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Posted by Atwa

You can only hope that eventually the backlash against shit like this becomes so big as to completely discourage publishers from doing it. Its a real shame when there are games I would totally play but have no interest whatsoever because of their business model.

Edited by patrickklepek

You can read Shaun Musgrave's review of Tales of Phantasia on iOS right here.

Staff
Posted by TehPickle

Surprise dumptuck :O

Posted by Budwyzer

Microtransactions make everything better

Posted by HammondofTexas

This trend needs to die. A lot.

Online
Posted by beam

It really is becoming absurd

Posted by ttocs

Nice! Touch Arcade is one of my favorite gaming sites on the net (outside of GB that is.) Great to see them on here!

Posted by Solh0und

I was disgusted when I read the review for this. Why did you sink so low,Bamco?

Edited by Mento

Poor old Phantasia. Bamco needs to take better care of their legacy games, especially when they could be used for free advertising for whatever the next Tales is. Tales of Zestylemon. That one.

Ditto for that horrific-looking Final Fantasy 6 iOS port too. It's like we're seeing the emergence of the Asylum Films of video games.

Moderator
Posted by PurplePartyRobot

I do not mind the free-to-play model. I do not mind microtransactions when they are structured as to make it fair for the consumer to get by. What Namco/Bandai did to this game to emphasize the use of microtransactions is pretty gross. Along with the poor quality of the FF6 mobile port, these games deserve better than the current development treatment each is getting.

Online
Edited by Excast

I am a lot more likely to give money to a game because I want to enjoy more of it and reward the creators of a great experience than I am because a developer goes out of it's way to make the game as unplayable as possible unless I pay them.

Provide fun games, price them reasonably, and you will get great press and some money as well no doubt.

Edited by Draxyle

Jebus. These iOS developers aren't only destroying old franchises, they're destroying history now.

I can't believe people insist that you should never charge more than a dollar for iOS titles, this is exactly what you get in return. This is comically insidious.

Posted by JillSammich

It's very sad. I heard about this game coming to ios, so I hopped on over to the app store, and saw that it was ftp. Now, the little text under the name of the app "offers in-app purchases" is usually an immediate 'don't download' for me, but I went over to the reviews to see if people were complaining about it.

The sad thing is that it's getting a lot of 5 star reviews by people saying that it's just like the old game, and that they didn't change it at all. I fear stuff like this is won't be going anywhere any time soon.

Posted by Hassun

Let's just hope this is not a systemic problem and merely small aberrations from money grabbing asshats in an industry trying to find new ways to be profitable.

Also, @patrickklepek, (1)Bandai (2)Namco!

Posted by Budwyzer

Shaun gave the new Dungeon Keeper a 1 star review as well. I agree with this.

Wonder if he's heard of War for the Overworld. These devs are killing it with this game. In a good way.

Edited by Senate4242

Thankfully I don't game on tablets very often, or even play free to play games. But as more of this crap spills into console/PC gaming, it is going to ruin this hobby for me. I hate this nickel and dime bulllshit.

Let me pay full price for a well made game, and I will do it. Don't give me a free game and then try to squeeze 3-4 times the cost of a full price game out of me. Or even worse, charge full price for a game, then put DLC hooks into it and on disk DLC.

Posted by alwaysbebombing

Jeff did some interesting talk about Michael Transactions in his latest Jar Time video.

Edited by Rain_1

The title of this article/interview should be chaned to "how F2P ruined everything everywhere"

Edited by Thiago123

Oh pardon me, I fixed the title for you: How F2P Ruined Tales of Phantasia on iOS Every Game Ever.

Edit: @rain_1 beat me to it

Posted by WolfHazard

I was expecting that Dungeon Keeper or whatever game to be the next F2P headline, I've been hearing so much about it everywhere else.

Posted by Mechanized

Great stuff Patrick. I would indeed love to hear more interviews like this.

Posted by metalliccookies

Have to say i'm a fan of this style of interview :D to be honest i'm a bit too lazy (and don't have the time) to go and read every cool thing that is written about games... thus this idea of taking cool stuff and letting me listen to it on my way to work is fab :)

Edited by FifiChiaPet

Scary stuff, and I'm officially adding my approval for this type of feature.

I have personally had little interest in the mobile market, but it's a significant portion of the video game market these days and stories like these are fascinating.

Posted by Nasar7

Oh man, Tales of Phantasia is one of my favorite snes rpgs and my favorites Tales game. I would totally replay it on ios if not for this F2P bs. What a shame.

Posted by AMyggen

Great podcast, Patrick.

Posted by Fushichou187

Great interview re: a timely topic. Some of those changes-- the disabled-but-referenced save points in particular-- are shameful.

Also, surprise sound effect at 20:21 scared the crap outta me D:

Online
Posted by spraynardtatum

Insulting is a perfect word for this kind of model. Exploitative is another one. the F2P model preys off of addictive tendencies. It exploits gamers urge to collect everything/finish a game by putting paywalls in and difficulty spikes to push microtransactions. It's disgusting.

Great Dumptruck! Beep beep.

Online
Posted by Axersia

1. You shouldn't be playing a SNES action RPG on a touch screen in the first place.

2. I own like 15 Tales games, and none of these changes sound like a big deal to me. They had to make money off it somehow, and this is what they came up with. Either deal with it, or acquire one of the many other versions out there.

Posted by GERALTITUDE

Ugh.

99.9% of F2P are VLTs, not games. Y'all should just stop covering them.

Edited by spraynardtatum
@axersia said:

1. You shouldn't be playing a SNES action RPG on a touch screen in the first place.

2. I own like 15 Tales games, and none of these changes sound like a big deal to me. They had to make money off it somehow, and this is what they came up with. Either deal with it, or acquire one of the many other versions out there.

Your first point is debatable.

Your second point is terrible. They actively changed the entire balance and save structure of the game in a sinister attempt to gauge the player for money. It's common practice but it's still a big deal. Sure they need to make money off of it but this isn't an acceptable way to do it.

The way they designed this game shows a complete lack of integrity and total disrespect for their audience.

Online
Posted by Axersia

@axersia said:

1. You shouldn't be playing a SNES action RPG on a touch screen in the first place.

2. I own like 15 Tales games, and none of these changes sound like a big deal to me. They had to make money off it somehow, and this is what they came up with. Either deal with it, or acquire one of the many other versions out there.

Your first point is debatable.

Your second point is terrible. They actively changed the entire balance and save structure of the game in a sinister attempt to gauge the player for money. It's common practice but it's still a big deal. Sure they need to make money off of it but this isn't an acceptable way to do it.

The way they designed this game shows a complete lack of integrity and total disrespect for their audience.

If you have a gambling problem or are prone to addiction, then maybe you shouldn't be playing free-to-play games or even games in general. As far as I'm concerned, the typical MMO is no less sinister than what Bandai Namco's doing here. It's your job to manage your time and finances, not theirs.

Posted by patrick

@axersia said:

2. I own like 15 Tales games, and none of these changes sound like a big deal to me. They had to make money off it somehow, and this is what they came up with. Either deal with it, or acquire one of the many other versions out there.

I am absolutely terrified and scared as to what kind of changes you would consider a "big deal". You realize they literally could have just charged a premium and released the game as is with this no longer being an issue anymore, right? I didn't think this would be necessary to point out, but I'm not sure how you could come to the conclusion that one bad move inherently necessitates another, Apple doesn't actually mandate pricing in that way.

Edited by spraynardtatum

@axersia said:

@spraynardtatum said:
@axersia said:

1. You shouldn't be playing a SNES action RPG on a touch screen in the first place.

2. I own like 15 Tales games, and none of these changes sound like a big deal to me. They had to make money off it somehow, and this is what they came up with. Either deal with it, or acquire one of the many other versions out there.

Your first point is debatable.

Your second point is terrible. They actively changed the entire balance and save structure of the game in a sinister attempt to gauge the player for money. It's common practice but it's still a big deal. Sure they need to make money off of it but this isn't an acceptable way to do it.

The way they designed this game shows a complete lack of integrity and total disrespect for their audience.

If you have a gambling problem or are prone to addiction, then maybe you shouldn't be playing free-to-play games or even games in general. As far as I'm concerned, the typical MMO is no less sinister than what Bandai Namco's doing here. It's your job to manage your time and finances, not theirs.

So you blame the victim in this case?

Online
Posted by tourgen

Look, these guys are just trying to make money.

This is where the game press guys can really be of service. Dig into them and let us know which games are good games and which games are scams.

Maybe people like getting hooked in and playing really bad not-games? I don't know. I'm no psychologist science man. I just want to know which games I can easily ignore. Filtering all F2P games has worked so far. Some games now though are asking for real money up front and then using the same bullshit scams. Please review and call these out.

Online
Posted by KoolAid

I agree that F2P games can get very bad, but I get really frustrated when words like morals or ethics get thrown around. Something can be a low quality product without being "unethical", especially when the price of admission is nothing. You can also reject something and say it's not for you while allowing for it to exist for someone else.

Online
Edited by beard_of_zeus

I enjoyed this chat with Shaun, and definitely agree with a lot of his points, especially as someone who enjoys JRPGs myself.

My biggest beef is that it seems like Bandai Namco is pulling some revisionist history and putting a significant amount of effort into turning (what seems like) a good game into a punishingly unfun one. And the only reason why I could see a publisher doing what seems like a completely irrational thing is because the mobile market demands it. But as Shaun said, games of this ilk seem to hover around a slightly higher price on iOS, I feel like Bandai Namco would be better off taking that route. I feel like the "whales" that games like match-3 puzzlers and other causal games are going to hook are gonna be nowhere to be found when it comes to a port of an old SNES RPG, so why punish the people who will actually pony up the cash for it?

Posted by Axersia

@axersia said:

@spraynardtatum said:
@axersia said:

1. You shouldn't be playing a SNES action RPG on a touch screen in the first place.

2. I own like 15 Tales games, and none of these changes sound like a big deal to me. They had to make money off it somehow, and this is what they came up with. Either deal with it, or acquire one of the many other versions out there.

Your first point is debatable.

Your second point is terrible. They actively changed the entire balance and save structure of the game in a sinister attempt to gauge the player for money. It's common practice but it's still a big deal. Sure they need to make money off of it but this isn't an acceptable way to do it.

The way they designed this game shows a complete lack of integrity and total disrespect for their audience.

If you have a gambling problem or are prone to addiction, then maybe you shouldn't be playing free-to-play games or even games in general. As far as I'm concerned, the typical MMO is no less sinister than what Bandai Namco's doing here. It's your job to manage your time and finances, not theirs.

So you blame the victim in this case?

I do. There's too many stories about parents giving their creditcard-linked iPad to their kids, them going around spending thousands of dollars on in-app purchases, and somehow blaming the developer for allowing that to happen. No, that's on the parents. I don't care that you now have to mortgage your house. You dun goofed.

This just isn't any different to me. You can complain that they "ruined" Phantasia in the same way they "ruined" FF4 when they remade it for the DS and added the Augment system, but talking about "morals" just seems silly to me. Besides, Bandai Namco's been going at it for at least 6 years now. Wasn't Vesperia their first game to offer EXP packs? Y'know, pay us 10 dollars and you get 10 levels? I believe that's been a mainstay for the franchise ever since. If this bothers you so much, then maybe it's time to go on a Bandai Namco boycott.

Posted by Generic_username

I love the Tales franchise, but I don't think this game aged well at all anyways. Not that throwing in despicable microtransactions was going to improve the experience.

Also, this totally isn't the first Tales game to have them in it, but this one sounds like it's the most agregious offender so far.

Edited by Mcfart

@axersia said:

@spraynardtatum said:

@axersia said:

@spraynardtatum said:
@axersia said:

1. You shouldn't be playing a SNES action RPG on a touch screen in the first place.

2. I own like 15 Tales games, and none of these changes sound like a big deal to me. They had to make money off it somehow, and this is what they came up with. Either deal with it, or acquire one of the many other versions out there.

Your first point is debatable.

Your second point is terrible. They actively changed the entire balance and save structure of the game in a sinister attempt to gauge the player for money. It's common practice but it's still a big deal. Sure they need to make money off of it but this isn't an acceptable way to do it.

The way they designed this game shows a complete lack of integrity and total disrespect for their audience.

If you have a gambling problem or are prone to addiction, then maybe you shouldn't be playing free-to-play games or even games in general. As far as I'm concerned, the typical MMO is no less sinister than what Bandai Namco's doing here. It's your job to manage your time and finances, not theirs.

So you blame the victim in this case?

I do. There's too many stories about parents giving their creditcard-linked iPad to their kids, them going around spending thousands of dollars on in-app purchases, and somehow blaming the developer for allowing that to happen. No, that's on the parents. I don't care that you now have to mortgage your house. You dun goofed.

This just isn't any different to me. You can complain that they "ruined" Phantasia in the same way they "ruined" FF4 when they remade it for the DS and added the Augment system, but talking about "morals" just seems silly to me. Besides, Bandai Namco's been going at it for at least 6 years now. Wasn't Vesperia their first game to offer EXP packs? Y'know, pay us 10 dollars and you get 10 levels? I believe that's been a mainstay for the franchise ever since. If this bothers you so much, then maybe it's time to go on a Bandai Namco boycott.

Have you ever played a Tales game? The difference between them and this is that Vesperia/Xillia (had microtransactions) were EASY GAMES. They had 4 difficulty levels, and had save points EVERYWHERE. Dieing meant not losing progress. And in Xillia you could even retry the battle you lost at.

If you played Tales games before, you'd also know that Hard/Manic difficulties are DIFFICULT on the first playthrough, especially in older Tales games. They forced the higher difficulty here (even though the original had 4 options) and removed save points. NOT COOL man.

Edited by coaxmetal

Whaaaaat???? They ruined ToP? That's terrible, that game was fantastic on SNES. Why the hell would anyone go back to an already complete, good game, and retool the game design for a new model? How could anyone expect that to work out?

e: otoh, I bet it would have been bad on ios regardless, just because it has a somewhat involved active combat system (mentioned in a very early giant bomb video, in fact) and ios is bad at that sort of controls. Still a shame. I'll have to give this a listen.

Edited by Axersia

@mcfart said:

@axersia said:

@spraynardtatum said:

@axersia said:

@spraynardtatum said:
@axersia said:

1. You shouldn't be playing a SNES action RPG on a touch screen in the first place.

2. I own like 15 Tales games, and none of these changes sound like a big deal to me. They had to make money off it somehow, and this is what they came up with. Either deal with it, or acquire one of the many other versions out there.

Your first point is debatable.

Your second point is terrible. They actively changed the entire balance and save structure of the game in a sinister attempt to gauge the player for money. It's common practice but it's still a big deal. Sure they need to make money off of it but this isn't an acceptable way to do it.

The way they designed this game shows a complete lack of integrity and total disrespect for their audience.

If you have a gambling problem or are prone to addiction, then maybe you shouldn't be playing free-to-play games or even games in general. As far as I'm concerned, the typical MMO is no less sinister than what Bandai Namco's doing here. It's your job to manage your time and finances, not theirs.

So you blame the victim in this case?

I do. There's too many stories about parents giving their creditcard-linked iPad to their kids, them going around spending thousands of dollars on in-app purchases, and somehow blaming the developer for allowing that to happen. No, that's on the parents. I don't care that you now have to mortgage your house. You dun goofed.

This just isn't any different to me. You can complain that they "ruined" Phantasia in the same way they "ruined" FF4 when they remade it for the DS and added the Augment system, but talking about "morals" just seems silly to me. Besides, Bandai Namco's been going at it for at least 6 years now. Wasn't Vesperia their first game to offer EXP packs? Y'know, pay us 10 dollars and you get 10 levels? I believe that's been a mainstay for the franchise ever since. If this bothers you so much, then maybe it's time to go on a Bandai Namco boycott.

Have you ever played a Tales game? The difference between them and this is that Vesperia/Xillia (had microtransactions) were EASY GAMES. They had 4 difficulty levels, and had save points EVERYWHERE. Dieing meant not losing progress. And in Xillia you could even retry the battle you lost at.

If you played Tales games before, you'd also know that Hard/Manic difficulties are DIFFICULT on the first playthrough, especially in older Tales games. They forced the higher difficulty here (even though the original had 4 options) and removed save points. NOT COOL man.

I own 15 of them, most of them Japan-exclusive. Hard Mode is designed to be doable on a first playthrough, and removing save points from a dungeon is hardly an issue. Just run the dungeon, complete the puzzles (not that anything in Phantasia really qualifies as a puzzle anyway), and get the chests. Once you reach the end, you pop a Holy Bottle, head back to the world map to save, possibly head back to town to heal/restock on items, and re-run the dungeon with another Holy Bottle or two. Takes like 3 mins. You'd have to do the same in a Dragon Quest game or any RPG released before 1995. Besides, Shaun keeps mentioning having to repeat only half the dungeon, making it sound like the mid-dungeon save points are still there and only the boss save points were deactivated. If so, that gives you even less reason to complain about it.

Even if they did change the game in such a way that it became effectively unplayable, like initiating a battle with every step you take and selling Holy Bottles for 10 real-life dollars a pop, it'd still just be a free game that no one's forcing you to play. Just delete it off your device if you don't like it.

Posted by spraynardtatum

@axersia said:

@spraynardtatum said:

@axersia said:

@spraynardtatum said:
@axersia said:

1. You shouldn't be playing a SNES action RPG on a touch screen in the first place.

2. I own like 15 Tales games, and none of these changes sound like a big deal to me. They had to make money off it somehow, and this is what they came up with. Either deal with it, or acquire one of the many other versions out there.

Your first point is debatable.

Your second point is terrible. They actively changed the entire balance and save structure of the game in a sinister attempt to gauge the player for money. It's common practice but it's still a big deal. Sure they need to make money off of it but this isn't an acceptable way to do it.

The way they designed this game shows a complete lack of integrity and total disrespect for their audience.

If you have a gambling problem or are prone to addiction, then maybe you shouldn't be playing free-to-play games or even games in general. As far as I'm concerned, the typical MMO is no less sinister than what Bandai Namco's doing here. It's your job to manage your time and finances, not theirs.

So you blame the victim in this case?

I do. There's too many stories about parents giving their creditcard-linked iPad to their kids, them going around spending thousands of dollars on in-app purchases, and somehow blaming the developer for allowing that to happen. No, that's on the parents. I don't care that you now have to mortgage your house. You dun goofed.

This just isn't any different to me. You can complain that they "ruined" Phantasia in the same way they "ruined" FF4 when they remade it for the DS and added the Augment system, but talking about "morals" just seems silly to me. Besides, Bandai Namco's been going at it for at least 6 years now. Wasn't Vesperia their first game to offer EXP packs? Y'know, pay us 10 dollars and you get 10 levels? I believe that's been a mainstay for the franchise ever since. If this bothers you so much, then maybe it's time to go on a Bandai Namco boycott.

Got it.

Online
Edited by ProperKROE

I love Tales. In fact I`m playing through the 3DS version of Abysss right now. I passed on the GBA version of Phantasia when it came because; I was to engrossed in the DS by that point to give Phantasia a shot.

Many recent Tales games have had EXP gain and in game currency available as microtransactions; however those games were perfectly balanced for a player to progress without even knowing that stuff was there. In fact the only method to engage with the microtransactions was outside of the game world itself.

Where this version of Phantasia bugs me is not that it pushes this crap on you so hard, it`s that they significantly altered the design of the game itself for the worse.

Edited by spraynardtatum

@axersia said:

I own 15 of them, most of them Japan-exclusive. Hard Mode is designed to be doable on a first playthrough, and removing save points from a dungeon is hardly an issue. Just run the dungeon, complete the puzzles (not that anything in Phantasia really qualifies as a puzzle anyway), and get the chests. Once you reach the end, you pop a Holy Bottle, head back to the world map to save, possibly head back to town to heal/restock on items, and re-run the dungeon with another Holy Bottle or two. Takes like 3 mins. You'd have to do the same in a Dragon Quest game or any RPG released before 1995. Besides, Shaun keeps mentioning having to repeat only half the dungeon, making it sound like the mid-dungeon save points are still there and only the boss save points were deactivated. If so, that gives you even less reason to complain about it.

Even if they did change the game in such a way that it became effectively unplayable, like initiating a battle with every step you take and selling Holy Bottles for 10 real-life dollars a pop, it'd still just be a free game that no one's forcing you to play. Just delete it off your device if you don't like it.

So no matter how heinous the techniques gets in a f2p game it doesn't matter to you because you can just not play it? Is that what you're saying?

Online
Posted by Video_Game_King

Surprise dumptuck :O

The best kind of dumptruck. (If it doesn't happen to you, at least.)

Posted by mageemagoo

I'd rather just pay like 5 bucks for the game right in the beginning than deal with shit like this

Posted by OllyOxenFree

I think any game will fit if you just fill in the blank:

"How F2P Ruined _________"

Edited by Sydlanel

Hmm I got this the other day, and yeah it got borked.

But yeah the appStore is a very cutthroat environment. I'm not justifying it, not at all, but we've released two games there, no ads, no meddling microtransactions... and it has been harsh, we tend to hope customers will appreciate the effort of.. devs... you know?

But mobile players rarely care at all. and publishers take advantage of the lack of care/ignorance hoping they´ll grab more cash... problem is that in the process they alienate non-players, players, and fans of their franchise. This and Dungeon Keeper are particularly offensive like that, tarnishing the names of their franchises to potential new players.

It's a publisher and a market problem... Making games for people who mostly won't play. Tricking them into hopefully getting a few of their dollars.

at least there's still Simogo

(and RaptusGames)

BTW, nice interview Patrick.

Posted by zaragoza09

Hey Patrick, loved the interview. Between this and the EVE stuff I'm glad to see the interview dump truck return. I think even just random skype conversations with gaming journalists is entertaining, and it seems it is an easy way for you to increase productivity without much marginal cost, everybody wins.

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