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Random characters, 69p revivals, day-one DLC - the true cost of Final Fantasy: All the Bravest

Titan your purse strings

Product: Final Fantasy: All The Bravest | Developer: Square Enix | Publisher: Square Enix | Genre: Action, Card battler, RPG
For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad
Final Fantasy: All The Bravest iPhone, thumbnail 1
Square Enix has just launched a manic screen-tapping RPG thingy called Final Fantasy: All the Bravest on the App Store. And - shock horror - it's filled to bursting point with crazy in-app purchases.

In the interest of letting you know exactly what you're getting yourself into financially when you grab this game, let's break down exactly what you're expected to pay in All the Bravest.

First, there's the £2.49 / $3.99 entry price.

All the Bravest often feels like its a freemium app, but it actually comes with a steep one-off cost to download.

Hero for hire

The game features 25 basic party members that you unlock as you work through the campaign. But, there are a further 35 "premium characters" that you can only get from the in-game shop.

These guys cost 69p / 99c a pop. So, if you want the lot, you can expect to spend £24.15 / $34.65.

Final Fantasy: All the Bravest

Bear in mind that the hero you receive is completely random. So, if you really want to take Cloud from Final Fantasy VII into battle, you'll just need to put in your iTunes password and hope for the best.

There are also "World Tickets" - these let you gain access to new world maps.

There are ones for Midgar from Final Fantasy VII, Zanarkand from Final Fantasy X, and Archylte Steppe from Final Fantasy XIII. They're £2.49 each.

Phoenix down payment

Finally, there are IAPs in the battles themselves.

In All the Bravest, you'll go through characters like Tic Tacs. One hit from an enemy and your Warrior or Black Mage will be eradicated from the battlefield.

Your heroes come back by themselves, but they each take three real-world minutes to respawn. If your whole 16-person party is wiped out, you'll have to wait 48 minutes to get everyone back in the fight.

If you don't want to wait, you'll have to pay (a mantra that can sadly describe a lot of mobile games these days). You can revive your whole party immediately with a golden hourglass.

You can get three of these hourglasses for 69p / 99c, eight for £1.49 / $1.99, or 20 for £1.99 / $2.99.

Final Fantasy All The Bravest

Money for old rope

So, there we have it. Randomised characters at 69p a pop, instant revival for as long as your bank balance stays above zero, and £7.50 of DLC on the first day of release. Sounds like a ball, right?

Square Enix has a history of including in-app purchases that make your jaw drop and your wallet brace itself for impact.

It offered £100 of extra songs in Theatrhythm, charged £30 to get the full Demons' Score experience, and locked Final Fantasy Dimensions's chiptune soundtrack behind a £5 paywall.

Don't say you weren't warned.

Reviewer photo
Mark Brown 17 January 2013
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Oct 2012
Post count:
@arosbooks | 09:10 - 18 January 2013
The worst thing is people describing this rubbish as better than actual games. You get what you pay for, is very true of handheld/mobile gaming. If mobile replaces real games it's the day I stop being a gamer and everyone on here knows I love Xperia Play.
Jan 2010
Post count:
curtisrshideler | 02:04 - 18 January 2013
Alright, I have to retract part of my previous post...

I have been looking for a simple, casual RPGish game that I could play for quick bursts, was set in a retro FFish universe, offered me the option to play it in portrait (I love playing portrait games so others don't know you're playing a game in meetings), and would allow me to pick up, play, and save at any moment. I thought Knights of Pen & Paper would give me that fix, but it didn't fulfill that desire.

So, after much reading today, and hearing other people's experiences on another forum... I took the plunge, and got this title. I'm a sucker for a retro FF game, I admit it. But, I am actually enjoying it. Haven't needed an hourglass yet because i just do what I love, and grind away at lower level enemies until I'm strong enough to beat the next stage.

It's repetitive, but looks and sounds and plays like what I want. However, I do wish a couple things:

I wish there were fewer characters on screen at once. It seems a little cluttered.

And I wish that the gil you earn during battles could be used to buy the premium characters. It would give those who don't like to grind as much more incentive to play. Plus, it would make everyone feel like our wallets aren't targeted to be raped.

Overall, though, it fills that place on my iDevices that needed a little retro RPG action for quick play times. I don't know if I'll get any premium content, but you really don't need to in order to enjoy the FF grind.
Sep 2009
Post count:
gave29 | 20:52 - 17 January 2013
Con artists!
Jan 2010
Post count:
curtisrshideler | 15:19 - 17 January 2013
Yup. Looks like a waste of time and money. I'm going to pass on this one. And ever other one until they release another proper port without IAPs. Here's hoping they lose money on this one...
Sep 2012
Post count:
Lauren Alison | 13:26 - 17 January 2013
I think the worst thing is that as I gradually play through it doesn't feel like I have any choice between the fights I win and the fights I loose. Like it's already predetermined which fights I'm going to lose every few rounds to try encourage in app purchases.

Sucks when you shed out nearly
Aug 2012
Post count:
s4ndm4n87 | 12:52 - 17 January 2013
i can see them dropping to free in a few months after theyve milked the final fantasy name with some unsuspecting fans.
i was excited when i heard a new game was coming but after reading about it and the IAPs, I'm definitely steering clear.
i really hope they learn and drop the prices of all their games. I wanted FF4 but i couldnt justify the price when you have games like GTAVC and Bastion for a third of the price!
Dec 2012
Post count:
Brian Boulnois | 12:09 - 17 January 2013
and as long as people keep paying and they will the developers will keep doing this IAP's Some i and understood to support the developer if download the game for free then if you like what you play you throw the developer a IAP but when buy it and then have to pay again that too me is getting a bit much
Jun 2011
Post count:
terryterryd | 11:19 - 17 January 2013
The AppStore takes my money too easily at the best of times: I buy too many apps that I don't ever get around to playing (much/properly/at all!)

Thankfully, SquareEnix price themselves out of that band.
Jan 2013
Post count:
@SkySaberX | 10:50 - 17 January 2013
wow...this is just.....

not as bad as THEATRHYTHM mind you but still...
Dec 2008
Post count:
klouud | 10:40 - 17 January 2013
Hey square... U suck! Nock it off!
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