Earlier this summer, I upgraded to an iPhone 4S not only because I wanted a smartphone, but so I could play a few games that were either iPhone exclusive or Playstation ports (I’ve never owned a Sony console). I ended up buying Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions after some debate, mostly because I felt that, at $17, it was a tad overpriced. It’s hard to say whether it was worth it, because I did enjoy the game very much (definitely one of the deepest games on iPhone), but it was also quite glitchy, the controls were brutal, and, well, most iPhone games aren’t $17.
It’s very likely that I’m spoiled by Steam and its deep discounts, as well as the general $0-$5 range of most iPhone games, but I still have a hard time justifying paying that much for an iPhone game. I’ve heard that the game is $10 on PSN, which would have been hella more reasonable, and it would’ve been a no-brainer purchase for sure. $10 for Chrono Trigger is a fair price considering how fantastic that game is, but $8 for the incredibly dated Final Fantasy? $16 for Final Fantasy III (a DS port)? $32 for the full version of Final Fantasy Dimensions? $20 for a gimped version of The World Ends With You? Yikes.
I got burned on the atrocious Final Fantasy IV: The After Years for WiiWare a few years back, where the main game was $8 and subsequent episodes were $3 apiece, with the full game totaling 32 frickin’ dollars. The game’s pricing structure seems to have been the inspiration for that of Final Fantasy Dimensions, which is…disappointing, to say the least. $32 for a cell phone game. What gives, Squeenix?
In my opinion, Capcom got episodic pricing right with the Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective iOS port. The first two chapters are free, and the rest of the game can be bought in $5 bundles, with $10 being the cost of the complete game. Like The World Ends With You, Ghost Trick is a DS port from only a few years back. Like TWEWY, it was pretty good. Unlike TWEWY, the iOS version of Ghost Trick is discounted to fit in with conventional App Store pricing, albeit marked up a bit from the typical $0-$5 range since it’s a meatier game than Dragon Fantasy or Jetpack Joyride.
I’d like to play pretty much every game Square Enix has ported to iOS because the general opinion is that they’re all pretty decent RPGs, something the iPhone could use much more of. The ass-crazy pricing is what’s keeping me away, though. Unfortunately, Dragon Fantasy looks like the only iOS RPG really worth my time (and at $3 for ALL the episodes, it’s an incredible steal of a price). I still have a shit-ton of games that I want (the Steam version of Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Pokemon Conquest, Borderlands 2, the Mass Effect 3 Leviathan DLC, FEZ, and Pokemon Black 2, just to name a few), so it will probably be some time until I purchase another Square Enix iPhone game. Hell, I’d even buy the recently-rereleased Final Fantasy VII PC port before a Squeenix iOS game since it’s so reasonably priced ($10 for a legendary RPG that I’ve never played before…sounds good to me).