Posted by: Tha Square | March 27, 2008

Micro-Transactions Already Stacking Up on WiiWare

Micro-transactions – the plague of online gaming. From the small fee of renting pets in Maple Story to the full blown monthly subscriptions of World of Warcraft, micro-transactions can sometimes amount to more than the price of the game itself. My biggest problem with these micro-price-gouging-actions has to be the fact that I can spend more money on fees to rent time in an online game than to buy a few new titles outright. And now, this greedy form of making money has made its way to the Wii.

Now let me make things clear. I’m fine with the Virtual Console and WiiWare Channels as they allow you to buy (in the most part) entirely completed games for a pretty fair price. You can’t burn these items to a disc or transfer them to a different Wii system and you might also be able to find most the old games on Ebay for a cheaper price. Nevertheless, you’ll be hard pressed to find a NES that still works correctly… and thus is the saving grace of the VC. However, micro-transactions have already reared their ugly heads on the WiiWare channel within the first day of its existence. The most disappointing of all is Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King.

The game at the bare bone price is a humble 1500 Wii Points ($15 in the U.S.) but you’ll have to pay extra in order to unlock all the races available in the Crystal Chronicle series. The Clavat race is the standard in the game. The Selkies, Lilites, and Yukes, on the other hand, do not make an appearance in the game unless you pay extra to see them, a shocking and degrading slap in the face if you ask me. Though the prices to unlock these races are unclear, tends to believe they’ll be between 100-300 Wii Points each. That means we could be paying 1,800 ($18) to 2,400 ($24) total points to have the game in its entirety; we’ll, almost. The fact still remains that you can’t transfer channel data to different systems like you could with a CD. Want to take My Life As a King over to a friend’s house? Better get a back pack cause you’ll be needing your entire Wii console! HA!

Nintendo has been suffocating their online since day one. First, they wouldn’t allow any developer the right to access the online capabilities in their games until they released Pokemon Battle Revolution. Sure, Madden 07 accessed the Wii’s Weather Channel but I swear that thing has never once worked correctly. They shortened the amount of Virtual Console games available each week from four to two. And yeah, who the hell has been deciding what gets released every week over there? A bus load of chimps or something? I haven’t seen anything decent for download in nearly a month! Plus, they’ve kept their online modes more annoyingly “secure” than any other console in the history of online gaming! Now, instead of spending time on our Wiis, we have to use other means (ie “Add me to your friends list” threads in forums) and trade friend codes several times over just to play a frickin game! Come on!  

Now they knowingly allow developers the opportunity to hack their games into small pieces and drain us of even more cash than ever. That’s like ordering a steak dinner only to get half of it served to you; it’s like buying a Lego set and having to pay extra for the horses; it’s like buying an action figure and not getting the bullets the toy gun is suppose to come with! Do you understand what I’m getting at?!

They’re selling a game that has been programmed from the beginning to have the characters only to have everything regarding to them removed (or more likely locked until you buy a code) so they can sell these “expansions” for an extra buck or two! That’s downright false advertising! They’ve been showing videos of these races for months making their market assume they’d be common place but surprise! You’ll have to pay extra to use them! Did they forget to mention that until you actually began to download the software? Oh silly Square-Enix, how deceptively forgetful of you…

 Sorry to go into a rant their folks, but it just irks me to think that they’ve created this game to its entirety only to remove certain desirable aspects out just to scrounge up a few more bucks out of our pockets. It makes me mad that we haven’t heard a thing about these fees until the service was made available. Get ready to endure a lot more though seeing how there are at least three other WiiWare titles using this means of greedy payment. I just hope not every good title to become available will follow in these footsteps.



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