I was semi-interested in this game, because unless you count the night TheThing and I sacrificed Love Live idols to the Blood God, Rin, I never played a free-to-play game before. But all Terra Battle did was validate my former abstinence.
Terra Battle is a puzzle game with RPG elements, created by Final Fantasy “legend” Hironobu Sakaguchi. Damage is dealt to enemies by flanking them with your characters, of which you can only move one per turn (though depending on how you move your character, you can modify multiple characters’ placement in one turn). Your own characters’ abilities and the enemies’ affect the board placement and area of effect for attacks, which lends an aura of strategy to the game.
Real talk: could you even read that description without your eyes glazing over? Even I couldn’t and I wrote the damn thing. That’s how awful this game is.
Terra Battle’s base gameplay is not particularly engaging, but it can scratch RPG fans’ “I’m progressing!” itch via meaningless level ups.
Of course, like any puzzle (game), you need the right pieces to complete it. And in Terra Battle, that means you need the right characters. Depending on how much money and time you put into the game, you can get more chances at getting the right ones (and hence, the puzzle pieces you need). Of course, they’re just that — chances. Should the RNG gods decide to forsake you, there ain’t no way you’re gonna get very far through Terra Battle.
Ultimately, if you don’t have super rare characters, your party will not be viable for completing the game. You’re not gonna finish a thousand-piece puzzle if you only have five pieces, regardless of how “skilled” you are.
No need to take my word for it; see what the suckers who are already heavily invested into the game think.
Amina is an SS-rank character, so Fluffles is saying that for as long as Terra Battle’s been out (it’s been available since September 9th, though the official release date was October 9th), he’s only heard of one person who was able to beat the game without paying money, and they “only” had one super rare character.
Oh, and since it’s an always-online game, if you aren’t playing it somewhere you can get a strong wi-fi or mobile data connection, you’re simply not allowed to play.
I guess there’s something to be said for the game saving you from itself, though.
It doesn’t exist.
This is your sole impetus for fighting on one of the chapters’ stages. I wish I could say I picked the least wordy battle introduction, but this is what you’re going to get on average. Quite a few one-sentence introductions appear as you trudge through the game.
With a plot so barebones, you’re right in assuming that there isn’t any character development (you get a couple background paragraphs on each character if you check their profiles, but that’s it) and character interactions are rather non-existent. Great way to motivate players to continue playing, indeed.
If you want to catch ’em all, you’d better make sure you hate yourself enough.
The following section is sorta lengthy, so feel free to skip it if my sugoi-tier writing already has you convinced the game sucks. Be warned that if you’re still undecided, you may be illiterate.
(Note for the following calculations I’m using very lazy layman’s math. Yes I could write better formulas, and yes Caly is a math professor whom I could beg for help in exchange for finally lending her FFXIII-3… but some sacrifices have to be made for readability. Also, I haven’t beat FFXIII-3 myself, so you can’t have it yet, Caly.)
Each new character roll costs you five energy. If you roll a character you already have, you don’t get another re-roll; instead, the character you already have gets a 5% bonus gauge boost. Since that ends up being a waste of a roll, you can circumvent the issue by boosting all your characters’ bonus gauges up to 100%, which forces the game to search for a character that’s not one of your 100%’d.
Of course, you’ve gotta grind for it. Per our friend Fluffles again (via the Terra Battle Forum), it’s not a quick grind.
Math time. Let’s be generous and say you’re gonna do some heavy grinding, bringing the grind down to 8 days for a full party. Now let’s say you grind a character as soon as you get them, to ensure you don’t waste your next roll. Grinding one character is going to take the same amount of time as grinding a full party, because all fights take place as Party vs. Party.
Conveniently, after 8 days you can then get a new character because of the login bonus. (Every 8 days, you get one free roll essentially.)
You get four characters at the start (Grace or Bahl, Kuscah, and two rolls). There are milestone bonuses as well, that add up to 18 energy, or ~3 rolls. So the remainder of characters (59 characters, minus the 7 you get otherwise = 52) need to be pulled via this method.
52 characters X 8 days = 416 days. Take away 8 days (since the goal here is to get every character, not to maximize them all) and you’ve got a year and two months of constant grinding.
With the free route out of reach for anyone with a life, the only remaining option is the in-app purchase route. But I can’t say it gets any better on that front.
Unless you’re willing to bleed for this game, your money doesn’t have much value at all. At 100 energy for $60, you can get rolls for only $3, which seems reasonable until you do the math. 52 characters * $3 each is gonna run you $156 for a mobile game. In case that didn’t process for you, let me connect your synapses: that’s fucking insane.
What makes it worse is that you’re not guaranteed a unique character for your rolls. In fact, based on the rarity of pulls (each tier of character has different odds of appearing in a roll), you’re very unlikely to get a unique character with each roll. As I went over before, the only way to guarantee not receiving a duplicate character is for that character to have a maxed-out bonus gauge. And as each duplicate pull adds 5% to that character’s bonus gauge, a worst-case scenario is that you’re going to need to spend 21 rolls, or 105 energy ($63) per character (1 to pull them, and 20 to max them). The amount it takes to guarantee a full harem is therefore $3213 (51 * $63).
Fuck, for that much money, I’d suggest alternate means of building your love den.
Time & Money – Best Case Scenario
Now I know some of you are gonna say “But Dark_Sage, I plan to play the game fairly regularly and only pay for pulls when I think it makes sense. There’s nothing wrong with paying money for a game I enjoy! So what’s it gonna cost me to end up with the game’s full roster?”
The answer to that is “still too fucking much”. What the actual fuck is wrong with you? Are you really crossing your fingers that with 200 days of heavy grinding and $500 into the app you’ll finally be able to say you completed the game?
Dumbass. Free to play games can never be completed. You can never win.
I mean, hell, they’re already talking about adding new characters to the game. As long as the game’s supported by the devs, you’re never going to get off this crazy train. And when Terra Battle finally stops having “content” added to it, you’re going to be left with goddamn nothing, since the servers won’t be around to let you access the megabytes of nothing you wasted your life on.
Get your shit together. Jesus.
Final score: 0/10. F2P games are predatory cancer, but that’s no excuse for being stupid enough to fall prey to them. Anyone who supports this industry deserves to be excised from the planet.