Heroes Of Ruin Reviews Paint The Big Mobile Picture
Eventually, publishers will realize they can't charge $40 for a $0.99 video game.
One of the more interesting things about the rise of mobile gaming has been this mutiny of sorts on traditional handheld titles, where all of a sudden, consumers have been comparing the two and crying foul. Not exactly a surprise, since mobile games usually cost $0.99 and feature free updates that far outpace the amount of content normally seen in your average Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita effort.
On that note, I've yet to play Heroes of Ruin from Square Enix, and probably never will, since it retails for $39.99 and the reviews haven't been good, to put it nicely. The critique from GamesRadar alone is enough to not only close my wallet, but also put an imaginary lock on that sucker. Just consider the words the writer used to describe the game: "generic", "one-and-done", "run-of-the-mill" and "barely competent". Barely competent? Sounds more like impotent.
It's a shame, because this was one of the more anticipated third party 3DS titles, and it was in development for so long, the victim of at least one delay and probably more. The fact that Square Enix chose to spotlight it at June's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) gave me hope that developer n-Space was on the fast track to success, and would deliver the type of experience Nintendo's system could only benefit from.
Instead, all I hear is talk of it being short and mind-numbingly repetitive. Not exactly worth a trip to the mall, which is sort of amusing, since I feel Heroes of Ruin would have shined on iPad at $4.99 or less. Would it have meant lower expectations? Perhaps, but I'm more inclined to believe that in most if not all cases, mobile prices appear justified in relation to the content, which is my way of saying Nintendo and Sony supporters just splashed water on their faces and realized third parties have been swindling them for more than two decades, largely because they didn't have a point of comparison.
In other words, it's about time we demand more from traditional handheld developers and publishers. If you're going to charge $40 for a portable game, you must also realize said game will be put on a pedestal next to iPhone titles within the same genre, and it's basically sink or swim. The effects may not be felt today, but years from now, when the majority of these content-lite titles fall into the bargain bin. At long last, the higher ups may finally get the message that, yes, mobile poses a threat; weird, as Square Enix released several Final Fantasy games on iOS. I just want to know what they plan to do about it.
[Editor's Note: I do realize Heroes of Ruin received respectable scores from several websites.]