package, eps will be 7. If bought individually, they will be 9 each.
  • lolwhoopslolwhoops Member HalifaxFull Members
    edited August 2012
    i said this before but I can get higher quality games for a third of the price on a portable platform from this same developer. For example, I could get Final Fantasy 7, 8, and 9 for my PSP for that price. Granted not on a mobile phone, but to me that seems like the smarter way to spend $30. Even being a brand new old-style FF game is not worth a premium anymore because the FF franchise is basically not a brand of quality anymore. You'll get the stupid people and the diehards, maybe some people with too much money, but the average gamer and even the hardcore RPG fans won't buy into it. The value isn't guaranteed and there's a wealth of better options for cheaper.

    I know that I made this a little offensive if you're the type of person going to buy this on your iPhone or whatever, but suckers rarely know they're suckers.
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  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited August 2012
    On the other hand, most of those cheap $1 or $3 iOS games have microtransactions. And those online competitive ones can easily suck out thousands of dollars if you want to play them properly.
  • CofLSilkCofLSilk RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2012
    A lot of the best games, though, have micro transactions that enhance the game without making them required for play. It's hard to shell out $30 for a game like FFD when Infinity Blade 2 is around $6, CStW is $3, and Dragon Fantasy is only a couple of bucks. The pricing just doesn't make sense for the platform.
  • omegabyteomegabyte He's just this guy, you know? RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2012
    I think one of the most telling signs that this is going to fail and fail miserably is that they JUST released TWEWY on iOS, a high-end game with a proven track record and beloved by fans, for LESS than what it'll cost to get all of FFD. TWEWY has higher production values and offers just as much, if not more content for a lower price on the exact same platform, and is available right now. Why would ANYONE choose this over that?

    What I'd really like to know, though, is why they would choose such a high price point? I mean, look at the game. It doesn't exactly scream high production values now, does it? I can't imagine them having more than a dozen people working on it. Heck, similar games have been made with 1 or 2 man teams, so I really don't understand how they can justify such a premium price. Does it have something to do with Japan's mobile economy? Maybe this kind of thing flies over there? They did FF4: The After Years over there a few years back -- what were they charging per episode then? Because that's really the only possible explanation I can come up with other than complete marketing incompetence.
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  • CofLSilkCofLSilk RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2012
    I really think these prices are an experiment into what they can get away with.

    FFD: It's their first episodic mobile release like this. From their perspective, I'm sure that they want to get the most money out of it as possible. You could easily say that a higher quality product is much more likely to be produced by a company like SE compared to some random guy in his mother's basement. How much should they price it at? Are people willing to pay that much in spite of the platform? Best scenario, enough people buy it as is despite the price and SE makes money. Worst case scenario, it doesn't sell well at it's current price and they put out a spiffy press release with the exciting news that FFD has now had a price reduction (let's say 50% to bring it in line with other SE titles) and sales are driven up and SE makes money.

    TWEWY: I really want to believe that TWEWY is a proof of concept for SE. The original was specifically designed for the DS. This would make porting to any other single screen device, even a touch device, impossible without interface modifications. Since SE loves porting titles like there's no tomorrow, I'm sure they had something like this iOS port in mind when they started working on the rumored TWEWY 2. If they can take a game that received great reviews and make it successful on an iPhone/iPad, they've suddenly opened the door for a way to make a two-screen dependent game viable on mobile phones and the Vita.

    I really don't -like- their pricing, as it flies in the face of what the majority of mobile gamers expect to pay for a game. SE still has a ways to go unless they only intend to cater to their usual core audience. There is like a small segment of the more casual, $0.99 game population that will take the plunge for a $15-$30 SE title, but they'll have to come much more in line with the expected pricing (at the most $10, less for stuff like FFD) if they want to expand their reach into the rest of that market.
  • FiremystFiremyst Daddy Dragon II RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2012
    When I first read about this, I was like everyone else. How could Square Enix charge so much for a mobile game? So I started asking around. Is this a full title? It's truly not a port or a spin-off of another Final Fantasy game, but an actual new title? Would I pay for a new Final Fantasy game, even if it's over the "normal price" of mobile gaming?

    These were all hard questions, in my opinion, but overall, I would buy a new game, by a reputable publisher (snicker if you like) for $30. I only had to look at Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, to see that after all of the methodical releases to the mobile devices in Japan, when they dumped this all on a UMD along with FFIV, I heard very little whining about people picking up this game, and most *did not care* about the After Years near as much as Final Fantasy IV on the PSP.

    If you're willing, and eager, to spend $30 on a game already released multiple times, I can't imagine why you would complain about $30 for an iPhone game. Especially when people shell out $100, $150, even $200 for console collector's editions that you don't even get more game for. Should those prices become the norm? They sure seem to be more common. Does it mean I have to buy them? Of course not.

    Buy the game for the game. If you think a new retro-style Final Fantasy game is worth $30, then buy it. The platform shouldn't even be part of the discussion. If you don't think it is, then don't buy it and maybe it will go on sale. If you're not sure, play the first two chapters and find out. Everyone comes out ahead.

    Makes me wonder what people are expecting to pay for Dragon Fantasy on Vita.
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  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited August 2012
    I'm not so sure about what you say on microtransactions. I haven't tried many games that even have such, but in the 3 I tried it was always so that it is IMPOSSIBLE to even get far into the game without buying "cash currency" for better equip and stuff. Suuure you can grind for 1000 hours and then also beat the game without buying, but who would want that? So in the end if you look how much money you need to beat that "free", $1 or $3 game, you often also end up with at least $15. Then several don't even include any exploration or bonus dungeon, nope, you need to buy them! This for example ruins immersion and exploration. You no longer run around and look out for bonus dungeons because you know, games with microtransactions won't have optional dungeons hanging around for free.

    So assuming FF Dimensions is really a full game, with no micro transactions and that doesn't require you to pay for optional content. Then $30 isn't such an unreasonable price.

    If you wonder why they demand such a price... it's simple: Chaos Rings II sold incredibly well, the FF remakes sold incredibly well, why not try with an even higher price?

    The only thing that Square-Enix really disappoints me in is that once they released a game for iOS they usually don't care about it anymore. They often promise many updates like an improved graphics update for Final Fantasy Tactics. A year later they still didn't add it.

    By the way, unlike Zeboyd, I don't think that the graphics style being a bit different will be a problem. People just need to know that it's by Square-Enix to want it. I showed some screenshots to a friend and told him that it'll cost $30 and he was like "what, so much?" and then I told him that it's not a fan-game but really from Square-Enix and then he was like "oh, then the price is fine."


    I think the game pricing has become incredibly chaotic lately. Back in 16-bit era, you knew you always pay like $70 or something for a game. Then in the 32-bit era it became cheaper, but still pretty much a fixed price like $50 for a game.
    Now you have pretty much everything from free (yes really good games are sometimes free) up to the Tales of Graces or Ni No Kuni high quality overprice of $70 back from the 16-bit era (which btw is still worth it for me and I'll still pay it).


    Honestly, lately I often bought a game and thought later that I would have paid much more for such a title, while other games I pay a lot for just disappoint me and aren't played for more than 1 hour. I really feel bad about this because I have the feeling that my money flows to the wrong developers... I wonder if anybody feels the same way...

    I'm honestly considering donating money directly to the better developers. Like if they give out a game for free or $5 or something and I think I'd easily have paid $30 for it, I feel like I should at least donate $25 to them just to support them.


    As I final word I want to say: I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE microtransactions. Alone the fact that a game can promise to not have such microtransactions is easily worth $30. Microtransactions ruin everything: Difficulty balance, exploration (all optional content need to be bought) and you can't even judge how expensive the game really is. Not to mention that there are some people who got real money problems because they can't really control the amount of money they put into a game.
  • TG BarighmTG Barighm Member Full Members
    edited August 2012
    Honestly, lately I often bought a game and thought later that I would have paid much more for such a title, while other games I pay a lot for just disappoint me and aren't played for more than 1 hour. I really feel bad about this because I have the feeling that my money flows to the wrong developers... I wonder if anybody feels the same way...
    I think that's more a result of super high development budgets and the prevalence of action games. Action games tend to be short and some devs. like to make to make their sequels a lot shorter for a quick cash-in on the lower costs. So, yeah, we've noticed. The best thing you can do is buy the games that you feel are worth it, and DLC and whatnot, and not to buy the games that do (or buy used to keep the cash out of a dev's hands).

    Better yet, RENT. It's easy to beat the shorter games in a rental.
    Alone the fact that a game can promise to not have such microtransactions is easily worth $30. Microtransactions ruin everything: Difficulty balance, exploration (all optional content need to be bought) and you can't even judge how expensive the game really is.
    You're not wrong, but you should be aware it's possible to do it right. When done right, you end up with a game that essentially has free content and DLC. Of course, it's very rarely done right.
    Not to mention that there are some people who got real money problems because they can't really control the amount of money they put into a game.
    Gotta draw the line here. Gaming is a luxury, plain and simple. If you can't afford it, the last thing you should be doing is complaining about it in a gaming forum. If you're talking addicts, they need help, not cheaper games. You can argue VALUE of any particular game all you want, such is the point of this thread, but outright inability to purchase games is solely the fault of the gamer.

    In other words, people with real money problems shouldn't be gaming. Period.
  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited August 2012
    Well you could design microtransactions around so that you couldn't spend more than let's say $50 on a game. But for many games it's possible to easily spend $10000 or more on microtransactions.

    For a year now, my father is playing the same strategy game on his iPad and he also spend like $100 onto it already, just to be able to buy new buildings and stuff and he says looking at towns of other players they must have at least spend $20000 to build all those buildings.

    So from that perspective $30 are peanuts. That's why I mentioned it.
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited August 2012
    If I believed for a moment that Final Fantasy Dimensions offered an experience that was as engaging as the SNES entries in the FF series, then I would have few qualms with paying $30. However, I do not for a minute believe that this is the case. This appears to be a cheap and nasty mobile phone game a la The After Years, and looks to be worth about $10 at a glance.

    I'm not paying $30 for this, especially not when it's on a system which lacks physical controls. There is a reason that iOS software is cheaper, and it's not simply due to lower production values. Most games are less fun to play on a touch screen.
    but should we really be predicating our price expectations on a game's platform over its actual quality?

    Your response to this question will be completely subjective, but could have long-term implications for how things are priced on mobile platforms in the future
    ^That is a nonsense. In this instance 'quality' and 'platform' are inextricably linked - I cannot buy Final Fantasy on my smartphone and have it feel as though I were playing on my SNES or Playstation. The sloppy controls make for an objectively poorer experience than does similar content on dedicated handhelds, and thus it is not worth the asking price.

    If SE wanted to trial an extortionate new pricing structure, then they really should have started with something of a higher profile like Before Crisis.
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  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited August 2012
    Firemyst said:
    Makes me wonder what people are expecting to pay for Dragon Fantasy on Vita.
    No idea, but the first one was $2.99 on iOS and was a blast. Good value.
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  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited August 2012
    You can't really know what quality this game has before trying.

    I think paying $3 for the first chapter and then judge it's quality and decide if you want to buy the full game seems reasonable. If you see that it really just feels like an RPG Maker FF copy game, then you never have to pay more, but if you see this is just as good as FFV, just with a new story, you might be ready to pay $30 for it.
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited August 2012
    I know that the best case scenario on iOS is still relatively lacking compared to something that is merely acceptable on a dedicated handheld. This is called extrapolation; the knowledge that FFD would have to feature some extraordinary content to overcome the limitations of the platform, coupled with the likelihood that it will not.
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  • DravDrav A Serious Man Full Members
    edited August 2012
    A lot of the faux-Amano artwork for this game is actually pretty cool, and it's at least somewhat of reflected in the enemy sprites. It's all for nothing though, since the player sprites, environments and UI are as bland as bland can be.
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited August 2012
    The OST is really pretty - I was genuinely surprised.
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  • DravDrav A Serious Man Full Members
    edited August 2012
    I listed to about 20 tracks some guy uploaded to Youtube. Don't know whether it covers the full OST or not but none of them really stood out.
  • CofLSilkCofLSilk RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2012
    Rya.Reisender said:
    I'm not so sure about what you say on microtransactions. I haven't tried many games that even have such, but in the 3 I tried it was always so that it is IMPOSSIBLE to even get far into the game without buying "cash currency" for better equip and stuff. Suuure you can grind for 1000 hours and then also beat the game without buying, but who would want that? So in the end if you look how much money you need to beat that "free", $1 or $3 game, you often also end up with at least $15. Then several don't even include any exploration or bonus dungeon, nope, you need to buy them! This for example ruins immersion and exploration. You no longer run around and look out for bonus dungeons because you know, games with microtransactions won't have optional dungeons hanging around for free.
    I'm going to suggest you keep an eye on iMpressions. I've fully aware that a lot of iOS/Android games like to list themselves as free and then slam an IAP wall in your face. Some of them create the game in such a way so as to make IAPs very desirable to speed up the experience. The best of the bunch, though, offer a full, or nearly full, game at an affordable price with affordable IAPs that add content or completely optional game enhancements. I currently have a list of about 15 iOS titles that I want to write about, 10 of them being complete as they stand without the need of additional purchases. My point is that there are plenty of titles out there that aren't cash grabs if you know where to look.

    As for putting Chaos Rings on the same level as FF remakes and FF Dimensions, the audio and visuals in Chaos Rings is far superior to anything else that SE has put out on iOS to date and is still under $20. Besides the nostalgia factor, there is really no comparison between something like Dimensions or FF1 and Chaos Rings...it's like comparing Adventure on Atari to Chrono Trigger.
  • TyphoTypho Knight Errant Full Members
    edited August 2012
    I'm just not a fan of the visual style of this game, even down to the choice of font.
  • AurianAurian Member Full Members
    edited August 2012
    Its the platform. I don't find the iOS an ideal gaming device. Small screen compared to the "handhelds", no buttons (sorry but the virtual buttons are not a great substitute for the real thing), and a small cramped device to comfortably hold for long gaming periods. I do play some games on my iOS, but I find I can't really play long without my hands getting cramped.
  • JitawaJitawa Member Full Members
    edited August 2012
    I'm definitely not impressed with the graphics/etc. that I've seen for this. Can't say I see myself buying it (didn't buy the FF4 extension until complete on PSP).

    I WOULD be ok with Square releasing a finely translated version of the DS remakes of the SaGa games... *cough*... for pretty much any platform.
  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited August 2012
    @Aurian
    The iPad has pretty much the largest screen of all handhelds, though!

    @CofLSilk
    I don't really agree to Chaos Rings being far superior to other games. Chaos Rings has a good soundtrack and basic plot, but that's about it. The gameplay is quite bad and all the games of the series are really really repetitive. There is hardly any exploration in the game and the balance is a big mess.
    I haven't played Final Fantasy Dimensions yet, but I expect it to be quite a bit better. At least having real dungeons with exploration, more party members that make battles more interesting and being much less repetitive.
  • Severin MiraSeverin Mira News Director/Reviewer RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2012
    Actually it's 0.4 inches less than every single 10.1-inch Android tablet :P The iPhone is also being left behind now from having a comparitively small screen (the 4S has a 3.5-inch screen) to it's competitors. Note that's smaller than the PSP (4.3-inch) and the vast majority of Android smartphones being released now (around the 3-8 to 4.8-inch mark).
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  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited August 2012
    The prologue is up now.
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  • AurianAurian Member Full Members
    edited September 2012
    Rya.Reisender said:
    @Aurian
    The iPad has pretty much the largest screen of all handhelds, though!
    Yeah, but the games overall for the iOS feel inferior in quality to console games, and I don't really need an iPad for other things.
  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited September 2012
    Well......... I downloaded the game in the morning and played the prologue. It's really good old FF 16-bit quality and gameplay. The prologue completely convinced me of the game and I purchased the full game right away. The graphics style is actually pretty good. This game at least compares to FF3. Kinda a mixture of FF3 and FF5.
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited September 2012
    Rya.Reisender said:
    This game at least compares to FF3. Kinda a mixture of FF3 and FF5.
    Agreed. Sadly, those are my two least favorite FFs. Still, I might play more though.
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  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited September 2012
    Those awful flash-grade graphics don't really do much for me (very bland, very clear, not enough texture and substance; I don't see why SE couldn't produce a game that visually matched the fidelity of To the Moon). Thus far the the biggest selling point of the game looks to be its decent OST.
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