Tales of Phantasia strikes iOS with aggressive in-app purchases

Tales of Phantasia is a classic RPG ruined by modern monetization schemes.

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Tales of Phantasia is one of the most beloved entries in Bandai Namco's classic RPG series. However, its recent iOS port is not being met with much enthusiasm. Why? It's been aggressively converted into an abusive free-to-play experience.

The game requires a constant online connection as a result of its money-sapping ways. You won't be able to save your progress in this single-player RPG without having a data connection. And even worse, the iOS game removes many of the original's save points--in order to encourage you to purchase a $2 microtransaction that lets you revive your character.

"Namco has done everything in its power to make you want to, with no regard whatsoever to the considerable effect on the game's enjoyability," Touch Arcade writes in their one-star review. "In previous versions of the game, Tales of Phantasia had multiple difficulty settings, which mostly manifested in the form of enemies with higher stats. In the iOS version, you have no choice, you are locked into a custom setting that sits somewhere between Hard and Mania from the other versions. This makes the fights last a lot longer and makes the enemies far more deadly, especially bosses. If that's not enough, they've outright deactivated many of the game's save points, especially those located near bosses."

Without the ability to save regularly, you'll be more tempted to pay $2 for the resurrection microtransaction, should you fall in battle. And given the increased difficulty, that's going to happen more often than you'd like.

The game's economy has also been tinkered with, with the price of every item in the game doubled. That means you'll either have to grind significantly more, or pay for boosters with real money, in order to get the same inventory you would in the original. It's not surprising where Namco's intentions lie here.

It's sad to see such a beloved RPG classic get ruined by modern monetization schemes. Unfortunately for most, the iOS port is the easiest way to get your hands on a localized version of the game.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 27, 2014 3:30 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Tales of Phantasia strikes iOS with aggressive in-app purchases.

    Tales of Phantasia is a classic RPG ruined by modern monetization schemes.

    • reply
      January 27, 2014 3:39 PM

      While I hate this form of re-releasing classics and turning them into pay-to-play games, there has been murmurs about doing this for a while (we were warned). Added to the fact that people seem unwilling to pay more than a $1 for a game on mobile devices it seems this sort of release is inevitable.

      Sadly these sorts of releases might end up making more money than the $16 Final Fantasy games.

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      January 27, 2014 3:56 PM

      Battles are practically unplayable with the stupid touch controls. Don't even waste your time downloading this.

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        January 28, 2014 9:56 AM

        I actually had an easier time repeatably doing different attack types in this version than the GBA release. However, the skill control is basically unusable - it rarely detects the "flick" correctly.

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      January 27, 2014 3:59 PM

      Jesus Christ why can't they release this game in English without gimping the shit out of it?! The GBA port was terrible too.

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        January 28, 2014 9:56 AM

        What was terrible about the GBA release? That's the only one I've played.

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      January 28, 2014 4:38 AM

      Damn money makers, why can't the games just be fun.

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      January 28, 2014 10:04 AM

      Ugh.