If you are interested in Chocobo generalist, a full-price $50 kart racer that launched on Thursday, first realize the game is littered with microtransactions and upsells. Furious Final Fantasy fans who paid the freight say they feel cheated, and those who even play the free “lite” version available on Nintendo Switch say it’s all like something you play on your phone.
The gameplay is good. Choose a chocobo or a Final Fantasy character, travel a course and increase your speed or eliminate your rivals with bonuses and magic spells. As for the rest of the game, “everything is [built] around purchasable season passes despite being a paid game,” one player wrote on the Final Fantasy subreddit. “[I]It’s basically the same currency systems we see in gacha games, only that’s it for minor cart customization crap.
While racers and levels are unlockable, karts, outfits, and other items must be purchased from different stores, using more than one in-game currency. Players must keep track of Gil and Tickets, which they earn by playing the game, and then there is Mythril, which is only available with real money.
“[I] started the game, was greeted immediately with the in-game currency you buy with mtx,” said a redditor“Battle pass to get rewards with two levels, and the whole design makes my nintendo switch look like a phone. For example, do I pay for a $50 game or a mobile game f2p?”
According to some players, progress through the game’s Prize Pass also seems slow and miserly. One of them tweeted that after an hour of online play in CU of chocoboshe won a tournament but was only level 7 – barely a tenth of the way to level 60 and its ultimate reward, a playable Cloud Strife.
There is also the question of the cost of the Prize Pass itself. This runs 800 Mythril, and to be fair, some premium games also sell a battle pass. Although the first season is functionally free, returning players 800 Mythril once players log in, they still have to purchase said Mythril, and it’s usually $10 for 1,000 in the currency.
A launch promotion is offering 1,600 for $8, but that’s actually only $2 off if you’re only there to unlock stuff in the Prize Pass. Additionally, the 800 Mythril you receive from the Prize Pass expires if you don’t use it within five months. It’s clear that Square Enix wants players to acquire and spend this Mythril even if they don’t want anything purchased.
“I wonder how long it will take Square Enix to learn that just because games like Destiny 2Call of Duty and FIFA are able to double their revenue doesn’t mean they can do it with their low budget games too. another player wrote on friday. “You need either the content or the brand to do it, ideally both. CU of chocobos has neither.
Kotaku noted friday that this real-money Mythril economy was not present in the game when reviewers played it. But his intent was still evident to some critics. “Watching [unlockable characters] Squall and Cloud are relegated to a season pass and/or Gil’s purchases just made me lose my fun,” wrote Destructoid, “because these crucial players should just be in the game with no strings attached.” The review called for the elimination of Prize Pass and a reduction in price to make the game “much more attractive”.
Polygon reached out to Square Enix for additional comment on Prize Pass, microtransactions, and player reactions to both.