Square Enix, a renowned name in the gaming industry, has always delivered exceptional titles that capture our imaginations and whisk us away to vibrant worlds. Chocobo GP combines the beloved Final Fantasy franchise with exhilarating kart racing gameplay. As a fan of both Final Fantasy and racing games, I was eager to dive into the whimsical world of Chocobo GP and see if it lived up to my expectations.
In the beginning, I was genuinely hooked by the charm of Chocobo GP. After all, who wouldn’t be with the cutesy mascot of the Final Fantasy franchise and the lovely renditions of the series’ most famous characters? That said, all the excitement I fostered at the start of my journey quickly went down the drain when I eventually found out its very predatory approach to monetization. Yes, Chocobo GP may cost cheaper than most games today. However, its monetization model is just way too expensive that it derails everything good the game has to offer.
In this article, I will be sharing my honest thoughts about the game. Also, I will highlight a few reasons why Chocobo GP received mostly negative reviews. That said, let us begin first by highlighting its strengths.
Chocobo GP is a Visual Delight and It Plays Well
Right from the start, Chocobo GP dazzles with its delightful visuals. The vibrant colors, charming character designs, and stunning track environments create an enchanting atmosphere that immediately draws you in. Each course is crafted with detail, capturing the essence of the Final Fantasy universe, with iconic locations and elements scattered throughout. From racing through the lush landscapes of Midgar to dodging obstacles in the Moogle Forest, the attention to detail is impressive and adds to the overall charm of the game.
In addition to its great visuals, Chocobo GP also adopts a familiar kart racing formula, reminiscent of classics like Mario Kart. However, it is with its own unique twists. The controls are smooth and responsive, making it easy to navigate the winding tracks and execute drifts and jumps. Power-ups and items add an element of unpredictability to the races, allowing you to unleash devastating attacks on your opponents or provide a much-needed boost. The balancing of these items could use some fine-tuning, as occasionally, it feels as though luck plays too significant a role in determining the outcome of a race. Nevertheless, the overall gameplay experience is enjoyable and provides a solid foundation for exciting multiplayer battles with friends.
The Game Modes and The Multiplayer Fun
Chocobo GP offers a decent array of game modes to keep players engaged. The Grand Prix mode serves as the primary single-player experience. It allows you to race through a series of cups and unlock new characters, tracks, and customization options. The AI opponents provide a reasonable challenge. That may be, seasoned kart racing veterans might find the overall difficulty level a bit lacking. Additionally, the inclusion of a Time Trial mode caters to the competitive crowd, offering a chance to showcase your skills and set new records.
Indeed, the true heart of any kart racing game lies in its multiplayer experience, and Chocobo GP delivers in this department. Whether you’re playing locally with friends or competing online, the multiplayer races are where the game truly shines. The ability to race against fellow Chocobo enthusiasts from around the world adds a level of excitement and unpredictability that can’t be matched by AI opponents. However, this part of the game can also be susceptible to some criticism which we will talk more about later on.
And with the good things out of the way, let us now proceed to talk about the elephant in the room: The game’s outrageous progression system and advantageous monetization model.
Why Many Hate Chocobo GP?
Regrettably, the game’s problematic monetization model and other issues quickly wash away these positive elements. This ultimately impacts the overall reception and perception of the game. Chocobo GP has garnered predominantly negative reviews from critics and players, primarily due to the following reasons:
Firstly, the game’s monetization model has been heavily criticized for being excessively expensive. Players basically need to spend substantial amounts of money to unlock essential content. This includes popular characters, tracks, and items. This has resulted in accusations that the game follows a “pay-to-win” approach, which undermines the overall enjoyment and fairness of the gameplay experience.
Secondly, the game’s battle pass system is excessively grindy. Players must invest a significant amount of time playing matches to accumulate enough points to progress through the battle pass levels. This elongated process can be frustrating for players seeking a more streamlined and rewarding progression system.
Thirdly, the online matchmaking functionality of Chocobo GP has faced scrutiny for its inefficiency. Players often encounter long waiting times to find suitable matches. Worse yet, when connections are established, the overall quality and stability can be subpar. These issues can hinder the multiplayer experience, leading to a sense of dissatisfaction. Furthermore, it effectively stops the seamless enjoyment of online races.
Furthermore, players seemingly also have an issue with the game’s single-player content, particularly its lack of challenge. Players say that the game takes no significant effort to finish. This results in a diminished sense of engagement and potential boredom.
The State of the Game Today
Yes, Chocobo GP still has active players. However, the number of active players has declined since the game’s release in March 2022. This is likely due to the game’s controversial monetization model. It effectively requires players to spend a significant amount of real money to unlock certain content. And most of the time, they are the most appealing.
Reports say that the average number of present players for Chocobo GP has declined from over 10,000 in March 2022 to around 1,000 in June 2023. Furthermore, it seems that Square Enix tried to make some changes to the game’s monetization model. However, it seems it’s a little too late already.
Honestly, I had fun playing Chocobo GP. I did not mind its grindy nature and insane tactics to get more money out of you. This is because I don’t delve into those stuff in the first place. I just want fun kart racing time, and that is what I had with Chocobo GP. That said, the same certainly cannot be said for other players. I fully understand the hate it got, and rightfully so. All in all, Chocobo GP is a fun kart-racing game. That is as long as you don’t pay too much attention to microtransactions.