Go back to school with your Mac, iPhone and TUAW
Add to: My AOL, MyYahoo, Google, Bloglines
Joystiq presents

iPod's new Square Enix SRPG better than FFTA2?

Out of nowhere, Square Enix has simultaneously announced and released Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes, a new SRPG exclusive for the iPod challenging players to rescue their brother from the Mechanical Militia.

The game has you controlling Ziggy, a Conductor that can create Tune Trooper warriors out of your iPod's music tracks, similar to Monster Rancher's CD-generated creatures. Further integrating your All-4-One MP3s, Song Summoner will boost the "groove level" of your Tune Troopers every time you listen to the songs that birthed the units. Now you actually have an excuse for listening to "I Swear" several dozen times a day!

So, why are we talking about this iPod game on DS Fanboy? We thought it would be interesting to compare this new title against the other portable strategy RPG Square Enix recently released (in the U.S.), Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift.

As we're sure you'll let us know, there are some features that Song Summoner can't compete with, such as FFTA2's 400+ quests and other multitudinous offerings, but, for the purpose of outlining what publishers can learn from a game release such as this, let's look at the five points in which the iPod title outshines the DS epic.

Cost: $4.99 (£3.99/€4.99)

With a price as low as this, this guarantees that almost any gamer with a compatible iPod and even a slight interest in RPGs will pick this up. Could the same be said for Final Fantasy Tactics A2, which usually retails for $39.99? One could argue that Square Enix was only able to make Song Summoner so cheap due to cutting manufacturing costs, scaling back marketing, and making other concessions (e.g. contracting a small developer), but does that really matter to gamers who just want a decent, inexpensive game?

Distribution: iTunes

Digital distribution is the future! No more dealing with insufferable game store clerks! No more waiting for FedEx to finally deliver your game from Amazon several days after your order it, or even several weeks after you preorder it. As soon as you decide that you want the game, you'll only need to click the "Buy" button in iTunes, just as you would with audio or video files.

Right now, DS owners have no comparable solution for quickly getting complete games onto their system. iTunes distribution even beats out pirating the game, as you don't have to wait for someone to dump the cart, find a site hosting the ROM, or worry about incompatibility problems with your flashcart. Plus, you know, you're not breaking the law.

Unintentional Comedy: Ridiculous dialogue

This isn't really a selling point; we just wanted to use this image!

In all seriousness (or in however much seriousness you can muster following an Uncle Jesse photoshop), we doubt that Song Summoner's goofy premise of using music to fight tyrannous robots is any worse than FFTA2's intentionally light and simplified plot.

Localization: Simultaneous worldwide release

With its announcement, Song Summoner has been made available to anyone who wants it in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. FFTA2, on the other hand, debuted in Japan on October 25th, 2007. The Sealed Grimoire later arrived in the States and Europe nearly eight months later in June 2008, more than enough time for fans to create an unofficial translation patch for pirating and playing the game early.

Genre Innovation: Music integration

Though creating in-game content with your own music isn't anything new (see Monster Rancher, Audiosurf), we've never seen anything similar to this in a strategy role-playing game! What innovative features has FFTA2 added to the genre? Area maps? Larger enemies? Equipment embedded with job abilities? None of that sounds nearly as exciting as charging up a "groove level" just by listening to Ace of Base's "All That She Wants," which you probably were going to do anyway!

With those points argued, let us know why you think Final Fantasy Tactics A2 outclasses Song Summoner. Or, if you're crazy enough to agree with us, let us know why you think publishers and Nintendo have a lot to learn from the iPod/iTunes games model.

The game wasn't revealed and released until just a few hours ago, so we're sure that there are still a lot more details worth mentioning when comparing and contrasting the two games. Why not try out the game and comment with some of those details? It's only $4.99 to buy it!

See also: DS Fanboy Review: Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift

Related Headlines

Reader Comments (Page 1 of 1)

Add your comments

Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments.

When you enter your name and email address, you'll be sent a link to confirm your comment, and a password. To leave another comment, just use that password.

To create a live link, simply type the URL (including http://) or email address and we will make it a live link for you. You can put up to 3 URLs in your comments. Line breaks and paragraphs are automatically converted — no need to use <p> or <br /> tags.

Another Week in ... (50)
Bury the Shovelware (9)
Contests / Giveaways (12)
DS Daily (523)
DS Fanboy Lite (42)
DS Fanboy poll (41)
Friday video (70)
Game Night (151)
Gaming to Go (8)
Items of Import (4)
Metareview (55)
Point/Counterpoint (3)
Promotional Consideration (57)
Show and Tell (66)
The DS Life (61)
What are you playing? (90)
Accessories (144)
Downloads (67)
Fan stuff (1411)
Features (286)
GBA (128)
Hacks (82)
Homebrew (224)
How-tos (73)
Imports (917)
Interviews (154)
Meta (131)
Mods (16)
News (3249)
Nintendo Wi-Fi (185)
Reviews (189)
Sales (195)
Screens (975)
Video (714)
Rumors (190)



Powered by Blogsmith

Featured Galleries

Tony Hawk's Motion
Black Tiger DS
Jagged Alliance
Show and Tell: Subtlety
Tomb Raider: Underworld
Show and Tell: Wearables
Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades
Overlord Minions
Henry Hatsworth In The Puzzling Adventure


Most Commented On (14 days)

Recent Comments

Weblogs, Inc. Network

  • Autos
    • Autoblog
    • AutoblogGreen
    • Autoblog Spanish
    • Autoblog Chinese
    • Autoblog Simplified Chinese
  • Technology
    • Download Squad
    • Engadget
    • Engadget HD
    • Engadget Mobile
    • Engadget Chinese
    • Engadget Simplified Chinese
    • Engadget Japanese
    • Engadget Germany
    • Engadget Korea
    • Engadget Polska
    • Engadget Spanish
    • Switched
    • TUAW (Apple)
  • Lifestyle
    • AisleDash
    • DIY Life
    • Gadling
    • Green Daily
    • Luxist
    • ParentDish
    • Slashfood
    • Styledash
    • That's Fit
  • Gaming
    • Joystiq
    • DS Fanboy
    • Massively
    • Nintendo Wii Fanboy
    • PS3 Fanboy
    • PSP Fanboy
    • WoW Insider
    • Xbox 360 Fanboy
    • Big Download
  • Entertainment
    • Cinematical
    • TV Squad
  • Finance
    • BloggingBuyouts
    • BloggingStocks
    • WalletPop
  • Sports
    • FanHouse Main
    • NFL
    • NBA
    • MLB
    • NCAA Football
    • NCAA Basketball
    • NASCAR
    • NHL
    • Golf
    • Fantasy Football
  • Also on AOL
    • African-American Culture
    • Cars
    • Games
    • Maps
    • Money
    • Movies
    • Music
    • News
    • Radio
    • Sports
    • Television
    • Travel

Other Weblogs Inc. Network blogs you might be interested in:

PS3 Fanboy
  • Fun postcards with everything you need to know about LittleBigPlanet
  • Dead Space is dated for October 24th in the UK, 21st in the US
  • The Japanese Resistance 2 trailer
WOW Insider
  • The Care and Feeding of Warriors: The Climb to 80
  • Skill Mastery: Master's Call
  • Furor buffed for 3.0.2
Xbox 360 Fanboy
  • Watch Left 4 Dead running on 360
  • Here's the Halo 3 tribute song "Thank You Bungie"
  • WRUP: PAXing it up edition
Nintendo Wii Fanboy
  • Nintendo shares on the rise again
  • Point/Counterpoint: Does Clone Wars need MotionPlus to succeed?
  • It's-a Mario World: In the Batter's Box
PSP Fanboy
  • PSP Brite battery life will decrease by 20-30 minutes
  • Jecht, Tidus pure gameplay Dissidia trailer
  • Sony, here are five things you can do to make PSP better
Big Download Blog
  • PAX East Coast 2010 to be held in Boston
  • Original C&C: Red Alert to be available for free download Sunday
  • Mercenaries 2 promotion gives out free gas in LA
Fanhouse Golf Blog
  • The Two Most Famous Athletes In the World Shake Hands, Make Awkward Faces
  • PGA Tour Stars That Don't Speak English Very Well Aren't Happy About LPGA Policy
  • Nick Faldo Is Weird, Yes, but Americans Still Love Him