Why pay for All The Bravest?

The first time I went to Japan I was on a bit of a One Piece kick. I had watched as much of the anime as I could find. I managed to buy every single volume of the manga. (Goodness. This was 2004. And One Piece is still going strong.) I was in a game center and saw a Tony Tony Chopper doll sitting in this bin. For it to be mine all I had to do was press a button at the right time so the bin would spill over. That is all! Each try only cost me ¥100. I put a bill or two into the coin exchange machine and started to play.

The size of a ¥100 coin (worth about one US dollar) lines up pretty decently with a quarter. Having put a fair share of quarters into arcade machines, I found myself easily slipping ¥100 coin after ¥100 coin into the machine.

Approximately twenty dollars later I had realized that I was not putting quarters into the machine. And I also did not have a Chopper doll. This burning shame I felt has stuck with me all through the past few years and has really stuck out in the new Free-to-Play genre of video games.

So, like I was talking about yesterday, Final Fantasy: All the Bravest is one of these beasts. The options here are:

  1. Play the game as is without spending money.
  2. Do not spend money on consumables but only things that I "keep".
  3. Buy a bit of everything.

The problem I have is that I can "beat" the game it seems with just patience and screen rubbing. I can only get all the unlockables by spending cash. I have a feeling that if I could have a chance here or there to maybe get one of the unlockables just by playing, I would be more tempted to spend a few bucks to speed up the process. Locking in the known characters to only being buyable makes it easy for me to be stubborn and just completely ignore it.

A deal, say four characters and $2 worth of the consumable item for $5 would make me go "Mmm, savings!" Then, I might bite. I might even find more value in the actual dollar character raffle because at that point it feels like there are multiple ways for me to play. This way it just feels cold and dishonest. Which puts up my shield and has me spending nothing.

The game has me thinking a lot. It is a shame in many ways and yet I can feel a tickle of interesting things that could have been.