Cute and cuddly kart racer Chocobo GP looks like the bright spring sunshine we all need in our lives at the moment. And on the surface, it’s a fun little racer where chocobos race in roller skates, and Vivi from Final Fantasy IX can set you on fire while driving around Alexandria. What’s not to like?
But, back when Square Enix was marketing the game, it revealed a season pass in a Japanese Nintendo Direct, which left a sour taste in many fans’ mouths. Not only that, the iconic Final Fantasy VII protagonist Cloud Strife is tied to this pass, called a Prize Pass.
Now that the full game is out, and players have had a chance to go chocobo racing, many have called out Square Enix. Upon logging into the game, players are greeted with messages promoting in-game currencies and microtransactions, including the aforementioned season pass.
What’s more, if you’re not willing to shell out your real-life gil to get the currency you need to buy characters and the Prize Pass, you’ll have to play the game and grind for levels and currency, such as Myrthil. Squall Leonhart, of Final Fantasy VIII fame, is also purchasable with mythril but costs 3000 shards of the shiny ore.
Fans have expressed concern about the length of time it will take to gain levels in-game. Square Enix has responded by giving players 500 mythril and promised racers that it has adjusted the prize level settings to make them “more forgiving”.
This isn’t the only aspect of the game that players have highlighted as an issue. Every few months will be a different “season” in Chocobo GP (like a racing season), with season one underway right now. And, as a bonus for logging in during season one, players will get 800 mythril for free. That’s enough to buy a Prize Pass.
That all sounds pretty good, like a gold chocobo, but with a bit of extra digging, fans have discovered that this free mythril has an expiration date of 31st August 2022.
Fortunately, any mythril (or other currency) that you pay for won’t expire, but it’s not often that video games take away free currency. 1000 shards of mythril will set you back $9.99, with a pack of 8200 mythril (plus a bonus 3200 bag), costing $81.99.
Square Enix has yet to respond on the free currency issues and has said it will clarify the changes to the level grinding as soon as possible.
While we couldn’t access the Prize Pass during the review period, we still mentioned it as a negative in our write-up of Chocobo GP, which we otherwise called “A delightful surprise”.
Have you picked up the game yet, or are you trying out the Lite version? How do you feel about the Prize Pass? Let us know in the comments.